The niche blog is sweeping around as the latest blogging fad. The problem is that most bloggers are following the social blogging pattern they used to create a “Make Money Online“, personal or “Blogging about Blogging” blog when establishing these sites. The truth is that when you’re setting up a niche blog that many of the ‘rules’ are different and may be the exact opposite of those used in a social blogging pattern.
Here are five niche blogging tips that turn the tables on common social blogging ideas:
1. Know Your Niche
OK, that’s obvious, you should blog about something you know about and are passionate about, right? Not exactly.
While it can help to have some knowledge about a particular niche it isn’t a requirement. You can buy Private Label Articles (PLRs) and rewrite them, borrow and rewrite info from various published sources or even rewrite a Wikipedia article or two on a subject. Actual content is a relatively minor concern since it can be obtained and generated easily. The only important thing here is rewriting them enough for them to be your own and to emphasize your target keywords.
What you have to know is what a particular niche will earn in terms of Adsense earnings and available affiliate offers. You need to know how much search traffic your targeted keywords generate on a daily and monthly basis. You need to know the competition in the niche. You need to know how well a particular niche will monetize.
Knowing the monetization and traffic stats behind the topic is the key. Content is secondary to this.
2. Update Frequency Isn’t That Important
The common train of social blogging thought is that you have to be constantly updating your content, usually on a daily or at least weekly frequency, or else you’ll lose traffic. With a niche blog, updating daily isn’t needed after the site has gained a degree of search engine traction. In fact, you may find that if you’ve done things right by accident or design that your traffic will actually increase over time rather than decline even though you’re no longer actively updating it.
I know it seems counterintuitive to those who’ve been doing social blogging. The thing is that over time Google begins to consider your site, due to the way your keywords are constructed and your link building exercises are done, an authority site on your topic. This, in turn, means you’ll get an increasing number of valuable search engine visitors even though your core articles haven’t been updated in a year and may be of limited utility.
Explore a niche you’re thinking about entering and you’re likely to see this phenomena in action. You will probably find high ranking pages that were published in the late 90’s or the early 00’s where the content hasn’t been updated in years but that still hold prominent search positions due to age and simple HTML design.
3. No Relationships Needed
One of the cornerstones of social blogging is that you have to establish ongoing relationships with your visitors. You should have active comments and visit around to other blogs as a way to promote your blog. It doesn’t work that way in the niche blogging world.
While I do recommend leaving comments open but moderated for search engine reasons, you don’t need to be overly social with comments on the niche blog. In fact, you can let them go unanswered if you want. You aren’t looking for return visitors as much as you’re looking for first time search engine visitors.
Likewise, you shouldn’t use a niche blog to develop relationships with other bloggers or site owners beyond simple niche related link exchanges. If you want to be social in a particular topic area, create a separate socially oriented blog or forum for that purpose.
4. RSS Feed = Promotion
On a niche blog, you don’t have to encourage/beg visitors to subscribe to your feed. You really don’t care if they do or not. You don’t need big SUBSCRIBE TO MY FEED! banners screaming at search visitors. What you care about are the promotional opportunities that the feed will provide.
First, the feed is used by various blog aggregation sites, including Google’s, to produce their own feed. In some cases, you’ll get a high ranking link back to your article. If a searcher finds this article stub first they’ll typically end up clicking through to your site and, thus, your advertisements.
Secondly, while social blog common knowledge is to use a full feed, you’ll want to do a partial feed and use the tag stuffing method that Vic mentions. This insures that if your feed gets scrapped that your blog will be promoted with a vengeance.
5. Use Social Networking Very Sparingly If At All
The conventional social blogging wisdom is to sign up for services like MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog, EntreCard, BlogRush, etc, etc. to bring in traffic. One should also try to get articles Stumbled, Dugg or whatever to bring in surges of social bookmarking traffic. But, you don’t want this for the vast majority of niche blogs, particularly those displaying Adsense ads. You only want 99.44% pure organic search engine (aka Google) traffic.
Big traffic surges, while great for a social blog, can hurt a niche blog. Since this traffic rarely monetizes well and your content isn’t designed to be all that compelling it can kill your click-thru rate (CTR) and result in your entire Adsense account being smart-priced. This will cut your earnings by up to 90%. You want to limit non-converting traffic as much as possible.
One exception is that you will probably want to use tools like Bookmarking Demon or Social Auto Poster for link building purposes. These are OK. You just want to avoid things that will bring in a large amount of poorly converting traffic.
These are some of ‘da rules’ I’m going by in building my niche blogs. Do you have anything you would like to add? If so, please leave a comment.