In this episode, I’m talking about a topic that comes up often in my students-only Facebook group: feeling like all the good keywords in your niche are taken, meaning they have already been written about by highly authoritative websites and are now super difficult. So you have no idea what you could possibly write about on your site and actually rank.

You might be quick to blame it on the niche you chose, but 99% of the time, your niche is not the problem. The problem is the way you’re thinking about keyword research.

So if you’re in a rut and feeling like you have no shot to rank for anything in your niche, listen to this episode to learn some creative ways of looking for content topics to write about.

Looking for more tips and a community of like-minded peers? Join The Unconventional RD Facebook Community on Facebook.

Need help setting up your website? Join our FREE “How to Start a Website” tutorial.

Mentioned Links

Episode Transcript

Today. I Hop on and talk about something that comes up quite often in my students, only Facebook And that is feeling like all the good keywords in your niche have already been written about by highly authoritative websites and are super difficult. And you have no idea what you could possibly write about on your site and actually rank. 

And while many people who get stuck on I feel like it must be their niche. That is the problem that they must have just selected the world’s Niche. And they’ll never have a shot at building a successful blog around that topic. 99% of the time. That’s actually not the case. Most niches still have plenty of opportunity online. 

The problem is not the niche. It’s the way they’re thinking about keyword research. And yes, I do have a lesson in my course that goes into some advanced keyword research strategies to help you get out of any perceived ruts that you might be in. But most of the time, people hop into my students only Facebook group and end up asking this sort of question before they’ve actually watched that video in my course. So typically I’ll chat with them in the Facebook group, point them in the right direction. 

And then if they’re still stuck, I often demo some keyword research, examples and tactics in my monthly office hour calls as well. But for the sake of this podcast episode, I thought I would dive deeper into an example. I saw recently where someone saw their niche as being highly competitive and they were feeling stuck on coming up with good keywords to target. 

And I’ll flesh out how I would go about brainstorming topics in this niche To write about that. A newer website would have a realistic chance to rank for. And I know that keyword research can feel like a really foreign concept when you’re first starting out. It’s a lot to take in and you pick up a lot of nuance as you actually implement and write articles. And see what does well and what does it, so don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re just starting out, it’s definitely a learned skill and you will get better with practice. 

So my goal with this episode today is to help you think of some creative ways of looking for content topics If you’re feeling like you have no shot to rank for anything in your niche. And again, please note that I cover this topic much more extensively in my SEO made simple course. So this is just one small example of ways to find ideas, but there are tons, more practical suggestions inside my course. Again, that’s called SEO made simple, which you can learn more about by adding your name to my waitlist at 

Enrollment opens every few months, exclusively for people who are on my email list. So definitely add your name to the list. If you want to learn more. Okay, so let’s dive into an actual example. 

Erica: So I recently saw someone in my course say that they are in the heart health And this is a registered dietitian. So they’re trying to write about, nutrition and the heart health niche, and they are struggling to find keywords in key search that have a difficulty score under 40 to target on their blog. 

And at the time I’m recording this, I have not chatted in depth with this dietitian yet. So I’m just going to use hypothetical examples here on this podcast. With, places and things that I often see people getting stuck on when they’re doing keyword research. So for the sake of this example, we are going to pretend that this dietitian’s monetization goal is to get people, to sign up for a digital offering, like a course, a membership site. 

Or maybe even group coaching. So right off the bat, before we do any keyword research, we should understand How we hope to make money from our website so that we can be sure The right kinds of keywords. In this hypothetical scenario, this dietitian is following the online This model where she’s trying to sell something to her audience. So she should be looking for 

That will attract potential buyers in her niche to her website. So in this scenario, finding a super high volume keyword. Regardless of the topic, isn’t really the goal, finding hyper-targeted keywords in your niche that will bring the right people to you. Once you get that content to rank. Is what we’re going for. And when people are just starting out with keyword research, I find that they tend to be way too literal. So for example, if they are in the heart health niche, they open up their keyword research tool, like key search. Or some rash and they type in heart health into the search bar and they look at the results. 

And just to flesh this example out for the podcast I’m going to do just that. I’m going to go into key search since that’s the tool that a lot of my beginner blogging students And type in heart health, I’ll set the location to the U S and see what comes up. I’m going to sort the results by volume from highest to lowest. And as I scroll through reveal some of the difficulty scores that aren’t shown to see if there’s anything at all with a difficulty score under 40. 

