Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:00 pm
Back in June, 2005, Jeff from Cedar Springs wrote this brilliant piece of choosing what we've called (in DAY 2 of the Action Guide) the "goldilocks" niche... not too narrow, not too broad... just right! I was either asleep at the wheel or in Nova Scotia (we often go there last week of June), or both, not to have called attention to its eloquence.
But it's sooooo good, it deserves to be revived. Belated thanks for this, JP! I hope many find it helpful.
All the best,
Here it is...
Jeff from Cedar Springs wrote:Let's choose a random broad subject and see how it figures into life and the web...I don't know, how about "cars". Through the eyes of a typical neophyte, this topic would look like this with respect to a web site: "Well, literally millions of people look for something related to cars every day, so I'll create a web site about cars, and some small portion of those millions of people will come to my site every day and I'll be rich.
It actual fact, this is true, a small portion of them would come to your site...probably one or two a day once it's well established. The problem here is that the traffic (please excuse the pun) looking for info on cars does not get evenly spread across all car related sites. A few sites "own" that rather large topic, and they get most of the traffic. Those few sites are HUGE and belong to companies that spend horrific amounts of money on advertising to "own" that search term. Even if you're really good, compared to them, well, you got nothing.
Does that mean that if you're into cars, then you've got no chance of creating a profitable site about cars? Nope. It means you have to get smart and design a site that is about cars, but which gets around these guys who "own" that topic. The way you do that is by "owning" some small corner of "cars" that the big guys don't happen to care about. Let's say "left side mirror from 67 mustang". You could "own" that niche pretty easily. Problem is, it's a small niche, so you wouldn't get a whole lot of traffic from that.
So we've established that you can own a small unprofitable niche, or you can get a few crumbs from a big profitable topic. Maybe the solution is somewhere in the middle. It is, and it isn't. Let's say you were now going to look around in the middle and you choose "parts for classic cars". This is a big enough niche to pull traffic, and it's small enough that none of the HUGE guys are putting all of their efforts into this category, so it's got some potential.
So now you go out and try to write a bunch of pages about "parts for classic cars", and you find that you get a little traffic, but you still can't seem to find your way to the top of the google pages for "parts for classic cars". This is where the true genious of Ken's approach comes in. Instead of trying really hard to "own" your chosen niche of "parts for classic cars", you very easily "own" dozens and dozens of tiny niches that are sub-niches of "parts for classic cars". You spend maybe an hour owning "left side mirror from 67 mustang". You create a great page about just that one thing, and the next time somebody types in "left side mirror from 67 mustang" (with the quotes), they get your page. Now you spend just as much time "owning" "right side mirror from 67 mustang". Then you do that 50, 100, 200 more times for other classic car parts. That's how you come to "own" your niche of "parts for classic cars". Along the way, some magic starts to happen. Because you are ranked at the top of so many "parts for classic cars" mini-topics, you are now an "expert site" for "parts for classic cars". Now you will find that your site will start to rank very high for "parts for classic cars" as a topic, not just for the many many sub topics you've chosen to own. In essence, by owning enough of the pieces, the search engines will just up and give you the whole niche. They won't give you "cars", but they will give you "parts for classic cars".
Even if somebody else "owns" "classic car pictures" and some other guy owns "classic car care tips", YOU own "parts for classic cars", and if you keep at it, the guy who owns "cars", will eventually just give up trying to sell any classic car parts, and just put a link in his "cars" site to your "parts for classic cars" site. He knows when he's beaten.