How To Tackle Competitive Blogging Niches

If you can break into them, creating a blog in a competitive niche can be extremely rewarding. Competition is a sign of a healty market – there is money being spent left and right and there are likely a ton of different products to promote.

However, where there is money there are savvy marketers and entrepreneurs looking to collect it. You’ll have a harder time breaking into a competitive niche, but it’s certainly possible. For those looking to build a long-term business, working in a competitive market such as health, wealth, or dating can be a great choice.

Here are 5 easy steps to succeed in a competitive market.

1. Collect Emails

First and foremost, you’ve got to be doing something to retain your visitors. Everything else on this list is pointless if you do not keep your visitors returning over and over again.

Acquiring visitors in competitive niches can be very tough. You probably won’t be ranking high in Google right away. Search engines aren’t going to send you thousands of free visitors. You have to go out and get them on your own. And if you want any chance of making money from these visitors, you’ll have to keep them coming back over and over again.

Collecting your visitors emails is the easiest way to accomplish this. If you use a service like GetResponse, you can set up an autoresponder which will automatically send out pre-written emails at set intervals, which you can use to feature the best posts on your site. You can also send out emails whenever your newest post is published to bring your audience back to you.

See: 25 Guaranteed Ways To Increase Your E-Mail Opt-ins

Every loyal, engaged visitor you retain is another person visiting your site each week.

2. Ignore SEO – Focus On Networking

One of the biggest mistakes newbies can make early on is focusing too much time on SEO. This is ESPECIALLY true when you’re working in a competitive niche, because chances are your blog isn’t going to rank anyway. It’s not your fault – there are plenty of well-established big players already and they’re untouchable for now.

It’s far better to focus on networking with other bloggers in your niche (and since you’re in a competitive one, there will be plenty of others for you to work with.)

Comment on their articles. Send them emails.

Guest post on their site. Take advantage of their established audience, and bring some of their visitors back with you. Retain these visitors by getting them on your email list.

One great thing about networking is that it boosts your search engine rankings anyway. Working with other bloggers will net you the natural, high-quality backlinks that Google loves. Over time, these will add up and you may actually start ranking for some long-tail keywords. And as I’m sure you’re aware, rankings are truly a case of ‘the rich get richer.’ Backlinks lead to more backlinks that you don’t even have to work for – if your high quality content gets ranked, it’ll attract backlinks from sites you’ve never even heard of.

Don’t think of your competition as competitors. You are not working against them. You are working to make the most amount of money possible. Working with other bloggers makes your job a heck of a lot easier.

3. Find Traffic In Different Places

This isn’t 2005. You can’t just put something on the internet and expect people to flock to it, because it simply won’t happen. Again, you’ve got to go out and find your visitors. If you don’t, they may not ever find you.

Don’t just spend your time focusing on one method however. Diversify. Post on relevant forums. Create YouTube videos that link to your site. Go wherever your visitors are, and bring them back with you.

If you’re looking to build traffic to your site, I highly recommend signing up for my 7-day traffic building course. You’ll learn 7 different ways to bring free, long-term traffic to your site and then profit from all of those new visitors. Signing up is free so you’ve got nothing to lose.

Remember, you can’t make money without traffic!

4. Invest in Paid Advertising

One traffic method NOT mentioned in my course is paid advertising. If you’re in a competitive niche and you want to take off, one of the quickest ways to do this is by paying up.

My favorite method is PPC.

More specifically, sending clickers to a squeeze page to collect their email, where you can then direct them to your blog as well as market products to them.

I know parting with your money can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. The key with paid advertising is to get the maximum return possible for your money. As soon as you yield a positive ROI, you can scale it up and boost your profits quickly.

But how do you do this?

You’ll want to determine ASAP how much money you’re making off of your average email subscriber. This can be challenging early on, but it may be worth it to take a loss and jump-start this process.

As soon as you know how much your average subscriber earns you, you must then determine the average cost of acquiring a new subscriber. This will be dependent on the conversion rate of your squeeze page as well as how much you are paying per click.

Let’s say my squeeze page conversion ratio was 33% and I was paying 50 cents per click. That’d average out to $1.50 to acquire an email subscriber.

If I were making an average of $15 per subscriber, than it’d be extremely stupid not to spend more money on that ad campaign, bidding a higher amount per click to acquire new subscribers even faster.

