How to Earn Money Online with Niche Sites – 10 Crucial and Current Tips to Beat Your Competition

A lot of people think, especially after Google Penguin update, that niche sites are dead, and they plan to not invest their time and money into it anymore.

 

But I totally disagree with them. What’s more, I’ll tell you, that these days niche sites are bigger and stronger than ever. Of course it concerns only good quality and well prepared niche sites, not micro sites. Please read carefully this post, and answer yourself, if niche sites are still good money makers.

 

In most cases niche sites are prepared for making money – and only that kind of niche site will be discussed here. So, let’s go to the points.

How to Earn Money Online with Niche Sites

 

How to Earn Money Online with Niche Sites – 10 Crucial and Current Tips to Beat Your Competition

 

1. Find Your Niche

There is a lot of ways, how you can choose your niche. It’s the most important point for you – if you are wrong with your choice, all of the next points will fail. So be sure, that your choice is made correctly. Shortly – choose something, which you are very interested in, it’s your passion, or you are better in it than others. Of course a lot of niche site owners didn’t concern about it (they look only on possible earnings and competition) – and now they are out of the market.  If you don’t want to share failure with them – follow your passions ;)

 

2. Check Your Competition

Now it’s time for making a little research. Check what’s cool in your niche, how many major competitors you have, who they are. From your competitors you can learn, what you should write about, and what you should not. But remember – it’s only ideas. If you want to distinguish from the crowd, you should be yourself.

 

 3. Find Proper Keywords for Your Niche Site

OK. Your niche is chosen and you know your competitors.

Now you have to make a keyword research. Choose 5-50 niche related keywords. You can use Google Keyword Tool for research (it’s free tool) but I use (and recommend you) more powerful tool – Market Samurai. If you don’t know, how to find proper keywords, you can learn about it here: How to find best keywords for your blog or website

keyword suggestion tools

 

 4. Build and Set Up your Website

Now you are ready for creating your professional niche site. If you really want to make money with it, you must invest some bucks into it.

So, first of all please select and register your own, appropriate domain name. In godaddy.com it will cost you yearly less than 15$.

 

You should have hosting for your site. It can be free hosting (I don’t recommend it) or paid hosting. For more than 90% of my websites (and 100% which earn money for me) I use paid hostings like HostGator or BlueHost. Hosting price is between 5$ and 10$ (monthly), so it’s not cheap. But remember – if you want to earn something (not only online), you must firstly invest some of your money.

 

Having your own domain and hosting, you are ready for the next step. You must choose proper software for your website. For almost all of your ideas, WordPress, free content management system, will be the best solution for you – now it’s used not only for blogging, but also for selling, promoting, informing, sharing, etc. What’s more, there is a lot of plugins, widgets and themes for this CMS.

Lot of the plugins and themes are free. In most cases free plugins are very good and enough for me.  I use only paid theme Theme Junkie, and paid plugin MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate. You can read something more about them on my resource page, but you can ask me about them via comment or email.

 

Of course, you can get everything described in this point for free (even subdomains on blogging platforms like Blogger or WordPress). If you are software programmer you can prepare some of the plugins or themes by yourself, investing only your time.  In my opinion a minimum is own domain and own hosting – of course your site may be on free subdomain and hosting, but it’s not only unprofessional, but also ineffective and very dangerous (you can lost everything at any time).

 

5. Forget About Thin, 5-10 Pages Niche Site

In my opinion micro niche site, with 5-10 pages is to thin, to make good impression on search engines and on internet readers. So write (or hire someone to write) 15-50 good quality articles accordingly to your keyword research. At the beginning you should place most of them on your website. But be prepared for publishing at least one new article pro month on your niche site – it will be good as well for search engines, as well for visitors.

Some of my oldest niche sites have almost 200 articles – it’s because they are updated once a week and are online for almost three years!

 

6. Your Niche Website Should be Informative, Good Quality and With Original Content

If you really want to earn money with your niche site, you must treat it as a normal site. It shouldn’t looks like MFA site (made for AdSense). So it must look professional, have great content with at least two killer articles. If you have time or money, you can put into your articles something more, than only words – pictures, videos or presentations. If you want more ideas about it, you can read How to Attract Your Blog Posts – 20 Tips for Normal People

 

7. You must promote your niche site like normal, good quality website or blog

You must be aware of two things – before you can earn money online, you should make traffic first. And the second point, which is especially important in earning money with niche sites – to be successful in niche sites, most of your traffic should be from organic traffic (search engines).

