About a month ago, I mentioned that I entered Pat’s Niche Site Duel 2.0 with a new site. This is quite a challenge for me since I have started many niche sites in the past but feel that I’ve never brought them to their full potential. So far, they are all “okay sites” where if you ever land on one, you might find some interesting stuff, but definitely not enough to trigger any committed action such as bookmarking the site, subscribing to a newsletter or buying a product. At best, you will click on one of my ads and I will make a few cents. This is why my 10 niche sites generate roughly $500/month so far. The good news is that I don’t put any of more effort and most of them have been generating their $50/month on a constant basis.
Building small niche sites like these are different than starting a blog. They only require 20 to 30 hours of my time. When you think of the residual income generated by them, it’s definitely worth it. After a year, a regular niche site pays me roughly $20/hours ($50* 12 months / 30 hours of work). After the second year, the same 30 hours is now showing an hourly wage of $40 and so on.
But what if I was ready to put 100 hours or more into one site? What if I could make my investment return exponential instead of linear? Based on a few sites I’ve seen (a good example is detailed at Authority Website Income), it is possible to build impressive resources for visitors and make a lot more money. If I work 100 hours on a site and it generates between $2,000 and $3,000 per month, I’ll come back to the previous hourly wage calculated… but monthly! Therefore, at $3,000/month, the 100 hours now worth $360/hour after a year of work. I definitely want to know what it feels like being paid like a successful lawyer ;-).
Aahh! The theory of building a great niche site is fun, but it leads to a lot of crucial questions:
- Where do you find the time to put in 100 hours on a site?
- What will you do with 100 hours on a site?
- How can you drive traffic to your site?
- How will you monetize it to make over $2,000 per month?
asked myself these questions once found my topic. I wanted to build my niche site on paper prior to writing my first article. Here is how answered these questions.
The first thing I realized is that I won’t be putting 100 hours during the same month into the same site. Google doesn’t like sites being created overnight so I’m better off taking a few months to create my resources.
I’ve established a writing schedule along with additional time to work on other aspects of the site (design, publishing, monetization, etc). In order to make my time highly productive, I’ve written down the big categories I wanted on the site along with each article title. Each article targets a specific set of keywords to capture both my main keyword ranking along with additional long tail searches. If you cover a topic from A to Z, you want to get as many long tail keywords included as possible. The key is not to be dependant from a short package of keywords. If Google doesn’t rank 1 or 2 of your best keywords, you don’t want to fall short and see your traffic going down by 50%.
Long tail keywords will bring you a few visitors each day per keyword. If you can rank for 50 different long tail keywords, you will get a few hundred visitors daily. The key is to rank for keywords nobody wants to rank for because they don’t bring enough visitors. The cumulative ranking of all long tail keywords will be beneficial to your site. Anyways, if you target your audience carefully, you don’t need 100,000 visitors monthly to make money from your site.
The second question is even more important than the latter. Taking time to work on something is relatively easy; you simply have to toss other tasks aside to concentrate on the new project. Using these hours efficiently is another challenge!
The bulk of my time is currently concentrated on content creation. I’ve selected a highly competitive niche and need to publish top notch content to make sure I can rank well. In order to determine my 50 articles to be written, I used both the categories I wanted on the site as well as keyword research results I pulled out from software called Long Tail Platinum Pro. The benefit of using this software instead of Market Samurai is quite simple: I get the keyword competitiveness calculated for me in one single click. It helps me save time and concentrate on several keywords at the same time.
I will go from content creation to the link building process in the upcoming months. I expect to use roughly 50 hours to build the site and another 50 hours to promote it. I will use both my extra time during the week along with my day of blogging to achieve this goal.
The key for any site is to drive traffic. It is true that if you have great content, you will get visitors. However, if you are a bit impatient like me and don’t want to wait for the wheel of fortune to spin by itself; you will want to give a little swing. The game is being played on Google’s playground. The next step is then link building.
Once my site is finished (which should be by September), I will start building links around it. I have various strategies I want to try but for now, I’ll simply line them up without much explanation:
- Guest posting
- Directory participation
- Carnival participation
- Link exchange
- Expired domain redirect
- Email marketing
The plan is to build several links and start getting significant search engine traffic (e.g. over 100 daily) before the end of the year. I’m not reinventing the wheel here but I will describe a few twists in future articles about how I will make this happen.
Traffic is great but without monetization, it doesn’t mean much. This is why I needed to find a way to make money directly with this site and not hope to generate $2,000 monthly via Adsense. Pat did it with his Security Guard Training site but you need a lot of traffic to reach it and you are still 100% dependent from one source of income… which you have no control over.
This is why I’m building my new site the Jon Haver’s way. I have spent several hours to identify potential affiliate programs that could fit with my site. I looked at something useful for my visitors as well as well me collecting an income. I even dealt a private deal directly and bypassed major affiliate program aggregators such as Commission Junction and Flex Offers. My plan is to run two CPA offers with a commission range from $20 to $40 per lead. With an average of $30 per lead, I need 67 conversions per month to get my $2,000 goals. I guess I can reach it with 10,000 unique visitors per month (with a 0.67% conversion rate).
My whole site will concentrate on two calls to action for visitors:
#1 Sign-up for the mailing list (to receive a free eBook)
#2 Complete a form from my affiliate (to receive a quote from the affiliate company)
I want to build a list since I’ll be able to keep contact with these readers and pitch my affiliate program at a later time. For visitors who are more advanced in their buying process, they will have the possibility to complete a form on my site which would generate a quality lead for my affiliate.
By taking away Adsense, I definitely say goodbye to immediate (but low) income to focus on future (but high) revenues. I’ll tell you about my progress once my site is completely live.
Readers, are you building your own niche site? How is it going so far?
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