Day 2 Content Strategy for Niche Websites - Niche Academy by Fat Stacks

Below is day 2 of my Free Niche Website Course “Niche Academy”.

See Day 1: How to Set Up a Blog or Website and Select a Niche here.

Now that I’ve covered much of the blog start up technical details, it’s time to build and grow your site.

Don’t worry if you’re still trying to wrap your head around all the technical stuff.  Keep the previous email handy and you’ll get through it.  Every website owner and blogger has been there before.  If it takes a few weeks to get the ball rolling, no sweat.

In the meantime, I want to give you some guidance on what to write so you can start thinking about that.  It’s your content that will grow your site.

Before you settle on a website topic (aka niche), I strongly recommend you check out established websites on topics you’re considering.

Visit those sites and take note of how they’re set up, the topics they cover, images, navigation, videos, how it makes money, the email newsletter process – analyze everything.

I’m not suggesting you copy other sites.

I’m suggesting that you get ideas for your site that you can make your own.

How do you find great sites?

Just go to Google.com and type in various topics.

TIP:  A great way to find sites is to search for “best X websites” or “best X blogs”.  Replace X with the topic.

  • Example:  “Best personal finance websites”
  • Example: “Best DIY websites”

What you’ll get in Google are articles that list out what they think are the best websites for that topic.

Visit those articles and then check out the various websites that are listed.

After visiting 10 to 20 established, successful websites for any topic, you’ll get some understanding on how to go about building your site.

TIP:  I research “the competition” extensively before launching any new website.  I want to see what’s working and more importantly, what’s lacking and how I can contribute to the topic via my sites.

To get you started, below I’m setting out a laundry list of different types of content and articles that are popular and published by many sites.  FYI, some of the ideas below are more relevant to certain website niches.

12 Different Types of Website Content

1. Listicle

The listicle is an article that is a list of something.  An example is “10 best beaches in the world”.  Buzzfeed publishes a lot of these articles and it’s the foundation of its success.

2. How-to

If you know how to do something and can get photos of you doing it (and/or video), this is a terrific type of article.

3. Photo gallery

I use photo galleries extensively on 2 of my niche websites.  I also publish a hairstyles site that publishes photo galleries.  This works in visual niches such as interior design, beauty, cars, tattoos, etc.

4.  News

There’s trending news and news stories in most niches.  If you stay up-to-date in your niche, when a story breaks, you can cover it.  Some sites are “news” focused and only publish news.  I don’t run these types of sites, but it’s pretty popular.  An example is a niche site that covers a certain sport.  Most sports content is news.

5.  Product review

If you own products relevant to your niche, you can review them.  These can earn money if you provide an affiliate link to the merchant that sells them.  This is a very popular way to generate revenue from a website.  Look around your home; no doubt you own plenty of stuff you can review.

TIP:  An offshoot of the product review article is a “vs.” article, which is an article that compares 2 to 3 products.  These are very long tail in nature which I like because you can start getting a trickle of targeted traffic to your website fairly quickly.

6. Tips articles

This is a form of a listicle.  You can list out tips to achieve something.  An example would be “30 dining room design tips”.

7.  Checklists

I should do these because they can be popular and helpful, but haven’t gotten around to it.  However, you can easily create checklists for most topics.  Examples include “car buying checklist”, “moving checklist”, “spring cleaning checklist”, “house buying checklist”.

8. Interviews

Experts and other bloggers love being interviewed because it’s easy and free exposure.  What you do is put together a series of questions and then contact experts asking if they would like to be interviewed.  You can restrict it to one expert or multiple experts (usually called a round-up).

9. Personal stories

You can write about your personal experiences.  This works better in some niches such as travel where readers will be interested in your experience.

10. Best-of

You can put together the “best of” or “top 10” of pretty much anything.  If you include products, you can provide affiliate links for revenue.  But it need not be products.  It can be movies, locations, services, websites, etc.

11.  Curated content

Curated content is when you take a little bit from multiple pieces of content on the web and create a comprehensive article.  It could be “25 cleaning hacks” which could include YouTube videos (which you’re permitted to embed on your website), snippets from other bloggers, etc.  Just be sure to give attribution with a link crediting the source.  FYI, you don’t need to give attribution with embedded YouTube videos.

12. Definition articles

Some concepts are complex and so what I call “definition articles” can be a great type of content.  I’m not talking about starting a dictionary.  I’m talking about writing in-depth articles that explain more complex concepts.

Example:  What is a niche website?

That alone would make up an entire article.

13. Go Advanced

Check out my list of 21 content enhancers.  These are really good ways to make your content even better.

 

How to Get FREE Content for Your Niche Website

When it comes to content, you can write it yourself, hire writers or writing services or use my method for getting plenty of free content.

