Fastest Way To Get Started With Niche Sites (And Making Money Off Niche Sites)

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We’ve all read about the process of creating a blog, niche site, or other online money-making projects. The process is pretty much the same thing:

  1. Find Topics You Have Interest In
  2. Find Out If There Are Ways to Monetize
  3. Do Keyword Research and Discover Viability of Buying Keywords
  4. Check Competition
  5. List and Plan Site Structure and Content
  6. Buy a Domain and Hosting
  7. Create Blog or Website
  8. Write Content for the Site
  9. Create Relevant Images for the Site
  10. Build Backlinks to Get Traffic via Organic Search
  11. Buy or Build More Traffic via Social Media, Bookmarks, and RSS Directories
  12. Collect Money!

Systematic and Fast Way To Own A Niche Site

Steps seem clear enough and we all know how difficult it is to get every one of them right to make big bucks. But if you just want to get started and you’re committed to keep this site for the long-term but hate doing all the work up front, you can certainly outsource (pay) others to get it done.

Disclaimer: This is not a blueprint, but it’s just how I’d do things if I were to start from scratch. I still do about half of the stuff above myself, particularly with sites I have genuine interest in, but for niche sites and product sites, I outsource most of the stuff and keep track of costs.

We’ll assume that you’ve already picked a niche, determined your primary keywords and found a monetization strategy already, whether it’s via Adsense, Amazon, affiliate products, or whatever.

This article will only talk about outsourcing the stuff you’re not interested in doing. In my case, writing boring intro articles, building backlinks, creating social media or Web 2.0 accounts, etc.

Setting the Budget

So here we go, we’ll deal with items #6 to #11 mainly. There are many ways to get these done, and you don’t need all of the items above either, but I’ll give you an idea on where to start.

Getting a Domain and Hosting

To be frank, you don’t need (and probably don’t want) to outsource this as it’s very simple, but I need to find a way to put my affiliate link on this article for domain and hosting so here it is.

Search and get your perfect domain name using this NameCheap link and after doing so, subscribe to a hosting plan with this Hostgator link (use this special coupon code for instant 25% off! LNMSAVE25NOW). I strongly suggest you get the Baby Plan with 1 year hosting to get started as you’ll undoubtedly need to host more than one website in the future.

There are discount codes from time to time, feel free to email me at david at learnnichemarketing dotcom to get the most recent one. Just state “Namecheap/Hostgator Discount Code” in the subject, no need to add anything else in the email.

Estimated total cost: $10/year (domain), $7.95/mo or ($96/year) = Total of $106/year or $8.33/month

Create a Blog or Website

Unless you have a specific reason not to, you should use the WordPress platform for your blog. There are tons of free templates out there but if you’re not experienced with CSS and PHP, you’re better off investing in a premium (paid) theme as the support and community is awesome when you need to customize and troubleshoot your site.

Free themes don’t offer much, if any, support. Learn Niche Marketing and my other ‘big’ sites such as iPhotoCourse, use the wonderful and fast Genesis Framework by Studio Press. You can add child themes (add-on themes) to match the type of blog/niche you’re promoting as well.

What I like with Genesis is I pay one price and I can re-use the theme legally on multiple websites, unlike other themes that don’t offer multi-site licenses. Their support forum is WONDERFUL.

For Amazon niche sites, Read my post about my recommended themes for Amazon review sites. Elegant Themes is what I often use.

If you must use a free theme, I suggest the free version of Flexibility 3. I’m using this on a couple of my niche sites and it’s very easy to use as well as change things around. There’s a premium version of it if you’re interested. Flexibility 3 works really well for Amazon review sites as well.

Another good option would be the Weaver theme, just search for it in the themes directory.

Cost – $0 to $97 depending on theme use.

If you don’t want to go through that, you can find a WordPress expert that sell a pre-fabricated site for you. For about $150-200, you can purchase a professionally made site with initial original articles (usually 3-5 articles), legally paid for stock photos, a premium theme, and the necessary plug-ins required.

One provider I recommend highly would be a friend of mine over at GDT Designs. He’s made one of my sites in the past that practically doubled my Adsense income due to usability.

There are other providers in Internet Marketing forums as well, they’re all priced between the $150-300 range depending on the included theme and article amount.

Note that websites usually cost a lot more than this (around $1000-4000) but since these are semi pre-fabricated sites, the labor cost is often substantially cheaper.

You’ll save TONS of time fixing design, CSS, color scheme, writing articles, etc. I do mean a lot of time. Hiring these guys will give you a turn-key platform. The only thing you need to do is add your monetization links.

Cost – $150-300

Write Content

If it’s a blog where you have a passion on, naturally, you’d be writing everything and you’ll enjoy it. If they’re niche sites and review sites, however, you may not have the patience to continue writing more articles on relatively boring consumer goods.

Yes, you already have some pre-written in the previous step, but chances are you’ll need to add at least one article a month to keep the search engines happy as it helps the search engine spiders determine how often they should crawl your site.

