4 Niche Website Strategies Reviewed

4 Niche Website Strategies Reviewed

When I get ready to write a blog post, I usually head over to the Niche Websites Hub and look at the planned posts that I have on that page.  Then I usually just find one that piques my interest and begin writing.  However, today, I just felt like I needed to write about 4 different niche website strategies – even though this was not a planned post on the Hub.  So, hopefully you find it interesting and useful.

I have discussed at least a couple of different strategies on this blog, but I wanted to be a little more explicit in the details.  For some of you that are perhaps more advanced or that don’t like going over intricate details, you might not be interested in this info.  However, I think overall getting the proper plan in place before you even attempt to build your next (or first) site is extremely important.  I attribute most of my success to being able to develop a strategy and follow through on that strategy.  Very little of my success comes from knowing how to build a website, or how to pick right hosting, or building links, or any of those other details.  The success comes from understanding a plan and why it works, and then executing that plan.

Strategy #1 – The Small Niche Website with 1 Primary Keyword

This is the strategy that has led to my success.  I have written about this strategy in detail right here. Essentially, here are the quick points on this strategy:

  • Pick 1 primary keyword that gets 1,000 to 15,000 exact match local searches per month.
  • Keyword gets $1 or more in CPC
  • Make sure the keyword has low competition in Google (learn how to judge that here).
  • Buy an exact match or keyword rich domain.
  • Write 1 article targeting that keyword and make it a post or a page on the homepage of the site.
  • Write 5 to 10 other articles on related keywords.  These keywords might have very low search volume or higher search volume, the main purpose is to support the primary article on the site.

That’s essentially the strategy in a nutshell.  Pick a low competition keyword, build a site on it, build a few links, and get free traffic from Google.

Strategy #2 – Large Authority Site with 1 Primary Keyword and Lots of Long Tail Keywords

I have written about my plans to build an authority site recently on my blog here (I am still working on it and will provide a full report later). Here is the bullet point strategy for larger authority sites.

  • Pick 1 primary keyword that gets higher search volume (10k or more exact match local searches per month is a good starting point).
  • The competition on Google may be low to medium.  I would always avoid extremely high competition keywords.
  • Buy an exact match or keyword rich domain.
  • Create 1 article that targets your keyword.  This can be a static article on the homepage OR you can also just do a traditional blog that shows your latest posts on the homepage.  The static homepage does give you more control of whats on your homepage – so its always a good option.
  • Find lots of long tail keywords.  This could be 100 to 200 or more low competition and low search volume keywords.  When I say low search volume, I mean less than 1,000 most likely.  I am targeting keywords that get 200 to 500 searches per month approximately.
  • Write 1 article per long tail keyword – with the Title including the long tail keyword.

The point of this strategy is to hopefully quickly capture lots of long tail searches for the low volume keywords that you are targeting.  Then in time as you build links and promote your site, you will start ranking for your primary keyword as well.  As you see success you may add many many more articles targeting long tail keywords.

Strategy #3 – Medium Sized Niche Website Targeting Low Competition Keywords

In this strategy, you will essentially be targeting 20+ long tail keywords – including your primary keyword.  In fact, the primary keyword may get less than 1,000 searches per month – maybe only 500!  Here are the quick bullet points on this strategy:

  • Pick a primary keyword that gets less than 1,500 searches per month.
  • Make sure this keyword has very low competition in Google.
  • Buy an exact match or keyword rich domain.
  • Create 1 article on your primary keyword
  • Create 20 – 30+ articles all on very low competition/low volume keywords – again 200 to 500 searches per month is probably a decent target.

The advantage of this strategy is that you can often rank EXTREMELY quickly for almost all of your keywords.  Your primary keyword may be so low in competition that your site may rank with only a handful of links.  The reason you would want to add more than 5 to 10 articles (as specified in the small niche website strategy above) is that each of your targeted keywords will only bring in a small amount of traffic.  However, in aggregate you could build up a decent site with very little linkbuilding effort.

Strategy #4 – Large Hybrid Site

In reality there are probably dozens of different types of strategies that you could eventually end up following.  So, I simply call this last strategy a “Large Hybrid Site” because it may start out as a small niche website but morph into a large authority site as you add content and see success.

