Are you ready to put yourself out there on the Internet? Looking for a way to market your products or services better? Maybe you’re launching a new blog and want to build a following. Whether you have commercial interests or just want to share your vision with the world, you’re not alone. Some estimates suggest there are two new blogs created every second—that is more than 170,000 new audience seekers every day vying for an active audience. Don’t despair, there are ways to reach your audience and attract visitors to your new business venture, despite the flooding of the market.
Have you heard the expression, “If you build it, they will come,” from the once popular movie Field of Dreams? While that might be true of baseball diamonds, it doesn’t necessarily apply to websites and blogs. The first thing you must do to have a successful online presence is toss the clichés and find your niche. You may think you have the best jewelry every created, but doesn’t every jewelry designer? Carving out your space on the Internet is totally dependent on establishing yourself as original and non-stereotypical. Your niche is that spot that fits your personality, your message and your audience is a unique way—and it is crucial to developing a successful Internet presence.
Identify Your Niche
If you think about the Internet as a city, your niche is like a selective bedroom community. The residents—guests or customers—could be golfers, retirees or professionals with young families. They share your passion and have a need for your product or service. Keep in mind that the need might be emotional or physical—so both sports equipment and raising money for common causes are needs in your niche.
According to most experts, establishing your niche involves finding a market need and then filling it with products and services you are passionate about. You could also share expertise with blog followers. Unlike billboard advertising or mass marketing, where the goal is to catch a few of the people who see your message, you are focusing on attracting a group of people that are looking for what you have to offer.
First Things First
If you need help discovering your niche, start by making a list of things that interest you. This list can be converted to blog topics or inventory for your business. Think of services that are absent or limited in your professional field. Consider products that would make life easier, more exciting or challenging for groups that interest you. There are a few things to avoid at this stage.
- Don’t be a copycat. Originality is crucial to successful niche marketing.
- Know your competition. Research other people that are offering something similar. Look for things on websites that appeal to you. Make note of things that offend or seem incongruent with the message as a whole.
- Know more than your customers or guests. If you have a passion, but limited knowledge, you won’t be able to give your followers anything of value. Once you attract people to your site, you must be able to engage them.
Research First: Creating Your Opportunity
Before you finalize your plans and choose your domain name, consider some advice from William Burnell, a contributor for ArticleSnatch.com. Burnell encourages his readers to research their ideas with Google Adwords keyword tool. Using your list, you can find information about frequency of website visits and the number of competitors you are facing. To get familiar with how the tool works, type in the items on your list and play with variations of the words. If you are considering shoes try typing in shoes, shoes for rent, purple shoes or other variations to see how changing the keyword changes the level of competition.
Naming your website or blog should tell people what you offer. Be selective. Once you have determined your niche and chosen an appropriate domain name, it’s time to start attracting your followers. Rather than trying to capture an audience and hold them hostage, the idea is to engage your neighbors in conversations that will lead to sales or encourage them to return for your next post.
Connecting With Your Audience
Beyond drawing people to your website with keyword rich content and precision niche analysis, the Internet provides unlimited potential for reaching out to those people that are looking for you. Social networking sites are excellent tools for spreading the news that you have arrived. The option to email large videos with blog collaborators can close the gap between you and readers and give them a way to access video quickly and securely.
Forums and messaging boards give you space to open dialog with other like-minded consumers. Mystery shoppers visit sites like volition.com to discuss working conditions. Others may choose to join groups on LinkedIn. Developing a robust directory of places to post your content will help you expand your territory. Caroline Gaffney of LinkedIn recently posted that the company hopes to be the “go-to destination to discover and discuss what matters to you, your industry and your professionals (sic) network around the world.”
Whether you’re trying to garner support for a special project or convert website visitors to loyal repeat customers, finding your market niche has the potential to expand your territory exponentially. After you have established your niche, take the time to find appropriate avenues to connect frequently with your circle of potential supporters. Then respond to what tell they you.
About Author: Cameron Tyler uses file transfer services like http://www.yousendit.com to market his blog efficiently.