Brainstorming Niche Ideas and Overall Strategy for Website Building: Coaching Call 1 for Niche Site Project 3
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I'm excited to finally share coaching call #1 for Niche Site Project 3! Perrin, Jake, and I individually did calls with our students and those calls are shared below.
Going into this project as coaches; we decided not to try and implement some master plan together. In other words, each of us our coaching freely…without consulting each other. So, what you may find in these coaching calls are 3 slightly different approaches to building a niche site.
I think that is the best from a learning standpoint anyway! Instead of just learning my style of coaching and building niche sites; you'll get to see how 2 others do it as well.
If you are building a niche site along with this project, we'd love to hear about it in the comments or in the new Niche Site Project 3 Facebook Group.
So, let's jump right into the coaching calls!
Spencer and Samara: Coaching Call 1
You can either watch the video of the call below or listen to the audio only here.
Our first call was fairly brief and just provided a basic overview of the project. Here's a few of the things we covered in the call:
- Why it's so vitally important to pick the right niche from the start
- Set a goal of $500/mth with the niche site
- Discussed how to brainstorm niche ideas. (Both my posts from 2011 and 2013 are still spot on here).
- Discussed the fact that “niche” does not mean small. We expect to build a large site over time. Niche simply means focused on one particular market or theme.
- Discussed why we are focusing on finding an interest or market before ever looking at keywords.
- 2 Important factors for picking a niche/market: 1. At least some interest in the topic is helpful (but not necessarily required) and 2. Making sure there is “money” is the niche is important. We'll go into much greater detail on this in future calls.
- Wrote down a few broad niche ideas based on Samara's interests/hobbies.
- Discussed keyword research briefly and why there is no minimum search volume set when looking for niche ideas.
- Assignment to come up with 20 or so potential niche ideas that we can look into further on the next call.
- Additional assignment to look at some of initial videos of Long Tail University and start basic keyword research with Long Tail Platinum on markets discovered through brainstorming.
Overall, I think the call went well. I'm super impressed with Samara, and I know she is going to do extremely well. You've all picked a great student for me!
Jake and Ryan: Coaching Call 1
You can either watch the video of the call below or listen to the audio only here.
Here's is Jake's write-up of the first coaching call…
As you can hear, Ryan and I had a lot of fun on our first call!
Ryan introduced himself to you guys, and shared his personal income goal for this niche site – which is basically to make enough money so he no longer has to work night jobs in addition to his full-time day job.
He estimates that $500 per month should do the trick, so that's what we're shooting for. (I explained to Ryan that once you grow to $500, it's often relatively easy to grow that to $1,000 per month and beyond. Getting from $0 to $500 is the bigger challenge).
I was encouraged that we were on the same page with our vision for how a niche site should be in 2016. Here are a few highlights of what I discussed:
1. Ideally the niche should be something you care about, and/or know something about. I believe you can carve out an audience in just about any niche if you are creative and use solid keyword research.
2. We should look to create a brand, not something like besthotsauces2015.com which sounds silly. So the name is important, and it doesn't need to have a keyword in it.
3. Start wide and then maybe get more narrow as you go. I talked about thinking of a niche as an umbrella, and then asked Ryan to brainstorm some niches he wants to go into and think about the topics/sub-niches that fit under that larger umbrella. We don't want to pigeonhole our selves by picking a topic that is too narrow.
4. We'll start with just a rough idea of how we'd make money from the site – I'm not worried about having an exact plan from the beginning.
5. We'll build a site that passes the eye ball test – something that you'd be proud to share with your family and friends that looks legit.
6. Once we get a few possible niches, we'll look for dozens of low competition keywords to make sure the depth is there to build a big site. We want to at least have authority site potential.
7. We'll mix in keyword focused content and shareable content on our site.
8. As the site grows, we'll dial in our plan to make money and hopefully the best opportunities will become self-evident.
That is the general idea we're shooting for, and Ryan is really excited to get started. For the holiday break, I asked Ryan to check out Long Tail University, and get familiar with Long Tail Pro.
Also, I asked him to watch this video of Marcus Sheridan at an Inbound Marketing conference. I love how Marcus brings real life practicality to inbound marketing, and this is the video I always send people to who don't really “get” the concept of how you can pull people into your website.
Although Marcus is very small business focused, these same principles apply to us and I try to heed the advice to “think like a teacher” with our content, because building trust is critical for any website that plans to grow an audience.
I hope you all enjoy our first call! We'll be adding some screen sharing in the future…
Perrin and Colleen: Coaching Call 1
Man… how long has it been since we’ve had a pow-wow about a niche site project?!
I’m super pumped to have just finished my first coaching call with Colleen. I’m really, really excited about kicking this thing off, and I think we’ve got a great road map to follow. So, I’m excited. Colleen can barely contain herself. And I hope you are getting pumped, too!
