Today I am happy to share a guest post from Tom Ewer, the owner of Leaving Work Behind, about some of the struggles associated with building niche sites. I often post some of the successes that I have had with niche sites, but I also try to be very realistic about both the risks and other downside possibilities in this business. I think Tom does a great job of explaining some of these risks and the inevitable bumps in the road that will certainly come. Overall, I completely agree that consistent effort and action are required in this and any business. Here is the post from Tom:
We all know why we’re here– to learn how to build profitable niche sites. We want to know about Spencer’s tried and tested techniques, so that we can emulate them for our own benefit. And fortunately, Spencer is generous enough to share the secrets of his success with us.
So why is it that not everyone who reads this wonderful blog goes on to become a successful niche site master? The explanation is in fact very simple (and very obvious) – action is not passive.
Reading Alone Achieves Nothing
Reading about the success of others is a double-edged sword. Learning effective techniques is one thing, but executing them on a consistent basis is another. A lot of people seem to think that success will somehow come about through some as yet unknown form of osmosis. As if reading of Spencer’s triumphs will of its own accord lead you to niche site success.
But that is simply not the case. What a lot of people do not appreciate, when they read Niche Pursuits, is the sheer number of times that Spencer failed in order to get to where he is now. And it’s not like he makes an effort to hide this (quite the opposite).
Here’s the problem with many people’s perception of success. They see the event (a six figure income from niche sites), but they do not consider the process (years of trial and error).
The Two Fundamentals of Niche Site Success
When it comes to niche sites, you cannot piggyback on the success of others. There are no shortcuts. You need to do just two things:
- Understand, in principle, how it is possible
- Apply yourself consistently, over time
If you miss either one of those steps out, you will fail. And it is the second step that is missing from your typical niche site builder’s efforts.
They read up on effective keyword research and SEO. They set up the site, write a couple of articles, build a few links, then stop and wait. And for some bizarre reason, success does not come knocking.
Be Ready & Willing to Take Risks
I had someone email me the other day asking whether it was really worth trying to make money from niche sites because “I am afraid that I’ll put all the effort in and not get anything back”. I couldn’t imagine having a worse attitude. If you’re not prepared to risk your time in order to see whether or not you can be successful, you’re going nowhere fast. No one has a guarantee for you. Either take risks, or stick with your day job.
As I said earlier, Spencer made an awful lot of mistakes to get to where he is now, and he won’t mind me saying that. Imagine if he had taken the attitude of the chap who emailed me. He certainly wouldn’t be where he is now – far from it.
My first niche site was an unmitigated disaster.
After three months, I was #1 in Google for several medium-competition keywords. My income was a modest (but steadily growing) $4 – $5 a day. I was beginning to target additional related keywords, and SERP positions were looking pretty rosy.
Then I got hit by Google. My rankings, traffic, and income all disappeared overnight. Ouch.
At that point, I had two options – I could give up, or move onwards and upwards. I chose option two, and immediately set up a new authority site. And now, I am just starting to repurpose the content of my original niche site onto a new domain.
What you might consider most unusual is that I do not regret my foolish actions (i.e. overenthusiastic backlinking) that led to Google’s wrath being enacted upon my niche site. Why? Because I learnt a huge lesson from the whole experience that won’t be forgotten soon.
Application & Consistency
So please, make sure that you are applying yourself. Never fool yourself into thinking that you have done enough. You wil have done enough when you get to where you want to be in life. Until that time, you need to apply yourself – constantly and consistently.
Tom Ewer is the owner of Leaving Work Behind, a site for anyone who is interested in online business or quitting their job. He recently released a comprehensive free guide on keyword research. Get in touch with Tom at his Facebook page.