I have been a long time reader of the Smart Passive Income blog by Pat Flynn. In fact, I am modeling his approach right here with this very site. He has a very popular running post called the Niche Site Duel which I have decided to take up. A niche site is website dedicated to a, usually, specific subject. In Pats case it is a site about security guard training.
I’ll reveal my chosen first niche in a coming post. For the time being I want to make sure it is set up and ready to go. But I will share a little about the selection process I used.
In order to find a niche it is recommended that to find something that you have an interest in and that people are actually searching for. If you are the only one who cares or knows about something, it will be a lot harder to generate traffic to your site. Plus, if you are interested about the subject, it should make it easier to create content for the site.
I started my process by making a list of things I am interested in and then researching those terms with the google keyword tool, you can find that here. Once I had found a few possibilities I wanted to do some further research and did that using Market Samurai. I like to use the google keyword tool first as it is very quick when searching a lot of different terms. Market Samurai allows me to delve a little deeper into the value of the niche and the feasibility of actually ranking the site.
I had initially found what I thought was a gold mine of a keyword; lots of searches with very low competition. Market Samurai however revealed that competing with the top ten sites will be a bit tricky. So, after some further research I settled on a long-tail keyword which also included my initial keyword. I wouldn’t mind showing up on the first page of google for my initial term.
Once I settled on my keyword I checked the availability of that as a domain name with bluehost and then registered it. I got the .com extension too! It really is awesome to stumble across a keyword that has a dot com available. Could it be a sign that nobody wants it? dun dun dun (ominous sound.)
Creating a Niche Site that Actually Makes Money
Now that I have the domain and wordpress installed, its time to get to work. Ideally I would love to have an ebook or product of my own to sell on this site to generate income, but since I don’t, a quick way to monetize it will be with google adsense. I will also add affiliate products that are related to this niche and once it is up and running I will probably devote some time to creating my own product.
There is no way to really know how long it will take to start making money or even how much that will be, but in order to make money with niche sites you must have more than one. At least that is the case for the vast majority of people online who share their experiences. But it is passive income, so why would you stop at just one or two?
Since I will be using adsense with this site I can establish a rough low goal of $10 a day if I get a top position in the search results. The average cost per click for advertisers for this term is just over $1.00.
This site will be filled with valuable content, not just search focused fluff. It is reasonable to assume that the more value a site provides, the longer the viewer stays, and therefore the more ads they see and possibly click on.
SEO for a Niche Site
Market Samurai also analyzes my competition and tells me exactly what I need to do to outrank them. The #1 position in google is a page rank 1 with only 26 links pointing to this specific page. The problem is that this site has nearly 30,000 links to the whole domain. It will take some work, a lot of work, but I think I can get there relatively quickly. I won’t start aggressively building links until the site is up for a couple of weeks and has some well optimized and valuable content.
In the past when I have done SEO I have made it a point to spin my articles when submitting them around the web, but I am going to take a different approach with this site initially. I will not spin any content for generating links back to this site. In the past I did it because that is what everyone supposedly in-the-know does but I have always felt like this just creates virtual garbage all over the web. Stay tuned for the strategies and details.