If you’re aware of my entrepreneurial story so far you may know that I earn a living online running a few different niche websites which are simply information sites or blogs that serve a specific market.
For those that don’t know, passive income is essentially earning money on autopilot. You put in the hard yards to build a site to the point where it starts running by itself whether you’re working on it or not. This frees up your time to spend however you wish.
This post is the first of many where I’ll be sharing with you comprehensive, actionable step by step guides on exactly how I’ve managed to do it so that you can give yourself every chance to succeed in creating your very own highly profitable niche site or blog from absolute scratch.
The online game is forever changing, especially when it comes to building niche sites/blogs, building traffic, creating content, SEO, online marketing strategies, and almost everything else, and I make it my duty to stay on the forefront of what’s happening in this industry by learning from the best and testing things out in my own businesses.
I’ve been building sites since 2006, and whilst it’s true that back then building profitable information sites was a lot easier – I’ve managed to adapt and weather the storms as best I can and I’m happy to say I have never been doing better than I am today.
How Simple Niches Sites Have Changed My Life
I’ve had a fair share of fellow online entrepreneurs ask me how I’ve managed to do so well when the reality is that most people who start a niche site or blog will either give up on it within a few months and move onto the next one, or they’ll never really make much money with it.
In a way I feel obligated to share everything that I’ve learned through my 9+ years of creating sites because whilst there IS some solid advice out there if you know where to look, there’s also a lot of misleading, outdated and incomplete information.
I’m very fortunate and grateful for the lifestyle of freedom I now enjoy thanks to the success of my sites (no job, no boss, no mad rush to down my subway sandwich during lunch break), especially at such an early age.
It’s a freedom lifestyle I wish more and more people could enjoy so they can pursue what they love most in life NOW without putting their dreams off until retirement when they’re too old to fully enjoy it anyway – whether that’s traveling the world, pursuing their dream vocation or business venture, or simply spending more time with friends and family.
But in saying that, I have to be honest and admit that it’s been no accident.
This freedom and life of limitless opportunity is exactly what I planned for back when I first started teaching myself everything I could about online business and marketing.
There is a science behind it all that truly ANYONE can learn for themselves and replicate to build a profitable site or two to create a new passive income stream.
No, building a money-making site or blog isn’t easy and does require a lot of time and energy, especially in the initial research and building phase.
But whilst not easy, it is relatively straightforward – especially if you’ve got effective strategies and someone who has created results before you to hold your hand along the way. And that’s where I come in.
But why listen to me?
I’m no guru and I don’t claim to know it all (if someone claims that I’d be wary) but I do know a thing or two about all the steps that it takes to build a profitable niche website.
I’m a massive fan of practicing what you preach and so, after being torn with whether or not I should share this type of personal info on the internet for the world to see, I’ve decided to go ahead and openly share my income details with you all.
I feel it’s the right thing to do – unfortunately there are too many people out there trying to teach you how to make money online – yet they’re not making a dime themselves.
You don’t want to learn from someone who doesn’t walk the walk, and there’s no way I would either.
My Niche Site Income Report
I just want to be clear that in no way do I mean to brag; I’m simply showing you an example of what’s possible from a simple information website or blog to inspire you to take action in starting your own site.
Besides, there’s no doubt a massive amount of people out there with numbers that would ridicule mine so there’s not really all that much to boast about to be honest 🙂
Here’s a screenshot straight from my Amazon affiliate account (one of the ways I make money is by promoting their products on my sites) showing the earnings I made last month from my best performing niche site which adds up to over 9K USD in commissions:
I know there’s at least someone out there who will say “you just got lucky in Feb”, so here’s my income from January this year (over 8K USD in commissions):
And for good measure I’ll throw in December from last year as well (over 14K USD in commissions – a nice upwards spike due to end of year sales):
Affiliate marketing is just one way I earn from my websites but it makes up the majority of my income.
For those out of the loop it involves promoting other people’s products on your site and earning commissions on any sales you make – very simple yet very effective with limitless potential.
