There are many highly successful marketers who make a full-time income just by creating niche sites. They often say that passive income online is a myth. To a large extent, this is true.
Most online businesses do require you to be present and involved in order to make profit. Niche sites, however, come closest to being passive income.
Once you have a profitable niche site with posts that rank well in the search engines, you can take a 30-day break from your business, and it’ll still generate money on autopilot, if you’ve monetized the sites well.
Should you create a niche site from scratch or buy one?
Whether you decide to create a niche site from scratch or buy an existing one is up to you. Generally, many marketers prefer to buy one that’s already generating some income.
There are several benefits that can be accrued when you buy a site. For starters, you’ll avoid the dreaded Google sandbox where your site doesn’t rank for about 6-8 months.
Since sites that are being sold are often older (and out of the sandbox), it’ll be easier to get your posts ranked in the search engines. You’ll not only save time, but if the site you’re buying is already making money, you know it works and can scale up.
You can find sites to buy on Flippa.
It’s not a walk in the park
Despite niche sites being pretty straightforward to create, there are several requirements you’ll need to get right. If you gets these wrong, the site will never take off or yield profit.
In this short report, we’ll look at 9 of the most important tips to take note of when building a profitable niche site.
Let’s get started…
1. The niche matters!
Some niches have people who are willing to spend more, while other niches have an audience that’s unwilling to spend money… or much money, at least.
An example would be people in the golf or survival niche, who will willingly buy products and courses to help them improve their game or be better prepared for a crisis.
Money isn’t necessarily an issue here because they’re willing to spend to achieve their goals. The prices of the items tend to be higher – which means more profit for you.
Before deciding on a niche, you may wish to check out marketplaces like Amazon to see if the niche has bestselling products and books in it. That’s a sure sign that it’s profitable.
2. You MUST do keyword research
Creating a niche site is all about strategy. You can’t just create content blindly and expect it to work. Content creation is hard work, and even if you outsource it, you’ll still be spending money. So you must have a plan.
Ideally, you’ll want to use a keyword research tool to discover search terms that are popular and are less competitive. In fact, just ranking for a keyword that has about 2000-2500 searches a month almost guarantees that your site will be profitable.
It won’t be easy to rank for these keywords, but it’s possible. With a good keyword tool, you’ll be able to analyze the metrics and know the age of the domain, how many backlinks the page has, the keyword’s competitiveness and so on.
This tool is a MUST-HAVE… and you’ll be able to come up with a strategy to rank your posts based on the closely related keywords you have.
Spend time learning how to do keyword research or hire a professional from Fiverr to do it for you.
3. Looks matter
When someone lands on your niche site, reading the content should be a pleasant experience. You’ll want your site to look neat.
The font has to be legible; the pages need to load fast, and the navigation should be easy. It goes without saying that you must have an excellent WordPress theme, if you’re using WordPress as your content management system.
You’ll also want to have plugins such as a table of contents so that perusing through your posts is even easier. The goal here is to ensure that the visitor has an awesome user experience.
There should be internal linking in your blog posts so that your site is ‘sticky’ and the visitor keeps clicking on the links and reading more content. When the bounce rate of your site is low, you’ll rank better in the search engines.
You’ll also want to ensure that your site has a memorable domain. Gone are the days when people would name a site after a keyword. Exact match domain keywords are no longer beneficial for search engine optimization.
You’re better off choosing a domain name that is authoritative and memorable.
For example, if you’re in the survival niche, a domain like PrepperZone.com or SurvivalAuthority will give visitors an idea of what the site is about, and there’s also a broad keyword in the domain to let the search engines know what your site is about.
4. Speed is crucial
As mentioned earlier, your site has to load fast. Besides a good WordPress theme that’s not bloated with code, you’ll also want your site to be hosted with a good web hosting company.
Avoid ‘lifetime hosting’ because you always get what you pay for. These cheap hosting services are totally unreliable. You’re better off paying monthly for good web hosting.
You can check the speed of your site here: https://gtmetrix.com/
When you’re first starting off, you may not have the budget for dedicated web hosting and the other bells and whistles. That’s fine. Just choose a reputable web host for now.
As your site grows and you start making money with it, you can upgrade your hosting plan. So, make sure you choose a web hosting company that will allow you to grow. You don’t want to deal with the hassle of moving your site later on.
5. Good content is KING!
Once you’ve got a memorable domain, reputable hosting, and a fast, attractive WordPress theme, the next logical step will be to focus on the content on your site.
This is the MOST IMPORTANT factor when it comes to having a profitable niche site. People come online for information and entertainment. Most of them are not actively looking to buy something.
So, your site needs to have content that’s engaging, informative and entertaining. Either you’ll write the content yourself or hire someone from Fiverr or Upwork. Make sure the content they deliver is of high-quality.
You’ll want to use images such as stock photos, infographics, memes and gifs to break up your text and keep the content interesting.
