3.2 Broad Niches vs. Narrow Niches; What’s TOO Narrow?

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In this video I discuss:

  • The pros and cons of broad vs. narrow niches
  • Examples of niches that are way too broad and how to narrow them down
  • Discussing the topic of “Keyword ID” — how peoples identify themselves based on the terms they’re searching
  • When is narrow TOO narrow?
  • Examples of niches that are too narrow and how to fix them
  • Eliminating niche ideas from lesson 3.1 based on everything learned in this lesson

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3.2 Transcript Below

Okay, let’s dig in even deeper and let’s kind of talk about again something that I think is really important that most people don’t teach when they’re teaching niche selection. Because I will tell you this: if you don’t find yourself getting it, like you’re not just like, “Ah! I got it!” I wouldn’t be too concerned because it’s a difficult thing to talk about in the abstract. It’s something that you get a feel for more over time. It’s more of an art than a science. But everything I put in this video hopefully will make it more of a science than it has ever been before.

So we’re going to talk about what’s broad and narrow and what the pros and cons are and what’s too broad and what’s too narrow because you don’t want to hit either one of those extremes.

So, ‘dieting’… I hear people say this all the time, “I’ve picked dieting as my niche.” “I’ve picked fitness as my niche.” “I want to run a site about motivation.” Those aren’t niches. Those are entire industries. And I can understand that it’s easy to make those mistakes. I don’t want anybody to beat themselves up and think like, “Oh I’m so stupid!” That’s not the point. That’s not what I’m saying if you have written down any of those.

But those are not niches. Those are entire industries and they’re way too broad. You cannot go into this business and take on an entire industry and expect it to succeed or see any results at all within the next 12 months. So just know that those are industries, not niches.

So the broader you go… again, we don’t want to go as extreme as an entire industry, that is considered to be way too broad… but the broader you go, the longer it’s going to take to get traction. The more information you’re trying to cover – which is why we typically try to niche down at least in the beginning – the longer it’s going to take you to start getting search engine rankings longer, it’s going to take you to start getting consistent traffic to your website.

So I want to encourage you – if you’re going the search engine optimization (SEO) route – is you have to think about it from Google’s perspective. They’re the number one search engine we’re all trying to please. If you please them, typically you please all of the kind of underdogs in the industry. But the vast majority of a lot of our businesses are built on Google traffic and search engine optimization.

And you have to think about it: if you got someone writing about everything there is about men’s fitness, for example – we’ll talk about that more in depth later – but if they’re just writing everything men’s fitness… if they’re talking about accessories and gear, workout types, different exercises, different exercise programs, different shoes, different supplements, they’re talking about different celebrities within the industry, they’re talking about celebrity diets – all these stuff. If they’re trying to cover all of these topics, they’re going to write one article here, one article here, one article here, one article here, and it’s going to be very difficult for anyone – Google included – to recognize this site as an authority for that topic. And the more in authority you are in the topic, typically, the higher your search engine rankings are going to build over time.

So you compare that to someone that is only writing every single article they write is in one way or another tied to workout supplements for men. They cover all the different pills, the different powders, the different protein shakes, the sleeping aids, supplements for work, supplements for pre-workout – all of these different things. They talk about the pros and cons. They talk about advice. They talk about the risks of cancer and other health complications, et cetera. That person is going to establish themselves as an authority much quicker than someone that is trying to do everything at once.

So it’s okay to go really broad – and I’ll talk about that here in a second. Actually, I’ll just pop up the bullet point now. If you want it to be broad… Oh I take it back, this is not what this bullet point is about. Excuse me. So I’d eliminate but I’ll finish this thought.

So it comes down to divide and conquer strategy. It’s much easier to conquer this trunk, and then this trunk, and then this trunk, rather than trying to conquer all at once. It’s really important that you get that right now. I will talk about why it’s okay to go broad later and how to do it correctly, but for now, the last thing I want to talk about before moving on is that you want it to be broad enough that you can write a lot of content on the topic and I’ll give you some very specific rules of thumb in Section 3 here.

So I want to talk about some examples because we’re talking about a lot of abstract concepts and it’s always easier to talk about examples. It makes things more concrete.

So too broad would be: “house cleaning”. Cleaning your house. Overall, you could run a site generally speaking about house cleaning. You absolutely could. But you would at least want to start off with a niche and kind of expand over time. Again, divide and conquer. Conquer this one thing, then this other thing, and in the end, you would have multiple niches under one big umbrella.

So something that I would say is still too broad is: “vacuums”. That’s an entire product category. I would say better examples of a niche spinning off of this would be “robot vacuum cleaners” – really high commissions on those because they’re expensive. They run $300 to $700+.

