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Niche Site Project 3.0: Coaching Call #2 with Perrin & Colleen

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Niche Site Project 3.0: Coaching Call #2 with Perrin & Colleen

Heads up…Perrin is the author here…

Welcome back!

First, I want to say thank you for all of your awesome comments, feedback, and questions in the Niche Site Project 3.0 Facebook group! I’ve been having a blast jumping in and chatting with you guys. We’ve already had some amazing discussions, and I’ve certainly learned a few things myself.

Even cooler, though, was the thing we were really hoping would happen: the NSP Facebook community is really banding together to help each other. It’s tough to express how cool this is to me. This is one of the few places where we can simply link to a page, and an awesomely vibrant sub-community of smart people springs up and starts working together. Maybe after we build some sites, we should try saving the world, eh?

If you remember from last week…

Colleen and I kicked of our project with data-driven market research. The basic idea was to find some markets that met a few basic criteria:

  • Had lots of products to promote (either physical or digital, but looking toward Amazon, since it’s what I—ol’ Perrin—know best)
  • Had lots of low-authority blogs (blogs with a low DA) that were earning high traffic
  • Would be fun for Collen to write and learn about

Colleen stepped back and a took a huge swing at it. And…

It was a total whiff!

…and this is not a bad thing. Remember my first attempt at finding keywords? I completely failed. So on a scale of zero to Internet marketing master, Colleen pulled a Perrin.

Here were some of Colleen’s misses (markets I considered a poor choice for this project):

  • Corporate living
  • Life hacks
  • Tall people stuff
  • “Mrs. Fixit”

These are all cool ideas. And they’re all real problems—and every problem should have a blog. And some of these could be super successful, I think; for example, I think a corporate living blog could pretty easily some high-end solutions.

But, I just don’t know how to do that stuff. That’s a problem. I’m the coach, and while these markets could be stellar in the right hands, I want to have Colleen to have the highest chances of success possible, which means sticking to things in my wheelhouse: AdSense + Amazon Associates.

My gut tells me the above ideas won’t work too well for an AdSense- and Amazon-focused site.

First, a couple of these are just too narrow (I think, anyway… we didn’t do detailed research on these); a blog on tall people might struggle to come up with enough content, even though it could be fun. Corporate living might be similarly limited.

Most of these blogs also don’t have many products to promote. For example, life hacks is a really cool niche, and it’d be super fun to have a blog in that market, but there’s no life hack products—not specifically. Sure, you might be able to point people to amazon for random knick-knacks when you’re teaching them how to use baking soda to clean their shower drain, but in general, there’s not a core of stuff you can buy. In fact, most life hacks are created to keep people from having to buy stuff.

The one I like most on this list is “Mrs. Fixit”: Colleens idea for a home improvement blog that tackles things from a woman’s point of view. I love this idea, and I think there’d be tons of stuff to write about, but, again, I don’t think there are many products out there aside from basic tools.

So really, it’s not even that these are total failures (they’re not), it’s more that they’re not optimal.

So we pivoted.

Instead of focusing only on cool ideas, we decided to look for cool ideas that were also in (1) big markets with (2) lots of physical products. We decided to give ourselves bonus points if the products were over, say, $25 on average (higher commissions)—but the main focus was still in finding a good market.

And with that, I sent Colleen off into the market-research abyss…

…and she came back with a few dents in her armor, triumphant, having slayed a few dragons.

Not really. But she did find some strong contenders.

Colleen’s second round of research produced what I think were some very good results. She found roughly seven different markets in which I think we could build strong digital assets. For each market idea, she found 5 model blogs to help us get a good bird’s eye view of what was happening with the blogs at our level.

Here’s an example of the type of data Colleen compiled:

Market research 1

Honestly, I think they were all great choices (and no: you can’t see them… yet). They’re all good markets with lots of products. And with this many great choices, we had to somehow narrow it down.

