Well here we are already into part 2 of how to build a niche website series and if you haven’t read part 1 yet you can do that here. in this article I’m going to cover the steps I took to find my niche. One thing I should mention before I go any further is that their is no hard and fast rules to picking your niche. I also can ‘t guarantee that it will even be profitable.
That being said, picking your niche is the single most crucial step of the process and not one you want to take lightly. On the other hand this is also the step where a lot of people tend to get held up as well. For me it took nearly a month to pick my niche and I know I could have done this a lot faster but I did manage to pick my niche after much deliberation.
I would also like to say a special thank you to those who plan to be a part of the challenge I know most of you are fairly busy with your own sites right now and that’s perfectly fine. If you want to jump in you can do so at any time.
That also being said I know a few of you are planning to be a part of the challenge and build your own niche sites and that is great. I look forward to hearing about what you come up with and what kind of results you get. So to pump everyone up I thought I’d start things out right and share some of my current results.
Some Early Success
I’ve actually had a small bit of success with my niche site already so I thought I would share the good news. My niche site is already up and running and I even have a few page of content on the site already but what’s even more amazing is that I looked up my main keyword and seen that I was already ranking 9th in Google for it.
What this means is that in order to rank 1st for my main keyword it it’s not going to take a ton a work, which is exactly what I was looking for. On the other hand this could mean that my main keyword is not competitive enough but whatever the case I already have several methods in mind as to how this niche site could be a very profitable website. I’ll cover more on how I plan to monetize my site later, but for now let’s not get ahead of ourselves and focus on the basics.
Completing these basic steps are so important in the beginning as they can mean the difference between a successful site and a nothing at all. So let’s get started.
How I Chose My Niche
In order to pick out your niche I have laid out the same 6 step plan that I have used to find my niche. So take your time with these steps and chose something you feel you will enjoy writing about over the next several months.
Write Down Ideas. The first thing I did was wrote down a ton of different ideas. However, when you’re writing your topic ideas down think more about the problem you are trying to solve rather than some random keyword. For example, don’t write down iPhone. Instead think of the specific problem you are trying to solve, such as how to repair your iPhone screen.
The reason you want to think in terms of problems is because if someone has a problem they are trying to solve a lot of times they will pay money to have someone fix it. On top of that don’t be afraid to write down whatever comes to your mind. Doing this gives you a huge pool of opportunities to pick from. In fact my list was several pages long.
Pick The 3 Best. From here once you’ve written down a bunch of different problems pick the 3 best ideas on your list. This can be a hard thing to do if you have a bunch of ideas you like but just pick 3.
Do Your Research. Now that you have your 3 topic ideas chosen the real fun begins. This is where you do a little research to find out if something is profitable or not. In most cases at least one of the topics you have chosen will have some sort of profitability to it.
To get started you will need a tool analyze keywords to figure out which one is the best keyword. To do this you will need the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. This tool will everything you need to pick the correct keyword to base your entire site around and it’s totally free.
If you haven’t used this tool yet simply click the link above and you may need to log in or create an account with Google. Once your logged in you will need to find the keyword tool. You can find that by hovering over Tools and Analysis and clicking on Keyword Tool.
From here you will want to enter in your keyword that discribes your niche best in about 3 to 5 words. For example in my case with the iphone example I typed in Replace iPhone Screen. Below is what the I got for my results.
At this point you should have typed in your main keyword and got a list of results however you will want to do a few things to find the best results.
- Exact Match. First you will want to go with exact match in the keyword tool. This will show the results for that exact keyword and exactly how many people search that keyword in a given month.
- Arrange Columns. Secondly you don’t need to see all the different columns that adwords gives. Instead I only show the Keyword, competitive, Global, Local, and CPC column on my results page. You can adjust this by going to Columns in the upper right corner and selecting the appropriate columns.
- Traffic and CPC. Finally, the last thing you will want to do is find a keyword that describes your niche, has at least 1000 to 2500 searches a month, and at least $1 or more for the CPC which stands for Cost Per Click. If you look at the search I did you will see that I have exactly a 1000 searches a month and a $1.61 for the CPC, which is pretty good.
Competition. From here we want to determine the amount of competition that your keyword has. To do this all you have to do is preform a simple search for your keyword in Google. Below is a search for my keyword.
From here their are a couple of things we will want to know about these results.
- Page Rank. The first thing we will want to know is the page rank of each of these pages. Page rank will tell you roughly how strong and competitive the page is. While it’s not perfect, it can give us a good idea of how difficult this niche will be. To figure this out simply download a page rank extension into your browser and when you visit the page it will you tell what the page rank is. Typically, you don’t want anything more than a 3 for less competitive results but a few 4 and 5′s won’t hurt. For example, the first three results I came up with showed a PR5 but after that all the other page were between a PR1 to a PR3, which tells me their is some room to work with here.
- Title Tag. The second thing you will want to look at is the title tag. Google puts a lot of weighting on the title of an article. What’s interesting about the first four results on this page is that even though these pages have a high Page Rank none of them use the keyword in the title tag which is a clear and obvious advantage for us.
- URL. The third thing to consider is the URL. If the number 1 result on page 1 of Google is a website with the URL ReplaceiPhoneScreen.com or something similar to that it’s going to be tough to beat, but it just so happens that none of the pages have a URL like this which means we have another clear advantage here as well.
Consider Profitability. At this point we should have a clear idea what keywords will be good to base our site around. However one of the last things we need to do before we pick out niche determine if their is any profitability in this niche.
To do this we need to list out several options that will give us an idea of how profitable the niche could be. For example, with our iphone niche I come up with a few ideas such as using Adsense, affiliate programs, or maybe you want to start our own business fixing iphone screens, the options are literally endless here. Below is a list that I came up with that might help you out if you get stuck trying to figure out how to make your niche profitable.
- Affiliate programs
- Job board
- Classified adds
- Direct advertising
- Sell an ebook
- Create a membership site
- Create a tool
- Make a real physical product
- Offer Consulting
If you’re not sure what all of these different things are don’t worry about it. I will be getting more in depth with monitization and how to earn money with your niche site later on. For now just write down a few ideas you would like to earn money from your site.
Pick Your Niche. Once you’ve done your research, considered the competition, and the profitability it time to pick your niche and if went through all three of your possible niche ideas like this you should know which one is the most profitable and has the least competition.
On top of that I usually like to do the gut check. If I feel that this is a niche that I really want to take on I will go with it, but if I just don’t feel it in my gut I’ll usually pick one of the other two niches.
Finally, once you’ve picked your niche you will need to buy your domain name. I use a service called Name Cheap to pick my domain name. Typical domain names will run around $11 a year. I also suggest you go with a .com .net or a .org on the end of your domain name, such as ReplaceiPhoneScreens.com and if you can’t get the exact matching domain for you keyword just try adding a word to it such as ReplaceMyiPhoneScreen.com.
Finally, try to keep your domain to as few as 5 words or less, in fact the shorter the better because it will be easier for people to remember. However you will want your keyword to be in the domain name to have the best chances of ranking for it.
At this point you may have chosen your niche and that is great, however if you are still having problems leave a comment below and I will try and help you out the best I can.
In next weeks article I will be diving into designing your site structure and putting your site plan together. A good website is always preplanned before it is ever built and I will cover just exactly what you need to put this together.
So what do you think? Have you picked your niche yet?