And if you’re not familiar with the robot vacuum, it’s a vacuum with a sensor on it and it like automatically charges and based on a timer that you set, it comes out and it vacuums your whole house and goes and recharges itself and basically your only job is to empty its canister every once in a while. We have one here and although we don’t use it that much anymore, it was really, really handy. It’s a really cool little thing.

So running a niche site about robot vacuums – all the things to look out for, comparing one to another, comparing them to traditional vacuum cleaners, talking about their dependability, their warranties, all different kind of things. That could be a very good niche site.

“Best vacuums under $100” could be a very good niche site as well. Got to be more challenging I think to produce a lot of content on, but absolutely, you could talk about bag versus bagless, what the advantages are, what the disadvantages are, compare a lot of different models to one another. So those are better examples of niche sites rather than ‘house cleaning’ or cleaning on the whole.

Again, too broad: “fitness”. That’s an entire industry. Still too broad: “men’s fitness” or “women’s fitness”. Better examples within this that would actually be viable niches would be: “home fitness”, “devices”, or “equipment for home fitness”, “kettlebell exercises”. I actually have a friend that run a profitable site and sold his profitable site that was “kettlebell exercises for women” specifically. “Best workout supplements” – I discussed that earlier, too. So all of those are much better niches rather than “fitness” or “men’s fitness” or “women’s fitness”.

And I actually have an entire video on this later in this section, but we’re just going to do good niche/bad niche – what’s good, what’s bad, how could we make it better, what would make it worse, et cetera. So we’ll do more examples later, but for now, I want to continue talking about kind of broad concepts that make a niche viable.

So something again that I’ve never seen anyone go into detail of teaching – and this is a less common hiccup but it’s common enough that it merits discussing – it’s what I refer to as “keyword identification”. And what I mean by that is will your audience members identify themselves by the search terms they’re putting in on Google.

A lot of the time, someone will say, “I want to do women’s fitness.” And I’ll say, “That’s too broad. That’s way too broad. You need to niche down more.” And they’ll go, “How about exercises for women or diets for women over 50 years old?”

I can see how people end up going that direction, but if your audience members are not qualifying themselves for what they search Google with, not a whole lot of people are going to be typing in ‘diets for women over 50 years old’.

So yes, you’ve narrowed it down to a smaller audience, but you cannot find that audience by using keyword tools and looking at the terms they’re searching because they’re probably just searching more general terms, broader terms related to diet and exercise and fitness. They probably are not qualifying themselves by including their age in the search terms they’re using.

So we’ll get to keyword research later – we’ll cover keyword research very extensively – but just know for now, if you cannot identify who’s in your audience and who’s not based on the terms they’re using to search the internet, you haven’t narrowed that niche down in a viable way, in a dependable way, in a way that’s helpful.

It’s possible that you could still refine that niche, that doesn’t mean you need to can that niche entirely. But your niche needs to have audience members that identify themselves by what they search on Google.

So someone that wants to narrow down “men’s fitness” like we talked about earlier and if they tried to narrow it down to “men’s fitness for men that are over 60 years old” or over 50 years old, they’re not going to find a whole lot of search terms. They’re going to find a lot of terms about different exercises. Maybe “exercises that are easier on joints”, “exercises for older men”, “exercises that you can do even when you’re injured”. But even that doesn’t necessarily qualify that person as older than 60 years old or older than 50 years old.

Whereas, if they narrowed the men’s fitness niche down to “the best supplements”, you can find all kinds of search terms for the best pre-workout supplements, the best protein shakes, people that are searching different protein shake names, people that are searching for how to find the best protein shake, people that are searching for ingredients to avoid, and workout supplements, and pills, whether they’re safe, et cetera.

So they are identifying themselves with the things they’re searching on Google. Which if you don’t know – a lot of you probably do know this by now – but we have tools, even free tools that we can use to go in and look for what people are searching, find the search terms that people are using.

That’s no big secret. I’m not saying, “Oh I’m a guru. Look at me, I introduced you to something.” I know most of you know that, but in case you didn’t… that’s why this is important… it’s because that’s how we’re going to determine what we’re going to write about, the different articles, the different contents that we’re going to produce on our website, we’re going to do that based on the search terms we see.

So if they’re not identifying themselves as a member of your target audience using the search terms which is very (I’ve been doing this for like half an hour now and probably just look like an idiot)… but if they’re not identifying themselves with the terms they’re using to search on Google, you have not narrowed your audience down in a dependable, predictable, and viable way.

So just remember: keyword identification. Are they identifying themselves as an audience, a member of your target audience based on the search term they’re using in Google?

