All diehard fans of indie music share the same fear — that their favorite bands will become wildly popular. Mainstream success triggers a downward spiral. Commercialism sucks out everything that was once pure and original. When a former indie darling starts singing corporate jingles, fans hear funeral bells.
Contributing high-quality content to niche audiences is still a powerful way to build trust, generate visibility, and expand your reach. It takes focus, patience, and hard work to stay on the right side of the slippery slope, but the reward is worth the effort.
The Benefits of Tapping Into Niche Audiences
When you create a meaningful contributor relationship with a niche blog or website, everyone wins. The publication gains access to fresh and dynamic content, which it uses to engage its audience and generate visibility. The audience receives new insights and perspectives. As the contributor, you get:
- Access to new distribution channels. It takes years to establish a community of loyal followers. Niche audiences tend to be committed to publications, and that trust can transfer to your brand.
- A platform for amplifying your message. There are only so many large publications that reach your target audience; however, there may be hundreds of smaller publications that interact with the same demographic. As you tap into these publications, you’re better able to amplify your message and reach new audiences.
- Control of the conversation. You typically have more control over the content published in a niche publication versus a larger publication. Many niche-oriented editors welcome submissions and are less critical of your presentation of your ideas. Controversial or uncommon perspectives are more warmly received.
- An educated target audience. When your target audience fully understands your brand, everything else falls into place. In niche publications, you can very clearly identify the audience you’re reaching.
It’s valuable to not just focus on the largest audience you can possibly reach. For example, Wade Foster of Zapier is a long-term client of ours. He’s been published in a variety of large publications, but one article of his that performed really well was published on Dumb Little Man. That’s right, Dumb Little Man. Many may not have heard of it, but Wade’s article spoke to its audience. Quite a few of the site’s readers were drawn to Zapier after his article was published.
Letting Go of Ego
Many people who are new to contributing think it’s not worth their effort if they can’t get published on big-name sites from day one. When I first began creating content, I thought the same thing. I worried that if I couldn’t get published in Forbes or Inc., nobody would listen to me.
However, I soon found traction by contributing to sites with extremely niche audiences. My message resonated on these smaller sites; the more I contributed and engaged these hyper-targeted audiences, the more my brand grew.
Years of contributing content have taught me both patience and humility. Had I spent all my time chasing big-name publications, I never would have built up the following that continues to carry me forward today. I owe a tremendous amount to everyone who ever believed my ideas were worth reading.
Your dream sites won’t come easy, but that’s OK. Publishing on small sites offers a platform for extending your reach and showcasing your knowledge and expertise. If you provide unique insight to readers, you can establish trust that will allow you to tap into new networks, build relationships with publications, and drive your business forward.