Brainstorm It! is the only niche-finding and keyword researching tool that you will ever need. Its two major parts, Brainstormer and Master Keyword List, combine to deliver unparalleled information and insights into your website content and structure. Share your best tips, ideas and strategies here.

Moderator: Mary from Mico

#1378130 by Brad from Lincoln NE
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:55 pm
Hi! :D:lol::roll:8)

We want to build a website to help new Civil Air Patrol cadets understand what steps to take when they join. Especially around purchasing their uniforms.

CAP is like a cross between Boy Scouts and the Air Force.
Here is the NE website - http://nebraskacivilairpatrol.org/
Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Air_Patrol

There are 1000's of new cadets joining every year, and the first thing they need to do is get their uniform together. It was very confusing for us. Information is scattered all over the web and hard to find.
So we think it is a great opportunity for a website. Our dad says we will have an "evergreen" audience.

So we are thinking about something around CAP Uniforms.
A slightly broader topic could be around Getting Started with CAP.

But searching on "CAP Uniforms", Brainstorm IT! mostly just returns random keywords related to uniforms, like World Series and Chicago Cubs.
Searching on "Getting Started CAP", Brainstorm IT! mostly just returns about 1/3 keywords related to CAP topics, like "Air Force" and "Search and Rescue". The rest are things someone might want to get started with, mushrooms or Texas Holdem.
Either way, about the only relevant thing we end up with in our KWL is Civil Air Patrol.

Where do we go from here?

~~ The White kids
#1378137 by Mary from Mico
Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:25 pm
Hi Brad and kids.

Welcome! You've sure got a wonderful idea.

Have you tried

air patrol

I am very interested in your success, yet will be traveling for the next ten or eleven days.

In a way, you're past some of the processes for Brainstorming because you already know the specific niche you want to pursue. It was that way for my main site - and actually, even though the numbers seem small, this site is my current breadwinner.

Be encouraged first and foremost to watch the whole Action Guide. Get an idea of what SBI has for you. See what you can do before choosing your site concept. Then return to "do" the Action Guide step by step. This will help answer some of your early questions. There are some elements of the AG where I would watch it for 30 seconds and work for 40 minutes to do what it had said. I say the aviation numbers only assuming (maybe I should not) that you passion is more toward aviation than say the airforce or uniforms.

Try this: Watch/study the AG. Where you're sorting for your site concept, try backing up to aviation/pilot/airplane type generic words to see if there's a subniche for you there where CAP uniforms will fit. I know that there's a high school band example in the AG that mentions a very similar topic for band uniforms.

There will likely be books and other items of interest to CAP members.....

Please look at all the info over these next two to four weeks and by that time you'll probably have more good ideas. The more you study now the better your site will fly in the future. :-)

Mary ✈
Who is a private pilot married to a past FAA Designated Examiner, Chief CFI Part 141, MEII.... :-)
#1378140 by Brad from Lincoln NE
Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:24 am
Thanks Mary!

I don't think we can do a general CAP or aviation site.
For one, we've only just taken our first orientation flight.
And for another, the main CAP site has a ton of information that we can't compete with.

But when you first join, you are thrown in the deep end and told to go order your uniform.
But it is so intimidating and confusing. There is no help.
No instructions for how to know what size cap you need, and the wrong size is a disaster.
The list goes on and on.
That is where our niche is.

You can't just go to e-bay and buy stuff, because there are subtle variations in patterns. If you buy the wrong pattern, it is wrong and not accepted. But when you are first starting, you don't know how to tell.
If you buy everything new, it is super expensive. But people pay it for the confidence they are getting the right thing. So monetization should be easy.

But, after a month or so, cadets have gotten their feet on the ground, have their uniform, know their way around the CAP website and don't need us anymore. Although, they might stick around for the camaraderie in the forums.

There are 24077 cadets nationwide as of 7/31/2017, and cadets probably stay in around 3-4 years average. So, 6 - 8000 new cadets a year.
We are really targeting those new cadets for that first month.
And commanders would love to have someplace, a one stop shop where cadets can get all the details, that they can send their newbies.

CAP is a very tight community. So we're sure that if we do a good job and provide a valuable service for new cadets, the word will spread as being the place to go.

