Finding Niche Markets
Originally Posted, Friday, January 18, 2020
I’m not sure if I could find a bigger topic if I tried – Niche Marketing could fill several books and those of you who know me are in danger because I have been known to write some epic posts in my time. I will spare you today though as I want to lay some groundwork first.
Before I start I want to narrow the field somewhat and point you towards a few projects that you can follow along with or better yet join in. Vic’s money making blog “Blogger Unleashed” is a busy place lately and among other things (like raising money to help a blogger in need) Vic has been explaining the advantages of creating local niches. Read his article and then hop over to Monika’s new local niche blog Yeppoon Chronicle to see how you can do this yourself. Neena is also giving this a go in Westport-Kids. Both sites are great examples of how you can target your local communities.
In a similar vein you can follow along with Court’s Internet Marketing tutorial which combines keyword targeting and local niches in creating his Colorado Lasik Surgery Guide.
If that’s not enough links for you then I have a few more. Justin over at “Blendworx” is currently walking his readers through a niche experiment for “Butt Implants” (Seriously) and if you want step by step instructions for creating a niche I suggest you check him out.
My final link goes out to Elliot at “Blog Explosion dot Net” who is assisting Vic with a Local Niche Site Support Group that all are welcome to join. It’s a place you can all get help and just as importantly make friends – networking with others always pays big dividends.
I will take you through my methods for finding niches in the next post. I want those of you who are interested to read through the blogs listed above first in order to get a feel for what is entailed as well as an understanding of just how broad a subject this is.
For Pablo at The Tao of Blog who along with Divinyl’s music review blog have been discussing what to do about all the scrapers who steal your blog content and post it as their own. If any of you are encountering this problem then do the following; add a link back to your site in the first paragraph of each post you write. The first line of this post above has the term “Niche Marketing” linked back to this blog. Most people who scrape content from others use an auto program that steals your RSS feed snippets – usually just the first paragraph so make sure the link is in the first paragraph. Scrapers don’t as a rule read what they have scraped and by adding your link they will post your content on their site and unknowingly give you 1) The credit you deserve. 2) Link juice in the form of PR from the scraper site. In this way you can use the scrapers to your advantage – a backlink is a backlink even from a thief.
This question has come up frequently…
Hi Grizz, I have been reading you and Court and I am confused over smart pricing. Court says if you have low CTR then you are smart priced and will get low clicks which will lower revenue on all your Adsense sites. I noticed that you said in the comments on Vic’s post Page Rank vs Traffic that smart pricing happens if you have poor conversions. I’m not sure I understand this and you seem to say that low CTR is not a factor in smart pricing. Can you clarify smart pricing for me? Thank you so much for helping us noobs. Sincerely, Erin K.
This is confusing a lot of people so I will give it another go. First go and read my comment on Vic’s blog using the link above. (It’s long of course.)
Court has tried to simplify smart pricing in such a way that while not technically correct it is a common guideline for running Adsense on your site. I don’t blame him for choosing the low CTR method as it is pretty accurate in most cases and works as a general rule. Technically speaking however, you can have low CTR and not be smart priced but this is a tricky subject to explain.
Smart pricing is based on conversions. Have you ever checked your Adsense and noticed that you have 2 clicks and a payout of $.30. An hour later you check again and still only have 2 clicks but now the payout is $.50. What gives? It is not uncommon to see your CPC (cost per click) change during the course of the day while your number of clicks don’t change at all. Adsense is on a delay system and calculations are continualy being made behind the scenes. One of the calculations involves conversions and I can’t say I know exactly how Google works this out but to understand the process I wrap my head around it this way;
Google charges the Advertiser a higher per click rate when the site his/her ad is on is a high conversion site and a lower rate when the ad is on a low conversion site. If I run an ad for “Making Money Online” and it appears on a blog like this one then I will pay top price per click. This blog gets highly targeted search engine traffic for terms like “make money online”. Because my traffic is looking for this type of information then they are more likely to convert into sales for the advertiser.
