Online Business Idea 003: Build a Niche Website
There are probably dozens of ideas and ways to start an online business. Each one has its particular pros and cons, best and worst ways of executing and different potential outcomes. When I first started, the concept of a passive income really appealed to me. Of course, passive is a misnomer. To do something properly, you have to put in a lot of effort. Sure, once the site is up and running you don’t have to work on it every day. But you will get better results if you do.
It turns out that registering a domain name, installing WordPress and then posting some low-quality articles without doing keyword or topic research does not a money machine make.
Taking action is necessary, but you have to think the actions through and ensure that the steps you take focus on a particular target.
There is a steep learning curve in setting up niche websites. But once you have mastered the process, you can quickly replicate on new sites. It’s a perfect place to start an internet marketing career because it touches so many of the basic building blocks. You’ll need to know something about, niche identification, keyword research, website building, content creation, traffic generation and SEO to name but a few skills. To help you get a niche site up and running in a reasonable timeframe, I’ll take you through the steps and give you all the information you need for niche website success.
Niche Website Business Overview
- What is a Niche Website?
The goal of niche website building is to construct a site that targets a group of keywords in a particular niche. SEO techniques are then applied to bring as much free traffic as possible from search engines. The site is then monetized by Adsense and affiliate revenue streams.
Remember that a niche is a small, focused topic on which you concentrate. Cooking is too broad a topic. You would never be able to create a good site without throwing a ton of money at the project. Baking is narrower, but still has a lot of sub-topics under that umbrella. Baking sourdough bread would be a niche within that. You could start on this and then expand into baking bread as time goes on and turn your small niche site into an authority site on bread baking.
- Why is the Niche Site business so great?
- Growing market with enormous potential: large as the Internet is, only about 40% of the world’s population has Internet Access. That is nearly 3 billion people. You only need to find a small fraction of those individuals who value what your site provides to have a useful income. As a rough rule of thumb, every regular visitor to your site could generate $1 per month.
- Low Start-up Costs: It is possible to start a niche site for free using free hosting platforms like Weebly or WordPress.com. Realistically, you should be looking at about $100 to buy your domain name and hosting for a year. Another $50 gets you a high-quality WordPress theme, though free ones are fine. You could also throw $100 into the pot to hire writers to give you some starting content. Again, you can save your pennies by writing it all yourself.
- Passive Income: Do not get too hung up on passive income. It’s a great idea, and it’s used as a tool to sell products to the unwary. Who doesn’t want to be lounging by a pool while the money pours into your bank account? Chasing passive income is a big mistake I made when I first started. The reality is you need to work at this. Yes, you can make real money by this method, and once the site has been set up you don’t need to put in so much effort. But this industry is always changing. Things that worked well last year are not so effective Additionally, your material can become outdated. Would you bother to read an article titled “Best Mobile Phones for Christmas 2012”?
- Scalable: There are two ways you can grow the business. Firstly, you can add more and more content, build your audience and introduce new products. Secondly, there are thousands of niches so starting new sites is always possible. You can apply what you have learned and replicate the process again and again.
- What do I do now?
So it all sounds great, how do you get started? How do you learn enough to make a success of niche websites? Well, I’ve made a list of steps for you to follow, each linking to a detailed walkthrough of what is required. So let’s get started.
- Niche selection: The first step, and so important to get this right. You need to pick a niche that meets the following requirements:
- The niche must be big enough that thousands of people would be interested but small enough that you can cover it in depth
- The niche needs to have products or services that people want to buy
- There needs to be enough of interest in the niche so that you can write 20-30 articles of at least 1,000 words
- It helps if you have some interest in the subject. It’s tough sometimes to keep plugging away. It’s even tougher if you have no interest in what you are doing.
- Keyword and topic research: Once you have your niche, you need to understand what people in the niche are searching for and what they want to know. Once you know this, you can then plan the articles you are going to write and get them written.
- Domain name and hosting: this is where you are going to put your articles and other materials.
- Set up the website: “Hello World!” Complete this step and people can read what you have to say, become fans, and set you on your road to success.
- Traffic: Build it, and they may not come. How do you get people to visit your site? I’ve put lots of ideas here for you to try.
- SEO: Letting the search engines know what your site is all about. An important way of generating free traffic for the site.
- Content: More and more of what the visitors want. Generate new, interesting and informative content.
- Social Networking: Ways of telling the world what is going on.
The trick to success is to read and then do. You will fail if you just sit and do nothing. You may fail if you do something, but at least you will learn where you went wrong and avoid that mistake. Onwards and Upwards!