Niche Site Mistake #1: Niche Selection

You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake.

You are not special.

The problems you’re facing right now have been experienced by many people before you.

And guess what? They’ve all been answered before.

Repeating Other’s Mistakes is a Waste of Time

You’re obviously a smart person. That’s why you’re reading content about niche sites instead of the TV guide. You don’t want to waste your time, but sometimes it happens unintentionally.

When you spend enough time with Wantrepreneurs, the same problems come up time and time again. Seriously, it’s almost comical. Hundreds and hundreds of people all in the exact same situation, asking the exact same stuff.

Notice I said it was almost comical… In reality it’s also a little sad…

The advice that comes at them (from VERY successful people) is always the same, and not a single person listens. They all think they know better, they all think their situation is different, and they all come to regret it. They all fail.

That’s where you’re different. You made the decision to read this. You can learn from the mistakes of others.

It’s not the size of the niche, it’s how you use it.

A topic that comes up again and again is the size of a niche. Niches by their nature are small, yet still nobody thinks small enough.

For those just starting out, it’s difficult to see the accurate vision of what’s really possible. They can’t judge from experience, and so they rely on imagination.

When somebody says it’s better to start small, it’s immediately rejected. There’s already an idea floating around in that little head of theirs and any advice that contradicts it sounds crazy. There’s a consistent adversity to starting small.

Let me pause a minute to replace the word ‘adversity’ with what it really is: Fear.

It’s emotion-based fear that they justify with excuses.

They FEAR they won’t profit. They FEAR that they’ll limit growth. They FEAR they’ll run out of subject matter. They FEAR they’ll get bored. They FEAR they’ll encounter difficulty down the road.

These are emotion driven fears that have NO PLACE in the mind of a successful entrepreneur. Let’s modify your actions.

By the end of this article, I promise you’ll agree that small niches are smart niches.

Click To Tweer Small Niches Are Smart Niches


Niche Selection the Right Way:

Start small. The smaller the better. If you can manage a niche of a niche, that’s ideal.

You gain popularity is by providing useful content, and that can only happen when you specialize in a specific topic. Your site becomes a destination for some REASON.

So you might think it’d be a good idea to write about pets. If your first article is about dog care, your next about cat care, and your next about parrot care.. Why would anybody visit your site? What’s in it for them? To get vague information about caring for a few random animals? It would take you forever to make this site a destination anybody cares about.

So maybe you niche down to “Dog Training”. Better, closer, warmer… but still not good enough. There’s been competition in the dog training niche that’s been thriving for years, you’ve got to go deeper.

Dog training for German shepherds! That’s an appropriate niche. It’s very specific and immediately appealing to a specific market (people who are training their german shepherds). There’s still going to be competition, but it’s competition you can tackle as a solopreneurs and walk out of victorious.

Other winners: Dog training as therapy. Dog training without using spoken words. Dog training for the elderly.

The narrower the niche, the better.

Freedom and Content

“But if I select a small niche, I’ll be stuck writing about the same stuff.”

I’d like to tell you about my first website. It was called ChangesToYesterday and my clever idea was to write letters to my former self. I saw big things for this site… self-help blogs were easy to digest, and it gave me the freedom to write whatever I wanted. I saw it growing out of control, and having thousands of contributors writing in sharing pieces of advice to their former self.

The blog crashed and burned in a fiery inferno.

I’m still convinced the end vision would work and go viral. But if you’re a single person with no money, you don’t simply START something that huge by yourself.

I wish I could tell my former self not to waste my time. The blog had absolutely no direction. I wanted the freedom, but the freedom froze me in my tracks. Do I write about life? Love? Careers? Money? Who is this blog actually for? Why are people interested?

Does the world want to read, subscribe to, and share content that doesn’t help them? Possibly, if it’s entertaining enough. But probably not.

In the end I was VERY popular amongst spambots, but that’s about it.

Specific direction is invaluable. It’s always better to focus your efforts because it makes your site readable to other living breathing people. Specific people have specific interests, you want to turn into a resource.

How Do I Expand?

