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7 Questions about Niche Income Sites [Niche Affiliate Income #1]

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Niche Affiliate Income SeriesYou’ve responded positively to my recent poll.  So it looks like most of you want to learn how I build niche income sites.

There’s a lot that’s involved in this process.

You have to find the right market, pick keywords, write content, create backlinks and put things on autopilot.  It’s not easy.  The trick is to do everything in a streamlined, step-by-step system.

This series will cover that process.

First, we’ll start with answers to seven questions you might have about niche income sites:

What is a Niche Income Site?

A niche income site targets a small market or product.  Primarily it leverages natural search engine traffic by presenting visitors with quality content.  In turn, these visitors will take an action that generates income for YOU.

Most niche income sites rely on Google Adsense.  My strategy is different because I’ll target specific affiliate products.  I believe this strategy leads to higher profits.  Why?  Because you don’t need many people to “take action” to make money with affiliate marketing.

Niche income sites aren’t massive.  You will create good content.  But you’re not trying to build an authority site that gets a lot of repeat traffic.

Ultimately your goal is to create a network of niche income sites.  Put them together and you can create a sizable amount of passive Internet income.

How does this Process Work?

My niche income strategy follows a simple process:

Niche Affiliate Income Process

First you start with web traffic.  I recommend relying on search engine optimization.  You’ll target people who enter specific keyword phrases and need help with a particular problem.

Next you’ll build a niche site that’s filled with content (at least ten pages.)  These will tightly focus on a cluster of keywords.  Your goal is to write in-depth content about one topic.  So you’re not trying to be everything to everybody.

Third, you’ll presell the affiliate product.  How you do this depends on the nature of the site.  (I’ll talk about this strategy in the 3rd part of this series)

Finally you’ll use “presell content” to drive traffic to an affiliate offer.  The way to do this is to send people over with a buying mindset.  That means your articles should do a great job of convincing prospects that a product is worth buying.

How is this Different from Other Affiliate Sites?

The goal of most niche affiliate sites is to demonstrate expertise in a niche.  You build authority and create excellent content.  Then you recommend quality affiliate products.

My guide; Affiliate Marketing without the Bulls**t teaches how to do this.  Specifically it shows how to create a profitable, long-term affiliate business.  The problem is it focuses on dominating a single niche market.  (Which is what I did to generate a six-figure income.)

In other words, my product doesn’t teach people how to build small, but profitable, niche sites.

I still believe the best strategy is to focus on one (or two) websites.  But I’m also a realist.  I know some folks need to make quick income.  This series will help anyone who isn’t interested in large-scale affiliate properties and would rather build a network of small sites.

What’s the Down Side to Niche Sites?

I’ve always been skeptical about the long-term profitability of niche income sites. Why?  This strategy relies on search engine optimization.

As you probably know, Google always changes what they “like” and “don’t like.”  I’ve seen way too many people lose ALL their income because they relied only on Google for their web traffic.

My point?

You could make a lot of money creating niche income sites.  You could also lose it when Google decides to one of its infamous dances.

The good news?

I’m going to cover how to make Google “like” what your site.  I can’t guarantee Google will never crap on one your web properties.  But I will promise to detail the same techniques I use to create a “quality user experience” for its algorithm.

Am I an Expert on Niche Income Sites?

The short answer is no.

Like I said, my core strategy is to focus on one or two authority affiliate sites.  So this will be my first real attempt at building small niche income properties.

On the flip side, I’ve done a ton of research on this topic.  I’m familiar with the techniques that the “experts” teach.  So I’m pretty confident I’ll make money with the process that’s detailed in this series.

At the end of the day it comes down to experimentation and educated guesses

I can’t promise “expert” information.  What I can do is provide real-world examples of what is and isn’t working.

Will you provide real examples?

Absolutely!

Every month, I’ll provide an income and expenditure report for these sites.  Plus, I’ll specifically talk about the first two sites I’m working on:

Niche Income Site #1

I started this niche site over two weeks ago.  I’ve invested some money into it.  And I’ve already made an affiliate sale.  (Woo hoo!)

