The very first step you are to look into is what your Niche Website is going to be about. You want to choose something you’re interested in. Say you like fishing, create a site about one aspect of fishing (one aspect because that is going to be a Niche withing the large field of fishing.)
Wait! First tell me how much it’s going to cost me…
Whether you are rather poor or have much money, the Niche Website idea is pretty simple and does not require millions. Actually, the amounts needs are very small. There is more or less what it will cost you:
- Domain Name — about $20/year (first year included in hosting)
- Reliable Hosting — about $50/year
- Theme (optional) — about $50
- Time — depends on how much you’re hours are currently worth…
So the total would be around $70/year per Niche Website, possibly $150 for the first year assuming you get a non-free theme.
If you already own a domain and hosting, then you’re set! (unless the domain has really nothing to do with your niche website…)
Ah… It’s not free?
Well… there are ways to get free websites on the Internet such as https://wordpress.org/ and https://blogger.com/. However those solutions will most likely prevent you from making money. Make really sure to read all of their Terms & Condition to see how much you can do with them and read my other posts about what to do to create your Niche Website.
Frankly, I have seen many limitations in free solutions that will get in the way of getting as many pages and affiliate links in your pages and the last thing you want is to get your blog deleted because it did not follow the rules as defined in the Terms & Conditions. If you put hours of work in your website to have it deleted or at least removed from the Internet, it will feel really bad.
If you can get safe and automatic backups from that free solution, you may still use it if you’d like.
Note that the expected minimum income of a good Niche Website is in the hundreds within a few months. So you should not sweat it too much. Get about $200 together to get started and then try it for 1 year. If after one year you don’t get your money back, close everything… or try again better. Now remember that you should start seeing results within two or three months so if you don’t get any income by then, you should start thinking about adjusting your website at that time.
Why do you want to select a very specific Niche?
A broad website that talks about everything within a certain sector is going to be very difficult to monetize. This would mean that you are looking to sell things for the entire sector. I do not think you’re going to have much of a chance within six months to get much sales in such a case.
Look at Amazon.com. They started by selling nearly only books. Then they added other items like electronics. Later yet, they added apparels. Now it is a complete bazaar where you can purchase nearly anything you’d like.
It took Amazon.com years to get to that point. What you want to do on your Niche Website is pick one product and stick to it. It could be a product with accessories, though and you can sell those too.
One example has been to sell fitness products or videos. This has been a great Niche Website. I suggest you avoid it today because it is just too crowded. On the other hand, many other products do not have that many people selling them. Having a little competition is normal. Having too much is not going to allow you to enter the market easily.
Okay. But what type of products can I sell?
Although I’d say anything is good, there are products that are much better than others. What we use here is a little bit of math and common sense.
If you are going to sell books, each of which sells for $2 on Kindle, you get 6% commission on it, that’s $0.12/book. To get paid say $5,000 a month, you would need to sell $5,000 / $0.12 = 41,667 books. It’s just not going to happen. This does not mean you shouldn’t sell books too (and some books are $30!) However, it is not going to be easy for you to make real money.
To get a much better return, you want to have products that sell for more. For commissions, a good amount is between $100 and $300 for one item. However, many people will bulk at spending much more than $150, that is, it is a harder sale when someone has to purchase a $1,000 item versus $125. The reason this is a problem for you is that the customer may put the $1,000 item in his favorite, but you won’t get the commission of the customer does not end up purchasing that item within 24 hours that you sent the customer to Amazon.com. This is how that affiliate program works and unless you can send the customer to Amazon.com again before they purchase the item, it won’t be a good business model. Also many times more expensive items have a lower commission.
So for example, the Fishing Niche Website could specifically talk about flies, however those items are generally available at the store next door for less than $1. So selling those is a good tiny sidekick, but if you really want to make money you’ll have to look into some gear that people will want when going to fish. This could be an icebox. Talking about an easy to transport and sturdy icebox would certainly get you traffic. You want an icebox to keep your beer cold and bring the fish back home keeping it in a cool environment, right? Maybe there are options to have a built-in icebox in your van. All those ideas have to be answers to questions people will have about going fishing and you can then catch their attention with your posts (and hence the post of artificial flies!)
