The Importance of Being First in Niche Blogging

By Guest Author

The ones who do something first usually get the most credit. Be that in business, innovation, creative work. In some cases, it is due to satisfying the audience even before they realize they have the need. In other cases this can even translate into being the first who answers an already apparent need, something already missing. However, for the most part it’s mainly due to serving the curiosity which is ever growing.

The thing is, that answering this need, being the first who provides the content, is as good a place to start as any when wanting to establish yourself as an authority within your niche, as well as capture a bigger market by leveraging random affinities and going viral.

Don’t let me bother you with flowery prose, and let’s delve deeper into why is it that you should always stay on top of what is new in your niche.

1. New things to write about

Even if sounding way too naive, this holds sense. You always have something new to write about, right? Think again. You will realize that on a second thought that’s almost a no. How come?

You see, even if the material you create is new in the sense of never repeating what you already have on your site, it’s probably talked about many times before, on sites that share the similar theme.

Now this is not that bad of a thing, don’t get me wrong. You definitely have contributed with presenting it in a slightly different fashion, from a different perspective, having it connected with other information, thus making it unique (have you?).

But it is still not something entirely new, you see.

By staying on top of what is happening in your niche, you can have something brand new to say to your readers. And not only them, but the whole audience interested in your niche- the potential audience, that is.

2. SEO candy

Realizing that every day billions of searches constantly happen, and that one third of those has never been typed into the search query box before, you should already get the picture about what this means.

In short, it means that sometimes chasing the event keywords or trying to predict the search volume of new trends beats already popular keywords by a huge margin.

I recently wrote a huge review about the Insanity workout. The thing is that it became quite popular in the world of fitness. The workout, that is. So, targeting an audience that resembles the workout potential buyer, I figured that it’s a great thing for me to cover. However, I did this a little bit too later.

Granted, I rank well with the review, have some conversion and sales going on, tons of visitors on a monthly basis. But, had I decided to go for creating the review the moment this workout was out of the oven, things would have been entirely different. You get the picture, right? If I stayed on top of what is happening in the niche, I would have made a fortune by now. But alas, we learn, and that’s a good thing.

Sometimes try and even predict what will be going on in your niche. Take for example people who build sites around event keywords before they even happen. Like creating a site for, let’s say the Olympics. Sounding familiar? Darren Rowse did this once. Way back, with the games in Athens, 2004 was it?

Since then many others tried to duplicate this approach, creating sites around things that they predicted would be talked about. The epilogue? Some had huge success with it, that’s for sure.

Now here is the thing; Not only they made a site centering the main keyword, they also tried to predict things like lack of available hotel rooms, traffic jam, incidents… You know, things that happen constantly on such events. In short, the result was great. Whenever some of these happened for real, they already ranked pretty well. And that’s a lot of traffic if you ask me.

3. Link bait

We slightly went off-course with the previous one. I hope you don’t mind. Let’s get specific again, shall we?

The reason why I’m not putting link bait in the same basket with the SEO aspect, is because I refer to it more in terms of Internet Marketing.

You see, being the first to create content about what is new and trendy in your niche, the content itself becomes what SEO’s know as link bait. In short, content that is very likely to be linked. And regardless the form, be that in text, video, podcast, it buys you a lot of links either way. The reason being, because it covers what’s new and trendy, and we already discussed that people have the intrinsic need for such things.

But creating the content would not suffice all by itself. It has to either be a valuable resource (like those huge articles that Glen from ViperChill makes), present things in a certain entertaining fashion, make connections with other niche related aspects – random affinities (this term is coined by Ian Laurie from the SEOmoz community, and basically means an existing connection between two topics only in terms of having a common audience).

Your content can cover one of these, and classify as link bait.

4. Becoming authority within the niche

How long do you reckon before people start to notice you in the sense of always being the one who brings the new right on the table? News travel pretty fast on the Internet. Go viral with one story, and you already caught the attention of the biggest part of your potential audience.

It won’t be that much longer before people turn to your brand, and start looking for exclusive content that can rarely be found other places.

Of course you will have to stay innovative and create content that satisfies those needs. Creating random affinities is as good a place to start as any. But I digress…

The thing is, be the one sharing the new going on in your niche, and you will see that people see you in an entirely different light authority wise.

5. Making connections

This one is very tightly connected with the one above. Mostly in the sense of big players noticing you. They will cite you, maybe even ask you for advice or interview. Even linking to your work, they will make an effort to contact you, since it’s clear that you are an up-and-coming player in their niche now.

