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8 Ways to Make Money with Niche Sites [Niche Affiliate Income #5]

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Niche Income SeriesIt’s time for another update of the Niche Affiliate Income Series.

I’ve completely shifted focus with this project.

I’m still spending a lot of time experimenting and perfecting different strategies for making money with niche sites.

The goods news is I’m getting results with many of my web properties.

For instance, there are eight major strategies that people are using with niche sites.

And that’s what we’ll talk about today…

How I Define a Niche Site

Last week I was listening to a course created by Robert Kiyosaki (of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” fame.)  In this audio, he talked about the importance of expanding your context and content.  This made me realize how many folks limit themselves when it comes to building niche sites.  Most think the *only* way to monetize a niche site is through Amazon or Google Adsense.

Really, a niche site can be any small scale web property that makes money.  Not just through Adsense or Amazon.  In fact, I’d describe a niche sites as having these characteristics:

    • It has a low number of content pages (Usually 20 or less.  Even a single page.)
    • It is tightly focused around a very specific topic or audience
    • It primarily relies on a single source of income
    • It gets traffic from one place (usually Google.)

What’s interesting is the variety of niche sites you can build.   In fact, my new strategy is to build a diversified portfolio of income properties.  Here are eight *types* I’m currently working on…

#1 – Affiliate Product Niche Sites

This is the standard niche site that many people build.  Basically you target one specific topic or audience and build a website around it.  It’s monetized by promoting a single affiliate product.

How this is different from an authority site?  It comes down to the depth of your content.  An affiliate product site targets an ultra-specific topic and promotes only a single product.  This is different from an authority site because you’re not talking about a catalog of solutions.  Basically you have a one and done mentality.

Example

At this point, I’ve only developed one affiliate product niche site.  My target audience is anyone who wants to create rap beats using their computer:  http://www.beatmakingsoftwarenow.com/

The way I make money is to promote a product called DUBTurbo which is a beat making program musicians use to create multi-layered hip hop tracks.

I’ll admit this site isn’t that fancy.  But it’s generated $331.84 in the last few months:

Affiliate Niche Site IncomePlus I’ve also earned another $70 in Google Adsense…

…I think $400+ isn’t a bad start for a relatively new website.

How to Get Started

I recommend a simple action plan for building your own affiliate product site:

    • Find a group of people looking for information on a very specific topic.  Check out my guide The Affiliate Research Formula for more details.
    • Do keyword research.  Go to the Google Keyword Tool to find “exact match” phrases related to this audience.  Only target phrases that get 2,000 exact searches or better.  Plus find 5 to 10 related phrases to this topic
    • Locate an affiliate product that solves this problem.  Use sites like Commission Junction, Clickbank, and Share a Sale to find quality offers.
    • Build a small niche website.  Start with five pages of content using the keywords you found in step 2.  (You’ll want to add more if your site starts getting traffic and sales.)
    • Include an in-depth review page.  The focal point of your affiliate site will be the review page.  This is where you go over the product and give people a reason why they should buy it.   Reference this page in every blog post.

That’s just a brief overview of how to build an affiliate product site.   They’re really not that hard to put together.  Just create a few pages of good content and then subtly steer visitors to more information about this affiliate product.

#2 – Amazon Niche Sites

Building Amazon niche sites is another great way to create diversified income.  What you do here is look for “buying keywords” that people use to find physical products.  Generally these are folks who are ready to make a purchase right now and simply want product-specific information.  Your job is to send these people over to Amazon where they can make a purchase.

Most people avoid the Amazon income model because the commission rates aren’t great.  I think otherwise.  Recommending Amazon products helps you tap into the largest online retailer in the world.  People know and trust this site; so it’s not hard to turn clickers into buyers.

Plus practically every consumer item is sold on Amazon.  So you’ll never run out of product ideas.

Example

My brother (Gene) and I only started building Amazon sites in the last few weeks.  So I don’t have too much *proof* that this income model works.  The one example I can show is a new iPad cover site Gene created: http://www.ipad3smartcover.net/

{We’ve built others.  But I want to keep a lid on my “money-makers” for the time being.}

Amazon Niche WebsiteWhat’s interesting is we’ve already turned a profit on some of these Amazon sites–>

Okay, $44.69 isn’t a huge amount of money

…But I’m happy because this income comes from sites we’ve built in the last two weeks.

Pretty awesome if you ask me!

How to Get Started

Sidebar: Everything I know about this strategy comes from Chris Guthrie’s Niche Profit product {affiliate link}.  I absolutely love this course because it gives a step-by-step plan for profiting with Amazon products.  He literally walks you through the entire process.

Don’t have the funds for Chris’s course?

Well here are a few steps I’d recommend:

    • Find a quality physical product that’s sold on Amazon.   Take a look at my post on the 9 places to generate product ideas.
    • Use the Google Keyword tool to identify exact match keywords that get 1,000 or more searches per month.
    • Register a .com, .net, or .org that is an exact match domain.  If you can’t find one, append it with words like best, hq, site, or reviews.
    • Build a Word Press blog around this physical product.  Again, my recommendation is to check out the Niche Profit Course because it includes the Azon Theme.  This a basic website template that makes it brain-dead simple to build Amazon specific affiliate sites.

I think every affiliate marketer should build a few Amazon sites.  This is a great strategy for diversifying your Internet income. 

#3 – Google Adsense Niche Sites

The Google Adsense model is another popular strategy for building niche websites.  The idea is simple: You target a specific topic, insert Google Adsense ads, and then get paid whenever someone clicks on a link.

One of the reasons people love this model is because they don’t have to “sell” anything.  All you have to do is get people to click a link.  That’s why Adsense is widely considered to be the most beginner-friendly way to make money online.

Example

I’m currently working on my first Adsense site.  So again…I don’t have any examples to show from my own experience.  What I do recommend is you check out Spencer Haws’s Niche Pursuits site where he talks about Google Adsense.  I’ve learned a lot about Adsense by reading his blog.

How  to Get Started

Let me give you a brief overview of how to profit from Google Adsense

    • Find a topic that’s in an information-based niche.  Here are a few places to generate ideas:  eBay Pulse, About.com,  Trade Key and eHow.
    • Pick a keyword that gets at least 3,000 exact searches each month.  Be sure to look at the local searches because those provide the actual traffic your site will get.
    • Register a .com, .net, or .org that is an exact match domain.  If you can’t find one, append it with words like best, hq, site, or reviews.
    • Write at least 5 pages of content.  Then drip-feed (at least) one article per week.
    • Rinse and repeat for a number of Adsense sites.

This is a very basic overview of the process for building Adsense site.  I *should* have more information on this process when I get results back on my own sites.

#4 – Product Review Niche Sites

Product review sites are another great way to supplement your online income.  All you do is target a popular product in a niche and  write a review on it.

The goal of this site is to give additional information to anyone who wants to learn more about that particular product.  That’s why it’s important to provide additional content that can’t be found anywhere else.  So you should include things like video, screen shots, specific examples, case studies, etc.  Any additional information you include will make your review site stand out.

Example

I’ve only developed one product review site.  Unfortunately I can’t reveal the URL because it would be too easy to rip off and/or replicate.  {Sorry.}

What I can show is the fact that it’s been relatively profitable since I started it in 2011:

Review Site Income

In total, the site took about 10 hours to put together.  That’s not too bad for something that generates a few hundred dollars each month.

How to Get Started

Here is an overview of the process:

    • Look for a product that gets at least 500 exact searches per month. Use words like review, scam, and bonus to get additional information.  Also do keyword searches for the URL and the name of product owner.
    • Register a .com, .net, or .org that uses the appended keyword terms.  For instant, you should target names like productnamebonus.com or productnamereview.com.
    • Create a KILLER review page.  Include video, diagrams, examples, screenshots, personal examples, and anything else that helps sell this product.
    • Write at least 5 pages of content.  Direct all the additional pages to the review you’ve done.
    • Include banner ads. Oddly enough, I’ve found that banner ads convert pretty well for affiliate and product review sites.

I like product review sites because they’re another way to target people with a buying mindset.  All you need to do is provide a review that’s a little better than the others that people provide.

#5 – Launch Jacking Niche Sites

Launch jacking follows the same model as the product review site.  The difference is you build a page around a specific date when an offer is released.

Every day, dozens of products are released to markets hungry for information.  During a product launch, there is always a 1 to 2 week period where the marketer builds anticipation for the product.  Naturally, some people want outside information and will search Google for sites that review or offer a bonus for the offer.

You make money by creating sites that discuss this product and then redirect people back to it using your affiliate link.

Example

Launch jacking has become a very competitive way to make money as an affiliate marketer.  I’ve found that you can leverage a product launch and make some quick money.  For instance, last month I put together a very basic video using the tool at GoAnimate.com that promote the “Cash Bullets” product:

Okay… the video isn’t the greatest.  (It was my first attempt at using the GoAnimate tool.)  What’s interesting is it managed to generate $167.78 in  income:Launch Jacking Affiliate IncomeNot bad for about 30 minutes of work!

How to Get Started

Just do the same thing would do with a review niche site.  The only difference is you want to locate brand new products (or ones that are about to be released.)  Here’s how to do this:

    • Find a new product.  The sites I use are CB Analytics, JV Notify Pro, Amazon Bestsellers, eBay Pulse, and Warrior Plus.
    • Build a niche site (or leverage web 2.0 properties.)  You can try the basic strategy I discussed in the product review model.  Or you can leverage web 2.0 sites that Google gives preferred ranking to.  Like YouTube or Squidoo.  (More on this later.)
    • Include a bonus for some products.  One way to differentiate yourself from the masses is to offer a bonus to anyone who buys through your affiliate link.  This provides an extra incentive for people take action on your recommendation.

I think the launch jacking technique works best with offers NOT in the “Internet marketing” or “make money online” niches.  That’s because the competition won’t be as fierce.  My advice is to build a catalog of launch jacking sites in a tightly focused market full of hungry buyers.

#6 – YouTube “Niche” Sites

Yes!  I consider YouTube to be a niche site.  In fact, it goes perfectly with  launch jacking offers and product reviews.

Okay, we’ve all heard about the importance of YouTube.  We know it’s great for building an audience and establishing authority.  But there are two things that make me excited about YouTube:

  1. YouTube videos get indexed super fast
  2. Google loves to rank high in their search results

You can literally rank a video in under an hour and have it generate immediate income.  This strategy is perfect for those new products that don’t have a lot of competition.

Example

Two weeks back, the Daygame Blueprint product was released on Clickbank.  {This is a product in the “dating tips for men” niche.}  Seeing an opportunity, I made a quick video where I walk guys through the product and explain *why* they should buy it:

So far, this simple video has generated $309.44 in income:

YouTube Affiliate Videos

Even better…this is two payment re-bill.   That means I have the potential to pick up another $300+ in income.

