Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Niche NOT, or Niche?

In my non-illustrious blogging career, I have repeatedly bounced between having a single blog that covers a lot of different topics, and several different blogs that are (somewhat) more focused. Lately I've tended to do the latter, with separate blogs on business, music, the Inland Empire, and NTN Buzztime, but there's always the chance that I could go the other way in the future.

Since I've been bouncing between these two extremes, I was very interested in reading Duncan Riley's thoughts on the matter. Riley, of course, is the former owner of the Inquisitr and a former writer with a bunch of online properties. As I write this, Riley has not yet revealed what his next project will be, but he dropped some hints recently. In the process of doing so, he offered the following comments on niche publications:

I had a particular passion when I entered blogging in 02/03 and I've never lost it. I am going to, at least in part, revisit that. I'll give a clue: I'm going niche again, after the likes of Mashable, TechCrunch and the others went wide. I believe in the scale model, and I know it works, but I think the money, particularly given the state of the US economy, is in niche, high yield verticals with high CPM's.

Read the rest here.

Now since Riley has to make a living from his blogging - the money from the sale of the Inquisitr will only last so long - he does need to pay attention to writing which will provide him with the maximum amount of revenue. (Provided, of course, that the writing is of interest to him.)

Ironically, when I began searching for discussions of the CPM metric, the first thing that came up was a TechCrunch post by Shelby Bonnie that discussed the drawbacks of the CPM as a metric. Here's a sample:

I believe in basic economics. If you pay for impressions, you get impressions. Is that, in the end, what marketers really want? How about engagement? How about impact? How about actually selling product? A glut of impressions has helped no one.

However, Bonnie was ranting about the use of the CPM as the only metric. Note that Riley was speaking about both CPM AND niche. If I were to create a blog solely devoted to automated fingerprint identification systems (a blog which, for professional reasons, I am unable to write at this time), I could guarantee that any clicks on that blog would be clicks from the engaged persons that Bonnie so desperately wants.
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