How To Make Money with Niche Sites: Week 2

JillAffiliate Marketing, Blog26 Comments

Wow! It's already Week 2 of our How To Get Rich with Niche Sites case study and so far, things are moving along quite nicely.

In last week's post I detailed the niche we are entering, the keywords we are targeting, the pages we are using, the factors outside of our control, and our lofty goals.

This week I want to dive more into our overall strategy for creating, growing, and monetizing this site so you can follow along, model our process, and create a profitable site along with us!

See? Fun! We can all do this together!

Let's get into it…

An Overview of Our Overall Strategy

This is the basic strategy we use to build all of our niche sites. So far it's been working for us, but if Google rolls out another update in the next few months we may have to adapt some of these tactics to fit their new Terms of Service.

But as of now, this is how it all typically goes down:

  • Keyword research to find low competition keywords using Long Tail Platinum
  • Set up our website
  • Create 4 pieces of high-quality content with each post targeting one primary keyword and 3-5 sub-keywords
  • Link each post together in a silo format
  • Only drive links to the homepage, meaning we don't drive links to page 2, 3, or 4
  • Drive 3 links to the homepage using guest posting
  • Drive 10 high PR links to the homepage from our own private network (more information on that in the future)
  • Run 5 SEnuke campaigns to drive links to the homepage and help vary the anchor text profile, preventing any penalties from a Google Penguin update

Now that you have a good idea as to our strategy, let me break each section down for you .

Keyword Research

We are big believers in the idea that every profitable site starts with solid keyword research. Now as I mentioned above, the tool we use to preform all of our research is Long Tail Platinum.

Josh is particularly fond of LTP because it allows you to enter in 10 seed keywords per search, and runs in the background while you do other things.

Think of it as putting your keyword research on autopilot.

However, if you don't feel as though you are at this stage yet, you can use basic keyword research to find some profitable keywords…it will just take more time and effort on your part. But it is doable.

Now before we go any further, you might be wondering what the heck a seed keyword is…

A seed keyword is a topic-based term you use as a starting point for your keyword research, so while you may think “cellulite” would be our seed keyword, we broke it down slightly further and used terms such as: cellulite treatment, cellulite creams, cellulite lotions, reduce cellulite, and prevent cellulite.

Here's a quick trick for picking out seed keywords:

Think of your broad topic and break it down into what your ideal customer would typically be looking for. It will take some trial and error, but you can also look on forums, Amazon products or reviews, or other sites in your niche to see what other terms people are using in your industry.

As for our particular keyword research, here is the method we use with Long Tail Pro:

  1. Think of 5-10 seed keywords around your niche
  2. Add those keywords to Long Tail Platinum
  3. Generate keywords
  4. Fetch Global Search Volume, Google Title Competition and Domain Availability >> .com, .net &.org
  5. Click Generate Keywords
  6. When complete, filter the following: Global Search Volume: Minimum 100 & Google title competition: Maximum 2000
  7. Click Generate Keywords
  8. Go through the list and remove any keyword that is completely unrelated to the niche
  9. Once complete, calculate the Average KC for all remaining keywords
  10. Remove any keywords with an average KC of more than 35
  11. Export the results
  12. Out of the list, pick your major primary keyword that has the highest search volume, lowest KC and MOST importantly has an available exact match
  13. Pick 3 more Primary keywords with similar statistics as the first one
  14. Now for each primary keyword pick 3-5 secondary keywords RELATED to the primary. For example if the primary is “how to treat cellulite”, any keyword about “treating” cellulite would be related.

Building a Website

Because we have built so many websites (at the time of writing this we have over 20 affiliate sites) we essentially have this process on autopilot, and the good thing about this method is that once you have built one, you can easily build another…..5!

If you aren't sure where to even start with building a website, check out this quick tutorial Josh created. In the video he shows you exactly how to set up your hosting and installing WordPress.

We'll have another video coming shortly that details the next stage of the process which is installing and customizing the theme, creating your first post, and going live!

Our Content Model

For our niche sites we use a model that only requires us to write 4 posts.

Each post will have one main keyword, which we will use within the title, the URL, and throughout the content 2-3 times. In addition to that, each post will have 3-5 sub-keywords that will only appear once each within the the post.

Now we will say that for the most part, keyword density doesn't play a HUGE role in your rankings anymore, so you don't have to try and stuff your post full of keywords in the vain hope of ranking on page 1.

Google is getting much more savvy than that, and as of now having the keyword in your post title, URL, and a few times within the content is more than enough for Google to deem your content relevant.

As for the content itself, we truly believe in the power of the “friend filter” and writing as you would speak to a friend of yours. This helps your content come across as relatable and written by an actual human being, not some corporate-sounding review site that doesn't evoke any sort of emotion.

We made the mistake of positioning ourselves as a “professional review site” when we were first starting out, but it did nothing but result in ZERO sales. It wasn't until we switched our focus to writing in the first person and using as much personality as we could that we really started noticing a steady increase in sales.

Siloing: Our Internal Linking Structure

This is where our process may differ from other niche or affiliate marketers out there, as we use a technique called Siloing.

So what the heck is a silo?

