Have you ever worried that your niche is too small to succeed with SEO?

That there aren’t enough keywords to target to really reach and attract a meaningful audience?

Today’s email was inspired by a fabulous question from one of my SEO Made Simple students, Sarah.

Sarah was doing keyword research and started to wonder…

“Can you have a niche so niche that SEO isn’t quite worth pouring time into? Like, I still want to write, but maybe this is a case where leaning into social media more is best?”

This is SUCH a great question. One that I have mulled over myself quite a bit, and I bet a lot of you have as well.

So, is there such a thing as “too niched” for SEO?

Yes, it’s possible.

In fact, this is somewhat the case for my own brand, The Unconventional RD.

There’s plenty of content I could write about to attract RDs to my website, but the intersection of dietitians interested in blogging/digital marketing advice is way too small to find much meaningful keyword data.

(That doesn’t mean that there aren’t RDs out there looking for this info, it’s just that the volume is too small for the keyword tools to pick up any consistent keyword patterns.)

There’s 4 things you could do in this scenario:

Option 1: Stay niched and write about what you know people are looking for.

The first option is to stick with your tight niche and write about what you know your audience is looking for, based on your knowledge of the industry.

In this scenario, you don’t have lots of keywords to guide your decision-making, so you have to trust your gut, based on your own experience and insights within your niche.

Of course, as you’re publishing, try your best to optimize the content for the phrases you think your people might be searching for in Google.

Once you have some content published, you can always make refinements as you go.

For example, once a post is indexed by Google, you can use ​Google Search Console​ (free) to see what keywords your content is actually ranking for and you might discover some relevant keywords that weren’t on your radar!

Once you’ve published your blog post, share the content on social media and email it out to your list to tap into the direct network of people you’re trying to serve.

You will probably get lots of backlinks and shares if you’re already connected to your ideal audience and are really serving them with your content (which will then, in turn, help your SEO as well.)

In this scenario, you probably will never get a huge amount of traffic from Google, but the traffic you DO get should be pretty much 100% your ideal customers.

If you have a good lead magnet and sales systems in place, you have a great chance of making sales from your content even with a small audience. Yay!

This is essentially what I have done with The Unconventional RD brand for the last 7 years and have made over $1 million in sales from my products with just this strategy.

Option 2) Broaden your content strategy to attract your general niche demographic and then convert this wider audience to fans and customers.

The second option would be to slightly broaden your content strategy to attract people from your industry, in general, to your site.

Then, once they’re on your site, you can convince them that you know your sh*t and can help them solve a problem they have.

For example – for The Unconventional RD brand, instead of trying to find keywords that highlight the intersection of dietitians and digital marketing/entrepreneurship…

…. I could instead do keyword research about general things dietitians are looking up related to their careers (like, virtual jobs, typical salaries, remote work, etc.).

I know that primarily RDs would be googling those phrases, so if I create content on those topics, it will bring RDs to my site.

The downside is that it’s not a very targeted audience.

I’m able to get in front of RDs, but then have a lot of educating to do to help them understand the world of online business, how it can be a viable career path, and then also convince them that one of my products is the best option to help them.

The plus side is that you will get more organic traffic…

… BUT you’ll have to really think through your customer journey and make sure that you’re strategically creating content (both on your website and email list and in your paid products) that brings them from:

Problem aware → Solution aware → Being sure that you are the best person to solve their problems → Happy customer.

This general keyword strategy can also be a good solution for broader sites, like ​wellresourced.com​ (formerly RD2RD), which sells handouts for dietitians.

They have tons of paid products to serve lots of different needs for dietitians, so they can create any content that would attract dietitians and have a good chance of then connecting that free content with a paid resource on their site.

Option 3) Broaden your niche entirely to attract more people via SEO.

If you really want to focus on SEO as your main audience growth channel, the other option is to widen your niche.

For example, if you were initially trying to attract dietitians interested in SEO, perhaps you could broaden your marketing strategy to attract any type of content creator interested in SEO.

I am actually starting to do this a bit with The Unconventional RD brand right now.

I’ve been starting to target broader digital marketing keywords that are not specific to the nutrition industry and it’s going well so far!

This may end up leading to a slight rebrand in the future if I want to focus more broadly on SEO and scalable selling systems for content creators and not just nutrition pros, but we’ll see!

The plus side of this is that you have a wider pool of keywords to target. The downside is that the broader your niche, the harder it typically is to pick up initial traction.

I’m only starting to broaden my topics now (7 years in) because I have a solid following, a lot of social proof and experience, and know that I can help more people.

But if I had started out trying to help everyone, my marketing would have probably suffered, no one would have felt like I was specifically the person to best help them, and everything probably would have taken a lot longer to build.

Think carefully on this one!

Option 4) Pick a new niche with lots of high-volume, lower-difficulty keywords.

If you really want a high-traffic blog, above all, and you’re flexible on the topic, then the best option would be to keep doing research into various niches until you find one that has a lot of higher-volume keywords that you could rank for and go for that.

This might be the best option for you if you’re dead-set on growing a huge audience and monetizing with ads and affiliate links. You want to be a blogger/content creator above all.

You’re not trying to attract a small niche audience to sell to. You want to reach the masses with your content and monetize those eyeballs passively.

In that case, if the business model is the most important thing for you, then keep doing keyword research to find a niche that will fit this desired outcome.

(Aka, a niche that has a lot of higher-volume, lower-difficulty keywords.)

That’s how you’ll be able to most quickly build a website that gets 50k+ monthly visitors so you can be accepted to a premium ad network and start making thousands of dollars per month in ad revenue.

As you can see, there’s no one right answer to the “extremely specific niche” problem.

To summarize, if this is you, you have 4 options:

  • Stay tightly niched and get a smaller amount of (extremely targeted) organic traffic, complemented with other strategies.
  • Create content to attract people more broadly in your niche, then do the work on the backend to convert them into customers.
  • Broaden your niche to something that has more organic traffic potential.
  • Pick an entirely new niche, based on keyword research and your desired business model.

There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s whatever works best for YOU and your unique goals.

Hope this helped to clarify this common question for ya!

Best,
Erica

Before you go… here are a few more ways I can help you.

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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.