I know that’s kind of a complex topic – kind of a complex concept if you’re new to this industry – but hopefully, it’s at least somewhat clear and loosely tangible so that we can move on and we’ll continue refining and building on that throughout this section.

So before we move on to the next video, I want to kind of talk about the final thoughts on going broad. Actually, we still need to talk about going too narrow as well, but we’ll knock out going too broad first.

The broader the niche, ultimately, the larger the audience. The larger the audience, typically speaking, the larger the ‘revenue cap’.

If you only have an audience of maybe 30,000 people across the whole world, it’s going to be very difficult to get more than a few hundred dollars a month or a few thousand dollars a month from that site.

But if you’re talking about an audience with millions of people – and again we’ll talk about this very extensively and specifically in a video later in this section – but if you have a larger audience, it’s distinctly possible that your income, your revenue cap for that site increases, too.

So now, instead of being able to earn $700 a month at maximum potential, you may have the possibility to make $25000 a month. There’s no way to really accurately approximate that on the front end, but just know, typically speaking, the larger the audience – which typically means the broader the content you’re covering – the more earning potential that site is going to have.

It’s not wrong (and I touched on this earlier) to build a somewhat broad authority site. So to build a site to have an ultimate end goal of building a site about men’s exercise, men’s fitness, or men’s dieting – broadly speaking – but you just need to do it in sort of a step-by-step, bit-by-bit way. Remember: divide and conquer.

You may buy somewhat of a broad domain, so you may buy a domain that’s more men’s fitness oriented, rather than men’s supplement oriented. And then overtime, you dominate the supplement niche; and then you dominate and establish yourself as an authority in exercise gear; and then you dominate and establish yourself as an authority in exercise programs; and then diet – specifically that are really helpful for men; et cetera. So you just want to make sure you try tackle those one at a time.

There’s nothing wrong with going really broad, but there’s a right way to do it and there’s a wrong way to do it. And if you spread yourself across all of these topics before really establishing yourself and getting traffic in this niche and making money from this niche… “Okay now, I kind of handed that off.” And instead of going and working in an entirely different niche, a different niche and a different site, “I can keep building now. I can build up this section under the umbrella of the same niche site.” And kind of conquer those one by one over time.

So I also want to talk about when is narrow too narrow because you can hit an extreme there, too.

Typically speaking, single product niches are going to be just as bad as going too broad – and I would almost say, even worse. Because whereas if you go too broad, you can start focusing on one topic and get back on track there. If you go too narrow, you kind of just have to dump the site and start over which kind of stinks a lot of the time because a lot of the time if you’ve gone too narrow, you’ve got a domain that very specifically ties you to that very narrow audience, that very narrow topic. And I guess that is just as damaging – if not more damaging.

So a good way to think about this and the reason this is so important is you’re going to have to write articles on this topic that you’re choosing in this niche. Probably two or three times a week ideally. And we’re talking about somewhere between 1200, 1500+ word articles, two or three times a week for the next several months – if not, years.

Don’t let that frighten you. That’s what this journey is. That’s what making a full-time and sometimes a very lucrative full-time income in internet marketing is – at least at the track we are teaching right now. Again, later in the training, we’ll get into other tracks.

But if you are wanting to grind out a profitable business while spending the least amount of money, this is the best path to do it. And so you’re going to need to produce a lot of content.

So someone wants to choose the niche site “selfie sticks”. They chose the niche site “selfie sticks”. How much can you really write about selfie sticks? Can you produce two or three articles for several months – let alone several years – on topics stemming from selfie sticks? Probably not. I’d be pretty impressed. And if you are doing that, your content probably isn’t super high quality. It’s probably just really nitpicking at that point.

So as a general rule of thumb, whenever we do get to keyword research – don’t worry about this too much right now because we’ll get into it when we get into keyword research later in the training – but a general rule of thumb is when you think of a niche, can you think of five subtopics within that niche that you could probably write at least 10 articles on each? (Yeah. Yeah, okay. Sorry. I said that both ways.) So five subtopics that you can write 10 articles on each or 10 subtopics that you can write five articles on each – but they still to need to stay very close.

If you’re writing all of these articles about men’s supplements, health supplements for men, you need to make sure that they’re all very closely tied around that kind of central idea… that central niche. You don’t want to venture out into exercises because then you’re just expanding outside of your niche. You want to keep it within that niche.

So five subtopics… the general idea is off the top of your head… or not off the top of your head… but as you do keyword research, can you pretty quickly identify 50 different articles? If you dig in for three of four hours, could you pull 50 different article ideas? Probably. If you’ve picked a niche well and you haven’t gone too narrow, you can probably do that pretty easily.

