I started the Public Niche Site Project about a month and a half ago. Obviously I was quite apprehensive about sharing one of my niche sites publicly for a number of reasons. However, at this point in time, I can say I'm VERY happy with the way this project is turning out!
In fact, as of last week, my site started cracking the top 10 of Google! Sometime around March 15th, my niche site (bestsurvivalknifeguide.com) reached the first page of Google for its primary keyword, “best survival knife”. And as of today, March 19th, I'm seeing it at the #4 position in Google…awesome!
Today I wanted to share what I've done since my last update, and why I think my site is ranking so well.
How to Get on the First Page of Google
I believe that the primary reason I am ranking near the top of Google is because of my solid keyword research. I showed EXACTLY how I went about choosing my keyword on a webinar here and a further post here and my analysis video here.
I've made it very clear all along that the most important step is keyword research in building a niche site. If you find an easy to rank for keyword, everything is just details (but important details still). But if you target the wrong keyword that is too difficult, no matter how well you do everything else, you won't rank in Google well (or make money).
I use Long Tail Pro (Platinum version) to do all my keyword research. Yes, I am the creator of this product and make money if you happen to buy it. But the reality is that its Keyword Competitiveness function works extremely well. The software allows you to find the true difficulty of ranking at the top of Google by calculating all the important data from each website already ranking in Google.
If you haven't tried out Long Tail Pro yet, I recommend you do right here.
Now, I have done a little bit of link building as well; and this has helped my site. But I have actually done mcuh less than I was expecting to at this point. As I wrote in my in-depth link building post here, I was planning to submit my site to about 50 web directories and then start building many more links in the first couple of months.
However, I stopped building links for a bit after my site was penalized for having too many Amazon affiliate links on it. As explained in that post, I actually had my VA remove most of the web directory links he had built, because I wasn't sure if that was causing the penalty. So, I probably only have about 10 links from web directories now, instead of the planned 50.
The ONLY other link building I've done at this point is blog comments.
I don't know the exact number, but I've probably commented on about 15 blogs is all. In order to find blogs to comment on, I simply did Google searches for things like, “best survival knife” + Leave a comment; or “survival knife” + “leave a reply”. This brought up relevant blogs that were accepting comments.
I did NOT worry about the PageRank of the blog OR if the comments would be do-follow. (I think they were probably all nofollow…but I didn't check…doesn't matter). So, most of the comments I made were on new posts that had either no other comments or only a handful of comments. A few of the blogs I commented on did have lots of other commentators, but not most.
These blog comments just provide me with links coming from relevant content (very important), and they give me a good base of links from LOTS of different domains. The comments I left were not spammy either. My comments were relevant to the posts, and they were all original and genuine.
However, overall, the links pointing to my site are not very powerful at all. The keyword research I did and the content provided on my site has much more to do with why I'm ranking so far than the links.
I have a few more articles to add to the site, which will bring it very close to about 20 total articles on the site. I'll be doing that this week.
In addition, I'm feeling a bit better about the site (after the penalty scare), so I'm going back to my original link building plan. I actually may cut it back a bit, as all the links may not be needed (I'm already ranking well without them). But over the next couple of weeks, I'll be implementing my plan that I laid out here.
I really didn't think I would be ranking this quickly in Google! But as I approach number 1 in Google, I'm started to get more long tail traffic. If this continues for the next few weeks, I will most likely start adding more and more content…knife reviews. Ideally, I'd like my site to become more of an authority in the niche and enjoy the long tail traffic that comes along with that.
Earnings and Rankings
I will provide a full earnings report after the month is over. But right now, I'm sitting just shy of $50 in Amazon associates earnings for the month of March. Not bad for a site that is only a month old. I'm going to stick with what I have for the next month or so, as far as monetization; but will start testing different strategies out later.
Again, the original goal of the niche site project was to reach $500/mth within the first 6 months. I think this is attainable.
And just for fun, here is how the site has ranked over the past few weeks:
- February 26th – 398
- March 7th – 25
- March 8th – 24
- March 9th – 237
- March 10th – 246
- March 11th – 225
- March 13th – 25
- March 15th – 21
- March 16th – 6
- March 17th – 7
- March 18th – 8
- March 19th – 4
Now, before you get too hung up on these rankings, you should know that Google rankings are changing constantly! Many of the sites on the first page of Google change positions several times each day. So nothing is set in stone; however, it is interesting to see how the rankings change over time.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, or questions. Feel free to add to the discussion below.