If you bother to ask, many bloggers will tell you that they made most of their connections this way.

Knowing what is going on in your niche can give you the upper hand in captivating and wooing your audience as well as opening to a new one, earning those links and Search engines love, thus ranking for those keywords as well. You will also make countless of connections, build authority while at it, and even expand your area of interest niche wise by leveraging the random affinities in connection to what is new.

Slavko Desik is writer and editor at Lifestyle Updated, a site about improving one’s lifestyle and enjoying life full time. He also writes about subjects closely connected with internet marketing and blogging.



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16 Responses to “The Importance of Being First in Niche Blogging”

  • Alice

    Wow, exactly what I needed. I’ve recently thought about starting a blog, a small niche blog in the niche of my expertise.
    And the best part is, I don’t think it’s covered very well, there is some huge gaps in that niche and I’m sure that I can fill them in with some relevant information. So with being first to write about it, I’m hoping for a smooth monetization process.

    Great stuff Slavko, take care.

  • Maxx The Web Surfer

    But, there’s always one thing that ruin it all.. Even if there’s some traffic, it isn’t enough to encourage you to continue..

  • Manoj Rawal

    it is much harder to advertise a niche blog………..well……….because it’s niche! Something to keep in mind before you invest hours upon hours of time.

    Cool post for those who are doing niche blogging.

    Manoj Rawal

  • Richard Ng

    Hi Slavko,

    You are right, there is always pioneer advantage for those who start anything FIRST (subject to if this thing turned massive/big subsequently). Having said that, it si definitely harder to start something which is fresh but if it’s done right, it does payoff handsomely!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers!

  • Daniel

    Great post, Slavko!

    You did a nice job of outlining some basic truths about the current “state of play” .

    New, really means a different perspective(or unique way of delivering) what has already been said or is known of…

    There is no need to re-invent the wheel…..

    Getting at the top of(becoming an authority) within a particular niche, would depend on the niche….(size, subject, comp, etc)…

    Also, the term Authority figure(or the go to person) does apply in many cases, though, in other not so much….

    Like everyone else, even the “Authority figures in whatever area or niche, are also still having to learn new things, and do make the occasional bad judgement call…

    Interesting stat regarding the 1/3 of brand new search query terms out of Billions entered each day….

    With all those penguin and Panda assaults throwing website owners into a tailspin, this shows that there is still plenty of room(potential) to work within…

  • George@seekdefo.com

    I agree with daniel. What we are going to say has already been said by others before. The only new thing we can do is put a fresh perspective to it.

  • Andre Buxey

    Really good post, i am currently looking into a new niche and the post will help me understand what is needed and what needs to be done.

    great work!

  • sabbir

    The points you highlighted are right. But its really difficult to come up with a unique niche that has been never told before. But one can brought some new ideas about a niche in a new sense that may attract the readers. Or what can one do?

  • Slavko Desik

    @Manoj Rawal
    Thanks Manoj
    However, we shouldn’t forget that niches can gradually expand. I recently wrote a post on Kikolani.com about all the opportunities with niche blogging.

  • Slavko Desik

    @Richard Ng
    Exactly Richard. The thing is to always pay a close eye on what is happening. We may miss nine out of ten, but sometimes that one time is worth a million.

  • Slavko Desik

    @Daniel
    Panda and Penguin are just clearing the playground. There are probably lot more to come. And the thing is that we can now see the direction of movement Google is taking. I don’t know whether you noticed that EMD (exact match domains) are now losing in terms of ranking factor strength. It’s obvious that the SE are expecting more brands to appear on the expense of wiping out sites that were created for the sole purpose of ranking hing. And in terms of becoming a brand, being on top is as good a place to start as any.

    As for the authority, it can be build only through consistency.

    Thanks for commenting

  • Slavko Desik

    @George

    And that is where random affinities come into play.

  • Sabbir

    Thanks slavko for making everything clear.

  • khan

    That`s really nice post I`m searching new niche , and this very difficult to come with unique niche but your points are right I am agree with you.

  • Slavko Desik

    @Alice
    Go for it Alice. Just remember to focus on adding value first. You are about to enjoy it.

  • Charles from CodeConquest.com

    I agree a lot with this, and I think I’m lucky in this regard as there really don’t seem to be any other blogs that target the same niche as me.

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