I can’t believe it was back at the end of March that I wrote the first post on building my niche site. I was going to write this follow up post a few weeks ago, but I just couldn’t squeeze it in. Luckily, I freed up some time and am here to update you on the progress.
Niche Site Considerations
When we last talked, I had a handful of ideas for my niche site, but needed to research them to see if they were worth pursuing. My first step was to narrow my list down from 27 idea to a couple. I narrowed the list down this way:
- How easily do I think I could write about the topic in question?
- What avenues are there for making money?
- What is the competition?
I decided that if I couldn’t write a lot about a topic, there was no point in even researching it’s popularity. I quickly realized that there are many topics I could write about, but not on an ongoing basis. This knocked many of my ideas out right away.
Avenues for Making Money
Any niche site can have Adsense installed on it, but I didn’t want to limit my income to just Adsense. Just like with investing, I wanted to diversify the ways I could earn money from my niche site. This knocked a handful more out of the running. In fact, it knocked out the one I thought I was going to end up with!
From here I logged into my Google Adwords account to research the keywords. There are a handful of paid keyword tools, like Long Tail Pro, but I decided to go the free route. Granted the paid versions have much more in depth research capabilities, but for my first crack at this, I went with the free option.
If you plan to use Google Adwords, there are a few things you need to pay attention to.
- First, make sure that you have “Exact” checked on the left side as opposed to “Broad”. This tells Adwords to find matches for just your search term, as opposed to other like terms.
- Next, make certain that the Global and Local Searches along with Approximate CPC columns are showing.
From the screenshot below, you can see that I searched for “niche websites”. Ideally, I want something that has low competition, global and local searches of at least 1,000 and a CPC of more than $1.50. The reasons for this are as follows:
- Lower competition along with at least 1,000 global and monthly searches means that people are searching for this term but there aren’t very many sites competing with the keywords.
- The CPC is important because this is what you can earn from Adsense with this keyword.
After testing the waters using the above steps, I was able to pick a topic for my niche site. Unfortunately, my work wasn’t done just yet. The final step was to go to Google and search using my keywords. I wanted to see what came up on the first page of Google and how strong those sites are. If you use Firefox, you can install a free plugin to see what the page rank is for the sites listed on page one. For my keyword, there were mainly sites with page ranks under 3. This tells me that I can rank rather quickly for my keyword. (Note that quickly doesn’t mean easily. I still have a lot of work to do.)
So I now have settled in on a keyword for my niche site. While I was at it, I decided to do some more keyword research using related terms of my keyword. This will come in handy down the road.
The Next Steps
It is now time to check on domain names. Ideally, I’d love to have a domain name with my exact keyword. Unfortunately, it wasn’t available, so I went with a name that has my keyword in it.
For my hosting, I chose to use Bluehost. They give you a free domain name and charge $6.95 per month for hosting. Their customer service is amazing and I have never had any issues with them in the many years I’ve done business with them.
In my next post (which will be sooner rather than later) I will talk about setting up my website and creating content and backlinks.