Creating a niche website is something that I have a lot of fun doing. One of the main reasons for this is that I love doing experiments and see where that leads me. If all goes well, I learn something, if not, I learn something too. You see, that’s the whole idea of the so called “trial and error”. You learn either way :).
Today I will share with you how I created a niche website, in less than one day. I am not counting the time it took me to research and prepare the action plan though. If I account for all the minutes I’ve spent over the days doing this, I would add another 1/2 day in there. Anyway, once I had everything together, I put the plan in motion.
Before I move forward, I want you to know that this is not a hypothetical scenario. The website is live and running (started yesterday and launched it today). If you ask me whether this will make me tons of money, my response to you is simple, I hope so. The only thing that I am sure of, is that I will never know if I will be making money online from this experiment, unless I decided to go for it (hint).
That said, the idea of this post is to run you through the steps of creating a niche site, while sending a message that, having the right motivation and determination, you too can make things happen.
Creating A Niche Site: The planning Stage
The niche: Free Trade Magazine Subscriptions & Technical Document Downloads. This includes, Marketing, Finance, Information Technology, Management, Sales, Social Media Guides, SEO, Education, the whole shebang. In a nutshell, it will be to offer free online magazines, business publications, guides, white papers, reports, eBooks, etc., while getting paid for it.
Keyword Research and Domain Name: This is where I spent a bit more time. After applying the method I use for finding domain names, I finally settled for freeonlinemagazines.net. Dot com, was not available so I choose the next TLD. The domain name derived from a search term, which according to Google’s keyword tool, generates approximately 22K plus Global searches per month with a CPC of $1,00 (not a lot). However, and to my surprise, the competition is very low (0,3). Made a list of related keywords to “spread” around on a later stage.
Monetization: AdSense, which requires no introduction and RevResponse.com. RevResponse (reff) is a pay-per-lead program where you get paid to generate leads for advertisers. Offering quality business content to an audience, from industry leaders, such Microsoft, Dell, Adobe, Oracle, MakeUseOf, American Express, GlobalFinance, etc, is not such a bad thing (I think).
Content: Excerpts of the digital content I will be offering. Will have to be compelling to convince users to act upon, i.e., downloading and/or subscribing to an offer.
Posting Frequency: Two to Three times a week, except for the launch (10 posts over the week).
Marketing: Virtually none. Going solely for organic traffic and automated tweets using specific accounts. This is an experiment, right? Sounds bold but let’s see. There is always a plan B :).
Investment: Domain name ($6,50 p/ year), hosting (none, using my current account), and time.
The Tools Of The Trade:
[note]From here onwards, you can also use these steps as a guide when building any niche site or blog you may think of. I am confident that I will be covering the major parts that is necessary to create a site. Obviously, you will have to adapt some of these steps with your own needs.[/note]
Hosting: I have a shared hosting account. One of the advantages is that my provider allows me to have unlimited domains on a single account, so hosting for this niche site will cost nothing. If you don’t have one, you should get a reliable hosting company or try using a free cloud hosting service.
Platform/CMS: Installed WordPress, without a doubt.
Theme: Decided to use the free version of Arras. Great theme, highly flexible and easily customizable.
WP Settings: Aside from the WordPress website basics, I changed the permalink structure, installed JetPack, Analytics and verified the site on Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Explorer and Bing. Intentionally skipped feedburner.
WordPress Plugins: Here’s a list of the essential free WP Plugins, I used:
Google XML sitemap, WP Super Cache, WP Optimize, xCloner (backup), WP Touch, rel=external, GASP, All-In-One SEO (AIO), SEO Smart Links, Fast Secure Contact Form, PuSHPress, TweetOldPost, and Style Box.
SEO: Added blog title and tagline on WP’s general settings. Configured AIO SEO Plugin for the foundation of the on-page SEO. Created categories based on the results of my keyword research. Will do some minor link building via blog commenting only on relevant sites.
Monetization: For AdSense, I used only one unit, the 728X90 format. Applied all AdSense tips and tricks I know off and displayed the ad right under the header section. Since I am using RevResponse to generate leads, I don’t think it will be wise putting up any other links that may cause distractions.
Marketing: Automated Tweets (via Dlvr.it, TweetOldPost, and Michele’s automated tweet tactics). Depending on the results, I might have to reevaluate.
Finished. Just missing the logo part. Working on it
Why All This?
Basically what I am trying to show you here is that when there’s a will, there’s a way. Having an idea and let it sit will do you no good. Perhaps the time I spent here is slightly less than what you will spend, but then again, I already have some experience. I am convinced that, provided you start putting things in motion, the experience will come eventually. The bottom line is I took action and will now monitor and see how this project goes, making adjustments when deemed necessary. Taking action is probably the only step that is missing for you, so don’t get stuck on an idea. Just do it!
Anyway, expect to have an update of this experiment some three weeks to a month from now. Will lay it all out, no hiding .
[note]UPDATE: As promised, I have made a follow post about the experiment I was conducting here. You can find it at How To Create Niche Website Part 2[/note]
That’s it! Do you have an idea that is lying there in your todo list? What’s keeping you from doing it?