How to Stand Out in a Crowded Niche

How to Stand Out in a Crowded Niche

Reader Comments (68)

  1. Jon – awesome post. I’ve been building niche businesses for years and you hit the nail right on the head. Some niches just aren’t worthwhile to get into. The larger, proven niches are that way for a reason – there’s money there.

    If you can perform better or do something different, then there will be space for you in any niche.

    Just my 2 cents :0)

    — Jason

  2. I like to take the approach of delving a little deeper or give a behind-the-scenes sort of view in a niche. There’s always a different perspective. 🙂 good article!

  3. Nice post on re-inventing yourself in a niche that’s seemingly beaten to death. It’s similar to copy that sells: Don’t just list the features (i.e. bullet list in a blog), list the benefits to the end user (i.e. the reader). Everyone has a unique angle, no matter how small.

  4. Whoa – “The Hidden Benefit” – this nugget of wisdom applies to great salesletter copywriting too. I also use surveys to peel away the layers and get down to what my readers and students really want –

  5. AWESOME POST!!!!! I am one of those that took the dive into an already saturated market…but gave it a small twist to stand out a bit…and it has worked wonderfully! Creativity and passion will drive you no matter what niche you try to get into….

  6. This is true of any field, not just blogging. Say for instance you have a company that makes shoes. Well, footwear is a crowded market. So you look at what other people in your market and offer something different, taking it somewhere else to innovate. I think everyone knows that, but not everyone is able to DO that. You are making the assumption that all bloggers are creative thinkers, and can come up with new angles of looking at the same topics. Some can, but we know that a lot cannot, which is exactly why there are 100s or 1000s of overplayed and tired blog posts out there.

  7. Stan: Yep, surveys are a great strategy too. It’s just tough to get enough people to do one when you’re getting started as a blogger. That’s why I recommended some of the other methods first.

    Momblebee: Knowing you should do something and HOW to do something are two different things. That’s why I wrote this post. A lot of my consulting clients have been asking how to stand out in a crowded niche, and this is the simplest way to do it. It seems to be working for them so far.

  8. Great stuff, Jon. It’s the “hidden benefits” that really motivate people to action.

    Even though cars are just a means of transport, people don’t drive around in $50,000 cars just to get from A to B. There are “hidden benefits” to them, such as the feeling of power, control, freedom and status… and perhaps to make them look like a stud 🙂

    And you’re right, no niche is ever too crowded. There will always be leaders in a niche, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a piece of the action as well.

  9. Is it really a niche if it is saturated? Does that word make sense in this context? Something I am pondering. . .

    I did find the article headlines really useful.

    Finally, where did you get that great umbrella image? I’m in the arts and cannot miss up an opportunity to ask!

  10. I love the hidden benefits thing. I tend to work it by instinct, I’d be well served to get a little more overtly analytical about it. Thanks sir!

  11. There’s been a lot of talk about Blue Ocean Strategy over the past year but how many blue oceans really still exist? I love how you guys at Copyblogger make everything so easy to understand. Even in Bloody Red Oceans, you’re saying it’s possible to stand out in the crowd if you sell something that solves a problem to a microniche. So for example, right now, you might recommend writing an article “5 Top Examples When Blogging Fostered Apologies of Brands Screw Ups Like Kanye West” (or have there really been 5 that bad?). Thanks for everything you guys write. How does Brian spend all of his time now that he has all of you kick ass writers doing great work? 😉

  12. I’m breaking my rule here about leaving flattering comments, but I like this post.

    This “hidden benefit” thing is a new concept for me. Its a great tactic for writing creatively. It basically gives you an unlimited supply of new ideas for writing about the same stuff as everyone else. Very nice. Gold star for you!

  13. I have been putting off a blog post idea for a while because everyone in the niche has already written about it. Now i know how to stand out. Thanks.

  14. @Angie, heh! Your last question makes me laugh. I’ll try to make up a suitably outlandish answer for you.

  15. I see what you did here… you wrote to an audience of bloggers either already in a crowded niche or considering going into a crowded niche. You’re headline worked perfectly.

    Great example of practice what you preach. The hidden benefit was well received!

  16. @Angie, I’ve never been a big fan of the Blue Ocean/Red Ocean metaphor. I read the book from cover to cover, and I think it complicates what business is really about: finding out what people want and then giving it to them. If you can do that, then I don’t care what bloody color the ocean is. As for Brian… no comment. 🙂

  17. How’s this for scale?

    Hidden Benefit: Optimize your post content for SEO and create a captivating post title to draw in the masses

    Headline: How to Stand Out in a Crowded Niche

  18. Great post – great advice! I, too, am involved in a niche that is practically a “non-niche”: marketing ideas and advice for small businesses. But my heart is with the small business owner and I truly want to contribute in a valuable and somewhat differentiated fashion. So this article was a great boost for me. Thanks for push!

  19. Thanks for this. I didn’t think my headlines were bad until I took Leo’s blogging bootcamp. He showed me how terrible they really were 🙂

    Now I think a lot more about reader benefits than anything else, and always before I ever write the post. The headline comes first these days.

  20. Great post! I love that Denise Wakeman recommended your blog last night in her interview with Liz Lynch!

    Thanks for sharing your expertise and inspirations … I’ll return here often for words from the Blog God!

