Sugar Chain
Creative Commons License photo credit: oskay

Two facts that most online marketers can agree on are that (a) closely targeting a niche market can be the easiest way to drive traffic and sales and (b) building links to your website can be very beneficial both from direct traffic and secondarily from improvements in your search engine rankings.

But herein also lies a potential problem.

Lets use an example to make this problem – and the potential solution – easier and more enjoyable to understand.

Pets.

Very few people in the know would set up a general pet website these days and aim to rank number one in Google for the phrase “pets”. Too much competition. Niche too broad. Untargeted traffic.

Instead we might go into a far smaller niche that will be easier to dominate and have more targeted traffic such as “labrador care”.

We would likely buy a domain name, set up a static website or a blog and then start creating content and building links until we’re happy with our traffic levels.

The problem is that in a tightly-focused niche like this, there might not be too many other labrador sites that we can get links from. Which means either we might struggle to build our traffic to a significant level, or we might have to start trying to build links from totally unrelated websites (which typically will be far less beneficial on our search engine rankings).

Maybe after we’ve exhausted the labrador sites we’ll become a little more generic and look at getting links from more general dog sites. Maybe even considering broad-ranging pet sites.

But whichever way you cut it, in a small niche your opportunities to build links (and traffic) are going to be limited.

Mulling over this problem recently I came up with the concept of what I call “crossover content”. The purpose of this content is simply to bridge two different niches, thus increasing your marketing efforts.

Lets go back to our labrador site. We’ve got as many links as possible from labrador sites, dog sites and even pet sites. But with crossover content, suddenly there are options aplenty.

We could, for example, cross over into the car niche by writing some articles about travelling with dogs. About car dog harnesses. About ensuring your dog doesn’t overheat in the car on hot days. And so on. All of these articles could potentially be submitted as guest posts to popular car sites, or they could be published on our own site and then used a link bait when contacting the car websites.

They form the “glue” between two different niches – just like the snippets that a news anchorman uses to transition between two seemingly unrelated news stories with ease.

What about writing some content about dogs and kids? What breeds of dog are safest with children? How to stop your dog jumping up at kids. How to keep your house clean and hygienic for your children while still having a dog. What are the benefits to children of having a dog around? Suddenly you open up the parenting niche and all those thousands of sites as potential marketing partners.

How about self improvement sites? Content on how dogs can calm you down or how they can help people who are ill to recover faster. Articles on how having a dog encourages you to exercise. Or how taking care of another living being can be positive in itself.

All you’re doing is essentially “crossing” your own niche with as many others as you can realistically manage and then using this “crossover content” to significantly increase the potential links and referral traffic that simply wouldn’t be available to you if it weren’t for this one simple concept.

So why not take a few minutes today with a pad and pen to consider what new angles you could consider for your own niche sites, get creating your own crossover content and then prepare yourself for an explosion of new traffic.