Do You Have $20? Then Start Your Own Niche Site!
This is a no-BS practical guide on building a niche site that makes you money within a few months.
The emphasis is on practical so that you can follow it.
It only requires a $20 investment for a domain and hosting (and of course a lot of work on your part).
I will show you exactly what tools, hosting, etc. to use.
I will show you free and paid resources for the same tool and you can decide which ones you want to use.
My primary purpose is not earning affiliate commissions for myself.
Of course I need money to live, but for me, teaching you how to do it on a low budget is far more important than my own affiliate commissions.
This system is extremely simple. More complicated methods exist that bring more results. Those are not free, however it is always your choice.
However, this system will show you how YOU can do this and have actual success with basic tools.
If you follow it exactly, I guarantee you will see results. Then you can invest what you earned into more sophisticated methods and scale up your business.
This post is an overview and will be followed by several detailed posts that will walk you the individual steps.
What Is An Authority Site?
An authority site is basically a well-built niche site where you can find everything about the given subject and therefore people consider it to be an authority. People go there for answers.
Authority Site Examples
An example for authority sites would be WordPress.org. You can find loads of information about WordPress.
Another example would be WebMD. Many people go there to find answers to their medical needs.
I am building this site also into an authority site, a go-to place for all information about domains.
Who Am I To Teach This?
What makes me an authority in this? Well, I am not an authority and I don’t pretend to be one. But I built the site you are reading right now and after 4 months of trial and error I figured out the “code” to make it work.
If I was able to do it, you are probably able to do it also.
The affiliate earnings have started to slowly roll in and I have continuous traffic, clicks on my affiliate links.
In the past month this site earned $260 in affiliate commissions and I did very little promotion.
To demonstrate the method I use for getting free Google traffic, I started a challenge in a guest post on Mostly Blogging, to rank the post on the first page of Google.
The guest post not only ended up #1 on Google within hours, it also went completely viral with over 200 shares in two days and over 1,000 page views in its first week. You can see the screenshot here.
And now I am going to share how YOU can make your first sales and be on your way to $5K/month.
Why YOU Are Not Making Money
The reason why people don’t make money with their website is simple.
1. They don’t know the exact steps
2. It takes too long (months) for them to find out that whatever they did actually didn’t work and thus they waste time.
It takes especially long to find out what works if your site is new and therefore most newbies do it “blind”.
In this post I am going to give you the overview of starting a niche site that makes you $5k per month. You could be making money in as little as 60-90 days if you put enough work into it.
After you read this post, sign up for my $5K email course and you will get instructions on how to do it.
The Different Types of Niche Sites
There is a scale of different websites and the first step is to decide what type of site you want to build.
This is at the bottom of the scale. It could contain 5-15 pages and is laser targeted, built on a keyword that brings in 1,000 searches per month. While this might work, I don’t recommend it simply because of its limitations. There are only so many things you can write about a narrow subject and you limit your money earning potential. Also, you can easily get targeted by Google for being spammy.
Niche site/Niche blog:
This is the happy medium and this is a workable way to go. It is similar to a micro-niche site, but you would have more pages and more content.
Authority Niche Site:
This is the ultimate. You don’t just write about your niche, but your goal is simply to cover everything under the sun and the moon that relates to it. Google loves authority sites and loves brands, because they are trustworthy.
This is an entirely different kind of animal. It doesn’t provide passive income and you have the additional duties of customer service and product delivery.
You need to make up your mind, but you should go with #2 or #3.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A $5K Website?
There are two ways to go in building a profitable website.
The cheap way and the smart way.
I understand if you are on a tight budget. Even if you aren’t, you can absolutely decide that you don’t want to spend a lot of money on your website, as you are not sure if you will get any return.
I did the same thing when I started my website. My total investment was $8.99 for a domain name and $5.63 for 6 months of hosting.
I did everything else so far with free tools and I will show you how to do the same.
However, be aware that the cheap way is not the smartest way. Unfortunately there is the barrier that you just don’t have enough time to do everything yourself…
Once you know what you are doing, it would make sense, for example, to pay someone to write a whole bunch of (more than 20) properly targeted, high quality articles for your site, post them, then see the affiliate income roll in – this would bring back the money that you spent on it if you did it correctly.
Similarly, once you know what you are doing, it would make sense to buy Facebook traffic to get more engaged visitors, since this will increase your profits if you do it correctly.