And yeah, out of the 700 results, that key search pulls up. When I just type in heart health, there were no keywords with a search volume of at least a hundred searches a month that had a difficulty score under 40. So, this is what a lot of people do. They search for really generic terms in their niche, or like they literally just searched for the name of their niche. 

And all they see are solid walls of red difficulty scores staring back at them and they start to get frustrated. So there are a few ways out of this Honestly, my favorite method. It’s to sign up for a premium keyword research tool. so going beyond key search, even, it will make your life 1 million times easier. 

So unlike key search, which limits your search results to 700 initial results per search term, and only allows you to manually reveal the difficulty scores of a few hundred keywords per day. SEMrush gives you almost unlimited keywords and difficulty scores right off And allows you to immediately filter by volume and or difficulty without having to worry about using up credits per day. 

And just to highlight how much more effective it is. I’m going to use this exact same example of typing in heart health and looking at what comes up when you search in the related keywords tool. And so remembering key search the results that come up, they limit you to only 700 related keywords. I keyword ideas for anything you type in. So when I typed in heart health, it brought up 700 keyword ideas that they think are relevant. 

And only 466 of those had a search volume of at least a hundred. And key search is slightly different than SEMrush. They will show you keywords that they think are related to heart health, but don’t exactly, include the words, heart or health. So that’s why there’s 466 that had a search volume of at least a hundred. But then when we looked at the difficulty scores, none of them had a quote unquote easy difficulty score. So in reality, it doesn’t really get us anywhere. 

In contrast. If I perform that same search in San rash, it initially gives us 22,000 potential keyword ideas. When we search for the terms, heart, the term heart health, and in some rush, at least on the settings that I usually use, it will only bring up a keyword phrases that have the word heart and or health in them. 

It doesn’t have to be heart health together. It could be health, heart, or some other combination. But it, it won’t like bring up. Related topics that don’t include those words. So if you filter that. You can see how many keywords in SEMrush have a monthly search volume of more than 100 searches per month. 

And if we do that, we’re left with 283 keyword ideas. That specifically include the words heart. And then we can further filter that to only show us keywords that are considered easy within SEMrush. And when we do that, it gives us 90. 95 potential keywords that meet our criteria of being easy and still a decent search volume of at least a hundred searches per month. 

And again, compare that to key search who, when we tried to do the same sort of search and filtering. Uh, we had zero viable ideas. Now, of course not all 95 of these keywords are actually relevant. We still have to come through the list to see if any of them would work for our niche. But I mean, man. 

In like less than a minute. And we have a significant pool of viable keywords to comb through versus potentially hunting in circles on key search and possibly getting nowhere. So a few ideas that SEMrush was able to find that key search wasn’t included things like best wine for heart health, with 390 searches per month. I’m going again, these are all things that are considered to be, uh, possible to rank for, for more beginner blogger. 

Um, snap heart health review, which when you look that up, I guess snap, heart health. As like some sort of heart health supplement that maybe your audience would be researching and would Professional’s opinion on that search 210 times per month. Juicing for heart health and Valentine’s day and Health are two other ideas I stumbled across. And remember, this was for just the literal term quote. 

Quote unquote, heart health. So the first thing that I would consider doing, if you’re feeling stuck, like this is potentially Signing up for a free trial of SEMrush, at least once you feel like you have a good grasp of how to do. Do keyword research. And then doing bolt keyword research in SEMrush and exporting the good potential keywords that you find to Excel. 

So that you can keep that data on hand to reference throughout the year. Of course the search results change and the difficulty of keywords do change over time as more and more people publish content. But at least you’ll have a base of data to work from. And then you can spot check those ideas using the free SEMrush account or a lower price tool, like key search as you go on and kind of flesh out your content calendar. 

So, if you do want to sign up for a free trial of some rash, I totally appreciate it. If you would try it through my affiliate link at I don’t earn anything if you sign up from the free trial, but if you end up loving it and enrolling in a paid plan, which if you are serious about blogging and you plan to really go all in, I do think it’s worth it. It is on the pricier end. I think at this point, it’s at least $120 a month, um, for their plans, but I am enrolled in an even higher tier plan than that for my business. 

But I use it as well for like when I do SEO audits and things like that. So it does a lot of things beyond just keyword research. But highly recommend. If you do end up converting into a paid plan at any point, I would earn a commission on that. So thank you for your support. If you choose to go through my link again, it’s the unconventional 

But bringing it back around to the actual keyword research strategy, there’s more to it as well. So beyond just like what tool you’re using, I also comes down to like how you’re searching. So in all honesty, searching for something as generic as quote unquote, heart health is definitely not the best way to 

And good keywords in your niche. Nine times out of 10, just searching for the name of your niche is not going to bring you very good ideas. You need to get creative and the more deeply, you know, your niche, the easier this will be. What specific topics are people asking you about when you work with them? 