Let’s talk about goals.
Historically, the goals for every niche site project have been to get a site earning $500 per month at the six-month mark.
Here’s why this is a good goal: when I first started, earning even $1 online in recurring revenue seemed totally crazy to me. I’d earned a few bucks here and there, but it was largely a fluke. But $500/mo? It was massive to me—my Everest.
But is it enough?
Today, I have a lot more experience under my belt. I’ve created several sites that have broken the $1,000/mo mark, and a couple have done much better than that. I look at sites more like businesses—living, breathing things I can build and then shove out of the nest—that can bring in a real, living wage for my family.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely still get massively excited when I hit my first $500 month on any new site (we just hit that milestone with one of our new sites around here, and believe me: we were pumped).
But when I set out to create my very first site, my goal wasn’t $500. Not really.
I would have been over the moon to see that kind of money, but the real goal was to create an awesome online business that would allow me to live the life I wanted.
That’s what I want for Colleen, too.
Colleen’s in place very similar to where I was two years ago: stuck in a consulting job that just isn’t as fulfilling as she wants it to be. She wants to do other stuff: travel, stuff her face with spaghetti, ride additional camels…
Having a 9-to-5 job makes that tough. I think we all empathize with that.
So we’re going to shoot for $500/mo. That’s the first milestone. But the goal here is much bigger: I want for Colleen to create a truly sustainable lifestyle business for herself.
Is that too crazy? You tell me.
Here’s where I chose to start…
I want to start by blazing a (somewhat) new trail.
The conventional thinking around here has always been to find a great keyword and build a site around it. That’s the jab.
Colleen and I are going to walk into the ring and start throwing haymakers.
Okay, maybe it won’t be that crazy, and you’ll see that a lot of the core keyword research is exactly the same stuff Spencer taught me a couple years ago. But we’re certainly going to try to tweak our approach: instead of starting with keyword research, we’re going to start with data-driven market research.
I feel like learning how to do data-driven market research was a major part of the success of my current site. It’s a way to pre-validate content ideas en masse, come out with a list of potential business partners, and poach hundreds of proven keywords before you get started.
This is a risk.
It’s only worked for me once.
But (1) my gut tells me it’s the best way to start a new site, and (2) I think it’s a very efficient process, which means we can start earning sooner.
How do you do it? You’ll have to watch the video!
See you on the inside.
Next Calls Coming Soon!
The holiday season is upon us and it might be little difficult to nail down an exact schedule for our next calls. However, I can tell you that I am planning to get one in with Samara next week, and I think Jake and Perrin may do the same.
So, the plan is to still release our next coaching calls next week and each week thereafter. We look forward to sharing all the details as they come.
As you can see, there is a TON of content in this post. Between the videos and the write-ups, you have lots of material to keep you busy thinking about your own niche project if you are following along.
And if you are following along, I HIGHLY recommend that you join us in the Niche Site Project 3 Facebook group. We've already had lots of great interaction, and I expect this will be a very active group for the duration of the project.
As always, I look forward to the discussion in the comments below. So, if you have any comments or questions, please leave your thoughts below.
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It is nearly impossible to hear the voices of Colleen and Samara. Please fix that in some way.
I just fixed the video to have better audio, try again. If you are having issues with video, try the audio file I linked to in post: https://www.nichepursuits.com/nsp3/samaracall1final.mp3.
I agree that you can’t hear Colleen very well. I’ll have Perrin level out the audios for their next call.
Its nice to see Perin trying to dig out a new approach to creating niche sites and I’m particularly more interested in him.
Spencer, you guys are doing a nice job
Awesome info you guys are sharing for Niche Site Project 3! Keep it up guys!
Really looking forward to see how Perins approach pans out.
that was really awesome !
i hope that the economy of my country (iran) grow in near future and structure of online affiliate marketing and inbound marketing grow enough so that people can earn some money from their own websites
Will the audio be available on itunes?
Yes. I will likely post them next week.
3 very interesting videos and 3 very “different” videos. (Colleen is quite difficult to hear…very low volume) It will be really interesting to observe the various approaches and I like the fact that they offer the opportunity to learn and perhaps even accumulate all of the expert thinking.
The information shared in all three of these videos was great. I can really see how the teaching technique differs between each of you. I found that my favorite call was with Perrin and Colleen because it’s more my teaching/learning style.
Just in this first call, I’ve already learned a ton about market research and feeling-out niches before taking the plunge. This is going to help a lot with one brand new niche website I’m going to launch soon. This is great because I will be able to follow along with each calls as I launch my own site.
I appreciate the work guys, thanks.
Glad you enjoyed the calls!
this is really great… audios are clear .. i hope Samara will have the best journey online … im looking forward for more posts..
