Niche Marketing Strategies
Well, it has been a while coming but I know that you all love a long read so get ready for a bit of a Marathon. Niche domination really should be at the heart of anyone serious about maximizing how much money you can really make online. Our niche marketing strategies really need to go a few steps further than our competitors so that we are un-stoppable and can DOMINATE A NICHE.
Read on my little friends. Grab something to drink and maybe a sandwich or three, you will be hungry by the time you finish reading this otherwise.
So many people never focus in on a niche and push it for all that it is worth. It does not mean that you should not work on other niches but the truth of the matter is, and something that is not talked about enough, is that if you spend most of your time on one niche you will be more profitable than you could have ever imagined.
Finding A Niche To Dominate
This is the hardest part of all but should be at the fore of your Internet endeavours. You may strike it lucky early on and find a niche that you have built some content for and you see a high number of sales for the amount of traffic or a high number of clicks on adverts such as those supplied by the adsense affiliate program.
Personally I am strictly product based and have moved almost entirely away from Adsense as I feel that for the future a site based around products, and I mean real ones, is going to stand the test of time much better and has more scope for expansion. But that is a personal approach and in no way effects the contents of this rather long post and the advice that is given on how to maximize your online earnings and dominate a niche easily.
The Only Way Is Trial And Trial Again
The rather sad fact, and the one that makes this game almost impossible to crack is the reality that finding a profitable niche is simply a matter of trial. You build Web Sites or you use Web 2.0 properties and see what your results are.
You will simply have to go through the same process as everyone else who wants to make money on the Internet and build properties and backlink them and see what comes up smelling of roses.
Doing Niche Research
Before you even begin to make a large site around a niche then you really should do some research to see what the possible numbers are. I am not going to go in to depth on keyword research as I simply do not believe in spending too much time on it. To put it bluntly the tools available are all liars to some extent. The numbers will never match. But, you can keep it simple and type your terms in to Wordtracker and see what comes up. Type in general terms for your niche and see what the numbers are. Type in the popular products and see what the numbers are.
Search for those products in the search engines or the terms you like in the niche and see what the results are. You want to see what the buzz is about your niche. Is there a lot of fresh content or is it all fairly old from established Websites?
Neither should put you off, if you have tested and found that the niche makes you money then you are going to dominate the niche no matter what the competition is like, more on that later.
Don’t waste your time
Once you find something that shows promise you need to seriously think about your use of time. Don’t waste it looking for another niche. If you know it has promise then ditch nearly all other sites in favor of the one that is going to be YOUR NICHE.
The worst thing in the world to do is to know that you have something profitable and it is all just a matter of scale and then to still be off scouring the Web for new shiny things.
Look, so many peeps say that you have to have hundreds of blogs all making a dollar a day to succeed. Many simply refuse to even believe that you only need one or two sites to make a full time living that would make your friends cry if you told them how much you actually earn.
The reality is totally different.
You can make a glorious full time living from one niche, one site, even one page. And don’t let anyone tell you any different. If they do then it is simply because THEY are not the success that you are going to be.
Kick ’em in the nuts and tell them that they are fools. And kick ’em hard dear reader, very hard indeed.
You will do much better to never even look for another niche, ever, if you find one that makes money and converts well from a visitor versus sale or click point of view.
I am not a Guru and I certainly do not know it all. But I do know that continually looking for the next best thing when you have a winner of a niche or site right under your nose is plain daft. I still do it myself, I make new sites and chase new niches when I should never even bother. The difference is though that I firstly make sure that I have done work every day for niches that earn steady money and stay profitable to some degree all year long.
Don’t be an idiot. If you find something that converts well then stick to that niche, follow what I will describe later in this post and you will be glad that you did so.
Look let me put it this way. My Wife just walked through the door and showed me our bank books after the most recent deposits. Apparently the bank manager has gone from trying to sell her Insurance to trying to sell her houses. A year ago we were in debt and struggling. This year we are on track to be able to have enough by the end of the year or the beginning of 2012 to buy another house in the UK, FOR CASH! In a year.
It hasn’t been from trying to rank 3 million bloody websites, I can tell you that.
Something to think about anyway.
