How To Make Money with Niche Sites: Week 1

JillAffiliate Marketing, Blog79 Comments

Raise your hand if you have even been enticed by the seemingly endless supply of bloggers out there who boast monthly income reports that rival most yearly salaries.

*raises hand*

Or raise your hand if you have ever felt completely mystified as to how the heck they go about pulling in that amount of money, month after month? *throws second hand in the air and waves them like she just don’t care*

Now be honest, don’t you wish you could see exactly what they do so you could steal *cough* “model” *cough* their approach, and apply it to your own online exploits?

Before we cracked the code on this whole ‘make money online’ thang we felt the exact same way. 

We wished, willed, and silently pleaded with these bloggers to reveal their secret formula on how to make money with niche sites so we too could get in on the action.

But they didn’t. Or, I should say, some of them did…we just didn’t know about them. So we were forced to figure it out on our own. And now that we’ve got that process on lockdown we want to open the vault and invite you to follow along as we build a niche site from the ground up.

We’re going to feature it all—the good, the bad, the ugly. We’re holding nothing back, meaning there will probably be some big wins and some epic losses over the next 3-4 months. But one thing that is for sure: If you follow this case study you should be able replicate our entire process and create a moola-makin’ site of your own.

So allow me to stop blabbering on and get down to the dirty deets…

The niche we have chosen to answer is…drum roll please….Cellulite!

Now as many of you know we do have sites in the skincare and beauty niches, however we have never attempted to build a small micro-niche website solely on cellulite, so this will be a first for us.

Another aspect of choosing a niche like cellulite is that it is quite competitive, so we think it will make for a good challenge for us to see if we can in fact reach our goals and make a good run of it all.

Alright, now for the specifics…

Niche We’ve Chosen

Cellulite

Website URL

http://howtotreatcellulite.com

Product We’re Promoting

Finulite

URL of the affiliate program: Finulite.com/affiliate-program/

Specific Pages We’ll be Using

  1. http://howtotreatcellulite.com

  2. http://howtotreatcellulite.com/best-anti-cellulite-cream

  3. http://howtotreatcellulite.com/causes-of-cellulite

  4. http://howtotreatcellulite.com/finulite

Keywords We’ll be Using for Each Page

Page 1 Keywords (each italicized keyword will be our main keyword for that page while the others are sub-keywords):

  • how to treat cellulite

  • home cellulite treatment

  • cellulite treatment at home

  • cellulite treatments that work

  • at home cellulite treatment

Page 2 Keywords:

  • best anti cellulite cream

  • do cellulite creams work

  • the best cellulite cream

  • anti cellulite creams

Page 3 Keywords

  • causes of cellulite

  • cause of cellulite

  • what causes cellulite and how to get rid of it

  • how to fight cellulite

  • how long does it take to get rid of cellulite

  • will exercise get rid of cellulite

Page 4 Keywords:

  • finulite

  • buy finulite

  • finulite review

  • finulite reviews

  • does finulite work

Factors Outside of Our Control

  • Because this is a public case study we fully expect to see some negative SEO (in the form of spammy links) from people trying to knock us down and ruin our results out of pure malice

Our Goals

  • Rank on Page 1 of Google for at least ONE keyword by February 1, 2014
  • Have the site generating $500 a month by April 1, 2014

And there you have it! We realize that we have some aggressive and lofty goals for this project, however we want to show you that it is absolutely possible to make good money by following and replicating our method.

Also, we want you to see how profitable niche sites can be so if you are wanting to make a little money on the side, or escape the 9-5 you can do it by modelling this process.

Trust me, if we can do it, you can absolutely do it too!

Finally, we want to hear from you! You are the reason we are running an open and public case study, so we want to challenge you to follow and replicate our method as we move through this process.

And if you do choose to follow along, please get active in the comment section below each post (including this one!) and let us know what you’re thinking, what you’re struggling with, what you’re succeeding with, and any questions you may have.

Let’s make some cash-money, shall we?

