Through listening to the podcasts on Niche Pursuits and doing a lot of background reading, I’ve decided that I need to diversify my website monetization strategy. I had originally planned that I would focus my efforts on building out this website www.mylifestyledream.com and look at how I could monetize this site, however, I’ve switched my focus somewhat.
Through the initial keyword research that I’ve done it’s obvious that the ‘How to make money online’ niche is one of the most competitive niches out there and will take me a long time to rank for an ultimate build up an audience. Whilst I still want to pursue that avenue, I also want to try something that can bring back dividends in the shorter term, so I’ve decided that I also want to set up a niche site.
From what I’ve read so far, creating a niche site that brings back £500 to £1000 a month in recurring passive income, is not a dream, but actually a distinct possibility. There are loads of people out there doing this and making money from niche sites already, and most of them seem to be employing pretty similar methodologies and techniques. In the short term, I’m going to look at these approaches and start to apply them in practice as I build out my own niche site.
Detailed Keyword Research / Choosing a Niche
I know I’ve banged on about it before but doing extensive keyword research before you start building a site is absolutely essential. There’s no point in spending hours and hours writing content that no-one reads, so this month my focus has been 100% on keyword research, evaluating market size and eventually, choosing a niche that I want to go into.
One of my money spinning plans has been to set up a niche website and monetize it with either Adsense or Amazon affiliate links. I’ve had a few ideas bouncing around in my head for months now, so I wanted to road test these ideas and find out whether there really was any business opportunity in developing a niche in those areas.
To come up with my shortlist of niches I simply went to Wikipedia and looked through their list of hobbies to find potential niches that I might be interested in.
Then for each niche, I looked on Amazon for potential products and also used Ubersuggest to give me a list of keywords related to that niche.
I then plugged these keywords into Long Tail Pro and did a short sample of keywords to get an idea of keyword competitiveness in that niche. Some of these niches were clearly overly competitive with lots of keywords with keyword competiveness scores of over 30, so this helped me to start whittling down the list to about 5 niches.
For each of these 5 niches I then used SEMrush to gauge how much traffic was in those markets. This was quite a simple process of looking at the top ten results for some of the keywords in the niche, and choosing sites, which were similar to what I would like to build ie Doppelgangers. I could then take their URLs and put into SEMrush, which gives you an indication of the traffic size:
The other good thing about SEMrush, is that you can view the keywords that the specific site is ranking for and put these on your list of keywords you want to rank for:
This clearly showed that a couple of niches I was thinking of entering had very little traffic, so I removed them from my list.
In the end my choice was between 2 niches:
Niche 1 – This would be entering a sub-niche for a product that has taken off in the last few years, and I think will have great potential in the future. The sub-niche doesn’t have great traffic at the moment, however, is fairly easy to enter, and I think will grow in the future. I can also see potential that you could then expand into the main niche with time and become an authority site, even though that is quite a competitive niche.
Niche 2 – Is entering into a niche where you would promote a service that other people are supplying. There are loads of really low competitive keywords in this niche, and most of the sites are obviously built by people who don’t know a lot about SEO. I’m not sure how much it helps either, but the Cost Per Click for these keywords is really high:
The only problem I can find with this niche is that it will be hard to write a lot of decent quality articles.
In the end, I have decided to go with Niche 2, just because the Keyword Competitiveness is so low and the major site in this niche is getting 40k visits per month!!!
After choosing my niche I was really keen to crack on with content creation so this month I’ve started to do a lot more research into the niche to generate content ideas.
I’ve basically been reviewing other sites in the niche to ‘borrow’ content ideas, and this has proven to be a really useful exercise. From this exercise I have decided that I can expand my site into 3 main areas:
- Helping visitors to find the niche service in their area
- Helping businesses to find training for the niche service
- Helping visitors find a related niche product
I really think there is potential to become an authority in this niche as well, and I’ve started creating a list of different content ideas to put on the site. I found the guys at Digital Marketer wrote this really great article
How I Nearly Bought a Website
Talking of distractions, well this month I nearly took a massive shortcut around the whole niche site building process and almost bought myself a ready made website, complete with WordPress plugins and 40 keywords focused articles.
The opportunity arose when I was reading an article on Matthew Allen’s blog about the Google Thin Content Penalty. This is basically a new algorithm that Google introduced recently to penalise websites, which are perceived to add no value and are built for the sole purpose of generating Affiliate revenue ie Niche Sites. If you don’t have a lot of content on your site and you have a lot of affiliate links, then you’ve probably been penalised and received something like this from Google:
So, Matthew Allen had 2 of his sites hit with this penalty and had since then de-indexed the sites, put them on a new URL and was selling them through Human Proof Designs for $799. He claimed that these sites were making a few hundred pounds every month and with a bit of careful nurture could make even more money.
To me this sounded like a great opportunity, not just because they were tried and tested websites that had already made money, but because this would afford me a great opportunity to learn how he had set these specific niche sites up in WordPress. More than anything I was looking at this as a really good learning tool so I clicked on the ‘Buy Now’ button for the site about Organic Shampoo, and initially it looked like I was successful.
However, I was completely gutted to find out a few hours later that there had been an issue with the checkout flow, and that the site had already been sold. Matthew was extremely apologetic and offered me first refusal on the Fertility Kit site instead, but to be honest, that niche just wasn’t going to float my boat.
Looking back, it’s probably not such a bad thing as I want to go through this whole set up process myself, so I guess it’s back to the drawing board and time to focus on writing them articles!!!
NEXT MONTH’S GOALS
- Write 3 articles for the niche site
- Create a list of the niche services in London
LAST MONTH’S TASKS
- Choose a niche for my website – COMPLETE
- Publish 5 more articles – INCOMPLETE
- Create a backlinking strategy – INCOMPLETE
TOOLS AND SITES USED