The Internet is full of opportunities to make money, and blogging is one of the smartest and most ethical ways available.
One misconception about blogging is that you need to work day and night to make money. That’s certainly true if what you’re trying to do is create a name and/or build a brand, etc. But if your goal is simply to earn money within a short period of time but with long-term gains in mind, then there are many shortcuts available to you.
Let’s take a look at one such shortcut, the micro-niche blog.
In this guide I will give you a detailed example of a micro-niche blog that I created which is currently making $174 /month from AdSense, and an average of $100 /month through affiliate marketing with just a few hours of work.
This is a blueprint for creating a micro-niche blog, and you can use it for any topic or niche that you like. In my case, I didn’t use a content agency, so I picked up a niche that I enjoy reading and writing about. However, if you are not great at writing, you can hire writers from sites like Contentmart or Textbroker.
Read on to see the actual steps I followed to create a micro-niche blog that has made over $2000 for me in the past year, requiring only 40-50 hours of work!
Why start a micro-niche blog?
First of all, following many algorithmic changes from Google, a niche website now ranks higher in search engines than others. If you create a high-quality website on any particular topic, your chances of ranking higher is stronger than any existing authority website out there. Plus, you won’t have to worry day and night about an evergreen blog.
Once you’ve done the hard work to create a niche site, the next step is to wait for the money to be deposited into your account.
Following is the blueprint of a micro-niche blog that I created. Remember, this is the exact method that I followed, and you too can follow this blueprint to create a successful micro-niche blog for yourself today.
The Complete Blueprint to Building a Niche Website that Makes Money:
Select Niche and Domain:
The most important thing you need to do is find a niche that you are comfortable with. Make sure to think about the potential commercial and popularity aspects of your niche.
Since the target is to make money from the blog using AdSense, it is very important to choose a topic that is popular in countries like the U.S. and the U.K., and that has high commercial value (high CPC).
In my case, I chose a topic called “Cydia” which is a jailbreaking tool for iOS devices, and very popular among iPhone users. I chose this topic because I was very comfortable with the subject matter, and expiration time on this topic was quite high. Furthermore, it had a good search rate in Google.
November 2016 update: This niche is now saturated but this blueprint is valid for any other niche.
For keyword research, I used SEMRUSH. What I like about SEMRUSH is, you just need to put the website link of the most popular site in your target niche & it will show all the keywords it’s already ranking for.
Along with that, it let us do complete SEO audit & few other things that help individuals like you & me to grow organic traffic. (You can try SEMRUSH for 14 days using this special promo link!)
Next step is to get a nice domain name. Since it’s a micro-niche site, I would suggest having a domain name in which your keyword is there. Ensure you don’t make it look spammy & add a little flavor to it by using words like Guide, users, sutra & so on.
For my domain, I settled on Cydiaguide.com
Keyword research and content planning:
This is the most interesting & little time-consuming part, but it pays off well in the longer run. I usually suggest use Google docs excel sheet to jot down your research. For content planning, I was clear about a few things I need to do:
- Choose topics that would be in demand for a long time.
- Design this micro-niche site like a Wikipedia.
- Choose keywords that are driving traffic or CPC.
Instead of being particular about choosing only high AdSense CPC keywords, I created a mindmap of content, which was more like an FAQ. For example:
- What is [topic]
- How to use/install [topic]
- Advantages and disadvantages of using [topic]
- Important facts about [topic]
These were some of the basic ideas I started with before getting into detailed keyword research.
I then used SEMRUSH to find keywords. Read this guide to understand how SEMRUSH will help you find keywords that generate more AdSense revenue. If you are lucky, you might end up finding keywords with a high cost per click value.
Next, I chose a few related blogs on my topic & as I mentioned earlier, I used the same tool (SEMRUSH) to find the keyword which is already driving traffic to these sites. You can use this link to try SEMRUSH completely free for 14 days, a value of $150!
By the end of this process, I had at least 20+ topic ideas for a micro-niche website!
Next I spent a few hours writing 4-5 blog posts, and then one post daily for the next several days. This way the content piece was completed, and I had 15 high-quality evergreen topics and my content ready to go. (Evergreen topics are topics with 2-3 year expiration days, meaning that these topics should be relevant for at least the next 2-3 years.)