You may start a site using any of the above 3 strategies mentioned and if you are seeing success – it only makes sense to build out the site and target additional keywords.  Again, the additional keywords that you target could be a hybrid approach as well.  You might only target long tail extremely low competition keywords; or you might find that you are ranking relatively well for some higher traffic keywords.  If so, you might add a new post dedicated to this keyword, or you simply might build some links to the existing page that is ranking.

In a nutshell here is how a hybrid strategy might work:

  • Start out building a small niche site targeting 1 primary keyword with 10 additional articles.
  • As you see success, you decide to add 50 articles all targeting long tail keywords.
  • You notice you are also ranking for a keyword that gets 5k searches per month, so you create an in depth page targeting that keyword.
  • You build links to that page and start ranking at the top of Google.
  • This process of adding long tail keyword articles or targeting other low to medium keywords could go on and on.

In conclusion

Anyway, I just felt a little more motivated to write on the subject of different niche website strategies, so I truly hope that you have found this information useful.  Overall, its extremely important to develop a plan and then stick to that plan as you create your niche websites.  As you can see, there are many different routes that you can take – but each of the strategies require that you do sound keyword research and target appropriate keywords that you can rank for.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the strategies that I have discussed above.  Let me know if you have anything to add to what I have shared. If you have questions, fire away!


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If your business could benefit in any way from getting more search engine traffic, I have some good news.

Search engines are in love with long tail keywords! If you are able to provide relevant content targeting these long tail keywords, then you can see a dramatic increase to the amount of traffic Google and other search engines send you.

Long Tail Pro is a powerful keyword research tool that makes finding these valuable long tail keywords a breeze.

What are “long tail keywords”? Essentially, these are words or phrases that people type into the search engines to find very specific things. Rather than searching for “dog training” a user might search for “how to potty train a pitbull”.

This is an example of a Long Tail Keyword. To visualize how Long Tail Keywords work...

Click to Continue Reading


94 Comments for this entry

  1. Spencer,

    We normally target Option #1 along with you, but I recently came across some great domains for Option #3. They’re in a pretty competitive industry, but the particular keyword I’m targeting is pretty open and high-paying, so I picked it up. I’m planning on the really long-tail keywords for the secondary articles and will have a higher level of content on the posts as well.

    I like Strategy #2, but I DON’T like the waiting game of seeing results…I’m currently testing this out in the food niche.

    Have you checked out Chris Ducker’s VBL’s niche site challenge? Similar to Pat’s…should be some good reading/info as you work out your authority site…I just started following myself.

    • Spencer says:

      Hey Justin, best of luck with your medium sized niche site! I’m excited to see your results. I also don’t like waiting to see the results for option #2, but it can really pay off in the long run.

      I have indeed checked out chris duckers niche site challenge. Sounds like he is doing pretty well.

      • steve says:

        Hi Justin and Spencer

        Im an admirer of both your sites and work.

        I entered the VBL event (challenge/project/tribe happening) with a #2 site which is the type i like to build for potetntial longterm revenue and authoirty.

        However im keen to also develop #1 as per Justin. Especially appealing is the fantastic sales your gettin on Flippa with the sites yoru selling.

        Where im stuck on strategy is what type and what quality of backlinks to build to a #1 site?

        My feeling is less that 150 links using forum, book mark and a few article submissions? its the missing link in my mind.

        The downside of #2 is the vast number of links and article that will utlimately be required :-) plus the revenue is slower to arrive.

        regards

        • Spencer says:

          I personally like Blog networks, social bookmarks, and article directories.

        • We’ve been adjusting our backlink strategy recently, but in a nutshell:

          1. 20 DoFollow blog comments per site
          2. Two articles through SubmitYourArticle submitted to their network
          3. Run the site through OnlyWire and the bookmarking you get there
          4. 5 BMR posts

          That’s what we’re doing on sites right now, but we’ve done several different things…will have a post about it in the coming weeks. Spencer has a few posts on backlinking that are quite helpful.

          • Steve says:

            hi Justin

            Thats great thanks for the info.

            I’m well versed in link building :-) Just wanting to understand the strategies you have found to be usefull. Im also want a simple system. Senukex is fantastic for bigger sites and difficult keywords but i wanted a straight forward strategy for type one sites.

            thanks

            steve

  2. Josh McLean says:

    “I attribute most of my success to being able to develop a strategy and follow through on that strategy… The success comes from understanding a plan and why it works, and then executing that plan.” Bam… the best insight from this post.

