This is a guest post from Arbel Arif. Arbel does several things in the online business space; including buying and selling domains, and building profitable niche sites. In particular, I found it interesting that he has been able to build a decent income from a network of sites surrounding Halloween. I’ve never tried to target a seasonal niche like this, but this article certainly makes me think of the possibilities! Now, here is Arbel’s guest post:
Is it true that you can earn a substantial income building niche sites? The topic is highly debated in today’s Internet world. Has search ranking changed too much? Have viewer interests caused this method of affiliate marketing to lose its spark?
Actually, it can still be done and more successfully than in years’ past, when you know what you’re doing. I believe that you can make a solid living with niche sites because I have done it. Here’s my story and some tips on how to do it for yourself.
It All Begins with an Idea
For some time now, I had been looking for a way to earn a passive income from affiliate marketing. I tried domain parking and honestly, it was a flop. But I did not let that lack of success hinder my efforts. I knew there was a method out there for me and I just needed to find what it was.
I ended up building a five figure per year business in the seasonal Halloween niche by seeing a need and filling that gap. I started my niche business in Halloween costumes. It’s something millions of people need every year and that is very popular. I began with one niche costume site, then another and then a whole network of sites that I could connect to one another.
I decided that Halloween 2011 would be a great test for me. Some examples of the sites I built were:
HalloweenMall.com was the result of this Halloween niche business. I was able to build this five figure business from a simple idea about a costume website. This is a project that began with a simple idea and evolved into something much larger and more useful.
My first pilot site was for Avatar costumes, building on the popularity of the movie that had recently released. It saw profits so I moved on to a new site centered about Tron and costumes for Tron. This one was very successful and I continued to build around that original pilot.
I linked all of the sites that I built to BuyCostumes.com and I also created a Halloween eBook for HalloweenMall.com. This high quality, professionally written book would provide tips and advice for Halloween, costumes, parties and even games and fun. It wasn’t a sales pitch for my costume sites but instead was solid, quality information that people want to read and share with their friends.
When the book is read and shared, it serves as a marketing piece for HalloweenMall.com and my entire network of costume sites. By my second year with this niche business, I had earned over $12,000 and I am projected to earn more this year.
Growing and Expanding in your Niche
One thing to keep in mind about your niche business is that there are always opportunities to grow. You need to be on the lookout for how you can expand. One of the best ways to expand is to create other sites in your network, such as support sites, that you can interlink all together.
Examples for my network support sites are:
Here are some tips you can follow for growing and expanding your niche:
- If the topic is for US users, try to find a really good US writer (I found mine in Odesk.com)
- Build your Halloween sites on exact match domains (if available).
- In the drops (expired domains), you can get a lot of exact match domains.
- BuyCostumes.com is the best converting affiliate (in my experience) but HalloweenCostumes.com has also a good affiliate program.
- Get in touch with the affiliate manager and try to raise the commission percentage (it will not be easy if your sales are low).
- Halloween is a great niche because the people are buying & they have a deadline, so you will see a lot of implosive buyers in October.
- Like niche sites, try to build one site for one costume, this way you will get targeted users from the search engines.
Building Your Own Similar Business
When building your own similar business, there are some points to know.
- True success doesn’t usually happen overnight
- It can take months and then years to build your niche networks
- It all begins with a great idea that’s not already overdone
- You need to find a unique way to present your idea
Remember that I started with individual costume sites based on popular movies, topics and other searchable keyword phrases, but then I created HalloweenMall.com because it was great for branding and it tied all of the individual sites together.
Key Points to Remember
There are some things to remember when building a business around niche sites:
- There is no guarantee to success
- You most often get what you put in
- They are considered volatile assets
With these points in mind, remember that it is possible to earn residual income (even five figures) from niche sites and niche networks.
As you can see, it is possible to build a business around niche sites. I recommend starting with one that you can really put all of your efforts and energies into and once you have reached a point of generating profits with that one, you can move on to a new site or add several sites to connect with a network of sites, the way I did with HalloweenMall.com.
This is a process and it’s really all about taking something that you are passionate about and want to see succeed and then building on it a little at a time. It’s not about get-rich-quick schemes but instead, it’s about forming the foundation to something that can generate you a residual income for a long period of time.
Will you make enough to retire? Maybe not at first, but it’s certainly possible. There are times where you hit a home run and when you find that winning tactic, it’s important to ride it out for as long as you can. Niche sites are still very popular but the methods are changing and evolving every day so you have to be willing to keep up to date with Internet trends to see the full potential of your success.
Good luck with your own niche ventures. Here is wishing you much success!
My name is Arbel Arif. I am making a full time living from home. All of my current income is coming from the Internet. In Traffic.me, I want to share with you my story of how I am making a full time living from home.