Well, I’m officially going to jump onto the niche website bandwagon with my own experiment. In many of the blogs that I read and the podcasts that I listen to, individuals always talk about creating niche websites as a steady stream of income. I like this idea because everything that I’ve reviewed says that you can create a niche website and it will run on autopilot making you money regularly if it’s done correctly.
On the other hand, I really don’t have hours upon hours to devote to creating another website at the moment, so I want to try an experiment where I outsource 90% of the creation of the website. I will do keyword research and planning (10% of the labor) and I will use freelancers from elance to complete the web design and content creation.
In this blog post we will cover:
Before I move forward, it probably makes sense to explain what a niche website is. A Niche website is a website that is created and focuses on generating content around a very specific topic. For instance, I previously created a website focused on the topic of the best transcription software available.
I previously created this niche website as an experiment to show people how much I love Dragon Naturally Speaking software. This is really just a one product niche website touting the benefits of the software. In total it took me about 30 minutes to create and honestly it hasn’t been much of a success because I haven’t put much effort into it.
1) The right topic: The key to any niche website is to find a topic that has a high amount of traffic, but very low competition. Trying to figure this out is no easy task and often people will use the Google Keyword Planner tool to find keywords that they think will be the best targets.
Although I commend anyone who actually does keyword research before they create a website, I want to let those who use the Google keyword planner tool know that this is a complete waste of time. You see, the Google keyword planner tool gives information related to how many advertisers are bidding on a keyword from a paid search perspective.
Let’s take a moment to look at a screenshot that I took of the Google keyword planner tool.
The two areas that I highlighted here are competition and suggested bid. What the Google keyword planner tool is saying is that the paid search competition is “medium” and someone should bid $6.67 if they want to have their ads show up on Google. Can someone assume that the paid search competition is similar to the SEO competition for the respective topic or keyword?
In some cases yes, but you’d be surprised to find out how many times that isn’t the case.
With that being said, what is an Internet marketer to do if they want to have proper keyword research? The tool that I use is Long Tail Pro. If you click on that affiliate link you’ll get access to a free trial and it will show you how the software works. i use this software myself on a daily basis and I assure you that it is definitely legit. If you have any doubts, research on the internet to see what others think, but reviews are almost always positive.
So, what is it about Long Tail Pro (LTP) that makes it so much more useful? The answer is simple, LTP does a great job of measuring SEO competition. It does this by reviewing the top 10 search results for a keyword term in Google and then uses an algorithm to calculate the SEO competitiveness of specific keywords.
Here’s a quick snapshot of what the LTP dashboard looks like. In the yellow highlighted area you can see the keyword that I am going to use as an example for the rest of this post.
Some of this data is the same as what is shown in the Google keyword planner tool, but the key to this dashboard is all the way on the right side in the “Avg KC” column. This column stands for average keyword competitiveness and lets you know how competitive the term is by using it’s algorithm.
But, the tool goes one step further. Below is a screenshot of what happens when you click on the term itself. This screenshot shows you all of the different variables that go into calculating the “Avg. KC”, or the Average Keyword Competitiveness score.
Now you can understand why I trust this tool. Not only does it look at how many times a keyword is searched, but it also analyzes multiple variables that greatly influence SEO to determine if the keyword is worth creating niche website out of. Again, if you want to check it out you can sign up for a free 10-day trial here. Personally, I highly recommend that you do to play around with it.
2) Multiple Revenue Streams: I’m big on planning my revenue streams way before I ever create an actual website. If you feel like you can just create a website and rely solely on advertising to make a substantial profit, I’m here to tell you that you can’t.
Now, you can make some profit if you just rely on advertising and create an obscene amount of content to drive traffic, but why would you want to do that? In my opinion, it makes sense to look at a niche website opportunity and figure out at least three different ways that you can make money with the website.
I get it, some of you reading this probably don’t know much about creating revenue streams on websites. The good news is that I already created a video quick tip which will help you out titled “How do websites make money?”
In the case of most niche websites, I think that it makes the most sense to rely on advertising and affiliate marketing to make a profit. I also feel like it’s a good idea to build an email list because if you have one of those you can always create a product later which you can then tell your email list about.
3) High Quality Content: Gone are the days of websites with mediocre content ranking high on search engines. If you want to rank highly on search engines now, it’s an absolute requirement that you create content that is valuable to the website visitors.
When you pick a niche website, make sure that it is something that interests you. Because if you have absolutely no interest in the topic, then you’re going to be stuck writing articles about something you’re not passionate about, or you’ll have to do what I’m doing in this experiment and outsource the content creation.
4) Other websites to link to your website: In order for your website to get recognized on the Internet, other websites are going to have to link to it. This concept is known as link building and is a huge component of SEO. To put things simply, if someone from another website links to your website, then it means that they are sending signals telling them that your website is reputable and has good information.
Everyone knows that this is a very important part of creating a niche website because gaining that authority about the topic is very important, but it’s always a terrible idea to use black hat linking strategies. Black hat linking strategies are the types of tactics people use when they want to “cheat the system”. From what I’ve read and seen, these tactics will work in the short term but when the search engines update and notice black hat tactics, your website is doomed.
