I’ve got some terrific news: My new niche website (NS2) is currently ranking on the first page of Google at #4 for my main target keyword!
Believe it or not, this comes as a great accomplishment to me because it means that all the tricks and things I learned through the first niche site do in fact work! This is also very exciting news to me because if I consider how much my first niche site (NS1) makes in terms of a modest residual income every month from the advertising, I now just DOUBLED my income potential! Can you imagine how much money I could be making after experiencing success with perhaps 5 of these types of sites? The possibilities are endless!
Although I was, of course, targeting to get on the first page of Google, this does come as somewhat of a surprise. The website itself was only created just over 1 month ago. My first niche website is still not even on the first SERP (search engine results page) even after 7 months of effort.
Another reason why this has been a pleasant surprise:
- NS1 is currently receiving an Average Keyword Competitiveness (KC) = 35 using Long Tail Pro to analyze the first page results.
- When I originally did my research, the main target keyword had a KC = 24. Recently when I’ve analyzed it, it received as high as KC = 39!!! When I saw that, I was instantly starting to have my doubts about whether or not I would ever be able to get the site to rank close to the top or not. To my delight it has found its way to the first page and that is something I feel good about. I guess this is just a lesson in seeing how easily the first SERP results can fluctuate.
What I Did to Get Niche Website 2 to Rank on the First Page:
To give you an idea of how this process has been going, I’m going to share with you a log of the tasks that took place during this creation. I really wanted to understand the process better this time around and thought it would be very beneficial do document my actions and see what I can learn from them.
Plus a lot of the comments you guys have been leaving have been asking about my link building process. So now you can see what it is that I do.
Here are the actual actions that were made over the last month:
- 6/22/2013, Rank +500: The domain is purchased and the theme installed. My main static page content is uploaded and my first post is published.
- 6/23/2013, Rank +500: Three more posts are published.
- 6/24/2013, Rank +500: Google Webmaster account code uploaded and verified.
- 6/27/2013, Rank +500: Two more posts are published. Also added Google Adsense ads.
- 6/28/2013, Rank +500: My first back-links created by making a few blog comments.
- 6/29/2013, Rank +500: Submitted the site to several very popular blog directories (Technorati, All Top, etc). Also made a few more blog comments.
- 7/1/2013, Rank +500: Started publishing new weekly posts. Commented on some more blogs.
- 7/2/2013, Rank +500: Started my weekly submission to blog carnivals.
- 7/3/2013, Rank 34: My blog finally starts to show some rank for the main keyword! However, the result is very interesting. It wasn’t my main URL that was ranking. It was a subpage pointing to one of my archives pages. That was kind of weird….. I also started my weekly submission to popular social media sites.
- 7/4/2013, Rank 35
- 7/7/2013, Rank 16: The same URL to the archive page is the one ranking. Not my main URL.
- 7/13/2013, Rank 39: More weird stuff. Now the archive page that was ranking has vanished and a different archive page is ranking for the main keyword. Not my main URL.
- 7/16/2013, Rank 15. NOW my main URL is the one ranking for my main keyword.
- 7/17/2013, Rank 8. Doing even better. Now the main URL is on the first SERP.
- 7/20/2013, Rank 8.
- 7/25/2013, Rank 6
- 7/27/2013, Rank 21
- 7/28/2013, Rank 21. Uh, oh. Time to do some more commenting.
- 7/31/2013, Rank 6. That’s better. I’m back on the first page.
- 8/02/2013, Rank 4.
- 8/03/2013, Rank 4. Let’s hope we keep moving in the right direction.
I do think that I will have some difficulty getting to the No. 1 spot for my keyword choice. The jerk that holds that spot has a pretty strong post. (LOL – the jerk is me and it’s a post on this site that is ranking for the first spot).
Niche Site 1 Progress:
NS1 is still holding strong at the #10 to #11 position for the main keyword and has been that way for some time.
As I mentioned before, I do not plan to give up on my first niche website. I still do weekly back-linking and maintenance for NS1. It is my belief that I’ve got a lot of great quality content there, and given the fact that several of the blog posts are ranking on the first SERP for their main and secondary keywords, I’d say that other people can agree with that as well.
I did receive a lot of great comments during my last niche site update encouraging me to keep uploading content to the site. I’ve seen a lot of differing opinions about whether or not it is critical to keep posting new content to your site. Some people believe you have to do this often. Others do it once a month and their site continues to enjoy high ranks, great search engine results, and lots of traffic.
Therefore, so as not to risk endangering any of my progress, I have decided to post at least 1-2 new articles on the site each month. That should keep the website relatively fresh without creating a lot of extra effort on the back-end for me.
