Can I be honest with you? I’m a little obsessed with the concept of niche markets. If there’s a market for it, someone is getting paid. Why not you, right? Unfortunately, creating a niche business online isn’t an easy button. It takes work, passion, dedication and patience. Furthermore, your niche site needs to provide value in order to gain a loyal following online. Do you think your product is too boring to talk about? Are you struggling to create enough content? Are you beating your head against the wall trying to think of topics? Stop before you get a concussion and listen up – content can make your niche website a rock star.
It’s Not Spaghetti
Creating content for niche sites doesn’t have to feel like throwing spaghetti at a wall to see if it sticks. Believe it or not, there are strategies that, when put in place, will earn your funky little niche site a gaggle of adoring fans. Take Avian Fashions, for example, a company selling costumes, diapers and accessories for birds. In my opinion, this is a prime example of a niche – and they seem to be rocking it. They hold photo contests, have an active blog and even a step-by-step guide illustrating their product’s value. I mean, who doesn’t love a bird in a hoodie?
Use Buyer Personas
The fact of the matter is if you like it, chances are someone else does, too. But what type of person are they? Do they listen to the same music as you do? What kind of car do they drive? What’s their marital status, living situation, or profession? Publishing content without speaking to your audience’s interests, problems and questions will leave your content and website neglected. Before sitting down to hammer out your site’s content, create at least 2 or 3 buyer personas. Try to think about what they would want to read and what problems they need solved.
Remember the Sales Funnel
If you’ve tackled a niche market with any sort of planning and strategy, you have a sales funnel in place. But, too often, we forget the sales funnel when writing content. Oh, sure, we’ve got the keyword and title down, but is that really enough? Think of your content as a shining star, rising above the noise of all the other niche sites on the internet. Your goal is to make sure everyone, whether they’re new to your site, undecided or a loyal fan, gives your star the attention it deserves. A common mistake is failing to use content to speak to the middle of the funnel, those who need more information before taking action. Create white papers or ebooks specific to your niche to help capture those additional leads, build your authority and reel in sales.
Depending on your niche, leveraging news within your content can be a powerful way to pique reader interest, provide valuable information and build authority in your market. Using newsworthy content, like changes in market-related policies or laws, in your site’s blog lets your readers know that you’re invested in your niche and want to keep readers informed. Don’t be afraid to mingle your expertise and informed opinions into news-related content. Providing perspective above and beyond a news story is what adds value to your content.
Use Case Studies
Case studies are a great resource for niche sites. They help your audience understand the value in your product or service and practical applications for use. Are you just starting out and don’t have case studies? No problem, make some up! Even hypothetical case studies outlining the initial problem, challenges, solutions (your product or service) and outcomes help readers create a mental picture of your business’ value. Avian Fashions used a hypothetical case study successfully in their step-by-step guide to bird diapers. They even added cartoons, making their guide fun, helpful and visually appealing.
Social Media is Not Created Equal
When using social media to spread your niche site’s content around the web, it’s important to keep in mind that not all social media is created equal. This is another one of those scenarios where considering your audience’s preferences becomes crucial. Sure, you could simply cast your content’s net across every social media channel and hope to catch a few visitors. But, in the real world, this isn’t the best use of your time or resources. Is your audience more professional than casual? Maybe your social media efforts should revolve around LinkedIn and Google+. Does your audience love to stay on top of trends and be a part of a real-time conversation? Perhaps investing in your social media strategy in platforms like Twitter and Google Hangouts is a better option.
Solve Problems, Deliver Dreams
We’ve heard this bit of advice for quite some time. Identify pain points, address concerns, and solve problems with your content, right? This is still important, but sometimes content needs to go a bit further to truly appeal to your audience. Maybe your reader wants to be the next Evel Knievel or quit their job and tour the world. How is your product or service going to help them with that? How can your content speak to their innermost desires and then deliver valuable ideas? Solving a problem is important, but using your content to speak to needs and wants will increase your chances of earning a loyal fan.
Although plastering articles on your website might help give it some bulk, no one stays interested in a one-way conversation for very long. If you want to build a long-lasting community and earn staying power, you must use your content to encourage an ongoing conversation. Turn every reader interaction into a conversation by adding a question or call to action. Are you sending out a newsletter? Finish it off with an invitation to comment on your latest post. Publishing a new blog? Make sure it ends with an open-ended question. Interacting on social media? Get the conversation going with a question or a request for opinions, reviews and comments.
Mix it Up
The secret to creating content that appeals to your entire audience is giving them options. Written content is great, and it can increase your exposure. But are you including images, video or audible content? Some members of your audience may not have time to sit down and read a lengthy article. Maybe they retain information better when reading an infographic or watching a video. Perhaps your audience member would be inclined to interact with your brand by listening to a podcast while driving or exercising. Mixing up your content format gives your audience options while making your job easier. How does it do that, you ask? Instead of getting carpal tunnel from writing all your content, you can easily repurpose popular blogs and articles into a video, infographic or podcast. Sometimes, your readers can even create the content for you. Take a look at Avian Fashion’s recent photo contest.
Rock Your Niche like Mick Jagger
Okay, so maybe Mick hit the height of his career a while back. But he’s certainly had staying power, hasn’t he? Getting creative with your niche site’s content can provide your business with the tools needed to rise above the competition and make a name for yourself. In an increasingly crowded virtual world, it will be your content that makes or breaks your niche business. Use it well!
What struggles have you endured while creating content? Do you have suggestions for creating a successful niche site?
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