If you’re able to make videos and embed them within your blog post, that will be even better. Just by summarizing the main points into a video, you’ll be able to satisfy the people who prefer consuming content via video.
At the end of the day, you’ll want to think of your visitors and come up with ways to deliver content that helps them and keeps them hooked for more. This will ensure that you build a loyal following of readers and your site will get lots of regular traffic.
Remember to post regularly too – at least once a week.
6. Build a list
One of the best ways to profit from a niche site will be to build a list from it. Use a plugin such as Thrive Leads to add pop ups, scroll mats, sticky bars, embedded sign up forms and more on your blog.
The more opportunities visitors have to sign up, the more subscribers you’ll get. You’ll also want to have an opt in form in the sidebar (if you’re using one).
Of course, you’ll need a good lead magnet to bribe people into parting with their email addresses. Get a good ecover image done on Fiverr for your lead magnet. It’ll help to increase your conversion rate because the freebie has a ‘tangible’ feel to it, even if it’s just digital content.
All your leads should be added to a good autoresponder, and you should have a welcome email sequence in place to let your new subscribers know who you are and what they’ll gain from being on your list.
Building a list from your site will not only allow you to keep in touch with your visitors, but you’ll be able to promote products to them and let them know when you have a new post on your blog, etc.
7. Monetize your site
It goes without saying that to profit from your blog, you’ll need to monetize it. You can do that by adding affiliate links within your content or linking to your own offers.
Having a resources page with affiliate links to different products you’re promoting will help get you sales too.
Some site owners may choose to display ads (sponsored content) on their pages and earn revenue from that – but just don’t overdo it. The ads should be unobtrusive and shouldn’t overwhelm the reader. Less is more here.
If you follow point #6 above, you’ll be building a list and selling through email marketing too. This is an indirect way to monetize your site.
Whatever it is, constantly look for ways to sell on your blog. You’ll only make money when you sell – whether it’s your own products or someone else’s products. So focus on this point consistently.
8. Use videos on your site
This point was mentioned in passing earlier, but it deserves more attention. We live in a day and age where people want to consume content quickly and easily.
Rather than read, millions of people prefer watching videos… with many of them watching it at 2X speed.
You can easily make videos using tools such as Camtasia or Screencast-O-Matic. With some simple editing and an intro video you could have made on Fiverr, your videos will look great!
By embedding videos on your site, you’ll retain more visitors who would have left earlier because they didn’t want to read.
This will reduce the bounce rate on your site and it’s a significant factor when it comes to your site ranking well in the search engines.
You can host your videos for free on YouTube and embed them in your site. If you’re good at ranking your videos on YouTube, you can even funnel visitors to your site or to a landing page – by leaving a link in the video description for them to click on.
So, videos will not only engage visitors, but also serve as a traffic generation vehicle. Which brings us to the last point…
9. Traffic generation is a MUST!
Many niche site marketers overly focus on search engine optimization (SEO). The problem with SEO is that it takes time for posts to rank and the process itself can be unpredictable.
What may work to rank one keyword may have no effect on another. After all the time you’ve spent trying to get your blog posts ranked, you may wake up one day to see your sites ranking abysmally in the search engines (SERPS) because of some new Google update.
You’re at the mercy of the search engines, if you put all your eggs in one basket.
This is why you’ll want to drive your own traffic to your site. Sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. are teeming with traffic. By leveraging these major platforms and using them to drive traffic to your sites, you’ll not be dependent on search engine rankings for traffic.
It’s fine to rank well, but you should proactively drive your own traffic too.
Common Problems Niche Site Marketers Have to Deal With
Building a profitable niche site is a marathon and not a sprint. Not only will you need to build an attractive site with great content, but you’ll need to ensure that it ranks well. That will mean doing outreach to other site owners to get backlinks to your site.
You’ll also need to do your own traffic generation. Then there’s list building, email marketing, and so on. That’s a lot of balls to keep in the air.
The hardest part of it all is the time it takes for your site to see results. If you’re building a site from scratch, it’ll take about a year or so before it really gets ‘rolling’.
So, you’ll need patience for that. You’ll also have to go through the learning curve associated with each new skill that you need to master.
Then there’s always the risk of Google updates which will ruin your rankings. Nevertheless, if you build your site the correct way, your rankings will rebound and you’ll find yourself doing well again in no time at all.
The most important point is not to panic.
Niche sites take a while to build and there’s a lot of effort involved. However, once the work is done for the most part and the traffic is coming in regularly, you’ll see profits trickle in and then snowball.
That’s when the fun begins.
Now you can outsource content creation and free up your time. You can even build a second site. With even one or two highly profitable sites under your belt, you could make a 5-6 figure income.
You may even wish to sell your site and walk away with a relatively large payout. Marketers do this all the time. Once you master the art of building niche sites, you’ll be a very successful marketer who can generate a substantial income online.
So, give this business model your undivided attention and make it work. You WILL be well-rewarded for your effort.