Fill in your email in the box below to learn how I get thousands of dollars of free content for my niche sites.  Please keep in mind you’ll probably still have to write some yourself or pay for some content, but this method is a great way to get plenty of excellent content for nothing.  I do this all the time for all my niche sites.

Where to Pay for Content

There are loads of content writing services available.  I’ve tried many of them.  I actually set out most of them plus other content sources here.

My current top 3 content writing services are:

  • Human Proof Designs:  I use their Premium article packs for product oriented content such as “vs.” articles and product galleries (organized via various product themes).
  • Word Agents:  I use Word Agents for info-focused articles.  These articles are usually fairly lengthy.
  • Content Refined:  I also use Content Refined for some longer form content.

I’ve found some services do better in some niches than others.  It may be a bit of trial and error for you to find the best content source for your website.

If you have the budget, hiring an in-house writer who writes full time for your niche is a great idea as well.  I hope to give this a shot soon.

Content Formatting

You can go crazy with formatting or keep it simple.  I do both.

By going crazy, I mean using a page builder such as Thrive Architect to make your content look amazing.  I do this for some content while for other content I just keep it simple and use the default WordPress visual editor.  An example of a custom page I created with Thrive Architect can be seen here.  In fact, I typically create really nice custom pages that serve as index pages and then the sub-articles that are linked to from the index page I create in the default WordPress visual editor.

Important content formatting tips:

1. Use Heading tags

I recommend using a lot of headings and assign proper tags to them.

Here’s how I structure heading tags which in html look like <h2></h2> and so on.

  • Article title:  Heading 1 (most WordPress themes do this by default).
  • First main heading:  Heading 2
  • Sub-heading:  Heading 3
  • Sub-heading (b):  Heading 3
  • Sub-sub-heading (i): Heading 4
  • Sub-sub-heading (ii): Heading 4
  • Second main heading: Heading 2

And so on.

2. Lots of white space

Avoid long paragraphs.  Instead, split your paragraphs up into small chunks.

Also, if you have an article with lots of sections, consider inserting dividers to further break it up.

If you use a page builder, you can add all kinds of snazzy visual effects such as content boxes, tables, etc.  I reserve this for my most important content, but if you’re particular about the design of every page on your site, by all means use a page builder for every page.

FAQ

Should you write your own content?

Yes, especially when starting out if you don’t have a budget to pay for content.  An exception to this would be if you are not a good writer.

I find it’s very helpful to write at least one article for any particular type of content so that I can use that as an example for writers I hire.

I still write content.  I write most content for Fatstacksblog.com.  I write an article here and there for niche sites.

Do you have to be a good writer to succeed as a niche site publisher?

No you don’t.  You can hire good writers and pay for good content.  That’s no problem and is done all the time.

How much should you pay for content?

Good content will cost you.  It does me.

Expect to budget $45 to $100 per 1,000 words for decent content.  I typically spend $60 per 1,000 words.

How long should your content be?

It should be long enough to cover the topic extensively.  That may be 400 words or 4,000 words.

If you can’t get 400 words or so on a topic you might consider combining that topic with another article.  You don’t have to if super long tail or that content is combined with other media such as a photo gallery; however, if just text and you struggle to get 300 to 400 words, perhaps it’s a good idea to add to another article or expand the topic.

How often should you publish content?

In the beginning, you want to get a good number of articles on your site.  20 to 30 is a good first phase goal.

After that though, it really depends on the scope of your niche and how you want to go about getting traffic.

Here are two approaches:

1. Focus on fewer keywords and rank them fast:  One approach is to go into a narrow niche and focus on a few quality keywords.  This requires a lot less content, but chances are those are more competitive keywords so you’ll have to invest time and/or money in backlinks.  20 to 30 pages could make up the entire website.

2. Go broad and publishing lots of content:  If you prefer building a large site covering plenty of content going after lots of long tail keywords, you will publish content more frequently on an ongoing basis.  You’ll likely post frequently to social media channels as well and in time your aim is to attract natural links to your long tail articles and slowly rank for many long tail keywords which will grow your traffic.

Can you do both?

Of course.  If you have the budget, you can simultaneously try to rank for more competitive keywords and publish lots of content targeting long tail keywords.

I hope this gives you some ideas to consider as you research your new endeavor.

IMPORTANT:  Whatever you do, focus on publishing really great content.  Make it the best you can.  Always think about what readers would want and provide that to them.

On the flip side, don’t strive for perfection.  You can always go back and improve your articles.  I do that all the time.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for a great post, Jon. I enjoy reading your posts as they reflect what I’ve been doing for the past couple of decades (successfully, or I wouldn’t still be doing that 😉 ). Quick question – you mentioned “a page builder”. Do you mean the WordPress plugin by SiteOrigin?

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