Thanks for posting this interview and great info. Just FYI…the audio between you and Samara was in mono. While listening with ear buds your voice was only coming from the left channel and Samara from the right channel. Jake and Ryan’s audio was fine. Perrin and Collen was okay except Collen’s levels were too low. Again, thanks for posting and Merry Christmas!
Yep, I just fixed the audio in the video. Should be all set now 🙂
Hey guys, that was some good stuff and a great Xmas gift for all us lurking IM’s thirsting for more knowledge out here… ;D
Perrin – if you read this, wondering something that struck me during your call (which was super helpful btw).. I never really thought there was a way you could analyze another site’s traffic. All this time I’ve been scoping out other metrics, snooping around backlink profiles and such.. but not doing any analysis of a site’s traffic, even if say SEM Rush does force you to extrapolate. Question – aside from having a paid version of SEM Rush (which I may just get myself for Xmas based on what you were saying), do you know of any other tools that can do the same thing? I have Moz Pro, but I’m not even aware that Moz does that.. maybe I’m just too amateur to know about it if it does. Thanks bro, and merry Xmas y’all!
Hey Spencer, Jake, and Perrin,
Thank you so much for posting these calls. Absolute gold. I got a feeling Perrin is taking this exceedingly serious. haha. Love it. Jake, Marcus is on point about consumer psychology. Please let me know if you have any more gems like that.
Thanks, Rav. Will do!
I’ve been looking forward to this! Can’t wait to follow along and learn with these 3 projects. Thanks to Spencer, Jake and Perrin for all the great advice. Merry Christmas to the whole Niche Pursuits team!
Thank you, Nora! Hope you have a great Christmas as well.
Sorry guys! My audio will be fixed for the next post. Luckily, I let Perrin do most of the talking! 🙂
Hey, no problem…we’ll get the audio figured out for next time. I’ll remind Perrin that we want to hear more from you! 🙂
I could hear you Colleen, I just needed to turn up the volume a little! I look forward to the next call.
Keyword versus Content versus Data! Spencer – as usual rock solid, gentle and helpful, Jake – the solid reliable guy in the team and Perrin – new explosive ideas galore. This is going to be a huge learning opportunity! Thanks NSP 3.0 coaches.
A great article, I enjoyed. Thinking of doing the same in Brazil.
I’m also thinking same for Niche topic.Lets see what happens in my niche 🙂
Hey Spencer, Jake and Perrin
All 3 videos were really great. Especially Jake and Ryan were like a cool night show talk, but here you also learn (will learn) good stuff. I really look forward to the next calls and wish all of you happy holidays.
p.s. the audio was good on all 3 calls for me.
Great audio recording! I really enjoy diving into the specifics and the steps along the way! Will the calls be posted anywhere we can subscribe via a podcast catcher?
Thanks Travis! Yes, I’ll add the audio as podcast esisodes on the Niche Pursuits podcast here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/niche-pursuits-podcast/id522458761?mt=2. (Probably starting next week).
Wow, too much information to process for the first coaching call. I am really excited for this project and I hope I can follow alongside what you guys are doing and of course build my own successful niche site also. I am struggling on this IM stuff you know but I am determined to learn. Thanks again Spencer, Jake and Perrin.
Great first coaching call! It’s really packed with a lot of great information to find a good market to target and I really like the homework part at the end of each video, it makes things easier to digest so everybody following along has something to focus on the first week. With all this great info, it’s time for me to start doing something! He, he. I feel like I’m another student and I hope to create a good successful website. Good luck to all three students and merry Christmas to Spencer, Jake and Perrin and of course, to all Niche Pursuits community!
Hi all! Very interesting stuff.
Have a question for Perrin: The number of visits that Semrush estimates a website have… isnt it monthly? For example if it says 12k, it means an estimated 12k monthly (about 400 daily visitors). Am I wrong? I was watching at your video and seemed to understand it was daily…
Diego, you’re right. The SEMRush search volume data comes directly from Adwords. Adwords search volumes are strictly monthly.
This is great! I took plenty of notes, love the infos and am looking forward for the next coaching calls.
can you please post something new about amazon FBA?
it has been a long time that you didn’t mention about that, how it goes anyway?
Yes, I will post in early January more about my Amazon FBA business. The business is going VERY well and December is my biggest month so far…with lots of plans to scale it much larger.
One question I have, for Perrin is – whilst this approach to market research is definitely the way that I do things (or at least similar) do you not worry about those websites which block SEO tools from viewing their backlinks and therefore completely miscalculate their domain authority?
Hey Will, I have the same question & concerns. From my perspective, it’s really harder to tell. I do check for other footprints, like the naked URLs, but that doesn’t always work.
Do you have any techniques?
Hey Spencer! I love where NSP3 is going so far and look forward to following along. In addition to posting the videos, is it possible for you to make streaming audio of the calls available (similar to the NP podcast)?