There are a lot of sources and tutorials about promoting websites or blogs. I’ll only mention that you need a lot of links pointing to your niche site (for example from article directories, guest posts, social networks, press releases, etc.). If you want to read more about it, please look at some articles:

8 Helpful Tips, How To Promote Your Blog

or

50 Types of Links to Strengthen Your Website

 

8. Try to Have at Least Two Monetization Ways on Your Niche Site

how to make money

 

As I wrote in one of my articles, How to Make Money Online – 10 Best Ways for Doing It, there is a lot of ways for earning money online.

On my niche sites (most of them are financial niches) I prefer a combination of two of them – PPC (Pay Per Click) and affiliate marketing.

For PPC my preferred network is AdSense, but there are a lot of other PPC networks – for example Chitika.

For affiliate marketing I use Trade Doubler (it operates on European market) and some local programs which operate in Poland. You may use ClickBank instead.

 

9. Make and Forget – Forget about It!

As I wrote in one of the previous points – your niche site should be updated! To prove, that your site is worth to visit, it must be updated in regular intervals. I suggest you, to make it at least once a month, but it depends on your niche and on your resources (time and money).

You should also analyze your statistics – and not only traffic, but also your incomes sources for your niche website. If something is not working for you – you should change it and try something else.

 

10.   If Your Niche Site is Making Money for You – Reinvest It!

You may be wondered – you are earning some money and I’m telling you to invest it back into your niche site? Not spending it to new car or vacations?

Yes, it’s true. If you earn money from your website – you should invest at least one half of that money into your niche site. You can order some more articles, pay for some marketing or even improve appearance of your site by buying professional theme.

But there is the other side of the coin. If your site isn’t making money for you (or it’s too little to pay the bills for hosting, articles and marketing), you should sell your website. Of course you should wait at least half a year, to see if it’s make money for you. But if it’s not working – sell it!

 

And what do you think about niche sites? Are they dead, or not? Do you have similar experience to me with it?

 

Disclosure 1 – please note, that above mentioned tips are my own tips, which base on my own experience, knowledge and specific market and they may not work for you!

Disclosure 2 – please note, that some of the links above are affiliate links and I earn a commission, when you buy something via them.

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40 Responses to “How to Earn Money Online with Niche Sites – 10 Crucial and Current Tips to Beat Your Competition”

  1. May 14, 2014 at 4:31 pm #


    Twitter:
    Hi Eric, I am building a niche site at the moment, which is not a thin site but more like an authority website. The sites is related to my passion.

    I am making regular blog updates and this site helped me earn $3-$4/day with adsense. At the moment the adsense pay is down but still it’s good to see this baby making me some money everyday.

  2. June 18, 2013 at 9:11 pm #


    Twitter:
    Nice to see your this post again. I have become habitual to your site in regarding the knowledge of money making. Could you tell me that how can i earn money easily by playing games? It’s so necessary to know for me! hope you will reply soon.
    Vivek Jain recommend you to read:Google Adsense Program for Youtube VideosMy Profile

  3. May 28, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    I have always preferred niche sites over blogs, simply because they are so much easier to rank for in Google. You also aren’t expected to update them as much, so overall, you’ll get more traffic for the same amount of effort.
    James McAllister recommend you to read:Help Start My Site – Changing Your Life Online!My Profile

  4. December 1, 2012 at 4:07 am #


    Twitter:
    The Amazon Associates Program is one of the many ways you can do to monetize your blog and make money online. If you have tens or hundreds of followers in your blog, why not take advantage of this golden opportunity to earn? You can start to experiment on it now. In this article, learn now.
    shan recommend you to read:Make Money Online Using CPA NetworkMy Profile

  5. July 24, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    I’m also affected by the recent Google update. Thanks for the tips! I will apply these on the sites that I’m planning to launch.
    mike recommend you to read:6 Social Media Tools That Can Make Learning A Foreign Language FunMy Profile

  6. Michelle
    July 12, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    Great article, this has taught me a lot and hopefully i can put it into practice, thank you for sharing this with us.
    Michelle recommend you to read:Yahoo Voice HackedMy Profile

  7. July 6, 2012 at 5:20 am #

    I run a niche music site that is getting around 16,000 visitis a month and all my previous attempts at ad networks have really not worked. What is recommended whe you don’t have 52 sites but one?

