Niche blogging is the act of creating a blog with the intent of using it to market to a particular niche market. Niche blogs (also commonly referred to as “niche websites“) may appeal to “geographic areas, a specialty industry, ethnic or age groups, or any other particular group of people.” While it could be argued that every blog is, in some form, a niche blog, the term as it applies to marketing refers to a particular kind of blog.
Neither blogging nor niche marketing is a new concept. However, only in recent years has the concept of a niche blog come into being.
Usually, niche blogs will contain affiliate links or advertisements of some sort (pay-per-click or products or both). In some cases, the purpose of the niche blog is to incite the reader into visiting another website which may then attempt to sell the reader a product or service.
Niche blogging and splogging are often hard to distinguish. However, niche blogging’s reliance on pay-per-click advertising and other revenue streams usually requires such blogs to have valuable content related to their chosen niche, unlike a splog.
A blog (a truncation of “weblog”) is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page. Until 2009, blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject or topic. In the 2010s, “multi-author blogs” (MABs) emerged, featuring the writing of multiple authors and sometimes professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups, and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other “micro-blogging” systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into the news media. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
The emergence and growth of blogs in the late 1990s coincided with the advent of web publishing tools that facilitated the posting of content by non-technical users who did not have much experience with HTML or computer programming. Previously, a knowledge of such technologies as HTML and File Transfer Protocol had been required to publish content on the Web, and early Web users therefore tended to be hackers and computer enthusiasts. In the 2010s, the majority are interactive Web 2.0 websites, allowing visitors to leave online comments, and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites. In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking service. Indeed, bloggers not only produce content to post on their blogs but also often build social relations with their readers and other bloggers. However, there are high-readership blogs which do not allow comments.
Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject or topic, ranging from politics to sports. Others function as more personal online diaries, and others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, digital images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave publicly viewable comments, and interact with other commenters, is an important contribution to the popularity of many blogs. However, blog owners or authors often moderate and filter online comments to remove hate speech or other offensive content. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blogs), photographs (photo-blogs), videos (video blogs or “vlogs”), music (MP3 blogs), and audio (podcasts). In education, blogs can be used as instructional resources. These blogs are referred to as edublogs. Micro-blogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.
‘Blog’ and ‘blogging’ are now loosely used for content creation and sharing on social media, especially when the content is long-form and one creates and shares content on regular basis. So, one could be maintaining a blog on Facebook or blogging on Instagram.
On February 16, 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence. On February 20, 2014, there were around 172 million Tumbler and 75.8 million WordPress blogs in existence worldwide. According to critics and other bloggers, Blogger is the most popular blogging service used today. However, Blogger does not offer public statistics. Technorati lists 1.3 million blogs as of February 22, 2014.
A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that it is intended to target. It is also a small market segment.
Not every product can be defined by its market niche. The niche market is highly specialized, and aiming to survive among the competition from numerous super companies. Even established companies create products for different niches; Hewlett-Packard has all-in-one machines for printing, scanning and faxing targeted for the home office niche, while at the same time having separate machines with one of these functions for big businesses.
In practice, product vendors and trade businesses are commonly referred to as mainstream providers or narrow demographics niche market providers (colloquially shortened to just niche market providers). Small capital providers usually opt for a niche market with narrow demographics as a measure of increasing their financial gain margins.
The final product quality (low or high) is not dependent on the price elasticity of demand, but the specific needs that the product is aimed to satisfy and, in some cases, aspects of brand recognition (e.g. prestige, practicability, money saving, expensiveness, environmental conscience, or social status). When there are needs or desires with specific and even complex characteristics, the market niche requires specialized suppliers which are capable of meeting such expectations.
Unlike mass audiences, which represent a large number of people, a niche audience is an influential smaller audience. In television, technology and many industrial practices changed with the post-network era, and niche audiences are now in much greater control of what they watch. In this context of greater viewer control, television networks and production companies are trying to discover ways to profit through new scheduling, new shows, and relying on syndication. This practice of “narrow-casting” also allows advertisers to have a more direct audience for their messages.
With few exceptions, such as American Idol, the Super Bowl and the Olympics, it is not common for a substantial audience to watch a program at once. Still, networks do target particular demographics. Lifetime targets women and MTV targets youth. Sports channels, for example, STAR Sports, ESPN, STAR Cricket, and Fox Sports, target the niche market of sports enthusiasts.
Pay-per-click (PPC) is an internet advertising model used to drive traffic to websites, in which an advertiser pays a publisher (typically a search engine, website owner, or a network of websites) when the ad is clicked.
Pay-per-click is commonly associated with first-tier search engines (such as Google Ads, Amazon Advertising, and Microsoft Advertising formerly Bing Ads). With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market and pay when ads (text-based search ads or shopping ads that are a combination of images and text) are clicked. In contrast, content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. PPC display advertisements, also known as banner ads, are shown on web sites with related content that have agreed to show ads and are typically not pay-per-click advertising. Social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter have also adopted pay-per-click as one of their advertising models. The amount advertisers pay depends on the publisher and is usually driven by two major factors: quality of the ad, and the maximum bid the advertiser is willing to pay per click. The higher the quality of the ad, the lower the cost per click is charged and vice versa.
However, websites can offer PPC ads. Websites that utilize PPC ads will display an advertisement when a keyword query matches an advertiser’s keyword list that has been added in different ad groups, or when a content site displays relevant content. Such advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads, and appear adjacent to, above, or beneath organic results on search engine results pages, or anywhere a web developer chooses on a content site.
The PPC advertising model is open to abuse through click fraud, although Google and others have implemented automated systems to guard against abusive clicks by competitors or corrupt web developers.
A spam blog, also known as an auto blog or the neologism splog, is a blog which the author uses to promote affiliated websites, to increase the search engine rankings of associated sites or to simply sell links/ads.
The purpose of a splog can be to increase the Page-rank or back-link portfolio of affiliate websites, to artificially inflate paid ad impressions from visitors (see made for AdSense or MFA-blogs), and/or use the blog as a link outlet to sell links or get new sites indexed. Spam blogs are usually a type of scraper site, where content is often either inauthentic text or merely stolen (see blog scraping) from other websites. These blogs usually contain a high number of links to sites associated with the splog creator which are often disreputable or otherwise useless websites.
There is frequent confusion between the terms “splog” and “spam in blogs”. Splogs are blogs where the articles are fake, and are only created for search engine spamming. To spam in blogs, conversely, is to include random comments on the blogs of innocent bystanders, in which spammers take advantage of a site’s ability to allow visitors to post comments that may include links. In fact, one of the earliest uses of the term “splog” referred to the latter.
This is used often in conjunction with other spamming techniques, including spings.
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