I think that one of the biggest things I did differently between NS1 and NS2 was to outsource the content and get that all created way ahead of time. Even though I did all the keyword research and architecture for how the niche site would come together, outsourcing the content saved me an incredible amount of time which I plan to recuperate from quicker earnings.
Therefore, I’ve decided to try outsourcing yet another task. This time I will be using oDesk to outsource the mundane tasks of submitting to blogger carnivals and social media sites. I know that a lot of the big-time niche website masters use these virtual assistants (VA’s) to do these types of things; everything from site management to uploading and responding to comments. Though I don’t plan to go that far yet, I will try this out and see how it goes. What I hope to get out of it is more time to work on my overall strategy or higher level tasks.
Readers – What do you think of the progress of NS2? Do you see anything different you would have done? Was there anything I did that surprised you? Who has experience with oDesk?
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!
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Thomas | Your Daily Finance says
Great work MMD!!!! You rocking it with NS2. When you do it and learn it makes it easier the next time. if you do a 3 site it will be even easier. I actually prefer to have my subpages to rank. Usually the homepage ranks because people have 5+ posts on the homepage but when you have those subpages it help for more targeted traffic. How are your CTR? And you really get to some good traffic when you are positioned as 1-3 unless you are branded. Did you go with a brand or an EMD/PMD? Looking forward to hearing more. I will be doing a niche site soon as well. Working on strategy and content at the moment. How long are your posts for this site?
Thanks Thomas. I am finding this process to get a lot easier as I go along and find out what works.
I too also like my sub-pages to rank well and that is where I will target next. My NS1 has been doing this and is doing really, really well by my standards. It is almost up to $100 in Adsense revenue per month with a CTR of 1%.
NS2 gets 2400 searches and the related keywords are all between 500 and 2000 searches, so I’d say there is some good traffic opportunity as long as I can develop and promote the content well.
My NS1 posts were all mostly over 800 words each. NS2 ones were a little more relaxed at 600 or better.
You are welcome! Are you going with Adsense for all your niche sites? Sometimes less linkbuilding is more and just waiting to see the movement Google gives you. 5000 word post wow nice one!
I’m trying to prove to myself that I can build a site with Adsense and make it work. But I may just go with Amazon or some other CPC affiliate the next time.
Thomas | Your Daily Finance says
I am working a travel niche site, well to of them. I wont be using Adsense and i am afraid of Amazon since the close in so many states already. I am going for something like Airbnb or Trip advisor.
I had no idea that Amazon was closed off in so many states. The thing that bugs me about Amazon is that the cookie is so short! I’ve ran many posts on MMD with Amazon links and they never seem to have an immediate conversion, though I’m sure Amazon still reaps some benefits afterwards!
Matt Becker says
Wow, thanks for the detailed action steps. This is a post I’ve already bookmarked as a reference if I ever get into this kind of thing, which has definitely been on my mind. Sounds like you’ve made some great progress in a short amount of time. It will be interesting to see how the income does or does not differ as a result.
Thanks Matt. That means a lot to me to know that you bookmarked one of my posts as a reference.
I’m eager to see how the income aspect works out too. With Adsense it seems to take a little while because it is all based on the amount and type of traffic you receive. The people who use Amazon affiliates seem to do things a little quicker (and perhaps that is where I will look next).
Awesome! Love it! This makes me want to do another one. I am trying to get my blog income and writing income where I want it before I go creating more sites though. I easily got my coonhunters club website on the first page of Google for several keywords. Although, my back linking strategy was slightly different than yours. But I haven’t made hardly any money. I don’t think there was enough income potential for that one.
Even if you didn’t make much money off Coonhunters, I’m sure it will put you in a way better position the next time you decide to make another site.
SMI seems to be doing well with all the great freelance writing gigs you do. I can’t believe all the gold find.
What was your strategy for back linking? I’m curious …
Chris @ Stumble Forward says
That’s awesome MMD. I haven’t been doing much with my niche sites lately since I’ve been so busy. Ranking in the top 5 with a KC of 39 is great. Most keywords I target are around 35 or less but it’s OK if it goes over by a little because that number seems to fluctuate quite a bit.
As I learned in this exercise, the competitiveness score can go up and down quite a bit! But we both know that’s all relative to whatever Google deemed appropriate for the top 10 that day.
Most of the time when I research words for new sites or even just posts, I also target 35 or lower. I feel awesome when I find one under 20!
[email protected] says
Great job on your niche website! Question- how much time have you invested in it at this point to get it where it is?
Hours? Let’s see. It took probably a week to write the anchor post (5,000 words). Then I setup the site, posted the anchor post, and uploaded the first 3 articles in one weekend. The other posts were outsourced so there was minimal effort there. Linking building was only 2 hours per week.
