Brett from Niche Laboratory here.
In this post I'm gonna share a new business idea I have.
Actually it's not really a new business idea - it's been around for a few years now. This business type is KILLING IT online!!!
How do I know? Because I once had loads of visitors to my personal website, but a new business model stole my traffic!
What is it?
The Answers type website!
I once wrote a number of programming how-to articles. For example, how to find the length of a text string in SQL. I got a load of traffic to them and used this traffic to promote my own software products.
But from 2010 onwards, the traffic started to vanish.
Where did it go?
This site absolutely dominates the SERPs for programming type questions. But unbelieveably it's not an old site. I think it started gaining serious traffic in 2009. That's over 10 years after Google started.
Since then a lot of answer type sites have sprung up in various niches. Indeed stackoverflow have sites for all kinds of niches - they've successfully moved out of the IT niche.
There are also gigantic sites that are just generic Q & A type sites - Quora is one that springs to mind.
So if you're starting to think about making a niche blog, then why not make an Answers site instead?
Niche Laboratory can help you out here - it finds a lot of questions about your niche that people need answers to. Register to get more keyword suggestions.
If you want to make a site then you don't need any programming ability. Here's a list of Answers Wordpress Templates.
QAEngine is the one I like best in the list. Which one is your favorite?
The only thing I don't like about these is that they force people to register to ask questions.
This will put off a lot of people. Users don't like complicated registration processes these days. At the very least you should allow them to log in with FB, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn (business niches).
As to my own niche sites, I do have one niche in which I want to try a Q/A type site. It's a popular niche. It's quite easy to get traffic. And people have a gigantic number of questions to ask, because it is a phenomenally complicated niche!
Watch this space!
An update on my answers site idea.
I've now built the site and populated with a few dummy entries.
But overnight I got my first, legitimate question posted on there!
OK so the user submitted question doesn't exactly have decent grammar and it's kind of aimed at another site. But it is proof that my site might be able to build up some kind of momentum.
If you want an example of a successful answers site then I make use of this one quite a lot: http://answers.echinacities.com/. It's a great example of an answers forum that has been bolted onto an existing site. As with all mini-niche sites, you can always do better if you expand an existing site rather than try to make a brand new site.
If you think an answers type site will do good things in your own niche then post your questions and thoughts below.
Happy site building :)
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