Niche Site Duel – Update #1: Tackling A Super Competitive Niche
I caved and decided to take on Pat Flynn’s niche site duel that he’s doing with Tyrone Shum and a handful of other bloggers (see the niche site duel page). I’m excited. Reading about some of the other niche sites in the duel, it seems like most people are taking on some low- to mild-level competition niches, which I think is great. In all honesty, it’s probably the smart thing to do.
I could do that, but I have an idea for a niche site within a super competitive niche that I’d like to tackle. I wouldn’t normally bother with such high competition, however, in the spirit of the duel, I want to push myself and make it public so that I’m held accountable for working hard at it.
Keep reading and I’ll reveal the niche, the site, and my initial thoughts about how I’m going to approach it.
The General Niche
Broadly speaking, the niche I’m going to tackle is the health and fitness niche. I know, I’m probably crazy. This niche is saturated with thousands of websites selling all kinds of products and services. In a niche filled with gimmicks, scams, and “too good to be true” offers, it’s probably going to be extremely difficult to break through. Furthermore, I will also be competing with thousands of articles from authoritative, legitimate health and fitness sites that probably dominate most relevant keywords.
Therefore, it probably makes sense for me to narrow it down a bit: home fitness. Still competitive, but slightly more specific.
Determining My Specific Approach
Because “home fitness” is still relatively broad, I need to figure out what angle I’m going to take. The reason this niche originally appealed to me was because I started working out with P90X about four weeks ago. For those who don’t know about P90X, it’s essentially a home workout program that lasts for 90 days and incorporates an awesome mix of muscular and cardio exercises. Realizing that it’s now a significant part of my life (a passion, perhaps), it makes sense for me to find a way to monetize it online.
Because this niche is competitive and it’s very uncertain whether or not a site in this niche will be worth my time (due to the level of competition), I want to do something that will have value to me. In other words, if I never make a dime from this project, I want to still get something out of it on a personal level.
Therefore, my niche site is going to be a blog that essentially follows my P90X progress, day by day. It’s going to get personal (i.e. there will be embarrassing shirtless pictures of me and a periodic update of how much I weigh). This blog (My4HWW) has done such a great job at holding me accountable for my online passive income goals, so it only makes sense that I create a device (i.e. the P90X blog) to hold me accountable for my health and fitness goals. With this approach, I will “win” regardless of whether or not I make money.
My Target Keywords
For this niche site, I’m going to target the following keywords initially. In parentheses are each keyword’s monthly search volume per Google’s Keyword Tool.
- P90X Review (12,100 searches per month)
- P90X Blog (2,900 searches per month)
- Home Workout Routines (12,100 searches per month)
As I build the site out more, I will likely target additional keywords (e.g. P90X equipment).
Analyzing My Target Keywords
Understanding search volume is one thing, but determining the competitiveness of your target keywords is another beast. To analyze the above keywords, I’m going to utilize Market Samurai (free trial link). As I’ve written about before, this tool is simply amazing when it comes to researching keywords and really finding out how to outrank your competition.
Before I can officially say that the above keywords are good ones to target, I need to analyze my competition from an SEO perspective. The SEO Competition feature of Market Samurai is great for this. Let’s first look at the competition for P90X Review.
“P90X Review” Competition
[Click to enlarge]
At first glance, I’m loving this competition. The #1 ranked site is on a domain that isn’t even a year old, and has a page rank (PR) of 0. Also, it only has 50 pages of indexed content (which I plan to exceed fairly quickly), and 153 backlinks pointing to the domain. Given the fact that this site is outranking older, higher PR sites that have more backlinks, I think we need to analyze this site’s backlinks. We can do that by clicking the little triangle next to the DA column.
Sure enough, this site has a ton of backlinks with anchor text that includes the keyword “P90X Review.” Let’s see how strong these backlinks are by doing a PR analysis:
Fantastic. These backlinks aren’t too scary – most of them are from PR0 sites.
“P90X Blog” Competition
I’m just going to show the main SEO competition analysis for this keyword. I’ll still look at the top sites in detail as I did above, but I’ll leave out the screen shots this time.
[Click to enlarge]
Much like P90X Review, this competition isn’t too scary. I wouldn’t expect to rank #1 for this keyword, nor is that my goal. The search volume is pretty low (2,900/month), so it’s better that I first focus on the other two keywords that receive a lot more traffic.
“Home Workout Routines” Competition
[Click to enlarge]
This seems like it’s going to be my most difficult keyword to rank for, judging by the older, and higher PR sites that dominate the top 12 results. I’m going to try my best.
Overall, I have my work cut out for me, but I definitely think it’s doable. I’m going to continue to monitor my competition and how I compare to them, using Market Samurai. As always, I highly recommend at least trying this software with the free trial, if you’re working on your own site.
Registering the Domain
Because my primary keyword is P90X Review, I’d like this to be the keyword that appears in my domain name. Obviously, all of the major top-level domains for this keyword were already taken, so I’m going to step outside the status quo here and try a domain type I’ve never tried before: .me.
I think it makes sense to use “dot me” because this is a personal blog (despite its commercial intentions). In case you haven’t heard much about the dot me domain, it’s been growing in popularity and some experts believe the dot me domain is strong. To quote from the linked article (thanks PPC Ian):
I’m a fan of dot me because it’s a domain that works organically! Over the last year, I have developed four of my dot me domains into several-page minisites. Even though it’s the ccTLD (country code top level domain) of Montenegro, dot me has been marketed as a big gTLD (global top level domain). Google has validated this marketing model and is ranking great .me sites in its US organic results. My dot me sites have been real winners!
Therefore, I was able to register P90XReview.me on GoDaddy for only $8.99. Even though I did reveal the domain of my niche site here, I’m intentionally not linking to it because I don’t want the link to influence the site’s backlinks and organic traffic (though you are more than welcome to copy & paste the domain and go to it directly – I’ll be “ignoring” direct visits when I look at traffic).
As a side note, I didn’t have to pay anything extra for hosting, as I’m using the Hostgator account I already have (which allows for “unlimited” domains and websites).
Here’s a snapshot of the site so far:
You’ll notice I’ve already started adding content to the site, but I’ll go more into detail about the type of content I plan to create in the coming weeks and months. Here are some other topics I plan to discuss, similar to the other niche site duel competitors:
- My backlinking strategy
- My monetization strategy
- Tips and tricks in a competitive niche
- Other topics, as I think of them
Stay tuned – this is sure to be an interesting competition.
Before you go, I’d love to hear what you think about the niche I selected, in the comments. Also, make sure to to subscribe to the RSS feed (if you haven’t already) so that you don’t miss any future updates!
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