How To Build A Niche Site Series Part 5: Promotion

Well here we are into part 5 on our series How To Build a Niche Site and I have to say things for me are coming together very nicely.  At this point you should have joined the challenge, picked a niche, created a site plan, and set up your content plan, and graphics.  If you haven’t completed those sections yet you can do so here.

In this step I’m going to cover site promotion and what I plan to do to promote my site and drive in that important traffic.  As a part of this step I will cover several different topics form guest posting, social networks, to commenting.  So let’s get started.

Guest Posting

One of the first strategies I plan to do is guest posting.  Guest posting is a great way spread your name, promote your brand, bring in a small trickle of traffic and even boost your site up in the search engine rankings.

The real question is how muct guest posting do you really need to do?  To answer this question it all depends on the type of niche you picked.  If you picked a really tough niche like credit cards, or life insurance you’re going to have your work cut out for you.

However if you’ve done your homework correctly you should have picked a niche that isn’t to tough compete in.  In the fact I’m already seeing signs that I’ve picked a great niche because I’m already ranking 6th for my main keyword.

So when it comes to guest posting I suggest at least a base of 30 guest post to get started.  From their over time you’ll want to build things up to around a 100 to 150 guest post in order boost yourself up high in the ranking on Google and other search engines.

On top of that I usually put 1 to 2 links in each post.  One link usually goes in my bio which links back to my home page and the other link goes to a specific page on my site that I want to have rank well in the search engines.

However I should mention a word of caution here.  When it comes to guest posting their are certain things you need to do to make this successful.

Build Relationships First.  First and foremost you need to build relationships with people in your niche.  Knowing people in your niche that know you will help spread the word and help promote you as well.  Then when you go to ask to write a guest post it’s not perceived as some sort of hard sell because they know you already.

Link Only To Quality Sites.  Second, you only want links to quality sites related to your topic.  While their is a lot of debate as to what is a quality site some will define it as page rank, and say if you have a page rank of 3 or better however I don’t think that is the best route to go.

While page rank is one indicator to look at, I like to look at things like social interaction, such as Facebook likes, G+, and Twitter mentions.  On top of that how many comments does the site get, if they get tons of comments it’s probably a good site to write an article for. Also, how often is the site updated, if it hasn’t been updated in the last 6 months you’ll want to avoid sites like this as well.  Finally, does the site have a name behind it.  In other words can  you easily and quickly see the name of the person who owns the site.  

If the site is a ghost town and I don’t see any recent content,social signals, comments, or the name of a person I will usually pass the site up.

Write High Quality Articles.  The third thing you need to do when it comes to writing guest post is it needs to be high quality content.  I can tell you from my own experience that writing crappy guest post for crappy websites will get you nowhere.

I did a lot of bad guest posting back in my early days and it cost me dearly in the search engines.  In fact in May of 2011 my site got hit by one of the first Panda updates and cut my traffic in half.  Over the following months I managed to gain a good portion of that traffic back only to be hit by another Google Panda update in late October 2011.

The moral of the story is don’t write junk content, and link back to crappy websites.  Rather build a brand, build relationships with others online, write high quality articles, and only link to quality sites.

So now that we know guest posting is a great way to promote your niche site, take some time to map out a potential guest posting plan and get started.

Commenting

Now that we’ve covered guest posting, another way I plan to promote my niche site is by commenting on other like minded sites.  What’s great about commenting on other sites is that it does several things for you all at the same time.

  • Drives Traffic.  First off, one of the great side effects of commenting on other blogs is that it drives in a trickle of traffic to your site.  As long as the site you’re commenting on is a quality site that gets traffic you’ll likely get a small trickle of traffic from it as well.  In fact my plan to is to comment on around 10 blogs in my niche actively and if each one brought me on visitor a day that’s 300 visitors a month to my website.
  • Builds Your Brand.  Secondly, commenting helps build a brand.  If you are planning to sell something on your site whether it be your own product or an affiliate product as it is in my case you need to build trust and the way you do that is with a brand.
  • Build Relationships.  On top of having a brand you it will also strengthen and build relationships with others.  I know for me building relationships on my own blog has had a tremendous affect.  The great thing about these relationships is that they will help if you happen to ask for a favor such as write a guest post or a recommendation.
  • Creates Linking Opportunities.  Finally, another great opportunity that comes from commenting is linking opportunities.  With commenting, when you build that trust and relationship it tend to help foster links.     As long as you’re writing great content, commenting, and building relationships, this is were I’ve manage to build some of my best links.

So take some time right now and map out a commenting plan.  Find 10 to 20 blogs or websites that you could comment on regularly.

Social Networks

Now that I’ve covered guest posting, and commenting strategies as a way to promote your niche site, the final way I plan to promote my niche site is by using social networks.  In this section I will be cover the three major social networks, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

Facebook. To start I plan to create a Facebook page. What’s great about Facebook is that it will let me get on a more personal level with those that really like my niche site.  On top of that I also plan to follow other brands and companies in my niche.  What this does is it will hopefully open up a line of communication and allow me become more well known with these companies.

