What is more fun? Writing dozens of articles for a niche or writing all sorts of articles from holidays to teeth whitening? And leave aside the fun, what about the money - which has more potential? What would you rather do as a writer on HP - niche writing or free lancing?
Just do what you like. I cover at least six if not more topic categories:
Android OS and devices
Smart phones in general (including iPhone and Windows Phone 7)
Scams and frauds (as related to MLMs)
History (esp. military)
Automobiles (esp. weird funny stuff)
Tech in general (esp. weird funny stuff)
Arizona SB1070 and related immigration issues
I must say, the only ones generated tons of traffic is the Android stuff. The rest rarely gets traffic in any significant amounts.
That would completely depend on how "large" is the niche?
I've chosen to write about "Life". I cover many different areas about it.
I've also chosen to write about "America". I cover many topics in that area.
So, it really boils down to what exactly the niche is and how focused you are on it.
I guess how large the niche is would determine the quantity that you can write about it. 'Life' is a large niche and you can write a variety of topics on it. The same goes for 'Travel'.
Hm...I'm just wondering whether I should stick to 'Health' or write about other things that interest me like 'Extreme Sports'. Most of my confusion comes from wanting a loyal following that know what I'll be publishing about. I would not want people following me for my health articles to be shocked by articles on say, how to make chocolate souffle, you know what I mean?
If you're writing for a following, then I would pick a general category, then pick it apart, which means that you could have several different types of groups of people following your writing.
Travel is not a bad topic, however, it's kind of difficult because it's tied to the global economy and might have a huge fluctuation in traffic from time to time.
Extreme sports? Well that might work up to a point, because each Extreme Sport will have a following, but limited.
And, yes "Life" was a huge topic to tackle, which is why I covered many of the basics first.
Thanks for your reply, Cagsil. I think I'm getting clearer about my goals now...I think I'll focus on 'Natural Health' here on HP. I somehow feel better writing for a niche and having followers who know what they're going to get. Thanks a bunch, buddy!
Be careful writing about "natural" health. The "BIG" pharma companies have done a great job at spreading a lot of distortion and misinformation about "natural" things, so as to perpetuate the need for prescriptions.
HP can be strict in a manner of speaking. Try not to use the word "cure", even if it's actually true. Make sure it's back by true research.
And, you're welcome.
Just beware you don't end up like some crazy MLM pushers who claimed he cured cancer with some M******** stuff (which he also sells). Had to debate one of these guys and he's ****ing crazy. Long story. Won't repeat it here.
I'm all over the place, but I do have a few topics that write about online over and over again. Generally, they are things I'm very familiar with, so I don't have to do much for research.
It seems that when I'm stumped for topics or just need to make an article to get back into the flow, I end up writing about the same basic things. I don't just re-hash everything, but I find new keywords and ideas within the same basic niche.
As far as money goes...
It totally depends on the niche. Some will earn big bucks and other simply will not. If you write about a lot of different topics, you'll quickly learn which ones tend to perform better in terms of earnings.
Thanks for your input, JC. If you don't mind me asking, are you satisfied with how you're earning from your current hubs? I checked out your profile and indeed you have a variety of topics covered. I don't have an adsense account yet, but I'll soon apply for one...
My level of happiness with my Hub earnings is hard to answer right now, since my views just dropped, like a lot of others.
Overall, pre-panda and following the surge in traffic that got me back to pre-panda levels I'm very happy. If the traffic and rankings return, I'll be very happy again.
I see....thanks for taking the time to answer.
What I do know is that traffic does not come by itself. We have to actively market out content. I barely have any views on my hubs but my priority right now is to have enough content so I can apply for adsense.
I suspect finding a popular niche and establishing yourself as a "strong brand" in that niche would be the most commercially effective approach. However, I seem to like to write about various semi-obscure niches. So, having fun has more appeal for me, than doing the sensible thing.
Thanks, Horse. I feel the same way too. I feel like I can write hundreds of articles on natural health and well-being and become an 'authority' or expert of sorts in that area. At the same time, I feel that I can write about other things I like such as 'Tour and Travel' and 'Extreme Sports'. Oh, I'm just so torn-apart.
Talk to any experienced internet entrepreneur and they'll tell you that your website needs to focus on a single, fairly narrow topic. And since our HubPages account is now a sub-domain, which is like a separate website, it's only logical the same advice should apply.
It's not really about generating a following, it's setting your account up so Google sees you as an authority on one topic, and is therefore likely to rank you higher.
The big difficulty is finding the right topic. Choose one that's already saturated, or one that no one's interested in, and you'll fail miserably.
That's not true at all. It might be if you're trying to develop a regular readership, and your readers are expecting your posts/Hubs to be on the same topic every time.
If you're trying to build search traffic, your Hubs can be on a wide range of topics. There are many Hubbers who are getting lots of traffic and their individual Hub topics run the gamut.
I think the key is being sincerely interested in the topic(s) so that you can write genuinely informative content. If you are only interested in writing about one thing, write about it. If you're interested in a lot of things, feel free to write about all of them.
Jason, before Panda, I would've agreed with you 100%.