The  first goal of niche income site #1 is to educate myself on the process of creating niche sites and generating backlinks.

Another goal of this site is to promote a single affiliate product.  This is an offer that has been proven to convert.  I’ve recommended it for the last nine months, driving 48,794 clicks to this offer.  It’s converting at a .67% rate with a $100 payout.

Niche Site #1 - Prior Income Statements

Bottom line is I know I’ll average $.67 for every person clicking over to the affiliate offer. 

This metric gives me a dead-on accurate baseline of how much I earn for every click.  This is the best way to learn what actually works with niche sites.

Unfortunately I’m not going to reveal the URL to this site.

This could be a major source of revenue for my Internet business.  So I don’t want anyone to reverse-engineer the process and take away my hard-earned affiliate commissions.

Plus I want this site to be a place where I can try different strategies.  Having blog followers check it out will completely skew any test that I’m running.

Niche Income Site #2

This is the niche site I’ll primarily reference throughout this series.  You’ll get step-by-step detail about what’s going on with this web property.  I’ll list both the good and the bad.

For instance, I’ll show:

  • Keyword competition and search terms
  • What affiliate products I’m promoting
  • How I create content for the site
  • What tools I use to generate massive amounts of backlinks
  • How I convert web traffic and turn visitors into paying customers
  • Ways to put your niche sites on autopilot

Hopefully you’ll learn a lot from this one site!

Where can I Learn More?

The Internet is chock-full of information about creating niche websites.  So I won’t claim I’m the first to try this business model.

Here are some resources I’ve used to learn about niche income sites:

I’m sure there are many other sites I’ve missed.  My recommendation is to start with these and then do your own research.

Coming Soon…

I’m already working on the 2nd part of this series.  (I’ll probably post it on Wednesday.)

It’s called:

“How to Stop Pandas from Playing in Your Sandbox!”

As we’ve discussed, Google can be extremely temperamental when it comes to niche affiliate properties.  So you need a specific strategy when it comes to these sites.

In the next update, I’ll show what I’m doing to avoid getting slapped down the Big G!

Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have any questions?  Need clarification?  Think I’m wrong about something?

Respond below…

Take Action. Get Results.




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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

James Hussey

Nice one, Scott – and I am enjoying your Affiliate Marketing Without the Bulls**t precisely because you’re one of the few who seem to go long on one niche and make it big (which is what I’m doing in my affiliate sites – I guess you’d say we’re moving in opposite directions: you’re playing in my playground now, I’m moving into yours).

Solid content, can’t wait for the series to unfold.

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Steve Scott

Lol,

I just made a similar content on your post about the direction I am playing toward. Like I said in the article. I really still feel long term is the “best” strategy. That hasn’t changed. But I think (or at least hope) that there is a way to perhaps “augment” this with a more niche approach. Regardless, though, at the core of both philosophies there has to be valuable content. Write recycled crap- get recycled crap results. GIGO at its best.

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Brankica

The thing with niche sites is that people buy PLR articles, copy stuff from other sites and just don’t create their own content from experience.

With every Panda update this year, each of my niche sites grew. It just proves that you need to write your own content and give people good experience. That is all :)

Good luck with this one, can’t wait to see results.

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Steve Scott

Very true,

I am trying to play around with automating as much of this process as possible. because i simply do not have time to do it all myself. But SOMEONE has to create original content… and it most be valuable. (not just some rewritten crap) As Google gets smarter this will only become MORE true with time.

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Joe

Hi Steve,

Generating content for your niche site seems to be a big sticking point. It’s apparent that the ‘rewritten crap’ does not work with Google Panda and you need original content, but how much should one spend on getting this content? Like what’s an appropriate Dollar amount for the number of articles or whatever without going overboard and spending too much. I hope you include some of that in your next article. Looking forward to the next one Steve, great stuff!

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Murray Lunn

Really diggin the new series Steve, I like that you’ve got 2 different sites running for testing purposes. I’ve been out of the “game” for a while now but I think I’ll be jumping back in 2012 once I get things sorted – going to be referencing back to the series as it unfolds.