How do you find said product?
For your very first site, you should probably not spend too much time in searching for items because what you need is traffic and until you get that, it’s not going to matte that much.
If you can, purchase the item you want to review and add the link to on your website. This way you can take your own pictures of the item and that will look way more genuine.
Also having yourself purchase the item you will know whether it is a good product or not. Actually, you may even end up not promoting it at all… (although hopefully that won’t happen to you too much.)
Now, each person has their own way of looking at a product statistics to know whether this is a good seller or not to include in your links. At first this can look like black magic, but there are two main problems: first of all, if you try to sell the Amazon.com best seller, you are going to be confronted with more competition. In other words, people are not unlikely to be sent to other websites rather than yours so you just won’t get your commission.
I will have another post about this because we can really go in depth on that one. But the two main things to look into are the reviews and ranking. If you see too many negative reviews, then it’s probably not a good deal. If you are really interested by that product, buy one and test for yourself to make sure that the reviews were indeed legitimate. If you see negative reviews of people complaining about nothing, you can ignore those. The ranking is also indicated as the Best Seller Rank. There are generally two positions. The Amazon.com store in general, which you can ignore, and the category specific position. Just avoid products that have a rank to high up. These would be difficult to sell on a Niche Website.
One more important aspect of your product selection… When you select what I reference as a fad product, know that you will have to change it often or even delete that post and write a new one about that other new fad product (well, the next one does not need to be a fad product.)
For example, this fun magnet used to carry your keys on your fridge, is probably not going to last long (if you don’t see a magnet to the left or top on smartphones, then it is already over!)
All products have a lifetime which is not forever which is why you will need some maintenance. But if you choose well, you are likely to find products that can last several years, reducing your website maintenance dramatically.
Make sure the Niche Makes some Sense
There are several parameters that will help you ensure that your Niche Website is indeed a Niche.
One of the best Niche Website is one where it is currently difficult to find content about. Say you are searching about buying a telescope as an amateur, you open Google and type something like “best telescope for amateur” and you get millions of hits by google but look at the first few answers do not give you any satisfactory answer (not the case of Astronomy, but for sake of argument…)
You can infer that such a niche is a really good niche. Obviously, you should test searching in various ways, don’t do just one single search. Most people will do that so should you. But lack of results means that the place is available to you.
Another good niche is one that includes many products at the right price. As mentioned above, if you have products that are around $150 and you have many of them (many as in 10 would be enough), then you have a good chance of having a really good level of sales after just a few months. As I mentioned earlier, if you are going to just sell books for $2 a pop, it’s going to fill your wallet very slowly…
Another important point, you want the main items that you sell to be worth reading about. If you start writing reviews about hammers, I think your readership is going to be fairly small. I’m not saying this isn’t a possible Niche Website, but it is likely that people who need a hammer go to the hardware store, check various hammers to see how they feel and come back home with the one the liked best. Although they may still end up reading your review, they are probably going to go to a store next door and are never going to come back to your website.
I got an idea, now what?
Now that you have decided on the niche, you want to get the website going. I have another post on the technical side of things on that one, but here I wanted to talk about the most important aspect of this: you want to get your own domain name. Although using a sub-domain works too, having your own domain gives you a chance to include at least one of your keywords in that name.
For example, say you want to sell bear trimmers, which for good quality ones are around the right price, you will want to include the word trimmer in the name. For example, maybe the name magicaltrimmers.com would work great for that Niche Website. This would be for trimmers that magically make you look stunningly good…
Note that I put a “dot com” at the end of the name. Although other extensions work just find as far as Google is concerned, people don’t remember what extension you may have been using. Better stick with a dot com and some people may come back to your website over and over again.
In my next post I will give you the technical way to check availability for a domain name and to create your first Niche Website. Once past the technical part, I will send you to what needs to be written on your site so it start getting traffic. It’s not complicated, but you need to understand how things work. Especially, you need to answer all the potential questions that your readers are not unlikely to have.
Find all pages about creating a niche on the Create My Niche Website page.