One of my friends thinks I’m a SEO master (I’m not). He thinks this because I finally convinced him to put up a website for his business. He’s a little old school and really didn’t think he needed it. It took a couple of years but he finally let me build it.
I did all the basics (that many people often do not): coded it correctly using the correct tags (for example: article, section, header, footer, etc). Made sure all the images had alt tags. Added unique titles and descriptions in the SEO plugin. Used heading tags correctly (not for styling!), used lists where appropriate. I kept the site updated, changed themes a few times to get the latest and greatest.
His business is nationwide. When we launched the site it was essentially a side job for him, extra money in his pocket. But he started coming up in search results and then he started coming up on the first page of search results and usually at the top for very general searches.
Today, some 8 years later, it is his primary source of income. He made 6 figures last year. The best part is on our annual trip to Vegas with some of our other friends, he told me I eat for free. Yeah, Baby!
How did this happen? I must be a genius right? Not hardly. His business is very focused. He’s an expert witness for an industry where there are not many people like him. I knew if he had website coded halfway decently he’d start getting business off the web.
If you’re in an industry like that a well-coded site can go a long ways (he doesn’t even blog or do social media). But what if your industry is highly competitive and filled with thousands and thousands of people like yourself who also have well-coded websites. For example, my industry: web development. There are more than a few web developers out there. Where’s my niche?
Word of Mouth
As an aside, I still think word-of-mouth is the best advertising you can get. Getting started is the hard part which is why when you get that first job do a great job. In the beginning I didn’t charge much. I figured I was getting paid to learn and that was fine. And if I had to learn something new that I knew I was going to use a lot in the future, I didn’t charge clients for that either. I’ve read where other developers highly discourage that. That’s fine. You have decide what you feel comfortable with and what will work for you.
So let’s look at my niche in a drill down fashion.
- I’m a web developer
Lots of those around.
- Specifically, I’m web programmer. Primarily, I build websites, I don’t design them.
Lots of those around too, but this narrows it down somewhat.
- I’m a WordPress developer. I evolved into this, but I use WordPress for all my projects now.
Lots of those around too, but not as many as #2. We’re weeding out some people.
- I’m a web developer who lives in Arizona
Now I’ve really narrowed it down. Still a lot, but not nearly the amount of #3.
- Specifically, I’m a web developer who lives in Prescott Valley, Arizona.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Not sure how many developers live in this area, but probably not a lot.
You may be thinking, but you can work with anyone anywhere. Yes, that is the case and I have clients all over the country, but I’ve decided my niche for this blogging experiment is my local area. I’m looking for people in this area who want a WordPress website and who may be far more comfortable meeting their developer face-to-face at a local coffee shop than they would be talking to one on the phone.
With that in mind, I’ll be mentioning this area (Prescott, Arizona and surrounding cities) in many of my blogs. Honestly, I don’t love social media, so this will be an experiment since I’m not going to use Facebook, Twitter or anything else (you should use these in most cases) to try to get business in this area except my website and my charming personality.