So, before we go about really dominating our chosen niche let’s take a look at a few ways to ensure that we are actually on the right track. We certainly do not want to spend all of our time working on a site and expanding our empire to dominate if all we end up with is some KICK ASS DOMINATION in a niche that is about as good an earner as a disemboweled bunny.
How To Test Conversions Quickly
We need to know that what we are going to be spending most of our time on is actually going to be profitable. I wish that I could tell you that this is a simple thing to do and that it can be done in a few days but the reality is different. It is bloody hard to find a good niche. In fact it is the hardest part of this whole game. To be honest the rest is easy. It is all a matter of scale and it is all a matter of work. Bloody hard work, don’t get me wrong. Even with a brilliant arena to work in and one that is highly profitable you still need to put in a lot of work if you want to actually be a big earner.
But before all of that comes the main reason why most people give up trying to make money online:
Most niches suck.
This is true.
And it is the main reason why people never cross an earnings threshold and make it to earnings that really are something to get excited about. Nearly every niche that I am involved in is far from brilliant when it comes to conversions. I have had so many failures I don’t even know where to begin.
I have spent countless months on countless sites only to get the traffic and find that it was a total waste of time. Now, I really do recommend putting in some initial work testing a niche quickly before you go all out and waste what could be a good part of year.
And this brings us to the so-called Web 2.0 properties.
Before you make a fully fledged site in a niche that you hope to dominate I would recommend writing 10 or so pages of content for some of the popular and relatively easy to rank Web 2.0 properties. It may be Squidoo, Hubpages or Infobarrel for sites that will earn from adsense. But I would build out some good quality content and rank it as quickly as you can to test at least some of your keywords. You will need to keep your ear to the ground to see just what Web 2.0 properties are currently in favor with the search engines. And if you base your earnings on them then beware, they are liable to go in and out of favor at any point and you can see rankings and earnings plummet overnight.
Using the properties is for a number of reasons but the main one is ensuring that you do not waste more time than you need to. You may still waste many months building and ranking these pages until you find something that converts well for the amount of work involved but you will save yourself a lot of heartache long term.
You will, at the very least, have content that you can then use for backlinking purposes in related niches and all of these properties will add a little to your overall earnings regardless of if the niches were actually any good. I must admit that this is a part of how well we earn overall. Even the most dastardly of niches and topics still add up to your overall earnings. At Christmas time any site that gets traffic, even if the niche stinks, will earn well for a few months.
A good amount of my earnings every month through the year is simply because of the scale of content and affiliate links I now have online. Most may stink but having hundreds, well, thousands of such properties all adds up over time to a good amount of money. And at Christmas time even the stinkiest of raccoon niches will earn you more than you would have thought.
Bottom line, test out your niche on a quick to rank property before you go all out for NICHE DOMINATION.
And if I can give you one piece of advice that I have now followed for a good period of time it is know when to walk away. If the work ratio to earnings is not there and if the properties simply do not convert well then give it the big heave ho and don’t look back. Just because you WANT a site to work it does not mean that it will.
Some topics simply do not convert in to sales or even clicks and if this is the case walk away and don’t look back.
Conversely once you find something that does seem to have real potential don’t keep looking for more niches. You want to focus in and really make the absolute most of the cool niche that you have found. You don’t need more than one great idea to really earn more money than you ever dreamed possible. If you think that you can’t make $120,000 in a year, I mean a year from now that could be what you earn the following year, then you need to think again. That is conservative and I know that there is a lot more to be earned by ranking a few sites, but that is certainly something to aim for. But the sky is the limit really, it is all a mater of scale. More on that later.
Now in the final preliminary chat before we get to the real meat of the bones let’s address a much discussed part of our site building.
Should It Be A Passion Site
There is a lot of talk lately about how the Internet is going to change and we have to do this and do that. I have talked myself about building a passion site and the relative ease it is to stay motivated and involved in such a niche. But my reality is that the only passion site I have is this one.
I enjoy it and it gets a lot of natural mentions online and that is great.
But all of my main earners are not passion sites. They are sites about white socks and tea towels and the like. You absolutely do not need to have a great big passion for how you earn your living. Internet Marketing itself should be your passion, it doesn’t have to mean that the sites that you make to involve your passion need to be about things that you care about in any deep sense.
