I am VERY excited to share with you some recent developments in my niche site business. At the end of September and early October, I decided to focus my attention on just 2 new niche sites.
As you can read about here, I wanted to focus on starting a little bit larger niche sites rather than my typical 5 page or less micro site. So, I did just that. I created 2 new niche sites each with about 20 pages of quality, original content.
By taking my time with these 2 niche sites, I felt like I would not only be able to produce better content, but I would also be able to give them the love and attention they needed in regards to link building as well. When I was creating dozens of small niche sites at a time earlier in the year, it was difficult to do anything besides automated link building. Having less sites to focus on, is giving me the time and ability to build better content and links.
New Niche Site Results!
I'm going to give you all the details on what I've done so far. But first, some results!
Both sites are just over 2 months old.
- One of them is now #3 in Google for its primary keyword and is making over $15 a day ($18.48 yesterday)! I expect this to grow…
- The second site is still climbing the ranks (around mid 30s right now); but I'm waiting until it cracks the top 10 to place any adsense ads on it. So, no earnings yet.
Why This is Exciting
I'm particularly happy with the results of my new niche site, because it was created entirely post Panda, Penguin, EMD, and every other Google penalty. This means what I'm doing works right now. Period. (I never had any doubt because lots of my older niche sites are still do well). However, having a new site always validates the process.
There is NO REASON why you can't create a new niche site today and rank it well in Google!
The process for finding a great keyword and building the niche site is essentially the same as I've always done. I found a keyword that had low competition in Google based on of the criteria I outlined here.
Essentially I looked for top 10 Google results that were less authoritative (low page authority) and weren't targeting the keyword as well as they could have. The keyword I found had these stats (for my ranking site):
- Around 7k exact match searches
- Around $.90 average CPC
- Average Keyword Competitiveness below 30.
For the site that is not doing as well, it has over 10k search volume, and over $1 CPC, but the average keyword competitiveness is about 38. So perhaps I picked a keyword that's too difficult? The first site is certainly easier, as evidenced by the results.
Once I had the primary keyword found, I created some great content. For the site ranking #3, I wrote an exceptional primary post (if I say so myself) that is over 2,000 words long and VERY helpful for those searching in this niche. The other posts were mostly outsourced and 500 words long or so (edited by me though).
The site that is not doing as well, also has a great primary post over 1,000 words long.
The site ranking well is NOT an exact match domain. Actually its just a related phrase, not even a strong phrase match.
The other site IS an exact match domain (I honestly don't think this has anything to do with it not ranking though).
I took 2 different paths for link building with each site for testing purposes.
- For my new site performing well – I am experimenting with high PR links from expired domains. I also have a few links from Web 2.0/articles. Overall, I have less than 20 linking root domains pointing to my site. About 8 or so are from my own expired domains – each with original content. The other links are basic web 2.0 links, etc.
- For my non-performing site (so far), I decided to outsource the linking completely. I really wanted to be able to recommend this service to everyone, but after having communication and other problems with their service, I won't be revealing it. This service turned out to be a bit more spammy than I expected as well. They have linked from thousands of locations to my site, most of which are low quality. If I knew how automated the link building was going to be, I would have avoided it. So as a result, I may have more damage done than I can undo.
As a result of this experiment, I've at least learned one place I don't want to outsource my links. And I've learned that I need to be more careful when hiring someone to link build. LESS LINKS is usually better! You want quality, not quantity.
So, if you absolutely must hire someone to link build – go for the person/package that is offering less links. Its probably a better deal.
The other lesson, I'm learning is that reclaimed domains with original content work for link building. Honestly, I don't know if I even needed them because I found a great low competition keyword, but they are certainly not hurting me.
Traffic and Earnings Growth Potential
The best part about my new new site ranking #3, that this could just be the beginning! I expect much more traffic at #1. Take a look at this traffic growth from when the site was created until yesterday (Dec. 17th, 2012):
I fully expect this traffic volume to grow as I'm starting to get traffic from other search engines besides Google AND once I hit #1 (which I will), traffic will go up even more.
My favorite part about this analytics screenshot? The average duration on the site is over 2 minutes! This tells me that people are loving the site! They are taking their time to find the answer they want and viewing multiple pages. This would not happen on a low quality site. So, quality content is essential. Also, take a look at the returning visitor percentage of over 25%…many people are coming back for more.
Yes, its only been less than a week since I started getting decent traffic to the site. But its translating into nice earnings. I earned over $18 yesterday from this one site and only expect that to grow. In fact, I know I could optimize my ad placement to increase the click through rate even more to increase my earnings. With current traffic levels, this could potentially be a $25+ a day site.
So, I could just stop here with this site. It has great content for its primary keyword and people and Google clearly love it. However, my plans for this site are MUCH bigger!
This is in a great niche, and I can expand this site quite a bit. So, now that its ranking and earning money, my plan is to add another 30 or 40 articles over the next month or 2. Each additional article will target a different, but related low competition keyword.
By growing the content base of the site, I hope to attract many more searchers from Google for various long tail phrases.
So, I'm still busy at work building niche sites. I'm building less, but trying to give each more attention. I won't know until a month has gone by, but it looks like my new niche site will be a $500 per month + site! I have a few of these, so it will be nice to add another one to the ranks.
Of course there are always more details that can be discussed, so ask away below. I've tried to share the overall process and results of what's happening with a couple of my new niche sites. I plan on starting 2 more new niche sites in the next couple of weeks as well. I think one or two new niche sites a month is the max that I expect to produce over the next 12 months – it may even be less. However, at the end of 2013, I hope to have half a dozen or so larger sites each earning well and bringing is lots of long tail traffic from Google.