P.s. If you do in fact want to join us in this challenge you are going to have to pick a niche to enter, then pick a product to promote, do some keyword research—either basic keyword research or more advanced research using Long Tail Pro—and set up your WordPress website. Good news is all these links will teach you how to do it all!

Download Your Copy of the Ultimate Niche Site Breakdown”




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  • Hey guys — this is awesome. Thanks for the tips! I’ve been working on a niche site for a bit and it’s just reached page 3. However I don’t think I chose a great niche I should be selling more expensive stuff lol. No money from it yet. I’ve got a couple of other ones in the mix. Just wish I could make my first couple of dollars lol. Would feel great!

    • Nice work on getting to Page 3, Becky! I know it might not seem like much (or it might feel like you still have a long way to go), but you’re on the right track!

      What are you doing for SEO and linking?

      As for making that first dollar – the minute that happens (and it will!) you best be posting it in the comments lol! I know how good that feeling is (I remember my first sale) and I want to be sure to congratulate you when you get there 🙂

      Stay committed…it will happen for you! Also, hopefully this case study helps you troubleshoot what might not be working….or give you new ideas on how to improve what is working!

  • I’m really looking forward to following along with this case study. Can’t wait to see how it unfolds!

    Question: Will you be using a PBN for this case study?

    Hope to cross paths with you guys again soon!

    • Josh Stanton

      Yeah man for sure. We’re also going to eventually show people how to setup their own PBN (private blog network for anyone wondering).

      Hope to see you guys in Mexico!

  • Jub Bryant

    Will be following along too. How did yas choose ‘how to treat cellulite’ as the URL?
    Was the keyword searches/google results ratio the highest out of all of them keywords?

    Ive got a list of keywords/product to promote, just not sure which URL to rego.

    Just got back to CM so will catch up soon!

    • We wanted to find a good EMD (exact match domain for anyone wondering) that wasn’t product based, but problem/solution based…

      Also, we have a slightly different approach to content that ties in with why we chose a URL like that…but that’s coming up 😉

      Can’t wait to hear how your site unfolds!

      Definite catch ups too 🙂

  • Karen Wojciechowski

    Yay how exciting! Ok Im in, off to find a niche and product 🙂

    • Nice Karen!!! Can’t wait to hear how you go 🙂

  • Nice, the case study I wanted! I am just putting together my first niche site strategy based on what you guys schooled my by the pool in the Smyth..

    • Josh Stanton

      Haha I thought you’d like this one 😉

    • Niiiiiice! Can’t wait to hear what you do with it! Keep us updated along the way, will ya?

  • danb88

    Hello! I have several great ideas for affiliate sites, though I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t know how to get started! How do you make the connection with the company whose products you are selling? How do you get paid? How does this sorcery work? 😉

  • Francois

    Hey Jill and Josh!
    I am a little bit confused reg the keyword research part of the work. May I ask?;
    Does this process work for any particular language and geography? or I have to go for English language and the whole world as a market..? bcos that seems a daunting task…
    Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Josh Stanton

      Hey Francois, looking to target a French audience maybe? If so, in order to target a specific country, all you need to do is register a domain with that countries domain name extension. French = domain.fr

      Then all you would do is try and rank on google.fr

      That also means as far as keyword research goes, you can choose to show results based off a certain country. ie. google.fr

      If you can enter a foreign market outside of the US, I can almost guarantee that ranking on page one will end up being much easier, so you would have an advantage there 🙂

      Finally as an obvious note, just make sure the content you write on your site is in the language of the audience you are targeting.

  • Julia Miami

    Hi Jill, I love your blog! You guys are awesome! 🙂 🙂 🙂
    How do you calculate the market cap of a niche?
    Peace,
    Julia

    • Josh Stanton

      Julia, I assume by “market cap” you mean search volume? If so, we focus more so on determining the competition and profitability of a niche. As long as there are at least 10 keywords with a monthly search volume above 100, then we may enter the niche.

      • Julia Miami

        Hi hi 🙂
        Yes I meant profitability of a niche! 🙂 If there are tons of search volume but margins are low, would you still enter? It seems contradictory?
        Thanks again guys :))

        • Josh Stanton

          Ahh okay I’m with you now. Because these sites are so simple to setup, I focus more on the potential to rank and get traffic. In saying that however, if there are no good products in the niche to promote, I might reconsider starting a site.