It is all a question of motivation and personality.
If you know that you are never going to stick to a niche that you really have no interest in then you will have to build a site that you are passionate about. But I will tell you this, you are going to have a much harder time of it that peeps like me who will (un)happily write about white socks for 8 hours a day so that I can buy a new house.
You are making your earnings potential a lot narrower if you will only build a site around what really interests you. This needs to be a personal choice but as far as I am concerned I will write about most things if I can use them to invoke MY PASSION, Internet Marketing itself.
Something to ponder before you go at it full bore.
OK, enough of the rather lengthy introduction, let’s get down to business. Let’s learn how to really dominate our chosen niche and make more money than we could have ever dreamed possible.
How To Dominate A Niche
There are a number of approaches but the reality is that you want to dominate and earn as much as possible.
So that means getting more than 1 or 2 positions on page 1 of popular search engines.
This is something that we will return to in a lot more depth later on. But suffice to say that to totally dominate a niche we want a lot of content and we want a lot of content on the front page of search engines. Let’s get straight in to it and find out how we can really earn a great living online without going slightly out of our minds trying to control way too many different niches and sites and pretty much failing miserably.
How To Pick A Niche
This is basically down to you. Finding a niche is all about trial and error. The reality is that as we talked about earlier it is going to be trial and error until you find one that seems to convert well from the traffic that you get. Be it something that you are interested in or not you are going to be with this for a long time so simply ensure that you can be the authority and actually know what you are talking about.
Niche selection can be down to simply browsing through Amazon and picking something where items have plenty of reviews and there is an obvious customer base that seems happy to buy online, or it can be as complex as topical thoughts about spirituality. You will get there in the end but the bottom line is this is the hardest part of all. Finding something that converts is where it begins and trial and error is the only way to go.
Don’t Worry About The Competition
The truth is I don’t look at what PR my competition has. If I am going to dominate it, and if I know that it makes a good return then I will, then I don’t consider the opposition.
It may not be what you wanted to hear but I can tell you now that all niches are possible to dominate but some will simply be easier than others. But what I do not do is worry about my competition. I will simply beat them. I gave up on adsense long ago and while it still brings in $1000 or so a month I find the keyword research both a headache and a bore, not to mention that the tools are completely misleading.
No, the reality is that I will do basic research to ensure that the niche is worthwhile and this will be down to checking simple things like numbers of reviews for products and basically picking a topic that is going to be relevant to as many people as possible. I know many of you have all the tools with their bells and whistles, whatever floats your boat, but studying the competition too much may actually make you veer away from something that could be very lucrative. Something to ponder anyway. I like to keep things simple.
I work in some very tough niches and I can tell you now that if I had worried about the competition then I would not have touched them. They are full of big players with massive budgets but with hard work and perseverance they can all be beaten. In fact they can be DOMINATED. A focused attitude goes a long way and making a site a priority and the one that you spend nearly all of your time working on is going to get you a very long way.
Your competition can be beaten and you need to believe this. Obviously I am not talking about Viagra or similar niches, you must be realistic while also not selling yourself short. There are going to be an awful lot of keywords in any niche and this the beauty of working in one niche as the main endeavour online.
How Large A Niche?
I really would pick a niche with a lot of scope. Where there are plenty of products or topics and where you have a vast array of potential keywords. You will find more and more keywords as the site ages and you become more involved so I would pick a large and broad niche where you have a lot of options.
Should I Go As Broad As Possible
I say yes. Go broad with a general site name encompassing everything that falls within your niche. The beauty of this is that you have limitless possibilities. If I build a site around white socks I may find that white socks do not convert very well, but if I build a site around socks and call my site “Socks R Us” then it does not matter if white socks do not convert. I can go for all other colors, styles, materials etc within the whole broad niche.
This is what many people fail to realize when they try to find a niche. Spend six months on white socks and you may get burned. Spend a day on red socks and you could be a happy bunny.
By building a very broad niche site you get the opportunity to go through every option within the niche and you will find a few gems. You then hone in on those and make them your priority. And the work on the sub-niches that you have done, the writing and the backlinking, will not be lost. You will have built up the overall authority of the site, you have internal pages to link to other pages and this is what makes a site a success.