    Thank you for laying these out succinctly. The business of Internet Marketing bring inherent confusion because there are so many different business models/strategies to focus on. I’ll go out on a limb and say most of us KNOW what to do but we don’t FOLLOW THROUGH or stay FOCUSED. WE are informationally obese but starving for execution.

    Personally I’ve moved from simultaneously implementing 4+ strategies to a focus on the Strategy #1 you mention above. Not that it is the right decision for everyone but the time requirements make it the best for my wife and 2 young kiddos.

    Anyway… thanks again Spencer for the clarity.

    “Vision without execution is hallucination” -Edison

    -Josh

    • Steve Eason says:

      The only problem with this post is that you make it all sound and look so easy! As Josh and I have found, you can mess yourself up if you think through it too hard, yet at the same time if you don’t give it enough thought and planning, you can fall short as well.

      As usual there is a lot here to digest and it’s laid out nicely. Thanks for the encouragement and information.

      • Spencer says:

        Well, dreaming up ideas I guess is the easy part – its the follow through that’s the hard part. Definitely not easy, but doable. Best of luck Steve!

    • Spencer says:

      Josh:
      Thanks for the kind words! Glad you found some value in the post. LOVE the Edison quote – that guy was amazing!

      Good move on focusing on just 1 strategy. Once you see some success, you can move onto other things if needed.

      Best of luck with the 2 kiddos!

  3. Tom says:

    I never understood the value of keywords until after I started blogging. Thanks for continuing to expand my education.

  4. Tammie J says:

    Excellent post…thanks for simplifying the strategies. We’re currently trying a few of each.

    I always look forward to your blog posts and the valuable information that you share.

  5. Aaron says:

    Just found a keyword over the weekend that has an average PR in the top 10 of 1.8 (I add up the page ranks of the top 10 and divide by 10). Plus it get over 5000 local searches and pays $2.61. I cant wait to get this site live and see the money roll in. Thanks for all your info Spencer. You give a real no nonsense fluffless explanation of how to get into this industry and for those that really want to succeed your info will motivate them and help them find success. For those who want to hear only stories of getting rich in 48 hours while doing and hour of work like the rest of these marketing sites spit out they are not going to like what they hear on your site and I love that. Keep it up!

    • Spencer says:

      Thanks Aaron – your comment means more than you know! I HATE the typical marketing types, and do my best to differentiate myself from that image.

      I don’t try to sugar coat things, but because I am actually building sites, I think my info comes across as more realistic.

  6. Aaron says:

    I found this great keyword thanks to your methods by the way. Im pumping out articles now to gear up for a great launch for the site to dominate this keyword. :)

  7. Jawed says:

    Nice post Spencer. I always build niche sites targeting a lot of long tail keyword. Not because i am afraid of the competition, but to stay safe when Google changes it’s algo and the site’s SERP goes down for some keyword.

  8. Dave M says:

    I was going through Niche Pursuits withdrawals! Great post Spencer!

  9. Vijay says:

    Again a great article Spencer!
    All your strategies are really helpful for us to get the direction in niche blogging.

  10. Quentin Pain says:

    Thanks Spencer. A really good post. Breaking it down into those simple steps is just perfect (this really is ‘no-fluff’).

    Brendon Burchard recently said ‘the old way is ask and you shall get, the new way is give and you will get’. That is of course exactly what you are doing here and just looking at the number of ‘likes’ you have for this site says it all. Here’s to the success of everyone you are helping.

  11. Aaron says:

    Hey Spencer how do you deal with having a business entity? Are you incorporated, an LLC, or a Sole P? What do you think is best and at what point should you form an entity? I was thinking of forming an LLC eventually and rolling all of my endeavors up under that umbrella to make it easier and protect my assets. Let me know your thoughts, thanks!

    • Quentin Pain says:

      Hey Aaron, you only need to be an LLC if you think there is a chance of your business getting so into debt you may lose your house! Another reason is that you want to do business to business deals and so you want the kudos of looking bigger than you are. It costs more to form a company so stay as a sole-proprietor for as long as possible if you can. The best way to impress anyone is to be yourself :)

    • Spencer says:

      Aaron: I have an LLC set up for my business. As Quentin has pointed out, you don’t necessarily need one – but an LLC works well for me. Best advice is to talk to an accountant about what you want to do.

