Many people have tasted some sort of success but struggle to move from micro niche sites making only dollars a day to a piece of virtual real estate that you can build a real business around. They get caught up with a process without seeing the bigger picture.
I am currently assisting a Warrior who is passionate about his niche but is struggling to get solid results. We thought that it would be beneficial to other new internet marketer's if we shared what we were discussing and learning to hopefully help them get a foot in the door as well.
As a marketer, I make a great engineer. I love numbers and stats but you have to forgive my poor writing and communication skills. If something doesn't make sense then just hit me up and I'll try and reword it into English!
So you want to create a new website to monetise but don't know where to start?
Unlike many, I don't start off with a monetisation method in mind and go looking for sites to target. Limiting yourself to a set monetising method already cuts your potential markets and keywords to only a small slither of what is really available. Getting in your head from the start that you are going to make nothing but an AdSense site means that you will miss all of the products on Amazon and EBay; there might be CPA offers available that are perfect for certain keywords in a niche or high paying Click Bank products. Your content is also limited.
Say you make a site about weight lifting, if you were to monetise solely by AdSense then you can target certain weight lifting products but the ads being presented are going to be about the niche in general, usually not about the product. A user after reviews or wants to know where to buy Mega-x hyper-viper 5000 weight benches will not be as likely to click on a new protein powder than on a link to Amazon that gives them more information about where they can buy the Mega-x HV5000.
If you are getting 100 people a day viewing that page then your sales copy should be good enough to sell a weight bench every day. That will be worth more than the 5 to 10 AdSense clicks.
Another problem with limiting yourself to AdSense is the markets that have a generally low CPC. Many people who have followed the AdSense manuals are encouraged to skip those words. Instead of skipping the word find another way to capitalise on it. There might be a high converting Amazon product that will fit right in. Maybe you can capture the users' email address and send them a PLR product or your own product in return. Sell them related products or services down the track.
If you are making a site for Amazon products don't ignore the related keywords that are asking for information about the niche. Your site might be about the Mega-x HV5000 mentioned earlier but while researching you find that someone is looking for Mega-x HV5000 exercises. They obviously already own the product but might be interested in AdSense ads or joining another mailing list about those exercises. Create your page for that term targeted for those other methods.
Finding Your Niche Market
The amount of markets available is practically limitless. Nearly everyone can be profitable in one way or another. Have a look around the house; read the newspaper; watch TV. If you don't have a passion in anything in particular than just write down anything and everything you can think of. If you do have hobbies and interest in some topics, write them down at the top of your list.
Do not get your mind set on a niche until you know you can get traffic to it. You have to learn to let go of something that will never work. If you really want to make a site about the Mega-x HV5000 but the competition is too tough or the search volume is too low and it limits your ability to expand in the future, forget about it. Move onto the next potential as quick as possible. It will take a while but once you find a site with truly easy competition you will keep looking for weaknesses in keywords and markets that you shouldn't be worrying about.
The key to a successful website is quality traffic. Your niche must have the potential to get this traffic and it is the first step in qualifying your niche. I won't enter a market unless I know it can get 1000 unique visitors per day. This traffic doesn't have to come straight away as the site launches. It doesn't have to come from 1 keyword but if a site I do launch does have success then I want to know that I can improve on it with little extra work. It will give you room to expand.
Just to recap -
- Be open to various monetisation methods.
- Do not focus on a niche if it isn't working or going to work - know when to walk away.
- Create a list of markets and niches that you can think of. Prioritise with what you enjoy or know about.
- Keep in mind you want a large potential of traffic - say 1000UV/day.
Once you have your list of niche ideas it is time to start moving through the list to generate potential keywords. The tool you use for keyword research really doesn't matter. They all just tie into Google's database so the results will always be similar. I like to use Domain Samurai at the moment because I make wide use of the domain search feature. It is free too!
Create a new project for your research and enter in your first niche as the keyword. Move over to keyword research and from the base niche keyword check Google Synonym Tool, Include Additional, and Google Search Keywords. Generate your keywords.
This first run will be used to find various micro niches inside your niche. It will also help you find what the real world uses to find the market. Sometimes what you call an item or service is different to a large percentage of people. This is particularly true across different Countries.
Click on Analyse Keywords to be taken to the Keyword screen. This is what Google thinks is relevant to your market. Keep the Match Type set to Broad - we aren't looking for keywords yet, just starting points, seed keywords I guess the term is.
Go through your list and add any good looking seed words to new tabs. The very top of your list will be some very broad terms that you will learn over time not to produce any decent exact keywords from. Look at the 2 and 3 word combos with a broad search of 2000+. These seed words will be used to create more similar keywords so don't waste your time by doubling up. "Red Widget" will produce the same results as "Widget Red". It will usually get the highly searched keywords that the seed "red widget reviews" would produce so there is no point in seeding "red widget reviews".
