Why Some High Volume Keywords Lead to Disappointment, Even When You Get to # 1

Poor Dog :(My security guard training niche site, born from the Niche Site Duel here on SPI, has some pretty decent numbers to report since it’s birth in September 2010:

  • 224,655 Unique Visitors
  • 758,065 Pageviews
  • $25,389.24 in total Adsense earnings

There are a couple of other numbers that I feel are significant too:

  • $224.08 in earnings from the job board

The job board, integrated from Indeed.com, has only earned a fraction of the total earnings, but what’s important to me is the fact that it’s actually being used.

This month alone, the job board on the site has been viewed over 2000 times, and I haven’t gone a single day without helping at least one person find a potential job. I earn as little as $0.06 per lead, but that’s a real human being who is now one step closer to their goal because of the site that I built.

I love that.

The is the one that blows me away:

  • 55,621 different keywords have driven traffic to my site through organic search

That’s more than half of the total number of words in the first book of The Hunger Games (99,750)!

So what does this tell you? 

For one, there’s a lot of content on the site. I wrote about a third of the 124 total articles myself and the rest were completed by writers that I hired through Elance (referral link) or privately.

Secondly, long tail keywords rule. I’ve only actively targeted three specific keywords on the site: security guard training, armed security guard training, and guard card.

I’m sitting at #1 for the first two, but for guard card I’m still working my way up – I think I’m at 11 right now. Each of those three keywords combined don’t even make up 25% of my total organic search volume.

The point of this is that you can be found quite often for keywords that you don’t actively target.

How?

Produce more content.

But how much content can you actually produce for a niche?

Well of course, that varies depending on the topic.

Let’s keep going…

An Often Overlooked Approach

The niche that you select is extremely important in reference to the scope of how much relevant content you can create.

When we think of proper niche selection, we usually think of finding a niche with high search volume & low competition – but we hardly ever hear about content potential - how much content you could actually create in a particular niche.

By not thinking about content potential, you can easily set yourself up for disappointment, possibly getting into a niche with hidden limitations on traffic and earnings.

High search volume, low competition, but a narrow scope of content means less findability.

And content potential in a particular niche comes on two levels:

  1. How much there actually is to write about; and
  2. How much you can actually write about it.

There is so much more to the success of a website than getting to #1 in the search engines for a few highly searched keywords.

This is why you see some sites that are ranking #1 for high volume keywords that are just doing okay, and why some sites that aren’t even close to #1 are just totally killing it.

Strictly from an organic search point of view, long tail keywords are where the traffic is at, and that is directly proportional to the niche’s content potential

I’ll admit – I got very lucky with the niche I selected for the Niche Site Duel. After selecting security guard training, I came to realize that every single state in the U.S. had a different set of requirements.

My first thoughts were: “Man…this sucks! I have so much work to do! It would have been so much easier if all of the requirements were the same!”

But, as it turns out, it was the best thing ever. It gave me 50 times the work upfront (probably more than that), but that means an exponential number of more opportunities to be found – and it has paid off.

The big takeaway is this:

When deciding what niche to get into, realize that although search volume and competition are extremely important, the amount of content you can produce is just as important too. Before making a decision, brainstorm a bit – do some research and see if there are hierarchies and an organization of topics and categories within that niche you could potentially write about.

If you already have a website, it’s not like you need to start over – but you might have to get creative and think about expanding your content scope to get the results you deserve.

It’s going to take time, but it’s work that will pay off in the long run.

And don’t forget you’re writing for human beings too, and although search is important, there are several other ways to be found that ultimately always comes back to the content that you have on your site.

Thanks, and if you enjoyed this content, please share! If you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Cheers!

  • http://www.musicradiocreative.com/podcast Mike Russell

    Hi Pat, love the blog and the podcast.

    I find it a bit of a snowball effect. The more content you write about your passion (or niche) the more ideas and encouragement you get. I’ve found that the more I put out there the more the community will give back. I often end up with a whole heap of questions to answer on and this pushes me on to create even more!

    • Pat

      Thanks for the comment Mike! And yes, I didn’t even talk about the community aspect of it all, which is very important too. Thank you for bringing that point up! Cheers, and all the best!

    • http://onlineincomelab.com Trent Dyrsmid

      Hey Mike,

      Do you keep a spreadsheet of all the questions you are asked? I do, it is a terrific was of staying on top of the questions that are asked most often.

      Once I know specifically what is being asked most often, I can use this for in a few different ways.

      Way #1: It helps me with keyword research. I look at each question and then start typing “how to…” phrases in to Google to get additional ideas for long-tail phrases that I need to create content for.

      Way #2: It helps me to ensure that my sales funnel is structured in such a way as to address the most often asked questions early on in the funnel; the byproduct of which is that I am able to generate a better relationship with my subscribers because I’m giving them more of what they want.

      Hope that helps!
      Trent

      • http://www.musicradiocreative.com/podcast Mike Russell

        You’re welcome Pat!

