Today, I am going to give you the ultimate guide that will teach you how to brainstorm, rank in Google, and make very real money from your very own niche site.
You see, I built my very first website back in 2005 (over a decade ago) and I’ve been building these types of sites ever since. You can read more about my qualifications to talk about this subject; however, I feel very confident that this truly is the only resource you will need to get your very first niche website up and earning.
I’ll give you the knowledge, you just need to add
water your own effort.
I quit my job in 2011 because my niche websites were making over $10,000 a month. But does this stuff still work? Absolutely!
As proof, I have a site that I started last year that made $2,985 last month! The potential is 100% still there to make good money with niche websites, and I’m going to show you how.
Warning! This is a VERY long article with lots of videos and links to resources. In order to learn everything, you will need to come back to this page often to watch all the videos and read all the other resources. However, everything is here…it will just take you some time to get through it all.
Let’s get this started!
Before we jump into the details, I know that you might be interested in seeing some actual results. Remember, these results don’t come automatically. You have to put in the time and effort to achieve results like this.
I’m going to share a couple screenshots from the earnings from just 1 of my websites last month. Then I’ll give you more details about how I achieved these results, but more importantly, how you can hopefully replicate this with your own website.
Amazon Associates Earnings
First Tracking ID:
Second Tracking ID (same website):
Google Adsense Earnings
Other Affiliate Earnings:
The site also made an additional $66.08 from another affiliate deal.
Total Earnings from this 1 Niche Website: $2,985.26
Now that I’ve dangled that tempting carrot in front of you, let’s dive into how to actually make a site like that happen.
The massive guide that you will find below includes everything you need to know to build your very first niche website. However, there is a lot of content there, so I’d like to provide just a quick overview of the process.
The whole idea behind a successful niche website is to find a target niche, start ranking in Google for lots of keywords in your chosen niche, and then turn that free traffic into earnings through affiliate offers (like Google Adsense or Amazon Associates), or through your own product offerings.
Consider this like a table of contents for how to build a niche website from scratch:
- Brainstorm general market and broad niche ideas
- Begin In-depth keyword research
- Determine what problem your site is solving. How will your site stand out?
- Pick a good domain name.
- Host your website. Pick a Theme and get a logo.
- Develop a long term content strategy.
- Pick a monetization strategy.
- Link Building.
- Social Media and Other Marketing Strategies
- Maximize earnings through list building.
- Consider long term strategies to continue growing.
Throughout this guide, I mention several software tools that will help you build a website faster or better. These are tools that I use and recommend, but all of them are not required:
- Bluehost.com to host your website.
- NameCheap.com to buy your domain name.
- LongTailPro.com for making keyword research faster and easier.
- SEMRush.com for competitor analysis and additional keyword research.
- Thrive Themes for easy to use and great looking WordPress Themes.
- Thrive Leads for a simple and effective way to capture email leads.
- Aweber.com for email autoresponder provider. A simple way to manage your email list.
What is a Niche? And What is a Niche Website?
A couple of years ago, I wrote out my definition of what a niche website is…here’s what I said:
I want to start off by simply clarifying how I personally think of niche sites. A niche site does NOT mean a small website. There, I said it.
I think too many people think that a “Niche” website means building a site that only has 10 or 20 pages of content. This is simply not the case.
“Niche” really means a small segment of an overall market or product. It means laser focused on one particular topic…or niche. As a perfect example, and to prove that I’m not the only one that thinks this way; check out the Wikipedia page of what a “Niche” Market is right here.
And even better, guess what example Wikipedia gives as an example of a Niche market/website? ESPN.com! That’s right ESPN.com is a niche website. It focuses exclusively (with laser focused intensity) on Sports. Again, this isn’t my example, this is from Wikipedia. Yes, this is a VERY large niche site, but it is indeed a niche site.
ESPN.com produces dozens of articles, videos, and more each and everyday.
I share this simply to get the incorrect idea out of your head, that “niche” means a “small” website. It doesn’t.
However, its more common to think of a niche site as one that targets a more narrow niche than just Sports in general. A smaller niche in sports would be perhaps, Little League baseball, or Curling in Canada, or Speed skating. However, just because your niche site only covers curling in Canada, doesn’t mean it can’t be thousands of pages of content. Make sense?
