One of the common themes you will encounter when you watch blogging YouTube tutorials or read articles on niche blogging is usually the following:
1 – Niche research, pick a topic you are passionate about
2 – Find a good, brandable domain name for this topic
3 – Set up a WordPress site on the domain, then start writing articles
After much research and reflection, I am starting to believe this is bad advice. There’s nothing wrong with taking this route, but if you want to maximize your time, money and energy, there is a much more efficient way.
Times have drastically changed since the early days of the Internet in the 1990’s. Back then social media didn’t exist and everyone created a website first. Read on and you will discover a new technique that will save you money on domain name registrations as well as prevent you from wasting your energy on a niche nobody cares about.
Also, starting on social media first will bring results faster than a brand new website. A new website takes time to build trust and receive traffic on Google. It can take months or even over a year for traffic to start coming in using the old way.
The following is what I think is a better way to go about this for the year 2020 and beyond…
Here it is in a nutshell:
1 – Do your niche research – explore your passions, interests, skills, etc. Build a master list or idea bank of your favorite niches.
2 – Research your favorite niches. Spend some time Googling and scouring social media for blogs, Facebook groups, hashtags, social media accounts, subreddits, etc. that match your favorite ideas. Try to narrow your top ideas to match ones that you are excited about but also appear to have a lot of existing activity online.
For a good intro to this topic, check out our article titled “How to Find Your Perfect Niche Site Idea“.
3 – When you feel ready, go ahead and pick one of your favorite niches. With the new 2020 technique, you initially don’t have to worry about getting a domain name or going through the tedious process of setting up a blog. When you have picked a niche, proceed to step 4.
4 – Now the fun part. Pick one of your favorite social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Medium, etc. and create an account that matches your niche. Facebook is probably the best way to go as they have the largest user base and allows you to create a group on just about any topic for free.
5 – Optional Step – If you really think your idea may be a good one, go ahead and buy a domain name that matches your topic, is brand-able and easy to remember. No need to set up a WordPress blog on it, just park it. If your Facebook group/YouTube channel or whatever you set up starts taking off, THEN start your website. Also, when you are in this early process it’s a good idea to pick a name that has exact matching social media names that are the same as the domain name.
It won’t take you too long to figure out the signals that indicate you are on the right track. Once you get the hang of it and feel confident you have a good idea, be sure to reserve matching social media names on other platforms.
6 – Advertise your social media group or account – Now the fun part begins. Create some content on your Facebook group, YouTube, Instagram or other account and do some testing. One of the old school and out of date techniques used in the past was to simply advertise your website hoping for a sale directly from the ad. The new way of doing things is pretty much the opposite. Instead of advertising your site, advertise your content. Give value first and you will quickly be able to tell if there is interest in it or not. You can get a pretty good idea on a low budget of $20 or less. By spending a few bucks on advertising you can potentially save yourself months of time and frustration by trying to get “free” traffic.
Now you may be thinking… “but I don’t have control of my account/content on social media!”. Yes, this is true. But the overall initial goal is to simply test your idea in the market to see if it is viable. If your idea takes off, you can slowly steer your audience to your website… with a healthy balance of giving value on social media.
If you want to dive deeper into this philosophy, you should check out George Kao’s YouTube channel. Here’s one example: