Is It Really A Niche When Everyone’s There?

Does it strike you as curious that some of the most vocal about establishing a niche are all blogging about increasing your social media prominence? Or, more accurately today, podcasting, webcasting, video conferencing and writing via internet tools to sell a “unique” product or service that will show how “you too can get the secrets that made me a millionaire before I reached the age of twenty-five.”

It’s ironic in the true sense of the word – particularly as it pertains to the audience purported to be the beneficiaries of these products and services. Actually it’s sad, as the irony seems to be lost on the minions that line up to pay for the landmark program now being offered “to only thousands before the offer ends at midnight on Friday.” No wonder there are so many in the me too crowd crying about how success has evaded them as they’ve joined the ranks of bandwagon believers copying a niche formula with proof it “worked to generate a six-plus figure income” – when it was a new idea.

You’d think the only industry capable of benefiting from social media is the consultants selling products that teach you how to make money online. Sheer numbers practically provide proof that talking about social media is the best way to make money with social media. Really?

Somehow, it seems unlikely the global economy of the future will be sustained entirely by products and services that that provide “niche formulas” for connecting remotely.

Some have done it well and continue to use their blogs to reach out and provide valuable material to encourage visitors to consider their up-sell. They’ve been smart about it too – creating a variety of offerings that start at a rate affordable to anyone. Some of the better examples of establishing prominence in a niche and holding this position to produce continuous revenue streams talk constantly with their clients and amend programs to serve their stated needs. Among them (there are many more, but a few standouts are worth mentioning) are:

  • Dave Kaminski of Web Video University at www.webvideouniversity.com (if you’re not thinking video for the future of your business blog – think again) who offers a ton of great free short tutorials – usually two minutes or so in length – as the primary tool for building relationships with prospects. His blog includes written content too, but given his video niche, he smartly leads with this tool.
  • Yaro Starak of http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com and his partner, Gideon Shalwick with their www.becomeablogger.com initiative have captured the beginning blogger and/or monetizing a membership site niche. Gideon brought video to Yaro’s established reputation as profitable blogger (seeing a trend here?) to create a number of program that involve video tutorials, online password protected members only forums and live calls to personally address participant questions. They also offer ten great introductory videos for free to help get visitors excited about what else they may learn from the paid programs.
  • Eben Pagan (who apparently could use some help with SEO – Google seems to point to everyone else using his name for rankings) is focused on personal development to achieve great marketing results. He uses a lot of video (usually him as a talking head – but he’s a decent speaker and does stage the room a bit), both in his blog and his promotional broadcasts. Most of his programs are designed for a higher price-point audience (including online and live), but he gives a lot of value away in his free material to help encourage a sale. He freely shares his personal story of transformation and this helps to make him appealing.

If you’re looking to monetize your blog with a silver bullet niche formula that’s hands-off and impersonal – good luck. All three mentioned above spent a good deal of time researching and interacting with prospects and clients prior to hitting on the right formula for success. All continue to invest considerable time into activities designed to outreach to new prospects with free offerings.

More importantly, their blog is a strategic component of their branding and designed to help support other primary revenue streams. They use their blog to build relationships with a niche they’ve interacted with enough to cater to with language and a message presented in a precise fashion that grabs prospects.

Most importantly, they haven’t limited their appeal to those focused on social media related businesses. While they may have established a niche with their particular online knowledge and focus, the information they provide is applicable to any industry or individual objectives.

If you want to see a tight niche industry blog that’s been able to monetize on the message alone, check out http://fuglyblog.com/. Her snarky comments on the horse industry have attracted a huge international following and a ton of viral buzz that has advertisers lining up to be included. For a work in progress that’s been designed as one component of a branding and push vehicle for product buyers, hop over to www.HorseSenseAndCents.com/blog (and feel free to leave a comment J).

Niche formula is an oxymoron. Shame on those who try to sell them. Get smart as you plan your business blog and get away from the notion that to succeed with a blog you need to be focused on the “social media niche” (how silly sounding is that?). Seek out those that get what niche means and can give you helpful guidance to make your mark. Oh – and have fun. If you’re not passionate about your field and writing topic, it shows. Capturing a niche requires a ton of enthusiasm and energy, so pick one that you can get excited about.

Nanette Levin

Founded marketing firm Fulcrum Communications, leveraging creative and cost-effective solutions for small businesses, in 1989. Paid marketing writer, feature freelancer and op-ed columist for a variety of business publications. Active small business advocate, including attendance at the 1995 WHCSB as an appointed delgate. Writer for equine trade magazines. Horse trainer specializing in working with young horses starting under saddle and resolving issues of those started badly. Publisher of the Horse Sense and Cents(tm) series. 

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  4 comments for “Is It Really A Niche When Everyone’s There?

  1. May 2, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Hi Nanette — I agree with everything you said. There are no silver bullets and for 99% of bloggers, a blog is not a business. A blog helps promote your business and you have to use other communications channels, not just a blog, like the old-fashioned notion of meeting people in person. I did try to click on the link for fugly blog and it doesn’t work. FYI, the actual url is http://fuglyblog.com/.

  2. May 2, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Jeannette,

    I appreciate your comments, and agree. I know I’m having a ton of fun with my blog, but it does have it’s purpose as part of a much larger initiative being one component of a branding, awareness and community building strategy. Having spent so many years being forbidden from expressing an opinion with writing deliverables, I’m really enjoying a platform where I can be me. Oh – and I’m not in the “social media” niche :-).

    Thanks for the catch. It was late when I posted and I obviously didn’t go back through and check all the links. I’ve made the fix (I hope correctly this time). Lesson learned.

  3. May 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Nanette – a refreshing post that discusses the true purpose of a blog — not just for promoting more social media, but to have a fresh point of view of about something uniquely you.

  4. May 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Rhonda. Agreed, a blog that isn’t you doesn’t work very well for most, does it?

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