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Politics. There’s a lot of traffic there. But, can you make a business out of it?

This is an interesting niche. With everybody being hot and bothered about something these days, you would think politics is a hot niche. But…

Be careful.

In fact, politics is generally a market I recommend people stay away from. And I’ll tell you why…

The best markets out there are the ones where people are looking to accomplish something, get some kind of outcome, or solve a problem. When people have a need or want that CAN be fulfilled, a real marketplace can form.

The problem with politics is that while people care about it, there’s very little they can actually DO about it. They might follow it, similar to general news, sports, or celebrities. But, in the end, there’s very little around the topic that they can actually DO anything about. In politics, generally, there’s little more than voting that people can actually do.

This means that while you may be able to go out there and stir up emotions and build some traffic, there’s not a lot in terms of actual products or services that you can offer. Most such sites end up relying on advertising or affiliate marketing for general consumer products. And that’s not a model that is very reliable – especially in a busy niche like politics.

Gaps & Opportunities

Personally, I wouldn’t touch a politics blog. But, if you were to force my hand, here’s how I would attempt to go about it…

The desires of the “market” here might fall into the following camps:

  • The ability to “win” a debate and prove the other side wrong. It is a pretty base instinct, but let’s face it: It’s real.
  • Community organizing, or movements. Help people who want to start a politically motivated movement actually do so.

So, on one hand, I think there could be a gap in the arena of providing talking points and backed-up stats specifically aimed at winning debates for different political “teams”. And some people take this stuff seriously enough where they might actually pay a bit for that. It is common for people to “link drop” mainstream media stories to back up their points, but mainstream news is biased and not very reliable in a lot of cases. So, if you took on the role of “truth finder” and backed up points with real stats and helped boil that down into simple talking points, that’s a service I could potentially see having some draw.

On a related note, politics is a movement, in general. It is a massive game of “us vs them”. So, I think a major part of any marketing in this space wouldn’t be merely about the classic “features and benefits” like a lot of offers, but even just a way to support a cause or movement that they feel is incredibly important.

The political world is generally mapped out like this these days:

  • You’ve got the 10-15% fringe on either side of the spectrum. These guys live, eat and breathe this stuff. They want the red meat content and they want to stick it to the other side really badly. Content that stokes their fears and emotions is what works here. It is unfortunate, but this fact has led to a lot of media companies focusing on this type of content.
  • Then you’ve got the 60%-70% of people who look at both of those fringes and can’t say they identify with either of them very well. A more even-handed tone would work better with these guys.

As mentioned above, a possible avenue for an actual service in this space might be to aid and consult for political groups who, themselves, are fighting for some cause but need help getting the traction. So, I could see training for non-profits, or even online marketing work specifically aimed at these types of groups being a potential offering.

Lastly, you have the auxiliary markets that tend to relate to politics. The survival/prepping space is one such example. Typically, these people are conservative. They worry about the direction of politics and the economy. So, this is an example of how using political content can draw in people likely to have a certain set of concerns that are non-political… then you go the way of helping them solve THAT concern.

However, if you went that route, then you’re actually in THAT space – not politics. And generally I think you would be better off concentrating on content for your chosen market and merely placing sponsored content on political sites to draw people in.

On the whole, though, most political sites rely on donations or ads to monetize. Again, that’s not my preference and that’s why I usually recommend to steer clear of this topic unless you have a very clear strategy behind it.