Before we even get started and think about creating our blog and buying a domain and web hosting, it’s more important that we take some time to decide what we are going to be blogging about.
You can blog about virtually anything, but without the proper research your blog may be at a dead end before it ever starts.
Here are a few things you will need to think about when choosing your next blogging niche.
- What is the purpose of my blog? (hobby / profit)
- How competitive is the niche I’m looking at?
- What is the long term value and monetization plan?
- Will there be enough content for me to write about?
- How can you build links and buzz for your site?
All of these questions are important, but the overall monetization down the road and the immediate competition are what should be your main concerns right now.
I spent a few days thinking about the niche I was going to use for this create a blog case study and I actually went through a bunch of different ideas. Several times I thought I had come across an interesting niche, but I came to the conclusion on a few of them that I might not have as many monetization methods or content ideas to build them out down the road.
Coming up with your basic topic is one of the hardest parts in itself. If you want to get some ideas on what people are search for (hot trends) right now, you can visit Google Trends or now.MSN.com to get a few ideas.
Originally I was looking at choosing a niche in the “education” and “work place” area. For ideas I was browsing through a bunch of the articles on Money.com that focused on the Gen Y audience and their college degrees and what are the most sought after jobs when coming out of school. Their site has some great “Top Lists” for stuff like that. However after using Long Tail Pro (click here for full review), I was seeing some highly competitive niches that were looking good in the average local search and average cpc department, but were monsters in the average Keyword Competition area.
You can see in the screen shot above that many of the keywords were in the 50-60 range. This is very competitive keyword, and while you could break the keywords down even further, I continued to see much of the same competition levels.
So I continued to think about new niches and ideas I could create a blog on. Again, I wanted to pick something completely out of my realm that wasn’t “make money online” or “blogging” related. Eventually I saw an ad somewhere for solar power and I figured I’d throw that word into Long Tail Platinum and see the results.
Not too bad… the search volume is decent and the average cpc is much lower than the education niche, but it seems like a good keyword and niche to start a site with.
For a couple days I thought about the “solar” niche and thought it was a good concept, but after writing down some pros/cons about the topic, I found I really wasn’t interested in the topic at all. If you can go after the keyword from the right angles you can definitely make good money and rank in the search results. There is a ton of money flowing in the solar space right now, which was one of my main reasons for looking into this niche. Your main competition would be local “solar installation” type of companies, but you could do fairly well if you were to build up a solid resource site around the topic.
With all of that said, I still had the education and jobs niche markets in the back of my mind and was continually opening up Long Tail Pro to try and find some new ideas.
Once again I was looking through news articles on Google about college students and jobs they are looking for when coming out of college. One of them was for “campus IT tech”, which was a bit competitive, but eventually helped me find “tech support jobs”.
You can see the screenshot below from running a report on “tech support jobs”. The average keyword competition is a 32 and the local searches come in around 33,100. While “tech support jobs” isn’t the main keyword I was going to focus on, I thought it would be best to build a new site around the topic as a whole and categorize the site into smaller long tail keywords.
It wasn’t easy to pick a niche to jump into, especially since I’m making this a public blog case study for people to follow me step through step on the process. The last thing I want to do is pick a niche and then say “oh well, that didn’t work”… hence why it can take a lot of time and research to finally pick a solid niche and keyword focus.
Now that I have chosen my niche and keywords, it’s important to make sure there is actual life to this niche and that it’s worth the time and effort we are going to put into it.
Why “tech support jobs” as a niche?
There are plenty of reasons why I am happy to get into the tech support jobs niche with this new web site. Just a few of the reasons are that the employment rate is horrible right now and people are going to be looking for information on how to get a job or work from home. There is currently a decent amount of search results for “tech support” terms related to working from home.
Another reason I like this niche is because it’s both job and education related. There is always going to be big money in these niches because businesses spend money to hire new employees and colleges spend money to advertise to people who are interested in getting higher education or a new job.
Lastly, there is a lot we can talk about in the tech support niche. Whether it’s how to become a tech support person or how to report complaints against tech support from other companies.
What’s the plan for this tech support jobs niche site?