A site about white socks could be a waste if it fails to convert, but a site about socks can have a category about white socks and it does nothing but enhance the site as a whole. Don’t think small here, you want to be seen, and to be, the only place in town for socks as you need to cover all of the options available. It gives the site more relevance by working on all sub-niches on the site and you build up the internal linking structure, pass authority around the site and you also have capture pages where you can direct people to other options that you recommend to them. You will be amazed how much traffic you can funnel where you want it to be from pages that are not a success in their own right as far as conversions and sales or clicks are concerned.
Pick a broad niche with limitless scope and you will uncover the gems within the niche and you can then work hard on making what converts a real success.
What Keywords Convert The Best
When it comes to keywords that convert then I have already written about some of the best 50. Check the buying keywords article for some top tips. You will find that once you get more stats you will uncover some amazing terms that convert well that you would never have thought of and that never show in keyword tools.
Again you need to hone in on them and rank them to the top. I find that just a product name converts well but when someone types in “buy white socks” well, you pretty much know you are on to a winner.
Site layout has been covered here many times so I am not going to go through this again. The Amazon guide offers all that you need to know and you will simply lay out your site in the way that suits the niche the best. The one thing I will say is that subtlety does not work. If you want to sell something then put it there in front of your visitors eyes.
If you do a review site then give a good review but don’t be shy about offering the product. Hiding away a little link where no one is going to see it is not the way to make a conversion.
On this site as it has grown and I have become more experienced I try to put in both obvious and also subtle tips and hints about how to really lay out a post for the best return. This means optimizing for your visitors and for the search engines. The fact is that I know that many people are still a little shy with their post layout, as mentioned above. And try to make something memorable. This post is one that I have tried to take some time over as far as aesthetics are concerned. I am pretty sure it will be memorable to you. The big bold images I have on here and the different font type for the Headers make it stand out from the crowd. It also makes it a lot more readable and eye catching having the Headers and the images. Try to make something beautiful that you want to show your Mum.
The reality is that a successful product or adsense site will give the best return if what the visitor sees when they first arrive is how you want to make your money. This may be an adsense block, or a picture of a product and a link to buy or read the reviews of it on Amazon.
Without doubt above the fold is the best way to go for most sites. Do not be shy about your call to action. I really cannot stress this enough. Above the fold with what you want to accomplish should always be nagging at the back of your mind.
I have written a number of examples here of what converts the best and just as importantly about how to maximize your on page SEO. This should not be overlooked. Content should be interlinked back and forth and your best content should have a number of internal links pointing to it from other pages.
I am in no doubt that the best on site optimization comes in the form of really covering your topic. Firstly you will want to make titles clickable in WordPress. No point wasting a keyword optimized H2 link 😉
And your content will do well if you use your keywords in the first sentence and all manner of related terms through the post. The Mervyn Peake Gormenghast Trilogy example is the perfect way to optimize a post. Take the post as a whole and you will see that it is full of H2’s all covering related keywords around the main term. This will get you a long way in the search engines and there is no doubt that for both bots and real life human beings it shows that the topic is covered comprehensively.
It is also easier to rank those H2’s than it is if you only have those keywords in the body of the text. Trust me on this, I have experimented a lot. I am not saying that you should do this for every post, many of them will not be long enough to warrant it, but when the opportunity arises you should try to lay out your content in this fashion.
But don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t rank 150 words either, you can, just make your site as comprehensive as you possibly can. Note in the Gormenghast post that we have a nice call to action near the top of the content, so if someone arrives they have the opportunity to buy as soon as possible. The navigation is easy and they are in no doubt about where to click.
You will be amazed how many emails I have had from my niche sites contact form (always have one, you are legit aren’t you) asking how they can buy an item. This really brought it home to me that you must provide very clear instructions for people if you want them to click a link. Simply linking with the product name to an affiliate program is not sufficient. You MUST say “click here”or some such thing or you will lose sales. It seems daft but you really do not want people scratching their heads and LEAVING as all they see is the name of the product highlighted in blue, you need to tell them where to click.
