Beyond your Niche

It is easy to get tunnel vision when working. One thing to remember is there is a lot going on out there beyond your Niche and it is beneficial to be proactive.

Years ago I worked in retail as a district manager. We had stores in malls and I had a simple rule for employees. Park at the opposite entrance of the mall. Why?

Awareness. Walking through the mall on the way to the store was a great way to see what was going on in other stores and the mall itself. I saw a lot of good and creative ideas come from this practice.

This rule applies to the Internet. If you are trying to have a successful site on the Internet you need to be aware of what else is going on around you and your visitors. It helps to know a little about what others are doing in your market, and it is also beneficial to look beyond your niche. The easiest way to do this is with RSS Subscriptions, Newsletters and Email Alerts. I have sites in several niches, and I subscribe and monitor blogs and people way beyond those niches. Some of the best information I see is where I would have least expected it.

Subscribe to blogs outside your niche and you might be surprised what kind of ideas you can pick up.

21 thoughts on “Beyond your Niche

  1. David,

    What a great post man… Your management job sounded a lot like mine. I was a regional manager for Lenscrafters which has over 1000 locations in malls throughout the United States. I would frequently secret shop other retail outlets to check out how well their employees were trained and educated. I would inspect the appearance of their store and even at times pretend to apply for employment in order to get an assessment of their management.

  2. Thanks Garry, crossing over things we learned in other jobs should be something we all share. Customer service and knowledge are just as important here as they are in Brick and Mortar businesses, if not more.

  3. Now this is some great advice, both in a shopping centre and especially on the Internet!

    I agree that you can learn from other people’s successes and also their mistakes, but at the same time, perhaps more importantly you can meet like-minded individuals that you might not ordinarily have met.

    It’s a lot easier to be motivated and come up with ideas together when people are of a similar mindset – I always value that, especially when you try explaining a great idea to someone, only to see their eyes glaze over since they’re really not bothered/interested/understanding!

  4. Zath, there is no doubt about the synergy that can be built from like minded people as Mike mentioned. I have made some pretty good friends outside of any niche markets I am in and it really helps keep me creative and focused.

  5. A pretty neat way of looking at this too is the fact that even though other bloggers blog about certain topics, who is to say that they aren’t also interested in the things that you blog about. I have many interests, so for me… blogging isn’t always about making money online. I enjoy video games, aviation, technology, writing and all kinds of things… Movies, music, gossip and news… Great work again on this post dude. I have submitted this article to digg david nice work click here.

  6. I agree, I’m a homemom3 and basically that’s what I blog about (on that blog) but I subscribe to so many different types and learn a lot along the way. From making money online, SEO, military blogs, technical type of blogs to your mom/dad blogs. I’ve picked up things along the way and incorporated them into my site, others I read as much as I can to actually try to figure out other ways to help me. I’ve also noticed trends during certain months with all of them. Wonderful article!

  7. -Gary, thanks, and that Digg means even more coming from you!
    -homemom3, sounds like you have it down. Those trends you notice could really come in helpful! Like now, with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner.

  8. Let me echo, “Great advice!” It gets me to thinking about revising my subscriptions. I have so many, but it’s time to do some pruning and replace them with different ones from different niches. There have been many times I’ve picked up a few ideas here and there while visiting other blogs. It is, indeed, a great way to keep from getting stagnant and try new things you wouldn’t otherwise try.

  9. -Mark, thanks, and I have found that over the last few years I prune and replace my feeds and a lot of times I go full circle back to reading someone I had not read in awhile. I also am constantly looking through the feeds of people who comment on blogs I read.

  10. I agree CyberCoder. Actually my feed reader contains more feeds from those people who actually don’t have anything to do with what my blog is about.

    Besides keeping me updated about what is going on around me in the section that I don’t really care much about, it gives me pleasure of reading lighter stuff & literary and linguistic settlement besides many other things.

    “Team” idea sounds cool. I have tried it with a cousin at The Funny Guys’ Blog and it kind of works. I like the whole stuff.

    Abhinav [cYbEx] Sood

  11. -Abhinav – Thanks for the comment. The Team idea works, I have several people that I work with constantly on ideas.
    Rosari – Do you mean which Niche to look at that is outside your Niche?
    Pure Marketing blogs can be very helpful, guys like Marketing Hipster give me lots to think about and explore.

  12. Getting ideas from other blogs and even standard websites is great. My only concern, and David I know you understand me, is losing direction on where my site is going. There are so many great ideas out there, that I would start in one place and end up in a totally different area with my blog(s). How do I keep things simple but explore without compromising traffic and PR and other things….

    -TheYoungGuy — Just rambling

  13. -Gaje/TheYoungGuy – Thanks for the comments. TYG, your right, I know you well and I can see this can cause problems. Focus and management has got to be in place to keep us from running amuck. I think Garry said it on a post recently, do one thing, wait a couple weeks, check results, then move on. Patience !

  14. I just listened to Garrys video “How to make money online with little traffic” and one thing he mentioned was having only one monetization program at a time. Not to spread yourself to thin. So I have removed TLA from my site and decided to stick with just adsense. I will stick with this until my traffic increases. I thing I would like though is to make my site a little cleaner looking. The theme seems to be a bit of a mess and I would like to clean it up… any ideas.

  15. yupz, totally agree. knowing people of other specialties or niche is important in both real life and on the internet.

    sometimes it may even help you expand or grow what your are currently doing with your expertise by importing what you’ve learn from people of other trade.

    this is why i always feel that networking is important =)

    it’s great knowing your site!

    Computer TNT (Tips and Tricks)
    – The Technical Website for the Not-So-Technical People!

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