We ended up cutting about half the markets we had. There were a lot of reasons (we had a pretty lengthy look-see and discussion about these before giving them the axe), but here were the main ones:

  • Some of the markets were seasonal. Seasonable blogs can actually really be really great; it’s fun to rake in tons of money over the course of three or four months and focus on other stuff during the year, but… it wouldn’t be the most exciting for this specific case study. I’m sure you guys (and Colleen) want to see more money sooner and more consistently.
  • In some markets, it was tough to find low-DA blogs with high traffic. If you’re doing research, and you really want to get into a market like this, don’t freak out: it doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in a market. It usually just means you’ll have to do a little more marketing before you’ll see substantial traffic and revenue.
  • Some low-DA blogs had tons of pages. This isn’t something we’d talked about in our first call, but it’s important. If you find a low-DA blog that has excellent traffic but also has 36,000 indexed pages, it might be a red flag. Sure, they’re ranking for stuff, but it’s difficult to tell how much of their long-tail traffic is coming from their ridiculous library of content. Again, not a death sentence, but not
  • Some just didn’t seem fun to ol’ Colleen. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: it’s so much more fun to run a blog you enjoy. Sure—maybe “best air dehumidifier for asthma” looks like a great keyword. Maybe you could make a bit of money. But hot Christmas… I can’t imagine anything more boring to write about. If you’re going to be working on something for 5 years, at least shoot for something you think is even a tiny bit cool.

In the end, we narrowed it down to 3-4 final markets (and Colleen surprised me on the call by telling me she’d pretty much already chosen one). Now we just have to pick one…

What’s the next step?

We’re not going to do too much more in the way of market research. We want to move quickly. But we are going to do what Spencer calls “keyword sampling.”

Colleen’s going to take a look at keywords in each of the final markets to gauge out easy or tough they are. She’s going to use both Long tail Pro and SEM Rush. We’re also going to some additional market research to really hunker down and find a winner.

Here’s what we want to see in our final market:

  • Easy, easy, easy product keywords (low KC score in Long Tail Pro)
  • Lots of wonderful informational stuff we can write about that low-DA blogs are already ranking for
  • Easy to find 10+ low-DA blogs (we’re not just gong to stop at the 5 we found; we want LOTS of competitors to work with)

And how will we do THAT?…

You’ll just have to watch the video! Or if you would rather just listen to the audio, you can listen in right here.

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24 Comments for this Post

  1. Bryan

    Bryan

    This is excellent. Not to get off topic, but I just read the “6 successful Website Examples Showing That Long Tail Keywords Still Matter”. I had a question… In Perrin’s example there, his website was able to reach hundreds of daily visitors within days. Is that because it was an aged domain? Or did he launch his website with loads of content all at once targeting different keywords? How do these factors contribute to a successful website launch?

    To get back on topic, it was really helpful to see why and how the first selected markets were not helpful. I’m trying to get a new niche site off the ground in a market that has tons of products in a lot of big markets so this was helpful. Great stuff, easy to follow, and very helpful.

    Bryan-

    • Chuck

      Chuck

      Hello,good day!
      I was researching about Niche Sites & found this resource.
      Very detailed & valuable information you got here!
      I already have a site monetized with Amazon,showcasing the products.
      Since October 2015 I redesigned the site with a new theme & formats.
      I’ve had between 20-30 daily visitors & about half of that in clicks.
      So far,I’ve only sold 3 products,earned $5 USD in commissions & the traffic is nowhere to be seen.
      I’d really appreciate if you could help me improve this current situation.
      Hopefully your knowledge & expertise on the subject allow me to bring my site to its real potential.
      Thanks in advance,look forward to hear from you a.s.a.p.

  2. David

    David

    Hey guys, loved the call. Tons of great stuff in there – I’m literally taking notes! Question – you know how you found some interesting keywords in SEM Rush eg. “deer poop”, “deer skeleton”, and whatnot…Ok, say you look at the page and realize, as you did, that those articles are puny and easy to beat. Then you manage to tap into that traffic. I’m wondering – are you thinking about how many of those people are going to ultimately convert to buying anything later? Its great you can rank #1 for hunting jokes, and its great that brings in traffic, but if your conversion rate over to Amazon (which I guess doesn’t apply for this niche anyway) is like 0.01%, what’s the motivation to get that specific demographic of wise-cracking deer hunters again? 😀 I know just getting *any* traffic is good in general, but I was just thinking about the conversion part of it when it comes to non-buyer keywords here… Thanks!

    • Pim

      Pim

      Hi David,

      The mindset is that not every page on your site is a ‘money page’. So do not place aff links on every page in the hope that people will buy.

      Because of these information / content pages you will get to an autority position in Google.

      Do you know what a ‘customer journey’ is? People are constantly searching for information untill they can justify their purchase. You have to be there in every step in the customer journey. So you have to answer questions and post all kinds of content people are looking for. Then people will trust your site and hopefully go to your money page(s).

