How to Dominate a Niche You Know Nothing About
Like I mentioned in my June 2011 income report, I’ve stated working on a new niche site. This new niche site has posed a bit of a problem for me though. It is a niche that I know absolutely nothing about. I don’t just mean that I only know enough to write a little bit. I mean I have zero knowlegde on the topic. I couldn’t write one intelligle paragraph on the topic.
Now the people in this niche are passionate about what they do. I mean incredibly passionate. I’m pretty sure they could smell a phony from a mile away. This isn’t like some niches where you could b.s. your way though if you wanted to. You really need to know your stuff.
If you’re a regular reader then you know that I don’t like b.s. (If you’re not a regular reader then you should be! Subscribe to my feed!) I prefer to be a straight shooter and just tell it like it is.
It would go against my nature to just pull a bunch of junk together just so I could fill out my site.
That means I either have to pay someone in the know to write content for my new site or I have dive into the middle of this community and become one of them.
I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to find someone to write for this niche. It’s not like it’s underwater basket weaving. But, I always prefer to at least write the first bit of content on a new site.
I don’t feel like I can give my outsourcers good instructions unless I personally have some experience in what I’m asking them to do.
When I’m Approaching a New Niche, Here’s The 3 Things I Do…
If I’m writing content that targets a demographic that is passionate about a topic I need to dive right into the middle of that group.
I need to understand the community – Who are they? What do they like/dislike? How do they talk (slang, abbreviations, etc?)
Youtube – Get on Youtube and find videos that people in your niche are posting and commenting on. Take your list of keywords and go to town watching every video you can.
Pay close attention to those with a lot of comments and a lot of ratings. These are the kind of videos that were able to engage people enough to generate some kind of response.
Read through the comments. See what kind of stuff people like. Are how-to videos hot? What about vlog (video blog) posts? Who are the key players in the niche? Look at who is posting a lot of video. Look at channel views and subscriber counts.
Try to figure out what makes these people unique. Why are people choosing to watch these videos over all the other videos on the same topic?
Blogs – Search using very broad phrases that relate to your niche (e.g. ‘cars’ or ‘finance’ or ‘health’). What you are looking for are high-authority sites that are ranking for some of the most competitive terms in your niche.
Most likely these sites will be owned by big media conglomerates. However, if you do come across a blog, try to figure out what makes them so popular.
Again, the whole point here is to understand what people in your niche are looking for. What kind of content do they like? What type of personality seems to be popular?
Forums – The last place I go is forums. By this point you should have some insight into what people in your niche are hungry for. You’ve been exposed to the big fish in the pond. Now you need to go see what all of the regular Joe’s are talking about.
This is your opportunity to find a hole in the market. Are people talking about things in forums that the big fish aren’t talking about? What about personality? Maybe all the mainstream bloggers seem to have their act together while everyone in the forums have a lot of insecurities.
Look for a USP (unique selling position) that will make your site stand out.
With all of this, you are armed to become an authority in the space. Which is super important if you want to see real success.
You Need to Be Seen as an Authority
In order to market to a crowd you need to be seen as an authority. People will rarely buy something from someone they don’t trust. You can’t be an authority if you don’t know what you’re talking about!
In this new niche I’m doing everything I can to absorb information so I can be sure I know what I’m talking about when I create content. If I talk and talk and walk the walk then I can build my reputation as an authority in this niche.
I’m doing my absolute best to create compelling original content on this new niche site.
In my humble opinion, that is one of the biggest pieces to the puzzle of success in any niche.
You Need to Be Relatable
I think the second big key to success is that people need to be able to relate to you. People relate to other people who are like them. This goes back to the research I mentioned above. You need to understand who your target audience is. You need to be able to talk like they do and talk about the stuff that they talk about.
In this new niche I’m working on, I’ve noticed that proper grammar is kind of rare. So I’ve tried to place some intentional errors in my content. I don’t want these people to come to my site and be put off because I’m too proper or I sound like I have it all together. I want them to see me like they see a good friend. I want them to relate to me.
What do you think? Do you think that is being disingenuous or is it smart marketing? Is there a better way to do niche marketing?