How Bloggers Profit From Niche Media Disruption

How Bloggers Profit From Niche Media Disruption

Reader Comments (33)

  1. Copyblogger,

    Great post. We thought the exact same thing a couple of years ago when we left the publishing world to focus online. We currently have three sites – VitalBMX, VitalMX, and VitalSkate. These sites represent two categories you mention on the list of potential opportunities.

    The quote we often use is, “If Henry Ford would have asked people what they want, they would have said a faster buggy whip.”


  2. In the end, every magazine on the shelves of the bookstore represents a potential niche that might be profitably replicated in the blogosphere.

    True enough!
    Just be sure to check out the existing online niche of some of those titles before diving right in with a new blog, as some already are being profitably replicated in the blogosphere. There’s dozens upon dozens of knitting and beading blogs, for example, and hundreds of gaming ones.
    Though I suppose someone could just read Copyblogger and develop the blogging skills to make the best new blog in any of those niches! ^_~

  3. Offline magaiznes have always been the best way to discover niches since research has obviously been done already, and it’s a sustainable market.

    Another disruptive technologoy coming out is one that will allow for downloadable movies, thereby putting many offline video stores out of business.

  4. great post – this is actually the rationale i used when accepting my current job (online content manager for Log Home Living, Log Home Design and Timber Home Living).

    These are extremely strong print brands with loyal audiences. Our challenge is to translate that success to online (in progress…but making great progress) and repackage the content for new audiences.

    so far, so good. but it is eye-opening. what other opportunities are out there? my guess? billions.

  5. Don’t forget that Guitar Legends, MOJO and UNCUT do special issues, as well as seasonal printing. This means that in addition to the regular monthly mags, they somtimes print other mags on niche topics or artists, sometimes covering just ONE artist- Hendrix, Beatles, etc.

    Cool huh?

    I don’t know if they lose money on that or not- probably they break even or profit just on the advertising- and the sales are icing on the cake!

  6. I agree with you about the niches, but examples of paid subscription sites are few and far between, so other revenue streams (the pair you cited, and others) are more likely business builders.

  7. @ #6:

    from my experience, the more “niche” those targeted publications are, the more cash they can derive from advertisers. i wish i remember who said it (maybe i just thought of it) but someone once said “the nicher the richer,” for this very reason: a more targeted consumer base.

    for instance: you print a magazine on houses, you can sell general ads in the issue to a window manufacturer. but if you do a special issue on windows, the manufacturer is more likely to offer a premium, because he/she knows that whoever picks up the issue, is qualified and specifically interested, with a higher conversion rate.

    oftentimes when i think of potential blog concepts, i think too broadly. i’m still waiting for the stroke of genius to…stroke me (sorry for the disturbing imagery).

  8. A disruptive technology is something that offers a new feature, a cheaper way of doing things, or a more efficient form of delivery.

    True, but you’re forgetting that magazines and books have their own MASSIVE advantages over online media too.

    You get a physical, collectable product that’s resaleable. You can cut out stuff, loan them to friends, and you get much better pictures than you can get online (important if the niche is a visual one.) A lot of people also like to read their magazines in bed, on the train, wherever, and printed media is a lot “nicer” to read than text from a screen. These are all pretty big deals.

    I’m not going to switch my glossy fashion magazines for online equivalents, even if I’d ALSO subscribe to more “disruptive” online versions. Perhaps extending, rather than replacing, should be the focus here.

    Looking at “old media” is a good way to discover niches, as you say, but I don’t think disruptive technologies can yet replicate much of the experience in a significant number of areas.

  9. Peter-

    True, magazines do have advantages over online media like the ones you mentioned, such as the ability to read them anywhere and the better images they have.

    But I also think that blogs and other technology can continue to improve and be more disruptive to each niche. I already create many of my own images of weight lifting for my own site, and I may someday be able to do professional images of pro bodybuilders like magazines do. As innovation continues, maybe we will read blogs comfortably in bed with iPhone-like devices.

    It’s hard to know what things will be like in 10 years, but I agree that magazines won’t be completely disappearing anytime soon. Print media just has certain advantages that some people value, and blogging will only replace magazines for the people in each market who like the cheaper and more frequent delivery… but I personally believe there will be more and more of those people as paradigms shift and as bloggers improve their offerings.

  10. I look at magazines in the supermarket every week for blogging ideas but somehow seeing them listed in print in this post gave me more ideas.

    The trouble with looking at magazines in the store is that the pictures on the covers distract, it helps to sell them. Just seeing subjects written in text is much more effective in giving ideas.

    I guess that takes away Flickr from me as a way to get ideas for blog posts.

  11. Well written. I was just talking to someone recently who said that blogs are reaching a mature status. Wrong! We’re just at the front end of this and we don’t even know it yet. Very thought provoking post. Thanks.

  12. Excellent and thought-provoking post, Jason.

    I’ve been thinking of niches and you’ve got me thinking about more! :o)

  13. I love my mags. I blog about several subjects, but my eyes get tired of staring at the screen after a while. I hope my posts never completely get rid of my magazine competitors.

  14. My goodness. I am so glad to have found this site. I am a realtor with, of course a real estate blog but I also now see the possibilities of doing the same in one of my hobbies. Thanks for the disruption.

  15. What does “disruptive” means in the blogosphere?
    Is it something weird, like “The British Bathroom’s Blog” (BBB)?

    This is a very inspiring post… thanks a lot!

    Hope I can find the way to be disruptive with my blog… specially because it’s written in spanish and there are just a few blogs in my language 🙂

  16. Thats a great idea. If those niches are profitable on paper , then most probably they should do well on the net as well. Its amazing how much can you learn from the old technologies for a new idea. Thanks for some cool ideas.

  17. There are always like-minded people out there in the nether regions of the net. No matter how obscure or innocuous you will have at least one other individual who shares your particular proclivity. These may, or may not, translate to a sustainable audience base.

    A few examples that come to mind:

    • Mini-Bottle Ship Builders
    • Irish Kilt-Wearing Pinochle Club
    • 5 Ft. and Under Plushies
    • The Yeti Abduction Survivors Gang
    • Polydactylism Clothing Emporium
    • Body Brushes for Hypertrichosis

  18. Great article. I took this same approch with my Mortgage business. If a company becomes stagnet; it will die. Use technology and find a niche to serve.

  19. Brian – Thanks for the insight on niche marketing. I’m a firm believer in zeroing in on a market rather than using a shotgun trying to speak to everyone.

    I am reading your article with a smile as I basically used this same strategy to develop my niche blog for marketing ideas for martial arts school owners. Chris may have dibs on the “inside Kung Fu” niche but I call dibs on martial arts school owners!

  20. Interesting correlation here with the magazines and some of these being so specific. Being a Realtor here in the Santa Barbara area, blogging allows me to let consumers know about my knowledge of the industry and the “inside scoop” that I have. For me blogging is in itself a niche.

  21. The interior design field has many bloggers who post original content and also dissect to the minutest detail the content of each months’ shelter magazine offerings. Often, we’re out ahead of the magazines because we can post immediately and they have a several month product cycle.

  22. I actually got my first ideas of a blog niche from offline magazines. After reading this post, I have rekindled those ideas and now I can find a steady source of ideas. Great post! Thanks!

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