      So get in the mind of your audience. What information do they need to justify their product / service purchase.

      Good luck.

      Pim

      • Perrin

        Perrin

        Great response, Pim. Thanks!

        Also, these articles can make money with AdSense & email funnels. 🙂

      • David

        David

        Hey Pim,
        Yeah, makes perfect sense. I’ve been neglect the info article side of things, as Perrin mentioned in the call. D’oh! Better get on that…

  3. Michael Lofton

    Michael Lofton

    Great data for research indeed… appreciations for keeping up on these wonderful posts regarding each participant’s process in the 3.0 Project.
    Thx!

  4. Mark

    Mark

    So Colleen said she lived in Kansas City, as do I. Unfortunately, Missouri residents are not eligible to participate in the Amazon affiliate program. It totally sucks. Hope you can find a way around it, but I don’t know of any way to do it.

    • Colleen

      Colleen

      Hi Mark, I ran into this issue too. I used my parents’ address in Iowa to get around it.

      • Mark

        Mark

        Hey Colleen, the only problem with that is that you will have to file and pay state taxes in Iowa, and you will be supplying the IRS with a false address. I’m pretty sure, however, that there are plenty of people already doing this. Hope it works out for you.

  5. Tom

    Tom

    Hi,

    where is the DA figures? off long tail pro? or sem rush

  6. Bryan

    Bryan

    You can get Domain Authority (DA) from Long Tail Pro as well as MOZ bar.

    Bryan-

  7. Another Mike

    Another Mike

    Great post!
    About 8:30 ish minutes into the call, Colleen mentions some site she found useful to gain ideas… I can’t quite hear what that site was,… can you clarify please?

    • Colleen

      Colleen

      Alltop.com!

  8. femke

    femke

    Noooo, I hate watching vids or listening to audio!!!! I hope you have a writen summary in your next coaching post as you have in this one. Going over to Jake and Ryan…

  9. Enda

    Enda

    A very interesting and educational call. The key points for me were that knowing and liking your market and researching it really helps find great seed keywords, and from there you can find the long tail. I haven’t looked at search volume for a long time as it is not that important. Thanks folks.

  10. Paul

    Paul

    Just a tip Perrin – you sound very agressive on this podcast, you used to sound much nicer which I prefer 🙂

  11. Martinos

    Martinos

    Good work Team PerCol! Another really interesting call with heaps of useful information. Love the idea of splitting your keyword research into 2 categories and using different methods for each. Semrush looks like an amazing piece of kit to use as well, just don’t think I can splash out on the license fee at the mo.

    Keep up the good work guys!

    Martin

  12. Tony

    Tony

    Hi Perrin,

    Love your more mathematical approach from the get go to decide on a niche market.
    I know you mentioned educational related niche is difficult to crack even though it looks good on paper.

    What other niche markets do you think we should avoid? Maybe Technology related?

  13. Eddie

    Eddie

    Hey Perinn,

    I hope you wouldn’t mind me asking, but why blurring and not talking about niches that you Colleen isn’t going to pursue anyway?

    I mean, totally understood that you may not reveal yet the chosen niche, but I honestly think that revealing other niches that Colleen isn’t going to pursue, would be tremendously beneficial as real world examples of niches. I am not even talking about the ‘Chosen 3’, I am talking about niches from the top 10 that you guys are for sure not going to pursue.

    Thanks

  14. Patricia

    Patricia

    Hey guys where can I find the coaching call number 1??? thanks!!! Looked all around and could not find it!!! Thanks!!!

  15. Justin

    Justin

    First of all, thanks to you, your team and the students for NSP 3.0! I’m following along and learning a lot.

    I’ve been digging in by researching my own 50 niche ideas with MozBar and SEMrush. But it’s been extremely hard to find sites with 20 DA, 20K traffic and 10K positions. And so I’ve got a big question…

    -> Do my model sites need to match all 3 of those requirements in order to be added to the spreadsheet – or do they just need to match 1?

    Because I’ve been trying to match all 3, and it’s causing me to throw my entire 50, big-market ideas in the trash (even with cutting corners)!

    So maybe I’m sticking too close to the rules here.

    Heck, I can’t even get 5 model “hunting” sites to match all 3! I’m not into hunting, but it looks like that example niche is either too oversaturated, or I’m just being too hard on it. :/

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