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Hey Reader — it’s Joe (Niche Campus)
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I’m sure you’ve felt it.
Or at least seen it.
The Helpful Content Update has ripped apart the ‘niche site’ community.
With all the craziness, I’ve seen people’s whole income drop by half or worse, and some get so frustrated during the back-and-forth conversations that they’ve decided to leave the public niche community altogether.
Yeah, I’ve felt the drops, too, but I’m kind of built to expect it these days.
I’ve been reviewing other people’s niche sites to help them with recovery.
And one thing is certain…
Too many ‘niche site’ builders are putting together blogs like it’s still 2005.
I have 3 tips for you that I think you should take to heart if you want to stop appearing like a spam engine to Google.
Tip 1: Give IMMEDIATE value to your reader, then intrigue them for more
For the sweet love of all that is holy and remains to be right with the world, stop wasting your user’s time.
If a reader has landed on your article, you should be treating them like royalty and give them what they want.
At the end of the day, the internet is like having your cake and eating it too for the user, in the billions of searches per day.
That’s ’cause if they get even momentarily frustrated on your blog, they can quite easily jump back to the SERP and find another one.
Users KNOW that there’s likely to be another site with the same information as you.
Because that’s what Google has rewarded for far too long, differently summarized content of all the same knowledge.
If the user lands on your blog, give them what they came there for as fast as possible.
So if it’s a specific Q&A query, then give them the top-level answer right away inside the introduction.
And don’t write a fluffy introduction at all.
If you want them to stick around after getting the top-level answer, find ways of building intrigue by giving them 80% of the answer but holding back the extra sweet 20% that is the fascinating part for later in the article.
Similar tactics are worth considering for any articles that aren’t Q&A, too.
Is your article about the best lawn mowing services in a particular area? You could give them all options in a numbered list during the ‘introduction’ section with jump links to the appropriate headings to learn more detail.
Is it a roundup or review on products? Give your opinion upfront and make it short and snappy and leave the door open for why you came up with your opinion.
Tip 2: Quit spamming the reader with affiliate links before they get to value
A problem I’ve noticed, which is another abuse of the users’ attention, is to spam affiliate links high up in the article.
If you’re specifically writing a product review, have a summary inside the introduction, then yes it probably makes sense to give them a link to buy the product.
But in a clean and unobtrusive way.
It’s fine to give users an affiliate link where it makes sense, but absolutely not while “hiding” it in any sense.
That means it’s a pretty bad user experience when you’re adding an affiliate link over text which could be mistaken for an internal or external resource link.
If there’s any possibility of the user thinking “oh maybe I’ll learn something more about.. crap it’s just Amazon” then you’re giving them a bad time.
And you’re going to get a penalty for it.
Whether it’s from the experience metrics (Google knows) of your users because you send them to Amazon before even giving them any helpful information or a manual penalty.
It’s only a matter of time before you get considered spammy.
Tip 3: Use your unfair advantage with every piece of content you make
My final tip this week is that many niche site owners are building blogs which don’t have any unfair advantage over another site.
I define unfair advantage as having some uniqueness to offer that any other site would have real difficulty in replicating or improving upon without straight-up copying.
And this doesn’t have to mean “I am a certified personal trainer,” either.
What matters most is how you use it.
I review plenty of niche sites and there is a common negative among them.
I’ve been at fault of this, too, because as bloggers we feel the need to publish content as much as possible, as fast as possible.
That negative commonality is being unoriginal or not offering something unique in the creation of the content.
Put another way, ask yourself:
If the answer is yes, then what’s the point of publishing the content?
Topical coverage? Topical authority? Fresh content?
Remember that written content is now one of the cheapest commodities. The words on the page aren’t worth much of anything anymore. All thanks to AI.
UNLESS there is something about that content which is delivering unique, original, information-gain to the internet.
Is there some way you can research better than anyone else that allows you be actually different?
Can you create multimedia that is of a high-quality and difficult to replicate that again has original research?
Yes that means original photos and video; but also with something special that others will struggle to replicate.
If you don’t have either of these things for a piece of content, you should seriously question yourself on publishing it.
All in all, my message to fellow niche site builders is this:
Stop creating niche sites like it’s 2005. Publishing content to cover a topic area is not the bar anymore, there needs to be something more.