For a while I’ve been talking about it.
And soon talk will become a reality!
I’m starting off 2014 with the creation of my latest niche website; which we’ll dub NS4.
This one is going to be slightly different than the rest. How? Instead of relying on Google Adsense for revenue, we’ll use Amazon to monetize it!
There will be plenty to discuss on this. So let’s jump right into it.
New Amazon Niche Site Q&A:
Because of how much thought and strategy is going to go into the development of this website, I thought it would be best to explain my thought process in the form of a Q&A. Hopefully I answer one of the questions you had about it:
What will the new site be about?
That’s another really cool part about this project! This will be my first website that is NOT going to be related to personal finance.
So what will the topic of the new site be?
That’s right. I love playing music. The guitar is what I mainly play, but I also enjoy the bass, drums, and even a little singing. In fact if you’d like to hear a few of the songs I’ve written and recorded, you can sample a few of my mp3’s at the end of this post here.
So why did I decide that my next niche website project should revolve around music instead of personal finance?
To put it simply:
I wanted to be enthusiastic about this project.
I think sometimes niche sites get a nasty reputation for being these cold, calculated cyborg-like creations who’s only mission in life is to make more money.
While I wouldn’t say I’ve necessarily done that with any of my previous projects, I do feel like in some instances I could have selected a topic that I was more excited about. This was especially true in NS3, and I think the huge disappoint in results for that website shows it.
Even though these projects are supposed to make money, they’re also supposed to be fun. When the site or content becomes too monotonous or boring, that’s when you start to lose your steam for the project.
It is my belief that if you really want something to be successful, you have to be passionate about it. So therefore, I intentionally picked a topic that I know I’ll enjoy writing and promoting.
How will the site be monetized?
As I’ve already mentioned, the other big difference between this latest creation and my previous niche websites is that it will use Amazon for revenue rather Google Adsense.
Long before NS4 was even a twinkle in my eye, I said to myself “I WILL build a website that uses Amazon for monetization”. Having 3 sites so far that are completely dependent on Google and Adsense income is not what I would consider to be a very diversified income source.
The progress of the public niche site follow-along series on Niche Pursuits in 2013 was especially encouraging. Both Spencer and Perrin made a killing using Amazon in what seems like only a matter months after they were up and running. To not use Amazon in the same way would feel like I was just leaving money on the table.
Believe it or not, that was also another motivator to choose a topic having to do with music.
Why? Because musical products sell very well on Amazon.
That’s right – When designing how this project would go, I purposely wanted to choose something that would convert well and high. The two are related. There’s no point in selling a product for $1 unless I expect to get one million visitors per month. Likewise, the higher the price of the product I sell, the lower the volume in traffic I need to attract. But if I do get some decent traffic, then the larger my chances of earning a decent commission.
Let’s go through an earnings projection example:
- The average price of the product I’m looking to promote is $300
- Let’s assume I get 3,000 visitors per month (or 100 per day)
- Let’s also assume that 1% of those visitors actually click on one of the products I’m promoting and buy something
- Amazon starts out paying a 4% commission. As you sell more products the payout increases. But for this basic example, let’s just use 4%.
So putting that altogether, each month I could anticipate an earning potential of:
$300 x 3,000 x 0.01 x 0.04 = $360/month
That’s not too bad! Especially when you consider that those were pretty modest assumptions.
What will my expenses for this project be?
- The domain name and privacy cost around $26.
- Logo – I spent $5 on Fiverr to get a professional logo.
- Hosting – No additional cost since I can share hosting on my iPage account.
- Website Theme – Again, no additional cost. I can use my Genesis theme as many times as I want.
- Keywords –I use Long Tail Pro Platinum to research keywords for all my websites, so no additional cost here.
- Content – Unlike my previous projects, I plan to write the content by myself for at least the first 10-20 articles or so. I consider myself to very knowledgeable on the material and I’m actually a little happy to write about something other than money for a change! This may change if the site gets more popular or brings in some income that I can invest back into the project.
- Link building – I use two VA’s for social media and comments, but I use them over a spread of all my websites. So the incremental cost to allocate some of their effort to this one will be pretty minimal. I may add an additional hour or two with the sole focus of building links to this site. But that extra cost should be pretty slim (less than $5 per week)
Why am I taking things so slow?
I’m still feeling the burn of failure with NS3. We spent $266 on that project, and now there are pretty low chances that it will ever produce a return.
