“[A “Shoulder Niche” is] a niche that is closely related to your sites main topic. “
If you’re struggling to get links from those in your industry – which can often happen if many of them see themselves as your competitors – it’s worth exploring a “shoulder niche” for content outreach.
For example, here’s the example Brian himself gives: if you were in the “pest control” niche, these would be a few possible shoulder niches:
Note: Here’s a great case study of this exact example from Brian Dean and Mike Bonadio (it’s well worth a read).
Here’s how to do it:
- Brainstorm shoulder niches
- Incorporate them into your content outreach
Brainstorming shoulder niches is pretty straightforward; simply sit down and create a mind-map of other similar industries/niches that may be interested in your content.
Here’s what one might look like if I was trying to build links to my list of link building techniques (sorry Brian,
stole lovingly-borrowed your image):
It’s then just a case of finding bloggers in your chosen shoulder niches and reaching out to them (note: you can use a tool like Followerwonk to find bloggers).
Here’s a basic outreach template to use:
I’m [YOUR NAME], [POSITION] at [WEBSITE].
I really enjoyed your article about [INSERT SHOULDER NICHE RELATED SUBJECT]; I’ve never heard of [MENTION SOMETHING FROM THE ARTICLE] before.
I just wanted to reach out to you as I’ve just put-together an article entitled: [INSERT TITLE] that I thought might interest you.
Fancy taking a look?