As I said earlier, if you are not good at writing, there is no harm in hiring someone to do the job for you. You still have to take care of managing the blog part which still requires a lot of work. Now, let’s move ahead & look at other aspects of setting up your micro-niche blog.
November 2016 Update: You can find the detailed step by step guide about Micro Niche at Shout University.
Setting up the micro-niche blog:
This part of the set-up was very easy. If you know how to create a blog on WordPress, then this step will be easy for you as well. Beyond this, your content will create the rest of the magic.
Following is a checklist of the exact tools I used to create and set up my blog. This checklist includes plugins, themes and other important details you’ll need to create your micro-niche blog.
- Hosting: Bluehost – (only $3.95/month with one free domain) Check out this tutorial to learn how to install WordPress on Bluehost
- Theme: Genesis (plug and play)
- WordPress plugins:
- WordPress SEO by Yoast for site SEO (Click here to see the video tutorial)
- Akismet for preventing comment spam
- Auto Post Thumbnail for automatic generation of the featured image. (Optional)
- SocialWarfare for social bookmarking icons
- Jetpack by WordPress for multiple purposes, including stats in dashboard
- No Self Pings to stop self-pinging!
- PushPress for faster indexing
- SEO friendly images for image level SEO
- Shortpixels for image compression
- WP Super cache for caching. An alternative is W3 Total cache.
Additional steps that I followed:
- I made the blog on my site SEO perfect.
- Took extreme care of content quality and keyword score.
- Made a few videos on YouTube and linked them to my blog from the description, generating additional traffic. This also helped me generate backlinks.
- Submitted my sitemap to major search engines. (Google, Bing)
- Submitted my blog to traffic estimator sites using IMT submitter. Don’t build more than 50 links using them in a day.
- Created a logo using free online logo maker.
- Setup Google AMP
- Setup Facebook instant articles
More steps to follow:
- Add pages like about, contact
- Configure push notification service for gaining more return traffic.
- If you know email marketing, dont miss the chance to capture email of your visitors. You can later give them interesting deals related to your industry & earn handsome commission. You can read about affiliate marketing over here or in this book.
The whole idea of the blog was to work less and create a blog capable of earning money. For this reason, I didn’t invest much time on branding. The goal was to create great search engine traffic, provide solutions, and make money from the niche blog.
Here is the traffic report::
Remember, the blog had only 29 posts and had not been updated beyond the first month. At this stage, I had to start preparing more content to push the traffic again.
Following are a few things that I should have done, (and things that you should do if you are interested in creating a micro-niche blog):
Create a separate social media page:
Social media profiles are helpful in many ways, but I skipped this step because I didn’t want to create a new social media property. That said, it’s always good to add social media profiles and use social-media automation. (I use Bufferapp to share content from this blog on my Google+ and Facebook pages.)
No backlink building and no promotion:
I have not built a single backlink, and did not do any promotion apart from a bit of social-media promotion. All traffic is organic, and purely due to quality of content and the SEO settings of the site.
However, it may not work for everybody as it varies from niche to niche. For certain niche, competition is too high & your best way to make your blog rank is by generating high-quality backlinks.
Here at ShoutMeLoud, you can find tons of amazing link building guides contributed by the community. Use the search button to find free link building articles.
For an initial couple of months I used only AdSense, and later added one affiliate product related to the iPhone niche, which generated extra income of $100/month on average.
Consider the following:
With a $160 investment and 40 hours of work, I made over $2200, and the blog is still making money. The idea is to create a few more niche blogs like this one, thus creating additional sources of online income. I’m working on a new niche site right now call CoinSutra.
For now, this micro-niche blueprint is enough for any minimally experienced blogger to create a money-making site with a few hours of work. If you are a member of Pro.ShoutMeLoud.com, you can find all video tutorials in the AdSense section.
- Also read: How to Build Quality Micro-Niche Sites to Earn More Money
If you have any questions or if you have tips to add, I would love to hear from you. If you find this micro-niche site blueprint useful, consider sharing it on Google+ and Facebook.
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