Specific Niche sites, really that important?

by GGpaul
26 replies
Hey,

So I've come across sites where they do NOT have a specific niche. But yet they do well in it. For instance, I see a site that talks about his personal life, his fitness, and his love for cars. Yet he has a huge following.

So...when is it bad to have multiple niches on one site or WHY is it bad?

Cnn.com does it. They talk about fashion, to crimes, to sports.

IGN does it from TV shows to videogames?

So help me understand why people say PICK a SPECIFIC NICHE.
#important #niche #sites #specific
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    So help me understand why people say PICK a SPECIFIC NICHE.
    Because it's easier to rank for specific niches, than it is to go head to head with the authority sites like CNN.

    Also some niches have more hungry buyer than others. Unless you have businesses paying boatloads of money to advertise on your heavy traffic site, you have to look for specific niches to make your money.
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    • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
      Originally Posted by Alex Blades View Post

      Because it's easier to rank for specific niches, than it is to go head to head with the authority sites like CNN.

      Also some niches have more hungry buyer than others. Unless you have businesses paying boatloads of money to advertise on your heavy traffic site, you have to look for specific niches to make your money.
      How is it easier to rank for specific niches? Yes these are all newbie questions, but I'm going to ask anyways.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
        Originally Posted by GGpaul View Post

        How is it easier to rank for specific niches? Yes these are all newbie questions, but I'm going to ask anyways.
        Because there is less competition. Let's say you are a weight loss expert and want to teach people how to lose weight. You wouldn't take a general niche like "how to lose weight" because of all the competition already there, it would be almost impossible to rank for such a general niche. You would be better off targeting "how to lose weight by eat more pig knuckles" because it has less competition making it easier to rank.

        I'm not saying sub- niches in the weight loss niche is easy to target, but using it as an example.

        That's what I'm saying. So to Alex's suggestion, I just don't find it valid. I'm not trying to rank a home page.
        The competition are also web pages, and will not give up their ranks that easy. If you're going to spend money for traffic then you can build a following that way.
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        • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
          Originally Posted by Alex Blades View Post

          Because there is less competition. Let's say you are a weight loss expert and want to teach people how to lose weight. You wouldn't take a general niche like "how to lose weight" because of all the competition already there, it would be almost impossible to rank for such a general niche. You would be better off targeting "how to lose weight by eat more pig knuckles" because it has less competition making it easier to rank.

          I'm not saying sub- niches in the weight loss niche is easy to target, but using it as an example.
          I totally get what you're saying. But I"m not looking at focusing on rank pages low competition keywords etc. I'm working on branding a site. I have a whole marketing strategy ready - just seeing if anyone has made a site without a targeted niche but yet did well with it.
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          • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
            Originally Posted by GGpaul View Post

            I totally get what you're saying. But I"m not looking at focusing on rank pages low competition keywords etc. I'm working on branding a site. I have a whole marketing strategy ready - just seeing if anyone has made a site without a targeted niche but yet did well with it.
            You asked "So help me understand why people say PICK a SPECIFIC NICHE." so I gave you an answer. I am not here to tell you not to pick a broad niche, just telling you why people pick specific niches.

            You can do whatever you want, as long as you can drive traffic to it. It's not the easiest route, but people have and still do it with success. Sounds to me like you already have a plan in place, so not sure why you are having second thoughts.
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            • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
              Originally Posted by Alex Blades View Post

              You asked "So help me understand why people say PICK a SPECIFIC NICHE." so I gave you an answer. I am not here to tell you not to pick a broad niche, just telling you why people pick specific niches.

              You can do whatever you want, as long as you can drive traffic to it. It's not the easiest route, but people have still do it with success. Sounds to me like you already have a plan in place, so not sure why you are having second thoughts.
              Not sure either. :p
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    Do you have the budget, resources, marketing skills and team of staff that ORGANISATIONS like CNN and IGN have?

    Probably not.

    So you're gonna have to go niche.

    It doesn't mean you can't be an authority site in your niche.

    You can't realistically cover EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING on your site. It will be a mess of content that appeals to no one in specific.

    Trying to cater for everyone actually leads to you catering for no one.

    People come and find random articles on a mix of topics and decide that it's not for them.
    They came looking for specific knowledge on one subject not advice on 100s of different subjects.

    Go niche.