So for this round, I think it will be wise to take a slightly more cautious approach. NS1 and NS2 were churning a profit long before I sunk any additional expense into either project. For this one I will plan to return back to that model and do the same. Once NS4 makes its first $100, we’ll see about outsourcing more articles, etc.
What if this website is a flop too?
No worries. That’s why I’m taking a more cautious approach before I go sinking a lot of money into it before it’s up and running.
Where will I find links?
I know plenty of personal finance bloggers, but no “music” bloggers. So my outreach program won’t really work here.
However, in general I feel that as long as I’m targeting a low competition keyword and using the basic white-hat techniques of internal linking, SEO, blog comments, and social media links, things should be all good. If I need to take it up a notch, I may consider doing some guest posts or outreach.
What kind of keyword volume will I be looking for?
The main keyword I’ve selected has a search volume of about 1,600 per month. While that’s not really that high, the competition for it was really low – and that was more critical for me. I’ve learned that most of your traffic comes from your sub-pages anyways, so I’m fine to use lower search volume phrases.
My supporting keywords will be anything above 100 with a keyword competition (KC) score of 35 or less.
Will the website name be an exact match domain?
Nope. This time I’ve purposely selected a website name that is more “brandable”. That means it will be memorable and catchy as opposed to the older tactic of [my keyword] + HQ or something generic like that.
Brandable domains to more in line with the latest Google algorithms. A lot of hardcore SEO enthusiasts are warning that websites with your exact keyword inside of the name make you easy targets for Google penalties.
Will the writing be any different?
I’ve got to say that writing a promotional piece for a product is quite a bit of a different animal than what I’m used to.
In the past I used to write credit card or banking reviews on My Money Design. But then I got away from it because they were super lame (even though it was probably just my writing that was lame). I became comfortable writing more “informational” or “story” type posts – and that’s really all I’ve stuck to since then.
Now I have to get uncomfortable again and get good at making my reviews really affective.
Is the site up and ready yet?
I have the domain. I have a few pages of content. I even have a logo. But I still need to put it all together.
I’ll be honest – it’s been a slow moving process. January was a bear at work, and the long commutes everyday to/from work with the Polar Vortex effects have really eaten into the amount of time I have available to devote to this project.
But slow as it is, the project will move forward! Before next update, the site will be up and running.
Niche Website Income Report – January 2014:
So for my existing niche sites, revenue was a little lower this month than usual.
Unfortunately there were no private advertising deals or anything like that. Just straight Adsense. I do expect that to change in February as I have a few conversations going with multiple contacts right now.
To make matters worse, the recent Google updates sort of flustered my traffic patterns. I didn’t really seem to see the same levels of traffic as I was seeing in December. However, I’m just glad they didn’t disappear completely.
Now you can see why I’m urging myself to diversify the income sources for these websites!
What’s new with my existing niche sites?
To be honest, not a lot.
- NS1 continues to post one new article per week. That is scheduled to end by late February.
- NS2 is idle.
- NS3 is idle and pretty much dead – it’s Google rankings unfortunately fell off into the +500’s
My VA continues to build a small amount of social media links to these sites.
One new thing I am trying:
To help build the authority of these sites as well as My Money Design, I am aggressively writing and submitting guest posts to my fellow bloggers.
Now for anyone who wants to point out the latest discouragement from Matt Cutts regarding guest blogging, let’s clear something up: Guest posting is not dead! In fact, it’s still alive and well if you do it the right way – the way it was intended.
Matt Cutt’s comments were targeting low quality, payment for link guest posts. My campaign is not that at all.
My posts that I will be giving away to my blogging friends will be high quality, SEO structured content that I would easily use on my own site. I think this is a very fair trade.
So far it is too early to tell if the effort has produced any actual benefit. But I have nothing but confidence that it will be beneficial for everyone involved.
Readers – What are your new money-making projects for 2014?
Previous Niche Site Chapters:
- Starting the Next of My Extra Income Ideas – Building a Niche Website
- Niche Website Project Part 2 – The Unveiling
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 3
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 4
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 5
- Building My Money Earning Sites – Niche Website Update Part 6
- Niche Website Update 7 – Site Number 2 Launched!
- Niche Website Update 8 – NS2 on the First Page Search Results Already!
- Niche Website Update 9 – Criticisms of My Second Niche Site
- Niche Website Update 10 – NS3 is a Failure (So Far) and I’m Glad
- Niche Website Update 11 – Doubling the Size of NS1 and NS2
- Niche Website Update 12 – Getting Click-Bombed and Over $600 of Passive Income!
- Niche Website Update 13 – NS3 May Be Lost But We Still Made $933 in Passive Income!
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net