  12. Allen M says:

    Thanks for the post and plan details. Option 1 seems so simple yet great.

    Question – Target 1 keyword in an article and make that article the homepage. Add 5-10 other keyword targeted articles as pages. Gotit. When linkbuilding, do you submit all of these exact articles to Ezine, other article directories, and blog networks ? If so, does the anchor text from each article point to itself on your site or do all of the anchor texts point to the homepage article ? Sometimes this stuff seems so simple it perplexes me.
    Thanks in advance for the shot of everCLEAR.

    • Spencer says:

      No, I don’t submit the exact same articles. I would submit new articles that have not been posted anywhere else. I keep all the content on my site along (I don’t distribute it anywhere else). The anchor texts will mostly go to the homepage, but you also want some “deep links” to other pages as well.

  13. LInda Smith says:

    I have not even had a chance to read this thoroughly yet. But, I sure will later. I like your style. Keep It Simple Stupid. I am so tired of looking and finding the information you are writing about, yet read and read and read over and over a lot of articles which tell me exactly nothing other than they are trying to sell an automated system to me.

    Looks like, the info is here, short and to the point, as well as understandable.

  14. Michael says:

    Hey Spencer
    Great post. How’s the authority site coming along?
    I threw an authority site into my mix over two years ago and they can be a lot of work. I hope to sell it in the next year or two for big $$$.
    Cheers, Michael.

  15. Kent Chow says:

    I’m trying to build #1 sites for now. It would be about 5 page content.

    Recently, I’d like to expand some as #3 medium sites. Would like to add as 20 page sites and see how things go. I like to fail quick so I could move on some other niches.

    Spencer, thanks for all the great posts. They keep me educated and motivated.

    • Spencer says:

      You are welcome Kent. Best of luck!

    • Brett says:

      Kent I like that philosophy of failing quick. Have you ever read a book called “go for no”? That is one of the main ideas behind the book how can I fail faster to get to the truly exceptional ideas and, opportunities?

      Spencer as per usual a great post, you inspire us man keep it up!

  16. Federico says:

    Thanks Spencer for another great post!

    I’ve decided to focus on building just site with at least 10 articles on it from now on ….I’ve been testing site with 2-3 articles on the passed 4 months (arond 50 sites) with little success, my income is $230 dollars on average per month.
    I’ll keep the sites that bringing me money and try save some of them adding more articles, the rest I will let them die…
    I’ve got one site with 2 articles with profit of $80 dollars this month so far, I just need to find some 20 more like that one, but is not that easy. I truly believe in sites with at least 10-100 articles and that kind of strategy I’m focus right now.I think great and a lot content is the key, I will let you guys know in the future, anyway.

    Regards,

  17. Joshua says:

    Great stuff Spencer. It is commendable that you are sharing these info freely. Think most of us appreciate it. Why are you giving away so much? I guess that we all want to give back a bit of our success to people who need help. So much has changed over the years on the web. We are ever learning. So keep it coming. Thanks in advance.

  18. Rory says:

    Always good to read another post from your Spencer. It’s amazing to see the community here at niche pursuits growing as well!

  19. Ritsos says:

    Thanks Spencer .. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head for me .. my strategy is kinda headless chicken. Success minimal so far though am still confident. I’ve found it increasingly hard to find medium rankable keywords so am more and more targetting the 200-500 local searches .. end of the day 4 x 500 pages is the same as a 2000 search. I also write the articles myself as I quite enjoy that aspect though I know it slows things down a bit.

    One question .. I have a few sites/pages lurking just outside the top ten .. what’s the best way to push them up that little bit .. just links ?

    cheers

  20. Hope says:

    Like your strategy. In fact, I’ve been using the combo of Strategy#2 and#3. However, for some reason, one of my Adsense sites got Panda Slap on Aug 19. It went from over $100 page views daily to ZERO page view in less than 24 hours. And my site got de-index, too. Now this site has no traffic and makes no money at all. It used to make about $300 a month. This site is about 5 months-old.

    This site has unique content with over 30 articles. Each article has 500 word. Each article target one long-tail keyword with low competition. I thought I was doing well. Now, it’s dead! Spencer, do you know why I got Panda Slap?