Conversely if I run the same ad and it appears on let’s say Divinyl’s music blog – it could if there was a “Make Money Online with Music Reviews” type of post – then I will be charged a lower amount per click. This is because Divinyl doesn’t get targeted traffic for this term and her visitors will be less likely to convert into sales for me.
Now how Google works this all out is beyond me but it isn’t important. The easiest way to ensure that you don’t get smart priced is by writing highly targeted posts. I have explained this in detail numerous times but by using your main keyword in your post title and then as your first header you can pick the ads that Google sends you. The post title is the biggest determinant in how Google selects ads for your page. Make sure the rest of the post is relevant to your title. This will ensure that all the ads are relevant. If you get a variety of ads on your page then you are poorly targeted and likely smart priced. If all your ads are related to each other and relevant to your post then you are not smart priced. Public service ads and blog ads are usually a bad sign – Google has either blacklisted you (the PSA ads) or the bot can’t define what your page is about. (The post is poorly optimized.)
Rather than rely on low CTR you are probably better off using CPC as a gauge. I have a lot of very low CTR sites but my clicks still pay me $1.00 or more. I may only get one click in a hundred impressions but the click converts well for the advertiser. Conversely I have had sites that get 200% CTR (this is possible when one person clicks several ads) and yet I only get $.01 payouts – usually a sign of smart pricing but not always as some ads just don’t have a lot of competition and the advertiser can buy the minimum.
It helps to use a tool like Keyword Elite (or open an Adwords account and use Google’s tool) when trying to determine your CPC. Keyword Elite will give me a rough idea of what advertisers are paying for various terms. I know that anyone targeting “Make Money Online” will pay Google between $2.56 and $3.20 for one of the top 3 spots on the right hand column in the search listings. This means that they will pay $.60-$1.25 in the content listings which appear on websites. (You get about half this amount) As long as my CPC falls within this range on this blog (and it does) I know I am getting top dollar per click. If I suddenly get $.10 clicks on this blog then I know something is amiss and likely it’s smart pricing.
This is complicated and quite frankly there is no way to know for sure if you are being smart priced so it is common for people to just assume that a low CTR means you are smart priced. In General this is a safe assumption but combine it with your CPC. If you are getting high per click payouts – $.30 or more – then don’t worry about your CTR – you aren’t smart priced. The exception to this would be that you know an ad like “plumbers” should be paying $5 – $10 per click and you are only getting $.30 clicks.
A word to the wise – know your niches. I never worry about smart pricing as I know what all my keywords should be getting as far as CPC goes and I write relevant highly targeted posts to get the ads I am after. On the few occasions that I have been smart priced (see I Just Doubled my Income)I knew it immediately as my whole network started showing low payouts. I quickly backtracked to the last new site created and removed the ads and within a week I was back to normal.
Ok, I have a lot more questions sent that need answering but that’s enough for today. More next post.
Update Oct 2020 – If you need help tracking down backlinks (good keyword anchored backlinks) then check out several resources I am providing on my other blog Make Money Online with Grizzly. In particular you should look at the Niche Support, Link Resources and Friendz of Griz pages. You can also read this article Finding Links for those Niche Blogs These resources are free and I encourage all my readers to join in.
A favor if you would…
It looks like 1 year and 26 days later my site is finally lodged on page 1 of Google for the term “Make Money Online”. I have been there for a while in most data centers except the US center (Google.com) and the UK center (Google.uk). It looks like I am in 10th spot on the US center but since I don’t live in the USA I was wondering if some of my American and UK readers could do a search and let me know if I am indeed on page one in their region. This was my whole purpose in starting this free blogspot experiment and I want to know if I can finally crack open the Champaign.
Thanks for the help and just leave me a comment if you would be so kind.
I’m showing you at the very bottom of page 1!
Great article. Now how about finding a niche to settle upon?