So, a niche site is a site that covers the sub-segment of any market. The site could be one page or a million pages of content, its still a niche site.
Now that I’ve clarified how I view a “niche” website, let’s move to step 1 in how to build a niche site.
1. Brainstorm Niche Ideas
Several months ago, I started something called, Niche Site Project 3.0. The main idea of the project was for 3 coaches (Jake, Perrin, and I) to train 3 students that have never built a successful website before, how to build a niche website that makes at least $500 a month.
The first step to building a successful niche website is picking a niche to target. This just means, what general topic are you interested in or even better, what can be profitable?
What Does a Successful Niche Site Look Like?
- Helps readers or customers find answers and solutions to their questions or problems in your chosen niche.
- Your site will eventually have hundreds of articles based on hundreds of very low competition keywords.
- Your site should not be targeting 1 keyword…but targeting all of them!
- Start small, but perpetually grow as the success continues.
- More concerned with answering specific questions and low competition keywords than search volume.
- Main source of traffic is Google
- Some articles will be “Pillar” articles and linkable assets; others just short answers to queries; a good mix of types of articles
- Social traffic will be utilized; perhaps a great deal depending on niche
- More concerned with building a brand than EMDs or linkbuilding short cuts
- Long term goal is to built a large email list and sell your own products
- Examples of niche websites: http://survivallife.com/ and http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/and http://hydrationanywhere.com/
Pick a Niche Through Keyword Sampling
One of the keys to success with your niche website is keyword research. I’ve written extensively about keyword research in the past. However, the main idea is that you will rank higher and faster in Google if you target phrases that people are search for on Google that are not extremely competitive.
I recommend using Long Tail Pro (which I created) for all aspects of keyword research.
With “keyword sampling” you are simply trying to see if your potential niche has lots of low competition keywords BEFORE you actually finalize your decision.
- Like sampling ice-cream: very small samples, just to get a “taste” of what the niche is like.
Input 10 or so quick seed keywords (in Long Tail Pro) using “Best Practices” (much greater depth in the videos below).
- More specific seed keywords are better
- Consider using modifiers like: best, reviews, how to, vs, under, for, etc
- Sort to only show “long tail” keywords (4 words or more)
- Filter based on words, like “best”, “reviews”, etc
- Look for keywords under 30 KC
Find Your Website Doppelgangers
- If you can find a weak site that is newer (like you!) ranking on the first page of Google, you may have hit the jackpot.
The “Doppelgangers” can also reveal great keywords and prove that success is possible…quickly.
- Look for sites with Domain Authority (DA) under 25 or so
- Look for sites less than a year old (ideal but not required)
- Ideally you will find sites both under DA 25 and less than year old
Analyze Your Doppelgangers
- Use SEMrush.com
- See what kind of traffic is possible
- See what keywords they are ranking for
- See other competitors
- Expand vision for your site
Is This a Good Niche? A Checklist
- Am I interested in starting a long term project in this niche?
- Can I easily produce 100+ content ideas?
- From my keyword sample, how many keywords had under KC 30?
- How easy was it to find long tail keywords in this niche vs. others I tried? (rate easiest to hardest)
- From the under KC 30 keywords; how many “weak” (Doppelganger) sites did I find? (Under DA 25-30, less than year)
- Using SEMrush, how many other weak sites was I able to find?
- How much traffic do each of these Doppelganger sites get (in SEMrush)? (maximum of 10 per niche is more than enough).
- Do I see the potential to create products in this niche?
- Can I think of any unique angles to stand out in this niche?
Assignment to Pick Your Niche:
Do Keyword Sampling for 3 to 10 Potential Niches
- 10 seed keywords
- Filter (4 words or more, modifiers, etc)
Find the weak (doppelganger) sites ranking in top 10 from your 3 to 10 keyword samples
- Under 25 to 30 DA
- Less than 1 year old (ideal but not required)
- Complete the “Is This a Good Niche” Checklist for your 3 to 10 potential niches
- Now think about…what niche “tastes” the best?
