Building My Niche Site: Part 2

by Jon Dulin

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?

Topic Ideas

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!

Competition

From here I logged into my Google Adwords account to research the keywords. There are a handful of paid keyword tools, 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.

Niche Site Search

  • Next, make certain that the Global and Local Searches along with Approximate CPC columns are showing.

Niche Site Columns

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.

Niche Site

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.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean @ OneSmartDollar May 2, 2013 at 9:29 am

Looking forward to seeing what topic you ended up choosing.
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John S @ Frugal Rules May 2, 2013 at 10:47 am

Good post Jon! Looking forward to seeing your next post and learning more about how you’re going about it building up your niche site.
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moneysma May 2, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Thanks…it’s definitely a lot of work but it’s something that I really enjoy doing.

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Susan Wilson May 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Jon, Very thoughtful and calculated steps to research your best fit. I wish I knew about this a while back. I have a couple of new ideas, and think I will mirror some of your tools to find out what would be the best niche for me. Keep us updated – I’m excited to see what you build! http://www.moneywiseadvisors.com – Susan
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James @ Heritage Thiruneermalai May 6, 2013 at 6:42 am

You are doing very smart! I’m also waiting for your next updates…)

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Indranil Sinha May 6, 2013 at 6:49 am

Good compilation of niche site ideas. Good research on those ideas made them more useful Great post. Looking forward to your next article.
Thanks.

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Chris @ Stumble Forward May 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Awesome to see how things are going with your niche Jon. Unfortunately, my first niche site has been a bust so far as I discovered some issues with the niche I picked. As a result I’m planning to start over, with the entire process. I also have a post coming out next week that talks more about the mistakes I made and how I plan to correct it going forward.

Keep up the great work.

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moneysma May 8, 2013 at 9:02 pm

That stinks, but hopefully it was a good learning experience. Looking forward to reading your post so hopefully I don’t make the same mistakes.

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