Twitter.  I also plan to incorporate Twitter into my overall strategy as well by setting up a page and following those that  could be potential customers or companies that could help me out.  On top of that you can also use hash tag searches in twitter and start following these people immediately.  For example, if your website was about iPhone screen repair you would search it in Twitter like this #iphonescreenrepair , or you might search just #iPhone.

What this will do is show you exactly who may potentially have an iPhone or even a broken one and could be an great opportunity for you to show them your services and build a relationship.  On top of that it will also drive a small trickle of traffic back to your site over time and grow your overall brand.

Google Plus.  The final social platform I plan to focus on is Google Plus.  What makes G+ different from Facebook is that they are more business oriented which may work well to promote your brand and build followers.  However the big reason I like G+ is because any time you promote something with it, it tends to show up in the search results almost instantly.

So if you just wrote a new article you could publish it and promote it on your Google Plus page and anyone following you that would happen to do a search for a term related to that article could likely see that article in the results.  So take some time right now and plan out your social strategy with Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

Finally Thoughts…

With all of these promotional strategies it will allow you to get in front of others and build relationships in a stronger way.   So what are you doing to promote your site?  Feel free to share how you are promoting your site.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Glad to hear that the niche site is going well for you Chris. Not surprising, it seems like a lot of what you’re using to build up your niche site is stuff you’d be doing for a blog. How much time would you say you’re spending promoting your niche site vs. your blog?

  2. Your promotion techniques are very similar to just promoting a blog. I do all of the above, but I need to branch out more to get links. commenting on the same sites doesn’t get you much after a while, so finding new sites is a great way to earn more traffic and links. I am thinking about moving to forums as well.

  3. My promotion techniques are very similar to what I do with my blog and the reasoning for this is they are what I would call more white hat techniques. A lot of niche sites in the past have built on black hat techniques such as article spinning, buying links, and using blog networks like Build My Rank. The problem with these techniques is that they can get you into some serious trouble with Google so I just choose to stay away from them and build my site on based on long term principles. Thanks for the comment Grayson.

  4. Great question John. I haven’t been spending much time at all promoting my niche site yet. As far as my blog goes I just promote it through the normal social channel but not much else. I would like to point out that my niche site even though it is ranking well I have already managed to spot two mistakes I’ve made.

    The first mistake I made was that I didn’t choose a topic with enough traffic. This is mainly due to a miscalculation on my part and not doing an exact match search in the Google keyword tool. The second mistake I made that I failed to consider how tough the competition was really going to be, mainly because a lot of the keywords I’ve targeted have a .gov domain ranking in the top position which is going to be very tough to beat out. In the end I may or may not make any money with this site but it’s been a great learning experience so far, and if this site manages not to pan out I’m OK with that. I’m also not going to let that stop me, I’m going to correct my mistakes and move on.

  5. Chris,

    While the methods you talk about here are totally white hat and would work – I think they are way too time consuming for a niche site. Doing things like this would be better served for something like a niche blog – a site that you plan to update regularly.

    When I think about a niche site, I think about a site that generates income more passively. In other words, you put in a bunch of work up front and then just let it sit and earn. Your systems to drive traffic to it should be set up so that you don’t have to be involved as much. The most obvious of these, as you talked about earlier in this series, being SEO.

    It’s obvious that you know how to promote a blog – and you are using and writing about what you know. I think it’s cool too that you admitted your mistakes in the comments above. I know I’ve made plenty of mistakes myself. Thanks for sharing all of this so that we can all learn together.

  6. It all depends on how competitive your niche is. In most cases I’ve seen people start ranking #1 in Google after 2 to 3 months.

  7. That’s great to hear Laurie. I won’t claim I’m an expert by any means but I’ve managed to do very well over the last few years with my other sites as far a rankings go. Anyways I’m glad this is helping.

  8. I agree Matthew my method will take longer to complete but I prefer white hat techniques versus grey or black hat techniques. I’m not saying those things won’t work but I’ve been burned by Google to many to times to go back to them. As far as the passive part goes I think once a site has that initial base of quality links coming into it you won’t have to do as much to keep it there anymore, but just add some updated content here and there and maybe even a few back links from time to time to hold #1. However, I should also mention that I’m open to any other suggestions to promote niche sites so I’d love to hear any suggestions that you have.

    As far as mistakes go, I know I defiantly picked the wrong niche and I think most of that is due to the fact that I think way to much like a blogger yet. One thing I’ve learned is that you need to research and pick the right niche, or all of the work you do could be for nothing. In my case I’m ranking 6th for my major keyword already with no back links or promotion but the problem is their is hardly any traffic for that keyword. It isn’t all bad though, I’ve learned a lot and plan on starting my next niche site shortly.

    With that in mind I don’t know if you heard yet but Pat Flynn is going to be running his niche site duo again and I plan on building a site right along with him, and I’m researching some new niche topics as we speak. So hopefully things will go a little better the second time around.

    If anyone would like to checkout Pats new Niche Site Dual 2.0 you can do that here http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/niche-site-duel-2-pre-seo-alex-becker/

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