Blogging with Lesli Peterson

Is Your Niche Too Big or Too Small? How To Get It "Just Right"

May 03, 2024 Lesli Peterson
Is Your Niche Too Big or Too Small? How To Get It "Just Right"
Blogging with Lesli Peterson
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Blogging with Lesli Peterson
Is Your Niche Too Big or Too Small? How To Get It "Just Right"
May 03, 2024
Lesli Peterson

Send us a Text Message.

This exercise can work for new bloggers just getting started... or OG bloggers who have been around for over a decade.

And the truth is, now that Google is crap-tastic... niching down is even more important. It allows you to grow your revenue-per-reader, even offering prosperous opportunities for low-traffic pages.

THE INSIDER MEMBERSHIP IS OPEN AGAIN!

If you're a professional blogger (or want to be) then check out my FREE Facebook Group where we talk about the business of blogging everyday! https://www.facebook.com/groups/leslipeterson

The quickest way to increase your traffic? Update your content regularly. Get a free blog post update checklist OR

Need help understanding your blog personas and getting lead magnet ideas? Get my FREE GPT4.0 Lead Magnet Masterkit

Find both here>> https://leslipeterson.com/

===== FOLLOW ME =====

FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/leslipeterson

Podcast: https://podcast.leslipeterson.com/


** Sometimes I link to additional resources, and they may or may not include affiliate links. I'll never link you to anything I don't use myself!

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

This exercise can work for new bloggers just getting started... or OG bloggers who have been around for over a decade.

And the truth is, now that Google is crap-tastic... niching down is even more important. It allows you to grow your revenue-per-reader, even offering prosperous opportunities for low-traffic pages.

THE INSIDER MEMBERSHIP IS OPEN AGAIN!

If you're a professional blogger (or want to be) then check out my FREE Facebook Group where we talk about the business of blogging everyday! https://www.facebook.com/groups/leslipeterson

The quickest way to increase your traffic? Update your content regularly. Get a free blog post update checklist OR

Need help understanding your blog personas and getting lead magnet ideas? Get my FREE GPT4.0 Lead Magnet Masterkit

Find both here>> https://leslipeterson.com/

===== FOLLOW ME =====

FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/leslipeterson

Podcast: https://podcast.leslipeterson.com/


** Sometimes I link to additional resources, and they may or may not include affiliate links. I'll never link you to anything I don't use myself!

[00:00:00] A question I get regularly is how do I know if my niche is too big or too small? The fact is most people are in the too big category and not the too small category, but let's talk about both of those today. Before we start, I want to remind you why niching down from a very general topic for your blog is really important.

First is because it allows you to show off your expertise. There is nobody who is an expert on all the things. And all the topics of, you know, a given area like travel or cooking and the, the publications that tend to have a wide range of topics like I'm thinking of Good Housekeeping or Parents Magazine.

It's because they have a lot of writers on staff so they can hire someone for each area of expertise. [00:01:00] Usually it's just you or just you and a couple people. So it's. important to show off those areas where you really are an expert. And the other thing it does is allow you to really target a specific audience.

And that helps you better monetize your blog. So your RPM on your ads are going to be higher because Advertisers know exactly the type of person that you are talking to. Brands are going to notice you more, and it'll be easier to sell your products. It's just a much better way to stand out, get noticed, make a bigger impact, make a bigger income.

Okay, so, too big or too small? Let's start with, is it too big? That's, like I said, that's the biggest mistake I see people doing. And here's what I would suggest, especially if you're just starting out, and we'll talk about existing bloggers in a second, but if you're starting out and you're saying like, I want to [00:02:00] do a travel blog, or I want to do a food blog, or I want to do a parenting blog.

Best thing to do is to identify five to seven topic clusters. So if you don't remember about topic clusters, go back. There's a ton of podcasts about them, but a topic cluster for our example, includes a pillar post. So like a broad over overarching post in the travel space, for example, it would be things to do in Denver.

It could even be things to do in Denver for, with kids. And then a series of support posts for those. So that would, that would be being able to write a post like if one of the things to do in Denver is Rocky Mountain National Park, then under that would be things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park and then under that post that, so that could be a support post for things to do in Denver and it could also be a pillar [00:03:00] post.