Knowing this, I recommend that you use White hat linking strategies primarily focused on creating amazing content that people will truly enjoy. Similar to getting content created, you can also use Elance to find a contractor and get this done, but make sure that you hire a reputable SEO specialist who does manual back linking and delivers quality results.
5) A Web Design focused on conversion: It’s tough to define conversion with a niche website because usually there are multiple conversions that the owner wants to occur. For instance, on the OneHourProfessor.com website I’m looking for people to create an account, that’s what I consider a conversion.
On the other hand, when a website has advertising, affiliate marketing, and an email sign-up form, there are three different types of conversions. Someone can convert by clicking on a piece of advertising, someone can convert by purchasing an affiliate marketing product, and someone can convert by signing up for the email list.
Regardless of what the desired conversion(s) are, the most important thing is to make sure that the website has a clean design and users understand what it is that they should click on and what is being asked of them. This goes back to the basics of web design and conversion optimization, but having a website with calls to action that really stick out on the page and advertising injected in the right places is an absolute necessity for a successful niche website.
Being that I just explained what is required in order to create a niche website, I’ll relate this section right back to what you just read and talk about what I’m going to do to address the five things mentioned above.
1) The right topic: I’m happy to say that I already found the right topic for my niche website. As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I want to outsource 90% of this website. However, the one thing I don’t want to outsource is the keyword research.
I’m not going to share exactly what the site is or what the target keywords are because I don’t want someone to steal my idea, but I will share what Long Tail Pro is showing in a screenshot.
Realize that I want to focus on keywords that are 30 or below in the Avg KC column because those are considered low competition. So, now let me show you why I think I have the right topic. Feel free to click the image to zoom in if needed.
There is about 3,000 local searches focused on this particular topic that are ranked 20 or under in the keyword competitiveness score and there are a total of 37,120 total searches that are between 21-30 in the keyword competitiveness score. WOW!
I would be willing to bet that there are numerous people who would love to know what this website topic is, but unfortunately I’m just not going to say. On the other hand, I will let you know a few things about the website because they are important to know for the rest of this post.
2) Multiple Revenue Streams: I’m a huge fan of creating career websites. In fact, the first website I ever created was UnemploymentUnderground.com. Although I’m a little embarrassed about that website now because of how bad it looks, I refuse to ever get rid of it strictly because of the fact that it was the first website I ever created.
Another reason why that website is important is because it has made me a little bit of money and I intend on eventually adding more content and redesigning it. When I say a little bit of money, I really mean a little bit of money, check out the screenshot below.
Yes, this is me gloating about $51.40. Keep in mind that it took me a number of years to get to this point, but there is a lesson to be learned here and it starts with the explanation of the first revenue stream.
3) High Quality Content: I have to be honest, I have absolutely no interest in this particular career or writing about it as a topic. I’ve never worked in this career, I know nothing about it, and I don’t have the time to learn about it. However, I was able to use Elance to find someone that did this for about six years and knows the industry like the back of their hand.
The best part? This individual is a PhD in India and costs just $8 an hour. I reviewed many of the writing samples they provided and was impressed by how articulate they were given that they are not a native English speaker. I’ve already started assigning work to this contractor and anticipate that I will have to revise a few things on the content that they write, but if all I have to do is read through an article and touch up a few spots here and there I’m totally okay with that.
I’m really hopeful that this individual is going to work out, but if not I’ll just use elance until I find someone who does.
4) Other websites to link to the website: Truth be told, I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to get other websites to link to this niche website. Because of the amount of traffic that it can generate with such low competition, I don’t want to participate in any type of link building campaign that could be considered remotely questionable. I can always use Elance to find an individual that practices white hat techniques, but I’m very leery about doing so considering how many individuals overseas partake in black hat techniques. With that being said, I feel like I can figure this part of the process out later and I’ll definitely blog about it when I do.
5) A Web Design focused on conversion: I’m lucky because I’ve spent the better part of six years focusing on web design while always having conversion optimization at the forefront. I’m going to share with you the exact same wireframe that I showed to my web designer.
Yep, it’s that simple. I’m not going to spend a ton of time talking about the design because it isn’t going to be that complicated. The header area with the job search function is to make it so that people can search for a job from any page on the website. It’s also going to have a very large call to action which will immediately make their eyes gravitate towards the top of the page.
The navigation section is going to be standard.
The blog post feed area is going to include the content of the blogs as well as some Google AdSense ad units.
The right side of the page will have calls to action for affiliate products and will showcase the most popular articles on the website and a listing of the topics that are covered in the blog.
That’s it folks. That’s my entire plan explaining how I’m going to try to outsource 90% of this website. Although I’m going to outsource a lot of this website, I’m still going to be intimately involved in managing the creation of the website and reviewing all of the content that comes through. I don’t know exactly when I can put this website on autopilot, but if the potential is as great as I think it is, there’s a good chance that I can hire my PhD contractor for 10 hours a week to create content indefinitely.
In review, this post discussed what a niche website is, the five things that are required to make a niche website, and how I plan to outsource the development of the niche website. At this point in time I have absolutely no idea if this going to be successful or not, but in theory it all makes sense. Wish me luck and I’ll update you when I have moved forward on this project!
What do you think about my niche website idea? Do you think it has potential? Let me know in the comments below!