    • July 6, 2012 at 10:04 am #


      Twitter:
      You can try Google adsense or finindg advertisers in your (music) niche. But 16,000 visitis a month in that niche is too little (IMHO). You should try to increase it to at least 100k monthly visitors.

  8. July 4, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Excellent article, I am going to bookmark this as my starting point for any new site. I certainly believe in building sites that offer more value to the user will be the way to go, in the long term.
    Steven recommend you to read:First Steps In Learning To DriveMy Profile

    • July 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm #


      Twitter:
      Hi Steven, thanks for your comment. I agree with you – “valuable niche sites” rulez ;)

  9. July 2, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Chris, I have made some online income with Niche Sites via Adsense and Amazon.

    I was hit by Penguin update and trying to rebuild my niche site empire.

    I totally agree that thin 5-10 page niche site won’t click anymore unless there is a low competition keyword ones.

    I’m on a 30 Day Challenge and trying to build a semi-authority niche site from Stretch and see how the process goes and evolves.
    Kent recommend you to read:I am in 30 Day Challenge (Day 1)My Profile

    • July 3, 2012 at 5:28 am #


      Twitter:
      Hi Kent, thanks for stopping by. Google Penguin was very cruel for a lot of site owners. But we must be strong and don’t give up… BTW – good luck with the Challenge, I’m also in ;)

  10. June 25, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    I have loved your tips and I agree that most people create MNS with just 5 pages, so they fail to rank well due to slim and poor content.. I suggest making a website with atleast 20 pages for it to get good attention from google.

    Also, people want to create MNS sites and then forget about it as they are interested in passive income, but their proper maintenance is the only secret to their high earnings!
    Rohit recommend you to read:Google Nexus Tablet (Leaked Photos, Specifications and Rendered Images)My Profile

    • June 26, 2012 at 5:26 am #


      Twitter:
      Hi Rohit – thanks for your comment. I agree with you – 20 pages is minimum for good mini site :)

  11. Gichuki
    June 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    I agree with you that 7-10 page niche site is too thin. This could be ideal for Google Adsence sites. Having a 50+ page websites will make your site visitors come back to consume more of your web published content and subsequently more sales if you are promoting affiliate products or services.
    Gichuki recommend you to read:SEO | IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION GOOD FOR YOUR BUSINESS?My Profile

    • June 14, 2012 at 5:01 am #


      Twitter:
      Gichuki, yes, thin pages are to thin. On the other hand, as David wrote, we need a lot of time to creating not thin niche sites…
      Thanks for your comment.
      BR, Chris

  12. June 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    Hi Chris, I like what you have to say here about niche sites. I am glad that you distinguished between what you are talking about and the 5-10 page ‘thin’ sites that target specific keywords.

    Those kind of sites are probably going to fall by the wayside. The sad thing is that it is hard to find the time to work on more than a few sites. It is really tough when you don’t have employees to help you.

    Getting a business to a stable point is not easy to do. This is especially true when you are a one -man show. – that is what some people would call self employed rather than a business.
    david recommend you to read:How I Make Money On The InternetMy Profile

    • June 14, 2012 at 4:51 am #


      Twitter:
      Hi David, working on more, than few sites is possible only if you:
      1) can outsource it
      2) own your own business :)
      It’s very hard to getting stable point – it may be even not possible at all
      Thanks for your comment!

  13. btbuzz
    June 13, 2012 at 5:57 am #

    Five to ten times in one article , Ha ha, sorry Chris your asking for some debate from me on that. But lets not go there , You can feel the fear all over the net on all these updates. I’m tired of listening to it. It comes down to this, follow the google boys rules as best you can, and jump out of your foxholes and fight.

    Here’s one update I have for google change your damn blue adsense ads to a different color, how about green, Because your making tons of money . Good content google practice what you preach. How about a a attractive women holding up sign when you post another update instead of you Matt.

    • June 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm #


      Twitter:
      btbuzz – thanks for sharing your point of view. I don’t understand it at all, and maybe you are a spammer, or maybe not… Could you clear it up?