I get my articles done over at iWriter. It’s a very buyer-friendly system where you can approve the submitted article’s quality before paying the writer and iWriter acts like an escrow.

Prices start at $1.25 for a 150-word article. You can pick highly rated writers for better quality articles, and they do cost more, about $5-8 per 500 word article.

I usually purchase 300-word articles if they’re for a basic blog post, 700 word for an intro article.

Cost – $1.25-$10

Relevant Images

Once again, if you purchased your blog design from a provider that supplied appropriate and paid stock photos, you don’t have to worry about this anymore. But for your filler images, like the one you see on littered in this post, they’re all purchased from iStockPhoto.

If you’re purchasing small blog images (500px or so) and you purchase a ‘set’ of relatively generic images (I really like the 3D people sets), you can re-use the images again and again for less than $30 bucks.

Check the choices out over at iStockPhoto.

Remember, you’re using it for a blog post, you RARELY need anything larger than 500 pixels in max length. Please respect photographers/artists right to make a living. The images are cheap enough, so don’t steal images from Google image search.

Cost – $15-50

Build Backlinks

Goodness I hate building backlinks! They’re laborious, resource extensive, hard to track, and most of all, expensive to do by yourself! Unless you already have a group or team who shares the cost of super-expensive link building tools, it’s better off just paying someone to do this. This is especially true when your efforts doesn’t guarantee results either and you don’t have the skills nor metrics to make things work.

What I did for one of my niche sites was to hire a link building expert to do a “Guaranteed Page One” service and it yielded great success. In about 2 months, I reached page 1 for a relatively competitive term and just leap-frogged over the competition and earned enough to cover the cost of that page one campaign service in a month.

Basically, the SEO provider will build links for you until your chosen keyword(s) reaches the top 10 listing in Google. The timeframe varies depending on the strength of competition for your niche and your choice of keyword.

Naturally, if you’re targeting an easy keyword like “How to eat 50 burgers in 10 minutes” it may take only a week to reach page one, while a difficult term like “Cheap Car Insurance” may take quite a long time (and the providers probably won’t accept your order anyway).

Just search for “Guaranteed Page One SEO” and you’ll find quite a few.

Cost – $100-500 depending on keyword competition. For most micro niche sites, especially Amazon sites, $100-150 would suffice.

Social Network Accounts, Bookmarking, RSS Submission

These steps are often required just to get your site some breadth in terms of visibility. Submitting your feed to RSS directories, for example, allows you to tell many RSS directories you exist and when you publish a new post, all of these directories will publish your link, getting you more traffic and backlinks.

Bookmarking and social networks do the same thing, just a different channel.

Creating accounts in all these websites takes forever, and honestly, don’t bother. Just head to Fiverr and for $5 a ‘gig’ or service, you can get as many as 200 RSS feed submissions, creation of all the necessary Web 2.0 & social network accounts, and bookmarking your existing posts quickly without doing a single thing.

Total cost for all three services – $15

Total cost for outsourcing services – $300 (min) to $800 inclusive of 1 year hosting and domain.

Caution, Watch Your Bottom-line

Can you do all these without spending 300 bucks? Of course, as I’ve mentioned previously, you’ll realize very quickly you don’t want to do all these laborious tasks. Honestly, you’ll be spending at least a week’s worth of tinkering to get all these done if you’re proficient with the tasks involved.

If you’ve never edited CSS before, take forever to research and write, no clue on how to build backlinks, etc. You’ll be wasting close to a month just to get started.

How much is your time worth?

Now about the cost. Naturally, the only thing we care about is profit. Make sure that your chosen niche has the potential to make money in the first place. In simplistic terms, if your niche has the potential to make $1 a day, then in theory, you’ll get your return-of-investment in 1 year’s time.

That doesn’t really make too much sense to spend so much just to get a buck a day. But if your niche has the potential to make $3 a day (which is seriously not that difficult to do when you start mixing income-generation methods), then you’ll only need less than 4 months to ROI.

In one of my site, I spent a total of $150 to get the site to a stage where I’m happy with it. The cost involved $100 of guaranteed page one service, then the rest goes to those RSS/bookmarking submissions and the domain. Hosting is shared across my other sites so the cost there is very minimal, like $1.50/mo equivalent).

The site has made over $150 in 2 months, and it’s still making decent money afterwards, so the initial investment was a no-brainer.

If you’re the cautious kind, you can do what I did with my coffee pot niche case study. Started really small, and when the potential seem to be there, then go ahead and spend for off-page seo link services. The other costs have been rather minimal as I did most of the stuff myself. Downside is, I wasted 6-months before I got started with link building expenses and I’ll probably wait another 2 months before better income starts coming in.

So there you have it. An express lane to get started with niche sites and authority blogs for monetization. Even at the high-range of $500-800, think of the last $500-800 cumulative purchase you’ve made that was actually an asset that has the chance to make you money. $500 is just half-a-year of gourmet coffee.

Get started now!

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