        Trent, some great, thought provoking ideas you have there. I should certainly keep a spreadsheet. At the moment I’m just adding a label to interesting questions inside GMail. A spreadsheet is far more organised!

        Regarding keyword research – one of the best things I did with my site was to install a Google Custom Search Engine. I’ve hooked it up to Google Analytics and can find out the most popular keywords people are using while on my site. More inspiration for blog and product ideas.

        P.S. Just subscribed to your podcast. Along with SPI, IBM and others I can never get enough of this kind of content!

  • http://www.realestateinyourtwenties.com Brandon

    Hey Pat

    Good stuff, as always! I’m always surprised by the search terms that bring people to my site. Sometimes, the phrases are just completely off the wall and other times they are just right. I guess we’ll never understand the mind of Google.

    Thankfully, real estate investing (my niche) is an area that I could probably write a thousand words a day and never run out of things to talk about. Combine that with the fact I’m about the only guy under 30 doing it makes me stand out a bit. So hopefully my Google visitors will only increase with more and more posts.

    Thanks for all you do Pat! I’m a fan for life! (And let me know when you wanna diversify that passive income into some good ‘ol real estate investing!) ;)

    • Pat

      Heh, I’ll let you know. Thanks! And yes, I get found for some of the most random keywords, but they’re from posts that I just happened to mention those things in passing.

      • http://techgadgetsnow.com/ satish patel

        Get the keywords soon. I am to blogging. please help me…..

  • http://www.Traffic.me Arbel Arif

    Totally agree Pat, content is king, sometimes you will be amazed which keywords drive traffic into your site…

    • Pat

      Exactly – thanks Arbel!

  • http://www.google-wizard.co.uk Steve “GWiz”

    Hi again Pat,

    This is quite key (and yes the picture is saddening). Along the same vein, what is your thoughts on the amount of content needed on launch day of a new niche site?

    Is it acceptable to have say half a dozen posts and to be upfront and honest about the infancy of the website or is better to delay the launch until there is a good few hours reading and the site is fully monitized?

    Cheers
    Steve

    • Pat

      On launch day – it depends. I think it’s good to have a number of articles on the site beforehand, at least something for new visitors to see besides the post they originally came from, usually from the likes of social media or your existing list from other sites. 6 sounds like a good number to me :)

      If you’re building a niche site from scratch though, I think posting on day 1 is smart, just to get a bit of a head start in the search engines.

      • http://www.google-wizard.co.uk Steve “GWiz”

        Do you think? I’ve often worried about that, Even if I am designing a new website for a client I usually put up a temporary page that lets visitors know a launch date and also to report a 503 code to any search bots that arrive at the door. That way at least when launch date arrives I can submit an xml site map to through Google Webmaster Tools and the bots have some meat on the bone.
        I’ve just registered a domain that is a joint project between myself and an existing client. I’m going to try your approach and see what happens. I might just put up a temporary keyword rich post and an image with alt tags and see how we get indexed. At least this would give us a month or two maturity as we propagate the content.

        I’ll let you know if there are any findings :)

        Steve

      • http://www.klinkle.com Tim

        Hey Steve & Pat,

        Good question and good answer. I build a base of pages that allow the site to make “sense” at launch. That’s usually 15 or so pages. From there the growth begins outward, with, of course, long tail in mind.

        Good post, with an even better title!

  • http://www.trafficsalad.com/ Ryan

    This is my first comment here Pat, because I’ve been inspired by your Podcasts when I downloaded it in itunes, that I’ve started my own blog following the “Mantra” – Be Everywhere… just loved it.

    Anyway, back to the point about writing content. Yes, you can target a High Volume Keyword, but most of the Time. If it’s a generic keyword, you’ll end up with more Bounce rates which is not good for the end user and the search engines.

    You’re right about the security guard training niche as there are different requirements in each state which allows you to create more content.

    That’s why I believe that you need to know what your market wants and deliver it to them, instead of creating products and services that nobody wants.

    Have a great day!

    • Pat

      Glad the “Be Everywhere” mantra is resonating with you Ryan! I love that :)

      Thanks for the comment and additional thoughts! All the best to you!

  • http://www.nichezilla.com Adam

    Nail, Hammer, Head!

    I use to find keywords with great results and fantastic numbers and available domains only to end up sitting on them later and thinking about how limited their development potential truly was by how far I could stretch out the content.

    My focus has greatly shifted to keywords and projects that let me expand the development through content while still being able to remain relevant to the core subject. If I can’t come up with at least 10 different sections that I am able to expand upon while remaining on the focus then I move on.

    • Pat

      That’s a good way to think about it Adam. I’d even advise actually writing potential sections down, and not just assume anything before getting into it.