January 18, 2020 11:29 AM
With the quotes “Make Money Online” you are on the first page in my area, Central US! Without the quotes, you are first on the second page. Congratulations!
January 18, 2020 11:32 AM
With quotes, you’re number 8 on the first page after three sponsored results (sooo, number 11 I guess).
Without quotes its number 10 after 1 sponsor (huh, 11 again…weird).
Still plugging along here with the local niche site. At the close of week 3 its up to about 40 hits a day and 12 subscribers. Slow but steady.
Keep the good info comin!
January 18, 2020 12:00 PM
Grizzly Brears said…
Thanks you three – sounds like it’s there so ‘POP’ goes the cork.
January 18, 2020 12:34 PM
Here’s a toast to arriving on page 1 – on my search you are number 10! Thanks for the mention of my niche site, and also for the adsense explanation. That really helps in picking topics to post about and clears up a bit of the Google mystery.
January 18, 2020 1:17 PM
Aloha Team said…
Here in Hawaii, you’re showing up at the top of page two for Make Money Online, with no quotes.
January 18, 2020 2:58 PM
Yuo you’re on page 1 for quotes and no quotes. I’m in Los Angeles. Congrats!
January 18, 2020 3:10 PM
steven wilson said…
You are number 10 on the first page here in U.S.A. as of 1/18/2020
4:49 eastern time.
January 18, 2020 3:50 PM
RT Cunningham said…
You’re 8 and 10 on the first page for with and without the quotes. Good job, Griz!
January 18, 2020 3:57 PM
Grizzly Brears said…
Ok… It’s 4 in the afternoon and I’m drunk. The bottle she’s empty and my wife is lookin’ at me a bit funny. (I don’t drink usually)
Thanks for all the confirmations – Hawaii (Todd) excepted as you guys are always the last to catch up! Lol.
So… um, what the hell do I do now – oh yeah – page 1 down, 9 spots to go!
Thanks again everyone!
January 18, 2020 4:32 PM
Thank you for the link. I’m sure a PR 4 incoming link on a brand new blog will do wonders for it.
As for your great placement in Google, well done. Make money online is finally starting to work out in terms of hard work and getting to where you wanted to be.
Well done, you deserve it so much.
January 18, 2020 5:46 PM
Grizzly Brears said…
Thanks so much Monika. Are you seeing any local traffic yet to the new site? I’m very interested in knowing how you, Neena and Thom make out with your new blogs.
January 18, 2020 6:54 PM
Hi Griz mate, thanks for the info..I will have a look in the morninf..gone 1 am here so for the best
January 18, 2020 7:13 PM
The Rookie said…
I am showing you at number 10 also here in Minnesota. I added you to my blogroll recently with “make money online” as an anchor and I do have a PR 2, so I hope that helps you out a little.
January 18, 2020 8:28 PM
Frank C said…
Congrats on the SERPS Griz.
It’s funny how Adsense will have trouble with some pages. I have a blog that features videos of bands I found on YouTube that I like. One of them was really out there, a Jewish surf band called Meshugga Beach Party. Until I fixed up the tags on that post it would get PSAs or really odd ads.
January 18, 2020 9:10 PM
Hey Griz…I’ve got you (no quotation marks) at the second spot on page 2 of my search results. I still think that’s damn impressive.
Thank you so much for the shout out D You are a sweetie…and I think you may notice that I’ve been putting some of your advice into practice already! Now I just have to sort the keywords (including long-tails) thing out!
As ever, a great article my friend.
January 19, 2020 5:33 AM
Thanks for that Griz.
I did a search for you with Webferret and had you listed from position 10 with Google,Yahoo, AOL and AltaVista.
January 19, 2020 5:38 AM
If it’s any good to you, you show in 8th place on Google España! Pity the majority of surfers here wouldn’t have a clue what it meant LMAO!!!
