Last week I talked about how to go about finding a niche for your site. Once you have your niche figured out, it’s time to go about actually building your site. Once you have everything set up, you should consider the philosophy of your niche site. Doing this beforehand will eliminate a lot of the guess work that goes into creating content.
Blog vs Niche Site
Before you jump into creating content, decide what side of the spectrum you will be on for your site. In my opinion, blogging and niche sites share a lot of similarities, but where they may differ slightly is in the type of visitor you want coming to your site.
For niche sites, I think it’s important to focus on acquiring visitors who have the intention of buying something through your links. You want to focus on getting them by ranking for certain “buying” long tail keywords. For example, if you were selling coffee machines, you would want to write an article with the intention of it ranking for something like “Best coffee machine for under $200.” These visitors are extremely valuable because they are likely to be interested in buying a coffee machine online. If you provide solid information for them, they are likely to take your recommendation.
With blogging, I think it’s more important to focus on building up a community of people who follow your blog, but aren’t necessarily interested in buying something right away. They may come to your blog to solve a problem and stay to read what else you have to say. In the process, they may find whatever you are saying to be so compelling that they take your advice to buy something. They will buy other stuff from you in the future because you have built up trust and authority in their mind, and because they want to support you.
This isn’t to say that with a niche site you can’t build a community or that with blogging you can’t focus on ranking for buying keywords. Absolutely focus on both traffic building strategies with both types of sites. Just prioritize your traffic building strategy according to what kind of site you have.
How to come up with content
Once you have your niche figured out, sit down with a piece of paper and write about 50 article ideas. What you need to do is put yourself into the mind of someone looking for products from your niche. For example, if your niche is coffee machines, try to think what kind of questions someone would ask who was in the market for a new coffee machine.
Hopefully whatever niche you chose is something you are at least vaguely familiar with. If not, do a little research about your product on other sites or forums about your niche. Try to find the common problems people are having and write articles addressing those problems.
Once you have figured out some of the problems of your niche, pull out the google adwords tool and type some keywords associated with your problem. You’ll start to see related keywords that may better address the problem. These keywords are perfect for article titles so take note of the good ones. Make sure that these keywords get a certain level of traffic to make it worth ranking for.
There’s no rule here about how much traffic you should look for because it’s extremely variable depending on how well you’re able to rank, what kind of conversion rate you can pull off, and how expensive the products are that you’re pitching. You’ll have to do the math here based on what your niche is. Just take the average monthly traffic of a keyword times your conversion rate on the commission of a typical sale and you’ll have a number.
Another method of getting some article ideas is to look at other successful niche sites. What kind of articles do they have that sell products? Once you find a niche site that is doing well, go into the archives of the site to check the titles of the articles. Can you use similar titles and apply it to your niche? For example, I randomly searched for “best hunting knives” and the site hunterblades.com showed up in the results. Just looking through his site, I got a lot of ideas for articles I could write about coffee machines.
In general, doing reviews, articles explaining the niche, and comparisons work really great for niche sites. Don’t be afraid to throw in some articles to get the casual viewer in there as well. Something like 5 best high end coffee shops in x city could work really well.
The beauty of the long tail
If you start trying to rank for keywords that are one or two words long, you will either fail, or take years to start getting momentum. That’s because these huge keywords are dominated by big sites with crap loads of authority already built up. What’s a new small site to do?
The key is to rank for keywords that are at least 3 words long. So for example for coffee machines you could try and rank for “expensive coffee machines”. In general, the more words there are in the search term, the easier it is to rank and the less traffic it gets. The trick is finding keywords that have a sufficient amount of traffic while at the same time being easy to rank for. These keywords still exist in specific niches.
Once you start ranking for some long tail keywords with your content, you’ll start to rank for related keywords as well. This brings you the traffic from the initial keyword and other random keywords you aren’t even thinking of. This is how you really start building momentum.
How to rank for keywords
SEO has changed a lot in the last couple of years. You used to be able to just blast links at a site and get it ranking for stuff. You could also do complicated link wheels and article spinning and eventually you would have an authoritative site in the eyes of Google.
The problem with this type of stuff is that it’s short lived and doesn’t work anymore. The best way to rank for a keyword is to provide a long article thoroughly explaining the topic to the best of your ability. If you do that enough times on your niche site, you’ll start ranking.
Another factor is to make sure you are utilizing something you actually have control over-on site SEO. What I mean by this is to make sure your title tag of your article is the keyword you are trying to rank for. Also, write up a meta description about 170 characters long that has the keyword you are trying to rank for at the beginning.
Those are the two most important factors for on site SEO. There’s a bunch of other things you can do that factor into it, but keep those two at the top of your priority list.
For more information on on site SEO, check out this article.
How to get more money from your sales
A lot of people out there are making solid money from Amazon links. I use them myself on some of my sites. The problem though is that it’s about a 4% commission on sales at the beginning until you bring in more sales regularly.
An alternative is to find an affiliate program that specifically deals with products in your niche. These programs often have higher commissions and may very well give you a higher payout for your work.
The way I usually go about finding these programs is by googling “x niche affiliate program”. For example, when I google “coffee machine affiliate program” this comes up:
From here on out, just follow through on creating articles from your list. Once you have around 50 articles your site will start making huge strides and you’ll see some money coming in. From here, the sky is the limit. If you are making x amount per month you could just let it sit and collect money, or keep making content to make more money per month.
Execute on your plan with absolute certainty and don’t stop until you are where you want to be with it. Grip, rip.
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