On top of that, this is a great opportunity for a forum where cadets can help each other and pay it forward.
It will be a place where cadets can ask questions, feel welcome and included, not lost or adrift.
And that will be our source for ideas for more pages. Whatever they are confused about or want more info.
Frankly, the SBI forums are our model for the spirit we want and expect.

The one other topic is that every cadet is expected to go to boot camp during their first year.
Again, there is not a lot of information about what to expect or what you need to take. So there will be some information on that. Once they've been to their first camp, then they know what to expect from the rest and don't need us after that.
So that's one reason we might use "Getting Started" instead of "CAP Uniforms."
It's slightly bigger than just uniforms.
But it seems highly unlikely that anyone is going to come searching for what to expect from camp.
More likely that they'll remember that we had that info from when we helped them getting started with the uniform.
So perhaps we should just dump that and focus on uniforms.
But "Getting Started" sounds more helpful and welcoming.

Thanks for any ideas,
The White kids.
#1378144 by Mary from Mico
Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:39 am
Hi Brad and kids,

Wonderful explanation. You've got good notes here for a Home page or T2.

Hm.... Are the uniform pieces and parts something you can make into your own niche? Meaning are they something one must buy from someone who has already cornered that market?

'Just rhetorical questions.... Must go.

Mary
#1378145 by Dee from Cape Cod
Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:51 am
Hi Brad and Kids!

I just checked BrainstormIt numbers for "civil air patrol" (without the quotes). The keyword phrase "civil air patrol" has demand of 10188 and supply of 3305. Not the best numbers for a site concept keyword, but not horrible.

You already know there's a need for the info you intend to provide. And I expect you'll drive traffic to the site via methods in addition to the search engines (FB page, word of mouth, etc.). So I certainly wouldn't write the idea off just because the Brainstormer numbers aren't ideal.
Brad from [NO DOMAIN YET]-[Lincoln] wrote:... the main CAP site has a ton of information that we can't compete with.

Remember - you're not trying to compete with the main CAP site. As I understand your concept, you'll be providing information that the main CAP site doesn't have.

Plus, you'll come at the subject from an entirely different angle (spin) ... a family who has been "thrown into the deep end" without a life ring. You and your kids will provide that life ring for other families with your "here's how we survived" info. :)

It seems to me that, although your niche might be small, there's real opportunity there. A tight, un-served niche with good monetization potential ... that's the best of all worlds, IMHO. :D

Mary has given you great advice! The only thing I'd add is that new BrainstormIt credits are cheap, all things considered. Buy a bunch of credits, and Brainstorm every CAP-related topic you can think of. I expect you might be amazed by what you find when you really dig into it!

Best Regards,

Dee
#1378161 by Cath, SiteSell Content Team
Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:57 am
Good morning, Brad and company!

You've had some really excellent advice here from Mary and Dee, to which I just want to add a couple of things.

I need to start though by saying as a British person I know virtually nothing about the CAP - I think it's what in the UK would be called "Air Cadets". So bear that in mind with everything I say. :roll:

I think you have come across a fab niche. There's a clear gap in the market here, and that should be your driving force. Numbers are important, of course, but as the Action Guide says, don't become number bound. You've seen a gap, and you are in a great position to plug it.

Your site concept, as I understand it, would be tightly focused on cadets and, to some extent, their parents. I had a look at the official CAP site and found it very formal, dry, and impersonal. And, to be honest, a little boring. Yours will be very different to that - you are (as I understand it) all about making this a personal, exciting and as stress-free as possible experience for young people and their families, and you're writing it from a young person's perspective which gives it your unique twist. Brill!

So, as Dee says, you're not competing with the CAP site - you're providing a site which enhances it. This is important:

Plus, you'll come at the subject from an entirely different angle (spin) ... a family who has been "thrown into the deep end" without a life ring. You and your kids will provide that life ring for other families with your "here's how we survived" info. :)


There's your hook. You know the problems new cadets and their families are facing. Your aim is to make their lives easier - solve the problems for them. My guess is this would not only be in the sense of uniform, although that's obviously important. Do kids become worried about joining? Whether they'll be able to keep up? Whether they'll make friends? Do they have to go away from home, maybe for the first time? All that could be information both parents and cadets want to know, and have a place to share their own worries, too.

