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Podcast 11: Building High Quality Niche Sites

Podcast 11: Building High Quality Niche Sites

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After a break of about 4 months, I’ve finally done another podcast!  The podcast recording is just me…no guest this time.  I felt it was important to say a lot of things that are hard to say in a blog post.  I can talk for a half hour and make my points much better than I could if I tried to blog about it.

Also, the picture to the left is me on a hammock in Kauai from my vacation last month.  Wish I was back there!

Here are some of the notes from the show that I covered:

  1. Google has made a lot of changes, I want to provide my thoughts.
  2. If you have been reading my blog, you know I have changed my focus slightly.  Quality over quantity.
  3. Difficult to provide advice to everyone: A VERY diverse group of blog readers.With so many backgrounds, hard to provide one answer for everyone.  The question being: Should you build niche sites that get traffic from Google?

    1. Affiliate marketers
    2. Authority blog owners
    3. Small business owners of brick and mortar business
    4. Stay at home moms and dads
    5. Single mothers in Africa
    6. English and non-english speaking
    7. Poor, well to do, middle income
    8. Corporate employees of fortune 500 companies
    9. Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and levels
    10. Possibly CEOs of large companies
  4. Build your site to get as much Google Traffic as possible, but build your business like search engines could disappear tomorrow.
  5. For traditional business owners, this is easy to understand – they look at marketing in a full spectrum of opportunities.  Google is one source of getting traffic to their business.  Other sources include:

                                                               i.      Paid online ads

                                                             ii.      Other online traffic generation (outside of search engines)

                                                            iii.      Word of mouth

                                                           iv.      Referrals

                                                             v.      Sales force

                                                           vi.      Magazines, newspapers, other offline advertising

                                                          vii.      TV, radio, and more

As online entrepreneurs, sometimes we have a harder time realizing that Google traffic is just 1 source of traffic.  There are lots of places we could be getting ONLINE traffic to our sites:

                                                               i.      Repeat visitors

                                                             ii.      Email marketing

                                                            iii.      Paid ads

                                                           iv.      Pinterest

                                                             v.      Facebook

                                                           vi.      Twitter

                                                          vii.      Networking with other site owners

                                                        viii.      Article marketing

                                                           ix.      Forum marketing

                                                             x.      Blog commenting and more

With all the changes, what type of site should you build?  A small 5 page niche site, a larger niche site or authority site?Search engines are going to be around for a long time, and they are rewarding high quality sites more than ever.  So remember this: Build your site to get as much Google Traffic as possible, but build your business like search engines could disappear tomorrow.

  1. Talk about 5 page mini sites
  2. Talk about Large niche sites (Pat Flynn’s security guard training)
  3. Talk about Large blog (aka authority site)

Why do we build things for search engines still?  Because its free!  With just a little extra thought and effort, you can take a project you were already working on and make it work well in Google

Lets talk about my business specifically.

  • I have lots of small niche sites that get all their traffic from Google.
  • But now I’ve built the winners into bigger sites; and they are still ranking.
  • Where it makes sense, I am now building an email list for those niche sites.  For example one of my niche sites has a list of over 2000 people and I sell an ebook.  If Google disappeared tomorrow, I’d still have this large email list full of leads.
  • I will continue to build niche sites that get traffic from Google.
  • I’ve also created other products.
  • So, my income overall is less reliant on Google; however, I still do EVERYTHING I can to get as much Google traffic as possible – you should too.

Overall, I can’t tell you what type of business to run – and so many of you are in so many diverse situations.

End of show notes.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this podcast!  Let me know what you think…

Click Play Below to Listen to the Podcast!

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22 Comments for this Post

  1. Alex B. (@DreamJobGuy)

    Alex B. (@DreamJobGuy)

    Great podcast episode, Spencer!

    Glad you see you getting back in the swing of producing new episodes!

    All the best,
    -Alex

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks Alex! Its good to be “back in the saddle!”

  2. Syed

    Syed

    Hey Spencer, really good podcast got a lot of questions answered there. I was just going to ask you a question, since authority sites are the way to go it’s going to require much more content. How much do you really pay for content for the authority websites or how much should we spend on content?

    Thanks!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      If you can write quality articles yourself, that’s best. You can get decent articles around $10/article. But even these I have to edit and make them sound good sometimes :) It all depends on the authors you are able to find on Elance, Odesk, Textbroker, or other places.

  3. Jon @ Authority Site Income

    Jon @ Authority Site Income

    Spencer

    Glad to see a NichePursuits podcast pop up on my phone tonight. I enjoy listening to your outlook on the changes!

    Have you had any thoughts of what to do with your websites that got hit with EMD or Panda 20 update?

    One thing I recently tested and initial results seem positive was to take 3 related EMD sites with thin but quality content and consolidate them into 1 other related site that hadn’t been hit with a google update.

    I moved the posts and did a 301 redirect from the old URL to the article on the larger site.

    3 days after I made the changes the traffic of the larger site #1 is greater than the sum of the sites 1,2,3,4 before the penalties. It will be interesting to see what happens over time but so far so good. If any of the domains had spammy links to them this would be very dangerous as it could pass on a penguin slap to the unaffected site.

    Good luck with your larger sites!

    • James

      James

      Very interesting idea Jon. I am surprised Google just didn’t hit your new site as well. Hopefully it doesn’t in the future.

      I would be scared and wait for all the old websites to de-index first and then make a new website with the content.

      What I’ve been doing is taking the articles off those websites and waiting for the article to get de-indexed and then putting the article on infobarrel.com. Should be an interested experiment to see what happens.

