more people who don't visit there often (or are not yet members) may find it helpful
too, so here it is
Over the years, many people have asked about my process for building niche mini-sites. I've done this successfully for over 10 YEARS - and some of my all-time popular products have been packs of ready-made niche websites that others could use to start profiting right away.
Here's how I go about planning, structuring and building my own niche mini-sites. Hopefully, you'll find this outline beneficial in your own niche marketing.
So don't give up halfway through... read on to the finish, and be prepared to be surprised!
First Comes Keyword Research
Early on in my experience, niche keyword research is where I tripped up and made my costliest mistakes... both in time and money. I realized the hard way that you can build a fantastic site that ranks high (#1 or #2) on search engines like Google - and still get only a trickle of visitors and make a negligible amount of money!
That's what happens if you get this step wrong. So the most critical step (and the one I focus most of my time and energy upon) is to...
==> Find The Right Niche & Keywords
Too many marketers rush into any niche that catches their fancy and attention - and then wonder why they are not making anywhere near as much money as they hoped to.
Well, you need to find the right niche first.
It is no use slapping up a website on any topic you like and then expect cash to pour into your bank account next week! I use tools and rely on years of experience to identify promising niches and then locate the right keywords within the niche that:
a. have the potential to deliver valuable traffic
b. are the easiest to dominate on search engines
That's because if you choose the wrong keyword phrases to build your niche site around, you'll spend an enormous amount of time, effort and even money on getting it to rank high on search engines, or driving traffic to it using paid methods.
And yet, my method is NOT guaranteed to succeed every time! There's a lot of trial and error involved in ANY approach, so be prepared to taste defeat in between those sweet successes
A Brief Overview of My Niche Keyword Research Process
I'm NOT touting this as the "best" or "only" or "superior" keyword research method or system. It is what has worked well for me - and a system I use (with some modifications) in my own niche selection.
This is NOT the ideal way to go about keyword research for ALL KINDS of online projects. I use it for niche blogging projects because it is quick and easy. For a more complex and involved process like an authority website or an info-product empire, I would do a lot more.
The key is to DO THINGS. Not think, plan, research and analyze for so long that you forget to put it into action. And while we could do keyword research for a week, start out with no more than ONE DAY for niche and keyword research. That'll give you the focus needed to uncover at least one or two terms to begin with.
This is a shortcut. Try it and see how it works. If it doesn't work well for you, add in new tweaks the next time around. But for now, just get going - and DO SOMETHING.
If you follow this system to the letter, you'll have a niche or theme and a keyword phrase or two to build your niche blog on... very likely WITHIN AN HOUR!
Keyword Research Using Market Samurai
I put off buying Market Samurai for a LONG time. When I finally did, and started using it, I kicked myself. Not mentally. PHYSICALLY!
Why? Because it saved me time. A LOT of time. Enough to make it worth the price I paid for it 10 times back - or more.
I think there's still a trial offer available. You can get it from a direct link, go to MarketSamurai.com (I'm not recommending this for the affiliate commission, but because it can save you time). And if you don't want to (or can't afford to) get Market Samurai, I'll outline another alternative that works just as well, though it takes a little more time.
(NOTE: There may be some variations between what follows and what you'll find on Market Samurai - the tool is constantly evolving, and current versions of it may not have all these features, or they may be presented differently!)
Launch Market Samurai.
Create a NEW PROJECT.
Type your root keyword (any term you think might be interesting or popular or you are interested in and believe could be a profitable niche) into the box named "Keyword"
Create the project.
On the next screen, click on KEYWORD RESEARCH.
Then, click on GENERATE KEYWORDS (and type in the CAPTCHA code)
Wait a few minutes for the software to find 100 keywords.
Then, click on KEYWORD ANALYSIS (near the bottom of the screen)
On the next screen, tweak the settings to show "NO FILTERS" for 'System Filters' and "EXACT" for 'Match Type'. Check the boxes on the top of the screen for TOTAL SEARCHES, SEO TRAFFIC, PHRASE TO BROAD (PBR) (and click on the + beside it, and type 15 into the box below), ADWORDS CPC, SEO COMP (SEOC), ADWORDS VALUE (AWV) AND SEO VALUE (SEOV)
Then, click on ANALYZE KEYWORDS
Next, sort the results by SEOTCR (simply click on the SEOTCR title bar in the table).