I guarantee they talk about so many more detailed topics than just generic heart health. Like for example, are they asking about high blood pressure? Are they asking you about omega threes? Are they asking about polyphenols? Are they asking about LDL cholesterol? Are they asking about nutrients that might be depleted by their medications? Are they looking for low sodium recipes? Do they need help when eating out? Do they want info on the dash diet, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. 

And these are all potential gold mines for keyword research, and none of those topics are going to come up. If you’re stuck, searching super generic terms, like heart health. So to continue to flush out this example, I would start by thinking about the main categories of content that you want to be an authority on, on your 

So let’s say my niche is heart health, and I tend to help people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and who are maybe at risk of heart attacks or who have had a heart attack and wants to prevent another one in the future. Obviously this niche is super medically and has a high potential to impact people’s health and wellness. So Google is going to be very picky about what sites it displays information from on page one of the search results. 

So you need to be very careful here not to overstep your bounds and start getting to medically. If you’re not a doctor or you don’t have a doctor affiliated with your Reviewing your content. Um, be sure to stay focused on diet related topics, since that is your area of expertise as a dietitian. So you will need. 

A lot of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness in order to rank for a lot of the bigger, larger topics in this space. And if you’re a newer blogger, you probably don’t have a shot at that yet. So we need to go niche. And the good If we are following that online business model that I talked about earlier. 

We don’t necessarily need super high volume keywords because it might be true that a lot of the higher volume topics in this niche are out of your league right now, but you can definitely still find lower volume keywords that will bring people who are interested in heart health. Right to your site. 

And then your goal would be to get as many of those people as possible to join your email list. So that you can continue staying in touch with them and providing value and hopefully getting a certain percentage to become customers of yours in the future. And then on the flip side, if hypothetically speaking this person in the heart health niche was not trying to sell something and they were interested in the publisher model. 

Uh, where they want to make maybe ad revenue or affiliate income from their site. And then yes, their goal would be to get as many pages as possible. Double in this In order to earn the ad revenue that in order to qualify for a higher end ad network like media vine, you need to have 50,000. And people essentially coming to your site every single month, just to get your foot in the door. 

Um, so in that scenario, this blogger would need to think very strategically about the Of content they’re publishing in order to reach those numbers. So let’s keep flushing out this example. So let’s pretend I’m not. A hundred percent sure. What main topics I want to write about on my blog. And I’m kind of open for letting the keyword research guide the structure on my site. 

Site, because remember we want to use data to help our sites succeed as quickly as possible. And not go into things with a rigid attitude thinking, you know, I know best. Like screw what the data says. Like, I want to write about this and I’m doing that’s probably not the recipe for, for success. If you’re trying to get traffic from SEO. 

Which again is traffic from people searching for things on Google. So I’m in for this example, going to use SEMrush from here on out, just because I prefer it much more over key search, but you can do similar research. As I mentioned on key search. Just, it might not be as comprehensive. So for the sake of this example, I’m going to use SEMrush. 

So I’m going to start out with a list of ideas I have, and I want to see what the competition and search volume looks like for different categories within the quote unquote heart health niche. So I’ll start just by looking up some broader categories. Trees to see what the opportunities look like. Maybe high blood pressure, high cholesterol. 

Well, maybe diabetes, Then maybe some bigger diet related topics. That I might talk about within those areas like low carb, blood sugar, fiber dash diet, low sugar, Mediterranean diet, et cetera, just to see what comes And my goal is to get a broader sense of what topics have the most opportunity. And then I can decide where to focus my initial efforts when blogging. 

I want to find a topic with a decent number of good volume. Volume low difficulty topics to write about. And again, what volume I’m specifically looking for? It does depend on my monetization goals. If I’m following a publisher model, then I’ll want to write about topics that have the highest volumes I can find within my realistic difficulty range. Maybe I sat in an internal goal. 

Of looking for topics that are searched at least 500 times per month, for example. But if I’m selling something in the heart health space, then I might be okay with. Targeting topics that are searched maybe only a hundred times per month. So let’s see, I’ll start by looking up high blood pressure. In SEMrush. 

