Yesterday we talked about local vs. national Examiner.com titles but that only solves half the equation. Now you need to decide on a niche, a specific segment of the audience.
Before I even get started, let me tell you a little secret: Lots of Examiners have lots of titles they no longer use. Why? Because they found out after they started writing that they’d chosen a niche that was either too broad or too narrow or just didn’t work. So don’t worry. You can always add another title.
My first title was Berea Food Examiner and it didn’t take long to find out I’d made a mistake. Berea is a very small town with few restaurants and most of the restaurants we do have are fast food or diners because it’s a dry county. We also only have two grocery stores. And it’s difficult to find local recipes in such a small community. As you can probably guess, I had a hard time finding things to write about.
Berea is also a very rural community and not everyone lives on the Internet like I do so it was hard to get enough local traffic to make the page views.
So the first thing you need to do is choose a broad niche or topic, whether you’re covering local or national. For example, if you live in a large metropolitan area, the Columbus Food Examiner would be a great title. You could cover the local restaurant scene, local bakeries, specials and coupons at all the different grocery stores, local ethnic recipes, fair and festival foods, etc. You’d always have something to write about.
On the flip side of the coin, you also don’t want to choose a title that’s too broad. Using that same Food Examiner example, it would be difficult to effectively cover “Food” on a national level. You’d probably end up spending most of your time writing about something more specific like vegetarian recipes or 5-Star restaurants.
That’s all well and good but some of your readers are going to come to you via your Examiner profile and when they see that all you write about is vegetarian recipes they’re going to be disappointed. You’ll appear better in some searches if you have a Vegetarian Recipes Examiner title.
Access to information is something else you need to consider. If you’re going to be the National Food Examiner, how do you intend to provide information about all the different restaurants (or ethnic recipes or state fair fritters?) For credibility purposes you’ll sound much more convincing if you can actually tell your readers you ate the cream puffs at Schmidts and they were wonderful.
In the next article in this series we’ll talk about the difference between Examiner.com’s definition of news content and evergreen content, but that’s also something you need to consider when choosing your title.
If you’re going to be reporting mostly news-type content then you’ll need access to that news and the type of access you’ll need will depend upon your title. For example, covering a food title, in most cases, suggests that you actually have to eat or prepare the food you’re talking about. However, covering celebrity news means you have to cover press releases, news feeds and eventually develop your own celebrity news connections.
Things You Need To Consider When Choosing Your Examiner.com Title
- Local content: Will you have enough local content to about out?
- National content: Will you be able to cover your title effectively?
- Your niche: Is there enough interest in the topic you’re considering?
One thing you really need to remember: If you choose the title of National Pea Pod Examiner, you can not write about beans or pumpkins or tomatoes. Another Examiner may have that title and you’d be encroaching on his turf. Trust me, it’s sounds like a minor point right now but just wait until it happens to you.
You’ll find out soon enough if National Pea Pod Examiner was a good choice but it’s probably not. If you have a deep, abiding interest in peas though, a better choice might be National Pea Examiner, and even that might not be broad enough. (I don’t know. I don’t like peas!) Then you could write about growing peas, preserving peas, recipes with peas, the benefits of peas, new farming techniques…. you get the picture. Instead of being confined to only pea pods you could cover the whole world of peas.
I can tell you from personal experience you’re going to need at least 200-300 articles before you really start generating any income. I currently write under 3 or 4 main titles on a regular basis and I have 4 or 5 additional titles that I write to when I have something to write about. I just hit the 500-article mark and I make around $500 a month. I publish an average of one article a day and if I don’t have any client work, I publish sometimes 5 or 6 articles a day, just to keep the traffic coming in.
Oh, and yeah – I do still have my very first title, Berea Food Examiner. I haven’t written anything for that column for months and I still get pageviews. And those pageviews are included in my income.
For more information on choosing your first title, read: Examiner.com: Tips For Choosing A Local vs. National Title