“You have to define your niche and then stick to that”. We’ve heard it again and again… and again. “It will help you to rank better in Google.” SEO. Niche. Targeted. Google. GOOGLE.
Sure, these things work in theory. But what about when your subject matter is by its nature pretty diverse and eclectic. Take umm, travel, for instance. Exploring the world. Enjoying it and hopefully encouraging other people to do the same.
Who else is tired of seeing a destination – complete with its myriad complexities, experiences and colours, reduced to yet another listicle. We’re not judging: a quick glance at our recently published articles features pieces such as “Top 11 Things to do in Essaouira” and “20 Cool Places in Singapore”. Exactly.
When you go to a new destination, do you set out with the task of having as niche an experience as possible? “Oh, today’s task is visiting the best wallet shops in London, tomorrow is hat-makers and Thursday is nail technicians”. Possibly, but probably not.
We want to attract new readers and provide you with useful information. That’s why we exist (along with the fact that we need to do something to justify our never-ending wanderlust and writing is our soul*).
What we don’t want to do is rename our website nicheymcnicheniche.com and write about that one niche from now until eternity in the hope that Google rewards us for being a super good doggy and feeds us some good doggy visitor treats in reward. Nor do we only want to write super-targeted listicles entitled “The 9 Coolest Toenail Fungi You’ll Find in London” until it feels like the world is going to end**.
Google is a great thing. I (enter Julianna, writer of this measured thought-piece) remember back to the dark old days when trying to find answers to something things was sometimes so very hard. Rewind 15 years to a dark day when I stayed in a B&B in Valencia so dirty that my travelling buddy and I decided to walk around the city all night rather than sleep on the bed (I am not fussy, it really was that bad). It would have been really handy to have read a few reviews before we booked as I’m fairly sure all of them would have read along the lines of STAY AWAY.
Travelling used to be much more of a gamble – sometimes you just had to turn up and hope for the best. We’re not looking back to some glorious heyday: it wasn’t always good, it wasn’t always bad.
What it was, however, was varied. Rather than information being churned out by the same small clutch of big corporate websites that increasingly dominate the front page for so many travel-related search queries, information came from recommendations, guidebooks (note: plural – not just the one brand that seems to have made it through and come up trumps), tourist offices, people on the train, on the plane, in the hostel – there were even more that my old addled brain doesn’t even remember anymore. God that was a long sentence.
So what can we do about it? Well, it’s up to you. On our side we’re going to carry on writing about the things that we’re genuinely interested in. Fewer listicles, more travelogues, more comment, more recommendations and more community. We want to know more about our readers and to help you to explore your next favourite place. Have questions? Want help? Drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to lend a hand.
There. That wasn’t so fighty after all.