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Search, Segmentation and Silos

Knowing who and what your site is for is key.

As important, is knowing who and what your site is NOT for.

Consider this site, there are lots of things I can and do talk about, but in most cases I try to bring it always back to the main themes of boosting your authority and business via new media.

Pictures of my cat are more likely to appear on my personal site. Photography stuff goes on my photography blog.

What about when a topic does have relevance to your audience, but only a small subset?

That is when segmentation comes in. This is where you get people to opt-in to a more focused site, list or feed, so that the rest of your audience are not bothered by it and where you can comfortably lavish the full package on just those people.

Sub-lists though are not the only way to do it. You can create off-shoot websites, as I did with Authority Blogger. These satellite sites can attract their own search traffic through creating highly targeted content and some kick-start links from your main site.

This traffic will also be funneled to join your niche email list or feed, and will not be distracted by your broader content outside of that silo because they will not get to see it unless you intentionally link it up.

Yes, creating new sites is additional work, but often a highly focused site does well both with audience and search, much more easily than a broad, cumbersome and disorganized monolithic site. A domain and ten pages of killer flagship content might be all you need.

Worth a try?

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Comments

  1. Glen Crosier says:

    Hi Chris, makes a lot of sense for some topics…I’d be interested to know how you may start thinking about this. The idea of having a mini site with just 10 pages of flagship content sounds appealing for writer and audience, would you suggest a static site could do the job? or would it need updating with fresh content to work best ?

    Cheers
    Glen

  2. Glen Crosier says:

    Hi Chris, makes a lot of sense for some topics…I’d be interested to know how you may start thinking about this. The idea of having a mini site with just 10 pages of flagship content sounds appealing for writer and audience, would you suggest a static site could do the job? or would it need updating with fresh content to work best ?

    Cheers
    Glen

  3. It wouldn’t require fresh content to keep ranking, but fresh content to read would keep the audience engaged. That’s not to say it would even need to be weekly, just enough to keep them from forgetting they ever subscribed.

  4. It wouldn’t require fresh content to keep ranking, but fresh content to read would keep the audience engaged. That’s not to say it would even need to be weekly, just enough to keep them from forgetting they ever subscribed.

  5. Building up a focused audience to high numbers, who are bound to have diverse sub-interests is a great way to go. This is how it’s possible to become more generalized, if you want to. But if you began generalized, you would probably not have appealed to enough people.

    I noticed Darren is doing this with new TwiTips blog. There is a subset of ProBlogger readers interested enough in Twitter to make a go of it. Also, Darren won’t worry about wanting to write about Twitter too much on ProBlogger. It was a smart move.

  6. Building up a focused audience to high numbers, who are bound to have diverse sub-interests is a great way to go. This is how it’s possible to become more generalized, if you want to. But if you began generalized, you would probably not have appealed to enough people.

    I noticed Darren is doing this with new TwiTips blog. There is a subset of ProBlogger readers interested enough in Twitter to make a go of it. Also, Darren won’t worry about wanting to write about Twitter too much on ProBlogger. It was a smart move.

  7. @Michael – Yep, and note he didn’t create a “web2.0 social media buzzword compliant” blog, he chose a tightly focused sub-sub-niche 🙂

  8. @Michael – Yep, and note he didn’t create a “web2.0 social media buzzword compliant” blog, he chose a tightly focused sub-sub-niche 🙂

  9. Yes, spinning off small niche blogs is one way to go.

    Another way is to broaden your blog in order to create a ‘magazine’ format, like Lifehack for example with a range of topics.

    To accomplish that would mean using guest writers who write for particular categories.

    What’s your take of that, compared to the niche strategy?

  10. Yes, spinning off small niche blogs is one way to go.

    Another way is to broaden your blog in order to create a ‘magazine’ format, like Lifehack for example with a range of topics.

    To accomplish that would mean using guest writers who write for particular categories.

    What’s your take of that, compared to the niche strategy?

  11. Definitely a great post. One that actually has me re-reading your Killer Flagship Content book for the third time 🙂

    I’ve seen people start out and have 3-4 blogs, all loosely related to each other, but they felt the need to do them separately in order to feel like they’re “focused” on each individual sub-niche. Not only did it (in 9 cases out of 10) create burnout for writing and managing the blogs, it also hindered them from creating a solid flagship website to build off of.

    Awesome post Chris.

  12. Definitely a great post. One that actually has me re-reading your Killer Flagship Content book for the third time 🙂

    I’ve seen people start out and have 3-4 blogs, all loosely related to each other, but they felt the need to do them separately in order to feel like they’re “focused” on each individual sub-niche. Not only did it (in 9 cases out of 10) create burnout for writing and managing the blogs, it also hindered them from creating a solid flagship website to build off of.

    Awesome post Chris.

  13. I have two blog sites, the main one tightly focused on the Anxiety Disorders, and the other one for everything else. I’ve been having second thoughts about the “everything else” site, since I don’t have much time for updating it.

    Your post has given me a new perspective on the “everything else” site: Fewer posts with great flagship content may be better than driving myself to write regular, and less interesting, posts.

    Incidentally, I note that you provide links to your other sites only in your “About” page. Does the focus on a blog’s particular niche preclude including links on the front page to your other blogs? I have a link on my “everything else” blog to my main blog, but not vice versa.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

  14. I have two blog sites, the main one tightly focused on the Anxiety Disorders, and the other one for everything else. I’ve been having second thoughts about the “everything else” site, since I don’t have much time for updating it.

    Your post has given me a new perspective on the “everything else” site: Fewer posts with great flagship content may be better than driving myself to write regular, and less interesting, posts.

    Incidentally, I note that you provide links to your other sites only in your “About” page. Does the focus on a blog’s particular niche preclude including links on the front page to your other blogs? I have a link on my “everything else” blog to my main blog, but not vice versa.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

  15. My job is designing, developing, and maintaining blogs and websites. I think about the non content related aspects of running successful sites all day. Because of that, my views may be slanted.

    With that out of the way, I want to throw out the idea that running multiple sites is usually much more work than people anticipate. Yes, there is the content to produce, and community to build and tend. But there is also the technical cost of running multiple sites to be considered.

    I wonder how far one could go with segmenting a single site effectively. By using categories, category specific layouts (ie, landing pages based on categories or groups of categories), and category specific RSS feeds, one could go pretty far. Chris, what are your thoughts on that? What SEO implications are there?

    Great post!

  16. My job is designing, developing, and maintaining blogs and websites. I think about the non content related aspects of running successful sites all day. Because of that, my views may be slanted.

    With that out of the way, I want to throw out the idea that running multiple sites is usually much more work than people anticipate. Yes, there is the content to produce, and community to build and tend. But there is also the technical cost of running multiple sites to be considered.

    I wonder how far one could go with segmenting a single site effectively. By using categories, category specific layouts (ie, landing pages based on categories or groups of categories), and category specific RSS feeds, one could go pretty far. Chris, what are your thoughts on that? What SEO implications are there?

    Great post!