Guest Post by Mitch O’Connor
Building a niche site can be an effective way to build your business and generate profit. A niche site helps to develop your professional profile and may eventually become a popular source of authoritative content. Unfortunately, developing such a site cannot generally be done overnight. Instead, you might think of the project as a long-term mission, much like one featured in a James Bond film. In order for this mission to be successful, you must first complete several “objectives.” Think of the task in this methodical way can make it easier to build an attractive, successful niche site.
Whether you’re a webmaster or James Bond, collecting intel helps you prepare for opportunities in the future. One way to do this is to see which keywords and phrases associated with your niche are searched for the most. For instance, the owner of a site specializing in Halloween costume masks and props might consult Google Insights for Search to see various information regarding that topic, including top search terms, rising searches over time and regional interest. Likewise, you can use the Google AdWords keyword tool to view various suggested keywords for a given phrase related to your niche, as well as details regarding competition and monthly searches for your selected phrase. Making use of valuable data such as this can mean the difference between success and failure for your mission.
Another way to gather intel is to collect and catalog email addresses. While these addresses may not be used immediately, it is a good idea to keep them for use on future marketing opportunities. It is important to remember that each email address you collect represents a potential customer
Just like 007 keeps tabs on his many enemies, it is important to regularly research your competition and determine what appears to be working for them. Rather than copying the successful strategies of your rivals, however, you should focus on developing your site in such a way that you manage to outdo them. Of course, you should be careful not to get completely caught up in beating your competition; doing so can easily cause you to over-strategize without actually getting your site off the ground. Just like 007, sometimes you just need to pull the trigger.
Occasionally your rivals may not be all that successful. If you notice that your competition all suffer from low PageRank and poorly optimized content, think about ways in which your site might be able to avoid this. Some niches are less commonly searched than others, and if you are not confident that your site can easily jump to the top of the rankings, you may wish to consider a new niche. Even if you think your site will be able to easily demonstrate superiority over its competitors, you should spend just as much time and effort developing it. Even when 007 knows he has his opponent beat, he does not leave much to chance.
James Bond is constantly making use of new and interesting gadgets that allow him to better deal with obstacles, complete various objectives and finish his mission. Likewise, niche site builders should regularly test new tools and experiment with different approaches. Most likely, the first attempt you make at creating your site will not be successful. It is difficult to predict whether the design, content and other features of your site will be optimal for your market, so it is important to test new ideas. If your site is doing worse than you had hoped, try experimenting with new buttons, headlines, copy and other such elements. Just as 007 and his arsenal of gadgets occasionally reinvented to fit modern times when new instalments in the James Bond series are released, so too should you be able to adapt your site with the latest technology and techniques to meet market demands and attract visitors.