But this is not a requirement at the start and it is always your choice when it’s the right time.
The right way is to start the cheap way, then phase over to the smart way as you become more confident.
Selecting Your Niche
People really over-complicate the subject of niche selection. You will find out more in the e-mail course, however it boils down to just a few basic things.
- You need to have enough familiarity/passion to keep going and write more posts.
- There needs to be buying demand in the niche.
- The niche shouldn’t be overly competitive.
Many people spend hours looking at things like how many searches per month … Per my most recent experience, it doesn’t matter that much. Why?
You can always expand your blog topic. My website is on the subject of expired domains, but I recommend websites, hosting, internet marketing methods because they all relate. You see? Someone needs a domain, they probably need web hosting, they will need to get traffic, etc.
The other reason it doesn’t really matter is because you will use social media sharing and long-tail keywords. You just write more posts to get more laser targeted visitors per month from there on out…
The Way I Selected My Niche
So really the only thought process I had was the following (not necessarily correct):
- Are people buying domains? Hell yeah! Tens of thousands every day!
- Are they buying web hosting? Absolutely!
- Are there a few Facebook groups or forums on the subject that has over ten thousand members where they crazily interact with each other every single day?
- Can I write enough blog posts about it? (I am talking about 20-50-100 posts)
- Are there affiliate products available to promote?
The only keyword research I did at this point was to enter my main keyword into Google. I used Chrome with the Moz extension and looked at the sites, how many backlinks they had, how many had the keyword in its name.
This was not necessarily the best way to decide, but this is what I did and I can still make money with long-tail keywords. Of course the ideal would be to have a main keyword that has sites with DA less than 25 on the first page search results.
This may seem out of sequence to you, but I spent about a week researching content before I even knew what the site was going to be called.
I advise that you do the same, find out everything about your niche, keep track of all keywords you run into in a spreadsheet and check all keywords in the Google Keyword Planner. Take note of the ones that have 10-100 searches.
Bookmark EVERYTHING you find, under different bookmark folders, organized by subject or keyword.
Make a separate bookmark folder for any affiliate programs you find. When you run into a cool product, always look for an affiliate program either on the website, or searching Google for “keyword” affiliate, or referral.
Sign up for any affiliate programs and save your affiliate referral URLs in a spreadsheet.
Sign up for all possible mailing lists to monitor what these sites promote and get ideas.
Isolate your main keywords. You will use these to finalize your niche and domain name. Make sure you look at these keywords from the viewpoint of searcher intent, e. g. “buy expired domains” and “buy an expired domain” have the same searcher intent and you wouldn’t consider them as different keywords. You wouldn’t write a separate post for each.
Once you did this write 20-30 posts, all based on long-tail keywords, if possible, over 2,000 words each, if not, at least 1,000.
And I am sorry, but you will need deep, engaging content. Either you know how to write or you will need to learn.
Type your next keyword in Google and read everything that comes up on the first two-three pages. Examine the top posts are currently ranking. How many words, how many images, how deep content, etc. Get an idea what content you will need to beat this.
Based on everything you have read, write your own post that contains everything possible on that keyword.
Note: If the first page is loaded with high-DA sites with awesome content, you will probably not be able to beat those. You have the choice to skip that keyword or to write your post anyways and you will use social media to drive traffic.
Selecting Your Domain
Once you have done all the above, you can search for a domain, as you have a much better idea of what you want to do and it will be less likely that you regret your decision later on.
People can spend days looking for the perfect domain name. You don’t have to.
Why am I saying this? Does Amazon have anything to do with the Amazon river, or Amazons or selling any of the stuff they are selling? No.
My website is based on expired domains. The affiliate commission I made was from ready-made niche websites. Is there any connection? No.
There is a concept called “idea sex”, and using this, you can relate things to each other that are not so much related. Example: I can relate buying domains with eCommerce: How to start a Prestashop store on an expired domain.
I am not saying that you can relate absolutely everything, but you don’t need to stay on your topic either.
Therefore the domain name you are looking for just needs to be on the general subject, and it doesn’t need to be a keyword match.
It is a lot more important to pick a domain that has backlinks, internet history, so that your new site doesn’t spend half a year in the sandbox, but actually starts getting search traffic from Google much sooner.
Then you would set up your site on WordPress.