  • http://olympicdistancetriathlons.com Brandon Breshears

    Hey Pat, this is very encouraging for me. I am using mostly adsense on my niche site and the results haven’t bee stellar quite yet, it is such a broad topic that I choose that sometimes I’ve felt like there was just too much work that needed to be done. I do think that as I make my site more of a authority site instead of a set it and forget it niche site, I’ll do better and make more money. I think this is a marathon not a sprint, and hey I’m getting paid along the way, it has been a month and a half and I’ve made 28.34 so far from adsense. I can’t wait to get my first check from google soon! I’ll send you a picture of it.

    • Pat

      I would love that Brandon! I already have a small collection from people who have sent in their first checks or first dollar to me. :) I would love to have a picture of yours too! Soon, I’m sure! Cheers!

      • benboyer

        Hey Pat ,

        Just emailed you a copy of my first adsense payment

        Thanks for all your amazing help / advice!

  • Robert@ The College Investor

    In the personal finance space, long tail keywords are the primary driver. People search for so many random subjects, it can result in huge traffic even if you aren’t on the first page of Google.

    • Pat

      Thanks for confirming that Robert – and the PF space is definitely very competitive. Cheers, and all the best!

  • http://www.internetbusinessgeneration.com Pierre | Internet Business Generation

    Pat, do you think this long tail impact should make a difference on what niche (or keywords) we select originally? If we now consider the potential for long tail traffic into our niche selection, we could theoretically target keywords with lower searches. In your video, you show security guard training had almost about 700 daily searches (SEOT). What are your thoughts on that? Never-the-less, long tail keywords give me a lot of motivation for diversifying content, even if my url doesn’t contain them – thanks Pat!

  • http://wystapieniapubliczne.eu/ Dominik Lipinski

    Definitely – on my blog where I’ve posted lots of articles, I’ve visitors coming even from ‘crazy’ phrases (like ‘the easiest way to get rid of flies’ – and the blog is about personal development), and the traffic is high. And on niche sites where there is only few articles, I’ve got the traffic for exact phrases that I rank, for, but it’s still much smaller than the one for the blog…

  • http://www.iheartbudgets.net Jacob @ iheartbudgets

    As Robert stated above, the PF niche is a tough one. I haven’t done much keyword research, but just based on the searches that bring people to my sites, it’s honestly the keywords I would have never thought of that are bringing people to my site. I’m hoping to dive into some SEO reading and spend some time looking up keywords for my niche to see if I can make an improvement in my SE traffic. My work is definitely cut out for me.

    Thanks for the great info, Pat.

  • http://www.nichesiteadventures.com Johnny Bravo

    Hi Pat, you bring up a good point in this post. I have a niche site that is centered around a long tail keyword and I’m getting traffic from about 1,528 different search terms, some of which are completely unrelated to what I’m focusing on.

    I think one of the reasons is that once I got the site ranked on the first page for one keyword term I start adding and optimizing my new content to target new keywords. I’ll leave it at about 4 or 5 main keywords, all within the niche, and all slightly different. I feel this will help my overall search rankings.

    Also, not sure if you have heard much about the nnew Power Searching With Google course that recently came out but Matt Cutts did a short video talking about how Google ranks and one thing he mentioned is that Google likes to see synonyms to your main keywords. So that may be helping as well.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dreamjobguy Alex B.

    Pat,

    Great post on content creation! I totally agree — being able to produce epic content, over time, is a major key to the success of the site. It’s all great and wonderful if you find a keyword with a large amount of monthly exact match search volume and low competition, but if you’re unable to continuously produce great content for it, you will sink.

    Fellow SPI readers.. Let’s reverse engineer Pat’s concept for a second..

    When we conduct keyword / niche research, we of course look at number of local exact match monthly searches, and the overall competition in the top ten of Google for that keyword (among other things as well). One of the key evaluations we perform when reviewing the competition in the top ten results for our keyword in Google is; number of inbound links, page rank, domain age, etc.. However, we take this one step further (if you’re not folks, you need to), and actually CLICK on some of the sites that are coming up in the top ten Google search results for your keyword / niche. Manually review the site, and think to yourself 1)This site rocks, they clearly know what they are doing and are creating a brand and epic content.. or 2)This is clearly a micro niche site that someone slapped up with little to no content and isn’t being updated regularly.. Naturally, the more sites we see in the top ten of Google search results fitting the profile of #2 as described, the more likely we are motivated to pursue that niche because we feel we can beat them..

    ..I said that to say this… Don’t be that #2 as described above. Follow the general rules of thumb that Pat talked about in today’s post.. When it comes to picking out a niche, above all else, produce epic content. You’re readers are human, write content accordingly! :)

    In closing, thanks again Pat for a wonderful blog post on encouraging folks to think outside the box, and think “long term” when it comes to niche sites and content creation for these sites! This post certainly reaffirmed the importance of it all to me!

    You ROCK Pat!

    All the best,
    -Alex

  • http://www.bradentalbot.com Braden Talbot

    Wouldn’t this suggest, as I have thought all along, that your niche should be broad, but your products and posts should be long-tail?