How to Get Started

There is a lot that goes into money making videos.  So I think this strategy deserves its own blog post.  (Which I’ll publish next week.)

Till then, here is a simple three step process:

That’s it for this idea.  Stay tuned to my blog for more details on how I leverage the power of YouTube videos.

#7 – Squidoo Niche Sites

A few years back, Squidoo was all the rage because it ranked high in many search results.  But many people stopped using this site because it got hit by a major penalty by Google about a year ago.  In reaction, Squidoo took a few aggressive steps to clean up their act in Google’s eyes.  Now it’s back to getting great rankings in the search engines.

Bottom line is you can make money by promoting affiliate products on Squidoo.  Really…any of the strategies I’ve discussed in this post can be used to monetize Squidoo.

For instance, my brother uses Squidoo to promote Amazon products. Here is what he made a few months back:

Amazon Earnings from Squidoo

If you have very limited funds and can’t afford web hosting, then Squidoo might be the solution for you.

Example

Again, I can’t really show specific examples because I haven’t personally used Squidoo.  Plus, I don’t want to step on my brother’s toes and reveal any of his secret strategies.

With that said, I recommend the Squidoo page created by Jennifer Ledbetter.  She is the one authority Gene and I trust when it comes to making money with Squidoo.

How to Get Started

Squidoo marketing is like any other income models I’ve described so far:

  1. Find a niche
  2. Locate profitable keywords
  3. Create 5 pages of content

Really the only difference here is you’re not building a website.  Instead you’re create a distinct Squidoo account around a specific subject.  Again, I urge you to check out Jennifer’s lens page to see how she does it.

#8 – Amazon Kindle Niche Sites

By know I hope you see a trend that’s emerging.  Certain sites get natural “love” by Google.  And you can leverage this by creating content and backlinking to this property.

One of the “niche sites” I’m currently testing is an Amazon Kindle product.  I consider this to be a niche site because you can get results by backlinking and driving web traffic to this page.  Google loves Amazon pages.  So if you can generate passive income by increasing the natural rankings of a Kindle sales page.

Example

Last month, I created my first Amazon kindle book.  So far, it’s made a little bit of money.  Only about $62 :

Amazon Kindle PublishingWhat I like about this type of website is there is a lot of potential if you’re willing to create a top-quality eBook.

To that end, I’m currently working on a travel-related book that will apply the many lessons I’ve learned in my first attempt at Kindle publishing.  (More on this in April.)

How to Get Started

You should treat an Amazon Kindle page like would with any other niche site.  It’s a simple process:

  1. Use the Google Keyword tool to identify keywords and phrases that people use to find niche-related information
  2. Create a quality Kindle Book that provides a step-by-step solution to this topic
  3. Include the primary keyword within the title.
  4. Create backlinks to your Kindle sales page once your eBook has been published.

This is the exact strategy I’m using for Kindle publishing.  To learn more, check out my post which details how to make money with Amazon Kindle books.

How to Get Traffic to Your Niche Sites

The ENTIRE strategy for create niche site income relies on web traffic.   Ultimately you need a system for increasing the search engine traffic that comes to your websites.  This can often be a tricky, time-consuming process.   That’s why I recommend the following posts which provides more detail about search engine optimization and backlinking:

These articles provide an excellent starting point for anyone interested in increasing the ranking of their website.

Moving Forward with Niche Sites…

As you can see, I don’t follow a very sophisticated strategy with building niche websites.   Instead I believe in a simple philosophy – Throw a lot of *stuff* against the wall and see what sticks.

What I like about niche income is the flexibility for making mistakes.  You can create most of these sites in less than a day.  And if something goes wrong you’ve wasted only a little time and a domain registration fee.

Moreover, each provides a great lesson.  With enough niche sites, you’ll learn what really works and what doesn’t.

Anyway…

I’ve decided that it would be fun to fully document what I generate from my niche sites.  Hopefully this will give readers a realistic view of what it’s like to build small-scale websites.

Starting in April I will provide a monthly income report for my niche sites.  This series will be similar to the ones you see on many popular blogs.  The difference is I will only discuss my niche site income.

Now I’ll turn things over to you…

Have you tried any of these income models?  Which is your favorite?  Do you have any advice for people who are just starting to build niche sites?

Please comment below…

Take Action. Get Results.




P.S. Struggling with your Kindle books? Don't know how to get started on Amazon? Looking to generate an additional stream of income?

If so, click here to grab "Kindle Publishing Checklist: The 46-Step Plan for Turning an Idea into a Best-Selling Book"


{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Ming | Affiliate Marketing

Awesome Steve,

The income generated from your Kindle definitely has huge potential. Creating video to target a launch definitely works. Youtube is a high traffic sites and tons of people are looking information on YouTube. I have tried GoAnimate once and I think it drew more attention than Animoto video (though I prefer Animoto video). Thanks for the great content for creating niche sites!

Cheers,
Ming

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Ming! Glad you liked it! :) There certainly are a lot of ways to make money with a niche site, as well as a lot of definitions of what a “niche site” really is, and I wanted to point that out to people getting started. Chances are there are one (or more) of these areas right for everyone.

I made a a video on Animoto once too…those are still something relatively new to me…they are fun to play with, though, and I certainly think they get more attention than just talking into a camera for sure! :)

Reply

Danijela

Hi Steve,
I’ll be short because I have to check out these following posts. :)
I have a niche site and I am still working on my content, so I still haven’t decided what strategy I will use to get potential income. You certainly covered everything, so I got several good ideas. Thanks

Reply

Steve Scott

You certainly don’t want to try to do all of them. My brother and I have been (trying them all) and it is running us ragged. But make some good test cases. :) Glad you got some good ideas, I am sure everyone will find a couple that they are really comfortable with (and good at). Good luck to you!

Reply

Murray Lunn

Steve,

Every time I say “eh, I’m tired of new projects” you come out with something awesome like this that rekindles my drive to create.

It’s been a while since I’ve tackled a few of these styles of projects but I think I’m going to add them back into my assets for this year.

I’ve got a big list of items to update on my existing sites but right after that (and in between the new 1,000 article challenge), I’m going to jump head first into this – bookmarking, saving, printing, etc, and going to tape this right onto my wall.

Looking forward to the income reports too!

Reply

Steve Scott

Awesome man! Glad I could give you some inpiration…specifically since I know you are a guy to tackle a ton of projects. (All the ones I have been working on have been wearing me a bit thin…bit it is a lot of fun). As I am sure you understand, the diversity of these projects is satifying from an intellectual standard as well as a financial one (in case the bottom drops out on a few of the old money making methods) diversity, diversity, diversity! ;)

Reply

Murray Lunn

Definitely!

In fact, I wound up staying up til about 4:30am last night doing some research and putting together a spreadsheet for the types of sites I want to create. (You know me, spreadsheet everything).

I used Trade Key and found a pretty open niche, already, where the PPC is about $3.00 and the products are $1,000′s. Lots of potential here just from a shot in the dark. I may take a hyrbrid approach though since it’s half product/information site. I’ll do some Amazon linking along with Adsense on the information-based pages.

Also, the great thing about things like Squidoo and Hubpages is that you’re essentially paying yourself to link building. In my example, I’d be using them for some good backlinks but I’m also going to take the time to create these good enough to convert sales (Amazon, etc).

Win/win/win.

Now I have #99 other sites I’d like to think up. I’d like to do 100 as a base – gives me a good challenge – maybe try to knock down one day at a time (at least the website setup and content creation) – the link building would be in stages after it got indexed.

Reply

Steve Scott

For sure! It does seem that the ideas come faster than the time to actually get out and build the sites for me to. (hence why I totally agreee with rabid spreadsheeting)

Reply

Trung Nguyen

Well, awesome post, and specially is how much you earned with each niche site, it impressed me a lot. Thanks, I will try to do the same, Steve.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thankk Trung, and good luck to you too!! :)

Reply

Ankesh Kothari

Thanks Steve. Good list.

Love the idea of you sharing your monthly income reports. Can’t wait to read them and learn a few insights from them!

A couple of years back, I ran a network of niche websites that I ended up selling. The biggest factor for success is not the type of the niche website. But the topic of the niche.

Select a good topic. With rising demand. And manageable competition. And you will do well.

I love the idea of launch niche websites because of this reason. They witness rising demand. And have very little competition initially. The downside is, many launch products fizzle out after a few weeks.

Another niche website model I love is creating websites out of data feeds. Requires very little maintenance once setup.

Reply

Steve Scott

Ankesh,

Yup, Picking the topic is the key, finding those niches you can easily compete in, with decent demand is what it is all about. I would say for someone getting started it helps if it is a topic you enjoy. I have done a few niche site I wasn’t super enthused about. (like “lawnmowers” if you do not particularly care about yard-work) It is possible to still make it work, but it adds a layer of difficulty.

The data feeds thing is one think I haven’t ever tried. I may give it a shot in the future.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting…have a great day!

Reply

Kenny Fabre

Steve

niche websites are very powerful to generate online income, I think a youtube niche site is very interesting

Reply

owen

Great post, Steve!

So cool you made so much from the Dubturbo site. That was a product I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while as a first niche site to try, since I do hip hop music as a hobby myself. But I think that’s what held me back, because it is such a strong passion of mine, I always put the bar too high and it kept me from really accomplishing anything.

I think what you did with it really had someone who was really new to making hip hop beats in mind. Which is exactly what the product caters to. I would have definitely overthunk it.

I’m doing my first amazon niche site about lawnmowers too, LOL. what really interests me is the process, so the niche itself could be anything. for me anyway.

I really appreciate you sharing the incomes generated from what you did with the sites. It gives some ballpark figure as to what someone starting from scratch could expect. And if we’re not, back track and see if there’s something we’re missing.

Reply

Steve Scott

Owen,

To be honest you probably know a lot more about beat making than I actually do. It is geared toward the basics…partially because that is all I know. But you are also right that that is the market that sells. Getting too in depth and detailed may get you a following (and couldn’t hurt) but is less likely to make sales. Odd how that works. But it is a good thing to keep in mind for whatever you make. You need to have knowledge. More knowledge than the people who are showing up, you need to teach them, but on sites that are not “authority” you do not always need to know everything, you just need to know (and be able to explain something)

As for lawnmowers… have at it. I was using that as an example, I don’t actually have that site. There is something -similar- that is on my list I had in mind…but since i haven’t started that site yet, I didn’t want to name it specifically, so i thought of something that (off the top of my head…no research) sounded like a good one.

Good Luck Owen!

Steve

Reply

Barry

Thanks for the great post Steve.

Do you really sit down and write 5 (FIVE!) pages of content for each niche site you are creating?
What if writing content is not my thing? Do you recommend me to outsource (or should I say now “crowdsource: :)) this part?
What guidelines can I give my writer to gain the best results from his work?

