On more than one occasion when asked which keyword research tools I use, I include “my brain” as a tool.
If something doesn’t pass my sniff test, I usually don’t do it.
I didn’t always listen to my BS meter though. Sometimes I still don’t.
For example, once upon a time I actually thought promoting private jet charters as an affiliate would be a good idea.
The phrase “private jet charter” is searched 5,500 per month (per Ahrefs) with an $8 CPC (that’s pretty high).
Based on that data and the fact the commish must be sky-high, some people would dive right in. I was tempted.
Something held me back.
The little voice in my head kept telling me that most, if not all of those 5,500 people are NOT in the position to charter a private jet.
My hunch (and I’ve been wrong before) is that most of those searches are merely curiosity-seekers about what it costs and what you get chartering a private jet. They don’t actually have the 100 large to throw down on a 6 hour flight. Maybe they have the cash, but that means their kids don’t go to university. Tough call, I know.
People who charter a private jet call their service directly or have their staff do it.
The other problem (the bigger problem) is what on earth could a regular Joe like me who has never chartered a private jet write about? Nothing except “I think it would be fun to charter a private jet.”
That’s not exactly going to generate traffic or sales.
BTW if you’re in the private jet charter niche and are cranking out sales, feel free to tell me I passed on on a great opportunity. Wouldn’t be the first time.
When it comes to choosing a niche and selecting article topics for your site, use your brain. Don’t rely 100% on software or blindly follow someone’s advice.
Consider, for example, could you do a particular niche justice? Can you publish a great article on such and such topic?
Even if you outsource, can your team do it justice? We all have our strengths and limitations.
Or, does the keyword which looks perfect on paper, make sense?
For example, targeting commonly misspelled words as a topic or SEO tactic isn’t exactly going to bolster your site’s credibility. Yes, I’ve read that this is a good opportunity.
Let’s consider it from another angle.
Many people don’t bother covering various topics because it doesn’t have sufficient search volume in their keyword research software.
Often this can be a mistake too that only your brain would detect.
In a recent email I suggested that a good article for a Roman history blog would be something along the lines of “What wristwatches would Julius Caesar wear?”
I know you’ll be surprised to read that there are 0 (as in ZERO) monthly searches for “wristwatches Julius Caesar would wear” or anything containing “Julius Caesar” and “wristwatch” in the same phrase.
Yet, I think it’s a great article topic if you publish a Roman history blog or watch website. I would invest money in that topic.
FYI, I think it would get more traction on the Roman history blog because readers would find it curious. On a wristwatch blog, most visitors wouldn’t give a hoot about Julius (their loss – he’s a fascinating historical figure).
That concept could spawn an entire series of articles, but I won’t bore you with those. Chances are you neither care for Roman history or wristwatches.
But that’s not the end of the fun we can have by using our brains in this biz.
Let’s pivot into another seemingly non-lucrative niche.
How about recipe/cooking/food niches?
They’re infamous for being difficult to monetize well. The key with those sites is mountains of traffic (which is very possible given the vast number of high search volume keywords).
The super capable (or lucky) food bloggers build a following which leads to other opportunities, but I digress.
Most content on a food/recipe blog are recipes. Makes sense. I think it’s a great idea especially if they’re good recipes with good photos. It’s a proven recipe for success (bad pun intended).
With some creativity, you could inject some fun into the site that readers would enjoy.
How about the following article topics:
Article #1: “5 Best shoes for cooking in“
This is an interesting topic because it’s tongue-in-cheek yet some people just might take it seriously. I like my cooking shoes to be comfortable, provide good support, non-slip, stylish, easy to remove tomato sauce from and accessorizes well with most of my outfits. It’s a tall order, but surely there must be such a shoe.
Commercial angle: the perfect cooking shoe on Amazon. You might have to try a few.
Article #2: “10 dinners you can cook on a stick over the campfire“
I just returned from camping and ate my fair share of hotdogs. But surely there are other meals you can cook with a stick and a campfire.
I love the stick concept because that requires no washing dishes. A huge plus. Who wouldn’t want to spend 7 days eating every meal from a stick? Sign me up.
Commercial angle: Promote propane fire pits since many areas have campfire bans.
Article #3: “10 reasons you need a tool belt when cooking“
Tool belts aren’t only for construction projects. They are equally useful when cooking. I’m amazed cooking tool belts haven’t caught on yet.
Wouldn’t it be convenient to have arms-length access to a knife (sword style or how about mounted on your back Samurai sword style), spatula, garlic press, dish rag, corkscrew, thermometer, meat mallet, measuring spoons, whisk, tasting spoon and whatever other implements you use repeatedly when cooking?
Don’t forget spice holders in the belt. Kinda like an ammo belt but for spice tubes.
I think so.
I see a potential infomercial here.
Commercial angle: recommend a couple of tool belts that can work as cooking tool belt. OR, create one specifically for chefs and sell it.
Thinking along these lines have helped me grow my niche sites over the years.
I’m not suggesting you only do stuff like this, but some can spice up your site nicely. You just might go viral too.
For me, it’s fun.
You can apply creativity in other ways too.
In fact, my number one method for attracting links involves being fairly creative with my content.
=> Click here to learn more about how I attract links on autopilot with a little creativity.
P.S. I can’t wait to read all the blog posts about Caesar’s favorite watch, cooking shoes, cooking belts and campfire stick dinners.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.