    • *high five* Julia! Happy to have you around these parts 🙂

  • Michelle Sardinha

    Hi Jill, thank you so much for this!! I needed this, I’m relocating in 6 months and I am hoping to know as much as I can by then 🙂 I’m going to follow your guide step by step & I’m really excited to see the outcome.

    • You’re so very welcome Michelle! I’m happy to hear you’ll be following along…and make sure you keep us updated on your progress 🙂

  • Reba Charleston

    Hi Jill! Although my main focus is to grow my coaching biz, I’m excited to follow your case study as I’ve been very interested for some time in affiliate marketing as a potential source of income. Can’t wait to see it all unfold! :o)

    • Happy to have you along for the ride, Reba 🙂

  • Great use case. I will follow along. 🙂

  • Cat Alford/ Budget Blonde

    Awesome! This is going to be fun!

  • Dillon Carter

    Just found your blog through Rob and Mish 🙂 Already loving your content. I have been playing with niche sites recently and made my first. Ranking is killing me lol but hopefully something will come out of it.

    • Josh Stanton

      Glad to hear it man. Stick with it and eventually you will start to rank. Also as a piece of advice, try spending more time on keyword research at the start. If you can get really good at it, then it makes the whole ranking process much easier.

      • Carol

        They way you get a high ranking on google is to use google ad words and pay per click? Is this the best way or are there cheaper ways to go about this?

        • You don’t have to pay for ads at all…you can build free traffic with some serious hustle 🙂

    • Welcome to the Screw Dillon! Happy to have you around these parts 🙂

  • esha

    i loved your blog. starting blog on my own and these tips are really helpful. You guys are so good.,thanks for sharing this info

    • Josh Stanton

      Awesome stuff Esha, looking forward to seeing how you go!

    • Nice Esha! I’m excited to hear how it all works out for you 🙂

      Let me know if you have any questions!

  • Aileen Murphy

    Think I found a niche! I love the product even shipping to Canada is a killer 😛

  • Hi Jill and Josh:) I´m also trying out this affilation thing for the first time and i really like what i´m reading. I´m already trying to do the steps. My plan is to mix it up with starting my first blog and when i got the hang of it promote my book through the process on building up a site like this. Thanks so much for a very good guide and userfriendly steps. Best regards Angela

    • Glad to hear you’re finding it so useful, Angela! Let us know if you have any questions 🙂

  • Jenn

    Hey, excited to follow along and launch my own niche site soon! I have a specific market in mind, and have two questions: 1. the competition is “high” for all search terms — is this a good thing or bad thing? 2. You seem to be selling one specific product, while what I have in mind is a specific “medical need market” offering many different products from different manufacturers, targeting this one medical need. So there may be products coming through different affiliate programs. Is this what you’re teaching, or do I need to come up with ONE product targeting a niche? Thank you!

    • Hey Jenn,

      We do teach sticking to one product per site for this model…but authority sites (like our skincare and beauty sites) promote a bunch of different products and still make quite good money.

      I guess it depends if all the products do the same thing or each serve a different need…

      Also, high competition is not a good thing…you want good search volume with low competition 🙂

      Does that help at all?

  • Justin D Kitts

    If I’m only promoting affiliate sites, will this still apply? Good to know of course when I start a website. Or, is all of this good to know even for the blog I should start up promoting and talking about my niche products?

    • Josh Stanton

      Not sure exactly what you mean Justin? Do you mean that if you’re not wanting to build and monetize niche sites through affiliate marketing, will the information here still help? If so then DEFINITELY.

      Everything we’re discussing here is so incredibly important when it comes to all aspects of online marketing.

      • Justin D Kitts

        I suppose I’m unsure of what I’m asking.

        Lets say I’ve chosen a good product, according to Jills guidelines, no I want to hit the ground running and do not have my own site just yet.

