Starting the Next of My Extra Income Ideas – Building a Niche Website

Extra Income IdeasWith P2P investing off the table as one of my extra income ideas, I got right back on the horse and turned my attention towards a new type of side project: Building a niche website.

For those of you who are not familiar with what a niche site is, it’s generally a smaller type of website that focuses on a very specific topic. If its full of good content, then they can be of great value to readers who are interested in that subject. Chances are that you’ve probably typed a very detailed search term into Google and one of the first results that you’ve clicked on was a niche site that someone created.

A niche site is different from a blog. Blogs are generally a little looser in their topics and are usually more focused on building a community of followers. If I want to post something about my day at work or the great deal I got on something I bought, a blog is appropriate place to do that. In contrast, a niche site is more informational in nature and not as concerned about the community aspect. The site might only be 10 – 100 pages, each targeting a keyword that ties back into the central them of the site. In some cases, the owners may have dozens of niche sites about various topics, so personal interaction with each one is not really practical.


Why Bother With Building a Niche Website? What’s In It for Me?

If you’re asking yourself why anyone would want to screw around with building a niche, then let me invite you to read the following:

1. Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income made $3707.17 in January from his Security Guard Training HQ site. 

2. Spencer Haws of Niche Pursuits was on a roll to collect $500 per month from one of his niche sites.

(It is worth noting that almost all of the income reported in those two examples above was made from using Google Adsense. Yes, Google Adsense – those spammy little ads that all the ultra-cool bloggers like to bash on.)

So to get back to the question “what’s in it for me?” Mainly the opportunity for passive income!

While my blog has become a great source of side money, it does require a great deal of time and involvement. My fear is that if I got the idea to run TWO blogs and potentially double my income, that would mean TWICE as much time. It’s not that I don’t love you my readers, but that is way too much time commitment.

In contrast, the model for a niche site is about as passive as it gets. Consider the following points:

• Content does not need to get updated regularly. A new post every 1 to 2 weeks seems to be okay.

• The primary income model is based completely off of clicks on your Google Adsense ads, affiliate ads, or other self-made products ( .. but on that last one, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves ..)

• Traffic is almost all organic and based on the keywords you select. Unlike a blog, there’s no time spent commenting on other blogs or anything like that.

• Ten or more pages of good content is sufficient. You could then move on to create another site if you wish.

The key of course, like any website, is how effective you are in making it friendly to Google and the other search engines. That means really knowing your stuff when it comes to keyword research, SEO, content writing, and back linking.


Lowest Risk of My Extra Income Ideas:

The other main thing I like about this project is that unlike purchasing real estate or stocks, there is really nothing to lose. Consider how low risk of a project this is:

• My web host iPage lets me host as many domains as I want under my current service. So the minimum cost is just the $15 fee to register for the domain.

• If I get caught up in real life or work and I need to ignore the project for a while, I’ll be okay.

• If it flat out doesn’t do as well as I hoped or just plain fails to rank, I could always just abandon it and be out the $15. The other option would be to sell it on Flippa. As long as I net more than $15, I’d be right back to where I started (minus the time spent working on the site).


Sounds Good.  So When Do I Get To See This Niche Site?

I’ve got a confession for you – my niche site is already up and running!

Next week I’ll reveal it and talk further about my plans to develop the site further. Hint – If you follow any of the blog carnivals, chances are you’ve already stumbled across it.

Readers – What are your new extra income ideas?  Has anyone else been thinking about expanding their digital portfolio and starting a niche website?


Related Posts:

1)      Passive Income Ideas to Start Making Extra Money Now

2)      My Awesome Birthday Weekend and Finally a Google PageRank Increase!

3)      Blogging Tips from All the Dumb Mistakes I Made My First Year

Image courtesy of phanlop88 /


    • MMD says

      That’s kind of what I’m afraid of. Throughout my research I did notice a lot of “niche sites aren’t worth it” articles. That’s why I’m doing just one. If it stinks, then I’m out $15. No big deal. But if it works ….

    • MMD says

      I know exactly what you mean with not having the time. The first weekend I sat down and tried to write content for both, I thought I had just started my third job and wondered what the hell I had just got myself into.

  1. says

    While the direct, monetary costs of building a niche site may be low, the time commitment could still be high, although I agree it is not as high as a blog. I would encourage people to choose a niche that they already know a lot about, as you will then utilize the sunk costs of the time you’ve already spent acquiring this knowledge. I look forward to reading about your site(s).
    S. B. recently posted..Year-End NoteMy Profile

    • MMD says

      I hope I can live up to your expectations, SB! I do agree that this project will be yet another time commitment, something I’m not really prepared for. I’m hoping that once I figure out my formula that the process will get a lot easier. The key will be testing it on this first site and seeing what works.

    • MMD says

      If I was self employed like you, I’d probably focus all my efforts on my own business too (since every dollar you make just benefits your family). Maybe you can live vicariously through my niche site updates :)

  2. says

    Wow, I’d love to see where this goes! I’ve loved Pat’s niche site posts. I keep on hoping to eventually be able to start a niche site but I have to admit, I find the backlinking strategy intimidating.

    Like any good business, it does require some financial outset, so I guess that could be taken care of by an outsourcing strategy, but there are all the “what if it doesn’t make any money” fears.
    Daisy @ Add Vodka recently posted..Enjoy Some Wine (On a Budget)My Profile

    • MMD says

      Thanks Daisy! I hope I impress! I’m with you – the backlinking has been the most confusing part of this whole process. What is good, what is bad, what does Google like, what don’t they – there are so many rules and opinions …

      I’m far TOO cheap to outsource any of it. At least for now. If it starts to make some income, I will definitely reconsider.