    • Jim says:

      Without giving a hint as to what your website is about, no-one can offer you suggestions why it got slapped. One frequent reason is breaking TOS like not having a privacy page.
      Other places to look are being caught and reported for using copyrighted material, or if its some kind of medical field not having proper disclaimers etc. gets you slapped too.
      Lots of other reasons are possible, but as I said your question is a bit vague :) Good luck though! Hope it comes back for you!
      Only google really knows though :P

  21. Aaron says:

    Ok so just so im CRYSTAL CLEAR Spencer. :)
    You do NOT make a new page for each post, your pages are the main one, contact, privacy policy, about us. All the articles are posts that are front and center listed on the main page for people to click on, they are not seperate pages? Just want to make sure before I launch my site.

    And the article you submit to Ezines and other Directories is the same artilce, BUT its unique from anything thats on your site correct?

    Also how do you feel about commenting in forums to make backlinks? How effective is that?

    One more question, how do you align your ads cleanly and wrap your article around it on your posts? I tried pasting the HTML code in wordpress but I dont quite know how to play with the code and spacing to make it clean.

    Thanks again for all the info!!

    • Spencer says:

      The articles are all POSTS, that’s correct. However, you CAN make the primary article a PAGE and make it a static page on your homepage. Either way is fine.

      I use the Why do Work Adsense plugin to easily wrap text around my ads.

  22. franz says:

    ive been thinking about doing number three for the past five years! reading about it here finally gave me that extra push to give it a go – i have around 30 long tails in the 500-300 range – hope this works! thanks for the post spencer

    p.s.

    how about giving us a heads up on earnings for a meduium site like this – from your experience?

  23. Aaron says:

    I also have one more question, sorry if im overloading you! But is it really going to make that much of a difference when using Broad or exact when looking at the keyword searches a day? Let me know if I have the wrong idea anyone. I mean I found my keyword because it came up as a result from a broad search of a different keyword I put in to get ideas in the keyword tool. And when it tells you how many local and global searches its getting it also shows the keyword as a link to click on and directly go to google to see what the search results are showing for that keyword how its entered in the search bar, which shows us our competition, which we analyze to see if we can beat them. our goal is to be in that top ten when John Doe sits at his PC and types that keyword in, and most likely hes not about to add ” ” for phrase or [] for exact so why worry about that from our standpoint, hes going to simply type in the keyword for that result and we want our site to be there when he does. Based on what googles explanation says that exact and phrase thing is mainly for when you want ads to appear which is not our concern.

    Let me know your thoughts, thanks.

    • Steve says:

      HI

      you MUST only look at exact for the main keyword anything else will give you a distorted view of reality.

      One of the best examples ive seen in a very long time is

      A Pedometer

      Plug that into google adwords tool and look at the difference between broad and exact!! its staggering.

      broad phrase would include “A nice time to go for a walk with my pedometer” “A summer walk along the river with my girl friend who owns a pedometer” clearly those are not matches for somebody looking to buy a pedometer. where as “where do i buy A Pedometer” is a match.

      Broad match is only usefull to understand the total search volume a phrase might attract but its not targetted and of no use to evaluate income.

      hope that make sense and helps.

      • Aaron says:

        Thanks Steve, so when I put in a keyword into google and the top 10 shows up and I analyze them and I think i can beat them wouldnt I still get a large amount of traffic broad or not? I mean I know broad can mean a random number of other keywords but the bottomline is when I type in that keyword like any other person would I get these top 10 sites, the same ones over and over. And if I can beat those sites wouldnt that still be worth it? I can see if the result was random but its not, you type that keyword you will get the top 10 for that string of words or numbers, the same top 10 every time unless another site comes along thats better.

        • Aaron says:

          Im trying to challenge what youre saying or anything I just want to make sure I understand how this search stuff works from all angles since the reasearch is the critical part of all this.

          • Steve says:

            No issue its vital that you get this element.

            Think of it this way. Broad is the maximum volume any term might POSSIBLY see.

            Exact is the match for your keyword. There are Billions of keyword phrases.

            Were trying to find the traffic for our target keyword.

            If you searched for Steve Wyman (:-)!) your intention would not be to look for “Steve is a sad man and last week i saw him at the Wyman Theatre” this would be a broad match but totally irrelavant and you would ignore that entry in google not click on it and go on until you found one that was a closer or better still and Exact match to the search query.

            So for exampe even Stev Wyhamn

            would be a bnon exact match and.