Thanks again
Barry

Reply

Steve Scott

Barry,

Yes, 5 pages is a good mark. Actually I would aim 5-10. Although some of this is niche dependent. Sometimes 1 page (landing page) can be sufficient, so this can vary by which of the techniques you use, what the competition is like and what your ultimate goal is.

As you pointed out… It does not have to be YOU who does the writing. Outsourcing is always an option. But you have to check quality and find those writers who consistently do a good job without putting too much in any one persons hand (after all what is to keep them from doing the same thing you are and becoming your competition if you have a great idea)

As to what I would require from an outsourcer. I would say start with writing one article. (you can’t get away from some writing) Then require that it meets those minimal standards.
other than that I would say:
1. Quality. Even if you are just talking about lawn mowers, make sure the article says something that informs. One thing I hate is double-speak (These lawm mowers are great because they cut the grass in such a great manner) That tells you nothing. But “These lawnmowers are great because the Titanium blades are the strongest in the industry and can cut through both bushes and grass with ease to a perfect 1/4 to 2/3 inch length (adjustable). Now, I know nothing about lawnmowers..just an example… but if I was looking at both of these the second (if it were true) would certainly compel me to look more, where the first is just filler.
2. Length. While some articles can and will be shorter. Most should be around 300-500 words.
3. Free of errors. Spelling, grammer etc. While it is not an English class, and the really technical stuff doesn’t matter, spelling errors and major grammar gaffes need to be avoided. I think of it like roaches. If “I” see more than one or two there are probably thousands. ;)

Pretty simple stuff. Just keep in mind if YOU were looking for information on product XXX what would YOU want to find and you should be fine.

Steve

Reply

Peggy Baron

Great post, Steve!

I’ve got niche sites using a couple of these methods and I’d have to say I prefer #1 of those I’ve tried. Well, they’re actually as you described, #1′s with some #3 too.

Unfortunately, #2, Amazon, is a no go for me in Colorado. But I think doing Launch Jacking, #5, would be real fun, especially since it’s kind of intense all at once, then you let it ride. Having a template to follow would make these a snap to put up. I guess that’s true for all of them. :)

And YES, I would love it if you would satisify my curiosty with a monthly niche income report and updates as to what you’ve learned.

Thanks!
Peggy

Reply

Steve Scott

Peggy,

You did bring up something good, I am not sure I mentioned. Most of these are not exclusive to one another. I do also do some that are largely #2 but some #3. Or #1, #2 and #3, or #4 with some #5. It is likely one will be your primary aim, and while I still belive in some MWR (most wanted response) and that you don’t want to confuse your message with TOO many ways out, I think it is not a bad thing to have a couple of ways to monetize each.

Sorry to hear about your Colorado thing. I know, my brother about pooped himself when the started to do the same thing in California. (they -perhaps temporarily- rescinded it there). I think that really sucks, even though I am really -just- getting started making a serious effort at Amazon sales.

But I would assume you could replace Amazon with “Best Buy” or other affiliate programs that sell online. But likely not as effectively. :(

Anyhow, thanks for dropping by and commenting

Steve

Reply

Luis

awesome….awesome…awesome post STEVE is a honor for me be in you email list.thanks

Reply

Brankica

Hey Steve, great post. The one thing I don’t necessarily agree with is the definition of a niche site here, it sounds more as a micro niche site, especially if you are focusing on one income method. I prefer for my niche sites to have multiple income sources, so if one source fails or stops working, I still have others making money.

Have you had problems with sites containing brand names in URL? A few friends of mine actually had lawyers contact them with those orders to take the site down and give them the URL, which is always a possibility, so I avoid it, but was wondering if you had any experience with it?

I like all the suggestions here, hope people take this to heart and do something :) Especially Squidoo, it is one of my favorite money makers outside of having your own site :)

Reply

Steve Scott

Brankica,

True, This was a little more the “micro” niche guide. CERTAINLY not my views on Authority niche sites.

I would say that I tried to separate the sources, but that this does not PRECLUDE using more than one on the same site. In fact I have been doing some of that myself, even though perhaps I aim the bar a little lower on depth of content.

As for names in sites. Yes, this can certainly be an issue. I know for instance that using any AMAZON owned brands (like “Kindle XXXX site) can get you banned from amazon affiliate program. Though I do have sites with the title of the product in the title, I do it with trepidation. I would much prefer generic keywords to any that are branded to a product for that exact risk.

Yeah, Squidoo is great. The best part about it is that you can get links that help your own sites, while also making money there. I know that is a lot of what my brother does. Obviously it is not your ONLY backlinking effort, but it may be your “strongest” AND they pay you for it! You just can’t get better than that!

Reply

Duy

Steve, dunno if my comment was in your spam box or not but I will write it again lol.

Awesome post as usual man :D

I really like the way you share your knowledge with us. You always walk the walk not just talk the talk. Those affiliate sites look really great. And the fact that they make you and Gene some money so soon is really great!

I just have some questions to ask. Did you write the content on your sites yourself or outsourced them? In case I want to use some images from Flickr for example, do I have to ask for permission from the owner or I just have to credit them at the bottom of the article like you did? How long an article should be (your average number)?

I know I can find out the answers myself but I just want to learn more from people who have done the things I’m about to do :D

Thanks a lot Steve!

Reply

Steve Scott

Sorry Duy, had to fish this one out of the spam bin. But I found it! :)

Anyhow, let me answer your questions.

