Earning money from niche sites is a bit more complicated than earning money by writing content for eHow, Demand Studios and Suite101. There's a lot more research involved and there's a lot more work involved in setting up WordPress sites. Now, it takes me two days from start to finish to get a site up and running with four to five articles and some backlinks. It's usually difficult and time consuming for me when I start something new, but if I stick it out, I get faster, and I know it will pay off.
I have a few niche sites up and I'm working on setting up a few more. My main goal right now is to buy and set up as many niche sites as possible and add content to them. Then I'll do a lot more backlinking.
Here are a few important things I learned from Pat's Niche Site Coaching class:
- Be sure to check the competition. Basically I use Market Samurai (affiliate link) to get the average page rank of the top ten sites. Then I look at the BLP. BLP is the backlinks for the top ten sites on page one of Google. MS uses color codes to measure the competition. If I can find a keyword phrase that has an average page rank of less than 2.5 (top ten sites page rank divided by ten) and find BLPs with no reds and mostly greens, I've found a good keyword phrase that I can probably easily rank for on Google. These are hard to find, but it is possible. Here's an example from MS for the latest site I'm building about a jewelry product.
As you can see, the average page rank is 1.1, and there are very few backlinks under BLP. The red blocks under Title, URL, Desc and Head mean that these sites have permalinks that match the targeted keyword phrase. In other words, the keyword phrase is in the URL.
On MS the color codes can be interpreted like a street stop light: green means go, yellow means caution and red means stop. If there are at least two to three straight rows of green (there are three rows in the above example) that's a good sign this keyword phrase can make it to the top ten results on Google and make money for you. CA is just the cache age. I really don't look at that row. You can find this information without MS. It's just easier and faster to use MS than Google Adword Keyword Tool and checking the PR through an online PR Check site.
- Be sure the keyword phrase gets enough traffic. I use phrase match on MS. I don't use any keyword phrases that get fewer than 100 phrase match hits each day. For the keyword phrase for the above example there are 204 daily phrase match hits. Besides MS, you can find this information on Google Adwords Keyword Tool too. Many people use exact match, but the hits I get from my sites are more consistant with phrase match. There are three types of matches: broad match, phrase match and exact match. Broad means the searched words in any order, phrase means the exact order along with additional words and exact means only the same exact keyword phrase.
- Be sure the CPC (cost per click) is at least 80 cents. It doesn't make sense to build a site for a keyword phrase that's not earning any money or that advertisers won't pay for. I also check for ads on Google for the keyword phrase. In other words, I google the keyword phrase and look at how many ads Google has up on the top, side and bottom of the page. I also check Google Trends to make sure it's not a seasonal trend or a trend that's heading downward. Here are some good examples:
The first example is of a Google search I did for weight loss surgery. As you can see, there are a lot of ads at the top of search results. In the second image, the trends for weight loss is going up and that's a good sign for this keyword phrase. I can also see more people are searching for weight loss at the beginning of the year. Keep in mind the keyword phrases I used are pretty competitive. They're just for example purposes only. It's very hard to rank for any kind of weight loss niche right now. I'm not saying it's not possible. It's just going to be very time consuming. My first niche site was about weight loss, and I have not been able to get to the first page of Google. I hoover between the 12th 14th position on the second page. I still get quite a few hits, but the money making niche sites are in the top three positions for the main keyword phrase or phrases you're targeting. If you're just starting with niche sites, find a keyword phrase that's not too competitive and one where the top ten sites have very few backlinks (BLPs).
- Make sure to do backlinking. Right now I'm using Build My Rank (affiliate link) for backlinking. Many of the successful bloggers are using BMR. Each post needs to be 150 words of unique content--that means so spun content. For every 150 words, I'm allowed one backlink back to my main site. I also use Web 2.0 sites to build backlinks like Blogger and WordPress.com. What's nice about BMR is there is information about the page rank of the sites for the backlinks I'm building.
- Buy a good domain name. If you can find a good keyword phrase and buy an exact match domain in .com, .net or .org, you can move pretty quickly up to the top ten Google results. If there are no exact match domain manes, you can add some kind of suffix like ekeywordphrase.com. It just takes a little more work (backlinking) to rank well.
- Here's the best advice ever for earning residual income: Join or create a niche site mastermind group. When I started as a student at UCLA, my GPA for the first quarter was 2.8. I was devastated. I went crying to one of the counselors, and he told me the best way to improve my GPA was to join study groups. He also gave me tips for getting organized. The following semester, my GPA was 4.0. How did I do it? I joined study groups in all my classes. Right now I belong to a niche site mastermind group. We meet online every week and discuss what we accomplished, our goals and information about what we've learned that week. Joining this group has helped keep me motivated and accountable. If you're really serious about making money online, join with a group of others who are on the same path as you. You will practically be guaranteed success.
If you're looking for more information about earning residual income, check out Smart Passive Income. There is more comprehensive information. Pat posts to his blog often and he makes much more passive income than I do.
Earning residual income online is not easy. It can really be frustrating at the beginning when there's not a lot of money coming in. However, people who work hard and who are willing to learn from their mistakes can eventually make a decent and even a full-time living. That's my goal.
What are some of your goals and tips for earning money online with niche sites?