Read these resources for even more depth for Niche Website Coaches on how to pick your niche:
- Brainstorming Niche Ideas and Overall Website Strategy
- How to Chose a Niche Through Keyword Sampling and Competitor Research
- Additional coaching from Perrin on how to pick a niche
- Jake and Ryan do additional niche research with light keyword analysis
- Spencer and Samara Coaching Call 3: More Review and Examples of How to Choose a Niche
Watch These Videos for in-depth details on picking your niche:
These videos will walk you through SEVERAL examples of the exact guidance that I provided above. If the outline above wasn’t enough details for you, these videos definitely will be. I highly recommend you watch these to help you pick your niche.
2. Begin In-depth Keyword Research
Now that you know what general niche you want to go into, it’s time to do more in-depth keyword research.
I recommend using Long Tail Pro to make the keyword research process easier and faster. The most essential thing to remember with keyword research is that you want to go where the competition is low.
If you can target a few low competition keywords, you are much more likely to rank than if you were to target highly competitive terms. This means that you will often need to target very low search volume keywords…and that’s just fine!
Goal: Target Long Tail Keywords in Each Article on Your Site
- Find 100 long tail keywords in the first 6 months
Write articles that target these keywords (1 primary keyword per article)
- (We’ll discuss how to include other secondary keywords in each article later).
Why Long Tail Keywords?
- More Long Tail Searches than Short Tail Searches
- Easier to Rank for
- Usually people are further in the buying cycle
High Volume is Not Needed
- Ways to Make Money from your website – (a keyword I rank for on NichePursuits.com) only gets 10 monthly searches according to Google.
- However, that article received 3,791 Unique Pageviews from Google Last Month
Keyword variations I rank for:
- How to make money from a website
- Ways to make money from website
- Ways to make money from a website
- How to earn money from website
- How to make money on your website
- Dozens of other variations…
- Best ___________ ___________ (Example: Best Mouse Pad) – 50 LMS
Now ranking for “Mouse Pad”
- 896 Unique Pageviews from Google Last Month
Criteria of a Winning Keyword
- High Advertiser Competition
- Search Volume over 1,000 for a few keywords, but not required on all.
- Low Competition in Google
- Similar Sites Ranking (Weak Doppelgangers/other niche sites)
- Longer Phrases (3+ words) are usually easier to rank for
Examples of Low Competition Keywords
- Best Survival Knife – 9,900 LMS, High Ad Competition, $0.25 CPC, KC of 25, weak sites ranking
- Best Garden Shears – 110 LMS, High Ad Competition, $0.65 CPC, KC 27, weak site ranking
How to Find Low Competition Keywords?
- Long Tail Pro
- Input Seed Keywords from Various Sources
- Start with your own brainstorm
- Use Keyword Modifiers
- Amazon and Ebay
- Niche Forums
- Google auto-complete (Ubersuggest)
- Google trends
- Other Niche Sites
Keyword Modifiers to Consider
- Fill in the Blanks with your niche/keywords
- Best _________ _________ (Example, “Best Survival Knife”)
- _________ ________ Reviews (“Survival Knife Reviews”)
- ________ vs. _________ (“Gerber vs. Kabar”)
- Best ________ Brands (Best Knife Brands)
- Where to Buy _______ (Where to buy a survival knife)
- _______ Under $________ (Survival Knife under $100)
How to Analyze the Competition
- First Page of Google is Your Competition
- Keyword Competitiveness (KC) of 30 or Less
Low Domain Authority AND Page Authority is preferred (or low Trust Flow and Citation Flow)
- At least 2 results that have under 30 PA and DA
- Relevant Page Title/content? (“Spencer Likes Honeycombs”, example)
- Root Domain? Subpage is ideal (not required though)
- Site Age Less than 1 year is ideal (not required though)
- Under 30 Juice Page Links
- This article is still relevant to analyzing competition: http://www.nichepursuits.com/how-to-analyze-the-top-10-google-competition-for-your-keyword/
Additional Tactics to Quickly Find Low Competition Keywords…
- Bulk Import Keywords into Long Tail Pro
- SEM Rush
- “Steal” keywords from your competitors (Doppelgangers!)