The Cheapest And Best Domain Registrar
A lot of domain companies rip you off with super high prices. Let me fill you in on a secret: They all give you very similar service… I have tried several domain companies and you get the lowest price for the same service, with $8.99 for a .com domain, including all fees, and lifetime free privacy so that your email address and phone don’t get posted on the web as a free prey for spammers… check out the price list for NameSilo. This is both the cheap and the smart plan for your domain.
Before you purchase your domain, find the DNS server of the hosting you will use and enter it to NameSilo during the purchase, this way your domain will be almost instantly available and you will not have to wait 24-48 hours until it propagates.
Getting a Web Host
Picking the right host is very important, and I don’t like the way other marketers just tell you to use BlueHost, or whatever host that pays them a commission.
I will explain you later in the course, but things like site loading speed directly influence your ranking in Google. You also want to have proper customer service when you need it.
You don’t want to fall for a bad $1 host, but on the other hand you don’t want to overpay either.
Believe me, I tried many different hosts and I have seen several of them to fail utterly. I did a very thorough research and I will show you the best hosting choices, which are a great compromise for the best price.
Setting Up Your Site
Before you do anything, install an SSL certificate. This will give you a 15 percent advantage over all the sites that don’t bother about it and you will look more serious in Google’s eyes and it helps building your authority.
I will show you how to get a free SSL.
Once you installed your SSL, it’s time to set up WordPress, with selecting a theme, installing all of the needed plugins and Google Search Console and Analytics.
You need to ensure that your site loads fast, otherwise you will lose visitors.
You will need to optimize your images, set up a caching plugin and a CDN.
I optimize my pictures with Riot before I upload them. As a rule, try to have all you pictures under 100k.
The easy way to have a site set up (if you have cash) is to buy a pre-made website. In this case they set it up for you, and you don’t need to worry about any of this stuff.
Adding Your Content
Now you will need to add all the content you have researched and written.
You will read more about content creation in my $5K e-mail course.
Once you added your content, create a site map and submit it to Google from your Search Console account for indexing. Indexing and all the stuff showing up will take about a week.
Monetizing Your Site, Adding Affiliate Links
Now you can add your affiliate links.
Make sure you have lower and higher priced products you offer.
Will people click on your affiliate links? Obviously, some products will convert and some won’t. But as an example, it took me 5 months to dig out all the materials contained in this post and it took me three days to write it. Do you feel that you would click on my affiliate links to show your appreciation in exchange for all the work I did for you for free, all the time and money I am saving you? Your readers will feel the same way if your content is deep, high quality and your recommendations actually make sense.
I don’t use Adsense at all. Affiliate products give you a better return.
A popular way to monetize your site is through the Amazon affiliate program.
See the video on how a pro does this. He actually builds such sites and sells them for hundreds of dollars.
Getting Traffic To Your Posts
Now that you set up your site and have some posts with affiliate links, you need to get traffic.
I will give you very simple strategies to get instant traffic using Facebook groups and forums.
If you do this correctly and daily, you will get tens to hundreds of visitors to your blog posts every day.
At the same time you just need to keep adding blog posts with your long-tail keyword – if you have 50 posts and you get 20 visitors per month to each one, that equals 1,000 visitors per month.
After a while when you have a number of posts, you will see lots of keywords in your Search Console. You can get a boost and greatly increase your traffic with some link building.
You can also choose a route where you don’t build your own links, you just promote your awesome content n such a way that others link to you.
An Important Note On Monetization And (Affiliate) Products
Traffic is relatively easy to get with the methods I describe later, and of course there are more advanced methods.
However once you learn how to get traffic, the next problem you will run into is conversions.
There are two separate things here:
- Your affiliate page itself may not convert. You can handle this with correctly placing your affiliate links, fixing your sales copy and other conversion optimization methods
- The product itself just doesn’t convert. In other words, it doesn’t sell. And this is important, because you are not going to fix this with the methods mentioned in point #1. You just need to know that maybe 1 out of 10 products will convert. And you need to keep going until you find your homerun product. Naturally you can improve your odds – before you decide on a product, do your homework and see if the product is hot, if it sells in the first place. Most websites make $5K just from a few products.
Scaling Your Business
Getting more traffic and sales is really just adding more long-tail content.
It would make sense to hire writers to speed up your content writing. Actually the smart way would be to get all your keywords researched and all your articles written. This requires an investment, but you will not be limited by the fact that you can only write at a certain speed.
Sooner or later you will see your site become an authority site and your earnings will rise to $5K per month and beyond.