It is very important that you add the rel=nofollow tag in to all of your outbound affiliate links. I still keep seeing it time and time again on affiliate sites and the reality is that you are doing yourself an injustice. Why would you give your competitionot a link? Nofollow all affiliate links as yo make them as a matter of course and it will become a habit so that you never overlook it. Same with images that link to products, do not forget this, you are simply making your life harder otherwise.
The dreaded social Media. Since I got introduced to Facebook not so very long ago by a horrible EVIL Bear I have been hesitantly looking in to it a little closer. To be honest I can’t really get my head around it all and I am not saying that for one minute it will make you rich and send you a lot of traffic. But there are things to be done in this present climate and Social Proof is one of them.
Whether or not “likes” and such are going to play a role in ranking factors remains to be seen but there is one thing that I am sure of and that is that a social side to a niche site should not be overlooked. If for no other reason than to make your visitors to your site feel that you are a real site that is genuine and has a recommendation from the main social networks. And the bots may even be rather impressed that on your niche site you have a link to your Facebook Business page!
Enter the Facebook Business Page
I have only just set up my first Facebook page for one of my sites and to be honest it was a bloody nightmare. How they manage to make it so difficult to do is beyond me. Once learned it is simplicity itself and since I now know how to do it I will tell you in a moment. And I actually set up my second business page for a niche in the time it took to write the bullet points below, simples!
What I have realized, and very late too, is that although I have no interest in being on Facebook for my niche sites, and I won’t be, it provides a lot of social validation to your visitors. If I can have the Facebook social plugin on my sidebar with a link to my business page then I get social proof.
My visitors will come to my site and see that I have a Facebook presence and that there are thousands of people who are on Facebook who have taken the time to click the “like” button to say that they recommend my services.
Once you have made your Facebook page, which is different to a normal account, you need 25 fans and then you can change the url to a keyword. This should not be overlooked. If you set it up nicely and pick your main keyword then you have a very SEO friendly url that will show up in the search engines.
I am seeing more and more Facebook pages show up in the SERPS so it is time to build one. With a good landing page when visitors arrive on it you can direct the traffic to your site and they will be confident that you are a real genuine business with a lot of followers. And how do you think your site would fare if you could rank your Facebook Fan Page beneath your own domain on positions 1 and 2 in the search engines?
The social proof is certainly not going to hurt so I say go for it to add an air of legitimacy to your site and put people in a buying mood. But, of course, no one is going to “fan” or “like” my site about socks. So, just bugger off to Fiverr and pay a few Dudes a few bucks and they will give you as much social validation as you care to pay for to get you going. You can get your first 25 to make the change to your Facebook URL and then build it up so that you have plenty of fans and this will all show up on your site that people really do think a lot of you.
I know many of you will gasp at this, it is new to me, but I am in no doubt that having a presence like this on your site will help with conversions. Plus you get the chance to get search traffic from within Facebook itself and a URL that will be in the search results and a perfect free landing page to boot, all backed up by the most popular social network in the world. Interesting huh?
And who knows how the future of search will go. Maybe Facebook really will be a competitor somewhere down the line. For maybe a half hour of our time it certainly is not going to hurt to get in the system as early as we can.
How To Make A Facebook Business Page
If you are anything like me then all this Social stuff is WAY confusing. Here is how to make a Facebook business page or Facebook Fan page in the simplest ways possible:
- Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
- Click the most appropriate option, for me that is brand or product
- Pick your category
- Put your main keyword in the box beneath the category and click “get started”
- Complete the sign up process
- Check your email and confirm your registration
- You are now on the Get Started page on Facebook
- Add your image ensuring you always use your keywords as the name of the image
- Click on info on the left hand side beneath where it says Wall and then click on basic information
- Fill that baby on in. Treat this in the same SEO friendly way you treat your sites, exactly the same
- Click Save changes
- The left sidebar has now changed
- Click on apps
- You will see one called Static FBML
- Click on add app and then click on go to app
- You now have what is basically a html box
- The box title will again be your main keyword and what will also eventually be your url after http://www.facebook.com/
- Create your html, using images with your keywords and a call to action to visit your website etc. Basically this is going to be what visitors see when they come to your Facebook Page so it is a landing page to capture their hearts
- Once done click save changes
- Click the Facebook homepage logo then click manage permission on the sidebar
- Change the default landing tab to your FBML page
- Now, once you get 25 fans you can change the ugly looking URL of your Facebook business page to your keywords
- Log out and type in your url to see what it looks like to visitors. If it is damn ugly then do a search online for Facebook Fan page templates, there are loads of them out there
- Sweet eh?
