The problem with “Niche Websites” and how to easily solve it

People buying lotto tickets in store

Podcast Version

Two days ago I went into the gas station to buy some coffee and a snack.

As I was choosing my snack I glanced over and noticed just one dude heading to the cashier.  That’s cool.  At least it’s not a long line.

I grabbed my stuff and got in line behind him only to realize this guy was buying scratch-and-win lotto tickets.

Oh oh, I thought to myself. I could be here a while.  My fear came true.

The guy was literally reading every different type of scratchie lotto ticket displayed on the counter… running his finger up and down the various lines of tickets.

Once he was fully educated about his options and how each game operated, he carefully (and very slowly) chose 3 tickets.  It was as if he was calculating the odds of winning against the potential payout for every ticket.  I’m just glad he didn’t pull out a calculator.

No sooner did the cashier hand him his very carefully chosen lotto tickets, the guy changed his mind.  One of the lotto tickets wasn’t the right one.  Of course, he could tell just by feeling and looking at it.

He handed it back to the cashier and started deliberating again.

I lost my patience at that point.  So too did the 4 people who had since lined up behind me.  We glanced at one another, all of us doing the eye-roll.

15 seconds later our soon-to-be-rich indecisive lotto aficionado chose a replacement.

I waited on pins and needles as to whether those 3 precious tickets would be his final decision.  I watched him open his wallet and pull out a $20 that he gave to the cashier.

A chorus of “Hallelujah” went off in my head.  I distinctly heard a sigh of relief from someone behind me.

I finally got to buy my stuff and leave.

What was supposed to be a 1 minute stop in the store turned into a 5 minute waste of time for a so-so cup of coffee and snack that I need as badly as a kick to the teeth.

The silver lining (there’s always a silver lining, right?), is he didn’t insist on scratching the tickets at the counter further holding up the line.  When this happens it gets ridiculous because it’s endless rounds of scratch, lose or win, buy more.

The problem with “niche websites”

I’m the first to admit that I use and promote the term “niche website” which promulgates wrong thinking about being a content publisher.

Heck, I have a category here called “Niche Websites” which is my catch-all when an article doesn’t fit in a more specific category.

I’m not proposing you delete your niche site or stop publishing your niche site.

Instead, I want to point out a problem that comes with thinking about your site as being in a particular niche.

That problem is you may likely have the blinders on when it comes to the content you publish.

Suppose you publish a blog about tennis.

Most people who publish such sites restrict their approach to content to a select set of topics that directly relate to tennis.  The main categories are as follows:

  • How to articles
  • Tennis gear and apparel reviews
  • Tennis news

Those are fine categories and topics, but you’ll face some fierce competition.

When you have the blinders on and focus on the usual topics, you miss a lot of opportunities for both search traffic and publishing interesting articles your audience will enjoy.

The solution: publish your website for a group of people interested in X

Instead of thinking about your site as being in the tennis niche, think about it as a website for people who like tennis… the tennis audience.

It’s a large group of people, some of whom are mildly interested while some are passionate.

When you approach your site with the mindset of publishing content for a particular audience, you’ll be able to come up with far more interesting article ideas that will set your site apart.

A simple way to make your “niche” blog stand out

Of course, you’ll publish articles on the obvious topics, but you need to also be more creative to stand out.

One way to do this is to “cross-pollinate” your site with other niche topics served up so that people into tennis will enjoy it.

Let’s look at some examples. Some are obvious; some not so obvious.

Fitness:  this is an obvious cross-pollinating niche.  You can write about fitness tips, workouts, etc. designed to improve one’s tennis game.

Nutrition: Another obvious example – publish recipes and diet plans that are good for fueling grueling tennis matches.

Style: slightly less obvious – write about stylish tennis wear on and off the court.

Travel: huge potential here – cover vacation destinations for tennis aficionados.

Photography/Videography: slightly less obvious, but very relevant.  You can write about action/sports photography and/or videography.  In fact, this could be an entire website on its own.

Parenting: Tennis for kids.  Endless topic ideas here.

Careers: Write articles about careers in and related to tennis.

Tech: Cover gadgets that can be used to track and improve one’s tennis game and training.  Apps for tennis players and tennis fans are another tech area you could cover in-depth.

Gaming: Write about tennis video games.

Celebrity: Tennis stars are celebs.  There’s a whole host of celebrity angles you can cover including cars, houses, wealth, business

The business of tennis is a topic that resonates with the audience.  It can include tournament purses, viewership, sponsors, tennis clubs… anything industry-related.  You can write about tennis-related companies such as gear and apparel companies.

Tennis in the media: publish content on tennis in movies, TV shows and books.

Science: Write about physics and tennis – racquet speed, ball speed, ball bounce metrics, impact of wind on the game, etc.

Construction:  Write about tennis court design and construction.

As you can see, it’s pretty easy to apply different niches to your niche but present the topics in a way that resonates with your audience.

Not every niche mixes with every niche, but a lot of niches mix with a lot of niches.

A good approach is to develop a list of niches that you can apply to your site.

Do you have to do this?

No, of course not.  But, this is one approach to never running out of content ideas.  I also believe it’s a way to better serve your audience.

Do I do this?

I do this all the time with my niche sites.  That said, I haven’t done it much on Fatstacks.

Here are some topics I could cover on Fatstacks (just for fun… but maybe I will)

How to groom your dog and write blog articles at the same time

10 best cars for bloggers (and why it matters)

The ultimate diet program for bloggers so you can blog faster, better and longer

The 20-minute finger workout to increase typing speed for bloggers

My Top 10 favorite beaches for blogging (it’s all about the color and texture of the sand)

How to apply make-up for YouTube videos so you look your best

How to lose 25 lbs. blogging

How to run your laptop entirely on solar energy

50 of the best 30-second meals for the busy blogger – why waste time cooking when you could be blogging?

10 best yoga poses for stressed-out bloggers

10 reasons you should date a blogger

10 Tips for sleeping less (way less) so you can blog more

The ultimate mattress that doubles as an office so you never have to get out of bed

Blogger attire – my guide to the most comfortable and stylish loungewear

How to tie a tie on a collared shirt worn under a robe

Choosing topics to cover on your site should not be hard

Don’t be an indecisive scratch-and-win lotto picker.

Think about what your audience wants to read and deliver it to them.

Every niche, big and small, has a pretty much limitless number of topics that can be covered.  Pick 100 and run with it.

4 thoughts on “The problem with “Niche Websites” and how to easily solve it”

  1. Great advice Jon. Going wide has some benefits…particluarly if you want to monetize your site with display ads and affiliate marketing. This way you are unlikely to run out of content ideas. I guess the only negative is your articles may take a longer time to rank – initially.

  2. This is a fluff piece but also bad advice. Google doesn’t want websites that stray too far from the subject matter. It’s bad for SEO and, in itself, is worthless fluff (like this article).

    1. Hey James, do you mind providing a reference or Google source to support your position that “Google doesn’t want websites that stray too far from the subject matter. It’s bad for SEO” If you have a source (even the name of an executive at Google who gave you this information would suffice for me), I think it would prove helpful for readers here (and me). Thanks for chiming in.

    2. @James that is what we are fed by the so called “gurus”. However, I have seen many successful websites that have gone wide, and are not only ranking well – but are making killer profits. By killer, I am talking about $15K+ a month.

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