    • MMD says

      Thanks Michelle. But if I was making as much side cash that you are each week, I’d just stick to that. You’ve got a good thing going.

    • MMD says

      Pat’s site almost does TOO good, doesn’t it. I wonder if it has to do with all his followers knowing what it is and visiting it to figure out how to do their own niche site. That’s the only reason I visited it.

  3. says

    I was just thinking about it over the weekend as I browsed a site to buy/sell websites, some were selling pretty low and already set up. I wouldn’t start from scratch since I don’t know enough about SEO / backlinks and prefer to have fun with my site than research that. Good luck MMD!
    Pauline recently posted..What I HATE about GuatemalaMy Profile

    • MMD says

      Pauline, you are way ahead of the rest of us! A lot of the articles I read regarding backlinking suggested that you use that very method: Buy an old but ranking site and just build upon that.

  4. says

    I’m excited to hear how the niche website performs and whether or not it produces the income you’re looking for! I’m on pace to make around $100 on WSL in CPC income this month and I’m pretty stoked about that. It’s not a ton, but it’s definitely a start and 2x more than I’ve made in any month prior!
    Jason recently posted..APY vs APR – Understanding the DifferenceMy Profile

    • MMD says

      Not bad!! That sounds like a dream to me at the moment. Niche site or not, I’ve really got to do more to amp up my affiliate conversions.

  5. says

    It is unfortunate that you think P2P lending is off the table as a resident of Michigan. I just commented on your original post in that regard.

    I do love that you are taking the initiative to create passive income by several different means. I personally am fascinated by this niche site thing (as you know). I too am beginning to build a niche site empire and multiple streams of passive income!
    Matthew Allen recently posted..The Miniature Niche Site Project – Mini NSPMy Profile

    • MMD says

      Thanks Matt. Part of what inspired me to get started were some of the early Dumb Passive Income posts. The idea of the niche site sounds too good to be true, but you can clearly read about regular people like us making decent side cash off of ventures like this. For the risk/return, I figure why not give it a shot and see what happens. I’m excited!

    • MMD says

      Justin, I think you are very wise (and brave) to get into real estate. I’ve heard of so many success stories with real estate, but I’m too cautious to make a move on it. My buddy just bought a great house in the St Clair Shores relatively close to you for $80K. That’s not too shabby at all!

    • MMD says

      Most of the people who bash Google Adsense claim you can make a lot more from Affiliate ads. Although there may be some truth to that, the draw to Adsense is that it is a CPC rather than a sale. Even if someone accidently clicks it, you’re still making some money from it. So although both roads are completely passive, there is some immediate benefit to Adsense. I am hoping that my Affiliate sales will boost.

      Selling ads directly can also have immediate benefit, but if you have high traffic, you might do better on a CPC or sale basis. The product idea is good too, but you need to have a product to sell first!

        • MMD says

          Good point. You can filter out the type of ads you don’t want, and let Google do the rest for you. A lot of people complain about it, but Adsense is everywhere. Plus its very EASY to maintain.

    • MMD says

      Thanks Brian! I was surprised by how much those sites were making from Google Adsense too. I think the way it works is you not only find a keyword with a lot of global traffic and low SERP competition, but you also find one with a high Google Adsense CPC and advertising competition. That way instead of making pennies for every click you make a dollar or two.

  6. says

    I’ve found that people who bash things; adsense, living frugally, paying off all debt, are generally people who secretly want to be successful in that endeavor but can’t or won’t for whatever reason. It’s easier to bash it and act like you have no interest. Good luck!
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..Things That Make Me Go HmmMy Profile

    • MMD says

      Agreed, and there seems to be a lot of that when it comes to both investing and blogging. I’m trying to keep an open mind and see how this all plays out before I decide it is or isn’t worth it.

  7. says

    As of this post Im following your blog. I feel that I have many similarities with you as I have been involved and still am in many different things.

    I actually have been doing niche sites for a long time and they do work great. Fairly passive but not entirely. A long time ago I had over a hundred niche sites making between 5 and ten bucks a month each. Not much indiviually but it added up.. A few of them got to the few hundred dollar per month range and Ive kept them as the smaller ones were just more of a chore. (I could have just kept them but let the domains expire) So I have a few left (most the good ones –although my best one I lost to a bonehead move–)and have got back into it. They are easy and making the ones that make more money is easy too. Its just better content and a little more care in the beginning.

    Of course I could rinse and repeat but I find I make the most in real estate per minute of time spent and the risk is minimal.

    Just thought Id chime in, great post.
    The Rookie recently posted..How to build a Niche Site – Short and Sweet!My Profile

    • MMD says

      Thanks Rookie. I’m always fascinated when people tell me they are (or at one time) manage over 100 sites. That seems like so much to keep track of! I’m having a hard time just trying to keep 2 alive and on the radar.

      Knowing what you know now, would you rather go for quantity or just focus on making 1 – 5 of the sites really stand out so that they earn the most income? I’ve heard different opinions, so I’m always interested to know what people think …


  1. […] Recently there seems to be a flurry of activity centered around niche sites and their ability to generate income.While these sites are not exactly passive, they’re less time consuming than a basic blog. I began thinking about creating a niche site after reading about it in MMD’s post: Starting the Next of my Extra Income Ideas-Building a Niche Website. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge