You’re ready to become an influencer! Yay! Well, maybe you already are and now you’re ready to take your hobby to a real business. Remember, most CPAs will treat revenue below $14,000 a year as a “hobby.” So, it’s time to get busy and start building your own profitable niche website right now.
Table of Contents
Step 1 – Identify Profitable Niches for Your Website
So, should you find the niche or should you allow the niche to find you? Your passions are the key to finding your nice. Or maybe you just want to redeem all of the years you spent in an industry for your benefit. That’s okay, too. Niche websites are all about revenue. So let’s get it going.
Look at Successful Websites in Your Niche
If you drill down into an industry, you’re sure to find the niche. Think of it as being “so meta.” It’s not enough, as Matt Campbell of MyWeddingSongs.com says, to just work in the wedding industry. There are so many areas of focus within that industry. Be sure that your niche is actually a niche.
Then look at other successful niche sites. Now, it’s hard to judge what’s successful from the exterior. Affiliate Marketing Summits, speakers, and peers will give you a better idea of what “success” is.
There’s success in terms of audience size and then there’s revenue. You never know, there may be niche sites quietly raking in $30,000 a month in affiliate revenue. And, like any business, it takes about 3 years to turn a profit. Be in it to win it.
Pick A Great Domain Name
A great domain name cannot be underrated. Ask friends – many of them. You’ll want to watch out for faux pas. Remember that a domain name is a bunch of words all strung together. So, get creative. If you plan to register as an LLC like with Stripe Atlas, then do domain name research before you choose your LLC. You’ll thank us later.
SCORE recommends choosing a domain name with less than ten characters. That might be a little tricky. If you hardline over the character count then you may use an acronym that no one remembers – or worse – misspells.
Does the domain name run off the tongue? (Wait. Is that the expression? This proves my point. If it sounds odd, don’t go for it.) You want a domain name that is easy to say since it will also be your email address. In your YouTube videos, you’ll be saying, “be sure to subscribe to my blog at BestNicheSite dot com.” It needs to be fluid. It needs to roll off the tongue.
Another tip when choosing domain names is to check to see if social profile names for that domain are available. Twitter user names are limited to 15 characters. Be aware of the length restrictions and usernames that are already taken. These can be a total bummer and hurt your branding and SEO efforts.
If a domain name that you love, love, love is available for sale, it may just be worth it to purchase the domain.
Step 2 – Create a Niche Content Strategy with SEO in Mind
Content for niche sites needs a strategy. Sure, you could post everything and see what sticks – for maybe 6 months. But at some point, you’ll have to decide if you’re reviewing all things garden or just edible food grown from seeds that work in Climate Zone 10A for your backyard crops. Your content strategy must support your niche. You can’t get too detailed. If you do that correctly, SEO is automagically included.
A content planner will help you plot out your blog posts and subsequent social media posts. Kim Doyal is a pioneer with her content planner and has rebranded to Create It. It is in the landscape format for 90 days and comes in both physical and digital forms – even in Notion! She is a big believer in content batching (as are we). So check that out for your niche site.
Build a User-Friendly Website Structure
Any website structure that is user-friendly is SEO-friendly. Meaning, can people navigate to your blog? Are your blog posts searchable? Do you have an internal search? Also, some content should be pillar content – long-form is perfect for this. A huge SEO structure need is a sitemap. If your website doesn’t have one, set it up like yesterday.
How do you know what content is pillar? This goes back to your content strategy.
Optimize On-Page Elements for Search Engines
Search engines love complete sentences, so be sure to optimize your niche site’s on-page elements. We’re talking meta descriptions, the title tag, headings, alt tags for images, and internal links – the works. Oh and don’t forget to optimize some of your blog posts for featured snippets.
One of the errors we see all of the time is the use of headings for font size instead of organization. This is an SEO no-no. It’s also not accessible. Think of headings as the outline for your eighth-grade essay. If you have points to support your argument, make them a lower heading (h2 is the main point, h3 for a supporting argument). Also, one H1 per page, please. Thank you.
Step 3 – Scale Up Your Niche Website for Growth and Profitability
Scaling your niche website for growth means you need to choose a website platform (WordPress) and host (we know a guy) that grows with you. You’ll want to future-proof your profitability by choosing well-supported platforms. TikTok can always shut down – or be banned. Your WordPress site, and its content, is owned by you. You don’t own reviews on Yelp, for example. You own reviews on your site.
Social Media Marketing for Niche Websites
Do you blog for your audience or write and allow your audience to find you? This is an important chicken and egg question. If you follow the philosophy of stand-up comedians, you write for yourself and trust the process – your audience will find you.
So should you start your Instagram account first or after your website is launched? Twitter? YouTube? Yes. The answer is yes.
Ideally, start building your audience before you publish. (Didn’t you just say let your audience find you?) As you build connections on social networks, your tribe will have an opportunity to find you. So, don’t start with a book. Start with a conversation.
- Claim your usernames.
- Post daily.
- Post consistently.
- Follow everyone.
- Be kind.
Use Email Marketing to Drive Traffic and Revenue
As you continue to publish, you’ll want to drive subscriptions to your email marketing newsletter. You could use Mailchimp, Newsletter Glue, or even MailerLite. The important thing is to choose an email platform that will expand with you. If you’re publishing daily, send weekly. If you’re publishing weekly still send weekly. Provide value. Insight. Something from your life – niche marketing requires likability and relatability.
Monetize Your Niche Website with Affiliate Marketing
Of course, the whole reason you’re building your niche site is for affiliate revenue. Whether this is from Amazon, your website host, or niche companies, you want attribution for your free marketing. Just be sure that when you’re advertising products you follow FTC guidelines and disclaimers.
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