Niche Blog Beginner Tips

Niche Blog Beginner Tips

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

Know Your Niche’s NumbersOK, 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

Infrequent Updates Are OKThe 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

You Don’t Have To SocializeOne 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

RSS for PromotionOn 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

Leave me alone unless you’re trying to find meThe 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.

 


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19 Comments »

Comment by Y. S.
2008-01-15 12:17:21

You said: “The only important thing here is rewriting them enough for them to be your own” … Please, how much rewriting is considered enough?

Comment by jfc
2008-01-15 12:45:41

Hi Y.S.,

I should cover this in another post to give it a full treatment since I’ve mentioned it in at least 3 posts now. Basically, you’ll want to take the article and put it in your own words in such a way that it is no longer immediately recognizable as the same to either computer algorithm or person.

 
Comment by Vic
2008-01-15 16:10:28

If it passes copy scape you are good to go.

 
 
Comment by Markk
2008-01-15 14:58:08

Right on with your niche blogs, Frank. I like to feel lazy and niche blogging seems to be the answer with little efforts required after some hard work upfront to set things up. As for social blogging, it’s like too much running around and sweating. Step by step I’ll work things around. Hmm, we’ll see…

Comment by jfc
2008-01-15 15:25:42

Hi Markk,

Managing a lot of niche sites can also be a lot of running around and sweating. I’m going to have to look into the Mass Account Manager software Vic advertises and has mentioned a few times eventually.

 
 
Comment by Vic
2008-01-15 16:12:13

Niche bogs are what I call set and forget money makers. Awesome post and right to the point. Especially the social part no doubt you want to kill your CTR use social marketing.

Comment by jfc
2008-01-15 16:33:48

Thanks Vic,

As always, I appreciate your help in this area.

 
 
Comment by Scott
2008-01-15 18:32:42

Thanks Frank, good to know I’m doing some things right…and a few not as much. ;-)

Comment by jfc
2008-01-15 22:29:23

You’re Welcome Scott,

There’s a lot to figure out and learn about it. And making mistakes is certainly part of it!

 
 
2008-01-16 15:42:31

[…] last thing, I found a great post on Op Tempo today about how niche sites differ from our regular blog. These are the exact reasons why something […]

 
Comment by Mr. Javo
2008-01-24 22:40:40

Nice tips for beginners, all those could be obvious but are not for everybody. I’m also doing a series of posts to help newbie bloggers, keep working on this ;).

Comment by jfc
2008-01-24 23:08:33

Hi Javo,

Your series is a good introduction to someone who hasn’t blogged before. Blogging, or technically creating a mini-site using blogging software, is a different animal. What works for one doesn’t work so much for the other.

 
 
Comment by Bruce
2008-01-29 19:24:32

As someone who has quite a few of these niche blogs, I’ll chime in a little. I personally would stay away from the PLR content on a niche blog. If you want good long term SE traffic, then you need to be unique. You can get away with a little filler content from PLR, but you need to write the vast majority. Of course this is not to say you can’t use PLR content that has been rewritten to the point of about 40% for submission to the article directories.

Comment by jfc
2008-01-30 11:34:53

Hi Bruce,

Akismet still doesn’t like you for some reason. :(

I agree. If you use PLR’s you need a minor rewrite to avoid the duplicate filter.

But, here’s something funny. One of my most comment spammed articles is right now this one, Home Selling Advice. I used it as a throwaway demo of a PLR in my The Art of the Rewrite article. I don’t know why the spammers pick it over the rewritten article but they do.

 
 
Comment by lissie
2008-06-09 02:54:51

I have a question re setting up a new niche blog: Ive seen recommended in several places about 10 posts is the go. Should I space out the publishing of those posts: I’m writing them as a group but should I set them to post once a day ? once every 12 hours: or just the whole lot at one time ? Does it actually matter its a new blogspot blog if that makes a diff

Comment by jfc
2008-06-09 06:51:53

Hi Lissie,

I’ve tried 10 articles right away and 10 spaced over a few days and I haven’t noticed any difference. I think if you suddenly had 100 or 1000 articles that Google’s algorithms would throw up a red flag but I don’t think it makes a difference with a small number. I think they have some threshold they use to flag a site as autogenerated and it is much larger than 10.

However, it isn’t a bad idea to occasionally revisit the blog and add a new post or edit an old one or add an extra comment. This content freshening will help it get crawled again which can’t hurt.

 
 
Comment by lissie
2008-06-09 02:57:07

Sorry another question: if I have about 10 kw terms (all variations of the one) Im working should I tag each post with all 10 or mix and match a bit? Thanks

Comment by jfc
2008-06-09 06:58:34

Lissie,

What I do is use one keyword phrase as the title and mix and match that one and the others within the text of the articles. I would emphasize the main one for the article though. You can kind of see that in action in my demo blog for the Boring Memo WordPress Theme although I’d probably use a little bit better quality writing for Adsense to avoid any potential problems.

 
 
2008-08-29 23:31:53

[…] for tips from other people. I was a bit surprised at something I read at OpTempo. In a post titled Niche Blog Beginner Tips, jfc wrote: Update Frequency Isn’t That Important The common train of social blogging thought is that you […]

 
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