I start by choosing keywords with SEOTCR below 25%. That's because they are likely to have less competition from SEO savvy webmasters.
From this smaller list of keywords, I pick the ones with at least 70 'exact match' daily searches AND which are 3 or 4 word key-phrases - like with the example search on 'camera':
the flip video camera - 79
ashton kutcher camera - 137
vtech kidizoom camera - 178
underwater video camera - 145
tripods for cameras - 118
Any of these should be relatively easy to rank highly for on search engines - and they each have enough daily traffic to justify an effort to rank high for.
Before going further, check the PROFIT POTENTIAL of these keywords by glancing at the AWCPC (Adwords CPC) column and SEOV column.
the flip video camera - $0.05
ashton kutcher camera - $0.05
vtech kidizoom camera - $0.05
underwater video camera - $1.27 (SEOV $77.16)
tripods for cameras - $1.73 (SEOV $86.00)
So from this very basic and simple keyword research, two potential terms have popped up which could be suitable to build a niche blog around - "underwater video camera" and "tripods for cameras".
Ok, so what if you don't have Market Samurai?
Keyword Research Using Google Adwords Keyword Tool
Launch Google Adwords KEYWORD TOOL at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
In the FIND KEYWORDS box, type in your root keyword. Click SEARCH.
When the results are loaded, click on GLOBAL MONTHLY SEARCHES to sort the results by number of searches per month.
You want to look for search terms that occur more than 70 times a day and which are moderately competitive (the green bar beside the search term on the results page is around the halfway mark). So all terms higher than 30 x 70 = 2,100 are relevant at this point.
As you're starting with a BROAD keyword term, we'll first begin to narrow down to a more manageable number of practical terms to target with our niche blog - and to do this, let's start with THREE WORD phrases.
Here are a few from this search:
high definition video camera 550,000
web camera software 550,000
canon video camera 246,000
panasonic video camera 246,000
under water camera 201,000
samsung digital camera 165,000
mini dv video camera 110,000
best compact digital camera 33,100
best hd video camera 40,500
creative web camera drivers 27,100
canon hd video camera 27,100
With some niches, you'll get too MANY high search keywords - and with others, you'll get too FEW. That's just part of the game!
Next, let's confirm the popularity of these search terms by doing an 'EXACT MATCH' search. You do this by typing the terms into the FIND KEYWORDS box, and checking the box on the left sidebar called 'Match Types' to select "EXACT"
Let's do this for a few of the phrases from our list above:
under water camera - 3,600 (moderate to high competition)
high definition video camera - 1,500 (moderate competition)
web camera software - 8,100 (very low competition)
best hd video camera - 2,400 (moderate to high competition)
creative web camera drivers - 4,400 (very low competition)
What we're looking for are keyword phrases that are:
* 3 or 4 words long
* have at least 2,000 monthly EXACT MATCH searches
* have moderate to high advertiser competition
Only ONE of the phrases above meets these criteria: "under water camera"
One final step before you decide to choose this keyword is to verify the level of search engine competition - by performing a search on Google. Go to Google.com and type this into the search bar:
e.g. allintitle:under water camera
As you can see, there are 2,510 results. Anything LESS than 10,000 is ok. It is a rough indication of how many SEO savvy webmasters are trying to rank high on this term. Lower figures indicate you can dominate search results more easily.
To verify this process, I ran this keyword through Market Samurai - and here is the result:
Once my niches and keywords are ready, I take the next step, which is to...
==> Decide How To Monetize The Niche Minisites
There are many, many different ways to make money from a niche mini-website. But all those models are not suitable for every niche site. So I pick and choose the ones to use - and then tailor my site to maximize its potential.
For the 'Adsense Model', where you get paid for displaying ads for advertisers
who pay you (through Google) per click on the ads, the site will need:
* ads that will pay more per click
* appropriate ads targeted to the reader's interests
* positioning that will induce visitors to click
The more visitors to the niche website, the more money it makes.
However, if my model relies on affiliate sales, the style and design will be a little different. The focus is on content that PRE-sells visitors into buying the product or service that's being promoted.
Reviews, endorsements, testimonials and proof are more important than placing ads where they will get greater visibility and more clicks - because you only get paid when someone BUYS from a referral.
With the revenue model in mind, I then move to the next stage which is to...
