Ranking For TV Episodes: How To Make A Living Writing About Reality TV
Recently I’ve been binge-watching Kitchen Nightmares on YouTube. It’s one of my favorite shows.
Gordon Ramsay, the famous British chef, tours failing restaurants in the United States and the United Kingdom, and conducts a rapid-fire intervention with outrageous and hilarious results.
After every episode, I look up the restaurant online to see what happened to it- whether the restaurant was able to succeed or forced to close down.
I always encounter the same site in the search results- Reality TV Revisited:
The site, and others like it, provides updates about the restaurants featured in the show. It’s quite handy and I often end up going directly to the site and typing in the restaurant’s name for a quick update.
It gave me the idea for this next niche report. There are a variety of websites out there that provide episode guides for different TV shows.
I’ve written about the TV niche before, but in this niche report, I’m going to examine sites that focus on episode guides to see how they get traffic and make money.
You can see some common themes here.
This website really seems to specialize in restaurant reality television.
You can see that they rank for restaurant names “hot potato cafe”; update queries like “bar rescue updates”; restaurant names + show names like “sebastian’s kitchen nightmares”; and season/episode searches “hell’s kitchen season 18”.
There’s definitely a lot of organic keyword potential here. As well, the brand name of the restaurant gets traffic searches from people who watch the television show and also people who have never seen the show but are looking to eat there- so the traffic is somewhat twofold.
I also took a look at some of the sites top-ranking keywords and filtered it down by the keyword “Ramsey” to show you how many micro searches there are for “Ramsey” terms.
Keep in mind, the site itself ranks for much larger terms but this serves to illustrate just how thirsty the organic search market is for good content here
I used Ahrefs to find some of its top organic competitors. Below you can see six different sites that have significant organic keyword overlap.
There’s even a Blogspot website with nearly 33,000 organic keywords. That’s a definite indication of how weak the SERPs are.
The exact match domain kitchennightmaresupdates.com is pulling in a respectable 9,500 organic keywords with estimated traffic of nearly 56,000 visits a month:
|#||Target||Domain Rating||Total Backlinks||Total Keywords||Total Traffic|
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What I would do
I would spend some time determining the scope of my website.
For example, maybe you want to start a Bachelor fan blog. There’s definitely a lot of traffic for this show, but if the series ends and all of your content (and domain name) is related and restricted to the Bachelor, you might have painted yourself into a corner.
Maybe instead the focus of your site could be reality romance television and the Bachelor is a significant content silo.
In addition, you might want to provide more information than just episode guides.
It’s likely that when you entered into a TV niche like this you’ll find tremendous search volume for the actors’ names, their character names on the show, searches for their Instagram profile, who their spouses are, and a bunch of similar miscellany you can get traffic for.
When it comes to season and episode guides, you’ll also want to figure out a logical structure.
You might want to employ a directory theme with some built-in features to help organize your content.
Maybe you use WordPress Categories and Tags to organize seasons and episodes. For reference, Vulture.com has an attractive layout for their X-Files episode guides.
You can see the meta information box in the top right corner of this particular episode guide’s landing page. It lets you click through to the next episode and you can see it contains the actual name of the episode:
Wikipedia also has some detailed episode guides– but you can see they are structured very differently with all of the episodes published on to a single page with deep internal links.
I would use Ahrefs or SEMrush to examine the organic keyword rankings of different sites that are publishing these TV episode guides.
You’ll probably want to start publishing information on low difficulty / highly searched terms.
On the other hand, since this could be a passion project for you, you might want to start creating content on the shows that you like. It’ll probably be a lot more fun for you to do that.
Though, as always, you don’t want to neglect keyword research.
One interesting aspect here that I’ve noticed is that people will often look up the episode by a Season # Episode # search and/or by its true name. So your SEO would definitely need to optimize for that.
I would also research the different types of landing pages sites are using.
I touched on this a bit before because it plays into your site structure, but you’ll want to figure out a template to use to give your site a consistent feel, positive user engagement, and maximum SEO benefit.
There are SEO benefits to producing long-form content on these different episodes, as opposed to doing what Wikipedia does and essentially republishing duplicate content, with each episode listed out on a single page.
That could work- I don’t know. The only way to tell is by publishing it and seeing how your site ends up ranking for all the terms.
What I Like
This could definitely be a fun niche to enter.
People are passionate about these TV shows.
And nowadays even when a show ends they get a second life on streaming platforms including free ones like YouTube. Case in point, Kitchen Nightmares is as popular as ever even though it ended in 2014:
Low Competition / High Search
One of my favorite things to look for when entering into a blogging niche is seeing lots of low competition keywords with high search volumes. That’s definitely what you’ll see here.
What I don’t like
There aren’t many affiliate opportunities in a niche like this. Sure you can try linking to the show on Amazon Prime Video- But the payouts are pretty minor (Source). You’ll have to make do with running ads on your site- which can be great, but will take some time to get going.
This one could go either way. You could easily rewrite existing content about the shows, but if you’re a devotee, higher-quality content will be expensive.
Mainly because someone might need to actually watch the episode to create insightful content about it.
You might want to check out Reddit. One of my favorite TV shows Animal Kingdom, for example, always has robust and interesting discussions on a dedicated subreddit after every single episode. It could be a great place to find writers and content inspiration when it comes to creating episode guides.
This can be a fun and lucrative niche. You likely will have to monetize with display ads. This can take a while to get going. But the advantage is that there’s a lot of search volume and not a lot of competition for these ‘non buyer’ type keywords.