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Niche Site Duel 2.0.2: I Have an Itch to Tackle This Niche—But Should I?

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Niche Site Duel 2.0.2: I Have an Itch to Tackle This Niche—But Should I?

By Pat Flynn on  | 

Niche Site Duel 2.0 LogoIf you pronounce “niche” phonetically (e.g. “neesh”), then the title of this post doesn’t sound quite as good.

What about: Should I Beseech this Niche?

Or perhaps: Should I Police this Niche?

To be honest, that’s just silly – and…it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that for the past two weeks I’ve been conducting keyword research and I’ve discovered a handful of wonderful potentials that meet the requirements and criteria I was shooting for. A couple of them actually match two that I know others have selected based on the Mastermind Learning Group applications I’ve received and read so far – which I’m going through all this week (and probably all of next week too, now that I know how much time it’s going to take).

One thing is bugging me though.

Out of the 6 keywords I have on my list, one stands out to me the most because it’s the one I’m most interested in. It’s also the one that is, by far, the most challenging – and I think that’s why I like it. 

I can’t stop thinking about what I might be able to do in this particular niche. By that, I mean I’m really excited about possibly creating THE ultimate resource for people in this target market. The other keywords are unmatched as far as excitement.

I am within this target market myself.

As many of you know, I’m always up for a challenge. Plus, if I can publicly conquer something that’s a little more challenging, it’ll only show those of you following along that this is truly possible.

If I go with something less challenging, then that gives you some excuses. 

This is not going to be easy and it’s not guaranteed that it will succeed, but based on my research there’s definitely an opportunity here.

To be honest – I am scared. But – I like that I’m scared.

I’ve learned, over time, that when the resistance shows up – when I’m standing against a huge wall and it doesn’t look like there’s a way to climb over, that’s a good sign that whatever I’m thinking about doing is potentially worth the effort. If I wasn’t scared, then that’s when I should be worried and ask myself, “Is what I’m doing even that important to me?”

So (since I know this is on your mind) – what is this niche and what is this uphill battle going to look like?

The Niche I’m Thinking About Diving Into is…

The target keyword is best minivan.

We just purchased a minivan last year and had no idea where to even start. Now that I’m a proud owner, I’ve probably annoyed some of my friends who are starting their families soon about how much we love our minivan and the process that we went through.

I have an obvious interest in this niche, but is it a passion?

Probably not, and that’s okay.

I don’t think about our van all the time or have dreams about it, but when my friends ask me about our minivan I can definitely keep talking for a while, and I have given tours of the interior before. 😉

Besides the fact that I own one, there are other things that I love about the idea of building a website around minivans.

  1. Typically, people purchasing minivans have a family with kids, or they are about to be joined by kids in their lives. I can speak their language with two kids of my own. In other words, defining and speaking to the target market would be easy.
  2. There’s a lot of content to be written about minivans. This niche easily passes the 50-Post Test as outlined in my guidelines for finding a niche that I’d want to get into. Just the number of different models alone encourage a site with a lot of content that could potentially become a top resource for those looking to purchase a minivan.
  3. The earnings potential, in my opinion, is quite large. This is a niche where people are spending money, and lots of it. Minivans are not cheap, which means that people may be willing to spend money to learn how to save more, the advertisement income could be very generous, and besides focusing on the customer, I might be able to focus on the dealers and make deals with them as well. I remember reading a post on shoemoney.com a while back where he said he received $50.00 per phone call lead that he produced for a local car dealership. It might be fun to figure that out.

Now, if you jumped ahead and punched in “best minivan” into a keyword research tool, you might be surprised at the resulting data because it’s not very exciting – and the competition is downright nasty.

The local exact match search volume is only 3,600 searches per month, which barely meets the criteria requirements (min. 3k), but when you look at the SEO Competition it doesn’t seem like it’s worth the effort. The keyword competitiveness in Long Tail Pro is 39, which is relatively high, and the top 10 sites in Google are mostly from sites like KBB.com, edmunds.com and consumerreports.com – reputable and highly authoritative sites that, on the surface, might seem impossible to outrank.

kwr-bm

So why even attempt this in the first place?

A few things to mention here:

First, one of the top 10 sites for this keyword is an article from Babble.com – an article directory that I’m quite familiar with based on having written articles on it before. I KNOW I can create a resource that’s better than this page, so that gives me a sign that there’s room on the first page for this particular keyword.

But the keyword has relatively little search volume!

That’s the real challenge here. How do you take a keyword with so-so search volume and high competition and create a successful website?

The funny thing about keyword research that no one else talks about is this: the target keyword is just one of the many keywords that a site talking about a particular topic could be reached from. In essence, when selecting a target keyword, what you’re actually doing is selecting the niche and defining your target market – the keyword is just your barrier of entry.

In my experience (for example, with SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com), the target keyword – even ranking #1 in Google – only generates about 20% of the overall organic search traffic thanks to the hordes of long tail keywords that I get traffic from, since there’s a decent amount of content on the site.

Some niches are more expansive than others, but I think a site specifically about minivans in particular has a huge potential – not only for being found with several other keywords, but also becoming something worth talking about – and maybe even getting to a point where it doesn’t matter what the ranking is in Google. There aren’t whole lot of sites dedicated to minivans and minivans only – and that makes sense. Minivans aren’t that sexy, and who wants to take the time to dedicate to just talking about minivans.

This works to my advantage, of course. Even against the bigger car devoted sites like KBB and edmunds – they have great information, but they aren’t dedicated to mini-vans. The approach would have to include a bit of personality because that’s what would help the site stand out from the others that have a wider focus. But again, the numbers aren’t all that attractive. Should I dump the idea because of that?

It’s risky – but I think it would be cool to give it a shot. If it takes off and does well, then you’d have proof that you don’t need incredibly attractive search volume and SEO competition matrices in order to succeed. Plus, you’d probably witness a whole lot of creative, different techniques to getting traffic and spreading the word that a lot of other people aren’t really talking about.

This is me, thinking out loud, so you can get an idea of what’s going on inside my brain. Whether I decide to pursue this niche or not, I think it’s an important topic to discuss – because is it really all about the numbers?

Again, the numbers are just one way to see what’s possible, and the research has still guided me in this direction.

You might also be wondering then – if I do decide to tackle this niche and perhaps add a bit of my personality into it – then can I really call it a niche site, or is it more of an authority site, or a blog?

To me, the definition doesn’t really matter. The point of this challenge is to build a site – any kind of site that targets a specific group of people and best helps them with something. No matter what kind of site it is, it should always target a specific market, or market within a market. That’s a niche site.

And just so you remember, I’m not an expert at this stuff, I’m just someone who doesn’t mind being the crash test dummy and seeing what works and what doesn’t. I could be completely wrong about this, but I don’t mind giving it a shot and finding out.

The other keywords in my list, although the numbers are more attractive, just don’t excite me like this one.

What do you think? Should I give it a shot, or am I shooting myself in the foot and setting myself up for failure? Would this be a good experiment and useful to you?

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Thanks for hearing me out. Cheers!

 

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