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
Its good to see you back. was waiting forever on your niche website update. It’s crazy how much traffic your niche site 1 receives. If you monetize better you might be able to pull alot more than that. Maybe CPA?
Thanks, and I’ll try to post these at least once per month.
I have given a lot of thought to other monetization tactics. I do have an affiliate ad in the upper right corner. However, affiliate advertising has been hit or miss for me. Sometimes its good and sometimes its not. There are certainly cases for both and we could probably think of at least five bloggers each who have done well going either direction. For now I will see if I can at least get my Adsense up over $100 per month. However, I wouldn’t rule out CPA ads shortly here just yet.
[email protected] says
Sweet. Congrats on the new site. We’ll be looking forward to hearing how it goes.
Matt Becker says
Good luck with the new site! I’d love to hear about your back-linking strategies. Not something I know much about.
I’m the same with Matt, I’d like to learn more about back-linking strategies. Good luck with the new site.. looking forward to reading more about it.
My backlink strategy was first laid out in this post here:
It hasn’t really much changed: Blog comments, carnival submissions, social media, and guest posts. I only submitted to the big directories and avoided all the little spammy ones that no one has heard of. No press releases, Web 2.0, article directories, or anything like that.
John S @ Frugal Rules says
Congrats MMD on getting another site up! I’ve been thinking of doing this more myself and I think I finally have Mrs. Frugal Rules on board with it – which was the big hurdle. 🙂 I am getting my site redesigned in the next month or so and once that’s done I think that I’ll be more actively looking at doing this.
Good luck and let me know if you need any help when you start. Looking forward to seeing the redesign of FR!
Lance @ Money Life and More says
Congrats on the new site! Tori, my fiancée, started her blog but it is off to a slow start. Hopefully it works out!
Shoot me an email when you get a chance. We need to catch up!
Awesome job for her! I’ll email you to get the link. I’d be interested in checking that out.
Congrats on site number two! I am very interested in watching your progress. It does seem unexpected that your IRA site is getting so much traffic especially for its age. Since you have a little experience now do you think the traffic is correlated to the fact that you have a bunch of links going to a specific few posts? Is it all Google traffic? And are you just using carnivals for the back linking or are you doing any article marketing?
Very curious to know!!
As far as I know almost all the traffic seems to be from Google. There are a few ways I can tell: From the Webmaster account the numbers seem to add up for the search queries. Also bloggers tend to leave a lot of comments. The site really doesn’t receive very many comments, which tells me that it is probably more regular people. The carnivals have been my main source of backlinking. I’ve also been using blog comments and social media just to diversify my dofollow/nofollow link portfolio.
Man, you are really good. I struggle to get my blog to your levels. Sometimes it beats me down. But I am a competing person and want to reach the goal, so thanks for this review and list of what to do to start and maintain a profitable blog. I’ll try to learn from it and follow it.
Keep it up Martin. The first year I made almost nothing off my blog. But over time I read a lot of articles from different people about how to do it, and eventually was able to make it happen. The important part is to try something, and then when that doesn’t work, try something else. Always have something you’re working towards.
Pauline @ Make Money Your Way says
Congrats on the launch of the second niche site! For having launched a second PF site I can attest it is much easier the second time around. It looks like you know how to do it this time, let’s see if #2 crushes #1 or follows the same path at a higher speed.
Hopefully NS2 does runs laps around NS1 in terms of success and income!
Chris @ Stumble Forward says
Awesome to see you are making some money on your first niche site. I have to agree with doing the proper keyword research is critical and can make you some great money if you do it right.
Yes, it may not be a ton, but I do like seeing the positive progress. I’m hoping that the month or so I spent on researching the keywords for my new site will pay off for me a lot quicker in this round.
Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says
I’m so interested in hearing how it goes! I’ve always wanted to open up a niche site but never really have gotten anything started. How are you backlinking?
You should give it a shot! Simply check if your current web host lets you host more than one domain. If so, then there really isn’t much cost other than registering another domain. The writing of the content is also much more relaxed. Since its not exactly a blog and people will naturally find it as opposed to coming back day after day for new material, you can really take your time to generate quality material.
See my earlier comment above to Matt Becker regarding my back-linking strategy. It’s pretty simple.
Thomas | Your Daily Finance says
Hey MMD I like the way niche site 1 is working actually. If you add a little more content and linkbuilding you could probably easily get to 100+ dollars per month. The one thing I would do is change your ad links colors to match your link colors. And test to see it your clicks are higher. Some times one google departments says do something and then another comes and penalizes you so I would be careful.
Thanks Thomas. I’m glad you like the way it looks. After I made this post, I did decide that I will publish a few more articles, and I’ve already had one new one go live. I’ll cover that more in detail in the next update.
What’s funny is that I do have my Adsense ads set to match the color of my blog, and most of the time they do. But sometimes they get a weird yellow border around them. It’s very odd, and probably has to do with either needing to update the theme or a glitch in the theme itself.
I’m still scheming as to how I can get it up to $100 per month in Adsense revenue. No giving up yet!
Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank says
Good luck with the new niche site. Did you like the content writer you used? I am looking for someone to write content for my 2nd niche site and I would love their contact details if you feel they did a good job and were reasonably priced.
Thanks Glen. She did okay. Send me an email and I can pass on her details to you. I’m already scheming Number 3, and just for fun I may try out a fraction of my articles with a different writer to see how much better or worse it is.
Financial Independence says
Congrats! Summer is slow time anyway – many people looking for an inspiration outside. School holidays as well.
I have been working on my niche sites as well. There is three of them. They bring combined about $100 a month, which is quite good.
Subjects there although personal, I would like to write about anyway. So no regrets. Little hobby, which contributes towards my home IT infrastructure projects 😉
$100 is not too bad at all! With a few extra sites and a little extra development that could be $1,000 easy. It is fun to write about things that just come natural to you. That’s where I have found enjoyment in this process.