==> Create POWERFUL Content
Content based niche marketing (of which Adsense is a type) will NEVER die - simply because people always want and need valuable content. Create USEFUL content and you will always be in demand.
People will flock to valuable content-rich niche websites. And this targeted audience can be monetized using many different methods. For Adsense sites, top quality content is even more important because "human verification" does take place randomly, and the content must pass the scrutiny of a real person.
At the same time, the content must be 'search engine bait' - and attract SE spiders to it, and then get them to rank it high on results pages.
With Web content that serves the needs of a niche audience and delivers value to prospects, winning is guaranteed in niche marketing. Not having quality content is no longer a choice - it is sheer niche marketing suicide!
What makes up "powerful content" will vary by niche. My own niche mini-sites have content that is informative or entertaining, written in clean and simple English, and (almost) free from spelling and grammar mistakes. Because they are on smaller niche topics, each site with 6 to 10 articles covers the subject rather comprehensively, making it a 'mini-authority resource' on the topic.
How long your content should be, and what style it will follow, will depend upon your niche, the extent of competition, and your underlying purpose for what you want visitors to your website to do.
Once content is created, the next step is to get it in front of the right people - which happens through...
==> Search Engine Optimization
My niche marketing is based on keyword research that evaluates the competition carefully. So it is simple to rank HIGH on Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other smaller engines with proper search engine optimization.
To a beginner, that may seem like voodoo... because that's how so much SEO teaching sounds! What often gets overlooked or ignored in the noise is the powerful message that's strongly reiterated in the most expensive SEO courses and seminars...
SEO, at its core, is SIMPLE
Get the BASICS right, and you've won more than half the battle. The simple things matter most. Things like:
* Using h1 tags for top keywords
* Having unique, keyword-rich TITLE tags
* Publishing an XML sitemap
* Appropriate keyword density and positioning
* Correct, validated HTML code
When you're building multiple niche mini-sites, it's easy to miss out on one or more of them - so I use a checklist that covers all the powerful elements of on-page SEO. And I even use a custom-designed tool to build my niche websites.
I use it for my on-page SEO. And it works wonderfully well. It saves me at least one hour per niche website - and makes sure nothing gets missed out. This tool is not for sale. I had it designed specifically to build mini-sites like this - for the single purpose this is optimized to do well. And all my niche websites are built using it. You can have someone code one for you, or do it yourself. It's just to save some time - you don't need it, and can create each page working from the checklist, to avoid missing out on any element.
Finally, when the niche websites are created and hosted on a Web server, it's time for the last remaining element of niche marketing success - TRAFFIC.
And that brings us to the most important part of my process...
==> Effective Niche Website Marketing
Niche marketing is about attracting the right audience to your online properties.
Visitors. Prospects. Subscribers. Buyers. Folks who will pay you money for the value you add to their lives.
And with a vast plethora of options available, this is one minefield where many niche marketers blow up or get stuck! You see, a fatal mistake lies in trying to do it ALL. Or keep shifting and flitting from one method to another.
You need focus. You need persistence. You need a plan.
* Some steps are needed for getting your niche website indexed by search engines.
* Others are needed to get them more visibility.
* Still others will bring in more traffic.
* And some steps will build links to your site.
Over time, this effort will translate into HIGHER niche profits. It's EASY to get this going - if you know what you've got to do, and have a plan to execute.
For example, a brand new niche website will be spidered and indexed quickly by doing just 2 things:
* create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google and Bing
* create a page on AboutUs.org for your site
There are a dozen other ways to get a new site indexed fast, and if any other approach works well for you, you should stick to it.
Getting quick back-links from private blog networks, directory sites and article directories must be supplemented by efforts to get higher value back-links from authority sites in your niche, or general high value networks like Squidoo or Hub Pages. Social bookmarking will help build back links too.
I have a tested and proven blueprint to follow. I execute it blindly - and enjoy the benefits of a profitable niche mini-website. Based on your own testing, you can develop your own blueprint, after seeing which promotions work well and which ones don't.
Chet Holmes taught me this valuable lesson - you don't need to do 8,000 different things, you just need to do EIGHT things, a thousand times each!
Find your 8 things. Repeat them, 1,000 times if necessary.
Hopefully this plan was of some help and value to you.
Please remember - no plan has ever made me rich UNTIL I took action on it. That 'rule' applies to you too. So go out and DO SOMETHING!