            So were looking for exact match to the keyword phrase were building the site around.

            hope that helps and if it doesnot ask away.

            regards

            • Aaron says:

              Perfect explanation, I get it now thanks. So we go for exact to get the TRUE amount of searches that keyword gets so
              we have a clear vision of that keyword. Awesome stuff. It makes it a lil harder to find a great keyword but well worth the accurate data you get. Well the keyword I picked originally when i had it set to broad turned out to be a dud when I searched it exact, but a slight variation on it got me a new one with 1900 searches local. So despite having to change a few words around I can still get the ball rolling here soon. Thanks again for your help!

              • Steve says:

                Very cool. To many of us have found out the wrong way the problem with broad match :-(

                best of luck with your new keyword.

                regards

                • Aaron says:

                  One more question since you seem to explain things awesome.:)
                  How effective is link building with forum posts have you tried that before? I plan to start my site with 5 articles
                  then another “floater” article to submit to the directories
                  linking back to the site. Should I focus on link building after thats done or more content for the site? Also how do you situate the adsense so the article wraps around
                  it? Im having trouble playing with the html code
                  just right and the spacing isnt pretty. Thanks!

    • Spencer says:

      Steve is correct on this one. I only look at the exact match searches. This gives you a MUCH better idea of how much traffic to expect for your keyword.

  24. Aaron says:

    *correction I meant your ads if your an advertiser.

  25. Bryan says:

    Spencer,

    Good outline of the different niche sites. A lot of my websites I have currently are actually a mix of these 4 strategies.

    I have one site that has 40,500 exact searches per month on its main keyword. I finally hit #1 for that main keyword about 2 weeks ago, and the earnings/traffic have been incredible. I have since added more content and continue to add more. Went from a $130 per month earner to over $600 per month for that one site alone.

    Overall, I tend to favor going after keywords with higher search volume and medium competition. While it can take longer to see results, they are usually well worth it. I’d just rather earn $10,000 per month from 30 websites than 300. Takes more work intially, but the rewards down the road are incredible!

    Bryan

    • Steve says:

      Hi Bryan

      That is awesome… Im chasing a 40,500 keyword as well!! only been after it for 2 months and im up to 25th :-)

      Great news on your success. Lets hope were not targetting the same one :-) lol

      regards

    • Spencer says:

      Awesome Bryan! Thanks for sharing. As you have clearly shown, there are lots of different ways to approach niche websites. Its just important to have a plan and know what you are getting into :)

    • Federico says:

      That’s great Bryan, congratulations!

      I think patience is something really important on adsense world. I’m working on a keyword with a lot traffic/comp, and I will work on it for at least 90 days(spencer recommendation) and then move on to another project.

      On the this particular site I’ve already plan to have at least 30 articles….
      Could you share with us how many articles you added and how long you’ve been working on it???

      Regards,

      • Bryan says:

        @Steve – Haha. Yeah – that wouldn’t be good now, would it? :)

        @Spencer – Exactly. Everyone has their own way of making it happen, right? I tend to follow a similar build out for each site, but I also make sure to vary my links widely between sites. This way, if something crazy happens with Google’s algo, it won’t hit every site I own.

        @Federico – I actually only have around 7 articles on this site currently, but I do plan to add more content here in the next month or so.

  26. Spencer, on #1, as far as internal linking goes, are you linking your support articles back to the main page using the primary keyword as anchor text?

  27. Ben says:

    Spencer,

    This is a great breakdown of niche site strategies. I’m currently working on a site using Strategy 2 (started the site about 7 days ago).

    So far, it’s working great. It’s the first time I’ve taken on this strategy, and I’m finding my keywords pop up in Google VERY quickly.

    I actually just made a post like 20 minutes ago, outlining what I’ve done the first 7 days, if you’d like to have a look at the success I’ve had so far.

    Now, I have a few question for you. Let’s say my long tail keyword is “how to lose weight in 30 days or less”. Assume I’m using WordPress

    1) Would I be best off making a category for that keyword, and then making several DIFFERENT posts under that category targeting that keyword? Or would I be better of keeping ONE post targeting that keyword, and updating that post instead of making a new post. Sorry, that was a bit confusing; let me know if you’d like me to clarify.