        What to do, still reading through the case study

        • Josh Stanton

          Ahh okay now I’m with you. You asked this question at the right time man. We’re running a free training Webinar next Wednesday that will take you through the process of what we teach to the premium members of http://lifestyleaffiliate.co

          You can sign up to the Webinar here and there will be a replay available just in case you can’t make it – http://screwtheninetofive.com/aff-webinar

          That’s your best bet if you’re looking to jump right in and get started, otherwise check out the escape plan right here – http://screwtheninetofive.com/affiliate-escape

          • Justin D Kitts

            Cool thanks

  • Hi, thanks for the great info 🙂 I’d like to promote products that aren’t generally shipped overseas (e.g. kitchen appliances) so would ideally like to have one website that shows different adverts or links to affiliates that are relevant to the country the person is in – this way I can have one .com rather than a number of different ones like .co.uk or .com.au (since I’m English and living in Australia but would also like to target the US market). Is this an easy thing to do? My searching on ‘geotargeting’ is making me more confused!

    • Hey C…

      I think it’s a great idea, however if I’m being completely honest, I think you might be over-complicating your first site.

      If I were you, I would make it as simple as possible. That way it doesn’t get overwhelming right off the bat and you can figure out your process first and THEN tackle a mammoth site like the one you have in mind 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  • Angel

    Hi Jill, I’m moving very slowly with this because I have EVERY fricken thing to learn and frankly, I’m feeling scared and stupid. I’m not letting that stop me though! My question today is: Do you purchase the products in advance before writing up your copy for the pages? It seems obvious that that would be the case, but I’d like to make sure.

    • Hey Angel!

      First off, don’t feel scared or stupid….we all start off at the same spot: Not knowing a damn thing!

      But trust me, the more you work at it, the easier it will become.

      Now I know that sounds SO cliche and kinda lame, but I swear it does get easier 🙂

      As for purchasing the products before – for the two sites in this case study we had tried the products before.

      However, it’s not completely necessary – you can always set up a site around a product you like or believe in and create a more unbiased site by synthesizing the different information you find around the web about the product.

      Obviously it’s not the most ideal, but it’s totally possible 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  • Đình Trung

    Hi,

    great post and I found my own niche now – shame to share here http://invictawatchesguide.net

  • cory

    First off, its not a 4 page website, its a 20 page website. One of the most irritating things about marketers is their ignorance of developing the web. Read a web development book. You’re misleading people.

    • Josh Stanton

      Corey thanks for your response.

      The actual content which is used to drive traffic is made up of 4 pages. The other pages have a different purpose and are templates that we use for all our sites. The four pages mentioned in this article are the only unique pieces of content that require 95% of the work.

      I’m not sure why you think there are 20 pages on howtotreatcellulite.com? If you were to count the other pages not shown above, it would only tally up to 7 pages in total. The 3 other pages are the: about page, contact page and the privacy policy.

      If you feel that we are misleading people based off your wrong assumption of 20 pages, please explain?

  • Richard and Natasha

    Thank you for sharing! We think we have a niche that may work! (fingers crossed)

    • Ahhh great news! Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂

  • Carol

    I have learned a lot by reading this blog, thanks guys!

  • Carol

    Hi Jill,
    I have tried many times to find a good niche on Google Adwords Keyword Planner and I only found niches that had high searches, and also have just as many results (way more than 100). Is it worth it to buy Long Tail Pro to be able to find a good niche?

    • Josh Stanton

      Hey Carol,

      Long Tail Pro is just going to help you determine competition which is the most important part of the process.

      Finding niches is all in finding the right offers and for that, it requires a little extra searching around.

  • Carol

    Also, since you recommend having a website or blog per niche, is it best to just have a “lead page” from Lead Pages.com?

  • I was SO excited to see that you have this case study up. Since I’m having to wait until next month to get LA due to budgetary considerations, this will get me started until then. As I said earlier over in the FB group, I am thrilled to be a part of this community. I intend to do you proud so we can trumpet the results everywhere! (My kids will be so grateful to have Mom home more… I got called in to work today on my day off TWICE to do lactation consults.)