    • Pat

      Not necessarily – I mean the niche can be narrow (and probably should be in many cases, when it comes to competition, being and niche expert, etc.), but the scope of topics that you can talk about within the niche should not. For example, security guard training is narrow, in my opinion. It’s not as broad as security guards, or even protection services, or careers. But within security guard training there’s a ton of things I can produce content about.

  • Josh Tuttle

    It just comes back to exactly the way you do business which is providing value first and then monetizing. When a person is more interested in providing value the money seems to always work out. By focusing on providing content rich with long tail keywords it becomes valuable to the user. Great post!

    Josh

  • http://www.dormroomcash.com Adam

    Great post Pat.

    I have a few website that are ranked #1 for their primary keyword and that is only a small % of the traffic that they get. I recently wrote over 100 articles for a niche website of mine to put it at a total of 175 and it is really bringing in some good numbers. It is all about getting more articles out there that will appeal to your readers.

    ~Adam

  • http://fraternityhq.com Reggie Paquette

    Thanks Pat for the help the other day about my adsense!
    My girlfriend picked a niche that matches what you said, high searches, low competition, but doesn’t seem to have a lot of content opportunity.
    I found that it’s okay though, because we can create content that is related to the niche, but not exactly what the niche is exactly about.
    For example, a home solar panel niche also having content for other ways to be green. What do you think?

    • Pat

      I think sticking with your main concept would be the best thing to do. Expanding into green territory could help, but that’s also a pretty competitive arena too so I’d only add what would be needed to educate your readers.

      Still with home solar panels, there’s a lot you can do:

      various companies in each state that can do it for you
      specific regulations that one should be aware of – maybe they differ by state, or even city
      under $1000
      under $500
      case studies on how much installation has saved people on their electricity bill
      grants and tax credits
      examples / pictures of other installations
      solar garden lights
      do it yourself
      etc.

      • http://fraternityhq.com Reggie Paquette

        haha actually that is true. I guess that was a horrible example. What I’m trying to say is when we had a tough time thinking of content to produce, we tried to be a bit more creative with it and we found some more topics to write about that are still extremely relative to the main niche (more closely than ‘going green’ is to solar panels).

      • http://www.changevolunteers.org Ken

        Pat, you are awesome. The blog post was great but your insight in answering questions like the one Reggie posted is really impressive.

        Thanks for the great work you’re doing.

  • http://www.extramoneyblog.com Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    great post again Pat

    I concur with your assessment. based on my personal portfolio of sites, those that I spent the most effort on from a content perspective are the ones that are doing best in terms of both traffic and income.

    ironically those sites are also the ones I was/am personally interested in and knowledgeable about the subject. it really does resonate with readers as they can see through your content – yet another reason I feel the tide is definitely shifting to favor sites that are authoritative in nature.

    Question:

    curious about how you are striving for first spot placement for secondary and tertiary terms? are you repeating the backlink strategy all over again, but this time using anchors that related to those secondary and tertiary keywords? with the links in the articles still pointing to your main site/home page? or have you modified this approach to rank for keyterms outside your main keyterm?

  • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com John Lee Dumas

    “Content potential – how much content you could actually create in a particular niche.” PF

    Pat, you are right, this needs to be such a focus point for people creating niche sites. Thanks for continuing to save so much wasted time and effort to so many people. You rock!

  • http://gabejohansson.com Gabe Johansson

    This just proves that keyword research can sometimes get in the way of making content that people are actually searching for.

    Sure we all want to rank on page 1 for big keywords, but I feel that writing content that answers common questions in your niche (that may not be all about that big keyword) is better in the long run. This type of content will likely be found by keywords you didn’t even think about. It’s all about knowing your audience and helping them

  • http://www.mobileapptycoon.com Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Totally agree with you about the long tail keywords. For my site I haven’t even been worrying about doing any sort of SEO or keyword research for the posts – just writing for the end users. However, I’m still getting some long tail search traffic that keeps growing and growing!

    Thomas

  • Ron

    This is going to be an Epic Post.

    Much needed insight. Thanks Pat

  • Matt Spitsbergen

    Another great post! Where would u focus you attention? Content or building backlinks? Incurrently have over 140 posts

  • http://realobmarketing.com Oliver

    Hey, Pat.

    Nice to see that your security guard website is actually helping people. I think that is the #1 most important part about creating a website. Your end goal is to help as many people as you can. I believe in the past you have said that as long as you try to help people the money will follow, that is my entire philosophy.

    In this post, you talk about checking for content potential of a niche. I believe this is another very important point. I actually try to have people check websites like yahoo answers just to find content ideas. Even if the questions asked on those websites are not exactly keyword lists, as you have demonstrated with your stats, the long-tail of search will still send you more traffic than you can handle.

    How cool is that. You get to help people by answering questions that you know people are asking in your niche, and at the same time, as long as your website has even a tiny bit if authority, you will reap some serious long-tail traffic from the search engines. I believe it is a great idea to just find some serious problems in your niche, and as you say, write solely for human beings, even if it is just a few posts, or 100, and the feeling that you get knowing you are really, truly helping people feels great.