The best way to answer this question is to actually think in terms of someone who is searching for “tech support jobs” related information online. Obviously they are looking for information on the topic and how they can become a support person or learn more about the profession… so that will be the main focus of the site.
The goal is to rank this blog for several long tail keywords (and eventually some generic keywords) in the search engines by creating quality content and information that people are looking for and find value in. The last thing we want is to put all of this effort into a site to only have it be another trashy “thin” content site. Remember, we want to make an AUTHORITY resource site, which means you are providing value.
Monetization and ideas down the road?
This was definitely something that I had to think about when choosing the “tech support jobs” niche. Through Long Tail Pro we could see that “tech support jobs” related keywords are costing in the several dollar range per click, which means it could make some good money through Google Adsense, but we also don’t want to build a business that is reliant on only one revenue source.
Fortunately there are plenty of other ways to make money with a jobs related site, which includes affiliate marketing (lead gen), how to guides (product sales) and there will definitely be a potential to sell the site once it’s fully established. In addition to driving leads through other sources, the potential is also there to build out our own mailing lists and products relating to the niche.
Monetization is our last focus right now, as we will need to create our site, build content, generate backlinks and buzz and monitor the overall growth and rankings for the site.
If you are going to be selecting a niche for a new blog, make sure you consider all of the questions above and if they fall in your favor. It’s way to easy to jump into a new project and get too excited, buy a domain and setup a blog then lose interest in a few days. The last thing you want to do is spread yourself too thin with garbage projects or keywords/niches that have way too much competition or little monetization/return down the road.
Next step… now the fun starts and we will soon be setting up the blog and first pages of content.
*** Join in on the create a blog case study –> Click here to start your blog!
10 Website Templates That Will Boost Your Web Project
Website templates are a great option in case you want to create a website and save a lot of working hours and money. The last thing you want to do is launch a business plan and have everything ready to go, but then realize you need to design and code your site before getting everything online.
Whether your focus is on using WordPress, hiring a custom designer, or even going with a basic site template to get started — you need to have an idea of where you want to get to, and how to get there.
Before jumping forward with this process, it’s always a good idea to take a look at some of the best website templates floating around the internet today. This is especially true if you are looking to promote a service or application-base business, as there are many custom themes and templates to choose from.
The web development market is huge nowadays and you can find both multipurpose websites and web projects for a specific business. Moreover, you can choose among website templates with various design variations. And of course, they all come at various prices.
You will also want to find a website template that is both mobile and SEO friendly. Even with WordPress being fully functional right out of the box, sometimes it’s better to choose a pre-made or premium site template that is already super fast loading and SEO optimized.
This is something StudioHawk SEO often recommended to their growing list of clients, who are either coming to them for SEO and mobile optimization tips, or with basic questions on why their site isn’t ranking in Google yet.
“SEO is a clear marketing objective, but all often, it’s often lumped into content creation and marketing as well. If you want to have a clear and set objective for your SEO, you need to have a working plan and strategy in place as well. At the same time, even with a great SEO strategy and plan in place, you also need to make sure your site is fast loading and fully optimized for Google and Mobile as well. While there are many components to running your business, SEO is the expertise and passion for most SEO agencies in the world today — which is why it’s also one of the most outsourced tasks a business can hand off and measure ROI.”
No matter if you are starting from scratch or trying to scale your site and business reach, you need to make sure both your site and SEO strategy are working together. There are also plenty of Google tools that can help with the verification of your site speed, mobile compatibility, and overall optimization as well.
With all of these moving components in mind, this is why it may be hard to find a good template that checks off all of the key points we’ve mentioned — which is also why we decided to help you with this mission. We made a list of 10 most advanced and well-developed templates. And you can check each of them on a product page to see what the include. Moreover, you can check the demo of the design and UI features. Moreover, they come at a fair price. They also vary in purpose. Some will be a great tool for many your web projects and others will be great for a specific business like hotels, real estate and so on. Yet, of course, you can edit them and make suitable for various businesses.
Due to the well-developed HTML5 code, these website templates are reliable and responsive. So check our products, go to the product page and find a new development tool for your business.
