The biggest publishing niches to the smallest, and how to use them to make informed business decisions
It’s in our nature to try to classify, catalog, and organize any type of information that would help you make more informed business decisions. Defining publishing niches is a part of that.
On a call with the team couple weeks ago, we decided to do some research to see what we considered the biggest niches. This type of information could be useful for a publisher looking to launch a new niche magazine, or a magazine needing a pivot.
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There are three levels of publishing niches:
Multi Niche Publisher: These aren’t very niche at all, and include your big media websites that cover every topic under the sun, like Real Simple, for example, which covers cooking, gardening, interior design, and fashion. This could also include major news sites like USA Today. Back in the day we would have considered About.com a Multi Niche site, but they recently decided to break their website up from being all housed under About.com to turning each niche into their own distinct websites, making them now either Mass Niche, or Niche websites.
Mass Niche Publisher: These include a content portal based on a single niche, but where the primary keyword phrase (like cooking and travel) generates more than 1 million or more searches per month up to 5 million.
Niche Publisher: On the same principle, these content portals focus on one niche, but their primary keyword (like knitting or interior design) garners less than 1 million searches per month.
Why are these important to define publishing niches on such a broad level? It’s mostly a “good to know” basis when you’re deciding where to grow. When you know your competition, you can make informed business decisions. If you’re acquiring markets, launching and marketing new markets, you should know how to size them. The data below is rudimentary, but now that you’ll know whether you’re talking about knitting or news, you can determine where to go from there.
After a giant brainstorm with the team, below are the most major “niches” in publishing. You may not be surprised that “sex” and “news” have the same approximate numbers for search volume. Maybe that’s simply where Google’s cut-off point ends, at 45 million (kidding).
- news – 45,500,000
- sex – 45,500,000
- sports – 13,600,000
- movies – 9,140,000
- cars – 9,140,000
- music – 7,480,000
- food – 6,120,000
- baby – 2,240,000
- guns – 2,240,000
- makeup – 1,830,000
- history – 1,830,000
- fishing – 1,830,000
- investing – 1,500,000
- business – 1,500,000
- fitness – 1,500,000
- travel – 1,220,000
- art – 1,000,000
- fashion – 823,000
- celebrity – 823,000
- kids – 823,000
- teen – 823,000
- gardening – 673,000
- health – 450,000
- interior design – 450,000
- archery – 368,000
- hunting – 201,000
- knitting – 135,000
- boating – 40,500
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but you’re probably thinking, hey, what about other terms like “recipes” or “cooking”? Shouldn’t they go under food?
Good question! Since it would be impossible to try and find out every possible sub-term to combine for every niche, we did search sub-terms but only chose the keyword with the highest volume in each niche. We did however, separate baby, kids and teen because they are distinct niches with different subjects. “Parenting” itself was surprisingly low in volume at less than 50,000 searches per month.
And it’s not without fault. For example, “weather” has 124 million people searching for it every month, but most likely those aren’t 124 million people interested in truly learning about the weather, or aspiring weatherpeople looking to get their doppler fix. They just want to know if it’s going to be sunny or rainy so they can pick their clothes out for the day. You could probably say the same about “sex” but we think that still qualifies as a legitimate interest.
The goal of this exercise is simply to get a broader look at niche publishing, to see where you stand amongst the giants. And if you’re in the process of purchasing, or reupholstering a niche publishing business, it’s good to know how big your space is.
Unless you are already one of the giants, we don’t recommend trying to start an aggregate portal crossing multiple niches. Instead, you can garner more loyal subscribers and followers by going niche. And the more niche, the better.
When you become a Mequoda Gold Member, you begin a transformational journey to multiplatform publishing success. And it all starts with Mequoda’s experienced planning team working with you to create a detailed, bulletproof five-year business plan – a comprehensive map that takes you successfully into the 21st century. Schedule a call with me to talk more about your business goals.