    You aren't CNN or IGN so don't copy them.
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    • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
      Originally Posted by Stuart Walker View Post

      Do you have the budget, resources, marketing skills and team of staff that ORGANISATIONS like CNN and IGN have?

      Probably not.

      So you're gonna have to go niche.

      It doesn't mean you can't be an authority site in your niche.

      You can't realistically cover EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING on your site. It will be a mess of content that appeals to no one in specific.

      Trying to cater for everyone actually leads to you catering for no one.

      People come and find random articles on a mix of topics and decide that it's not for them.
      They came looking for specific knowledge on one subject not advice on 100s of different subjects.

      Go niche.

      You aren't CNN or IGN so don't copy them.
      I'm not trying to copy CNN nor IGN. I'm just giving an example. You don't need to sound like a dick either thanks. Your advice sounds like you're informing people YOU CAN'T do it. Can I dream? Can I have a goal? You're telling me I'm capable of just having a specific niche site and that's it? You don't know me, nor do I know you. And even though I'm not copying CNN or IGN but can't we have to start SOMEWHERE? And what if we DO end up a site that big? Yet you're going to tell me I'm not able to nor will I have a site like theirs??
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  • Profile picture of the author barbling
    Ask yourself if you have the sheer *energy* required to get the kind of traffic/publicity those sites you mentioned can do.

    If so, go general... if not, focus on what works best solely for *you*.

    I've build hundreds of niche portal sites and also a number of general ones back in the glory days. Now, I'm focusing solely on authority marketing.

    It works best for *my* personality.

    Never follow the herd... always work out what works best for *you*.

    Hope that helps!
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    • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
      Originally Posted by barbling View Post

      Ask yourself if you have the sheer *energy* required to get the kind of traffic/publicity those sites you mentioned can do.

      If so, go general... if not, focus on what works best solely for *you*.

      I've build hundreds of niche portal sites and also a number of general ones back in the glory days. Now, I'm focusing solely on authority marketing.

      It works best for *my* personality.

      Never follow the herd... always work out what works best for *you*.

      Hope that helps!
      Best advice given thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickCopy
    you dont rank sites, you rank pages. You dont have to go micro-niche if you dont want to.

    That being said, its easier to generate traffic outside of google on something more focused. Google could very well also factor in your other content to see if its at least somewhat relevant for their algo.
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    • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
      Originally Posted by RickCopy View Post

      you dont rank sites, you rank pages. You dont have to go micro-niche if you dont want to.

      That being said, its easier to generate traffic outside of google on something more focused. Google could very well also factor in your other content to see if its at least somewhat relevant for their algo.
      That's what I'm saying. So to Alex's suggestion, I just don't find it valid. I'm not trying to rank a home page. And even then I'm not focused soley on SEO.

      What about media buys, email marketing, ppc, social media? Offline marketing as well?
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      RIP Dad Oct 14 1954 - Mar 14 2015.

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  • Profile picture of the author cgfrom
    from my expirience its better to invest in general site with couple of niches then risk to lose time and money on niche sites that could fail
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    Originally Posted by GGpaul View Post

    Hey,

    For instance, I see a site that talks about his personal life, his fitness, and his love for cars. Yet he has a huge following.
    The reason no one suggests this type of site is 1) it is really hard and usually takes a lot of time to build up that 'following" and 2) people that visit sites like that usually are not looking to buy anything. There are exceptions but it is more of a gamble.

    Building an authority site that focuses on one particular area of interest makes both 1 and 2 above much easier, faster, and it also has a higher success rate.
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    • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
      Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post

      The reason no one suggests this type of site is 1) it is really hard and usually takes a lot of time to build up that 'following" and 2) people that visit sites like that usually are not looking to buy anything. There are exceptions but it is more of a gamble.

      Building an authority site that focuses on one particular area of interest makes both 1 and 2 above much easier, faster, and it also has a higher success rate.
      1) Let's say I have a site with TWO niches in that site. One covers Health and fitness. The other covers about Fashion.

      Okay, so let's say I write daily about my health and fitness, with that I have a sub-category of reviews of restaurants, plus gym equipment plus supplements. Still in same niche no? From there people are "buying" with the right keywords. But at that time I'd assume my site already has the "authority" with all the blog posts that I've created prior to the reviews if that makes sense.

      Within that, I have another section about fashion. Clothes that start to look good on me due to my weight loss. Can this still work? And wouldn't they start ranking easily with all the link juice?