As per the niche site, do you have any plans to potentially flip one of them in the long run? That would make for a really interesting read as well :)

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Steve Scott

Thanks Murray. I will actually have THREE running soon. The one I won’t specifically talk about. The one I will be doing the same things on and WILL be talking specifically on that I talk about here and of course the “million dollar blog” one. (which I am behind on)

Still in “set up” mode on the latter two.

I might look into flipping them at some point. Not sure. The way I see it the “hard part” of a blog is getting it to the point where it begins to make regular passive income.

That is the same point it gains value for flipping.

So the offer would have to be better than what I could earn with minimal effort in a year +. Which may be an unlikely figure.

I will think about that though. Flipping websites is something I have not done…and It would be a nice end to the experiment.

(Spent X…Made X…sold for X)

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Darren

I’m interested to see what you use to generate your backlinks. Thanks for all the great info and encouragement. I think not writing my own content before may have been my downfall. Looking forward to wednesday’s post.

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Steve Scott

Darren,

To be honest I don’t worry “too” much about backlinks historically. I probably should do more. I just do some social bookmarking. A small handful of article marketing links to the articles I “really” want to rank. And of course a fair share of commenting. And a few forum profile and the linkback to the main pages.

Nothing atypical.

For this, though, I am trying something different. Outsourcing the linkbuilding. This may get these sites sandboxed by google. I don’t know. It is all part of the experiment.

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Aaron

Very interesting article, I love to learn all your experience about Niche Affiliate Sites and try to implement it. Though I don’t own any niche affiliates site but wiant to have one, so I’m eagerly waiting for your coming posts in this series.

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Steve Scott

Thanks Aaron,

Hopefully there will be some great info to help you get that start!

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Richard

Hi Steve,
I love this kind of hands on experimentation and am really curious about where this leads you. It would be awesome if you were able to create a niche site that you could share, so that we could follow along with your experience. Have you considered monetizing the experiment itself? I bet aspiring niche marketers would subscribe to a paid newsletter or membership site to have access to more detailed invormation. Nonetheless, I’m really looking forward to this series.

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Steve Scott

Richard,

I will certainly be sharing everything on the 2nd one. This will be in a different product and one that I do not base so much of my livelihood around. If it does well, I would not be too hurt if people were to try to jump into the same market that way.

I am not a big “paid newsletter” fan. They are just not something that interests me into getting into…so I don’t do them. I am sure there will be some indirect monetization as I may recommend things that are affiliate offers (like the oft recommended Market Samurai) but I am also trying to make this process as streamlined and inexpensive as possible (perhaps very few affiliate offers then)

Glad you are looking forward to it though…hopefully it will have some good info.

Even if it ends up.. “don’t do THIS!”

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Daniel

Sounds fun. I’m always interested in learning more about niche site creation and promotion. In fact, promotion is where I am especially weak right now.

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Andy

This is really interesting and looking forward to seeing how it pans out.

One question, have you set up a new domain for each niche site? There’s the potential problem with the age of a domain and how Google views it. I’m considering setting up some niche pages on an existing domain (so the subject matter would be related, but with a much tighter focus than the blog/site already existing there) because the domain is over seven years old. Naturally the pages would have their own focused design. What do you think to that idea?

In my mind this only really works for products that have some relevance to the URL of the site, so if I decide to start focusing on areas that I don’t already have an established domain name for, I’ll have to set up a new domain.

So long as I’m still producing decent content, I shouldn’t be penalised. In fact, even if the niche pages themselves don’t do well, the main web site should still be OK. At least, I hope so :)

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Steve Scott

Andy,

Yes, absolutely when I am talking about micro-niches. I get an individual domain for each niche site.

Sure domain age is part of the algorithm but only part.

The important thing with a new domain is having natural link velocity. Y0u do not want to buy some link package and suddenly have 1000 links pointed at it. This is unnatural.

But with separate (but related) domains you can interlink for more “link juice” between them and more importantly you get the credit for a very specific domain name.

NOW, that being said….

It sounds like you might be going for a more “value” niche with your 7 year old domain age blog.

