The Secret To Blogging Success Is No Secret: Niche Blog Marketing

by Robb Sutton

If you are starting a new blog or trying to torque some success out of your current one, there is one thing that will always hold true. Without anyone actually reading your words, you are not going to see success in blogging. With all of the competition today on the net, many beginning and experienced bloggers find difficulty in rising above the noise so their voice can be heard. This frustration level can be alleviated greatly, but it takes looking at blogging in a new light by mimicking the experience of large companies and corporations. That’s right…the success in blogging is actually found through copying actions of that brick and mortar world. It should also not surprise you that 99.9% of successful bloggers do this simple fact…so let’s get rolling.

It’s A Law Of Numbers That You Need To Win

When Hyundai originally entered the North American automobile market, they were not the same company you see today. Knowing full well that they would not be able to compete in the largest automobile market in the world with a “me too” product (luxury sedan, suv, etc.), Hyundai took a different approach. Hyundai carved out a niche market in the US by providing an extremely affordable, new car with a blistering good warranty program.

By providing a car that was not currently available in the market, Hyundai was able to weasel their way into the US auto market by creating a niche product that consumers wanted to buy.

After a couple of years of making a name for themselves, Hyundai turned into the automobile company you see today through expansion into other niche market areas like the SUV, luxury sedan and affordable sport coupe. As we look at this short case study, what do you think would have happened to Hyundai if they came to the market with their current lineup right off the bat? They would have been laughed straight out of the market by companies with larger brand presence, gigantic marketing dollars and a stable reputation amongst consumers.

Hyundai saw the automobile market as a law of numbers. They needed to build a reputation within the market by providing something new and then…through expansion…they could take on the other sectors with a strong brand presence.

Niche Marketing + Expansion = Blogging Success

The #1 mistake (I know…I say that a lot!) I see beginning bloggers make is trying to take on too much at once. New bloggers look at experienced bloggers that are seeing a lot of success within a given subject matter and think…

Wow…I am really into that subject too! I’ll start a blog that covers all of those areas and see if I can make it!

When they take this route…they fail 99% of the time.

Why? Because they forget that their favorite successful blog is not 1 day old. That successful blog has been built over time and has expanded its topic offerings over time to promote growth. When you start in a small niche market (ex. basketball shoes instead of all things basketball), you are able to do several things that can guarantee you early success that you can build off of.

  1. You are competing on a much smaller field (greater success in long-tail keywords in search engines).
  2. You build a reputation as an expert in your field by providing quality content to that smaller audience (growing subscribers and traffic).
  3. You open up the opportunity to expand into other areas (ex. basketball goals).
  4. You attract more links in through niche content (builds authority in search engines).
  5. You open up the opportunity to make money with niche products.

Overtime, as you continue to add to your content offerings, you can find yourself several years down the road competing with the monsters in your niche with news, editorials and product reviews! But it does not come overnight and it does not come by taking on the world all at once.

The trick is to have a defined topic focus that you can write on for at least a year (don’t go rambling off topic unless you want to lose subscribers) and then start to look into your options for expansion down the future as it relates to your niche. With this constant business development and focus, you will see success over time.

When you start that first post of your new blog or hit that one year anniversary, remember one thing.

Blogs are an ever evolving process. What you are blogging about today will expand and change with the times. Your success is dependent upon the management of that expansion that complements your current offerings to provide your current readers with more content and attract new readers through that new content.

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Nabeel | Create Your First Website June 21, 2010 - 7:03 am

Great points you raise out there Robb.

The Hyundai example you provide is a famous one. I have heard it a lot before. This was also a case study in my Marketing course during my Bachelors.

I also like the example of basketball shoes, instead of everything about basketball. You could also sustain your growth if you move up slowly.

Robb Sutton June 21, 2010 - 2:50 pm

Hyundai could have wrote the book on entering crowded markets. Just proves it can still be done!

Jonathan Beebe June 21, 2010 - 12:53 pm

Hi Robb, great tips here, I agree with the rationale behind this post–it makes perfect sense.

I think when you create a website; however, it’s okay to position it for expansion right from the very beginning.

For example, if you’re going to be blogging about basketball shoes, create a blog about basketball and then tailor your freebie (to build your list) around basketball shoes, write about basketball shoes, and become known for THAT before you start exploring other topics. That way, you don’t have to start a brand new website to expand… your subscribers can easily follow your expansion because they won’t have to subscribe to a new website to do so.

I noticed that as long as you stay focused around your topic content-wise, you’ll shape your audience and it’ll cause them to be interested in that.

For example, I used to run a personal development blog. The topic was personal development. However, my freebie were audios that helped increase brain power and was on mind development. I often blogged about that “niche” subject as well. As a result, although my blog was on ‘personal development’, my audience was generally more interested in mind development and braining training. However, I was able to subtly expand into other areas because my blog’s overall topic didn’t restrict me from doing so.

Great advice Robb. I recently subscribed to your blog so you should definitely be seeing me around more often! Keep up the great work 🙂

Robb Sutton June 21, 2010 - 2:49 pm

You bring up a very important point. In my blogging, I have always planned ahead for the future expansion even if I wasn’t going to happen right away.

For example…you wouldn’t want to pick up the domain if you are planning on expanding into basketball goals. It is all about expanding offerings within the broad subject level by focusing on the niche level. Eventually, through continued success…you are covering a broad range with expansion.

Jimi Jones June 21, 2010 - 2:24 pm

Spot on article, Robb. I started out with an “Online Business” blog, far too wide of an approach. One of the main lessons I learned was that it’s not what YOU think people want. Do some research and take the pulse of the community before jumping in. The basketball shoes is a perfect example of focusing and becoming a specialist and leader, as opposed to being a generalist.

Robb Sutton June 21, 2010 - 2:47 pm

Thanks Jimi. Glad to see you enjoyed Problogger too!

Specialists are always more successful than generalists across industries…you are dead on right about that.

Alex June 24, 2010 - 7:01 pm

Hey Robb, Great article and I love real world examples so thanks for bringing that into relevancy.
I agree that it is important to make sure you are not entering a crowded niche, and as Hyundai did, if you do then make sure you can offer something unique within that marketplace.
I started blogging on internet marketing in general and realised quite quickly that I needed to define a sub niche to survive.
I now blog about keyword optimization and creating niche sites and so far the responses have been good.
Thanks for the ongoing value you provide to newbiew like myself.
That’s my 2c worth.

Robb Sutton June 25, 2010 - 6:43 am

And the cool thing about creating sub-niche like that is you can expand at a later date. It doesn’t mean you will never blog on those subjects, you just aren’t right now so you can start to grow a following.

Felix Albutra August 2, 2010 - 7:36 am

I am currently doing the Niche Blog Marketing.

So far, I’ve noticed that you don’t need to be as passionate on the topic you been covering so that you can blog about for at least 6 months or so, because what you are targeting is the topics that people are searching on the internet.

What I mean is that, you only do more research on the market you are targeting, then start loving it and be knowledgeable on that topic after more times to come.

Thanks for this post. I just prove that I am on the right track of making money online by targeting the niche market.

Thanks Rob…

– Blogging


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