1. Really it is a mix. We do our own articles at first. But may mix in a handful from outsourcers. Same thing goes with back links. Some outsourced, some done ourselves. There is always an eye for making “longterm” and “continuing” posts all outsourced. (when we can say, look at this site and write “this” type of article about “this”, “XXX” long.)
2. I did a more detailed post on this topic once (finding images) but can’t remember what it was called to give you the link. For Flickr specifically here is the deal (to do it “right”)
go to the main page>Explore>creative commons and JUST search the pictures that say “Attribution only” these are all 100% legal to use as long as you give credit and attribution to the originator. You can comment on the photographers page, but it is not necessary. Sometimes I comment with a link. (Wonderful picture. I used it here (link) Really appreciate that. But the more commerical the site is…the less I am inclined to do that.
3. I aim for 300-500 words. That is not hard and fast, though. Really it should be however long it takes to do a good job. Some shorter ones are fine, but I wouldn’t have it be just a series of JUST 150 word posts.

Hope that helps

Steve

Reply

Duy

Thanks a lot man :D

I’m working with 3 Amazon niche sites simultaneously. And it was hard to write everything myself from review articles to articles used for backlinking. But the hard time passed by and my sites are climbing the rank pretty well.

I had one of my sites sitting on page one with all of its primary keywords. And also that site alone drives about 25-30 unique visits to Amazon site every day, I have made only one sale so far lol! Dunno if it’s because of the product page conversion or not as my reviews cover almost everything out there about the products. But I think I will continue building links to it and rank other websites to see what happen.

It’s really good to read some posts like this one. It makes me feel good and lets me know that I’m going down the right path!

All the best to you and Gene!

Reply

Peggy Baron

Duy,

There’s a free Wordpress plugin called Photo Dropper that allows you to add creative commons licensed Flickr pics to your blog posts.

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Duy

Thanks Peggy :D I’ve downloaded it and it looks promising!

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Barry

From my experience the convertion rate in sites like #1 is very low. So that means you need to send to your site huge amount of targeted traffic to make few buck. Thats why I am working on sites like #2 and my averrage CR of about 10%.

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Leo

Hi Steve,
Firstly, thank you for honestly sharing the reality of your income instead of bombarding us with million-dollar promises. Very refreshing.

Second, I’ve been studying other teachers who very clearly state that micro sites are hard to rank for post-Panda. They universally recommend building large, high quality authority sites.

You advice in this article goes against this, so what is your opinion of how small niche sites can get ranked post-Panda?

many thanks,

Leo

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Steve Scott

Leo,

Not at all. In fact the micro-site thing is fairly new to me. I have been an advocate of large high quality sites since long before Panda. I probably bring a little more depth to my “micro” sites than it sounds like too. Even on the smaller sites, I also think it is important to provide some quality to the people who are looking. Like perhaps breaking the letter of the law…but not the spirit.

BUT… I still think these are two seperate and distinct creatures. An authority site I would agree is best long term. But sometimes you want the sites that you can get done (fairly) quickly, either have success or don’t and move on (just updating and backlinking, periodically).

The fact is that these micro niche sites still can do fine. Sure, you want to make sure the articles have some level of quality. YOU need to be careful of link velocity and getting inbound links from dubious sites. And even if you try all this, you -may- get panda slapped for breaking one of those rules (like link velocity) without meaning to go overboard.

As for how small niche sites get ranked post-panda. The long answer will make a good post (perhaps a teaser) in short, though.. Link wheels with a lot of the links pointed to a handful of web 2.0 sites (like Squidoo, ezinearticles, hubpages) that in turn link to your sites. Plus a SMALL amount of direct links from quality linking sites (NEVER EVER duplicate or spun content) like BMR (I would normally push by BMR link here… but they are unfortunately, closed to new users for now)

Micro niche sites can still work…but they need to have some level of quality and there needs to be care with link velocity..specifically the “newer” a site is.

Not that I am saying authority sites are not good. In some ways they are better…but better in a “long term” way. Lets be real, you are not going to have enough to talk about to make a hedge-clippers wesbite an authority site. A lawn-care website is a better long term solution. But there needs to be a TON of effort put into that before you see results.

Ultimately one of the things I think is important is diversification. Building an authority site AND playing around with a few niche/micro-niche sites can be a great way to do this.

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Ibraheem

Steve Scott, You are great !! This article inspire me , I know more from you.

I have question , How can I find a good clickbank product what will convert well ?

Thanks Thanks for this article :)

Reply

Steve Scott

Well, Ibrahim, that is a million dollar question. there are a lot of CB products that are junk and that are good. I would say the best is the “smell test”. Check out the products in your niche. Does it sound reasonable or promise the sun and the moon? Then, get the product and check it out yourself. (if it is junk, get a refund quickly) Then if you can really say it gives good info or does what it promises you are onto something.

You will have more misses than hits, probably. this way… But this can be an important piece of the puzzle.

Another search method is by Gravity. The higher gravity items are the ones that are selling. But that doesn’t mean that they are good. Still check these out for two things 1. Quality and 2. competition. They might be great products that sell well…but there might also be a TON of people out there selling them.