NOTE: Quick update. In typical bloody fashion no sooner have I written this than after March 11 the FBML is being phased out. Instead you will need to begin to use an iFrame/html app. It won’t effect existing FBML but after the 11th you will instead need to do a search in the apps section and pick up an iFrame app. If you want to get all clever and stuff and make something to drool over then Pat has a video about the new iFrame/HTML app use with links to some apps etc.
I would then head on over to Fiverr or get in touch with your buddies and get your 25 fans. Then go back to your account and under basic information you will see that you can then change your user-name. Make this your keywords with a dot after each one so it is a nice rich keyword specific URL that relates to your site. In just a few weeks I can tell you that my Page is now in the SERPS and I will get that baby ranking high.
Then build up your fans to a decent number (Fiverr again), and then go back to your page, click on getting started and then you have the option to add a like box to your sites.
I am not saying that you need to then post on the Wall all the time or spend your life on there. But, you have a URL that you can try to rank, it is a great squeeze page as you can put any links you want in the FBML page back to your site. But most importantly, and I think this is the main point, once you put the like box on your site and it has a respectable number of fans you have instant social validation or social proof that instills confidence in your visitors and certainly makes you stand out from other sites.
Now, that took me bloody ages to learn, so I hope you are happy. Just remember that to view how visitors see your Fan page you need to be logged out. It will not default correctly when you are logged in.
At the time of writing (March 2011), Facebook in their wisdom do not seem to allow the owner of the business page to post updates to the wall. Mental!
So, log out, sign up as a person for a normal account then log out again. Log in to the business page account and add your other account as an admin. Log out, log in as the personal account and then on the top right under account click use Facebook as page. Then click the keyword rich name of your business page. You can now add content to the Business page wall as the business!
Why the biggest social media site in the world has deemed to make this so complicated and mind-bending I do not know, but there you go. Simple if you follow the directions.
Dominating The Front Page Of The Search Engines
In time for our main keyword we will have at least a double listing in places 1 and 2 and underneath that a Facebook business page. Talk about social validation and consumer confidence, we will have it in spades. But there are ten spots and we want as many as possible. Using Web 2.0 properties should not be overlooked, you can earn and get links at the same time. But we also want sites we control totally so we need more of our own sites for at least some of the terms that we know rank well.
Building Satellite Sites
What I recommend is that after you have been running your main niche site long enough for it to gather some decent rankings then you need to branch out to dominate more positions on the front page. The aim should always be to get at least a double listing for your most popular terms.
You can do that by using the same keywords in two post titles with a slight addition of a word in one. Then link them both together internally and then backlink them both for the same keywords.
Your most popular terms should be backed up to make them more invincible to the competition. If you are not using Build My Rank for backlinks then you are seriously missing out on the easiest way to rank anything at the moment. Take thee trial and tell me you don’t love it.
This will allow you to rank amazing well for your sites and I use it every day. But not just for my main niche sites. You want to pick your best performing keywords and build new sites around them. This is something that many people completely overlook.
My advice is to never rely on only one site, we all know that anything can happen at any time. Algo’s change, sites drop out of favor for whatever reason, or who knows what. The answer is to build satellite sites to help support your main site but also as a backup in case the worst happens.
For this we want Affordable Reseller Hosting where we can build our support sites on servers and IP addresses totally different to our main site. I was late doing this and I regret it. If you are serious about this business then you really do need to do all that you can to help your earnings to stay stable. And a number of sites in the same niche is the best way to do this.
Get reseller hosting and pick you best keywords and build new sites around them.
This may seem like overkill to you but trust me it is nothing of the kind. You will soon realize that you were missing out big time by not doing this sooner.
Me and the Wife have at least ten if not more support sites around a few niches and the reality is that it is very profitable. We pick our main terms and build smaller sites around those terms. They get built out to five pages or so and left for some time. Then they slowly get built up if needed and backlinked to get them to rank.
Theses sites should be treated in the same way as your main niche site. They should be set up to sell the product or the click and they should look good and be backlinked.