What You Must Know About Niche Sites in 2015
I want to set the record straight from the get-go, I’m NOT about creating “micro” niche sites with only a very small handful of low-value “thin” content pages which is what some people think of when they hear the term “niche site”.
That’s not what I’m about – the types of sites I have always created and that I highly suggest other online entrepreneurs create too are what some in the industry like call authority sites.
An authority site is a niche site that, you guessed it, aims to become an authority in a particular niche. You do this by offering as much high-value content as possible.
My sites have many, many pages of content and that’s one reason why they have done so well for so long now.
Slapping together a quick 5 page “micro niche site” as fast as possible and not really caring about quality and user experience, and quickly throwing in ads and affiliate links to make a quick profit is NOT how I play this game and not how I suggest you go about it either.
These sorts of “micro sites” may have worked quite easily in the past, but not anymore thanks to Google cracking down on thin-content and low-quality sites, and also because there’s just so much more competition these days in terms of ranking websites.
I’m all for building authoritative long-term content sites that focus on adding as much value as possible to others. You ideally want to become one of the best go-to sources of information in your particular niche.
So from now on when I talk about “niche” sites and blogs, I’m also referring to what marketers call “authority” sites too. Just wanted to clear that up moving forward.
What Makes a Successful Niche Site or Blog?
As I mentioned, over my journey I’ve observed many others start niche sites and blogs in all sorts of niche markets, from cat care to computer repair, table tennis tips to Thailand travel guides, and almost every topic you could imagine.
I’ve keenly observed what has worked well, and what hasn’t worked well, in terms of building sites that earn hundreds if not thousands of dollars in passive income every month.
Apart from being tenacious and not giving up on their site, those who go on to create very profitable niche sites/blogs had something that the rest didn’t – effective, proven, and detailed strategies for the entire process.
From niche selection, content creation, SEO, keywords research, marketing, link-building, monetization, and more – Success is in the details.
If you’re serious about earning a good income with your site, potentially one that can allow you to quit your job and create life-changing freedom, you’ve got to treat it like the business that it is and cover all the bases.
Otherwise your site will just be like 95% of other average niche sites out there that don’t make any money.
8 Steps to a Profitable Site or Blog
This is the overall process I use to build a profitable niche site or blog from the ground up to all but guarantee success of some kind, whether that’s a few extra hundred dollars per month, or a few thousand.
In upcoming posts I will be going through all of it in detail so that you can easily implement it yourself to give your new niche site or blog every chance to succeed:
- 1. Carefully research and choose a niche topic based on a number of factors including your interests, areas of expertise (or areas you could either learn a lot more or hire an expert in), topic demand, profitability, competition and so on. This is where many people go wrong from the get-go.
- 2. Plan your monetization strategy from the get-go (many people make it an afterthought – bad mistake) whether it’s affiliate marketing, advertising, creating your own product/course/eBook, or a combination.
- 3. Conduct keyword research the proper way using the best tools on the market today. No matter what people will tell you, keyword research is still very relevant today, especially when you’re focusing in on a specific market.
- 4. Picking a great domain name for long-term success, setting up hosting, and using a content management system like WordPress (which I highly recommend to everyone).
- 5. Design an attractive, user-friendly site or blog using the best themes, images, logos, plugins etc
- 6. Create high-quality, attractive, and valuable content that both readers and search engines love either yourself or by hiring great writers.
- 7. Implement the latest marketing, link-building (all natural) and traffic diversification strategies depending on your niche.
- 8. Maximize your income by testing and tweaking your monetization strategies
These steps are an overview of what it takes to build a successful niche site that can potentially bring in thousands of dollars per month in passive income like I have fortunately been able to do.
As you can see there’s quite a bit involved, but there’s truly nothing complicated about it if you’ve got someone holding your hand every step of the way.
Stay Tuned for the Detailed Niche Site Guide
This post has been the entree and I’m currently perfecting the main course where I’ll show how to start your very own profitable niche site or blog from scratch, step by step and in detail, with the goal of earning you passive income month after month through affiliate marketing or selling your own products.
Edit: The Guide Has Been Released, Check Out Part 1 Here.