Put yourself in these shoes:

You started a site about training german shepherds 6 months ago. You quelled your fears about content and stuck with it. You’re now #1 in google for all relevant terms and you’re adding people to your email list every week… but you think you’ve capped out on german shepherd content. You feel like it’s time to move on.

Hopefully you can see it’s a pretty good “problem” to be having! Because you made traction, you’re now making a passive $700/month from the site, you’ve got an email list of dog lovers, and now you can break free of your constraints.

You can expand the site in a variety of ways: Because you ALREADY have the audience you can start talking about general dog stuff. You can create fun sharable posts about dogs that look like their owners or passionate posts about spaying and neutering animals. You can talk about as much general doggie stuff as possible. Your email list may be german shepherd owners, but they’re also dog lovers by default. Their friends are dog lovers. Your content will be shared and your site will explode as a general doggie site.

Alternatively, you can recycle some of the german shepherd stuff, and add a twist for each unique breed. Your site can go from the Ultimate behavioral guide for german shepherds, to the ultimate guide for EACH dog breed. Worried you don’t have the time? Remember, you’re making a passive $700/month! You can hire 2 decent overseas writers to help you out fulltime! And because you can recycle some content, each breed won’t take nearly as long to complete.

If you do tackle the major dog breeds, you can start to tackle cats, or other pets. The possibilities are really endless.

You should NEVER hesitate because you’re scared you won’t be able to expand in the future. It’s an emotion-driven fear and doesn’t represent reality.

Rebranding Stress

Fear of loss is a very real thing. It’s been a tactic used in selling since the early 1900s because it takes advantage of humanities survival mechanisms. We don’t like to ‘miss out’ on something.

There’s a related stress associated with business. When imagining the future, we want to eliminate as much unnecessary change as possible. We want to do the right thing from the start, because it eliminates loss of potential revenue or loss of fans.

I’m going through this right now with my personal site, Castleforge Media. My end goal is to talk about all forms of multimedia marketing. I want to talk about podcasts and videogames and apps and print ads and billboards. Despite this, I’m branding the site as a “Video Marketing” site. Frankly, it scares the hell out of me that at the beginning of each podcast I say “This is Video Marketing for your ears”. I don’t know where I’ll be in 12 months and I don’t want to trap myself in a video marketing box.

Why is this stressful for us? In my case, there’s an inherent fear that my future audience will be exposed to my brand, and hear “video marketing” and will be turned off. They’re interested in using podcasts to market their products, not video. I’ll then lose them as customers forever.

The rebranding stress is completely imaginary.

Things change. Nike made shoes before they made general sporting goods. We still buy Listerine mouthwash even though it was originally an all-purpose antiseptic. We still buy our children tubs of Play-doh even though it was originally wall-cleaner.

By the time your future self has to deal with the issue of rebranding, it will be a GOOD thing. It will mean that your site is reaching such huge levels of success you get to bring your content to more people. Rebranding would be a minor inconvenience in the face of all your success.

My Minecraft niche site evolved and changed topics on five separate occasions within half a year. Not once was rebranding a cause of stress.

Maybe you ARE special

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re a “special case” and none of this applies to you. It does.

If you’re going to think of yourself as special, make it because you listened. Where others were ignorant, you were informed. Where others shunned advice, you let I guide you. Where others failed, you succeeded.

We both know you’re smart enough to succeed. Move past the fear, and allow the greatness to shine.

So listen: If you want more GREAT content on niche site creation, sign up to our newsletter. We publicly disclose a lot, but our email subscribers get every last nitty gritty detail of what we’re doing.

Sign up and as an added bonus: I’ll take back what I said about you not being a beautiful and unique snowflake.

Dennis Duty

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  1. Hi, i loved this article. can you provide RSS feed link so that i can get regular updates from you bloag.

    • Glad to hear that a RSS feed is a feature you would like added to the site. We were considering not including one, but since your requesting it we will do it. It should be on the site by next week.

  2. Came over from the NicheSiteDuel forum. Great post, and much needed advice for me as I try to decide which niche to pursue.


  1. […] We hold a biweekly podcast and write articles. We just started so there’s not a lot going on, but I created a monster of a post on niche selection. Check it out: […]

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