      But when does ONLY ranking matter? It should be an additive source of traffic with everything else when it comes to marketing .It shouldn't soley be SEO. Think of a split up pie graph.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    Originally Posted by GGpaul View Post

    Hey,

    So I've come across sites where they do NOT have a specific niche. But yet they do well in it. For instance, I see a site that talks about his personal life, his fitness, and his love for cars. Yet he has a huge following.

    So...when is it bad to have multiple niches on one site or WHY is it bad?

    Cnn.com does it. They talk about fashion, to crimes, to sports.

    IGN does it from TV shows to videogames?

    So help me understand why people say PICK a SPECIFIC NICHE.
    I'm afraid personal life, fitness, love for cars are all specified niches including CNN news. In order not to get confuse I would prefer to see CNN like staying up to date in the world affairs like WF on IM which covers many areas including web design, SEO and more.

    The reason why they succeed is because their is actually a market for what they are doing, it doesn't really matter what it's called.
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  • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
    Got it. I'll figure this all out. Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Rather than chasing after niches, I have always searched within broad networks or groups of people such as within associations, professions and specific demographics. This can span hundreds of highly profitable niches, and marketing to them is a matter of matching relevant products to an engaging funnel system. It has nothing to do with ranking, SEO, Google, etc.

      Focusing on marketing by developing an affinity within specific groups of people who share a commonality of interests can open up a broad spectrum of lucrative niches and opportunities for referrals and cross-sales. Typically, people with common interests, vocation, members of organizations, clubs, etc tend to have similar and often predictable buying patterns. For me, this single marketing method has worked astoundingly well for over 16 years.

      For example, I target medical professionals, legal specialists, accountants, mechanical/electrical/aerospace engineers, managers in business/industry, academia faculty/researchers, trade associations, churches, civic groups, etc. People are multi-dimensional, and have a wide variety of interests which can often be monetized with effective online/offline list segmentation.

      The idea idea behind this marketing concept comes from the "affinity approach" used for many decades among marketers, also known as "market basket analysis". Purchase behavior was analyzed for cross-promotions and capturing new buyers.

      In more recent years, it has evolved into "data mining" - using advanced statistical analysis. An excellent classic which covers this concept in detail is "Data Mining Techniques: For Marketing, Sales, and Customer Relationship Management", by Gordon S. Linoff and Michael J. Berry.

      A superb example of data mining and market-basket analysis is Amazon's ingenious algorithm for suggesting "other" products, which has no readily apparent similarity to the original search or purchase. This is a common experience for Amazon affiliates, where the cross-over purchase is made in addition to (or sometimes instead of) the original product being promoted.
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  • Profile picture of the author RowenaFanning
    Niches are a great place to start. If you are at the beginning of your IM journey, it is best to start with a niche because it is easier to manage and you can organize yourself better. Having limited resources can sometimes make you more inventive than having endless resources.
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  • Profile picture of the author LABEShops
    Originally Posted by GGpaul View Post

    Hey,

    So I've come across sites where they do NOT have a specific niche. But yet they do well in it. For instance, I see a site that talks about his personal life, his fitness, and his love for cars. Yet he has a huge following.

    So...when is it bad to have multiple niches on one site or WHY is it bad?

    Cnn.com does it. They talk about fashion, to crimes, to sports.

    IGN does it from TV shows to videogames?

    So help me understand why people say PICK a SPECIFIC NICHE.
    Actually, the examples you gave HAVE a specific niche. For CNN, that niche is News. For IGN, it is Entertainment. The personal blog you mention sounds like it is about life.

    Niches can be broad or narrow - it's up to the creator of the site. But just about all sites can be categorized by a niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    First, let me mention that I've built dozens, upon dozens, upon DOZENS of websites over the years. (It's probably more realistic to say I've built hundreds, but who wants to keep track of mounting failures that have accumulated over the years).

    (I've been a computer nerd since before Britney Spears was popular... Well since around that time haha).

    Here's my two cents:

    I've built every type of website imaginable. "Adult Theme" websites, membership websites, political blogs, IT blogs, a million different review sites... Design sites... Social media management sites... (You name it).

    I also Remember a few years ago, my friend was bragging about "Niche Websites". You know the ones... The "Micro" Niche websites.

    SO naturally I rushed out and bought 50 domains.

    To make a long story short (yeah I know... A little late for that) 90% of the websites I've ever created have ultimately failed.