Assignment for Keyword Research
- Find 20 Low Competition Keywords for Your Niche Website
- Use the various methods discussed to input seed keywords
- At least 3 keywords with search volume of 1,000 or more
- Remaining 17, search volume doesn’t matter
Read these additional resources to learn more about the keyword research process:
- How to Find Low Competition Keywords to Rank for in Google
- Jake and Ryan Call 3 – The Keyword Research Mindset
- How to Perform Keyword Research (coaching call from Niche Site Project 2).
Watch these videos for more in-depth training on keyword research:
3. Determine How Your Site Will Stand Out
- What is the overall goal of your website?
- What problems are you solving for your readers?
- Assignment: Develop an overall vision statement for your website
- Microsoft – A computer on every desk and in every home; all running Microsoft software.
- Nike – To be the number one athletic company in the world.
How to Make Your Website Stand Out
- Is there a unique angle or “gimmic” that can make your website attractive to readers?
- https://www.fit2fat2fit.com – a slight twist in a very competitive market
- https://www.youtube.com/user/Blendtec – Will it Blend?
- Assignment: Consider ways that your website can stand out from the crowd
Developing a Voice
Again, this depends on your angle and brand of your website – they should align.
- Data Driven? – http://www.babygearlab.com
- Humorous? – http://theoatmeal.com/
- Transparent and Helpful? – http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/
Read these additional resources on developing a vision and how to make your website unique:
Watch These Videos:
4. Pick a Good Domain Name
Some people spend much too long trying to come up with a good domain name. However, the reality is that just about anything will work.
I recommend that you do NOT worry about putting keywords in your domain name. The days of using exact match domains are long gone. You will do much better with something memorable and brandable.
I recommend using NameCheap.com to register your domain name.
Here’s a few tips when considering what domain name to register:
- Create a domain that is short and memorable if possible.
- Easy to spell if possible
- Get a .com if possible
- Bad examples: bestsurvivalknifeguide.com and scootersforsalereviews.com
- Good Examples: NichePursuits.com, OverStock.com, FinancialSamurai.com
- Brainstorm Help: http://www.namemesh.com/ and http://www.panabee.com/
- Assignment: Find an available .com that is brandable
5. Host Your Website, Pick a Theme, and Logo
A web host is simply server space for your website. There are thousands of companies that can host your website and many of them are less than $10/month.
The key to finding a good webhost is to make sure it is a reputable and reliable company. I also recommend that you find a hosting company that allows to to install WordPress with just 1 click.
One of the companies that I have used for a long time to host my niche websites is Bluehost.com
- Assignment: Get a Bluehost account (unless you already have hosting).
- Use a 1-click install to get WordPress installed on your webhost
- Get a professional looking theme
- http://themeforest.net/ – Great themes under $50
- Thrive Themes – Professional looking, conversion focused, and tons of great options.
- Assignment: Install Thrive Themes on your new domain
- If possible, make logo align with your vision, brand, and voice of your website
- Cheap logo designs at: Freelancer.com
6. Develop a Long Term Content Strategy
These ideas are what can take you from having just a so-so website to having a great website that helps you stand out as an authority.
So, not only do we discuss things like types of content and on-page SEO, but we also go into more in-depth strategies like clickable titles and more.
Developing a Long Term Content Strategy
- Keyword focused
- Well Written
- Spelling and Grammar
- Use Paragraphs, Bullet Points, and Numbers liberally
- Valuable to the reader
- Charts and data comparison
- Answers their query
- Use a combination of Written, Image, and Video content
- Internally and externally link to other valuable content
Keyword Focused Content
- Use the targeted keyword in title (H1 tag in WordPress)
- Example keyword: Make money from your website
- Example title: “53 Ways to Make Money From Your Website”
- Use the keyword 2 to 4 times in the article
- At least at beginning and end of article preferred
- Use related keywords in H2 or H3 tags (subheadings)
- Most articles should have at least 2 or 3 subheadings
- Find related keywords with Long Tail Pro or Google related searches
- Example, “Survival Knife”
Examples of Valuable Content.
- How to Make Paracord Survival Bracelets | 16 Cool Projects
- Best Water Bottles for Kids at School
- How to Make Mexican Tamales
Writing and Publishing Content
- Get first 20+ articles up as soon as possible
- Pick a regular schedule after that (once a day, 3 a week, 4 a month…)
How long should articles be?