And so the support post for that pillar post might be, which, what are the best hikes to do in the Rocky Mountain National Forest? Where how do you, what can you do there in the wintertime? What are the guided tours that are available? Tell me about the Junior Ranger Program. All of those are support posts.

So you're not going to be worrying about keywords right now. We're not even dipping our toes into that area yet. We're just brainstorming about what we can write about, what we are experts at, what we can bring to the table. And so, and let's do another example. Gardening.

So if I say I want to do a gardening blog, then I might begin with three levels of flower gardens, vegetable gardens, and houseplants. And then under flowers, I've got perennial flowers and annuals. Then under perennials, I have bulbs. And then under that I might have types of bulbs for beginners, like [00:04:00] tulips seasonal guide to bulbs how, how to plant bulbs, the, the pests that bulbs have how to force a bulb how to grow them in containers, how to propagate them, how to landscape with them, all of those different types of posts.

So that's really, really deep. And we have flowers, then perennials, then bulbs, and then we've got, I don't know, six, seven, eight things underneath that. Four layers deep and we're still going. Just where it just began. That is way too broad. You can begin to see that in that case, in order to come off as an expertise, you would need thousands and thousands of articles in gardening.

But, you can work your way there. I just recommend that instead of starting off with, okay, I'm an expert in gardening. Maybe you begin by saying this, you name your blog, something that indicates that you're, you [00:05:00] are sharing about blog about gardening, but you begin by Starting with perennials. So then maybe you say, okay, under perennials, I'm going to do articles on bulbs and grasses and ground covers and herbs.

And honestly, maybe that's even too big. I mean, I could, I could imagine an entire. So, the point here is you want to make sure that you are able to define your topic clusters, but that you're not having to go 10 layers deep on that pillar post in order to get to the actual content that you want to write, because that's going to be an indicator that it's just too much.

It's too overwhelming. I'll tell you about an example about a blog. I love houseplants and I love gardening. And one of my favorite houseplants is my Monstera. And there is a website out there [00:06:00] that is only about Monsteras. Because there's different kinds of Monsteras. There's different ways to grow them.

There's different, you know techniques and things to look for. And I mean, it's a huge blog and all it is about is that one houseplant. Now I'm not suggesting that you have to do that, but what I am saying is there's a big difference between a blog about gardening and a blog about. one specific species of plant, houseplant and maybe yours is somewhere in the middle, but you just want to make sure that you're not trying to come across being an expert on too many things.

So, So, what I say is get yourself down to five to seven topic clusters that really are not, you know, are not more than two, I would say two threes really [00:07:00] pushing the limit, but two hierarchies deep. So herbs could be. Your, your top level. And then you could have perennial herbs, annual herbs medicinal herbs, that sort of thing, or you could do perennials with bulbs and grasses and herbs.

I, again, I think that's still really, really high high level, but hopefully you can see here how that's so much different than gardening. And that's what I would do, you know, just to make sure that the idea that you have isn't too grandiose. And. and doesn't really show off what you're actually really good at.

I mean, if you start a gardening blog and you're only really know a lot about growing veg, you know, vegetables, well, then you're going to tend to write, you know, probably 10 vegetable posts for every one perennial post. Maybe it should have been a vegetable blog. Now, the other [00:08:00] thing is there's a lot of people who are listening to me who already have a blog and they're worried that it is it's too, it's too general and they want to narrow down because they're recognizing the power of focus and niching down right now.

So what I would recommend you do is, I like to use sharpies and big, big post it boards, but whatever strikes your fancy lay out. And define what your current topic clusters are. And as you look at that, lay them out and, and really see where's the bulk of your content. What do you enjoy writing? What are you really good at where you can bring a bit of perspective that's, that's not found, you know, in other places on the internet.

And then, I'm not suggesting that you give up the other content. But let's say You know, let's go back to travel. Let's say you've got a [00:09:00] general travel blog. But what you found is that you go to Europe over and over and over again. And that, you know, you can keep all of your North American posts. If Europe's where your passion is, then let's double down on that European content and then maybe even get more specific, are you just going to talk about France or are you just going to You know, talk about the best places for train travel throughout Europe.