It does take time to yield a profit, and you will have to do a lot of tweaking and testing. However, pay per click advertising is one of the easiest ways to grow your list and your blog audience extremely quickly, because it’s infinitely scalable.

Your competition’s only choice is to pay more.

5. Work Harder Than Your Competition

If you don’t want to pay more, you’ll have to work harder than your competitors.

As mentioned earlier, blogging really is sort of a ‘rich get richer’ system. Authority blogs will get traffic not only from Google, but from satisfied readers sharing their posts, referring their friends, and essentially advertising their blog for free.

You’ve got your work cut out for you, but this is actually a very good thing. It means that if you work hard, YOU can get a slice of the pie. YOU can become the authority.

Here’s the truth. The world’s best bloggers do not know much more than you. There is no super secret knowledge that makes them successful. They have just worked harder and longer.

We are all born knowing absolutely nothing about blogging and marketing. It pisses me off when people say that successful people are born and not made because that’s not true at all. Successful people are successful because they work hard to get to that point.

If you want to be successful, than do it. If you’re not willing to work hard, than don’t bother blogging – because someone else out there is willing to do so and is looking to kick your ass.

Good content is not enough anymore. You’ve got to actively market your articles, or all of your hard work writing them will go to waste.

Conclusion

While competitive niches can be some of the most rewarding to enter into, they also come with the most amount of work. You’ve got to work hard for each and every visitor and then retain them long enough to sell to them.

The money is there for the taking however, and you’ve just learned 5 effective ways to break into a competitive market.

I highly recommend signing up for my traffic building course below, which will go more in-depth on bringing people to your site. If your competitors know this information and you don’t, you’ll be at a huge disadvantage.

Finally, if you have any of your own tips you’d like to share, do us all a favor and leave a comment telling us what you know.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

LEARN HOW TO TRIPLE YOUR WEBSITE TRAFFIC IN 7 DAYS!

About James McAllister

James is the owner of Help Start My Site. He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. Here on HelpStartMySite.com, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, like him on Facebook .

Comments

  1. Augustus
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi, James.
    I think the blogosphere is huge enough to accommodate more bloggers, no matter how competitive the niche is. The idea is to tweak the huge competitive towards some set of people (more targted audience) and you would have successfully created a popular blog in a highly competitive niche.

    Take for instance, am thinking of starting a fashion blog (this is the real deal right now), you would agree with me that the niche is damn dominated, but still I can always narrow it down by blogging about “gay fashion” or something small within the competitive market, I can even go deeper by blogging about “gay social/professional fashion” the idea is sort of endless.

    I agree with our view on how important email list are, you know in academics the popular saying is “Publish or Perish” in blogosphere I think it is “Compile email list or die in penury”….

    In all, this is a great post. Thanks for sharing.

      (Quote)

    • Hi Augustus! Good to see you again.

      I agree with you, people freak out about competition or the fact that there are others in your niche when really there’s not much to fret about. Unless you’re relying solely on SEO, you can still build up a good traffic base and make a good income from your site.

      Building a site around a sub-niche is a good idea and does a very good job at helping you retain visitors. When I originally started this blog I had planned to cover more aspects of making money online, but decided to narrow it down to just blogging. Now there are even a lot of sub-niches in there as well, but I certainly have a much easier time retaining an audience when I decided to focus.

      Truth is, most of us do not have the time or the money to try and cover an entire market on our own. When we drill down further, its easier to become known as the “expert” on the subject.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Augustus!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…How To Quit Your Job To Blog Full Time (It’s Easier Than You Think!)My Profile

  2. Hi James

    Another awesome post indeed.

    I like your way of thinking that opportunities are mostly found in challenges. Those who are afraid of stiff competition actually afraid of competing with others. Such people should do a job and not the business.

    The tips you mentioned to be successful in a competitive niche are really useful and fully viable.

    Collecting emails means you are building a rock solid foundation of your customer base where you need not to worry about search traffic fluctuations.

    It sounds weird someone advises to avoid relying on SEO and give more time to networking and building a blog community. Once upon a time SEO was great gift when blogosphere was a town but now its a big city where to make your voice heard a small megaphone won’t work. One needs to have a big amplifier to expand his outreach.

    Thanks for sharing this thoughtful post

    Have a nice rest of the week.

      (Quote)
    Mi Muba recently posted…How to promote your blog by not blindly following 80:20 rule?My Profile

    • Hi Mi Muba!

