If you’ve noticed a slow down on the posting frequency here at My Money Design, first let me apologize. I don’t value my readers any less. No, instead something big has been happening behind the scenes. I gave myself a deadline of the end of June to launch my next niche website.
And you know what? I did it!
As many of you know, I’ve spent the first six months of 2013 trying to take advantage of different passive income opportunities and diversify my income. So far the method that I’ve been putting the most amount of effort into is to successfully build a portfolio of niche sites (smaller websites centered around a very specific topic).
There are many great examples of other bloggers throughout the web who have built these types of sites and made lots of money in the process. In fact: The site Niche Pursuits has recently launched a Success Story series where they’re featuring the tales of regular people like you and I who have figured out how to make this work and made some good money in the process.
My first niche website attempt is something that I am still very actively working on. This site has fortunately produced a very small amount of monthly income that I hope to grow.
However, the real beauty of building niche sites is to create a portfolio of several of them and get them working together to build revenue at the same time. That’s where the passive income aspect comes in:
- You spend a month or two building up the site
- The site starts to make you money
- After a while you leave it alone and move on to your next niche site while the other ones still continue to bring in money
How Niche Website 2 Will Be Different:
I learned SO MANY great lessons during the creation of Niche Site 1 that I couldn’t wait any longer to get started on my second one and build my portfolio.
There were both so many failures and so many things that worked that I felt I had the confidence to give it another go. So I set a deadline for myself (something I think is very important for actually accomplishing things) and got Niche Site 2 launched.
So while I’ll be doing many things similar, here is a list of the major things that I changed or will be doing differently in this round:
1. This time I did my keyword research. In the first project I used the free Google Adwords tool to find a high traffic keyword and several supporting keywords. However, I made a BIG mistake by not first considering what the competition for the main and supporting keywords was. This is why I believe it has taken me so long to rank as I have. Had I choosen something with less competition, my site would for sure be at Number 1 already. For the new site, I used the Long Tail Pro software and found all keywords with a keyword competitiveness (KC) under 30.
2. Better anchor post. How does having a 5,000 word post as the homepage sound? That’s right – 5,000 words! I’ve spent a lot of time personally writing it and crafting it together. I think it’s going to be a pretty awesome resource for whoever searches for it. Just a note: The setup for this website will be the same as last time with a static webpage at the front and the blog posts under a separate header.
3. More content up-front. To save on time, the first 10 blog posts are already written. That gives me almost one month’s worth of content that I can upload and auto-post at given intervals. (Although this won’t happen) I could not do anything with the site for a whole month and it would automatically take care of itself. The beauty of this setup is that during this time I can work on back-linking, write more of my own posts or outsource, or work on a totally different project.
4. I opened up my wallet. I’ve got to start thinking of my websites as more of a business rather than as just fun money. So I’ve taken some of the revenue from my first niche website and decided to use eLance to have those first 10 articles created. This has saved me a bunch of time and it was really cheap! This is somewhat of an experiment. If the site does well, I’ll consider this to have been a very worth-while investment and may outsource more or other activities.
6. Not revealing the site name this time. I love you guys and all, but this time around I don’t think I’ll reveal the website name or URL just yet. I was very open in revealing [ ... removed ...], and I’d like to see if doing the opposite will have any better or worse effects. For now I’ll just call it Niche Site 2. All the same – I’ll do plenty of talking about how good or bad the site does, so you’ll still learn what does and does not work.
7. Back-linking will start sooner. I didn’t really understand or start getting into back-linking until long after Niche Site 1 started. I really started building links after the site was nearly 4-5 months old and a lot of valuable time had been wasted. Now that I have a better idea of what to do, I plan to put them to work A LOT sooner.
8. Avoid Google penalties. And on that back-linking topic I’ll be sure NOT to put too many nofollow links or irrelevant links (i.e. directory reciprocal links) on my homepage again. Working off one Google penalty on Niche Website 1 was enough for me.
9. Invest less personal time. The ultimate goal here is passive income. Passive meaning that I put as little of my own effort and time into this as possible. As with all projects you have to invest some energy in the beginning. But as I get better and better at building these sites, I am keeping things in perspective by trying to find ways to make these sites run in auto-pilot with as little maintenance from me as possible. I think my action to have the content outsourced in this go-around is one example of trying to stick to this mantra. And if things go well I may look at the possibility of having other tasks serviced as well.
What About My First Niche Site?
My first niche website is still doing good. I haven’t given up on it yet.
Although the main site has still not been able to leave the second SERP (bouncing between spots 11 – 20 in Google for the main keyword), the site continues to do okay. As you can see from the revenue chart, things have been going in the right direction. Just really slowly.
One big lesson I’m learning here and the reason I think the site is slowly increasing in revenue: Back-linking.
I have not created or posted any new content to the site. However, each week I have slowly worked on creating a few very natural and deliberate links to the homepage and internal pages. The result is that many of the internal pages are seeing a great deal of traffic. In fact: Niche Site 1 receives almost more traffic now than My Money Design does! That was unexpected!
But this is a good lesson. Although my main page may not hit Number 1 in Google, the fact that several of the supporting pages are doing well shows that you can still bring in a decent amount of traffic and earn some revenue. When I look in Google Adsense to see which pages the ads receive clicks on, this is evident.
It once again just goes to show that doing your homework, putting out good posts, and then keeping the links fresh is a recipe for success. My next challenge is to figure out how to amplify that success!
Readers – Has anyone else created a new niche website or started a new project? What do you plan to do differently than you are now?
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
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net