Industry News Doesn’t Have To Be Boring: 5 Lessons For Niche Content

In the broad spectrum of exciting industries, real estate portals are somewhere in the middle between packaging materials and taming lions.

While most people enjoy browsing real estate on them, it would be fair to say that not everyone gets a boost from reading about their financial results or who the new marketing chief is.

The stories I write about real estate portal companies for are definitely esoteric at the time, or at least would be considered niche – there is a limited but highly valued audience for these things.

Just because a topic isn’t for everyone doesn’t mean writing has to be.

And just because you already have a loyal readership doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to expand the audience that you get from search engines.

These are some of the lessons I’ve learned to make things more interesting in two and a half years of creating content for a niche industry.

Experience comes from data, not big words

Photo by the author, September 2022

The stare was worth it for all the beautiful data.

I know or have personally interacted with a high percentage of my audience at one time or another, so why is my tone so impersonal and harsh when writing to them?

Too often, I come across industry journalism that reads like a college thesis.

On the other hand, I write about an industry where some companies are described as a “500-pound gorilla” and where a market downturn can lead me to use the word “trillion” next to the word “dollars.”

The numbers and quotes your content needs will be there somewhere.

Your readers and search engines will appreciate taking the time to search the internet to find and present them without the unnecessarily big keywords.

At the beginning of this year, I spent two hours at the end of each day finding the financial and operating metrics for all of the publicly traded real estate portal companies around the world over the past four years.

Incredibly hard work, no doubt, but it’s a unique set of data that has allowed me to show expertise as someone still relatively new to a high-value industry.

SEO benefits of combining “need-to-know, hard-to-find” data with a less formal tone:

  • It allows you to show experience, especially if you are new to the field.
  • Addressing your readers informally can help build community and repeat engagement, especially if combined with a personalized newsletter.
  • Gathering statistics is the first step towards building graphs and visuals.

Avoid the numbers in the paragraph. It’s all about the visuals

If you’ve taken the time to get your “need-to-know, hard-to-find” data, don’t waste it by just typing the numbers into a paragraph.

When I had to read industry news in a previous post, I brushed off numbers in a paragraph.

One of the biggest (and most obvious on reflection) lessons from the last two and a half years of telling people about proprietary gate performance is this: no one else does.

It’s not just about the subconscious and lizard’s mind about humans preferring to look at images rather than text – the infographics help readers immediately contextualize numbers and increase engagement.

Top real estate portals in Eastern Europe 2022Image via, September 2022

If you can’t be bothered making a graph, the numbers probably aren’t worth including.

We found that our articles that contain at least one infographic have a 34% better session duration than those that are plain text only.

It may take more time and mean to learn to use Photoshop, but using the data on some high quality images with proper alt referral will go a long way with the search engines. It could be the difference between blue link #2 and the featured snippet.

SEO benefits of taking the time to build infographics and visual resources:

  • Users will stay on your page if they have some candy.
  • If you give them relevant and referral alt titles, Google will index your graphs and images, and you will see an increase in traffic from Google Image Search.

A word of warning here. We used a plugin that renders all of our charts using javascript. This means that Google did not index them as images, and was slowing down our pages.

There are a lot of plugins that offer nice looking charts. You may want to use one of them to generate graphs on the back end and then use a screenshot image on the front end.

Reviews make content live and can lead to links

Good content creators read a lot, and iterate on what catches them.

I try to read a lot outside of my field and have a board where I keep any niche content that I particularly enjoy. Most of the articles on this board take sides and stand for something.

Invariably, the writer’s careful expression of his opinions makes for a more engaging version.

My boss, for example, has a lot of opinions about our standing.

I recorded one of our conversations and put it on YouTube – it generated a lot of feedback and led to a counterargument interview with another industry notable.

If your opinion is contrived, meant to sell you something, and hasn’t been sustained throughout your business, you might not care either.

I have another board called How Not to Write.

Five of the top ten entries out there are placed to express the incredibly sweet opinion that “PropTech is the future of the real estate industry” – an opinion that is probably intended to sell you something.

Perhaps you would like to see more equality in your niche. Perhaps you want to see faster adoption of the technology, or, like some people in my field, you are a staunch antitrust.

Whatever your position, articulate it consistently, carefully, preferably with some humor, and you’ll have people asking you to reiterate it on their blog, podcast, or social media.

The SEO benefits of linking niche content to some accurate opinions:

  • Opinions, when expressed consistently and appropriately, can lead to content collaboration opportunities.
  • Reviews make your content live, build community, and increase engagement.

Professional advice: The trick here is to know the time and place in order to disseminate the opinion. Don’t let your opinions define your post!

Keep detailed records of your outputs, analyze, adjust, and iterate

The data I’ve collected from our site over the past two and a half years shows that when it comes to the types of news articles we cover, there is roughly an inverse relationship between Google traffic and how well companies want it. write it down

Stories about mergers and acquisitions work well, as do any stories about redundancy or controversy. Stories based on direct company press releases about a new product or partnership doing poorly.

OnlineMarketplaces measures news articles that show mergers and acquisitions are doing wellPhoto by the author, September 2022

Not all news is created equal. Word count, category, days of the week, number of visuals, companies mentioned, where you shared it, who amplified it – it’s all the data you have to record and analyze.

I might get some groans from the freelancers I work with when I ask them to fill out all the information, but this data tells me what works and what doesn’t.

SEO benefits of keeping detailed records of your content output:

  • GA (Google Analytics) is great, but there’s a lot they can’t tell you.
  • The more data you have on your content, the faster you can create a feedback loop that tells you exactly what Google sees your site for as a reference.

More in-depth content is well worth the effort

on me 90% of content receives no traffic from Google. This means that for most people, a tiny percentage of their content does a large portion of the heavy lifting.

Statistics prove! Roughly 75% of my pageviews over the past two and a half years have come from my top 25 articles, which means I wasted a lot of time in the beginning writing news stories that very few people would read.

Many article URLs - diminishing returnsPhoto by the author, September 2022

The lesson here is that if you cover a niche industry, you are automatically in the top 1% of people who care a lot about this stuff. If you, as the one percent person, find something boring, then it’s definitely boring and not worth your time writing it.

Two years ago, I was grateful when my PR people came to me with press releases, which meant I didn’t have to search for news. I am now much more choosy about what I’m going to do and won’t even bother spending time writing.

Go do some searching for something interesting instead.

Spend some time making something the best resource on the internet rather than being the first to click on something very few people will be interested in.

SEO Benefits of Leaning into Industry Specific Long Form Content:

  • Longer content is more likely to be considered a “useful” form by Google.
  • Fewer vignettes mean less content to maintain and an improved crawl budget.
  • Longer content lends itself to being updated periodically – a great low-effort tactic.

Enjoy creating great content for your niche!

More resources:

  • Should you create a specialized or multi-topic site?
  • 7 unexpected lessons that changed the way I write
  • Interviewing B2B experts for a better content strategy

Featured image: pikselstock / Shutterstock

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