- 2,000 words + for “Pillar” articles
- 1,000 words or so for “normal” articles
How many articles?
- 1 “Pillar” article for every 10 “Normal” articles
- Pillar article vs. a normal article
- Pillar = longer and more valuable
- Pillar is something that is usually more shareable or linkworthy (i.e. you should put effort into building links to these articles).
Organizing Content on Your Site
- Just use the “Categories” in WordPress
- Link liberally to articles in the same category (linking to other categories is okay too)
- Start with 5 to 7 categories on your site
Example of categories you might have on a site about Camping…
- Hiking Gear
- Sleeping Gear
- Shelter Building
- Fire Starting
- Water Gear and Tips
Resources to Help You Write Different Types of Blog Posts
- 212 Different Ideas on Digital Marketer: http://www.digitalmarketer.com/blog-post-ideas/
- Product Reviews with a Table: http://bestreviews.com/best-slow-cookers
- Content Aggregator: http://survivallife.com/survival-gardening-for-spring/
- Embed and React: http://www.digitalmarketer.com/ideal-length-of-blog-post-social/
- Quote Post: http://unbounce.com/online-marketing/20-marketing-insights-that-inspired-us-in-2013/
- YouTube Cut Up: http://diyready.com/craft-ideas-diy-rag-rug/
How to Create a Great Title
- A great title gets more clicks and more shares…so spend extra time on your titles!
- Read these Headline Resources:
- Lists with odd numbers
- Include keywords
- Use Coschedule Analyzer: http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer
- Additional Ideas at: http://seopressor.com/blog-title-generator/
Thrive Content Builder
- Thrive Visual Editor can Make Creating Great Looking Blog Posts Much Easier
- Watch the Thrive “Content Builder Quick Tour”
- Get Thrive Here
Assignments for Long Term Content Strategy
- Read Brian Dean’s On Page SEO Guide
- Read Digital Marketer Blog Post Ideas
- Figure out your first 5 to 7 categories and create them in WordPress
- Read these Headline Resources
- Watch Thrive Content Builder Video
- Write your first 2 articles for the site!
Read these additional resource for more details on developing a long term content strategy here.
- Long Term Content Strategy: Spencer and Samara Coaching Call 6
- Branding, Content Strategy, and Not Being a Thin Affiliate (Perrin and Colleen Coaching call 3)
- How to Create Engaging Content (Jake and Ryan Coaching Call 4)
- Launching Your Site and Grinding Out Content
- Ryan Has Picked a Niche, Now What?
- More Content and Cleaning House (Perrin and Colleen call)
Watch this coaching video for even more depth on developing a content strategy:
7. Pick a Monetization Strategy
Now we get to the step where you finally get to start thinking about making money for your website! The previous steps will help your site get great content and your site may even start ranking in Google before you do any link building at all!
I have made a list of over 50 ways to make money from your website in the past; however, the short outline below (along with the videos) should be enough for you to get started.
How to Monetize a Website
Sell Your Own Products – most profitable; long term strategy
- Physical Products
As an Affiliate – short term strategy
- Google Adsense
- Amazon Associates
- CPA offers
- Thousands of other affiliate programs
Amazon Associates Examples
- Detailed reviews
- Image affiliate links
- Text affiliate links
- Links open in new window
- Comparison Charts
- Image affiliate links
- Text affiliate links
- Links open in new window
Google Adsense Examples
Aggressive Example: http://2016bestsuv.com
- Ads above the fold
- Link Units
Slightly Less Aggressive: http://www.autobytel.com/audi/tts/2016/reviews/2016-audi-tts-road-test-and-review-130710/
- Side-bar ads
- Header Ads
- Ads in content; second half
Creating Your Own Products
- Information, Software, or Physical Products
- Solve a problem in your niche
- What articles get the most traffic and earnings?
- Jon Haver (Amazon Associates to Physical Products)
- Nursing Assistant site – Google Adsense to ebook
- NichePursuits.com – Long Tail Pro and Long Tail University
Build an Email List
- Most Profitable = Build a community, keep them engaged, sell products to that community.