    Christine Elisabeth von Malsen Hueber

  21. Thanks for the useful article, I hadn’t thought about introducing hidden benefits in my headlines, so as to attract a targeted type of visitors.

    By the way, the post’s image is amazing. Somehow it made me read the whole content.

  22. Dear Jonathan Morrow,

    this is an interesting blog post, but could you please provide more examples of the “hidden benefit”, and list blogs who successfully applied this technique? That would be very useful!

    If I understand correctly, the “hidden benefit” refers to a certain type of reader, NOT to a subniche inside a bigger niche?

    So let’ say we have this bigger niche: How to drive more traffic to a blog. If I would choose a subniche inside this niche, I could choose the “How to drive more traffic to your blog with Adwords” subniche. But it’s not a hidden benefit, right?

    Instead I could choose a certain type of reader, who wants to build a platform and get a book deal. So I could write not only about traffic, but also about how to successfully write and publish a book???

    So even if I write about multiple subjects, my blog is focused because I write to a certain type of reader (who wants to publish a book), right? Or should I just write about blog traffic for authors?

  23. I was actually just thinking about this.

    There are so many blogs that your blog is more likely to be invisible than visible because your blog is just another blog.

    Now think about this in the product world. Think about tomato juice for example. There are lots of brands of tomato juice including the cheap house brand. So what do you do to make your tomato juice stand out? How do you make it interesting?

    You create an entirely new category for you tomato juice… V8. The manufacturers for V8 created a new category for “vegetable juice” so they no longer compete with tomato juice. Plus they fulfilled a need that already exists… to get more vegetable servings in your diet without eating piles of vegetables.

    Pure marketing genius!

  24. Very good information and it opened my mind to a whole new way of looking at blogging. Not only do I have my own blog, but I ghost write for several others.

  25. Very cool post I must say. I’m actually doing consultations now but I charge fees for that. Probably that’s because whenever I give out consultation critics, I cover almost everything that I see and want to note. Other consultations just hand over solutions to problems that are asked of them. Mine is kind of holistic. I guess that’s my edge.

  26. Sonia! I can’t wait to read the outlandish answer! Now I’m going to have trouble sleeping.

    Jon. Excellent point about “who cares what color the ocean is?”. I’m with you!

  27. Great post with fresh ideas!
    It does take a lot of time to put them into practice but I’ll take ’em into consideration!

    Thanks for sharing!

  28. This has got to be the best copyblogger post in ages (and the others are all exceptional).
    This should be lesson 101 for bloggers.

    When can we get more pointers on how to uncover hidden benefits?

  29. Very good tips. I’m one of those people that feel like its impossible to come up with new or interesting ideas that people will want to read. It’s funny too, because you did exactly what you wrote. I have seen other articles about this same type of thing, but the way you went about it made it something I was interested in still.

    Nice job. 🙂

  30. Jon,
    I found this article informative, thank you. My niche is a particularly difficult one to analyze. How do you really help someone overcome fear and anxiety? Well, the answer changes person to person.

    I do my best to find out who is referring traffic to my website, and to try to discover what their “hidden benefit” might be. Then, ideally I reach out to them, and bolster the traffic sharing relationship between us. Admittedly, I still can get much better at this.

    I’ll make sure to keep reading your articles on copyblogger, they are sure to help with my site Thanks again.

  31. Ah, the old WIFM approach – what’s in it for me (the customer or client). Correctly identifying the hidden desire of why someone is reading your copy is key in getting them hooked in to your copy, and ultimately, trusting you enough to buy from you.

    Great examples of headlines and what the hidden benefits are.


  32. Interacting with your readers is a great way to uncover the real meaning behind their comments and a way to network with your readers and who knows they might find your blog intriguing and become and avid tweeter of your articles which could increase your SEO.

  33. Wonderful post.

    It is wonderful and not enough are looking at the “hidden benefits”. I hear the words, “saturated market”, all the time. I am sure if one looks at the hidden benefits in those markets, they come into a goldmine. I too am looking more through analytics and other research for those benefits in my blogging and marketing campaigns.

  34. I think you tackled the big reason why many people struggle with maintaining a blog; they feel they repeat what is already out there.
    Your post makes it clear how to over come this and make the most of those topics that seem saturated, great advice Jonathan.

  35. Jon,

    Good stuff. Blogging myself about internet marketing, I know I’m blogging about things that have all been said before, but in another post on Copyblogger, I’m reminded that it’s my personality and what I bring to the information I share that, in some way, makes my content unique.

    Further, the headline tips in your post are helpful and I will keep that line of thinking in the back of my head.

    I find myself sometimes stumbling over what to write about because it’s all been done before, so this is a great reminder that I can write about just about anything, as long as I bring some extra value through my own voice and experiences to that ‘same old’ topic.


  36. Great post.
    Reminds me of the concepts in Seth Godin’s ‘Purple Cow’ book.
    I have found that being different and standing out, while sounding really awesome, does not necessarily come naturally. Many people are more concerned with being accepted than standing out and this conflicts with being really different.

  37. Honestly I couldn’t agree more here. I think more people should read and understand this and they will get further with their blogging success. I know I have wondered the same thing and it’s true not to give up and to keep your eyes open, learn and take action based on what you’ve learned.

    I say all of the above because I’ve been through about 4 different blogs now and found this one and this information is gold in my opinion.

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