Basically, this technique breaks down to a simple structure where page 1 links to page 2, page 2 links to page 3, page 3 links to page 4, and page 4 links back to page 1 (or the homepage).

We have seen a noticeable increase in rankings and sales once we started implementing this structure, as it requires us to ONLY link to the homepage, and not individual pages like we used to.

Why does this format work?

Try to think of links like water: when a link comes into a page on your site it starts to flood that page with link juice, but if that page doesn't have a link to another post on your site, the flood of link juice stops. It has nowhere to go.

Similarly, if you have an affiliate link on each page you are driving links to, but no other internal links, you are allowing that link juice to flow in and then directly out of your site.

However, if you use a siloing technique where each post links internally to the next post, you keep that link juice cycling through your site and feeding each page in the silo.

You also need to place “nofollow” tags on your affiliate link and any other link that appears on the page. By doing this, we're telling Google to basically ignore that link and only focus on the ones which don't have nofollow. This can be done easily by using a plugin called Nofollow Link.

Our SEO Strategy

In order to get your site ranking (and banking!), you need to be driving some links back to your site.

In the past we used to drive links to individual pages, but recently (and for the purpose of this case study) we have been driving links solely to our website's homepage—and then using the silo format mentioned above to cycle the link juice through the rest of the site.

So how are we going to get these links?

Well, we are going to try to get a guest post on 3 different sites, all in the beauty niche and use our author bio to link directly to the homepage of our site.

In addition to that, we will be driving 10 high pagerank links from a private network of blogs we have built up on the side. Now with that being said, since we are putting this out there publicly we assume that there will be some people who will attempt to take these sites down, or drive spammy links to them and get them de-indexed in Google.

If this happens we will let you know and try to figure out a way around it.

Finally, we will be using one of Josh's favourite linking tools—SEnuke—to drive more links to the homepage and vary the anchor text, ultimately helping us to avoid a Google Penguin penalty.

What is SEnuke?

SEnuke is a paid tool that acts as a lightening-fast way of driving hundreds of backlinks from “grey hat” sources. We use it mainly to boost our “white hat” (or high-quality) links we get through our private network and the guest posts we write for other sites.

It's also great for varying the anchor text profile for your site (more on this later).

And that is our entire strategy we will be using for this experiment.

Now if you're thinking this sounds too advanced, or you're already feeling lost, don't fret. We will be showing you exactly how we do everything, each step of the way, through detailed tutorial videos and step-by-step guides.

The whole point of this case study is to get you to build your first site and see how easy it can be to make money online with affiliate marketing.

Once you see that first dollar come in, your whole mindset will shift and you will realize that this IS possible.

From that point on, it's all about scaling your efforts. Remember, this is a process and there will be some trial and error, but it is 110% possible for you to create your own affiliate site and make money from it.

Just stick with us, ask questions, post your progress in the comment section below and we'll help you get there.

Then once you have your sites making a certain amount of money, you can leave them to generate income passively while you either build more sites, or create another online business that really gets you jacked.

The opportunities are as endless as your imagination. So let it run wild.

This is going to be fun!

Download Your Copy of the Ultimate Niche Site Breakdown”

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  • Hi, good stuff here! Can’t wait to see how your site will do. Have you been using SENuke for long? Would you say it’s worth the money? Doesn’t Google get suspicious when hundreds of links suddenly appear linking to a new site?

    • Josh Stanton

      Hey Emma, we use SEnuke very carefully. At the start we run campaigns that build less than 10 links a day. Over time we start to scale it a little faster, but we don’t use it for mass links spam purposes like most people. Instead our only goal with SEnuke is to vary the sites anchor text profile, so that means we only end up building 200 links max over the course of a few months.

      Our ultimate goal is to use a small number of high quality links for ranking purposes. We build these either through guest posts or on our own network.

      Right now this technique is working REALLY well.

      • Hi Josh, seems SEnuke is something I should consider buying. In your own network you have high PR sites, right? I don’t have those (yet). Will using SEnuke alone work?

        • Josh Stanton

          So pagerank is slowly becoming irrelevant these days. Instead I take a look at Domain Authority and Page Authority from

          I also use a special technique to find and buy these domains for less than $10 each. It’s something that eventually we’re going to start teaching in a product later on down the track because it really is the most valuable piece of information we have right now.

  • Brett

    Thanks guys. I’m following along with my niche, hand in hand….lol.

    • That’s what we like to hear Brett! Keep us posted on your progress 🙂

  • Karen Wojciechowski

    So are commenting alot on the 10 blogs? how often? And just three guest posts seems to get you on the first page when combined with the blog commenting and SEnuke? Is it like the best spinner or something completely different? Ill go and check it out 🙂

    • No we’re not commenting on the high authority blogs…we own those sites which we then write content on them and link to our affiliate sites.

      Blog commenting has never been a strategy of ours. It’s never really done much for us…plus most of those comment links are no-follow.

      SEnuke is a tool that drives links with varied anchor text. That’s all we use it for – simply for varying our anchor text.

      However, with that being said, we are currently on the fence with SEnuke….we may stop using it. If so, we will include that in the case study and explain why we stopped.

      Is that all a bit more clear now?