    That must be why the job board on your security guard training website makes you feel so good. Great post, Pat.

    Oliver

    • http://philfaqs.com Dave Starr

      Yep, what Oliver said, and others. My own view is, it’s better to offer something people need rather than something people want.

      Finding a job, saving a huge part of your electric bill with solar, these are good examples of pretty real needs.

      Instead of worrying about how many pages/articles, I think the key to how much content is, “are you filling a need”?

      A site “about the Philippines” for example is nice, and can even make a buck or two, but a site about “How you can retire on Social Security in the Philippines” … now you are starting to get into the solving an actual problem mode.

    • Martin

      Just a heads up. I went to your site, and my anitvirus went off. I’m using avast.

  • http://mypurewater.com Glenn

    Pat, thanks for the note. I love the transparency. Your article highlights the importance of choosing the right niche, one that is interesting to you, because you will be married to it for a while. Content is king, but if it’s going to be a pleasant experience, you have to enjoy making the content. I suppose that you could just throw stuff at the wall, but I agree with your approach of creating value.

    Thanks again Pat!

  • http://www.myjapanesegreentea.com Ricardo Caicedo

    Hi Pat

    This is my first comment as a blogger. I decided to “niche down” by making a blog about Japanese green tea instead of green tea as a whole. As a beginner, I’m not sure if the decision was a good one or not, but after reading this post I felt relieved.
    Thank you!

  • Frank

    Pat,

    Love it. Your the best. Thanx

  • http://techrecall.com Manish

    Pat, I would live to give you an additional tip

    Try opening a section for Q/A on ur Security Guard Training site or research for some questions in Yahoo answers related to Security Guard training and answer them on your blog. This way you will have additional content and visitors will think that your blog is quite active in replying others problems..Thats the another way i use to create regular content..My answers are usually 300 words so thats enough I guess considering the Google’s post length requirement

  • http://www.10awesomedollars.com/ Gabriel

    Hi Pat, very interesting. I have the same experience in the Spanish market, I guess the only way to really know a potential is with REAL data not “theoretical” data…
    only once you put content out there, the traffic is the one that will start giving you the real information that nobody else can predicts…

  • http://www.freeyourradicals.com Harold Bath

    Pat,

    As usual I appreciate your insight and willingness to share your knowledge and experience. As a new blogger you keep me on track and motivated towards a certain target and that’s what keeps me focused on your site.

    If there is a mold I want to follow it is yours so again I really appreciate it.

  • Chris Yates

    Perfect timing Pat. I am in niche selection mode and this post gave me plenty to think about. Thanks again!

  • http://www.changevolunteers.org Ken

    Great post Pat. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

  • http://www.actionovertime.com Dan

    Soooo true Pat. I found my primary keyword most of the time brings in less than 6% of total traffic. Everything else is a long tail keyword. They are where real success is at… unless you’re doing paid traffic of course.

    As far as content I have been experimenting with a blog on an ecommerce site I own that touches many niches that are related in many ways. It has opened up the content ideas for sure. But you are so right about making sure you can build out a site with content that can constantly be built out.

  • http://www.teachingthecore.com Dave Stuart Jr.

    Pat, I completely agree — content creation is where it’s at. I’ve perused your website frequently over the past year or so, but one thing has always stayed with me from very early on in my reading: the importance of making the internet better. When we create quality content that’s actually designed to help people, the traffic will come. This is why I really love your story about the LEED website — you began with a sincere desire to learn and make that learning public, and eventually you had the makings of a profit-earning endeavor.

    Thanks for the inspiration, which as led me to start my own blog on a topic that’s pretty hot in education right now. We’ll see where it goes.

  • http://www.dogprobioticshq.com Ann Quirk

    Great Post! I’ve gotten my first niche site up to #6, but definitely need to keep creating more good content. Thanks for the kick in the butt to create additional helpful articles! :-)

  • http://www.atanone.net drt

    Pat,

    Derek Halpern’s postings sent me here, and I love your site.

    Like Chris Yates, I also thought, perfect timing. However, instead of selecting a new niche, I was thinking of writing more on a specific topic and keep the niche that has put me on top of Google search result.

    As of now, if I ask my friend in different parts of the world to search a particular words/phrase in Google, they also found that my posts on that particular topic are always on top of the list, and some of the posts from my 3 different blogs are listed in page 1 and 2 on Google. The Indonesian language one is on top of the list as I see it from here in this page. However, there is only 46 Global Monthly Searches and 12 Local Monthly Searches, and the Competition is very low according to Google Adword Tool.

    I’m thinking of combining two of my English blogs back to my original blog and only concentrate on cancer fighting topics by taking a different slant. Also, this is more on a community service type of work, and I have a passion on this topic. In the past few weeks, tired of translating over the phone every time talking to my relatives back in my old home town that were fighting cancers, I have translated and added a new cancer fighting materials to my Indonesian language blog including that particular phrase and that put my Indonesian blog on top of the list using the same keyword p0i0n0g s0h0u0a0i g0o0n0g. (I hope the insertion of 0 between the characters will fool Google to list this question in the search result that let my visitor found this comment. Sorry for that.)