    NOT because they were too hard, or that they weren't getting traffic...

    But because they required too much upkeep. I ultimately lost focus.

    Now, I run a few domains.

    One of them (my personal blog), I pretty much write WHATEVER THE HELL I want.

    If i want to write about the economy... I do that.

    If I want to write about email marketing... I do that.

    It's my PERSONAL blog, and I rant about whatever I choose.

    Not really "niche" specific, it's more "ME" specific. Meaning I write whatever the hell I Want.

    It's easy, because there's literally ZERO pressure when it comes time to write something.

    And, it's probably the site I've maintained the longest.

    Sorry for this disorganized rant... But hopefully somebody can make use from years of my failures, miscalculations, and doomed websites.

    My advice at the end of the day: Create a website that you ENJOY, and would add content to for free. Regardless of who's looking, and how much money you're making.

    And never let anyone tell you what type of website YOU should create. You're the one who's going to sweat, bleed, and cry over the years maintaining it and watching it grow. But it will ONLY grow if you stick with it.

    (So, if you heed my advice, you'll disregard everything I've just said. Muahahaha).

    Just do you.

    Everything else is secondary.

    -puts on goggles and rain jacket to protect against eggs and vegetables being thrown from the guru onlookers-.

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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by LABEShops View Post

      Actually, the examples you gave HAVE a specific niche. For CNN, that niche is News. For IGN, it is Entertainment. The personal blog you mention sounds like it is about life.

      Niches can be broad or narrow - it's up to the creator of the site. But just about all sites can be categorized by a niche.
      From what I've seen, the personal blogs with significant followings are about building a "cult of personality", collecting people who hold similar sensibilities to the blogger. And unless you are selling ad space, or you do build a 'Limbaugh-esque' fanatic fan base, monetizing can be difficult.

      If you want an example that is less of a lightning rod, consider the radio career of Paul Harvey. Between "Paul Harvey News" and "The Rest of the Story", Harvey covered a multitude of topics for over two decades. He was also the highest paid endorser on the airwaves. Anything he endorsed, people bought. Not because he was an authority, but because he was Paul Harvey.

      So, GG, if you're willing to put in the time building the audience and network to make a "cult of personality" blog work, have at it and good luck to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    consider the radio career of Paul Harvey.
    Every day at lunch time, for years..."stand by for news."

    When it comes to advertising, the more specific you can get, the better your results will be. You don't bid on "health and wellness," unless you want to lose all your money. (:
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    • Profile picture of the author bloomingrose
      I found this topic fascinating. Didn't come up with any brilliant conclusions, but I love the discussion because I think it approaches questioning why we do what we are doing and what will keep us going.

      I have found micro-niche sites to be a personal failure, mostly because I did not care a whit about the niche. But I can see that others who are more disciplined than me could find it useful. Still, I have heard over and over from people who are very successful the wisdom of developing one site very deeply rather than a million sites shallowly.

      Rather than chasing after niches, I have always searched within broad networks or groups of people such as within associations, professions and specific demographics. This can span hundreds of highly profitable niches, and marketing to them is a matter of matching relevant products to an engaging funnel system. It has nothing to do with ranking, SEO, Google, etc.
      In regards to the comment about Paul Harvey by John McCabe - yes, if you can build up an audience that listens to you you are golden. Dear Abby and Ann Landers were not really experts, but they were seen as that. I think podcasts are also excellent vehicles for this kind of approach, for some reason we are predisposed to wanting to hear what the people we believe in have to say, has to do with our love of stories I suppose. And you can build up a broad based site that includes interviews as well.

      No big revelations here, but I do think that this are important questions.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by bloomingrose View Post

        In regards to the comment about Paul Harvey by John McCabe - yes, if you can build up an audience that listens to you you are golden. Dear Abby and Ann Landers were not really experts, but they were seen as that.
        Funny thing about both of them was, they really only had three stock answers to most problems.

        Let it go.

        Suck it up.

        See a qualified professional.

        Another thing they did that plenty of today's marketers could learn from is they were not afraid to publish letters from readers calling them out on one of their answers. Remember the old "50 lashes with a limp noodle" line?

        No one is perfect, so don't turn yourself into a cartoon by claiming you are or ignoring legitimate criticism in the guise of "being an authority."
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  • Profile picture of the author rakhwas
    niche is the most important thing in websites in the matter of SEO, as you have harder time ranking 100 different things than 100 of the same things
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