In the long run keyword research and getting good at that is going to be the key behind whatever product you find and do well on in my opinion be it CB, Amazon, Commission Junction or any other affiate site. Hope that helps a little,

Steve

Reply

Bishwajeet @Comptalks

Never had this idea of amazon niche sites, its awesome and might start working on it within next few days. Seems really quite lucarative

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James Pruitt

hey Steve, really awesome guide to affiliate marketing. Thanks for showing some realistic numbers here. Most people hear about the big numbers people are making, and think they can do it right out of the box, and all from one small site. Glad to see you showing what real people can expect to see through their niche sites.

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Steve Scott

Thanks James,

Yeah, I like to show that while money is possible, it is not that unending flow of bucks. You can get something…but it takes work and effort (as I know you know!).

Thanks for the great comment man! I hope you weekend has gone well!

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Ann

Re at the end of one of Steve’s replies above:
“Ultimately one of the things I think is important is diversification. Building an authority site AND playing around with a few niche/micro-niche sites can be a great way to do this.” (Steve)

In my experience, I’ve just recently ventured away from my authority site of 175 pages, to a sniper site in the past couple of months. This ‘mini-site’ I created a couple of months ago that’s geo-targeted in a micro-niche, only has 2 pages of quality, original content, along with a Privacy Policy page, and a Disclaimer page.
I did a couple of dozen local directory submissions, paid a Fiverr gig to create backlinks using a blog network, and linked out to 2 authority sites from my homepage, for SEO purposes, and gave the site domain an exact domain name match ending in .net
I’m now leasing out the site for $150.00 to a client/month as it has been sitting steadily at position 3 for it’s targeted keyword. I will add one blog post monthly to help keep it’s position – and keep my eye on it for monitoring.
So, this is possible in Post-panda, as Steve has very well-illustrated. I’d heard so much also about sticking to authority sites post-panda, and I set out to do this test, to see for myself. I hope this helps someone. As soon as I have the time, I’ll be making for of these mini-sites. It’s paying off so far, as it has for Steve.
By the way Steve, your blog is awesome. I do a lot of searching in forums and blogs and go on lists, to compare what’s being circulated around, as it relates to one of my sites which has to do with affiliate marketing; and my hat’s off to you as I sincerely believe you deliver the best value and information to your subscribers.
All the best,
Ann :-)

Reply

Steve Scott

Ann,

Thank you very much for an awesome comment. Not only for all the nice things you say…but the great example that you give.

While Authority sites are still “best” in many ways, I think it is important that people know that these smaller sites CAN get a more immediate return on their efforts. Sure, there are risks involved for anyone who is overly aggressive, and they are not going to make “retire to a island and soak up the sun” money…but really nothing is going to. It is all about building a portfolio and creating your empire 1 piece at a time.

Again thanks for a very nice comment and another great learning experience for everyone who visits!

Steve

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Sergio Felix

Hey Steve,

Another beyond-amazing post of those you like so much to write and in which I can’t comment anything useful because it is already too good for me.

I have to say I never knew Squidoo had that level of authority either for ranking and to make money with. I did publish a lens not long ago and even though it appeared like it was doing good, then I closed my iseesalespeople site and completely forgot about the redirections I had there. :(

Anyway, lesson learned.

About the video with the guy picking up girls on the street, while I can imagine those were paid actors, it was certainly FUN to watch at least in the beginning. (those were some NICE girls! lol)

Anyway, speak soon man, will have to come back to this article at least a dozen times, I already know that, take care!

Sergio

Reply

Steve Scott

Sergio,

Glad you liked the article! :)

Yes, the amount my brother gets from Squidoo these days actually surprised me. (with Amazon directly, Amazon thru Squidoo and the Squidoo payments he is getting over 2k a month through his lenses there (something like 100ish of them)

I do think it is something you have to build. The more lenses you have, with backlinks going to them, the better it all does. I know for a while he was getting 1-2$ a month, then 5-15, then 20-40…and so on til now. Like most things it is not an overnight thing. But if you are using it primarily for backlinks, in the long term you pour backlinks at those links, and raise the value of it as a sidelight.

Anyhow, once again, glad you liked the article and found some useful ideas for niche sites. :)

Have a great day!

Steve

Reply

Ashley@The Content Easy Button

I’ve been working the Amazon Micro Niche site angle for over a year now. I’m ready to expand into other affiliate networks now. I just picked up James Hussey’s new book, CJ Tactics and am jumping in with both feet.

I’m starting to throw a lot more stuff at the wall, and I can’t wait to see what sticks!

Reply

Steve Scott

Ashley,

That is the way to do it. I am a big fan of throwing stuff against the wall. In the long run you need to “focus” but it can really help to find what “works for you”

James’ book is great BTW. I thoroughly encourage anyone else reading this, who is interesting to making money on CJ as either a primary means or alternate to Amazon to think seriously about checking it out.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment Ashley, always appreciated!

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Jens P. Berget

Hey Steve,

This is a brilliant post and one that I’ll be coming back to again and again. I still haven’t created a niche site, but I’ll be creating one for an affilite product and a review site as well. That’s one of my goals for the next months. Right now, I’m doing the keyword research, and to me , this is a process that takes a lot of time. I want to do it right, and now, that I’ve seen how you do it (it’s awesome that you’ve added some links to your sites as well) it has become a lot easier.

Thanks a lot Steve. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Jens, I am having a good weekend. Just finished up a drive down to Virginia Beach (about 6+ hours driving away from New Jersey) and a marathon down there. It was tiring, but a nice break from working for a few days too!

Take your time with that keyword research. Really that is the key. Most other mistakes can be corrected as you progress, but getting that right is key! (as I am sure you know! :)

Glad you liked the article and found some of this useful. Hopefully you also had a wonderful weekend. Thanks for dropping by!

