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Online Business Model Niche Websites

By Edited May 14, 2015 17 14

My preferred online business model is developing niche websites. I develop a small site - usually with about 30 pages indexed in the search engines. I then use standard Search Engine Optimization techniques to get the site to rank in the search engine results. I then make money when people click on the advertising or buy an affiliate product.

Benefits of Developing Multiple Niche Websites

I prefer to diversify. The main risk of working at a job is that if you lose your job you lose your income. It can be the same in an online business if you rely on only one income stream or only one website. If the website suddenly falls out of favour with Google - your income is gone. If the affiliate program you have been using suddenly decides to drop you then suddenly you have no income.

Also, when you are beginning to learn how to make money online the niche website online business model allows you to learn and get it wrong without making a huge investment of time or money. Although there are ways of doing things online that will dramatically improve your odds of succeeding, there is no definitive list of task which guarantees that your site will rank #1 and therefore earn a zillion dollars for you (BTW if someone tries to sell you such a system run away - its a scam).

There is an element of art to getting websites to rank and you learn a lot from experience - diversification will give you that experience.

Key Steps in Developing Niche Websites

1. Find a buying keyword phrase
2. Determine your monetization.
3. Develop a mini-site or blog focused on your keyword
4. Build backlinks to your site which are anchored with your keyword phrase
5. Rinse and repeat.

What is a Buying Keyword Phrase?

All a buying keyword phrase is something that a potential shopper types into Google. For example if I type "honeymoon destination" - I am probably day dreaming or at the very early stages of deciding where to go on honeymoon. If however I type something like "Hawaii resort honeymooners package 5 star" - its more likely that I am getting closer to actually booking something.

My favourite keyword tools is Google's own free adwords tool . You may want to use these options: select "phrase match" rather than "broad" - you want searches which include "honeymoon destination Hawaii" not "honeymoon with my parents who thought their preferred destination was Florida though later then went to Hawaii". Also add the cost per click (CPC) column to see what advertisers are paying for Adword's adds. This is particularly relevant if you are going to monetize your site using Adsense - but its not a bad rule of thumb for other affiliates too. Remember that as a publisher you will not get the CPC that advertiser pays - expect around 20%.

Decide on Your Monetization Method.

Yes before you build your site decide how you are going to monetize. The main monetization methods are;
  • pay per click: Google Adsense is the premier program on this one.
  • affiliate programs physical product: eBay and Amazon are the biggest players in this area. They provide widgets and other links which can use on your sites;
  • affiliate programs for e-books: ClickBank is the biggest site for these products - typically the commission is a lot higher than you can get from eBay and similar - but the niches are specifically informational;
  • affiliate programs for leads; sites such as Commission Junction and clixgalore have hundreds of advertisers who will pay for leads, potential customers, which you introduce via your site. Products range from hotels and tours to beauty treatments and insurance products;
  • sell your own product: you can develop your own physical or informational e-book and sell it on your site;

In fact if you are struggling with finding keywords try doing it the other way around find a product on Amazon or Clickbank and look for keywords which people looking for the product might search with.

Developing a Mini-Site or Blog

Developing a niche website - often using WordPress - is probably the easiest way to develop a site. WordPress is easy to use and has a huge amount of support available on the software. Note that I am talking about using the software on your own domain not on the free to use wordpress.com (which doesn't allow advertising). Choose hosting which supports one click installs of WordPress - it should be no more difficult than that. You will want to customise WordPress with themes and plugins but usually I can now install a new blog from scratch in less than 10 minutes.

You also need to ensure that you are doing correct on-site SEO so that you keyword, or varations thereof are included in your site's title, meta tags and in post titles. Each page needs to include preferably original content which is useful to the reader - just repeating the keyword over and over will just get you banned forthwith from Google.

Build Anchored Backlinks

Although most beginners really focus on making a pretty site- the most important thing for ranking in Google and other search engines is the number of links pointing to the sites - its a popularity if you like, winner takes all!

Anchored backlinks can come from comments on blogs or forum signatures where you included your keywords anchored to your site. Article marketing still works as does submitting articles to sites such as InfoBarrel and HubPages . You can also get anchored backlinks from Social Media sites such as technocrati, FaceBook and Twitter.

Rinse and Repeat

I've included a lot information in this article but this is a fairly large topic. The main steps remain the same for most people but every entrepreneur brings their own particular skills and spin to their business.

I'm a member of the KeyWord Academy run by respected Internet Marketers Courtney Tuttle and Mark Mason. Its not an expensive program but it provides as great deal more information using the same approach I have outlined above. There is an helpful community and regular webinars. You can check it out and decide whether its for you for just $1 for the first month.


May 11, 2009 7:16pm
Good model! You guys should listen to this one- she knows what she's talking about!
May 11, 2009 7:51pm
brawnydt behave! Feel free to thumb up the article btw (I have no idea what it does but you never know...) I don't claim to be an expert - I just thought it was worth pointing people to those that are.
Jun 14, 2009 7:12am
Helpful information Lissie.
I too have diversified in my niches. I've found that putting all your eggs into one basket is an unreasonable risk that I am not willing to invest in.
I have invested a lot of time in creating blogs, writing articles, etc., and it is finally beginning to pay off -- funny thing is that it is working in a way just opposite to that I had planned for...
Keep up the good work, and please -- I could use a thumbs up too :-)

Jul 1, 2009 9:09pm
Hi Lis Thumbed up! Excellent guide to making niche websites. It really isn't too hard although it took me nearly a year of sifting through all the junk on the net to find out what you summed up in 5 simple steps.
Jul 1, 2009 9:20pm
Yeah well if everyone realised how simple it was then maybe all the crappy ebook publishers would be out of a job ... Its not a difficult concept but it is a whole lot of work - which is where most people fail Thanks for the comments everyone
Jul 5, 2009 6:05am
Lissie - Step four is the secret to our online riches - that one is avoided and overlooked by fearful and lazy would-be-millionaires around the world. Love your articles here and on Hubpages

-J. Sterling
Sep 1, 2009 7:42am
I agree with you. Niche websites are a great idea to make money on the Internet.
Sep 7, 2009 2:48pm
I appreciate the straight forward approach that you have outlined in your article. I hope to be able to accomplish this someday and will use this as a reference.
Sep 29, 2009 1:43pm
I'm just starting to get the idea of what I want to do with my niche websites. Thanks for the information. There's so much in this one article.
Mar 6, 2010 3:17am
Thanks! Your article gives a good overview. But as you wrote there is so much more to be aware of in this topic.
May 8, 2011 1:53am
Thank you for the information! very useful..
Aug 4, 2011 11:18am
Whoa. I just read this article twice. Thanks very much.
Aug 13, 2011 2:52pm
Hi Lis. I'm new to this internet marketing thing-a-ma-jiggy. I'm sure glad I found your site. Was wondering if you had plans to maybe write a separate blog post on each of the five steps????
Apr 13, 2012 1:26pm
I find this helpful, and will share it. I'm going to start today....attempting to build a website...wesmantoddshaw.com

I know nothing about this, and nothing about html, but I think I'll be able to get something done regardless.

I don't know if this is a wise idea or not....but I think the first thing I'd like to do is put dofollow backlinks to all of my IB and HP pages.

Or maybe I should just do totally unique things on my website? I'm clueless, but excited.
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