      I agree that SEO isn’t what it used to be, especially for competitive niches. On one of my old blogs, over 90% of my traffic came from SEO, where SEO traffic makes up just about 30% of my traffic on this site. The rest of the traffic coming from other blogs, forums, social media, or my autoresponder. I am only just now starting to rank well for certain keywords and much of that is due to the networking I’ve done with other bloggers.

      Honestly, SEO isn’t something we can really control so I feel it’s best not to focus too much time on it, and instead look to other traffic sources that we can actually control. I see SEO traffic as a bonus rather than a target, and I think that’s the way it needs to be done in these competitive niches.

      Thanks for commenting Mi Muba, you have a good one too!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…25 Guaranteed Ways To Increase Your Email Opt-InsMy Profile

  3. Hey James,

    This post is not only wonderful but filled with CTAs that got me wondering if ever we can get everything working for us just as we planned!

    I agree with you on all the points you gave and was particularly in love with #2 which is ” Ignore SEO – Focus On Networking”

    You see, this is where I have found the meat in this post. When it comes down to niche blogging, there are bigger players and to start competing with them will be foolish so just as you rightly mentioned, the smartest thing to do will be to shun SEO at least to an extent and focus on building relationship with the already established key players in your niche. This is the one thing I enjoy doing and so far I have had no regrets doing it.

    James, you really hit the hammer just at the head of the nail by listing the following:
    1. Comment on their articles
    2. Send them emails
    3. Guest post on their site
    4. Take advantage of their established audience, and bring some of their audience to your blog.

    James, if you ask me, if one can implement the all four of this CTAs, then breaking through the boundaries of niche blogging would be a thing close to achieving!

    Again, you did an awesome post worthy of reading over and over again!

    Thanks for sharing James.

    Do have a wonderful day ahead 🙂

    ~Jackson

      (Quote)
    Jackson Nwachukwu recently posted…11 Sure-Fire Approaches To Getting Readers Click and Read Your Old PostsMy Profile

    • Hey Jackson!

      You’re spot on, and in the competitive health/wealth/dating markets that is how you grow quickly. I know it’s worked well for both of us as it has for so many others, and it still amazes me how many people discredit blog commenting and networking as a viable source of traffic.

      I still see networking as one of the easiest ways to skyrocket your traffic quickly. Plus, it’s just good to have friends that you can rely on, you’ll never know when you’ll need their expertise on something right? None of us specialize in everything, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses.

      Glad you share the same views Jackson, have a good one!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…Are You Updating Your Old Blog Posts?My Profile

  4. Hey James,

    Great post – it’s definitely so important for new bloggers to network, I’ve been learning that for myself whilst I’ve been trying to build a foundation whilst starting these out last couple of months.

    Emailing, commenting and chatting on social media with people more influential than yourselves is definitely a great way of getting your name out there.

    However, as an SEO by day, I can’t agree with the “Ignore SEO” tip. I think it’s vital to try and build up an SEO profile from the start. Otherwise, it’s like building a shop in the middle of nowhere. Sure, you can send free taxis and coaches to come and pick people up to visit you (networking) but once you stop running this free transport service, no-one is going to come anymore.

    However, building with SEO in mind is like building your new blog right next to a busy town. Sure, you’re gonna have to promote to get your name out there, but people will start to come naturally more quickly.

    There are SO many SEO techniques that can be actioned without a tonne of work, and it saves someone going back and re-optimising posts at a later date (and thinking about the traffic they could have got if they’d have optimised better from the start).

    Spotting this was nicely timed after you posted on Donna Merrill Tribe’s blog as I’ve just posted an On-Page SEO Guide. I swear this comment wasn’t intended as a plug, but to rather give my two cents 🙂

    Keep up the good work on the site! I’ve subscribed and will be back.

    Luke Jordan
    Intergeek

      (Quote)
    Luke Jordan recently posted…On-Page SEO Checklist: Your Complete 2015 GuideMy Profile

    • Hey Luke! Good to meet you and what a great analogy!

      The reason I don’t think a lot of time should be focused on SEO is that it’s a traffic method you have very little control over. Now this is different in less competitive niches, but in the health/wealth/dating markets a new site is never going to outrank many of the big players. Even those who are spending thousands of dollars a month on SEO services still do not come near WebMD (even for long tail keywords) when it comes to the health market, and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.

