Niche Blogging or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Market Fragmentation

Due to the intrinsic nature of digital technologies and platforms the process of communication has fundamentally changed. The digital world has five characteristics: speed, adaptability, adjacency, scale and precision (Brinker, 2016). These five characteristics inherent to digital communication have forced the very nature of marketing to adapt, to become helpful and relevant or be ignored by Consumer 2.0 and their self-determined, fragmented markets. 

Niche Blogging and Its Benefits 

In her article “How to Start a Niche Blog (And Why You Should)”  Julie Neidlinger makes the argument that there are two types of blogs: lifestyle or niche. Julie further elaborates the benefits of starting and maintaining a niche blog, for both the creator and the reader of niche blogs.

Julie perceives niche blogs to be superior to lifestyle blogs due to their nature, focusing upon a niche topic forces a blog to become more relevant, purposeful and sharable while increasing reader’s trust and perception of authority due the narrow their narrow scope. This effect also compounds it fulfilling reader’s expectations since they know what to expect from a content creator, helping them to be more engaged. Due to these factors, niche blogs are easier to monetize, since affiliate selling or advertising will be relevant to the topic that the blog focuses upon.

Julie also proposes that niche blogs are easier to grow and maintain for content creators since they’re focused on a single topic or theme, meaning that the content creator does not have to perpetually search for new ideas or topics but could easily comment on the latest trends or news. The focus on a niche topic also helps to deepen the content creator’s understanding of a topic, allowing for new connections and modes of thinking.

Julie also explains the steps to starting your own niche blog:

  1. Decide to write about one of your passions – something that you can remain engaged with and committed to creating new content regularly.
  2. Decide whether your niche blog will focus upon a short-term trend that may lose favour or concentrate on a topic that will endure. 
  3. Decide whether you will monetize your niche blog and how you will do it. 
  4. Find and research a keyword niche that will be relevant to what you want to write about. 
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Consumers have escaped the tank of asymmetric mass media broadcasts, instead they now follow their own niche interest, only engaging with content that is personally relevant, helpful and engaging for them – where they want, when they want. 

 

The Mechanics of the Digital World

I agree wholeheartedly with Julie’s assessment of niche blogging, especially for its relevance to engaging consumers in the context of utilising an inbound methodology for digital marketing. Focusing upon a niche topic is essential for any search marketing efforts, as well as building authority and trust with your target market. “Content has become the currency of the digital world” (Ryan, 2017) and provides an important value exchange with consumers. Niche blogging and content creation also provides brands with the opportunity to open a dialogue with their customers, helping brands to: better understand their customers and their needs, receive feedback, deal with negative PR and possibly foster innovation through co-creation. 

Consumer 2.0

In “Understanding Digital Marketing” Damian Ryan argues that Consumer 2.0 actively filters the media that they consume, ignoring what they don’t find relevant, they expect information to be: aggregated, categorised and delivered to them. Ryan also posits that since consumers can almost infinitely and instantly indulge their personal interests along with the ability for individuals anywhere to connect and communicate has caused markets to fragment exponentially. 

Digital Dynamics 

According to Scott Brinker, the digital world has five unique characteristics that have allowed for the blossoming of content creation and consumption. These characteristics must be leveraged for effective digital communications.
  1. Speed: communication can happen faster than ever before.
  2. Adaptability: content can be published or changed as quickly as it can be produced.
  3. Adjacency: there is no true concept of distance in the digital world, only how many clicks or keystrokes before you find what you want. 
  4. Scale: your content can be consumed by 1 to 1,000,000,000 people.
  5. Precision: digital channels are the most precise when quantifying actions or targeting consumers.

Due to the digital medium’s very nature, it is essential to create purposeful, focused and valuable content that genuinely helps people as a modern marketer. Niche blogging, connected to your brand’s website is an essential facet which will decide whether your digital marketing will be relevant to your target audience and provide genuine value to them, or if it will be a situation asymmetric communication – not a sorely needed dialogue. Marketers must be: engaging, useful, relevant and focused on helping their customers by providing value. 

Some resources to consider: 

http://www.copyblogger.com/blog/

https://inbound.org/

https://www.sproutcontent.com/blog

References: 

 

Brinker, S. (2016). Hacking Marketing. 1st ed. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, pp.15-23.

Neidlinger, J. (2017). How To Start A Niche Blog (And Why You Should). [online] CoSchedule Blog. Available at: https://coschedule.com/blog/start-a-niche-blog [Accessed 19 Jun. 2017].

Ryan, D. (2017). Understanding Digital Marketing. 4th ed. London: Kogan Page, pp.15-20.

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