- Easiest way to stay engaged in with an email list.
- You can start for free with MailChimp.com
- Aweber is about $20/mth – good solution
Assignments for Making Money with Your Website
- Add affiliate links to your existing content (short term strategy)
Brainstorm 3 products ideas you could sell to your niche
- Physical Products?
- Sign up for an Email provider, such as Aweber.com
- Get an Opt In form on your site
Read More details about Monetizing your site here:
Watch this Video for even greater depth on making money from your website:
8. Link Building for Niche Websites
Link building is a very in-depth and often controversial topic. On one hand, some people feel like link building is so critical to a site’s success; on the other, you have people that never do any linkbuilding and do really well with niche sites. I personally tend to be somewhere in the middle.
I don’t believe that link building is the most important activity you can be doing on your site. I think keyword research and creating great content is the most important activity. However, I do see the value in getting links as well…this is clearly a huge ranking factor in Google.
However, I’m a strong believer that your most valuable links are going to come naturally. I have several sites that I’ve never done a single outreach or link building “campaign” for that have thousands of links. So, it’s not that I don’t think links are important (they are)…I just don’t believe that it’s always necessary to personally put in the effort to get every single link. Lots of links will come on their own…if you do things right.
- Google ranks websites better that have high quality links
Types of Links
- Do Follow, No Follow (passes PageRank or not)
- Both links are valuable, but Do follow is preferred
- I wouldn’t worry too much about this…
- White Hat, Black Hat, Gray Hat
- Let’s try to stay as “white hat” as possible.
- Debatable what is white or gray sometimes
Aggressive Link Building is NOT Critical to a Site’s Success
- I’ve never done a “link building” campaign for NichePursuits.com or LongTailPro.com.
- I’ve just done simple outreach to truly build relationships with no intention to get a link.
- Claire Smith truly only publishes content and has a five figure a month business.
- Let’s use link building like salt for our steak. We’ll just sprinkle a few links in on a monthly basis.
List of Link Building Strategies…
- Social Media / Profile accounts
- RSS Feeds
- Ask people you know
- Look at your competitors links
- Outreach (after you do something worth reaching out for).
- Guest Posting
- Blog Commenting
- Broken Links
- Build Relationships
- Become a contributor
Set Up RSS…
- Using WordPress? Already done!
- Go to yourdomain.com/feed to see your rss feed
- Submit this feed to a few RSS directories!
- Use Google to find RSS Directories
- Assignment: Submit your RSS feed to at least 5 directories (focus on the higher quality directories).
Set Up Social Media Accounts
- Consider other Profile accounts (LinkedIn, Google+, etc).
- Assignment: Get 4 social media/profile pages set up and link to your site.
Assignment: Find ways to auto-post all new posts to FB, Twitter, Pinterest
Ask People You Know
- Ask family and friends or online acquaintances if they will mention your website on their website.
- If they want you to write an article for them, go for it.
- Assignment: Find one person you know that will link to you
- Usually lower value, but a good way to get some links and start relationships.
- I would keep the amount of blog commenting low and relevant
- “Comment Luv” is one footprint to look for
- “Leave a comment” is another
- Assignment: Find 5 blogs and comment with link to your site
Assignments for Basic Link Building
- Submit your RSS feed to at least 5 directories (focus on the higher quality directories).
Find ways to auto-post all new posts to FB, Twitter, Pinterest
- Find one person you know that will link to you
- Find 5 blogs and comment with link to your site
- Review Jon Cooper’s list: http://pointblankseo.com/link-building-strategies and decide on 2 or 3 more advanced strategies that you would like to try in the future.
- Bonus Assignment: Read some blog posts on the 2 or 3 tactics that you decide on.
Read these posts for more basic link building strategies:
Watch these videos for more basic link building strategies:
Advanced Link Building for Your Niche Website
The above section was focused mostly on very basic link building strategies, and to be honest, that may be all you ever need! However, there is so much more that can be done to help your site get more links pointing to it.
List of Link Building Strategies…
- Jon Cooper – PointBlankSEO.com: http://pointblankseo.com/link-building-strategies
- Outreach (after you do something worth reaching out for).
