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