    The other related keywords range from a few hundreds to the most is 550,000 but they are all listed in low to medium search volume ranges.

    My question is, can this site be monetized with such a low search volume to help covering all my expenses and if there is any leftover that I can use it to support my retirement? :)

    Thanks, Pat.

  • http://www.jobsinayurveda.com Bill @ Jobs in Ayurveda

    I realized the potential for having a high number of articles pretty early on. I know you’re a pretty successful blogger, Pat, but I think much of that success comes from your “Be Everywhere” mantra. The girth of this site probably rakes in followers from all throughout cyberspace.

    And once a site hits the momentum yours does, it’s pretty hard not to be successful. Here’s to writing 50, 75, 100 blog posts!

  • http://www.jobsinayurveda.com Bill @ Jobs in Ayurveda

    THANK GOD YOU GOT A BETTER SPAM FILTER. I almost unsubscribed because of it.

  • http://www.wallpapersforcomputer.net/ K Bharath

    You are on google first page an in 2nd position for me from india when i searched for the keyword Guard Card. and the post that is ranking on first page in 2nd position is.

    “California Guard Card Requirements” – http://www.securityguardtraininghq.com/california-guard-card-requirements/

  • http://annnoire.tumblr.com Ann

    Will you need to study content strategy if the volume of content matters? I would think you’d need some type of plan to manage that content includes content strategy, user experience, SEO, AI, responsive design and more. I know this may fall outside of keyword research, but I just wanted to know.

    There are a lot of “expanded areas” in one of the niches I want to work in, but it has high volume and high competition, so I’m at a wall.

  • http://bestkeywordtoolhq.com Matt

    Once again your post seems to line up with my experience. I don’t know how you do it. :)

    Anyway, I agree. Recently I decided to revisit some of my sites that ranked early, but then just sat on the back burner while I worked on more exciting (read: newer) projects.

    One has very consistent top rankings, but only for a few keywords. I think I have a lot of room for expansion with this one. It was originally only 10 articles, but there’s still a lot more I can write about, so I think just by adding more content this site could skyrocket.

    Two other sites, however, don’t have a lot of wiggle room. They rank highly for the keyword I designed them around, but leave little direct room for expansion. I’ll have to experiment a little and see if I can find a way to save these sites.

    Thanks for another great post Pat!

  • http://www.fastbodyblast.com Rod

    This post is great timing for me Pat!

    As you already know, I have a new site up and running in an area with a huge amount of competition. Thankfully though I do come at it from a VERY unique position. Not least of which is talking to people every day in my regular job and finding out about the kind of things they actually want to know about – which means very targeted blog posts.

    I can’t see how I can compete on key words and instead am focussing on content. Every time I think of a useful post, I record it my Iphone. I just counted up and have 60 unwritten posts sitting on my list!

    I do note that you said I would need to do something very creative in such a crowded market. Still coming up with that idea I’m afraid, so for now it will have to be useful content….

    Keep up the great work, I love this site!

    • http://howtospeak-japanese.com Yamato

      Rod,
      get yourself some Speach to Text software (like Dragn naturally Speaking) and convert the recordings to text you can post on your blog.

  • http://prayerhabits.com Jared Dees

    Totally agree with this strategy. When I first learned about SEO, I thought I should target the broad keywords with the highest number of searches. When I hit it big with a couple of specific posts, I realized how powerful “long tail” keywords can be.

    I like to find stem keywords (security guard training) and then brainstorm extensions that have at least some search volume (Florida, Ohio, California, etc.). Sometimes I’ve targeted keywords with less than 100 searches that gets more traffic than high ranking KWs because of the long tail results.

    Thanks Pat!

  • http://www.dreambuilderpro.com Mike King

    Great Article Pat.

    I am just starting to line up a heap of content pages to write myself. The last one I did was an ok income for Adsense, but I plan to follow your lead this time and really see how much traffic I can generate.

    Can’t believe that so many people are interested in security guard work. Go figure.

    Cheers, Mike.

  • http://www.themodestman.com Brock

    Hey Pat,

    I’d be interested to hear which keywords are producing the longest visits? I bet it’s not the main 3, but it would be interesting to see the actual numbers.

    Great post!

    -B

  • http://blog.isudcrafts.com Fisayo@ISUDCrafts

    Good one Pat! I’ve gained. Thanks for sharing this tips. I read it line by line and really understood all. Thanks!!!

    Note: Change “The is the one that blows me away:” to “This is the one that blows me away:”

    Regards!

  • http://www.ryanhache.com/ Ryan Hache

    Nice headline. I think the readers would get some value if you explained why you went with this negative warning style headline when the post is very positive.

  • http://extraincomeblogger.com Sune @ ExtraIncomeBlogger

    Wow – an amazing amount of keywords being searched! Just out of curiosity, what keyword did you find most surprising?