Anyway, congratulations on getting there and beating the ass off the smug know-it-all competition!
January 19, 2020 6:19 AM
Grizzly Brears said…
Thanks again everyone. Rookie every link helps – especially those that are optimized so thanks much.
Pablo is “webferret” real or a Pabloism for something else? – never can tell with you!Lol.
DV – I have been watching you (start creepy music) and definitely think you need to optimize the term “music reviews” into your posts – you are great at it and Google should know about it.
Frank that’s good to know re: videos – haven’t had much experience in that area myself. Where there’s a will there is a way to optimize!
Terry I wish I spoke Spanish as I think there is a huge untapped market there – definitely in the US where the fastest growing TV stations are all Spanish Language. Like English the language is spoken in a lot of countries.
It would seem that I am still bouncing around on page 2 in the UK – hmmm some choice links from my friends across the pond could fix that in a jiffy! (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, knowwhatImean, knowwhatImean.)
January 19, 2020 7:30 AM
Stephen Cronin said…
Congratulations on making page 1. Here in China, you’re showing at position 9 without quotes and pos 8 with quotes.
I’m sure you’ll continue to climb. I’ve only been reading here for a couple of weeks, but it’s pure quality and you’ll be getting more and more backlinks…
In fact, I’ll be adding a link to this post. I recently wrote about smart pricing being related to advertiser conversion rate not CTR, but I only touched on it – this post is awesome and explains how it works in detail. Thanks – I am learning so much from you.
Regarding scrapers – a lot of them will actually strip links out of the content, so adding a link won’t work for all of them (but it will work for some). Those people on WordPress can use my FeedEntryHeader plugin to automatically add a link to the original post to the top of each feed entry. Won’t work for Blogger unfortunately.
January 19, 2020 8:41 AM
Newest on the Net said…
Thanks for the Smart Pricing explanation.
I was wondering if you could go through your archive posts and do a new post suggesting the order which we should read them. You have tons of information here. We should not miss out reading your older content. It could be like a course for us to work through.
January 19, 2020 9:17 AM
You’re showing up here in the UK at number 11 without quotes and 8 with, so congrats on that. Great post too grizz, I was starting to wonder if I could actually understand the smart pricing thing and now I do!
Just one question, do you keep all of your niche blogs in one account on adsense?
January 19, 2020 9:56 AM
Greetings from your neighbor the great lake state. I had you ranked at number 5 with quotes and number 6 without. In both instances you were right below “moo boy”. You are definitely on your way to meeting your accomplishment to reaching number one.
I also sent you an email a week or so ago with a web-link where you can check out your competitors site to see where their backlinks are coming from. Since I am new I thought this would be useful. Can you tell me if it’s an accurate tool? Thanks, and continued best wishes on your endeavour for number one.
January 19, 2020 11:05 AM
Grizzly Brears said…
Thanks for the update in China – you might be my first reader from there – very cool. Thanks for the plug in and as usual Blogger comes up short again!Lol. Thanks so much for dropping in.
Fred… If I was in any way organized I would have done what you suggest – I keep meaning to as I can’t find anything myself. My biggest concern is I need to re-edit some of the older posts as they are now obsolete in some areas as Google et al have made changes. It’s on my list but I haven’t a clue when I’m going to get to it. Thanks for reminding me how unorganized I am! Ha.
Hi Nick, It looks like Jolly Old England is being stubborn but “I shall never surrender…” As to your question I refuse to answer on the grounds that I may incriminate myself and Google doesn’t allow that. Of course if someone had let’s say 3 ISP’s, multiple computers and several mailing addresses along with a few business names to use, well… (They would have to be very very careful)
Right behind moo boy huh? Damn that’s stepping in a lot of cow sh.. oops, thought I was Vic there for a sec. Sorry your email must be buried in the avalanche that my inbox resembles – my appologies as I am losing ground with answering the mail – if only my bank account could fill up as fast. Leave a link for the program on here. I use SEO Elite for tracking backlinks – works great but it costs a few rubles. Sorry again about the email – to you and everyone else waiting.
