Niche websites contain content that addresses narrow, specialized topics. The degree of specialization varies according to the desires and interests of the website owner, and formats may range from classic "information" websites to blogging and online discussion forums. Types of niche websites include sites that focus on a particular hobby, business practice or health concern. Other common niche topics include social issues, politics or religion. Niche websites may also address a subset of those interested in a topic, such as female enthusiasts of a particular sport or disabled individuals who are members of a specific profession.
In some cases, a niche website is a "hobby" site for someone who simply has an interest in a topic or who wishes to offer a public service. Other niche websites are designed as a marketing tool for individuals or companies who wish to make money from internet advertising or by selling a product that appeals to the site's audience. Since many people use the internet to research or discuss topics that are of interest to them, a well-produced informational site can attract a fair amount of traffic, which can result in the sale of products and services. Site visitors may also click on third-party advertising on the site or make purchases through affiliate links.
Since niche websites may address topics that have great significance to their readers, such as blogs that deal with illnesses, it is not unusual for a communities to develop on them. To this end, webmasters may include discussion forums and chat rooms on the site. A webmaster may also solicit contributions from readers so as to keep the content on the site fresh and to encourage regular visitors to return often. The more visitors the site receives, the more advertising revenue it can generate.
A variation on the niche website is the niche blogger. This is someone who maintains an online journal which focuses on a particular topic. Blogs may be interactive and provide readers a change to comment on and discuss blog posts, or the site may simply be a platform for the blogger's writings. While the content on a niche website may be "evergreen" in nature, focusing on basic information that is unlikely to quickly become obsolete, blog content may be much more timely, focusing on current news, recent controversies or events. Both types of niche websites can be profitable if they contain quality content, are optimized for search engine rankings, and contain relevant advertising that is of interest to visitors.