The illustrious idea that you can ‘make money online‘ has long since been on the minds of many bloggers and website owners. The average approach to making money with a website has generally been about creating something massive, authoritative and sending thousands of visitors every single day. However, the idea of a ‘micro niche website’ is equally viable for earning money with a website and requires a lot less work.
This post will go through the very basics of getting started with your own micro niche site.
Step 1: Niche Selection
The first, most important, step of building micro niche websites is the niche selection. A niche is nothing more than a highly specialized interest. For example, ‘home brewing’ is a niche but you could certainly go further into a micro niche such as ‘lager home brewing.
Take a look around where you are sitting and begin to imagine if every little item, piece of information and idea could become its own, specific website. That’s a niche.
Instead of building a massive website, you’ll be creating something highly focused around a single topic or product. Why do this? Well, focusing in on something as micro as, say, a particular brand of computer mice will allow you to refine your content, progress with search engine optimization (the key to getting higher ranks) and be able to easily select a product to promote through your website.
Use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner to aid in your niche site selection. Set the results to ‘exact’ and browse through the keywords which have at least 1,000 or more exact visitors every month. Remember, you’re not aiming so much for size but for conversion (the idea of the long-tail keyword and “buying ready customers”).
Example: If I were building a new website, I would create something around the headphones I currently wear. I would be able to easily write content about the headphones, know what people are looking for and using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner, be able to see that others are searching for it.
I am using the Long Tail Platinum tool to research keyword and this is a very helpful one. I could give 1 seed keyword and the tool will generate long-tail keywords, analyze competitors on first page of Google Search and check for available domains. Here is the screenshot of its interface. Check out the post on how to use Long Tail Pro to research keyword effectively if you want to know more about this tool.
Step 2: Setting up the Website
There are many guides available on the web about setting up a website so I don’t want to focus too heavily on this section. The basic principles for setting up a website are this:
- Purchase a domain name (Read 5 Tips for Choosing a Winner Domain Name for your Blog)
- Purchase website hosting (WPEngine and DigitalOcean are recommended)
- Install WordPress
I highly recommend that you keep your website as clean as possible. Take a look around a popular blogs and notice how they don’t overload the user with heavy amounts of ‘fluff’. The key is to get people to dig through your content and convert; not so much keep them around to become long-time readers. To save money and make your website attractive to readers, I recommend you to use the themes designed by Elegant Themes. This is a collection of over 80 WordPress themes that could help you create niche sites easier. You can also find many clean and lightweight themes on Studiopress, their themes are great for niche sites but they require some basic HTML and PHP knowledge to customize.
When setting up you website, remember to work on the search engine optimization elements from the very beginning such as setting the permalinks in WordPress or structuring the folders in your HTML template that will allow you to focus on about five main keywords for the single topic you’ll be covering.
Example: If I were setting up the same website, I would purchase a domain name as close to the name as I could which gives me SEO juice. Once I have the domain and hosting, I’d install WordPress and install a very simple, minimal theme so that I’m not distracting the visitor. On the backend, I would set the categories around topics such as “main keyword review”, “buy main keyword”, “main keyword articles”. In essence, you want to setup the site so everything utilizes your keywords from top to bottom but not in a spammy manner.
Step 3: Content Creation
The content is what really matters. I know niche websites that have just 10 pages that outrank authority website with hundreds. Rather than going for the bare minimum – maximize your efforts by putting as much work as you can into just a few, handful of articles that work with each other (so you can easily interlink them on your website).
The main “draw” of the micro niche website will be the review; this also happens to be your main money maker in the long run. I would say to start with the review of the topic you’ve chosen and then branch your way out from there by creating support articles that lead people into the review such as comparison guides, how-to’s about using the item, frequently asked questions and more.
Pulling up the Google Keyword Planner again, you can see what similar items people are searching for when they’re looking at your topic – use this to create content!
Keep things simple overall; do the best that you can with a few pillar articles on your micro niche website rather than spending hours upon hours creating mediocre pieces of content.
Step 4: Monetization
I’m a huge fan of Amazon Associates because it still gives me the ability to utilize other ad and affiliate networks like Google Adsense, Shareasale, or Clickbank.
A lot of people making micro niche websites will focus on a single monetization method; I prefer to have multiple options because not everyone wants to purchase a product but they may click on one of your ads which will make up for the lack of sale.
The two best ways to make money from a micro niche website, in my opinion, would be:
- Write a review of the main item you’re promoting
- Create resource pages with comparisons to other products (which you could also promote)
- Write powerful “Top list posts”
Your aim to get people to click on your affiliate links; plain and simple. You want to setup your content, in a way, that optimizes this through including clickable pictures, call-outs with graphics (that are linked), mentioning the name (with a link) and also having a few call-to-action buttons.
A micro niche site needs to have great content for getting found but you need to create it in a way that people aren’t going to stick around. I know this sounds odd but the whole purpose of the site is to share a good bit of information and then get them to take action and learn more about the product; if they buy it, you earn a commission!
Step 5: Traffic Generation
Finally, now that you’ve got everything setup, it’s time to start generating traffic to your website.
Remember, your whole aim isn’t to get the most amount of traffic but to get traffic that converts. There’s no reason to have 10,000 visitors to your micro niche site if these people aren’t interesting in what you’re writing about. Instead, aim for that “core” group of people that are ready to buy by focusing on the keywords and platforms that will get them to your website.
The majority of your website traffic will be organic such as through Google, Yahoo and Bing. To get higher rankings in these search engines, optimize your website and create links from others.
- Write guest posts for relevant websites in your niche and ask for a link back to your website
- Bookmark and share your website on online forums or communities
- Create business pages and consistently share your new articles on Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook
There are thousands of great blog posts about traffic generation that you could easily find by doing a quick search online. However, try to focus on a few of these at a time to maximize your effort. Build your back links with your main keywords to improve their ranks in search engines.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
I know this may be a bit of a whirlwind of information but all of the basics are covered. The process, from start to finish, details finding a keyword-rich domain name, setting up your site so it’s SEO friendly, creating great content that will convert, adding monetization methods and then getting people to the website.
You may not immediately earn money from your micro niche website but stick with it and you will eventually see money start to trickle in. Repeat this process all over again until you’ve created multiple, digital assets around the web and you will be earning a nice chunk of money in due time.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. However, I only recommend products/services that I’ve been successful using them.