      • Karen Wojciechowski

        Yeh thanks Jill

  • Jeronimo

    Hello Josh,
    Here I go again (my post didn’t appear the first time for some reason);
    I see some online entrepreneurs integrating different models in 1, to strengthen their market position, e.g. affiliate + manufacturing or dropshipping.
    Is this something you would consider doing? What are your thoughts?
    Have a good Sunday!
    Jeronimo C.

    • Josh Stanton

      Absolutely! What you have to think about however is your level of experience. If you know very little about many aspects of online marketing, it’s best to start with a low investment model that will MAKE YOU MONEY.

      This model won’t make you a millionaire, but what it will do is build you enough cash to get out of your job and work on your business full time. From there your learning curve will skyrocket and eventually lead you to even more profitable ventures like dropshipping or developing your own products.

      • Jeronimo

        Thank you Josh!

  • Interesting approach guys, it’s a bit different from some of the others I’ve seen – great to see a different model that is working for you.

    • Thanks guys! Happy to hear you’re following along 🙂

  • Karin Nelretts

    Hi I’m sorry for asking such a dumb question! I am getting started with niche sites, and on the subject of keyword–we should be looking for low competition keywords, I understand. That makes sense, but aren’t low competition keywords low competition because no one is searching for them? Your site ROCKS, thank you SO MUCH for everything you do!

    • Wow Karin I’m SO sorry that we never saw this comment!!

      As for low-comp keywords – not necessarily. You just have to find a niche that might be a bit more untapped than some of the more common niches like diet pills, skincare, supplements etc…

      But there are definitely untapped keywords that get a lot of search yet hardly anyone is targeting them. For example, we found one for a customer the other week that had nearly 9k searches but an incredibly low keyword competition.

      So it is definitely possible 🙂

  • Noel Ward

    Hey Guys, Fricking awesome site. Found you this past weekend whilst checking Chris Duckers #tropicaltt. When you say “as it requires us to ONLY link to the homepage, and not individual pages like we used to.” could you explain where the link to the home page mentioned above comes from. Love the “friend filter” you guys have on this site, great advise. Hope you had a great time at tropicaltt.

    • Hey Noel!

      Glad you found us and we are LOVING TropicalTT…hands down the best thing we have done this year for our business 🙂

      As for linking to the homepage – these would be links you drive to your site from sources like guest posts, or from building a private blog network (or renting links off of one)

      We explain what a PBN is here –>

      Does that answer your question?

  • David Ng

    Can you share more about your product selection criteria?
    After you’ve done the keyword research and identified the niche, how do you know which products will sell well? And which marketplaces do you usually source for your products?

    • Josh Stanton

      Sure man, there are a number of different ways we go about discovering products:

      1. Take a look inside some of the popular affiliate networks (shareasale, commission junction, clickbank as well as some CPA networks – see and check the EPC (earnings per click for anyone who doesn’t know)
      2. Think of the high converting niches (health, business, entertainment) and using certain keywords run some searches on Google. For example: skin lightening “affiliate program”
      3. Find some good review sites in any niche and see which products they’re promoting hard and just copy them.

      • David Ng

        Thanks Josh!
        I’ve learn so much from your articles!

        • Josh Stanton

          No worries bro, glad we could help 🙂

  • Sherri McCullough

    Week 2 is a doozy! I have been working on week 2 for at least 2 weeks. I purchased LTPro, not Platinum (yet.) That took a while to get down but I have it now, at least for keyword research. I am still trying figure out the competition part, etc. It has been a bit of a grueling process as two weeks ago I did not even know what SEO optimization was but I’m feeling a lot better about it. I am now on to the building a website section. I actually built a wordpress website before I read any of this and quickly figured out I didn’t actually know how I was going to make money on it or how to get people to look at it. I knew the key was advertising and keywords but it took me coming across your site to have the “Ohhhh” moment, so thank you. I will definitely keep you updated and hope to speed up my process drastically. I am planning a backpacking trip through South America in September and want the ball to be rolling before I go.

    • Sherri!! That’s so good! I’m ridiculously proud of you for figuring this out and taking serious action!

      Let us know if you have any questions at all 🙂

  • I will read up on NOFOLLOW links for the first time , but can you explain “In order to get your site ranking (and banking!), you need to be driving some links back to your site.” form first line of your SEO Strategy above, also “Well, we are going to try to get a guest post on 3 different sites, all in the beauty niche and use our author bio to link directly to the homepage of our site.

    In addition to that, we will be driving 10 high pagerank links from a private network of blogs we have built up on the side.” not clear, maybe my understanding of links and driving links is incorrect. Please direct me to proper explanation of driving links. TY M Fabi

    • Hey Mary,

      Okay so the process is explained more in depth the more you read into the case study…

      But essentially what I mean by “driving links” is getting another site to link to our site – and in the examples you are referring to I’m talking about writing content for another person’s site in order to get them to link to my site in the author bio (where I give a little blurb about myself with a link to my site)

      As for PBNs – that is a Private Blog Network and that is basically a network of sites you create for yourself that you use for linking purposes – that way you control which links you are driving to your sites etc..

      Does that all make sense?