January 19, 2020 4:37 PM
No problem about the email. I kind of figured you were buried. I didn’t want to throw a link on you comments section without your permission/approval. I checked out your site and noticed some 150 + back links.. Wow.. but I don’t know the accuracy of the site. Maybe after I build for awhile and turn a buck I will buy SEO Elite. Eitherway.. Keep up the great work.
January 19, 2020 6:56 PM
Grizz, in Texas I’m showing you at number 9 spot out of 10 on the first page, right below a Squidoo post.
January 21, 2020 8:20 AM
Grizzly Brears said…
That must be the squidoo supermom I nudged past – almost makes me feel guilty beating a “mom” – the shame. Lol.
January 21, 2020 8:28 AM
T. B. said…
I am in Iowa, USA and you are showing up at #9 on Google for make money online (without quotes) for me.
January 21, 2020 5:21 PM
Grizzly Brears said…
Now the trick is to stay on the first page! Lol
January 21, 2020 5:45 PM
Günter Zöchbauer said…
Google Toolbar allows to switch the used search location to check result in other counties
January 24, 2020 6:37 AM
Grizzly Brears said…
Thanks Gunter – of course I wouldn’t get many comments if I checked all the serp’s myself…. lol.
January 24, 2020 6:41 AM
Octopus Ice Cream said…
right, I have a quick question.
say I am going to have a local niche site about… cars (just an example) and I live in queensland australia. should I use queenslandcars…qldcars ? should you use the abreviated name or the full one?
April 03, 2020 6:55 AM
Adventures In Money Making said…
when creating a niche site do you always use blogger?
for example, if i make a site on Chicago DUI attorneys, will i have greater Adsense earnings on a hosted site or will blogger do just as well?
April 03, 2020 2:47 PM
Grizzly Brears said…
I would use the main keyword in your post title and blog title. Then use all the related keywords plus misspellings and abbreviated terms in the posts. When getting backlinks I would get links for all of the terms used.
April 03, 2020 3:45 PM
Grizzly Brears said…
I haven’t always used blogger – I have built mini sites for some affiliate sales products, websites in days gone by that I still have and some wordpress self hosted blogs but I have leaned towards blogger more and more as I have found I can do anything with them just as well as with any other platform. The only thing I find that they aren’t ideal for is “lead generation” sites and if I was to start a “social flagship” site I might want more flash and use a self hosted wordpress blog.
When it comes to simply making money though Blogger is perfect – the template is SEO friendly right out of the box (no pissing around with it), I can get them ranked on page 1 of the serp’s faster than any other platform, I can usually get the perfect keyword targeted URL, they are free and I can have a new blog up and bringing in traffic in 15 minutes when targeting a current event or new niche. They have a lot of advantages for the kinds of things I do. Remember I am not after readers – I am after search traffic and how the site looks isn’t as important as how it performs.
You might also like reading What I’ve Learned After A Year From My Niche Site Amazon Case Study
As for your second question – how you set up your blog and how well it is SEO’d will determine your adsense earnings – not the platform that it is on.
April 03, 2020 3:56 PM
Bill P said…
I know it’s a long time since the original post, but today (Sept 2 2020) I cannot find you for that keyword in the first 5 pages, either with or without quotes on Google UK.
Related Post - DSP – End of August Update – Adsense and Amazon Progress
However, Vic is position 38 (with “) and 43 without. I expect that will please you!
Thanks for all the great information.
September 02, 2020 4:09 AM
Thanks for the enormous information you’ve put up here. I’ve just started to read through.
My question: why just one topic for one blog?
Can I have a multiple interest blog, reflected in the name and URL as 4-5 keywords and still make money (i.e. make Google happy)?
You might also find the following article interesting: End of January 2012 Report – Coffee Niche Site Amazon Case Study