Again as Dee says, the keyword numbers for "Civil Air Patrol" are ok if not stunning. The keyword number for "Cadets" (and I accept this is too general because it applies to all cadets) is...

23,005 demand
23,499 supply

Which again is not ideal - supply is almost equivalent to demand - but your niche will be focused.

So how about combining the two and having "Civil Air Patrol Cadets" as your site concept? Which is basically what you're saying it is. And then finding a great tagline (which is the fun part): "Civil Air Patrol Cadets - everything you want to know but are afraid to ask!" - or "CAPC - the Ultimate Survival Guide" - or whatever fits.

Doing a vertical BI! search for "cadet" (singular and plural versions) comes up then with a long list of keywords. Not knowing the niche, I have no idea whether any of them are relevant but I would think some must be.

Now leave the computer alone for a while and do a brainstorm, all of you together. Think back to when you were just starting out. What did you want to know? What words would be the ones you'd put into search to get what you're looking for? Brainstorm a whole list before you go back to check them out in BI! Your keywords do not have to contain the words "Civil Air Patrol", nor "cadet/s". Think of this from your cadets' point of view, and / or from their parents' concerns.

For example, I have a site about keeping backyard chickens. Some of my keywords contain "chickens" as part but some do not. I know my audience, so I know that some people who keep chickens want to hatch. So I have an entire section (and a course!) about incubating. All the pages on that section are related to chickens but don't have "chickens" as a keyword. "Incubation", "candling", "hatching" are all keywords for me related to my subject but without the site concept keyword.

Where I add in the word "chicken/s" is on the page content itself. Because Search Engines are now very sophisticated, they read the entire page to understand what it's about. So you may have a file name just called "fitting your uniform" (for example) which could refer to any uniform. But in the page title, description and in the content itself you make it clear it is solely to do with CAP uniforms.

Is this making any sense to you at all? :shock:

The other majorly important thing I think you need to consider very early on is, where will your traffic come from? Are you going to rely completely on organic traffic via Google? That's important, but so are other sources. Social media is an obvious example. Where do CAP cadets hang out? One of the major platforms? Or forums somewhere? Or is there nowhere yet?

What support can you expect to get from the official organisation itself (ie CAP)? Would they be prepared to link to your site from theirs? Is it worth contacting them now to ask?

I had a look at Pinterest, too, which threw up some interesting ideas. If you go into Pinterest and, in the top search bar, enter "Civil Air Patrol" this is what comes up...

PCAP.jpg
PCAP.jpg (24.01 KiB) Viewed 370 times

See the coloured tabs? They are keywords people use when searching on Pinterest for CAP. Remember that Pinterest is not really a social media platform any more - it's a very powerful Search Engine. So take a look. Click on the coloured tabs to drill down a level and see what else shows. Does this throw up other ideas for you in terms of what people are looking for? Add them to your list to check later on BI!

Click around the grey tabs underneath, too - look particularly at "People" and "Boards" and take a look at who is posting, and what they're interested in.

Having spent a bit of time there myself this morning I would say Pinterest is definitely a platform you could do well with in terms of linking back to your site.

Anyway - I don't want to overwhelm, but just wanted to give you a few more ideas to unstick you from where you are at the moment.

And one further thing: we have all been where you are now. The important thing is not to get dispirited. Keep moving forward. Keep sharing ideas.

You will be fine. I can feel it in my bones. :lol:

Cath.
#1378195 by Jacki from Macleod
Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:05 pm
Cath, SiteSell Content Team wrote:Anyway - I don't want to overwhelm, but just wanted to give you a few more ideas to unstick you from where you are at the moment.

And one further thing: we have all been where you are now. The important thing is not to get dispirited. Keep moving forward. Keep sharing ideas.
Great tips, Cath.

Brad and Kids, you are in a unique position of having a group effort. Make that your strength!
#1378880 by Mary from Mico
Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:50 am
Hi Brad and Kids!

I'm back from a long trip and want to second Cath's wonderful notes. You've got a real treasure there!

Mary
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