My Formula for Creating Profitable Niche Sites
There’s a lot that goes into creating profitable niche websites. But once you know the formula, it’s actually quite simple. Here are a few of the steps I go through to find great ideas for profitable niche sites.
At the bottom of this article, there’s a video. This is a 100% free Niche Site Tutorial to help you come up with great ideas and avoid some of the biggest pitfalls that new bloggers make. We’ll teach you some of our best techniques for finding great keywords, and get you on your way to building a profitable site that you can be proud of.
But first, here are some tips to get you started.
Step 1: Brainstorm topics for your blog
First of all, I’d highly recommend my article with 50 niche site ideas ripe for the taking. It’s just a list of ideas that I’ve had for niche sites that I don’t have time to make myself. That should get the creative ideas flowing.
Ask yourself a few questions to get some ideas:
- If a friend called you to ask for your advice about a product they were considering purchasing, what type of product would they be calling about? In other words, what would your friends think you know enough about to be a little bit of an expert?
- What have you obsessively Googled at some point in the past? Did you go crazy researching everything about dog breeds before adopting a pet? Did you research audio mixers like crazy before creating a home audio recording studio? Did you research home improvement things? Think of things that you were passionate about enough to research like crazy before you bought–even if it’s not really something you’d consider a “hobby.”
- If you were to subscribe to a few new blogs to read each day, what topic would you want the blogs to be about?
- What hobbies do you have?
- Do you have specialized knowledge from your day job that you could write a blog about? For example, if you are an auto glass repairman, could you make a blog about setting up a mobile auto glass business? Or if you are a web developer, could you use your knowledge to make a hobby site about Raspberry Pi (a computer chip)?
Step 2: Validate your idea
I run each of my website ideas through an 8-part test before I pursue them.
- If I were to recommend products on the website, what would the average price of those products be? I generally want to find a website topic where the average product I review costs between $100 and $250. When I link to Amazon through their Amazon Associates program, I get a commission on the traffic I send if the traffic buys a product. Usually, that commission is 8%. With a $100 product, I make $8 per person I send who buys something. That’s a decent commission if you get lots of traffic. If you recommend extremely expensive products (over $250), then people are more likely to think about the purchase for a while, which means you don’t get the commission if they don’t buy within 24 hours of clicking your link.
- Is the topic trending up or down? Search for your topic on Google trends right now. That shows you the volume of searches for that topic over time. Just look for general trends. Is search volume going up or down?
- Is the topic seasonal? You can see this in Google trends too. Are there hills and valleys in the search volume? Do those hills and valleys correspond to different seasons? I made a very small niche site about boating a couple years ago. It was a seasonal site so I only made about $1,200 in the winter even though I was making over $4,000 per month in the summer. The seasonality definitely hurt the amount the site earns, but also consider that just because the site doesn’t earn an even amount year-round, it doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t still a good niche.
- Is there enough interest in the topic that there is at least one magazine or catalog about the topic? Even if the magazine or catalog is tiny, just the fact that someone is going through the cost and effort to publish physical material on this topic indicates that there’s enough interest to earn some good money.
- Are there gigantic, massive blogs on the topic that might signal to you that you should take on only a small part of the niche? It’s really hard to break into a niche that’s already really saturated. But just because there’s a big blog in your niche, doesn’t mean it’s a dead end. It might just mean that you need to niche down and pick something more specific within that niche.
- Can you find simple questions that people are likely to Google and that you can answer? We have the most success when we write really helpful information that answers questions that people are searching. If you choose to write mostly opinion pieces, your articles aren’t likely to rank well.
- Is the niche a fad topic that’s hot now but is likely to die out soon? You know what I’m talking about. A niche site on pogs may have seemed like a good idea if it were the 90’s, but that trend died out. And if you had created a niche site about them, it would have died out too.
- Would I want to rip my eyeballs from their sockets if I were to spend 4 hours one day writing articles about the topic? You don’t have to be passionate about your topic, but it needs to at least be interesting enough that you won’t mind working on your site for long stretches–even when it’s “not fun anymore.”
How to Get Your Site Started
Now that you have a topic, you have a few choices to make in terms of how you’re going to go about creating your site. First of all, you could go to incomeschool.com/start and read my free 10-page tutorial on creating a niche site step-by-step. There’s a ton of knowledge in that series of posts that can really help.
I also want to encourage you to check out my niche site mentoring program. It’s really quite inexpensive for what it is. Basically you get my full online course with a video almost every day for 60 days to walk you step-by-step through the EXACT process that I use for getting traffic to my sites and monetizing them, you get a personal consultation with me where you fill out a survey about your site idea and I record an mp3 talking through whether the idea will work for a profitable niche site, and you can email me any time you want during the 60 days if you need help or have a question. Check out niche site school here.
We also put together a free video tutorial for niche websites that we posted below. We filled it with some of the best tips for getting your new site off the ground. So check out the video for free!
I really don’t care whether you go with the free 10-page tutorial or the full niche site school. Just don’t let this article be the end of your progress. Make some action happen!