Great Job MMD, now love to hear your monetization strategy.
if you dont mind answering, how many monthly local searches does your main keyword get?
Thanks! Adsense if my monetization strategy for both NS1 and NS2. I’m impressed by Niche Pursuit’s success and others with Amazon affiliates, and I may go that route next time.
The main keyword gets 2400 searches.
John S @ Frugal Rules says
That’s awesome MMD! I like your detailed steps and it’s cool to see the hard work payoff. I’ve not used oDesk yet, but will likely be doing so in order to hire a VA soon. I think I just may be coming to you when I do a niche site in the near future. 🙂
I’m only an email away!
Grayson @ Debt Roundup says
Nice work on NS2. It is always good to see the progress and I hope you can blow up the passive income with it. Do you plan on adding more niche sites?
Thanks Grayson. I do plan to more. I’m actually outsourcing the articles now for number 3.
Mark Ross | Think Rich. Be Free. says
I think you did a great work on your NS2. Thanks for sharing such detailed information. I might as well use it as a reference if ever I decided to build my own niche site.
Thanks Mark. I hope you are able to use this info to your advantage.
Wow! Thanks for sharing how you acheived this. I’m still learning about SEO and page ranks but this is really great information.
Thanks Monica. If you need some help with SEO, I do have a pretty extensive post of pretty much everything I’ve ever learned collected here:
Rita P @ Digital Spikes says
MMD congratulation for NS2, You are doing to come on 1st page of SERPs for your desired KW’s , Thanks for sharing detailed post, I will save it for future niche site reference
This is very helpful for aspiring bloggers trying to make a name for themselves on the web. I appreciate the post and congrats on the page rank!
Thanks David and welcome to the site. Hopefully this info will help you in the future.
Wow definitely sounds like you are doing great! I haven’t gotten into niche sites yet, but I would like to.
KK @ Student Debt Survivor says
Have been doing a lot of reading about niche sites over a Pat Flynn’s site. Honestly, I didn’t really understand the point of them until about a year ago. Right now I don’t have time, but in the future starting a niche site is something I’d like to consider. Congrats on your progress so far!
To be honest – no. I haven’t really used much from SPI. Pat’s posts are helpful, but you have to invest A LOT of time digging through his content, watching the videos, etc. Good stuff, but very buried. Niche Pursuits has been far more helpful and direct with showing you exactly what to do, step by step, case studies, etc.
Great post, thanks for the great step by step look at how you did things! I guess if you get the niche site to #2, you can take down the post on this site and then you will have the #1 ranking! (haha)
Maybe I’ll make a third site about the same keyword and just monopolize the whole top 10 niche! LOL!
Debt and the Girl says
Congrats on the progress! Thats amazing that you got so much traffic in such a short amount of time.
Thanks DATG, but just to be clear I’m actually not really get much traffic to NS2 yet. Hopefully if I stay in the top 10 that will change!
Todd @ Fearless Men says
Wow this is very insightful. I remember reading about your NS1 pursuits several months ago.
What would you say is the most influential factor to getting to #4?? Do you think it’s commenting (you refer to that as backlinking at one point)?
Thanks Todd. I’m glad to see someone is following my progress 🙂 And I’m glad to have progress to show.
I think the biggest factors were 1) choosing a relatively low competition keyword (even if that changed over time), 2) writing a lot of SEO content, and 3) back linking. Commenting technically is back linking because you get to leave your link behind. But it is only a small part of it. Google likes to see a natural back link profile, so a good mixture of dofollow links and nofollow links will be important.
Todd @ AllThingsFinance.net says
How many pages of SEO content would you suggest? Ten? And then do you leave it static or occasionally (maybe once a month) add another page?
I’ve been targeting a minimum of 10 – 20 pages with at least one being a mega-post. For NS2 I got up to 20 posts and then left it alone for a while. But then after a month 1) I noticed the Adsense revenue went up and 2) a lot of readers suggested I keep developing it so that the main keyword would be on the first page of Google. So now I’m adding more pages to it; probably 1-2 per month. Basically the rule of thumb is if the site seems to be bringing in money and doing well with traffic, why not increase your chances of doing even better by adding even more content?
Lance @ Adventuring Dollars says
Congrats on getting the niche site to the first page of results! That’s awesome MMD. Especially with the KC going up 🙂
[email protected] says
I’m glad the site is doing so well. Imagine how fast #9 and #10 will be. Do you have training in this type work, or is it all self taught?
Thanks Kim. Everything has been self taught since I started My Money Design two years ago. I just keep picking up tips from different web sites.