That spits out 163,000 possible keywords. And include those words. But as And previously this topic is super medically and impacts a large number of people in the U S and the world. So. As a newer dietitian blogger, you probably won’t have a shot at most of the high volume, broader keywords, large authority sites are probably already 

These topics and we’ll have most of the spots on page one. There’s almost no chance You would overtake them with your content on a fresh blog. So, for example, for high blood pressure, the top. Top 100 highest volume keywords with high blood pressure in the search phrase. Range from the actual keyword, the like exact match keyword, high blood pressure. 

That is searched nearly 250,000 times per month, and it has a difficulty score of one. Out of a hundred. That’s totally insane. So that means like this, the keyword difficulty scores, our proprietary score is created by each And it’s their attempt at. Trying to quantify how hard it would be to get your piece of content on the first page of. 

The search results and it ranges from zero to a hundred, essentially. Um, and the higher, the number, the harder it. It would be too. Take one of the spots on the first page. So if you see something with a difficulty score of a hundred, it’s almost basically impossible. that means like really high authority, like medical sites are probably taking up every single spot on the first 

And again that’s because Google doesn’t want to take a chance and display incorrect information or fringe information on the first page for such a high volume standardized term that so many people would be looking for. So, like I said, the number one keyword that exact match keyword had high blood pressure is searched nearly 250,000 times a month with a difficulty score of a hundred. And then if I scroll down to those top 100 

The last result, the hundredth result. This is based on Uh, ranking it by search volume. That result is dangerous of high blood pressure. And that is searched roughly 3000 times And that one still has a keyword difficulty score of 100. And as you scroll through the first page of the results in SEMrush, they show you the 

100 keywords for high blood pressure. Based on volume, you can see that almost all the difficulty scores for these high volume keywords are in the high nineties or a hundred. There’s only one keyword on that list. Um, about dehydration and blood pressure that we may potentially have any sort of shot to compete with. So right off the bat, we’re like, dang. Okay. I am going to have to get way more niche year. 

So next step, I’m going to apply some filters to the data and just see what happens. So I’m going to filter it in SEMrush. So that it only shows keywords with a difficulty score of 50 or Uh, which would be sort of in some rush, what a realistic range could be for a newer blogger. And that brings us down from a hundred. What was it like 123,000 keywords down to 3,400 potential keywords. 

And it does also bring down the search volumes considerably as well. So most. The easier keywords are going to be lower volume. Most likely because the larger authority sites haven’t. Gotten around to writing on these topics yet. So this is your chance to stand out. And actually get your content on these topics onto the first page of Google. 

So, again, not all the keywords on this list would be appropriate for a dietitian to write about. We need to be very careful to stay within our niche And not start writing about things that are too medically since that is not I have formal expertise So as I scroll through, I see a few topics I could possibly write about. And in SEMrush, you can click the little check boxes next to the keywords. 

For the keywords you like, and then save them within some rash or. Export them to an Excel spreadsheet. So they’re easier to review 

So as a dietitian, I could possibly write about. The keyword phrase, candy hydration, cause high blood pressure, which has searched 5,400 times per month. Elderberry and blood pressure meds, which has searched thousand times per month. Recipes for high blood pressure, 880 times per month. Is ginger good for high blood pressure? Seven. 

120 times per month. Is rice good for blood pressure? 90 times per month, et cetera, et cetera. So there’s actually quite a few options. Definitely enough to flush out. Some articles in a category. On your website for diet and high blood pressure. That could rank. And it does kind of seem that there is a theme. 

Here people want not only information, so they’re not. Only looking for answers to their questions in the form of blog posts, but it also. It looks like they are searching for recipes to help them put this information into practice. So if. If you are interested in recipe development, and especially if you want to follow. 

The publisher model, enter an ad revenue. Then having a section on your site with recipes for high blood pressure, for example, could be a great strategy within that section. You could target Lots and lots of diet related recipe ideas. Like for example, there are tons of people out there searching for recipes with a modifier, low sodium, and plenty of those are still possible to 

So if I search for low sodium and SEMrush and filter the results. To only show me keywords with the difficulty of 50 or lower. I can see lots of opportunities For example, there are over 600 potential keywords that are, that are searched at least a hundred times per month. That are in that realistic difficulty range that include the word low sodium. 

And that is honestly. More than enough content. I asked you for like years of content creation. And that’s only focusing on low sodium And some Topics can cross over into articles as well that could maybe The high blood pressure category on your site as well. So I’m seeing things come up on these keywords suggestions, like low sodium. 