- Build Relationships
- Look at your competitors links
Outreach / Build Relationships
- Step 1: Publish Article and mention/link to others
- Step 2: Reach out to those people and let them know
- Review Jake and Ryan Call 6 where they discuss this strategy: http://www.nichepursuits.com/jake-ryan-nsp3-quality-focused-backlink-strategy/
- Backlinko.com also covers lots of great outreach strategies.
- Don’t forget to mention on social media
- If you want even more details, then Google: “How to Get Links with Outreach”
- Sign up: http://www.helpareporter.com/subscriptions/basic/
- Respond to queries
- Provide great work
- Get links!
Look at Competitors Links
- Ahrefs.com, MajesticSEO.com, or OpenSiteExplorer.com
- Look for non-spammy links and try to replicate
- Rinse and repeat with additional competitors
Assignments for more advanced link building
- In your next article, link out to at least 3 other bloggers/websites, then send them an email letting them know.
- Sign up for HARO and respond to at least one query
- Review the links of at least one competitor and try to replicate a link
- Bonus Assignment: Actually get a live link pointing to your site from one of these methods!
Read these articles for more advanced link building strategies
- Advanced link building strategies (Spencer and Samara coaching call)
- Building an Outreach Ecosystem and How to Approach Sites
- Rethinking Linkable Assets
- More Outreach Tips from Perrin and Colleen
- A Quality Focused Link Building Strategy
Watch these videos for even more in-depth details on advanced link building strategies:
9. Social Media and Other Marketing Strategies
Your level of participation on social media and other marketing channels may depend on your niche or your overall goals.
I personally own several niche sites that I never get involved in social media with. However, other site owners do EXTREMELY well with some of these ideas, so they are worth mentioning.
I will simply say that it’s possible to do very well with Google traffic alone, but the same could be said of social media traffic as well.
Jake and Ryan did a great call about getting started with YouTube right here.
In a lot of ways, this strategy is very similar to the long tail keyword strategy we regularly talk about in the keyword research phase of site building. Basically, you focus your efforts on more specific search queries in the hopes of ranking for those less competitive searches and building an audience.
This is called a “bracelet and charm” strategy, which as you’ll see in the video is just a way to visualize how your primary keyword/category connects to all the more narrow, long tail searches inside of that category.
Recommended reading: The 4 Step Slam Dunk Process that Generated 140,000 Free Leads From Youtube
This is a unique strategy of using the popular site Reddit.com to drive traffic to your niche site. You need to be careful with this, because its easy to get your account on Reddit closed for not following their guidelines.
Perrin wrote a great guide on Reddit Marketing: How We Got 10,000 Pageviews and a PA 48 Link from Reddit in 2 Weeks
Here’s just a highlight of how to post content to Reddit:
- Find a few BIG, general subreddits you can fit into
- Find a few small, relevant subreddits you can fit into
- Post in those subreddits (not all at once!) exactly how everyone else posts there, following all the rules and conventions of the subreddit
- Do some very light promotion to your friends and social network to get just a few initial upvotes
- If the post is good, those few upvotes will start a traffic snowball
Pinterest is one of the highest traffic websites in the world. And the best part for niche website owners is that it can sends hoards of traffic.
If fact, I bought and sold a website that got most of its traffic from Pinterest (3,000 visitors a day!). You can read my own Pinterest case study here.
However, I don’t claim to be an expert at Pinterest traffic, so I will simply say that I’ve had some decent success with Pinterest, but there are others that have had PHENOMENAL success with this traffic source.
Here’s a few resources that you will get you started:
- $5k/mth Blogging Case Study: How to Drive Massive Traffic with Pinterest
- The Pinterest Traffic Experiement: I’m up 2350% in 60 Days
- 8 Pinterest Marketing Tips for Niche Website Traffic
10. Maximize Earnings Through List Building
Many niche website builders never get to the step of actually building out an email list. And quite frankly, there is nothing wrong with that! I’ve done very well building sites that simply rank in Google and I get paid from affiliate offers (Google Adsense and Amazon Associates mostly).
However, if your niche website turns into something that you would like to take to the next level, you’ve got to start building an email list.
An email list will allow you to sell your products or affiliate offers to interested buyers over and over again.