Yes. I plan on making these calls into podcast episodes; and will hopefully start posting them next week. (I’ve been a little slow with everything around the holidays).
Thanks Spencer. I definitely appreciate it as I live in a very remote location so I can vary rarely get a strong enough internet connection watch youtube videos, but I can typically let iTunes work its magic and download over a longer period of time!
What great timing. I just started teaching high school kids in China about how to build online businesses. Now I can follow along with you and use your very excellent ideas, along with my own, to teach my kids. I look forward to all of your installments to come. Thank you.
Seems like NSP3 is going to be the most exciting one so far. Anyway, one possible and suitable niche for Samara will be foreign language learning. It’s also quite monetizable and profitable. There are lot of premium Spanish learning books and courses out there to monetize the site with. Can’t wait for you guys to choose your niches.
Great format… having this part of your/this Blog available, really provides a nice foundation for reference. Facebook is ok for chat and bits and pieces, but hard to research all the threads.
Appreciate you including the audio/vid portions of each chat/training… and the subsequent text encapsulation is wonderful.
Thanks for the ride!
The information shared on this website and on this project is priceless ! thanks alot to Spencer and everyone participating !
My main problem with getting started with a niche website is sort of confidence, I now work and earn money but investing money in something that might not even work kinda holds me back.. I have purchased a hosting plan on black friday and told myself I would start a project and commit to it, and I keep telling myself, I HAVE to make it, there is just no room for failure.
I also have invested in Some of Spencers products and I have to get started real soon, been delaying for so long..
And now that I have a job I realise how time is precious and that working in my precious free time isn’t something anyone would be motivated to do aha !
Great content, all of the videos are easy to understand and i am looking forward for more posts, because i am also trying to built online business. At this point i understand that figuring out which niche to target is the stumbling point for a lot of wannabe affiliates 🙂
Good luck to all of you and it will be very interesting to follow along with all three students/teachers.
For all those that did not get picked please don’t be discouraged!
Niche Pursuits is an amazing resource and Long Tail is a killer tool. All of the information that you need to be very successful is out there (most here) for you to find and learn.
I just wanted to earn 200 dollars per month , but difficult too .
it was hard in the beginning 🙁
Awesome that you are helping everyone! Love reading your blog as the quality is high and I have learned many things from Niche Site Projcet 2.0 with Perrin. Keep it up!
On your latestest SEO podcast #71, you mention having an “add to cart” button helps ranking for eCommerce keywords “… for sale”. I was wondering if just having a normal theme and a comparison table with buy now buttons counts, or do you need an actual eCommerce plugin like Woocommerce?
A normal theme is okay.
For Perrin or any of the guys: Perrin mentioned looking for blogs with lower DA. Does that mean we ignore higher ranked shopping sites a like Amazon, etc? Thanks and really excited about this!
I have only just been doing some catch up. Enjoyed Spencer’s 1st call…it felt quite ‘familiar’ in the sense that I’m used to Spencer on the podcast / blog etc.
I really LOVED the call Jake did with Ryan. I guess you resonate with different people…perhaps because I’m in the same boat (40yo guy working full time, married with a 2yo child) that I resonate really well here.
But Jake – how come Spencer has been hiding you? Absolute FANTASTIC style on the podcast; really upbeat, full of energy…and you very clearly know your stuff here.
I look very much to hearing more from Jake in general; as well as following along with all three coaches / students!
Happy New Year, Niche Pursuits!
Thanks Steve! Jake is great…he’s mostly been blogging and doing training over at LongTailPro.com until now 🙂
Hi Spencer! I’m considering joining a MLM as a distributor. It’s a natural beauty product line. Would building a niche site that relates to my MLM be a good idea? Thanks in advance. Just had my day job boss purchase LTP – love it!
I won’t comment on whether or not MLM is a good idea. However, a niche site for your business is a smart idea. However, you may need to hunt extra hard for those keywords you can actually rank for…because there are likely many others building websites on the same MLM products.
Hello all! Great start, excellent content, awesome Perrin!
Just wondering whether to focus on niche markets that seems more the Spencer’s way or big markets that seems more the Perrin’s one…
Looking forward to seeing the next “episode”, but not before doing my own homework!
Thanks, by the way…
Question about Perrin’s call…how did you find the 2nd and third site examples? (I didn’t see them on the first several pages of your search results). thanks so much!!!
I liked the tips. Some of my difficulties in relation to finding good niche markets is about the kind of tool that I use to validate the idea, and what are the criteria to be followed for examining the competition? I have blessed me in creating websites this year. Thanks for the tips.
After I find the blogs with a low DA score, do I paste the link that Google presents me on their SERPS intto semrush or do I just copy the domain over to semrush? Like do I copy over http://blogblogblog.com/blog1/blog or just blogblogblog.com?