You want seed words that contain unique combinations.
You must use some common sense that can't be taught but the next steps will help you master this first step. Experience really does help and once you have tried a few times you will understand. Always keep the process in your mind the next time you do something.
If your list of seed words is small or the search volume is low then skip that niche and move onto the next one. No point wasting more time on it when there are plenty more to choose from!
Once you have gone through and tabbed out all of the seed words you can switch the match type over to Exact. Select the filter under Total Searches to 78. This will give you a list of all words that gets searched 2400/month for your main niche keyword. I wouldn't go any lower than that. There are so many easy keywords available that you will kick yourself down the track wasting your time on them.
Save the list of filtered results to a text file for later use. This text file will contain all potential keywords for your niche. Once save, remove the keyword from Domain/Market Samurai and move onto the first seed word one that you created a tab for.
With the seed selected do keyword analysis on the word but this time change the "Include Additional Results" to "Ignore Additional Results". It is unlikely the additional keywords will be any different to the ones you had earlier so it will just clutter the results.
Generate your fresh set of keywords and move onto analysing them, i.e. change the match type to exact match and set the total results filter to 78. Save the remaining keywords back to your master list.
Repeat the process for all of the seed words you got out of the initial analysis. Your potential keywords list should have quite a few results in it now and each one should get you at least a bankable amount of traffic.
Are the Keywords Worth Pursuing? - Competition Analysis
This is probably the area where most people fail when researching a potential niche and/or keywords. The goal for a marketer who relies on organic traffic is to get into the #1 spot on Google for their targeted keyword. The next best result is landing somewhere on the first page. This is achievable for most keywords after an appropriate amount of work is put in but for beginners who haven't tasted success it is best to aim for the words that are very easy to rank well for.
Firstly, the number of pages with the words in the title, URL, description, or contain the phrase etc are not your competition. They can give you a guide to what's out there but it gives no indication of the difficulty to rank well for a keyword.
A page will rank well for a keyword based first on its relevance and secondly on its trust and authority. Relevancy can be achieved by anyone, trust and authority cannot.
The basic way a modern search engine works is that when a search is initiated it creates a pool of results that are relevant to a term and then re-sorts those results based on its trust. The final result is what the user sees.
PageRank (PR) is a representation of a page's trust for the Google search engine. PageRank is generated through backlinks to the page (BLP). On-site SEO as well as the type of backlink creates the relevancy (I won't get into an argument at the moment about anchor text or content creating this relevance).
Our competition is everyone above the position we want to achieve - the top 10 of Google results.
Know that on-site SEO factors can be achieved very easily so not a deciding factor.
Knowing that PR and BLP are key factors to a well ranked page, we now look for sites where the PR and BLP are low. There are several tools that will do this - Market Samurai (paid), Traffic Travis (free), and SEO Quake Firefox Plug-in (free).
With your list of potential keywords that you created earlier, move through each one in your software of choice and start looking at the top 10 results. Focus on nothing but the PageRank and Backlinks to the Page.
You don't have to do this but I add the data to an Excel spread sheet for each keyword in my list. Each row is a new keyword. The first column is for the keyword; the next 10 are for the PR to the page of the top 10 results; the next 10 are the BLP to the top 10. I then have a column for the average PR and the average BLP. I create conditional formatting to highlight the average PR cell (green) for any keyword with an average top 10 PR of less than 2. I do the same for keywords with an average BLP of less than 20.
I sort the data from lowest BLP to highest. If I have a bunch of keywords highlighted green then I know I am on a winner. Each of those keywords will be easy to dominate with little external backlinking. Make sure that the total traffic from your group of filtered keywords is enough to create a site out of (I am looking for 1000 uniques/day).
Here are a couple of screen shots from Market Samurai of keywords that I rank #1 for. It will give you an idea of what an easy keyword really looks like.
These filtered keywords will be the starting point of your new niche. If the traffic isn't there due to excessive competition then once again move onto a new one. If the traffic is there, don't discard the keywords that failed the competition filter. These words may still be achievable but just not ideal to get the ball rolling. As backlinks, age and authority increases with time these other words can start to come into play. Using a high broad match as the starting points for your seed words will also give you room to move and the potential for a lot of long tail phrases.
Before you commit on using the niche go through each keyword phrase and start creating a mental picture of the type of site you are going to create. Think of a way to monetise each phrase to try and get the ball rolling. Think of long term goals too. The keywords may make you lean towards something other than an affiliate or either a PPC type site.
I also recommend that you repeat the entire process for as many niches in your original list of ideas before proceeding. It won't be until you have seen the number of searches and competition levels of numerous keywords and markets before you get a real feel of what an easy niche really is.
Keep your mind open and realise that you now at least have a group of keywords with a lot of traffic potential to build your first niche site from.