Inspiring indeed. I am very close to starting my niche site as well. I’m currently doing my keyword research with market samurai, but it’s taking little longer than I expected. I jumped into few niche sites before without much keyword research and it didn’t get anywhere, so I’m making sure that I do a thorough research before I start. Are you using Long Tail pro or Market Samurai? Do you mind if I get in touch with you to inquire what kind of competition you’re working with. Thanks.
I’m using Long Tail Pro. I bought it after I started NS1 and what a difference the keyword research made in attracting the right kinds of traffic. Yes, feel free to reach out to me.
S. B. says
Very good progress, MMD. Your monetization of NS1 is truly excellent. You do realize how much capital you would have to accumulate to achieve $1,200/year via dividend income? 🙂 Keep up the good work.
I do, and that’s why a lot of my effort has been going towards this activity.
Coincidentally, that’s exactly what I plan to do with my profits = invest them into dividend stocks. I’ve got a post being drafted right now that will discuss this further.
Matthew Allen says
Very nice MMD! Very gratifying to see some of the tactics we’ve learned put to use and working.
Obviously, this site is in the PF niche – which makes it easy to be able to submit to carnivals (because there are so many PF related ones). Have you had success with this site getting accepted to these carnivals?
My latest experiment: put up a niche site with only 4 pages of outsourced content – 2,400 monthly searches – original KC 24 – now KC 26 – main article 2,000 words with 3 secondary articles at 700 words each. Ranked at #135 in Google only 1 day after original article posted! Using ONLY SocialADR for bookmarking backlinks for the first 30 days. Currently at #27 in Google for main keyword at Day 16!
Yes, the PF carnivals have accepted this site with no problem. Hopefully that’s a sign that the outsourced writing was pretty good 🙂
That’s great that you’re doing well with a micro-niche site. Can I ask how much a site like that makes you in income? You can email me if you’d prefer not to reveal it; I’m just curious. I’ve been considering starting one for a non-personal finance topic like exercise or guitar playing and just seeing where it goes. It would be much easier to setup and maintain.
Matthew Allen says
This particular site doesn’t have any income yet. Another one of my micro niche sites (1,000 monthly searches) that started out with only 4 pages of content (now has 8 or 9 pages) made about $80 from Adsense last month.
The reason I asked about the carnivals was because my credit card site wasn’t being accepted to them most of the time. I think people may have thought it looked spammy (it totally wasn’t) based on the domain name.
$80 per month for 8 to 9 pages is no joke! That’s a pretty great return considering how small it is.
I’ve had pretty good success with naturally entering the carnivals and being accepted. However the posts were pretty similar to what you see here. It’s totally possible that the whole credit card thing could have put some people off. Since the hosts are all basically the same week to week perhaps you could reach out to a few of them and see if that makes a difference.
Dividend investing Martin says
MMD, thanks for sharing the list of steps. It is a great reference other can learn from (as well as from many of your previous articles). It is great road map to follow. Keep posting it for idiots like me so we can learn.
You’re not idiots. It was less than a year ago I was hunting all over the Internet looking for posts like this also trying to figure out how all this stuff works.
Great stuff! Thanks for the step by step look at how you achieved that, that is really helpful. One question… how do you seek out PF Carnivals to submit articles to? That is one area that I am not too familiar with yet, but trying to learn. Thanks again for the great info!
Thanks JR. There is a submission site to a dozen or so carnivals here:
There are a lot more than that. Another way to find PF carnivals is to just search for them in Google and find sites that host them. Usually there is a link back to the submission site where you can apply weekly.
Thanks, much appreciated!
Congratulations on your success with the niche site. I think this is something I may give more thought to as I further establish my primary site. I want to think through other optimization path ways on this one first before looking to branch out. I’m convinced the ebook route may hold some promise.
I don’t blame you for wanting to find your footing first before you take on a different website. However starting my first niche site separate from my main blog gave me the freedom to be totally experimental and try whatever I wanted without hurting My Money Design. If it failed or I did something wrong, then so what. But if it worked, I could then try it on my main site and see if I could reproduce the success. It was sort of a game of one thing reinforcing the other.
I also struggled for a year to figure out how niche websites work, My 5 month old Amazon niche site has been making on average around $330/month ( website is installed on a 3 year old domain name) so I am always looking for information on how to improve ranking. Have you tried article marketing by any chance? If so, what has your experience been like ?
I’ve been warned by lots of fellow bloggers not to even bother with article marketing. They say that messing around with article directories or Web 2.0 properties is a big waste of time.
However, if you try something more akin to guest posting on other reputable sites, I’d have to say that that has been very beneficial as far as improving my rankings as well as traffic numbers.