Editor’s note: This post was written by Mike Hanski. He worked with many boring niches but got lucky to join Bid4papers as a blogger and content strategist, and now he writes about topics he really likes. Learn more about Mike on his blog, G+ and Twitter.
There is the only fact you should remember about your niche: it is not about boring topics, it is about boring content creators.
If you start crying about being cursed with such a “boring niche”, you are most likely do not know what to do to make it interesting for audience. And it is not a problem of the niche, it is your problem, isn’t it? The problem is your perception of this niche and your… laziness: you just do not think of what you, as a cool blogger and content marketer, can do to make this niche rock.
Are you constantly thinking of your niche being unpopular? Yes, who does actually care about coffee cups or car discs for example? But you perfectly understand how important a good blog is for a company if they want to connect with customers and spark the interest in their products or services; being a content marketer or in-house writer for a company that sells plumbs or pipes for example, you understand this niche is not as popular as computers or smart phones but it is the one you will have to deal with now.
How on Earth can you make plumbs interesting?!
Not inspiring enough, huh?
But the fact is, you can make this niche popular; everything you need to do is change your mind about it (don’t think of it being anything boring or disastrous) and follow some small tricks and strategies good content marketers use to deal with this “problem”.
Make It Your Secret Weapon
Have you ever thought of your “boring” niche as a unique one? Such a perception can make this niche really good for your as a content marketer:
- It is not a mainstream, so people are not used to it: they do not hear about it every day, they are not fed up with hundreds and thousands of blogs, posts and articles devoted to it; but people still need a good content, and you can give it to them – a unique content no other blog or website has to offer!
Your niche is your secret weapon: it helps you create a unique content with nothing but its existence.
- You have unique information, and you can use it for your content marketing.
- Even if there is some information on your niche on the Web, you can always re-purpose it in a new way, more attractive and interesting for readers.
- If your niche is not very popular among Internet users, it does not mean you can’t change the situation and represent information in a creative way.
To see how this process can be used in practice, you can check this article by Sean Smith for Copyblogger.
Your Survival Kit to Deal with Your Niche
NB! What may seem boring to one person is not to another.
Every problem is easier to understand and deal with if some real examples are provided, isn’t it? So, let’s take a “boring” niche and think what we, content marketers, can do to turn it into the topic of interest for thousands of people.
How about… cacti? Is this topic boring enough for you?
- Try a Six-Questions Technique
It’s easy indeed: just take six traditional interrogative words and come up with questions that come to your mind first. If we take a cacti niche, these questions could be the following:
- Who was the first person who decided to cultivate cacti, and what was his motivation?
- What can a cactus do to save your life?
- When is it good to use cacti for tequila?
- Where had the first cactus appeared?
- Why do you need to get a cactus today?
- How can a cactus influence your happiness?
Spend a little time and come up with questions that would be interesting to you if you were a reader. This technique helps you come up with some initial ideas for your future articles or blog posts on your “boring” niche.
- Broaden Your Horizons
If you are not sure what could be interesting for your readers to check about cacti, try to broaden your horizons a bit and come up with content ideas to reach a bigger audience. For example, you are not obligatory to write about cacti only, but think of interesting content on other topics related to plants, flora, gardens, flower beds and yards design, etc. Plus, you can always try a random word generator to learn something new and cure your vision.
- Find Questions Your Audience Is Interested In
Even if you consider cacti boring, it does not mean other people agree with you: you might be surprised how many people are interested in this niche and how many questions about cacti they ask on the Web. Just check different thematic resources to learn what your audience wants to know about cacti and what questions they use to find the information needed (you can use them as ideas for your future blog posts, too).
Where you can look for these questions:
- Quora: just check the search results for cacti; aren’t they enough to come up with several ideas for your blog posts on this niche?).
- Yahoo Answers: users look for answers to their questions here; it is a good research tool for possible blog topics.
- Wordtracker: enter keywords to learn what terms have high traffic and which ones it would be better to use to promote your niche.
- Thematic forums: people discuss their interests and share their experience here, so they can help you come up with several new (unusual) ideas to write about.
- Social networks: similar to thematic forums; check communities about cacti, profiles of some gardeners, etc.
- Brainstorming: write down every idea once it has come to your mind; don’t filter ideas even if they seem weird first, as you never know what topic will work out. For example you can write a post “Top 10 Most Unusual Quotes About Cacti” (doesn’t it sound weird to you? But people love quotes! Yes man, they really do) or use some other inspired ideas for blog posts.
- Think of Your Niche As One to Inspire, Not Sell Only
If you write for a company that sells cacti, it does not mean your posts should be aimed on selling only. Make your blog about cacti inspiring, bright and interesting for people to read; and even if they are not going to buy a cactus – they will visit your blog to find some interesting and useful info there. The idea is the following: the more often people visit a blog to find good content, the more chances are they will finally buy that damned beautiful cactus. Just try to write content without being too salesy.
- Use Humor
A humorous tone of your content can help you make “boring” topics more interesting to your audience. Don’t be afraid of writing some jokes or even use some funny Internet memes if they don’t detract from the meaning of your content. Such an approach helps you set apart from competitors and keep your readers’ attention and interest for a long time.
- Let Them See It
Being a content marketer doesn’t mean relying on words only. We all know a “picture is worth a thousand words” statement, don’t we? Tell your story via different charts, pictures, infographics – let your audience see it! As an example, just take a look at this infographic about bookshelves of famous people: it doesn’t apply to the direct niche of the website, but that fact didn’t prevent its content marketers from getting many reposts and comments on the Web.
- Write As You Talk
Yes, we all know that you understand your niche and know all its specific terms; but try to write naturally to make more people get what you are talking about. Make your posts easier to read, and you will increase your chances to attract new audience to your blog. Do not make your readers’ lives harder.
So, maybe you’d better not think of the entire world and all possible interesting niche but focus on a very specific problem for your very specific audience? And do that with passion and authority.