Real Estate Multipurpose HTML5 Website Template
Dynamics – Industrial Multipage HTML5 Website Template
DreamSoft – Software Development Company Multipage Website Template
Brave Theme – Multipurpose HTML Website Template
And due to Novi builder, you can simply drag and drop elements. Brave Theme also provides you with a blog and many blog layout. You can also use social options to keep in touch with clients.
ALF’s – Personal Page Modern Multipage HTML Website Template
Metric – Web Development Creative Multipage HTML Website Template
Pelicor Floor – Flooring Services Multipage HTML5 Website Template
The Future – Web Design Multipurpose HTML5 Website Template
Race – Sports Event Creative Multipurpose HTML5 Website Template
Mingo – Delivery Services Multipage Clean HTML Website Template
This list of the best website template sites includes top HTML5 products for your business. They are reliable and responsive. And due to well-developed code they are responsive and fast. In addition, you will get UI elements and blocks, cool animations, blog, google maps, and e-commerce features. They have even more features so check the product page to see more. And if you have some questions then address them to our 24/7 marketplace support.
Local Small Business Optimization Strategies
Ever since Google made changes to their search algorithm, and introduced Google+, small business are benefitting more. The key change that Google made is their ability to provide search results based on location. This has improved the overall search experience for people because now when they search commands like – “Italian restaurant”, “banks”, and “flower shop”, you’ll find what’s close by. However, for small businesses to feel the positive effects of these changes, it’s important they optimize their websites correctly. It’s important they, add the right keywords and data so search engines pick-up on them when displaying search results.
I decided to do some research, and provide you with the best local optimization tips. This way if you’re a local business, you can start making changes right away. Let’s get started and your feedback will be greatly appreciated.
The Right Keywords
When someone is searching a towing company, and they’re located in Los Angeles, it’s important as a business owner you have those keywords placed within your pages. This will let Google know that you’re a business which offers this type of service, and have a business located within the region. First, how does Google track where the searcher is located?
First, they look specifically at the keywords typed into the search bar, and secondly, where they are typing from because the browser does have its own IP address delegated. Both will ensure the results obtained are as relevant as possible, however, the owner of the business must do their part too.
When optimizing your website, it’s important you have the address in place, and keywords like “Los Angeles” and “Towing” in the URL, on the page, and in the title of the page. The best practice is to choose keywords which relate to your business well so when Google indexes your page, you’ll be able to show up in the search results.
Here is a great resource on how to optimize your pages correctly as a local business.
Google Business Listing
As a small business, it’s very important to create a small business page on Google. Start by submitting your business to Google, and optimizing the description, name, and adding all the other relevant information. Why is this even more important now than before? Simple, it’s because now displays the local business high within the search results when searching. Just look at the example below when I did a search for “Italian restaurants” –
You can see how the nearest restaurants to me showed up first in the results. These are all connected to Google Business only because the owners added them by creating a page. Head over to Google Business, and create a page for free.
It’s important to add your business to local directories which are great for traffic, but also brand awareness. As Google starts to see your business more within directories, it starts to increase your value slowly increasing your rankings within the SERP’s. This doesn’t have to be hard because you can hire someone to go through adding your business to other directories. For example, head over to Fiverr.com and purchase a gig for $5.00 for 10-15 citations, and that’s all you really need to get started. However, focus on quality sites because these add most of the value quickly.
Select the Right Categories
Have you noticed when adding your business to directories, Google, and other business sites, you’ll always be asked what category your business belongs too? The reason is quite simple, it’s because doing this allows the search engine to understand more about your business. For example, when someone’s searching “Italian food”, they can be searching for food equipment, restaurants, chefs, etc. However, by simply stating what category your business belongs to, it’ll diffuse a lot of confusion…right?
The next time you are adding your site anywhere, it’s important to list the right category so things stay smooth, and clear always.
These are my top small business optimization strategies so start following them right away. They are very easy to follow, and the results can be amazing in a very short period. If you simply don’t have the time to do all this yourself, then hire someone who is experienced to get the job done for you. But, ask to see their work, and get a breakdown of their experience so you know the person you hired knows what they are doing.