    2) I’ve been reading about slugs, and how having stop words in URLs provides little to no benefit. Now, if I’m targeting many long tail keywords, which are usually very similar (usually have different stop words), would it help to have the stop words in the URL?

    For example, two keywords I’m targeting are “how to lose weight in 30 days” and “how can I lose weight in 30 days”. Without stop words, the URL would be the same:

    lose-weight-30-days.

    Is this fine? Or should I keep the full keywords in the URL.

    Darn, that was a long comment. Sorry in advance :P

    • Javier says:

      I guess it all depends on the numbers of keywords you find related to the main keyword, and also their search volume. For example, if I were targeting just “how to lose weight”, you can find lots of subkeywords like:

      “how to lose weight in a week”
      “how to lose weight fast”
      “how to lose weight for kids”
      etc

      This way I think you’ll be optimizing for the subkeywords and at the same time for the category keyword

      If it doesn’t have much subkeywords with decent volume, I guess it’s not worth doing this and just place it as an article.

      I’m not sure about this, just guessing, maybe Spencer can confirm this?

    • Javier says:

      Another idea I have related to this. I think I’m going to start using pages instead of posts, and using pages as categories, where I will write an optimized article for the kw category and then list the articles under that category below.

      Spencer what do you think of this?

    • Javier says:

      Oh crap Ben, I had written a long response for your question but don’t know why it wasn’t posted. Anyway, here it goes again (this time I’m pasting the text in the notepad just in case it isn’t posted :) )

      I guess it all depends on how many good subkeywords you can find related to the category keyword. Let’s just use “how to lose weight” as category kw for this example.

      If you check GKT, you’ll find many related subkeywords, for example:
      -how to lose weight in a week
      -how to lose weight fast
      -how to lose weight for kids

      This way, while optimizing and doing backlinking for this articles under the main category, you’d be also improving your ranking for “how to lose weight”

      If there aren’t many related keywords, I would just place it like an article, maybe under another category.

      Maybe Spencer can confirm this?

  28. James T. Corlion says:

    Hi Spencer

    I’m really learning a lot from your post. I have a quick regarding optimal settings in Adsense for niche websites.

    1. Third party ads? Block or Allow
    2. Interest base ads? Off or On

    Prepanda I was making EUR5000 no down to EUR 1000. I guess you can say I’m starting over.

  29. Javier says:

    Spence, do you use only text ads in your adsense blocks or do you also include image ads?

  30. Ritsos says:

    I’ve been trying out a couple of these strategies but not really having much success at all. The one thing I really haven’t done is to back link .. it’s a pain.

    Currently testing a theory … and writing on Hubpages again since the sub domain switch to see if this works.

    My own feeling is that Google is going to hit sites like these or at least the ones that don’t have quality and quantity content.

    The one thing I’ve noticed researching long tail keywords is when a hubpage has appeared in the top ten, it has ALWAYS been quite a lengthy one and my suspicion is that this and the quality is going to be a factor. I’m not so sure about backlinks but originally this was supposed to be an indication of popularity whereas, as we all know, you can simply buy them, so from that perspective, they have no use as far as popularity goes.

    So I’m going to do 10 well written and around 800 word hubs still targetting long tail keywords and see how it goes. (nb .. first one hit page 2 of google instantly) …. I’m open to thoughts on this :-)

    • Steve Wyman says:

      Hi Ritsos,

      You have got to backlink. If you have an outstanding article or blog on a niche site with little compettion then you dont neccesarily need to.

      However if you want to rank into 5 (which is the min really) for any kewyord that are going to generate an adsense or amazon income you just have to create backlinks.

      Yes you can buy backlinks via many services also you can use tools such as SEnukeX these links are valuable and count toward popularity.

      You may be refering to a specific type of bought link that is different and they may not count.

      Blog commenting is the easiest and maybe the best way to build baklinks.

      That might work for you very well if you like writing

      regards

      • Ritsos says:

        I’m surprised though how many are top 10 with zero backlinks though .. but this is a bit of an experiment .. I’m going to really focus on quality and quantity and not backlink initially and see how it goes then I may do some backlinks but I hate doing them I must admit.

  31. James T. Smith says:

    I have to disagree with getting backlinks using the blog commenting method. Most CMS have a nofollow in the comment section.

    Another great way to get backlinks is to post to old forums like universities or governments.

  32. Steve Wyman says:

    Hi James

    I understand your observation but fail to agree for the following reasons.