Typically I recommend going for value to build things to last… so in this case your single domain idea is actually more in my typical wheelhouse. In this way you are building more value for the whole niche over time rather than certain articles and categories. You forgo some of the immediate value of the microniches this way for more long term value.

(Hope I explained myself well on this)

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Mouh

I have never been interested in niche sites but I have no problems learning. I still haven’t found myself and the thing that speaks to my most authentic self. I can only find it by learning and searching. So I am really interested in learning about your experience especially if you manage to automate most or all of the process. That would be great!

Mouh

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Steve Scott

Mouh,

Hopefully these will give you some good information. Just to be clear, I still say that real authority sites are the best. But obviously those take a long time to build that authority. This is more of a specific attack…with less upside… but hopefully a lot faster to make them work.

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John Garrett

Hey Steve!

this is really timely so I’m looking forward to following along on this one. I think de-mystifying what goes into making a successful niche-site is a worthy endeavor.

There’s a crap-load of info out there but you end up swimming in, well, crap most of the time lol.

Thanks for this, and I’m definitely in on this one.

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Steve Scott

John,

Yeah there is a lot of crap. Specifically when you are trying to use outsourcing etc. to get it done. I know I will use some sources that will be a complete waste. But you never find those gems unless you root around in the muck.

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Tristan

Sweeeeet. Very cool, Steve. I’ve played with niche sites in the past but have given up because of lack of interest on my part. They’re just not my cup of tea, but it’ll be interesting to see how they work out for you.

Looking forward to your upcoming posts!

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Steve Scott

I am definitely still more into real “Authority” sites. But it should be a fun experiment. Particularly #2 where I have not even gotten my “idea” for yet.

#1 I know will at least be slightly profitable, because the product converts like mad. But #2 where I will show everything will be in a new product and niche and could be a complete disaster.

The imminent danger of a belly flop makes it more exciting…lol

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Dakota

Hi Steve!
This is a great post, I really look forward to reading the entire series. I don’t have any niche site’s, as of now, but this post couldn’t have come at a better time, because we are actually looking into creating a niche site (or two). I especially liked question #2, it made things very clear. :)

I’m really looking forward to the section you will have that will cover ‘how to make Google “like” your site’. That is one major concern/question I have had.
Thank you for this informative post, and as I follow the series, I am sure that I will have some questions, so don’t worry, I’m sure the questions are on the way! :)
God Bless,
~Pianolessongirl,
Dakota

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Steve Scott

Dakota,

Glad you liked the article (and that it was timely). I am just about finished with the Google article so that should be up shortly. Propably before you read THIS.

Anyhow, hope this series helps…

Steve

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Stephanie Treasure

Hi Steve. I’m new here. Just felt like saying that. However, I have a keen interest in niche affiliate site so I am looking forward to your series. So far I have a few adsense niche site properties. I am also a ‘fan’ of Pat and Tyrone’s niche site duel. You didn’t say if you were going to reveal the 2nd niche site though, hope you do :-)

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Steve Scott

Stephanie,

Yes, I am going to release ALL the details on the 2nd one. That is the main reason I am doing a second. Sorry that wasn’t clear. Since anything I make from that one won’t will be extra I am not too worried if people use the same/similar model. (though of course it would still be better for all if they found their own).

Sounds like you probably have a pretty solid grasp on niche sites, so there may not be anything “fresh and new” …but maybe there will be. Who knows, hopefully there will. :)

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Jay Gumbs

Glad you decided to give this a go. I’m really looking forward to seeing and following your process. I have a niche focused domain and affiliate product ready to go and I’ll be following along trying to do things the way you do them.

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Steve Scott

Thanks Jay,

Glad you liked it. Hopefully this will help you out. maybe I at least can make some mistakes you can avoid. ;)

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Duy Nguyen

Woohoo!

Steve, I know you will do it man :D This is gonna be a great niche income case study! I’m waiting your next posts! All the best!

Duy.

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Nick

Hi Steve,
I just stopped in for the first time in your blog and I have to say that I’m amazed.
This 7 questions about niche was a very nice and helpful article.
I also found useful your article about How to Manually Cloak Affiliate Links!
Keep on the good work!

