I started my first niche site in 2013 and by the end of 2018, it had grown to a level where I didn’t need to spend every waking hour on it.
I was also thinking of diversifying and starting new sites.
So, in 2019, I decided to spend a lot more time on new projects and start some new niche sites.
Fast forward to now, I have a portfolio of 15 sites (3 of which I bought from Flippa).
And thankfully, 5 of these new sites are now making more than $1000 a month (mostly through display ads and Amazon Partner Program).
In this process of starting a site, I have realized one thing – your niche matters a lot.
Picking the right niche is the most important thing you can do when it comes to creating a profitable niche site.
But unfortunately, it’s hard!
So many people end up choosing the wrong niche or, even worse, give up.
While there is no easy way to do this, let me share some tips that I keep in mind when picking a new niche and scaling the sites.
You can also check my Niche Site Project where I started and grew a site from $0 to $1000 in less than 12 months
Start with a Niche You’re Familiar with
If you’re starting your first site (or even second or third), choose a niche you’re familiar with.
Don’t start a site about ‘combustible engines’ or ‘gene sequencing’ if you don’t know what these are. No matter how profitable these are, you’ll struggle.
You’re far more likely to stick with something you understand and enjoy learning about than something profitable but boring.
Coming up with niche site ideas can take time. Think of things you research about. What were the things you bought (maybe go through your credit card statements)?
Take your time. Make a list of niches that appeal to you.
Don’t just pick up the first one that looks good. Create a list of 5-7 such niches. Most of these may not pass through the test we put these through next.
Look for Low Competition Niches that Already have Profitable Sites
No matter how great a niche is, it’s useless if you can’t make money from it.
Spend some time looking for sites that are already doing well. See how these sites make money.
Having other sites in your chosen niche is proof that you can also make money when your site starts to do well.
This is not an optional consideration. If you can’t find other sites, drop the idea and look for something else.
Another key consideration is to choose a niche that is not crazy competitive (which means that you can find low competition keywords where even new sites can rank).
For example, niches around weight loss or finance or cooking can be quite competitive. There are already too many sites on these topics and have built massive authority over time.
If you publish content in these niches, it may not rank well enough (or may take more time).
I prefer to start sites in relatively easy niches where you can rank and make money faster. To find these low competition keywords in a niche, I use AHREFs.
You can manually also do some of it, but having AHREFs significantly reduces this effort.
Figure out the Monetization Path
I have seen people start a site, get traffic, only to realize that they can’t make money in the niche (or make very little)
Before you pick a domain and build a site, be very clear on the monetization strategy.
Would the site make money with a display ad or recommend affiliate products (or both).
Would you sell info products or your services?
You must have a clear monetization path. It’s fine if you don’t know how exactly things work. You can figure that out later.
For example, if you figure out that selling courses is the way to go, that’s enough. You can figure out later how to build courses and collect payment and all the other tactical stuff.
In my case, I make most of my money through display ads, so I pick niches where I can find low competition keywords and create lots of content (to get lots of traffic).
Create and Publish Content – Fast
As soon as you have figured out the niche, buy a domain name, set up the hosting, and start writing.
Don’t worry about the site design or speed or other irrelevant things. If it opens on a desktop and mobile, you’re good to go.
Spend the first few months publishing content. And don’t expect any visitors in the first few months.
Thing picks up late these days. It can take 6-12 months for your site to get traffic. But for that, you need
I have seen this so often where people focus only on the publishing content and reach $100-1000 a month in less than 12 months.
Once you have the money coming in, work simultaneously on stuff such as a better logo, better design. You can even outsource this and continue to focus on content.
Build Some Links
And finally, build some links to add power to your content.
Once I see some articles ranking (close to 10k page views a month), I try and build 10-15 links. If I have done my keywords research right, these will be enough to move the needle.
Those articles that are ranking on the second page and not getting any traffic will easily come to the first page (sometimes, even top 3).
When building links, I start with a few links to the home page and some links to the pages that are already in the top 10. A couple of links and these often rise to the top three and sometimes even get the featured snippet.
Keep Publishing Content
My niche site strategy relies on focussing heavily on publishing content. I publish 80-100 articles every month. Since these are based on low competition keywords, many of these articles start ranking in the top 10 within days.
Better ranking = More traffic = More money from display ads.
Once you are making some money, try outsourcing some of the content creation. You can hire writers on Upwork or use agencies such as Content Development Pro or Writer Access (these are the ones I use).
The more you publish, the more traffic you get and the more money you make.
So. this is how I approach building new sites. If I lay it out in a simple sentence, I pick a niche, find low competition keywords in the niche, and publish content on these keywords.
Of course, this is not the only way. But it works for me, and I have seen this work for hundreds of other people I have consulted with.