What if you could take $10 and turn it into $1800 over a years time without doing a thing (besides the initial setup)? What if you could do this over and over as much as you want? That’s the allure of niche websites. With a properly chosen niche you can spend $10 in hosting, spend about 20-30 minutes setting up a quick and dirty website that has some keyword related content and a Ebay, Amazon, or even a Click Bank or JVZoo affiliate link and then just sit back and let the site bring in the cash without you doing anything else.
$1800 over a years time does not sound like so much money. It certainly isn’t going to pay anyone’s bills. In fact its unlikely that you will even get a budget vacation out of it. However this is just one site. That you put up very quickly. What if you spent say a month and put up 50 sites? What if you put up 100? Lets just use 50 for a little bit of math.
If you put up 50 well chosen niche sites it would cost you about $500 in domain registration fees.
Lets say that each site brings in a conservative average of $50 a month. Sure some will do better, some will do worse. But lets use $50 as a realistic average. That means your 50 sites are bringing you in $2500 a month total or $30,000 a year. Sure $30K a year isn’t going to buy you a vacation home in the Bahamas but its still nothing to laugh at. In fact $30K a year extra can change your life. Lots of people work 9-5 jobs and only get that much. It would be like getting a second full time income for free.
Ok so now your wondering: whats the catch Brett? Well I’m sorry to say, there is one in fact. You see the key to all of this is choosing the right niche. You have to select the proper niche and about 90% of the people trying to break into this market just dont know how. No worries though I’m going to teach you.
Ok so I asked 3 people what niche they would choose.
The 1st one said: Online gambling (not so sure about that just from a legal stand point)
The 2nd one said: Weight Loss for busy moms (better but still wrong)
The 3rd one said: Making money online (umm .. no)
While they where thinking of the niche they thought would be good to get in (I gave them an hour) I also thought of a niche that I thought would be good to get into. When I told them that each of their choices was a bad one, one of them, in a playfully defiant tone, said “Ok well what do you suggest?”
My answer blew them away. In fact Im sure all three of them thought it was stupid. Until I explained that is. What I chose was “Virago Windshields”
First off let me explain. If you don’t know what a Virago is, its a motorcycle made by Yamaha. Though the Virago still exists as a 250cc beginners bike now in the early to late 80’s it was actually a very popular 750cc cruiser motorcycle. The people who had them, and the people who still have them, love them. In fact I have one, that’s how I know.
Ok so why did I choose Virago Windshields and how did I decide to select that. Well there are 3 major criteria.
1) It has to be something that you can sell. This should be obvouse but I still see people making this mistake. You can probably rank for some obscure training key phrase. But if its not something that ends with a product that people can buy your wasting your time.
In my example. I was targeting Virago Windshields. Well no one just wants to read about a windshield for a 1980’s motorcycle. No one is searching Google just because they are interested in them. They are searching Google because they have a Virago and they want to buy a windshield for it. There really is not much other reason. So criteria #1 check.
2) There has to be people actually searching for it. But there cant be to many people. We dont want a keyword with millions of people searching for it because that means its big enough to attract the well established players that have gobs of money to throw into SEO and ranking. We dont have gobs of money, or lots of time, remember we want to get this done quick so we can put out lots of them. Never forget we are going after the low hanging fruit here.
Ok so to check for searches I head over to google.com/adwords/ and use the keyword planner tool to see how many monthly searches there are for my term. What I found was not so great.
Only 30 views for month and high competition. Darn, that’s a big strike out. But all is not lost. When you search for a specific keyword Google will kindly also show you similar search results. Here is one of the alternative ones it showed me.
Now this is a decent keyword. I happen to know that people who have motorcycles love to spend money tricking them out with accessories. I know this from experience and this is where a little bit of knowledge in the niche you are searching for will help. In fact I have a different bike, a CBR600 that I spent more money on customizing then I spent on buying the bike. So even though this seems general people with a Virago will be interested in buying windshields, custom hand grips, saddle bags, repair manuals, chrome accessories, and lots of other things. I can also deduce with reasonable certainty that anyone searching for Yamaha Virago will either have one or is considering buying one. Se #1 check. I can sell to this traffic.
There are 5400 people per month searching for this. This is a nice number. Under 1000 and even if I do rank I probably wont get any traffic. Over 15000 and there probably will be to many other sites to make it easy for me to rank for the keyword. So number 2 check.
Finally the competition for it is nice and low. This is the 3rd criteria and its a big check. I can double check this by doing a Google search. When I do this I see non authority sites such as Ebay showing up in the top results. These results are showing up because there are not many other sites that are ranking for these keywords. So the final criteria: check.
When I look at the other suggestions that Google provides I also see some more specific terms that I definitally want to include in my sites copy. Things like:
yamaha virago 535
yamaha virago 750
..and a few others
So now I have my niche. Yamaha Virago. I have some keywords that I want to use for my sites copy and I know Im going to have links / ads on each page to affiliate sites (Ebay, Amazon etc) for parts / accessories that are compatible with Virago motorcycles. From here its just a matter of putting up a quick site with some keyword right pages. About 5-7 pages would do well. 1 page for each of the more specific keywords I selected and putting in my affiliate banners / ads.
The main thing to take away from this article is that you not only dont have to go after the big popular keywords, you probably shouldn’t. Trying to fight the big boys who have teams of writers, huge budgets, and years longer in the business than you is like standing on the beach and trying to hold back the tide from coming in. Your just going to get pushed aside and washed away. Lucky for us though the world and the internet is a big place so even the obscure, specific, niche keywords will still have thousands of people searching for them. These are the things we want to go after. We dont want to fight the tide, we want to step out of its way.
If your thinking that 5 or 6K searches is not much think of this. First since we are doing an estimate we have to make some informed assumptions:
Lets say you make on average $10 per sale.
Lets say that by being on the top of the search results you get 30% of the search traffic.
Further lets say that 1/5th of a percent of the people (0.2%) who visit result in a sale.
6000 searches * 30%=2000 hits per month * 0.002 (1/5th of a percent in decimal) = 4 sales per month * $10 =$40 per month or $480 per year.
Not to bad from a $10 investment and about 2 hours of your time. Especially not bad when you do it a few dozen times with other keywords.