Steve

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Morris @ Get Great Coffee from the Nut inside

This is a good article Steve. I have just begun moving into niche markets. I must admit my adsense first month of 32 cents was a bit deflating. 10 bucks is more promising. A hundred bucks on a hundred sites is (drum roll goes here) real money!

What is your experience working link wheels into any of these models?

Reply

Steve Scott

Morris,

The returns can be low at first, but like you pointed out, they can get to be nice when you get enough of them going, and once you get these micro nickhes to rank somewhere in the top ten…it should be more than 10 a month…if you have done keyword research right.

As for link wheels. TO be honest, that is part of why I am doing this. I am experimenting with a few (slightly) different variations on different sites. Seeing if any bring down the wrath of Google and which ones work better. It may be a bit before I feel my results are concrete enough to talk about that in detail. But ultimately I will.

But in short, yes, on most of them I do use link wheels along with BMR (my favorite backlink” program) pointed at some of the hubs… and some directly to the site (the amount pointed directly is one of those things I vary)

Reply

Amit Shaw

Steve
Yes i am agree with you niche websites are very powerful to generate online income. If we have good and enough traffic than it will be awesome choice to earn quick money.
Amit Shaw

Reply

Jack Sander

This is one of the best posts on niche sites I’ve ever read. I’m a newbie in this field, so it will take a few days to digest all information, but I’m really exited about it. Having read your tips, all I have to do is to find a good niche and get to work.

Reply

Joseph Archibald

Well Steve what can I say other than I’ll HAVE to write a blog post about this post – its another EPIC! Congratz!

Joseph

Reply

Steve Scott

Awesome Joseph! Glad you liked it! :)

Reply

Jobs online

I agree with you that a niche site is a good ways to make solid and regular income. Before we select a particular niche, keyword research on adword tool is very important and also seo.

Reply

sean @dofollow blog commenting

Steve-
Great list and great plan. This plan could work for many things in SEM. I really like the idea of squidoo. That is a fun site and it;s nice to know it is getting back in googles good graces.

thanks

sean

Reply

Alison

Hi Steve

Properly good article and yes micro niche sites are absolutely still working post panda.

We’re currently playing around with the concept of multiple micro-niche sites in the same field, each of 5-15 pages and with strong original content. They all effectively combine into a single authority site but with the added bonus of still acting as individual sites in the SERPS.

It’s just an experiment at the moment but we’re positions 1,2,4,5,6,8 and 9 for a single highish comp keyword so it seems to be doing the trick.

Links between sites are obviously all contextual and for a user they probably have no idea they’re going from one site to another keeping their browsing experience consistent.

Yeah its a bit more work to set up, but each is a stand alone and it must be said dominating page one feels good as long as it last.

Oh and to avoid a footprint to G, each site is hosted separately and despite the sites looking identical, the coding is completely different.

Right, I’m off to look up Kindle stuff – hadn’t even thought of that.

Reply

Steve Scott

Alison,

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a great comment. It is nice to see that micro niche sites have been still working for you too. Seems to be a recurring message. :)

Like you pointed out, it is important to be careful and avoid a footprint, not to get “too aggressive” and things like that.

The wold old days of getting ahead with a metric ton of spam content and paid links may be gone…but that does not mean that niche sites are gone. (or hopefully ever will be)

Reply

Ryan Sprout

Hi Steve,
it’s great to see you and your brother achieve those numbers! I’ve started an adsense focused niche site and so far it’s been steady income. It’s only a month old but it’s already generating some revenue. I used market samurai and unique article wizard to develop backlinks to the site through article marketing. It’s only a seed waiting to grow into a big money tree.
Amazon niche sites look great. I’m inspired to create one now after seeing those numbers, especially the squidoo ones since they are free.
Thanks for sharing this!
-Best
Ryan

Reply

Brain Training

Nice post Steve, for sure diversification of the online portfolio is a good idea and you have here given a very detailed discussion of ways to do that, thanks.

Reply

Jude

Hey Steve,

Came to your site from Joseph’s link.

Going through your site. Already found few awesome articles in your blogs (including current one).

Bookmarked.

Thanks
Jude

Reply

Spatch Merlin

Steve,

I’ve got niche sites and I’m still thinking of ways to boost up potential earnings in each of them. Glad to drop by this post and learn a lot. Kindle has a great potential based on what I’ve read and hear from other bloggers.

Spatch MErlin
More Web Site Traffic Guide

Reply

Sajith

This is a great article which explain all the key points on make money with niche sites. I learned a lot from this. I will apply those tips to my blog too.

Thanks for sharing.

Reply

Kent @ Make Extra Income Online

Steve, I have some success with Amazon and Adsense these days.

I love to explore more Product Affiliate Niche Site opportunity in the near future. I don’t have much luck with Clickbank yet but love to try out too.

Reply

Mike

You have given a whole internet marketing course for free in this post. I learned a lot from this post. This is awesome! I was aware of niche sites which people build to make money from amazon and adsense but I never thought of You Tube and Squidoo. Anyone who doesn’t have money for hosting can use Squidoo and You Tube. Keep up the good work.

Reply

Cindie Couty

Hiya, I have considered buying the software program DubTurbo Beatmaker and was hoping anybody could give me an actual genuine review of the application. Plenty of the online resources that give opinions are in fact affiliate sites endorsing the software package and so i question that the experiences are for real. Cheers in advance for just about insight everyone can provide.

Reply

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