  • http://www.imcasts.com PaulG

    Great article Pat,

    I think above all else this also helps highlight the importance of writing long (1000 word +) articles as not only does it strengthen the head term that the post is targeting but it also picks up so many awesome keywords along the way.

    I know personally that some of my longer posts rank get traffic for keywords that I never even though of when I was planning the article.

    - Paul

  • http://howtocreatepassiveincomebiz.com Peteni Kuzwayo

    Hi Pat
    A lovely post indeed.

    The tough thing is trying to stick to your niche (which often sounds limiting) but also having tons of topics to right about.

    Learned something new: ‘content potential’.

    Thanks mate

  • http://bit.ly/kevincooperblog Kevin Cooper

    Hey Pat this is my first tiime to your blog and I hope you let me back I love this article and the information you put in it and I love all the value you bring great great way Thanks Kevin

    http://bit.ly/kevincooperblog >>>> How to Make Your Blog Explode With Targeted Leads – Comf5-The Mobile Apps

  • http://www.paulcaparas.com Paul Caparas

    Great post Pat. It has a lot of valid points.

  • http://www.probloggingtips.com Gary Darling

    This is a really great post. I think I am going to bookmark this blog. You have all kinds of information here. I also followed you on Twitter today. :]

  • http://www.annieandre.com Annie Andre

    Pat,
    one of the most random keywords people find to get to my site is “my husband is boring” i wrote one article on how to become a boring person and voila. totally off topic too..
    ps: QUESTION>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    your niche site, the security guard site. Since it’s adding so much value and you keep adding content to it and growing it. Would you consider it an AUTHORITY SITE NOW?

  • http://onlineaffiliatemarketing101.net/ Ben

    This is somthing i feel i have been missing with alot of my niche sites, somtimes i will find a keyword that even has the EMD available but i get down to the nitty gritty and theres just not much to write about it.

    For me now its a case of working backwards and what i mean by that is find somthing im interested in & know a little about then find a good keyword on it any go from there and actually try to help the people searching for it.

  • http://WWW.EXTRA-CASH-ONLINE.COM RCONNORIII

    Hope to start me a niche site soon – still a lot of research to do. Have a great day on purpose!

  • http://www.nurturedscills.net Emmy Ericsson

    “It’s going to take time, but it’s work that will pay off in the long run.” These are encouraging words Pat for someone like me going through the woods with my website now.

  • http://www.horadricmarket.com Michael Serom

    Hey Pat!

    Great article! I always start my day with an hour or two of research before I get on with my day, I found that I am able to focus a lot better by doing so.
    Thank you for yet another informative article.

    Cheers,
    Michael

  • http://dumbpassiveincome.com Matthew Allen

    Another enlightening post Pat. Thanks! I actually thought about this very strategy after examining your security guard site and following your niche site duel posts. You did a great job of explaining exactly why and how this “choose a niche with tons of content potential,” works.

  • http://simplissage.com Adam

    I know this isn’t directly related to your post, but I wanted to throw it out there… I have been working on a online passive income business for the last four months, which all started when I as a massage therapist wanted to market myself online and had to sign-up for hosting, blog, email newsletter, scheduler, etc. all in different places and payed at each place. So I decided I would make one site that did it all… if only I knew how hard it would be. I then went on a frantic learning spree, I knew litterally nothing about programming and learned html/css/javascript/jquery/ruby/rails/apache2 in the span of a few months and have made some progress.

    A few weeks ago I was getting burnt out and luckily my friend emailed me your site, telling me to listen to the podcasts. They rock. You rock. I can’t say thankyou genuinely enough (even though the top bit was a little pluggish ;-)).

  • http://www.daddysbroke.com Craig Arthur

    I get amazing every day with what keywords bring visitors to my site! I don’t even mean to but they are so obscure, I rank for them from one post!

  • http://www.binaryshift.com Edgar

    Wow Pat.. over 28,000 in google adsense thats awesome!

  • jimmy cataldo

    Hi Pat,

    I Really Enjoy Your Posts, You Give Valuable Information.

    Could You Write One Last Update About Your Backlinking Strategy?

    Is It Still Working? Did You Tried It On Other Niche Sites? How Many Times Do you Rinse And Repeat?

    Would Be Very Kind Of You. I think Many More People Are Interested In a Update On the Backlink Strategy that works.

    Cheers,
    Jim

  • Ronald Goodwell

    Thanks for your transparency. I’m creating my site as I write this. Thansk for all of your support info Pat. I want to be like you when I grow.

  • https://www.adaptu.com Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

    Keep up the good work! It must feel nice knowing you are helping others secure employment, regardless of the fact that your only making $0.06 on the referral.

  • http://www.onlineincomestartup.com Dr.Spencer Jones

    Those results are simply awesome Pat & let me tell you, for all the hard work – you very well deserve it. With the kind of solid information that you are sharing, I am sure there will be hundreds that’ll learn how to do online business the right way from your website. Keep up the good work.