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Adrienne

Ah, great lesson Steve…

You really explained that well about niche sites. I also love how you pointed out that although you can make some quick money with these kinds of sites, watch out because if Google decides they don’t like what they see your traffic is gone. No traffic means no sales.

For those who would much prefer having a sustainable business, build the authority sites like you suggested. I mean you’ve done it and are living proof of what can come from this.

I have a friend who has some affiliate sites but continues to struggle with marketing them. Do you cover that in your product? If so, I’m going to recommend he get that one since I’m not really doing as much with my affiliate sites as I was. I’m concentrating on my other business at this moment.

Always look forward to learning from you Steve.

~Adrienne

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Brian H.

I know exactly what you mean about losing all income because of Google. I still remember the date it happened to me, July 26, 2010.

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Gera

Hi Steve,

Good luck with these niche experiments! I’m interested on these posts, because I’m playing with similar ideas right now.

I wonder how you make the selection of the keywords in terms of seo competition, rankings, etc and after you choose the aff product or you choose an aff product and then you see the rest of the competition analysis?

I’ll expect the other niche-posts :)

Cheers,

Gera

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Alex

Woot there it is!

Gret stuff Steve! (although I am working on the paid version of BuRP as we speak so dont do stealing all my potential customers now LOL)

Really looking forward to this course because in my book you are the go to guy when it comes to making money from email marketing and affiliate marketing.

I know SEO and traffic but am learning a lot from you about the importance of tracking and conversion testing. thanks so far and looking forward to the next installment.

Thanks for the link love btw – I appreciate the mention

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Steve Roy

Hi Steve,
I’m going to be starting a niche site or 2 very soon and am not sure if going the affiliate or AdSense route is best. I really like Spencer Haws’ strategy, but relying on AdSense for 100% of your income seems risky.
Does it make sense to do both?
Also, do yo use an auto responder series to build trust/credibility and ultimately sell with your niche sites?

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Rob Cubbon

Will you stop writing quality content, Steve? I’m running out of time to read it! I’m loving this series so far. Looking forward to the rest of it.

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Mark of Success

Rob, you should have seen how it was when Steve used to post every single day during the first year of this blog. At least now it is much easier to catch up :-)

Cheers,
Mark

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Rob Cubbon

Wow! I’ve been following Steve for some time but I wasn’t aware of that. I don’t know where he finds the time!

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Steve Scott

It was a bit much for time. My other business (the one that makes the $$) suffered and quite frankly there were a few posts just designed to not “miss a day”.

I am proud that I made it a year, but I don’t think I will EVER do that sort of volume again, lol. There really -isn’t- that sort of time.

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Mark of Success

I guess the key lies with having priorities set right, productivity and, most of all, taking action to get things out the door?

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Karylle Lynch

Great post!
I know exactly what you mean about losing ALL their income because of relying only on Google for SEO. I’ve done that before and in the end, it ended up really bad.
Anyway, thanks Steve for this informative article!

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Steve Scott

Yeah The Big G is a pain in the but. They can be really strict, but not even tell you -what- you have done wrong. I have stayed clear of issues for the most part, but have been affected to some degree.

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Satrap

Thank you for such detailed pots Steve. I have been reading a lot lately about niche sites and frankly I am still stock on the keyword research part (I really dont know how and where to start). I mean, I have a pretty successful blog and I am making good money with it, but a niche site focused on particular affiliate product seems to be way different and requiring a whole new game plan.

I have been reading as many of your posts as I can and I have to say, I haven’t found any other resource that could compare. Thank you Steve.

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Steve Scott

Satrap,

Keywords research is very important. It is a good idea to get that part right. The free chapter of my ebook has my thoughts on keyword research if you havent read it yet. (though it may be stuff you have seen already since you have more than a fair bit of expereince) I have a link to that in the 3rd of this series.

A niche site definitely is a different experience. it is far more keyword and Google dependent and honestly a little scary for me because of that. You can’t win by building authority and quality content. Sure you still need that…but rankings are more important.

Glad you are liking the posts and hopefully they will keep you entertained and informed. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Reply

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