Today’s post contains a lesson that I wish I had known when I started building niche sites. If you are just starting out, you should target multiple low competition (and invariably low traffic) keywords. But why?
1. Learning Curve
In my opinion, niche site building is more of an art than a science. We can spend all day estimating income and cost implications, but accuracy in those estimates is hard to come by.
And if we are calling niche site building an art, consider this – when someone picks up a paintbrush for the first time, are they capable of creating something like this?
No – they’re not. Their work will probably look more akin to this:
So when it comes to link building, don’t start off trying to recreate the proverbial Sistine Chapel. Begin with something simple, and work your way up.
Here’s an irrefutable fact – when you are first starting out, you will make plenty of mistakes. I would rather make a mistake on a relatively inconsequential keyword (having spent less time working on it), than a competitive keyword that I have poured an enormous amount of effort into.
2. Time And Motivation
Link building is a thankless task in the short term. When I first started out, I was rather skeptical about the whole concept of niche sites. I had read Pat Flynn’s niche site duel thoroughly and was excited by it, but that did not really dampen the voice of doubt in the back of my head. And for several weeks, whilst I spent hours creating content and building links, I had no real way of knowing if all of my hard work was going to pay off.
It is tough to work at something when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the end, it took me just under 3 months to hit #1 in Google for the primary keyword of my first niche site. Now I don’t know about you, but 3 months is a long time to work when you’re fueled just by the hope that you will have some success.
So do yourself a favor – pick yourself a few easy keywords to get started on. You will quickly get a “feel” for the process and will also be encouraged by positive results early on. I’m not necessarily talking about #1 rankings, but just seeing your numbers climb for a few different keywords puts you in a frame of mind where working hard for your rankings doesn’t seem like such a chore.
3. You’ll Discover More
You can only learn so much from targeting one keyword. When you are targeting multiple keywords across multiple pages, there is a lot more scope for increasing your knowledgebase. And ultimately, when it comes to SEO, your knowledge if your asset.
4. It’s Easier – In More Ways Than You Think
Yes, I know I said 3 reasons, but another valuable reason was put forward by Justice Wordlaw IV in the comments section. Thanks Justice!
If you rank for low competition keywords first, it will be easier to subsequently rank for related high competition keywords. Think of it as building a house – if you rank for some low competition keywords first, you are setting solid foundations. If you go straight for the high competition keywords, unless you are really experienced in link building, you’re building on foundations of sand. Targeting low competition keywords gives you a solid base from which to build upon.
How Did You Start Out?
Did you pick multiple keywords when you started out? Or did you focus on just one, like I did? Let us know in the comments section!