And blank. Fill in the food product here. Like low sodium, fast food, low sodium Low sodium pickles, low sodium chicken broth, et cetera, et cetera. And when you Google those terms to see what the search intent is, you’ll often A mix on page one of some recipes, some product listings from brand. Brands. And then some content that is like reviews of like the best, you know, low sodium. 

Sodium chips or a Roundup lists, posts that type of stuff. Um, depending on the content you’re publishing on your sites like that could be There’s like different angles you could take that might get you onto page one. And there are also. Also a lot of searches that are just clearly recipe queries. So they’re not really looking for product recommendations. They want a recipe. 

And all the results on page one are recipes. And that would be things like low sodium meatloaf, low sodium marinade, low sodium. Pancakes, et cetera. And there are also some that are clearly a good fit for a Roundup posts like low sodium snack ideas, low sodium. Chicken recipes, low sodium appetizers, low sodium instant pot recipes, where you could put like a list of recipes 

Meet though that search intent and they don’t have to all be from you. They could be from other bloggers as well, but you. Your content, if you created the Roundup, could be the one to show up. First page of the results, you don’t have to create all the recipes in the Roundup list. So. So this is a literal gold mine of keywords right here. And that was just going down one keyword rabbit. 

A whole think about all the other diet related topics you could cover under the umbrella of I would bet the other topics like high fiber, low sugar, or. Low carb have an incredible amount of opportunity as well. So just to bring this full circle, And highlight the importance again, understanding your monetization 

These recipe. The keywords where you’re actually creating recipes, with these modifiers, like low sodium high fiber, low sugar, whatever. And that would be an excellent strategy for someone who is interested A lot of traffic to be As well for a media vine, there are lots and lots of high volume keywords that could be targeted. That would. 

Bring lots of traffic to your site. If you can rank for them. And since with ads, you’re monetizing eyeballs on your site. Totally fine. If the person coming to your site for a low sodium recipe doesn’t necessarily. Have heart disease, but maybe they have another medical condition that requires a low sodium diet. It doesn’t really matter because you’re not trying to sell them anything. So who cares? Honestly, if the person reading your low sodium recipe is interested in heart health at all for, for ad revenue. 

An eyeball is an eyeball. Really? However, if that’s not your strategy, if you are not going for ad revenue and you are trying to sell a product or service directly linked to heart health. To the people who come to your site, then you’re not going to be well-served by creating recipes. Because the chances are you are going to be attracting all types of people to these low sodium, low carb, low sugar recipes. 

Just people who are interested in heart disease. So the quality of your traffic is not going to be. Um, super. Super niched to. To match what you’re trying to sell, if that makes sense. So in that scenario, you’re probably going to be better served. by going the article route and not really publishing recipes since if you’re selling something, you are. 

Our primary goal with the content on your website should be. To attract potential buyers. You don’t need any eyeballs. You need the right eyeballs. So by writing about lower volume, more niche Like specific questions that people have about diet and blood pressure or diet and cholesterol. For example, you’re more likely to attract people that, you know, 

Are interested in heart health based on the questions that they’re Googling. And those are the people who potentially might want to buy your product. Or service. So I hope by actually diving in and showing a real life example. Here you were able to kind of better conceptualize exactly how blogging and content creation can be an evergreen 

Of traffic for you. And how that traffic can lead to dollars in your business, To sell something or whether you’re trying to monetize more passively through ads or affiliate links. And if this sounds exciting to you. This is. Pretty much exactly what we talk about every single day inside. My course, SEO made simple and my private students only. 

Only Facebook group. That goes along with So, if you are a food, nutrition or wellness professional, you are the perfect person to join my course and learn how to That will turn your website into an invaluable business I’ll teach you my highly effective framework for creating a website that will attract thousands of people to your site. Each. 

A month so that you can use that as the foundation of growing your audience and your business’s bottom You really don’t have. To spend your time on social media, if you don’t want to, there are other very successful ways to grow Audience and a brand online. And of course my favorite way is through blogging and creating content that is optimized for search engines. That brings people. 

Right directly to you for free. You don’t have to pay for ads or anything like All it costs is So if that resonates with you. Come add your name to my waitlist at And I will send you a few emails, explaining more about And then invite you to watch my free masterclass. That explains each step of my unique framework for growing your traffic. 

In the food, nutrition and wellness space. And at the end of that masterclass, I’ll give you the opportunity to join my course. So definitely check it out right now. The only way to enroll in my course is via my email list. SEO and add your name to the list. If you want more information. 

I hope you have Rest of your week and happy online businessing. 

Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.