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Back in the days, when I just found out about making passive income with blogging, I was so excited that I just couldn’t wait to get up and running.
I thought I was ready to make some big bucks.
It all seemed so clear to me: Find the most profitable topic, start writing a massive amount of high-quality content to drive traffic to my website, and convert this traffic by monetizing my website with affiliate links, displaying ads, or selling products.
When I think about my younger self I can’t seem to comprehend why I thought I could compete with the big boys right away. I wish I just took a few steps back, zoomed out, and did some more research on my content strategy. And more specifically, do some more research on the topic I was going to write about.
I was trying to compete against 10-year-old websites that established a decent amount of authority with Google for high competitive keywords with a brand-new website.
Why would Google show a new website in the top results they know nothing about? A website with no track record, nothing.
Exactly, they won’t.
I think I must have accidentally hit my head back then, against a massive brick wall, and more than once. All jokes aside, I failed. And truth to be told, I’m glad I did. It fueled me to master this entire topic so I wouldn’t make the same mistake again.
This is my attempt to save you a shitload of time. Here’s what you will learn:
- The definition of niche website
- Niche website and broad website examples
- The essence of going niche for new online businesses
- Why niche websites are Google’s favorite
The definition of niche website
According to Oxford Languages, a niche is (among other definitions) “a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.” — i.e. “he believes he has found a niche in the market”
It’s that simple. Let’s take the shoe market as an example.
The entire shoe market industry isn’t considered a niche in itself. But if we dive deeper, we can do a breakdown of this market into multiple segments. Hiking shoes, dance shoes, shoes with laces, shoes with straps, sandals, water-resistant shoes…
There’s a tremendous amount of shoe types. You can probably sum up a lot more than I can, but that’s not why we are here.
Each shoe type can be considered as a niche within the shoe market.
If we translate this to websites, a niche website can be considered as a website that is specialized in a segment of the market, focused on a specific subject.
Niche websites are characterized by their extensive range of content about its niche, most often in the form of blog posts.
The goal is to rank these blog posts at the top of Google’s search results, to drive organic traffic to the website.
This traffic then gets converted by the monetization methods that are set in place on the niche website.
Niche website and non-niche website examples
To make things a little bit easier to grasp, let me provide you with a few examples. We’ll take a look at both niche websites and broader orientated websites.
Niche website examples:
- A website about water-resistant shoes
- A website about antique food containers
- A website about crossbow training
Non-niche website examples:
- A website about shoes
- A website about collectibles
- A website about archery
It doesn’t matter whether you want to start an e-commerce store or a blog, you can go niche for any type of website.
But why on earth would you only focus on such a small market?
Keep on reading to find out exactly why.
→ Excited to start your own passive income website? In this post, I share exactly how you can build your own niche blog from scratch, replacing your current income with passive income.
The essence of going niche for new online businesses
It is important to have a focus on a specific topic because you want to rule out the competition.
When you’re starting a brand new website, going after large broad markets is not going to work for you, no matter how ambitious you are. I’m sorry.
A broad topic like “shoes” will have a great number of organic searches (people typing in “shoes” in Google), but it also has a ton of competition.
You will not be able to compete with giants like asos.com or shoes.com. They have a significant track record, including a 20-year old domain name, more than thousands of pages filled with shoe-related content, and a dedicated SEO team optimizing their content both on and off-page.
Not familiar with SEO? In this post, I explain all the SEO basics for your new niche website which you can easily implement yourself.
If you want to start a website, whether it is a passive income blog or an e-commerce store, I highly recommend focusing on a niche market, because it will give you a way better chance of ranking in Google. But that’s not the only reason.
Detailed searches equal purchasing interest
Focusing on niche topics will have a higher chance of earning you money. People that search for general terms like “shoes” lack purchasing interest. The more detailed a search, the higher the chance of buying interest.
Someone searching for a broad term like “shoes“ might not be sure yet what kind of shoes he wants to buy, while searchers for water-resistant shoes have most likely already decided in their mind that water-resistant shoes are what they’re after. They’re in a later stage of their so-called ‘purchase funnel’.
When a searcher is in a later stage of the purchase funnel it drastically increases your chances at converting the searcher.
→ There’s way more you can do to increase your chances of getting your posts on Google page 1. You’ve most likely heard about the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) before. Want to learn more about ranking on Google page 1 for your niche blog? Read our full guide on SEO here.
Why niche websites are Google’s favorite
If the main goal of your website is to drive organic visitors to your website, getting into the top results of Google with a new blogpost is naturally what you have to be aiming for.
In my opinion, a blog’s main objective should always be to rank the majority of its posts on Google page #1, because that’s where the majority of the searchers are located.
Going niche is going to make things dramatically easier for you.
Let me explain using the water-resistant shoe example.
We want Google to view you as an authority on water-resistant shoes. The first step to do that is to fill your website with a decent amount of high-quality posts about water-resistant shoes.
Put yourself in Google’s shoes.
Google’s main objective of its search engine is to display the most relevant and highest quality of content to the search query in the top results, to give the searcher the best experience.
Let’s say person A created a website with 15 blog posts about shoes in general and dedicated 2 blog posts to water-resistant shoes: “The 10 best water-resistant sneakers”, and “Water-resistant sneakers vs. water-resistant boots”.
Now, person B comes along and creates a website with 15 blog posts about water-resistant shoes. Answering questions such as: “What are water-resistant boots made of?” “10 best water-resistant shoes for hiking” “Water-resistant Timberland shoe review” “Do water-resistant boots actually work?” “What is the difference between water-resistant shoes and waterproof shoes?” etcetera. Now person B also creates the same posts as person A with slightly different wording.
You might have guessed it.
Google views Person B as the most authoritative website on water-resistant boots due to its extensive and informative content on water-resistant shoes and displays the posts of Person B in the top results.
Things get even more interesting.
After gaining the authority of Google, person B from the example above didn’t just gain authority for water-resistant shoes, but also for shoes in general. Person B can now expand his niche and write about the next shoe-related niche on his website, slowly growing his shoe site into one hell of a blog.
Execute a well-structured content strategy to grow your niche blog into a blog that’s able to rank for broader keywords.
Let’s sum things up.
In short, a niche website is a website that specializes in a particular segment of the market, often characterized by its extensive range of content on a particular subject.
We all try to compete for a seat on the Google front page, but only a few of us are going to be winners.
Going niche not only rules out the competition but also comes along with other benefits such as its ability to attract searchers with a higher probability of converting due to increased buyer interest.
We learned that becoming an authority within the internet takes time, but by taking a well-prepared approach by executing a structured content strategy you can drastically increase your chances.
If you’re eager to learn more: In this post, I show you exactly how to start a niche blog from scratch, step-by-step. I mean, who doesn’t want to replace his current income with passive income?