Here's another guest blog post by my bud, Susanne Myers the Link Building Queen Check Out Her Link Building Course Here. It's Good.
There's a picture of us together from earlier this year. ->
I'm the closer one and she's the one further away. We're both thinking hard, getting smarter. 🙂
Well, I'll step down and let Susanne take the stage and shine. Here she is…
A Step-By-Step Approach To Creating A Niche Website
by Susanne Myers
I spent the past weekend with Nicole at NAMS (Niche Affiliate Marketing Workshop) in Atlanta where I spent a good bit of my time helping out in the beginner room.
The first stumbling block for many beginning Internet Marketers seems to be choosing a niche that they will then build a website or blog in.
Over the years I've done quite a bit of niche research. Here's my process I go through every time I am considering going into a new niche.
First of All, What IS A Niche?
Let's start by talking about what exactly a niche is.
According to Wikipedia, a niche is
“the subset of the market on which a specific product is focusing; therefore the market niche defines the specific product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact”.
For Internet marketing in particular they have the following to say:
By appealing to smaller segments of larger markets, referred to as niches, a website can be developed and promoted quickly to uniquely serve a targeted and usually loyal customer base, giving the affiliate a small but regular income stream.
Let's look at an example. Health and Wellness is a large market, weightloss is a subset of that market. We can then “niche” it even further down by choosing “weightloss for new moms” as our niche.
Is It a Profitable Niche?
Next I like to take a look at the profit potential of a niche. Some things to consider are:
- Is it popular?
- Does it solve a problem or entertain?
- Is there a magazine (or even better several magazines) out there that target your niche market?
- For ecommerce sites, if you can't find the product at large stores like Wall-Mart, you have a pretty good chance of being able to sell it online.
- Do others buy google adwords ads for products in this niche?
If you can answer several of these questions with a definite yes, your niche has quite a bit of profit potential and it is usually worth spending a little time putting together a website to test the niche further.
Who's My Target Market for this Niche?
My next step is to put myself into my customer's shoes. Get as much information about your target market as you can. Who are they? What kinds of problems do they have that you can help with. What questions do they have that you can answer. Great places to research your target market are niche forums and sites like yahoo answers.
Are There Products I Can Sell?
Before you start building your new site, I want you to check on one more thing… Are there any products (eletronic or physical) that you can sell to this market? I like to start by looking at affiliate products. Later on I might consider developing my own products, but for now let's focus on affiliate products. If you have several options, move on to the next step.
If there are no good products out there, it may be time to move to another niche. Please do not skip this step. I have spent hours and hours developing a site in the past only to notice a week or two into the project that there was really no good way to monetize the site.
Time For Keyword Research
I mostly get free traffic via search engines to my niche sites and the way to do this is to do some keyword research and then optimize content for these terms.
Pick your favorite keyword research tool. I personally use the paid version of wordtracker, but even the free wordtracker keyword tool or the google adwords keyword tool will do.
Spend a little time figuring out what terms are searched for in your market. Put them in a spreadsheet so you can refer to them easily when you start to create your content plan.
I like to sort my keywords into 3 different segments. The first is my main term. This will be the keyword with the highest search volume, but it will also be very hard to rank for. That keyword becomes my main focus for the home page of my website. Next I like to choose 5 to 10 keywords that are very general, but a little easier to rank for than the main one. Those become my category pages. All other keywords will be used in individual articles blog posts. This sorting is the first step toward creating a content plan. Let's talk about that a little more.
But first, if you want to learn a bit more about keyword research, listen to this panel discussion I was involved in along with SEO experts Karon Thackston, Lynn Terry and Dan Morris. It's $17, but I think you'll find it well worth the small investment.
Creating A Content Plan
I like to take those “sorted” keywords and come up with a content plan for my new website or blog. It helps me get things up quickly when I'm ready. A great way to organize the keywords is to use a mindmap. You can see a very simple example in the image below:
Of course you would add quite a few more long-tail keywords for the individual article pages (shown here in green). As your site grows you can expand by adding more and more keyword targeted articles.
Of course you can also do the same on paper if you are not comfortable with mindmapping.
Building Your Site
With your plan in hand, it's time to build your niche site. You will need a domain name, website hosting and some sort of content management program. While there are quite a few good ones out there and you could even build a static html page, I prefer using the free wordpress blogging software (www.wordpress.org) to build my niche sites. (If you've never installed a blog, ReliableWebs.com will set one up for you.)
Use your mindmap or content plan to lay out your categories, then start writing your content using the long-tail keywords. I like to get about 10 or so posts in to begin with and then work on adding a few more each week.
Content Promotion Strategies
The last step is to go out and actively promote your new site and the individual articles on it. It's a little outside of the scope of this blog post to cover content promotion in detail, but here are a few ideas to get your started:
- Tweet about your new site and new articles as you add them.
- Do some article marketing.
- Participate on popular niche forums and include a link to your site in your forum signature.
- Comment on other popular blogs in the niche.
- Write some guest blog posts on other blogs.
- Build some backlinks to each page of your site to get it ranking well in the search engines.
I hope you found this step-by-step approach to niche research helpful. Yes, there is quite a bit of work involved, but it's also a fun process to go through once you get a hang of it.
Of if you prefer, I'll do all of the research for you. I create niche research packs that include all sorts of other important niche info at your finger tips to help you enter a new niche or dominate one that you're already in.
Check them out at NicheResearchPacks.com
I hope this was helpful!
Please let us know if you have questions by commenting below. We’re happy to keep answering questions as long as you keep asking.
Have a great day!