How to Build a Profitable Niche Site Around What You Love
My favorite niche (small-scale, hyper-focused) websites are based on items and activities I do in my daily routine because I’m already familiar with how they work, the communities that enjoy them, and how I’m naturally passionate about talking about them.
- Physical products you love
- Work activities that you could share
A niche site works well in this regard because you aren’t making it convoluted. When it’s focused you’re readily available to create something very refined and helpful – do this and add in income generating strategies – and you’ve got yourself a profitable, little site.
Step 1: Getting Setup
Setting up a niche site is unbelievably easy – once you do it the first time you can easily repeat the process as many times afterward.
The main components include:
- Purchasing a domain
- Purchasing web hosting
- Purchasing a basic site theme (or going further with ecommerce)
- Creating a content calendar & its content
- Connecting it to social platforms (to promote)
The first three are dead simple if you follow a website setup guild. The latter two take some time because you’ll want to research and create content that works well with others and has a focus. Once the site is setup and content are rolling you can then turn to your social platforms to share said content and begin building a following. Rinse. Repeat.
Step 2: Finding a Topic
Once the platform is in place, it’s a matter of solidifying your choice in topic. Don’t worry if you don’t figure it out all in the first few weeks – you’ll make changes over time – but at least have some general idea as to what you’d like to create:
- Service-based (like selling your consulting)
- Physical product (sourcing a supplier and getting it to market)
- Information product (write or shoot a course around what you know)
- Tutorial heavy (write tutorials on services and/or products linking to affiliate program)
Let’s say you were a trucker. You’d have your training and experience but also downtime between the long-hauls. You could do a site focused around something like Charter Trucks, talk about their services, work with them to send referrals and get a kickback, and increase its reach by reaching out to other professionals in the industry to help promote the site, create feedback, or possibly contribute content.
Step 3: Growing the Community
Growth is what you’re going after because as great as the content may be… if no one is digging into it then your voice is falling on deaf ears. The one good thing about it all is that you don’t necessarily need hundreds of thousands of followers. In fact, a niche often works best when you have a smaller but more passionate community so that each new piece is more likely shared, commented upon, and is hyper-focused on delivering content they want (vs taking broad strokes).
You’ll want to:
- Set up a Facebook page (and get accustomed to its advertising channel)
- Work hard on improving SEO and conversion optimization (to build your lists)
- Integrate an email marketing service so you can build a tight-knit following
- Leverage Twitter for conversations, feedback, and easy sharing
- Connect LinkedIn to get your name and efforts to professionals in the industry
Some of your efforts may feel like they’re going nowhere but you have to stick with it, refine your tone/voice, and keep reaching the right people. In due time, you’ll build a following; from there it’s a matter of doing what you do best to grow it as a whole.
Step 4: Monetization
Though I’d recommend starting the development early on for those that know how to build these types of sites I think it’s best to leave the monetization toward the end so that you focus on the main elements that are going to drive traffic to the site and build the community first.
There are many ways to monetize after-the-launch:
- Affiliate marketing
- Paid advertising
- Sponsored content
- Infoproduct or physical product creation
Once you’ve built a community that trusts what you have to offer you’ll find it so-much-easier to then port that interest into a financial transaction. All you need to do is pay attention to the products/services people use within the niche, find a way to bring it to market, and then placing the call-outs and offers in strategic locations to entice visitors to take the extra step and become more involved with the niche & topic.