    Dr.Spencer Jones

  • Ana DeShields

    Great work! It’s nice to see how you help so many people. Continue to be blessed.
    Ana

  • http://www.FoxDayTrading.com Steven Fox

    As always Pat, you are spot-on with this one. Nearly all of my traffic comes from people searching long-tail keywords rather than any of my main ones, particularly since I am in an extremely competitive niche. That comes from writing large quantities of high-quality content. And more importantly than bringing traffic, good content of course provides more actual practical value to your readers.

  • http://www.breakingzero.com/1k-in-1-day/ Brian Yang

    Great work as usual, Pat. I always keep in mind the thing you wrote there about “there are other ways of people finding your site, aside from search”. That’s exactly how I feel. That is why I always make it to a point to ensure great quality content on my sites ;)

    Cheers,
    Brian

  • http://wsotesters.com Josh @ WSOtesters

    Thanks for the great post, Pat! I really like your security guard site and it’s given me some new ideas for a new authority site that me and my partner are thinking about building. I like your takeaway about making sure there’s a good amount of hierarchical content that you can write about – that’s definitely something that we’ll keep in high consideration.

  • http://gadgetrooms.com Adem

    I’ve bought domains before with great potential according to the numbers but then I’ve found that there is a minimal amount I can write about it and because of the lack of content I can’t rank or am missing out on lots of longtail keywords.

    Where as I’ve had some sites with low search volumes but have been able to make the site work as I’ve been able to add lots of content… and enjoyed it too!

  • http://jamiefarrelly.com Jamie Farrelly

    Just goes to show you how much longtail keywords can really help you to start making good money from a site. Too many people focus on one or two keywords, myself included.

  • http://www.financiallydigital.com Nunzio Bruno

    The biggest take aways for me here were that you don’t have to start over and that you are writing for real (REAL) people. I’ve seen so many people spin out splash pages and pitches that almost make no sense when you read them but their rankings are kind of high. Not starting over presents you with an honest opportunity to take a look at what you’ve already built (and should be proud of) and give it the chance to add some depth and scope..and ultimately (hopefully) a few extra dollars in income.

  • http://www.ramblingsofawahm.com/create-niche-sites/ Allie

    Pat,

    I am working on creating my first niche site. It is so nerve racking, all the details for the research and writing. But I am hoping when I am all done and launch it will be worth it.

    I know some niche marketers just write about 10 pages/posts and then call it a day with their content. But I started thinking that with some topics things may need to be updated often or it may actually get regular readers. So when I came up with a topic I made sure I had a minimum of 25 topics for separate posts to write about. And now I read your post and it all makes sense to me also that we need to have a decent amount of content.

    Thanks.

    ~Allie

  • http://www.brunchtech.com/ Mj

    Really amazed to see the hard work put behind by you in getting this observation to us. Content was, is and will be the king and it can derive awesome traffic w.r.t or without your particular keyword!

  • http://subscription-membership-website.com steven fastuca

    I think you hit upon an interesting topic. It’s not always about the money we make, but how we can help our community and change lives with our expertise..
    Nice work

  • http://www.declutterprogram.com John J

    People are always looking for niches that have manuals in them to help them out. Those seem to do well. Took me forever to figure that out. Thanks for the tip Pat makes a lot of sense.

  • http://www.cold-showers.com Brad

    That’s over $100 per 1k visitors. Wow!

    My cold water therapy site is getting 200+ visitors per day but is only making about 1-2% that your site is per visitor. Do you think I should try to increase my adsense earnings somehow or start fresh with another niche?

  • amaq

    Dear Pat,
    As always a very important lesson you have shared with us. For a beginner your blog is a gold mine! Thank you.

  • http://www.agircekim.com Metin

    Very helpful article Pat. As a person who is currently struggling about finding a niche, I really found your article useful. I had doubts about the amount of content regarding a specific niche on which I plan to write, now I will be able to think more clearly. Thank you for the guidance.

  • http://www.sunilchhabra.com kattey Spares

    Good One PAT – an amazing amount of keywords being searched!

  • http://www.anchorcase.com.au/ Josh

    Great article Pat. I’ve been ranking on the first page of Google for my first competitive niche for some time now and its a really good feeling. Traffic definitely isn’t as high as a expected, but its far more consistent. Hopefully when i jump up a couple more places to number one there’ll be an increase. thanks

  • http://www.infobarrel.com/Users/Shivon Jen

    Although, I’m off to a slow start, your articles never fail to inspire me. I keep coming back because there’s always more. Thanks!

  • http://bestwaterdistiller.com Daisy

    I tried many niches, but I failed. Each time Google updates the PRs, my niches’ traffic dropped, however the PRs arose. It’s so strange. Maybe I can try some methods in your post.

  • http://yourbestreviews.org Mark

    I think the first important thing is to choose a good niche, then content, at last is the external links.

  • http://www.hdwallshots.com Raghav

    wow really great !! bt for good keywords a good niche is required :)