So again, we’ll get into that really extensively in keyword research, but just know that’s a good general rule of thumb.

The takeaway here… because a lot of you may not know how to do keyword research really well and you may find the concept of that really overwhelming… a better takeaway here would be: can you write about a lot of different things credibly or can you research enough to write about a lot of things credibly within that niche? Okay? It’s probably not too narrow then.

So wrapping up this video altogether: broad versus narrow.

As you go through this and we look at the list that you put together in the first video, you should’ve been able to refine or eliminate a lot of your ideas after watching this video.

And if you’ve eliminated all of your ideas, that’s fine, now you have another thing in mind. You may continue to the rest of the training so that you don’t end up doing this over and over again, coming up with ideas, eliminating them, “Oh damn it!” Coming up with more ideas, eliminating them, and, “Grrr!” And just becoming miserable and hating life. You may continue through the training even if you’ve eliminated all of your ideas so you can get all of the kind of pieces in place.

But at the very least, you’ve probably eliminated a handful of your ideas – which is good. That’s the idea of this training. But it goes even deeper than this – significantly deeper than this – so don’t get too attached to any of your ideas.

This concept I learned… I took a screenwriting course… I guess this section will just be the section of gruesome ideas, gruesome concepts, and systems of thought analogies… but I took a screenwriting course in college and they talked about the concept of “killing your babies”.

You’d write a scene and you’d write it so well and you’d just fall in love with that scene. But at the end of the day, someone might look at that that’s really experienced and go, “That scene has nothing to do with it. It has no value. It’s unimportant. Cut that!” And you go, “But I don’t want to cut it. It’s so well-written and I’m really proud of it!” At the end of the day, it’s best to “kill your baby”.

So again, the same thing with niche ideas. Sometimes you have to “kill your babies”. Sometimes you have to – God, this just sounds so awful! I can visualize the transcript right now and it’s terrifying. So I’m not going to say it again. But the general idea is don’t get too attached to your niche ideas because you might have to cut them at one of the next few stages of elimination.

But that’s good. The more you cut, the more likely it is that the idea you end up pursuing is something that’s really, really viable.

I know at this point you may be feeling really overwhelmed. We talked about a lot of different concepts, I’ve talked about keyword research really loosely – which you may have no tangible kind of touchstone to reach out to when I talk about keyword research – and when things like that happen, our brain has a natural tendency to kind of get overwhelmed.

Don’t be overwhelmed. It’s perfectly normal – if that’s what you’re experiencing.

These are very, very, very difficult topics to discuss abstractly and it gets a lot easier in time. It gets a heck of a lot easier in time. So the more you do this, the more you think about these things, the better and better you’ll get.

Like I said in the first video, it’s more of an art than a science. You’ll get a really refined sense – almost second nature – when you come up with an idea or someone runs a niche past you. You’ll be able to pretty quickly say, “Okay, here are the strengths and here are the weaknesses of it,” or “No, it’s just totally invalid.”

So remember – again, I talked about this in the first video and I’ll say it several more times because it’s an important thing to really drill into your brain – to set yourself up for long term success.

Even the worst case scenario here of picking the wrong niche is not the end of the world. There’s still more life in you, there’s still more fight in you, it’s still totally possible for you to succeed in this industry. And I’ll talk about this later in the training as well: there’s time to move on from a niche. And typically, it’s pretty obvious to someone even if you’re not super experienced when that time is.

But that is not the end of the world. You’re still on this journey, you are significantly better equipped at that point if you are saying, “I’ve got to can it with this niche and move on to something else.” You’re significantly better equipped than you were initially because you’ve learned all kind of things to get you to that point. Maybe two months before, you couldn’t identify it as an invalid niche. But now, you can and you can see it coming for all of the different niche ideas you have. And again, you’ve just refined your senses, you’ve become better, you’ve become sharper, you’ve become more capable and skilled – which is another step towards success.

So even if you find yourself… again that’s what we’re trying to minimize with all of these training… even if you find yourself getting to the point where you say, “I think I need to tie this niche off and start over,” just know that actually, even though it feels like a huge step back in progress, it’s actually a step forward because you learned a lot to get there and you’ve set yourself up for success a lot better going down the road.

So, that’s it. I’ve rambled enough.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to post them to the Facebook group – totally free for registered members. And I will see you over the Facebook group and I will also see you in the rest of these videos.

The next video 3.3 where we’re going to talk about… let me check my slide preview… we’re going to talk about buying audiences. Again, a very, very important concept that’s frequently overlooked. I’m really excited about that one. I hope you’re not feeling too overwhelmed and we’ll keep on going until Lesson 3.3. I’ll see you there.