“An email list is critical because you can’t build your content on rented land. So many brands and companies build their audiences on Facebook and Google+, which is fine, but we don’t own those names – Facebook and Google do. If we are thinking like real media companies, the asset is in the audience. Getting an email address is the first critical step to figuring out who my reader is, and hopefully in the future, my customer of some sort. If our goal is to drive sales or keep customers happy in some way, we first need to get them as part of our audience.
The tools that I recommend for building your email list are:
- Thrive Leads – works great on WordPress niche websites and I’ve had great success with it as shown here.
- LeadPages.net – I’ve used this great piece of software in the past and have nothing but good things to say about it.
- Aweber – If you are just getting started building an email list, I still think Aweber is a great starter solution.
Here’s some great resources that teach you how to start building your email list:
- 25 Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List
- 85 Ways to Build Your Email List
- Pat Flynn’s Email List Strategies
11. Long Term Strategies to Grow Your Niche Website
Wow! Now that you’ve gotten through the first 10 steps, you should have a successful niche website on your hands!
However, I would like to point out a few ways that you can keep growing your niche website into a larger business.
Here’s 3 ways that you can make more money with your new found skill of building niche websites:
- Build MORE niche websites
- Get MORE traffic to your current website
- Make MORE money from each visitor
For most of my niche website “career” I’ve opted for option 1…just building more niche websites. Often once I get them ranking in Google and the money is coming in somewhat passively, I have just decided to start a new website. If this sounds like a good option for you, then congrats, start back at step 1 and build a new site!
You may decide to keep all the websites or you can venture into selling off some of your website for a profit at that point.
Or you may decide to continue focusing on this one niche website and simply grow it larger. The most obvious way to do this is add more content. There are always more keywords that you could be targeting in your niche, and these additional keywords and articles are likely to bring in more traffic.
This is an excellent strategy that I am currently employing on my niche website that made $2,985 last month that I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Building one website to level that it is making more than your full-time job is not at all out of the realm of possibility.
There are LOTS of niche websites making six-figures a year. Don’t believe me? Just check out the constant flow of listings for sites making that much on the Empire Flippers Marketplace.
Finally, the last way to grow your niche website business is to make more money from each visitor. You can do this through split testing where your ads are placed, becoming an affiliate for an offer with higher payouts, or building an email list and selling more often to that list.
However, another HUGE way to make more money from your own site is to create your own product. Instead of making a 6 to 8% cut from Amazon Associates, you could start making 100% of the revenue if you create and sell the product.
The types of products you could create are endless from ebooks, software, video tutorials, physical products, and more.
I’ve personally been doing well lately with my own physical products and then selling them on my own website and through the Amazon FBA program. If you want to read about getting started with the Amazon FBA program, I’ve written how I got started here.
However, the point is to think about whether it’s worth it for you to move from being just and affiliate to being the actual product creator. Both have advantages and disadvantages, so I will leave that decision up to you.
Although, I will simply leave you with this thought. The website I mentioned at the beginning of this post that makes me roughly $3,000 a month from Amazon Associates and Google Adsense also sells my own physical products!
So, this website actually makes me much MORE money that I reported. Last month, this website sent roughly 1,400 visitors to my own listings on Amazon and generated sales revenue of approximately $4,200 from those visitors.
This $4,200 is in addition to the $3,000 I made from affiliate commissions.
So, you should at least worth consider developing your own product as it can dramatically increase the earnings from your niche website.
Where to Go From Here?
With nearly 20 hours of videos and tons of resources to go through above, obviously you won’t be able to soak it all in at once. But this resource is here for you to come back to again and again.
If you are looking for additional support as you begin your niche site building journey, you can join a private Facebook group that I created right here.
In addition, I would recommend that you get on my email list so that I can notify you when I have more in-depth tutorials on building a successful online business. Join my email list right here.
Overall, this article provides you everything you will need to get started building a niche website. However, the ability to stay motiviated and put in the work over the next several months needs to come from you. This is not an overnight business, but it can be a very real one.
The website data that I’ve shared throughout this post was started about a year and a half ago and is now making about $3,000 a month. The results can happen, but at this point its really up to you.
I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences building niche websites below in the comments.