But narrow that down and then just focus on that going forward. Build up your expertise in that area. Again, I'm not saying, you don't have to get rid of all your other content. You don't have to unindex it. You don't have to, I mean, it's still, it's, I'm sure it's good work. So just keep it. But what you're going to be doing is really critical.

honing in on that other content. I'll give you an [00:10:00] example. So we focus my, my blog is hyper local blog, 365 Atlanta traveler. So the bulk of our content is about things to do in the Atlanta metro area and, and really Georgia. We do have a lot of Southeast content. I mean, probably I would say a four to one ratio.

But you know what we also have on the blog? Like things to do in Colorado Springs and things to do. I'm trying to think of something else. Oh, like road tripping in Utah. Are those exactly in my niche? No, but I do know that a lot of people, because of the airport and the easy access, a lot of people in Atlanta.

We'll fly out West, especially to go skiing. It's what we did forever before we moved out here. So I've got a couple of those articles. It works for the destination. It works for me. I mean, there's only a handful, but so they're still out there, but that, but my focus is still on people who are living in Atlanta and [00:11:00] are doing those kind of weekend getaway day trip kind of adventures.

So it'll be the same thing for you. If you. If you are trying to narrow in, you'll still have a few outliers and that's okay. You're just going to bring the focus into the, the topic clusters on your site that work best for you, that give, that are, that you're passionate about, that you have the most expertise on.

Okay. What about being too narrow? I think this is usually most people's fear. And honestly, I don't know. I don't think that I think it's really hard to be too specific. Like I told you, like the Monstera blog is one plan. There's a whole blog about one plan. So I was trying to think and I asked Chad, I was like, give me some examples for Blogs, posts, or blogs [00:12:00] that are, are too narrow and some of the ideas it gave me were a whole, an entire blog about left handed golf clubs an entire blog about cooking with parsnips, and an entire blog about painting garden gnomes.

I thought that was hilarious. But the fact is, these are examples given to us by Chad, but it might not be the case that those are too narrow. I mean, left handed golf clubs, I looked up prices. I don't golf, but I looked up prices for golf clubs. There are like 600 to 1, 200. So if you're selling left handed golf clubs or you're an affiliate for left handed golf clubs, then your opportunity, you know, your revenue per reader opportunity is It's huge, and it could be worth the limited number of page views in order to be seen as an expert in this area.

So it doesn't even necessarily mean that it's too narrow. [00:13:00] But we have to start somewhere, right? So here's a, here's kind of my guiding advice is to take your five to seven topic clusters that you've built. And brainstorm for each of those. So these are five to seven topic clusters, two, maybe three, but two levels deep and brainstorm for each one of those lower lower hierarchy levels, 10 to 15 article ideas.

Again, you're not going to focus on keywords. We're not worried about that right now, but you're, but you're just going to I'm going to say, barf out 10 to 15 article ideas for each one of those things. And take it, take notice, like, is it, was it really easy to do? Was it hard to come up with those ideas?

And so the fact that, you know, after you finish writing all those is the next set is going to be really, really difficult to think about. And that's going to help you know if you're too narrow or not. [00:14:00] While you're doing that,

consider the monetization opportunities. For example, that Monstera blog, well, they sell Monsteras and those are not cheap plants. The left handed golf clubs definitely would love like a 30 to 50 percent affiliate commission on a 12 pair, you know, 1, 200 pair of golf clubs. Painting garden gnomes, I don't, I mean, certainly you could get affiliate revenue on paint, but I, you know, I don't think that only having 15 articles or let's say 35 articles on your site about that with such a low monetization opportunity is, is going to be worth it.

So you want to see how many articles do you think you can get easily that you'll enjoy writing that will bring value that you are an expert on, and then weigh that against. what the monetization opportunities are. Okay, so [00:15:00] that's how I would go about determining whether my niche idea is too small or too big.

And if I have an existing blog, you know, how I would evaluate because likely it's, it's too large of anything, how I would evaluate That and begin to narrow it down. Hope that helps for you. I really think that it's so, so important to get this right in especially because of the changes with Google.

Your, your goal is no longer gonna be how many, you know, how many page views can I get necessarily? But it's gonna be how can I optimize my revenue per reader and. The more focused you can be, the higher or, or the, the greater revenue opportunities you will have. So so if you're just starting, you know, don't don't, I would say, overstep, overlook this step.

It's, it's really a [00:16:00] very, very important part of your journey.