I don’t really see 2009 being much different from any other year in terms of poker niches. But which poker niche to target is always a popular topic, so I thought I’d write some thoughts about different corners of the poker market which might be fun to write a website about. (By the way, you’d be amazed at how many searchers add the year, like “2009″, to all kinds of queries.)

2009 Poker Niches

  1. Specific poker events- I don’t see people leveraging or maximizing the potential that’s out there for having minisites created around specific poker events. Most people with a minisite strategy create sites around topics that don’t necessarily warrant a real website. But you could have a website about the World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour, or even the World Championship of Online Poker. And in some of those cases, you wouldn’t need to update the site often at all.
  2. Poker photography- So many people focus on a single type of content, and that’s written content. But photographs are a legitimate type of content too. The same keyword research techniques apply to photograph content as applies to written content too. The approach I would take, if I were launching a poker photography niche site, would be to take my own photographs. And I think this would be a fun niche, too.
  3. Poker chats- There’s no shortage of poker forums and discussion lists out there, but what about chats? Hosting a weekly chat with a specific topic and a well-known poker player as the host could result in some serious stickiness for your site. And you could post archives of the actual chat discussion, along with some editorial commentary, in order to have plenty of “spider food”.
  4. Poker jobs- Really any kind of site about playing poker or being involved in the poker industry would be a cool niche site. You could include a section about how to become a poker dealer, how to become an affiliate manager at an online poker site, and a section about how to make a living actually playing poker. Becoming a prop player is another potential article topic, and I’m sure you could come up with several more with a little thought.
  5. Poker leagues- People love bowling leagues, shuffleboard leagues, dart leagues, and billiards leagues. And people love to connect socially. Why not tap into this tendency and host a website that focuses almost entirely around a poker league? You could include message boards, a calendar of events, articles written by members of the league, interviews of members, etc…
  6. Poker classifieds- The classified ad section of Two Plus Two always seemed busy, and I’m not entirely sure why they pulled it from the site. I suspect that it had to do with a bigger advertising deal. But Craigslist and Backpage.com are both huge sites offering free classified ads and discussion boards combined. The way the classifieds work on Backpage.com is to offer a free listing, but charging small fees for preferred placement on an auction style basis. I think this model and niche would work very well for a poker niche site.
  7. Poker ethics- A minisite about ethical issues involving poker would make for some unique content opportunities. I would focus on specific situations and include a comments section or forum so that people could discuss the situations and what’s right or wrong. Again, this is a way to build a sticky poker site with lots of repeat visitors.
  8. Poker history- You see a lot of sites with a “poker history” article, but a REAL poker history site would be fascinating to both research and read. This is the kind of niche site that could become a true “authority” site. It’s also a topic that’s woefully under-represented on the Internet right now.
  9. Poker law- There are a few great websites which focus on gambling law in general, but I don’t know of any that are specifically about law and poker. If you know a young attorney who’s not rich yet, you could partner on the site. You could look at various laws that are specific to poker, general laws that apply to poker, and location specific legalities.
  10. Poker humor- You occasionally see some “poker humor” on people’s websites, but you rarely see a site devoted exclusively to poker humor. You could include poker jokes, poker standup acts on video, poker cartoons, poker anecdotes…poker is full of “characters”. Use that to your advantage.
  11. Poker coaching- There are actually quite a few poker coaching and training sites. I would approach this niche differently. I’d run a website that teaches poker coaches how to be better educators and better coaches. I’d include classes on how to build their practice and how to get more clients. Instead of offering the poker coaching, I’d focus on serving the poker coaches themselves.
  12. Poker media- Lots of poker news sites out there, but the niche hasn’t been conquered by a long shot. There are so many possibilities on this front, especially if you work on being a multimedia content provider. You could publish an actual physical poker newspaper or magazine, host a poker radio show online, and produce poker videos. Almost all of these content delivery technologies are under-used and under-served in the poker niche.
  13. Poker travel- This seems like such an obvious niche that I’d think almost everyone would have a site in the industry. I got my start as an affiliate manager at Hotels.com, and many of my accounts generated commission of five figures a month. And people who play poker like to travel. So why not write a travel guide specifically aimed at poker players?
  14. Poker books- There are a LOT of poker strategy books out there. Why not operate a website which reviews as many of them as you can read? Or use the Amazon model, and get your website visitors to provide reviews of the poker books also.
  15. Regional and local poker sites- This is still my #1 pick for a poker niche for a poker webmaster. What could be easier than writing about poker in your local area? And what could be an easier site to pick up links to? Just go to the other local businesses for link trades and cross-promotions.
  16. Poker people- The fansite concept is overdone for poker sites, but the poker community concept is under-served. What about hosting a community for gay poker players? How about a community combining personal ads with poker, a site for poker singles? Or a site where Christian poker players can connect? A poker site for young people could be good, and a site for poker for senior citizens might also catch on.

You could probably think of 16 more poker niches to tackle in 2009, but those are my ideas.