    1/ Matt cutts and his team mislead us on everything to do with links. They claim lots of things that are untrue. “DOnt build links quickly if at all, gain links by writing great content” Yeah right so im gong to outrank you based on a great article about Jam puddings I think not.

    2/ We NEED link diversity to confuse the algo. So if you have 0 no follws sooner or later your going to get caught. You also need diverse anchor text. Not for today (it doesnot matter) but for the next panda event. So No follows have their place.

    3/ SEOmoz disagreses with your most comment so do i. I have many PR2+ PAGES where i can place a Comment link and its 100% do follow.

    4/ Comluv sistes are usually do follow. And you can google Dofollow Blogs there are millions.

    5/ Lastly I think i may have had to be clearer. My advice on builind Blog comment links was due to the reluctance and failure of the #OP to build anylinks! so even if 10-20% of his links are no follow progress would be being made.

    Laslty the other great thing about blog comments (such as this one) is it drives traffic/visitors to your site! 80% of traffic to one of my blogs comes from niche related blog commenting alone. So if the ‘#OP is a specalist in his are can write well (unlike myself) the blog commenting will really drive Traffic to his site. Its not always about th elink.

    regards

    6

  33. Aaron says:

    Ok so my site is up and I’ve got 5 unique articles posted, adsense is in place and everything. I have it submitted to google and other sites, sitemap is in place. How long does it take to accept my adsense application? I really hope they get it done over the weekend this sucks having a site live with no ads

  34. Spenser,

    Nice & clear breakdown of the different types of Niche markets.

    There are certainly more than one way to skin a cat and different people will do better with different methods.

  35. Seth says:

    I have a couple of questions. I know that you have mentioned you used Market Samurai (free) for keyword research. When you say local search are you switching this to US Only? I always wondered this as right now I have at all countries and continents.

    Ads related question. I remember you mentioning that you use WhyDoWork Adsense but how do you add the link unit just under the navigation as there really isn’t an option for this with that plugin.

    I suck at coding so that link unit and adding adsense on the side bar is super hard for me to figure out. It’d be nice to be able to set it and forget like the WhyDoWork plugin with the top of the post and bottom of the post parts.

    Hope you are someone else can chime in this has been awesome post.

  36. Yaz says:

    Spencer,

    In strategy #3, when you said less than 1,500 searches per month for a primary keyword, and 200 to 500 searches per month for the additional long tail keywords, do you mean global or local monthly searches?

  37. Dorothy says:

    What’s too many searches when doing the Google search on a keyword (as apposed to using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool search for competition)?

    Where do you find CPC also? (sorry, bit of a noob here!)

    Oh, and thanks for the great info here!

  38. aziz says:

    thank you spencer realy u give us value information by details
    i like ur blog .

    u have said:

    “Write 1 article targeting that keyword and make it a post or a page on the homepage of the site”

    please how we can make static article on the homepage
    in wordpress blog?

    thanks a lot.

  39. aziz says:

    thanks Spencer .

    please wath is the difference between:

    Broad
    Phrase
    Exact Match

    we must always choose “exact match” for any niche?

    ——————————————————————-
    wath can we do for avoid panda update?
    are sites niches will dead because panda?!
    or just adding more content , and after we can avoid it.

    thanks

  40. Neale says:

    Very cool post and comments. Option #3 I may have mis read it, what I got from it was buy a lowly term “domain” then build around it with medium terms. This is an interesting concept if you backlink “internally” the medium term pages to the lower term home page with a high ranking term.
    Think lower term x x x then back link with x x
    Just a thought

  41. Neil Pool says:

    Hey Spencer,

    Just recently I discovered your website and I’ve been reading posts ever since.

    I really like your breakdown of strategies, however, I’m sort of an Excel geek and been running the numbers of Type 1, 2 and 3. Unfortunately I keep coming to the conclusion that strategy 3 isn’t more profitable then strategy 1. Which in my opinion means doing more for less, and might be obsolete.

    Of course there might be some advantages I didn’t take in account, mainly the time it takes before the site starts making money. Still, in the long-term the small niche site should always be more profitable.

    Did you find empirical evidence for these findings or do you find that type three is more profitable than type 1?

    Or is it simply another way to earn via niche sites and not so much a question whether how much money one site makes based on the work put in?

    I’m reallly curious!

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