When Your Small Business Should Start a Blog
Blogging is one of the most reliable methods of making a name for yourself as a startup. It is a valuable tool that helps you connect with your target audience, amass followers through a lead capture strategy, and put the brand out there through content promotion; such as social media posts, newsletters, and guest blogging.
It’s not so much a question of ‘if’ your brand should be leveraging the power of content marketing, but more of a question of ‘how’. With so many different options to choose from, it’s not just about creating new content and placing it on your site — it’s also about making sure you are effectively promoting it in the process.
Keep in mind that it’s not really a question of whether you need a blog or not—it’s when you’re going to build a blog for your business’s website. Without a blog, you can’t really prove your expertise in your industry and win the trust of your target audience. According to statistics, 81% of online consumers trust blogs for advice. A blog may also drive purchase intent and helps you unlock a higher conversion rate for your website.
Aside from connecting with your target audience, a blog will also fuel your SEO efforts by giving web crawlers more content to index. The more blog posts you publish, the more exposure your site gets.
How Soon Should You Start a Blog?
Granted, you do need to prepare the foundations of a successful blog first before you begin to produce content. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a professional designer to set up a beautiful site. A CMS like WordPress can provide you with brilliant themes and useful plugins to put together a fully-functional site; all without writing a single line of code.
Once you have everything set up and customized, make sure to get on with blogging as soon as possible. This 2016, 76% of B2B marketers say they will increase their blog content production this year. However, successful blogging requires a ton of research and planning. On top of writing the actual blog posts, you will also spend a lot of time looking for topic ideas, getting-to-know your target audience, and devising a solid keyword strategy. Here are some of the best tips you need to remember when blogging:
Write for Your Audience
First and foremost, remember that you need to blog for people—not for machines. The reason behind this problem is because some marketers only choose to blog for SEO. However, remember that search engines now prioritize the reading experience of users when it comes to determining the SERP rankings of content. While they still take into account the overall quality of written content, they also consider other factors such as bounce rate, page loading speed, session duration, and other indicators of user engagement level.
A rule of thumb is to develop personas for your target audience. Identify the information they need, understand their problems, learn their content preferences, and provide the necessary courses of action to help them. A content research tool like BuzzSumo will help you learn more about the type of content that’s popular in a specific industry.
“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers,” says Brian Clark of Rainmaker Digital.
Invest in Custom Content
When learning the content preferences of your target audience, you are often required to explore other content formats such as infographics, eBooks, explainer videos, and slideshows. According to statistics, 90% of online consumers prefer custom content while 60% feel more “connected” with brands after discovering custom content from their website.
Keep in mind that your brand image is on the line with every custom content you publish. You need the help of professional producers and graphics designers to make killer content for your blog audience. While setting up a blog can be cheap, you might as well consider getting a business loan to fuel your custom content creation efforts.
Lastly, remember that you need to focus on the flow of your content and walk your readers through every step. Doing so will help build relationships with your readers and establish your brand as an authority. Also mention the key takeaways at the beginning or by the end of a blog post to improve retention.
“Content marketing and custom content are customer relationship processes that require unique and well-crafted content. Whichever approach you take, you need to invest either your time or money in content creation,” says Neil Patel of NeilPatel.com.
Be Consistent with an Editorial Statement
A lot of companies overlook the importance of having a clear editorial statement that keeps content development in sync with a brand voice. It helps make your content distinguishable amongst the internet’s vast sea of resources and keep your content team in the same page. This is something you should always keep in mind when creating content for your blog.
To identify your editorial statement, focus on supplementing the three key parts: the target audience, the deliverables, and the main goal. To help you understand this process, below is an example editorial statement for an SEO blog:
SEO blog provides online marketers (target audience) with up-to-date strategies (deliverable) to demystify the process of ranking for search engines (goal).
“Your editorial mission is something you—and everyone on your team—need to internalize. It is the measuring stick by which you evaluate everything you do,” says Michele Linn of Content Marketing Institute. Make sure to follow his advice!
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