      I’m not to saying to discredit SEO completely – it can be very powerful when you finally start ranking. What I’m saying is not to focus hours upon hours chasing backlinks or tweaking your writing to stuff in more keywords, because it’s not really going to make that big of a difference as you’re not going to be ranking anyway.

      Now admittedly, I’m definitely not an expert on SEO but I did spend a lot of time on it early on and it never amounted to anything. I think it took me 3 months to get my first click to this site from search engines, and I’m only just now starting to rank decently. I have other websites where 90% of my traffic comes from search engines but those niches are much less competitive and I didn’t have to do a whole lot to rank.

      Finally, I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to rely on another company to bring people to your business. Google algorithm updates are so frequent these days that people are spending hours upon hours tailoring their content for search engines only to see their traffic wiped out overnight.

      I see SEO traffic as a great bonus but I would never, ever make it my primary focus for those reasons. That’s just my opinion of course.

      I’ll be checking out your guide here pretty soon, hopefully I can learn something new to implement. Thanks for your valuable comment Luke!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…Should You Use Email Pop-Ups? Do Pop-ups Actually Work?My Profile

      • Yeah, I’m absolutely not saying go out and compete (or not compete as it were) for competitive terms, but if you build your site with SEO in mind you’ll start to see results from longtail keywords much earlier and in higher volumes.

        With algorithms shifting more and more these days, it’s definitely all about building an audience – you’re completely right. However, if search visitors land on your site and you help them out, they’re likely to convert into subscribers. In a few years we’ll struggle more and more in search results so all about making the most of it whilst we can 🙂

        You seem to have blogging nailed and I’m much more confident on the SEO front than my writing ability which I’m sure is somewhat lacking compared to most, I’m sure we could offer each other useful advice going forward.

        All the best,

        Luke Jordan
        Intergeek

          (Quote)
        Luke Jordan recently posted…On-Page SEO Checklist: Your Complete 2015 GuideMy Profile

  5. Collecting those emails James makes all the difference in the world. People read their emails, whether they catch your latest posts and or newsletters after you send it out or a week later…they’ll be reading. Email collecting helps you stand out from the crowd. People may check social sites but the noise is often too much. People do check their emails and if you’re a trusted sender who provides only the best stuff you’re in, and you’ll rock that niche out.

    Thanks James!

    Ryan

      (Quote)
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…How My Most Horrifying Globetrotting Experience Taught Me the Most Profitable Blogging Lesson EverMy Profile

    • Hey Ryan!

      That’s a good point. I like to compare social media vs email to shouting out loud in a crowded room to vs. talking with someone privately one on one. Email allows you to get personal with your subscribers and that does wonders in terms of relationship building. And like you said, people do read your emails if you’re a trusted sender and it’s an incredibly powerful way to bring people back to your site or engage with them further.

      Thanks for stopping by Ryan!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…How To Quit Your Job To Blog Full Time (It’s Easier Than You Think!)My Profile

  6. Hi James

    Great tips – it took me a long time to understand that other bloggers in the same market-place are allies, rather than competitors.

    Our competition’s customers have the same interest, and having bought once, they’re likely to buy again. If I buy one book on dog-training, I’m a hot prospect for another doggie-related book. It’s probably more likely that I WILL buy something else, than that I won’t.

    Hard work is something I had drilled into me from an early age, so that comes easily to me! I find that the harder I work, the luckier I get. Don’t let anyone try to tell me that I’m lucky to be where I am today – much of it is as a result of the blood sweat and tears my parents put into their business year after year. Sheer persistence and “keep showing up” will be more than many are willing to do. Especially in the more competitive markets.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, Joy

      (Quote)
    Joy Healey recently posted…James McAllister InterviewMy Profile

    • Hi Joy!

      That’s absolutely right, which is why I work so hard to please my buyers. I would never promote a product I wouldn’t buy myself because I know that most money is made selling multiple times to the same group of people.

      I can definitely relate to your statement on luck as well. I get absolutely furious when people tell me I’m “lucky to be in the position I’m in.” Are you kidding me? Entrepreneurs like me and you work harder than everyone else and that’s why we’re successful. It sure as heck doesn’t come from luck. Luck doesn’t sell, bring people to our websites, or make us money. Action and work does, and there is no exception to that.

      You have a good one too Joy, nice to see you again!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…Is Passive Income From Blogging Really Possible?My Profile

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