Unlike writing on your own blog, HubPages used to be a fantastic place to write about anything and everything. In fact, it was the perfect place to discover your niche, because you didn't have to create an entire blog or website around one subject to see if it worked. You could write one solid, Flagship-style Hub and that would tell you whether you'd picked a good subject or not.
I tend to write about dance a lot, but my HP account covers a range of subjects and in fact, my best performers aren't about dance at all, so my account might appear to prove your point. But my traffic since Panda has been too volatile to say whether that model will still work in the future.
What I said was that if you are running your own standalone website, everyone will tell you that the way to ensure a good Google ranking is to pick a subject and stick to it. And since our sub-domains are now almost standalone, it would make logical sense that model should be more successful. Whether experience will bear out that logic, only time will tell.
I would dispute this: everyone will tell you that the way to ensure a good Google ranking is to pick a subject and stick to it.
There are so many counterexamples. My personal account (livelonger) has had no volatility and my traffic is up considerably higher than pre-Panda, and I write on a wide range of topics. There are several others here (relache and SunSeven come to mind) that say their traffic is stably up and they write on a wide range of topics.
The only consistency (not 100% universal, but a clear trend) I've seen among accounts that have plunged or had lots of volatility is either a large percentage of doorway pages (in some cases focusing on Amazon), which Google explicitly dislikes, or doing what sounds like keyword-stuffing. But that's my personal observation, and I haven't looked at all of them.
You left out a bit. I said if you are running your own standalone website, everyone will tell you that the way to ensure a good Google ranking is to pick a subject and stick to it.
So giving me examples from HubPages is hardly relevant.
There have been several discussions about this amongst Hubbers. There's no argument that diversity worked very,very well in the past. The question is, what will work well in the future? If we regard our sub-domains as separate websites, logic suggests specialization would work to our advantage. However, whether that will be the case or not is an interesting topic for discussion.
Yes, and you added this:
And since our sub-domains are now almost standalone, it would make logical sense that model should be more successful
Hence, the quote.
So you're not disputing that most experts advise you to specialize on your own website, you're just saying that HubPages sub-domains are a special case?
Seems like a special case. Like I said, I'm drawing on the examples I've seen the last few weeks, which seem to run against the conventional wisdom. It could be because Hubs on a specific topic are linked to each other through our taxonomy, which runs across all user-based subdomains.
Your comment about finding one topic and sticking to it hit me like a ton of bricks... in a good way. What you say about web sites, search engines, and getting ranked is true. I had a professional SEO engineer explain this fact to me in detail. Originally, I thought it was cool to be able to write about any topic on my mind, but now I clearly see how doing that could defeat the purpose of getting to the top. Now that our HubPages are sub-domains, that makes all the difference in the world. Search engines are looking at web pages to see how relevant they are. Content on that web page is what tells the search engine what that web pae is all about. Multiple subjects on the same web page could make the web page irrelevant to any one topic-- analysed as non specific. I do want the search engines to recognize me as the expert on a subject matter and get my web page noticed. So, I guess I need to pick a subject and stick to it. Thank you for bringing it to light.
KEEP IN MIND:
Some niches are great money makes, but are hard to get visitors, while other niches make less profit, but are really easy to get traffic if done correctly.
What about 'natural health'? Is it easy to make money through that?
If anyone has found a topic that makes easy money, Rehanna, they're not going to tell you about it. Because as soon as they did, everyone else would jump on the bandwagon and there would be too much competition.
Besides, there's no such thing as easy money when writing on the internet. It's hard work like any job. Once you've set up a portfolio you do get an income that's partly passive, but there's always updating and maintenance that needs to be done.
I guess making a proper trade off between making money and enjoying your work is what is more important. Working without interest will not yield the desired results and finally would also not fetch any money.
I'm not sure that's true. I know people who treat writing online as a business, find it a chore but make money. They're people who have to rely on writing to live, so they can't afford to write just for interest.
It's one of the reasons I don't do this for a living - I don't want to write about stuff that doesn't interest me, and I get bored with keyword research and backlinking. I can see that if I had to make my living at it, all the boring stuff would sour my love of writing - so I'd rather keep it as a hobby.
Write about anything you want. If you write about a lot of different things and one of your niches starts to pick up traffic, through, start concentrating on that niche and hit it like there's no tomorrow. I've spent a YEAR milking my big niche and I am nowhere near done.
As has been said, it depends on the niche. I've tried writing series of 10+ hubs, but I get bored after the first few and end up repeating information. In a way, it helps to have multiple hubs about the same topic, attacking it from different angles and aspects, but it gets boring.
I try to mix up series with anything-and-everything else
Why not have a mix, if you love writing you can balance both
I am sure Jason is right about this.
I write on a very specific niche called "generally, just about everything".
May be its suitable for sites like HP.
Niche thing may hold good for individual domains or sites. Or is it?
I think Niche thing is a myth.
If you take a look at the top 10 subdomains on Hubpages, I don't think you will find any niche hubbers.
So for an example, out of the 20 hubs that I have written, the ones I have written concerning fashion have the highest rank and traffic. So I should just stick with the fashion niche and write about that only and nothing else? To me, there is only so much you can write about one single topic before getting bored. But that's just me : D
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