      • btbuzz
        June 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

        No I’m not a spammer , I was commenting on stuffing keywords in articles.
        And not letting google scare us, Maybe it looked like a rant, To much coffee i suppose.
        Good blog.
        btbuzz recommend you to read:Niche Sites: Easy Ways to Make Money?My Profile

        • June 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm #


          Twitter:
          btbuzz – now I understand you. I wrote, that I have about 5-50 keywords, but for whole niche site (I have one “big” niche site with almost 200 pages). And yes – keyword stuffing may be very harmful for rankings in SERPs, especially these days :)
          BR, Chris

          • btbuzz
            June 14, 2012 at 1:08 am #

            Dont’ mind me , I’m stressed on opening in warrior.
            I’m exploring similarities with content and my songwriting background.
            Maybe try some rhyming some keywords in articles, and some other tricks I know as a songwriter. The niche biz and music biz are the same in a lot of respects . You rank the pages in googles show , rank a song in radios show.

            I think what I was trying to say is, don’t let fear stop you , The internet is not going anywhere either are niche sites, google coffee }

            Good blog Chris.
            btbuzz recommend you to read:What’s Your Niche Site’s Property Value?My Profile

  14. shika
    June 13, 2012 at 3:18 am #

    Better ways to earn money through niche sites. but i think Google Adsense is much better way to earn money than the niche sites. Its my personal opinion.
    shika recommend you to read:Dell XPS 14Z review and price in USAMy Profile

  15. June 12, 2012 at 6:36 pm #


    Twitter:
    Hey Chris,

    I have a couple of niche sites I don’t post regularly too, actually they are the older model of create and forget that are still making me money. Okay, not a lot but I’m making money monthly.

    I think you’re right though. I don’t believe niche sites are dead because if you continue to post quality content to them and keep the reader coming back for more than you’ll do fine.

    Thanks for this detailed post. I learned a few things here so thanks for that.

    Hope you’re enjoying your week.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recommend you to read:The Ultimate Guide To Blogging SuccessMy Profile

    • June 13, 2012 at 6:08 am #


      Twitter:
      Hey Adrienne, thanks for the comment. Niche sites are, after launching and setting up, almost ideal online passive income – you can outsource writing articles and make little marketing once a month :)
      BR, Chris

  16. June 12, 2012 at 8:04 am #


    Twitter:
    I think that niche sites is still good and money maker. In my opinion we should focus on 3 or 4 keywords which has a low competition and a lot monthly searches instead of using 12 to 50 unwanted keywords.
    Ehsan recommend you to read:A Complete Affiliate Marketing GuideMy Profile

    • June 12, 2012 at 6:37 pm #


      Twitter:
      Hi Ehsan,
      for my niche sites I was using about 5-10 keywords. Since half of the last year, I use about 10-20, and for some of them about 30 :)
      It works for me – if you prefer 3-4 keywords – ok :)
      Thanks for the comment, Chris

      • June 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm #


        Twitter:
        Dear Chris, It is very difficult to get high rank on search engines with a lot of keywords and if you focus on just 2 or 3 keywords you can easily get higher rank (Not without a hard work!)

        A lot of keywords confuses the search engines on which keyword to select to give a rank to your blog. Hope you got my point.
        Ehsan recommend you to read:How To Choose a Perfect WordPress ThemeMy Profile

        • June 14, 2012 at 4:55 am #


          Twitter:
          I understand you. But for me it’s harder to high rank with 2 keywords, than with 5 keywords (from 15 for example). And, in my opinion, a lot of keywords (on a lot of pages) shows search engines, that we have good site :)
          BR, Chris

  17. June 11, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    Hi Chris, great post, I am glad someone is advising people to create niche sites but with good quality content and a lot of it. The days of mini micro sites is over however if you create a niche site that delivers value to its visitors then it will always be a winner.

    Regards
    SI
    The Secret Insider recommend you to read:Online Business Idea: Profit Sharing Set Up.My Profile

    • June 12, 2012 at 4:31 am #


      Twitter:
      Thanks for the comment. Micro sites are (or will be in the near future) dead. Quality is a king ;)

  18. June 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Algorithm updates can’t kill niche sites. Any experience niche marketer knows that. If you have done your marketing right, you will still receive traffic from the many links you gained by article marketing and blog hopping. In addition, like you said niche sites should be larger. Lots of content shows Google that it’s a real site with “real reader” intentions. It also tells you that the site has tons of backlinks, and those links bring traffic even if they aren’t providing rank value.
    Brandon recommend you to read:I Lost PinterestMy Profile

    • June 12, 2012 at 4:24 am #


      Twitter:
      Hi Brandon,
      thanks for stopping here. You are totally right – algorithm update can’t kill niche sites. What’s more, even if we rank down in SERPs, we have some possibilities (for example 301)…
      BR, Chris

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