      • Phil

        Phil

        James, How long after you take the old sites down, does it usually take for Google to de-index the posts/pages?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Interesting indeed.

  4. James

    James

    Another great post Spencer! Thanks for bringing back the podcasts. Great way to get quality information if you don’t have time to read blog posts or aren’t interested in reading at the time. Thanks for sharing the useful information about building high quality authority websites.

  5. Scott Walker

    Scott Walker

    Quick question Spencer.

    I have a website that I’ve been building for over 3 years. I have recently started adding new content on a more regular basis. I guess you could call this my Authority site. It’s my BABY :-)

    My questions is…my plan is to create a 700 word post minimum and post it on my main blog. Then wait a few days and post the article on Ezinearticles for traffic and a backlink. I figure why not get the most out of my efforts.

    What’s your thoughts on that?

    Also…I have been hearing a lot about hiring people on Fiverr to create a link wheel for higher quality backlinks pointing to your main site.

    I’m a little unsure if I should go this route…but I want to get more backlinks to the post after it’s published, but not get penalized by Google.

    What’s your thoughts on UAW for backlinks?

    What’s your thoughts on Social ADR?

    Sorry…I guess this wasn’t that quick :-)

    Thanks!

    Scott

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      No, I wouldn’t post duplicate content to Ezinearticles. You want to ensure that the content on your primary site is seen as the original. As odd as it sounds, its possible that ezinearticle might outrank you for your own article – that wouldn’t be good.
      I’ve never had much luck with Fiverr.
      Automated tools in general probably shouldn’t be used to point links to your own site (like UAW and Social ADR). These tools could be used to build links to your link wheels (web 2.0 articles, etc), but not your money sites. At least that’s my opinion.

  6. Bobby Thomas

    Bobby Thomas

    Hey Spencer

    Building authority site’s has always been more of an interest to me than building small niche sites, so there is not much change for me there.

    What has changed is how I build links, no longer will bookmarks, comments etc do for me, now I am looking to mainly build in contextual links, using expired domains.

    I have been using Bradleys Domain Spoon to find the domains and can usually find 15-20 domains that are good enough for me a day, so I can still build links as quickly as I did before, which is good news for me.

    Thanks for sharing good info Spencer.

    Regards

    Bobby

  7. Justin Cooke

    Justin Cooke

    Great points, Spencer.

    I’m glad you addressed the varying income levels, skill levels, etc. in your audience. What works for you may or may not work for others in widely-varying situations.

    I also like that you’re not jumping onboard the “Niche Site Are Dead” bandwagon. They may need to change…but there’s always a need and a value for niche sites.

    These changes, even when they’re forced on us, can often bring about innovation and improvements that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. We’re excited (and a little nervous) about the future, too!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Google is going to be around for a long time. For those that give up, its just less competition for you and I :)

    • Jon Hanson

      Jon Hanson

      Hey @adsenseflipeprs

      What ya going to do with your existing sites and when do you plan to publish what your doing now and going forward?

      I recall ya saying you had 60% hit (which is better than most). You lot must have formulated a plan by now? we got to hope ya will still be open and share info and not keep it to yourself.

      we get you dont want to tell all like when you stopped backlinking but this time folks out here in the wilds sould really do with some help. like updating the guide..

  8. Daryl Mander

    Daryl Mander

    Hi Spencer,

    It will be interesting to hear more about your evolved site strategy and how you’re building and marketing your sites going forward. I’m taking a similar route myself, still continuing on with micro niche sites in the background at a much slower rate than before, and simultaneously working on a larger / more authority style site. It’s scary to be playing with new site models when I hadn’t yet fully mastered the micro niche site model, however I think you have to adapt with the changing times or risk being left behind.

    Regards,

    Daryl

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Sounds like a good plan; I’ll definitely keep everyone posted!

  9. Ignazio

    Ignazio

    Hello Spencer how are you?

    I have been reading your blog and listening to your podcast for the last couple of months. I arrived here after listening to a podcast on the AdSense flippers site where you discussed some ideas with Justin and Joe (Great guys BTW). I want to thank you for all the valuable information that you have made available for all of us looking to start our own business, this site has being a great source of inspiration and a 5 stars guide to start my own business on-line.

    After reading and researching a lot here and there I finally created my first few niche sites, but yesterday while I was doing some keyword research, I got lucky and I was able to buy an exact key word domain with more than 100 million global monthly searches. This type of domain is totally new for me, I never dreamed about having such a high traffic domain.

    But I really don’t know what to do with it, I have to many questions. Should I build an authority site like the one you are building? How many articles should I put on it, what type of content should I create?
    I am positive this domain is definitely destined for something larger than an AdSense wordpress niche site.

    Since I am a total newbie on the internet marketing business I was wondering if you could give me some basic pointers on what type of site should I create.

    If anyone else has any pointers that could help a newbie, here is a brief:
    The domain is technology related, low CPC, 100 million global, 40 million in the USA alone. (Just in case: The domain is not for sale)

    Thanks in advance,
    Ignazio

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Having a high traffic exact match domain is great, but its such a tiny fraction of the whole game. If you are interested in the topic and think it has potential then by all means start an authority site. But you also have to realize that a technology term usually attracts more saavy readers that don’t click on ads. Often its a lower paying niche as well. So, it very possible that you would need HUGE amounts of traffic to make very much money. Its something you need to consider.

  10. AM

    AM

    Is it better nowadays to build big authority sites covering many topics or small niche websites ? thanks in advance, I am a newbie and a big fan of your website

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      It all depends. But an authority site is probably the best long term strategy.

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