Making money online can seem like a daunting process to those who have never built a website before in their lives. Don’t worry yourself too much, because I am going to walk you through this adventure step by step and try to help you avoid the pitfalls of this passive income game that I’ve learned through first-hand experience. The singular most important part of this whole process however, is to make sure that you choose the correct niche market to enter and to choose a proper domain name. Choosing the wrong niche or not having a clear idea on where to take an idea to will yield you little to no results and leave you frustrated. So, with that in mind, this next post in our series is going to explore the idea of how to get ideas for a niche website and start the planning process. Read here on How to Set Up a Niche Website Step by Step
A great idea for a niche website should be one with few competitors, one that has the potential for lots of traffic, and finally one that has a chance to be built upon further.
Create a List of Ideas
Grab a sheet of paper or open up a word processor and start listing any idea you have for a potential website or a potential topic to blog about. You don’t need to be specific at this time, just build this list until you have 20 or so potential targets. Examples could include: Fashion, sports, cell phones, running shoes, tablet computers, etc.
Now, those ideas on the list are probably very general broad terms searches. On this large scale let’s see who dominates these sorts of general categories:
Fashion- Vogue, other major fashion magazines
Cell phones- Sprint, Best Buy, AT&T
You get the idea. We aren’t going to try and compete on these major broad term search terms but we are going to use them as an example of how you can dig deeper and shift your focus to something more competitive.
Write About What You Enjoy
On that list, if you wrote it out, how many of those ideas about things you enjoy personally? A niche website doesn’t have to be about something that you enjoy but it helps the process a lot. I’ve built other sites and have written articles for other people on topics that I honestly had little interest in and getting the work done was like a chore for me. While this website isn’t a niche website, I really enjoy writing and creating new ideas to share for it and because I haven’t limited myself in the topics I can choose from I can write for as long as I feel like. If this is your first rodeo, then it might be a good idea to get the hang of the process by finding an idea that interests you and that you wouldn’t mind writing about in the future.
Solve a Problem, Offer a Solution or Aid
People are constantly searching for ways to solve their everyday problems. What a good niche site does is inform them on how they can go about solving a problem (free blog posts) and then offers a way to help aid them or outright solve the problem (product or service). Some things will naturally get a lot of traffic but make no money. You can have a funny meme picture on your website that gets 100,000 views in a day but you probably won’t make very much money or none at all off of it. You have all of these people coming to your site in order to alleviate boredom NOT to solve a problem. You need to really think about and research different problems that people face from each of your niche ideas and determine if there is a way to ultimately monetize that. If not, then the niche isn’t the one for you.
Build Around a Proven Product
In the internet marketing world, niche websites are generally built around a product or type of product. In the case of our cell phone idea, this would be a review site of the best smart phones or something like that. When people buy products online they are looking for information about those products including the features and what sets them apart from their competitors. If you can find a niche, around a specific type of product and get some good traffic going, you can then make a good deal of money through affiliate links that link to that product.
How this works in practice with our cell phone idea. Topics to write about could include:
Smart Phone Reviews (Individual phone model reviews)
Best Smart Phones Under $200
Best Smart Phones for Teens
Best New Apps
For each of those posts you would write a full article and include a link to those particular cell phone’s product page on Amazon (if you’re enrolled in their affiliate program)
You continue to write these blog posts that target smaller questions and searches within that larger niche. (Note: Don’t actually do a cell phone website unless you’ve got a really unique idea, it’s a really crowded field with fierce competition.) Also, you cannot buy a domain name and use a company’s name for instance, ‘buyapplecellphonesforreallycheap’, is copyright infringement because it uses the Apple name without permission.
You can gather further ideas for your niche by heading over to Amazon or going on forums about your topic to look for ideas about what people are buying and what they are talking about. Using those two sources you can get a good idea of what kind of product you can link to from your site and plenty of ideas in regards to what you should write about.
Go for the Low Hanging Fruit
This means that you should try to find and explore a niche which has little competition and thus is ripe for the taking. I know of many marketers that go after something in the fitness niche but too often it’s in regards to how to lose fat or put on muscle fast. Both of which have plenty of traffic but lots of competition. Meanwhile, I’ve seen other fitness orientated site which were built around specific types of sports supplements which probably averaged around 1,000 searches per month but were easy to rank for and found an eager buyer looking for information. Try to find a small segment of the market that isn’t being paid very much attention to and you can be become the person who addresses every single aspect of that niche and get all the customers for yourself.
There are some terms that you should be familiar with if you are going to run your own niche website and they are short-tail and long-tail keywords. Search engine searches are based on the keywords that users type in when they are looking for something. A search term such as ‘best diet’ is considered a short-tail keyword, it is both a compact and highly competitive keyword. However, most search terms are long-tail keywords in which the user is getting more specific with the results they desire. An example of a long-tail keyword would be ‘best diet to lose fat in three months’.
Long-tail keywords are the key to finding a way to be profitable in niches. While you may not be competitive for a really high search volume keyword like fat loss, you certainly write blog posts that target the long-tail keywords such as ‘fat loss diet plan for men vegetarians’. Having 50 or so of these smaller target blog posts allows you to encircle the more competitive keywords and syphon some of the search traffic they never think to reach. A good way to find long-tail keywords is to start typing phrases that relate to your niche in Google and start writing down what the keyword suggestion menu is telling you. Sometimes, you really hit a home run.
Don’t Paint Yourself into a Corner
I like to choose niches that have plenty of topics to write about or that I can easily expand into other related topics once I’ve built some traffic and morph it into a larger authority site. Having a niche site about windshield wiper blades might be able to make a bit of money but it would be pretty tedious and how much can you really write about them?
Picking a narrow niche might work well to get some search engine traffic but will it make you that much money? It could if it’s the right niche, however, you might have nowhere to expand the site after that and you’ve pretty much reached the limit for that site. I like to have the goal of at least writing 50 blog posts over time for my initial niche idea and then writing related topics to expand my reach and potential profit.
These are just some of the ways you can come up with an idea for your first niche website. Take your time with this part because it can mean all of the difference between having a steady passive income each month or having your affiliate account sit at zero each and every day.