    • Josh Stanton

      Enjoy Ella! Although we weren’t able to show you the step by step for creating these types of sites in this casestudy, it still shows you what you should be working towards.

      Looking forward to having you join the LA community next month! And I bet you’re looking forward to not having to do those lactation consults anymore 😉

  • xceptionally Squared

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    if you need more info you can visit the link below.

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    I will also be doing a review very soon…

    My Blog: — > https://xceptionallysquared.wordpress.com

  • Tu Janena

    Hey I already have a blog but I also want to create a niche webdite will you help me?
    my blog:toptekreviews.com

  • bri

    Looks like sites I built back with Unstoppable Affiliate. How do these type of sites hold up still nowadays(are PBN sites required). I was curious how Josh’s journey with Dropshipping went. I heard on your podcast(how I found you) when I was looking for dropshipping and Josh mentioned he was going into dropshipping

    • Josh Stanton

      Still holding today for sure. We just had a member inside of Screw U pass the $2k a month mark in less than 3 months. There’s also a bunch of people making $1k-$10k per month.

      At the same time we also teach people that this isn’t the be all and end all and that they should still focus their energy eventually on building out larger content sites that gradually develop a more sustainable audience. The Niche Site Strategy is more of an entry level model to get started with.

      With the dropshipping sites, I ended up profiting, however there were a number of problems that eventually turned me away from that model:

      1. The margins were too thin (10-20%)

      2. My supplier frequently ran out of supply (I had one customer that wanted to buy $10k worth of product which would have equaled $2k for me, however the supplier didn’t have enough stock to handle the order)

      3. I found that it was a race to the bottom (these dropshipping sites depended heavily on direct paid traffic and all of the merchandise was already being sold at a lower price on Amazon and so I couldn’t really compete, considering that my margins were cut severely due to paying for traffic).

      • bri

        thanks Josh. I’ll look at your product more. I thought Screw U was more about building personality driven business like yours or Pat Flynn where you are the brand essentially. I was more into building products/sites that aren’t tied to me and sellable down the road. Anyways, thanks for info about Dropship…It does seem that you have to sell a lot of product to make decent money and I didn’t realize all the stuff about suppliers being stocked out especially managing dozens of suppliers inventory levels.

        • Josh Stanton

          No worries. Yeah we have a range of members with many different types of business models. Also right now we have a private case study going where I’m working with another member to build out a larger content site that isn’t tied into either one of our names that will definitely be a sellable asset in the future.

          • bri

            Thanks. 1 last question. I quickly looked at your product page…is your Affiliate/seo method rely on using PBN’s for your ranking? I went down the PBN road before and didn’t go so well.

          • Josh Stanton

            For the niche site strategy we use both PBN and guest blogging to hit page #1. I’m guessing that maybe your last PBN didn’t have the right expired domains which is maybe why you got hit.

            Also you should know that Screw U isn’t just for people looking to start small niche sites. It’s a community for online business owners who have many different models.

            And finally if there’s one part of you that thinks you’ll only try it for a month and then leave, please don’t join. We put all of our time and effort into nurturing this community and so we only want people who are serious about growing a business over the long haul.

  • I have a blog started under beauty and makeup, this blog is not about earning money though I have used adsense as my program into it. What I seek is some information around how to approach for affiliates under this nice. The key thing I learnt here is pages and keywords associated with it. I have no clue about backlinks so far.

  • It seems that this site no longer exists, and if so then this post has lost its credibility. Could you specify the reasons?

    • If you keep reading I explain why we shifted gears 🙂

  • brownin329

    Hey, your links to the ultimate niche site strategy and the ultimate niche site breakdown do not work. Can you tell me how to get these downloads?

  • So much quality full article. I liked it. Thanks.

  • posty

    I read your blog 2 years ago is this infomation up date, as many changes have happened. Thanks Dan

  • Hi Jill, thank you such a lot for this!! I needed this, i am relocating in half-dozen months and that i am hoping to understand the maximum amount as I will by then 🙂 i am aiming to follow your guide step by step & i am extremely excited to see the end result.