Size Of Satellite Sites
I often contradict myself and I will do it again now. I am not a fan of small 5 page sites yet I do have a number of them. I go for broad niches where 5 pages will not cut it. But for my support sites they range in size from full blown large blogs with hundreds of pages to small 4 or 5 page sites.
As many of my sites are based around products my support sites are as big as they need to be to rank for the main terms I want. This means that some are large as I have mined plenty of terms from my main site, while others really only have a few searches that the majority of people use.
You do what needs to be done and you build out the support sites to the size they need to be. I have found that 4 page sites can rank and I have found that 4 page sites can not rank. Building two sites of equal size and keyword difficulty means that the Gods may smile on one and not on the other. If that is the case you simply add more content and carry on backlinking until you get where you want to be.
This is the nature of the game.
A bloody mystery.
The sooner that you do this the happier you will be in the future.
Build out five or so support sites, or as many as you need to cover your main terms and add some initial content. It doesn’t matter if you then forget them for six months, and this is a good idea. Let them age and then begin to backlink them to rank.
By leaving them to age you may well find that they rank with little or no work. Let them find their natural place in the SERPS and then begin to work on them properly. You will then be getting another one or two spots on the front page for your best terms.
This is so important I don’t know how to emphasize it enough.
You want to minimize your potential losses if anything happens to your main site. You do this by building other sites for your best terms. You will then in all probability nearly double your income once they rank well and you have these sites to fall back on to replace any loss in earnings or loss in rankings from your main niche sites.
Get High Quality Backlinks
Apart from increasing earnings and as a safety measure the satellite sites perform one other very important function, in fact the most important one of all.
You are getting just about tthe best quality backlinks that you will ever get.
Those of us in the “White Socks”niche are not going to get lots of natural links or tons of fans on Facebook. We need to help ourselves out. The reality is that once you help yourself get noticed then you may get those coveted natural links and social proof organically. But initially at the very least we need to give a mighty push ourselves to get our niches noticed.
Becoming the player in your niche on associated forums and other places where people are interested in white socks may get us traffic and followers depending on the niche but if we want organic search rankings then we need backlinks. We should be doing anything and everything to get them and as we are in this game to make money we really want to maximize the quality of the links and the content that we have online.
The best links are going to come from super relevant sites about our topic with an in post link or two to our main site.
And if we build up our satellite sites we have just about the best quality links possible. We tell our visitors to our smaller sites that there is a great large resource for the niche and we link to it. Nothing fishy or underhand, we are covering our topic extensively over a number of sites and linking to our main site.
Building up a series of sites just to put two link in the home page post to our main site may seem like overkill but this is a tough game. This is competitive and getting harder day by day. As more and more people enter the world of Internet Marketing the fact is that it is harder and harder to rank for anything.
I have lost count of the number of sites I have seen all just around a longtail term that only warrants a single post on one of my broad niche sites. People are willing to spend a lot of time buying a longtail domain name, getting a custom header and ranking for a copyright product name just in an attempt to rank it number one for pocket change. If you don’t get your satellite sites up, and up soon, you are giving the competition another year to make your life harder.
You want the best quality backlinks to your main site that you can possibly get. So build up satellite sites,. let them age then rank them and at some point once they are seen as an authority for the term put some links in to direct visitors to the main broad niche site.
A Note On Copyright
As just stated I am seeing the Internet more and more saturated with longtail exact match domain names. This game is getting harder and more competitive every day. But I do not recommend that you go this route. We have personal experience of having a site taken off us after a letter from a lawyer.
Do not use any copyright terms.
You do so at your own risk. If you use a trademark or copyright term you risk at some point having all of your hard work taken off you by the owner.
The better option is to buy a general term for the domain name if what you want to rank for is a protected word. You can then simply change the title of the actual site to the keywords you want to rank for. I have no problems ranking for the term using this approach and it ensure that you don’t come a cropper at some point in the future.
Buying protected terms for domain names is not worth the risk if you ask me and the benefit you do get from an exact match domain is no good if you risk losing it all. For quick cash I say go for it. But for a long term site that you want to stay ranking for many years to come think hard about what the best long term approach really is. Building a site that runs the risk of being taken off you at any time is not a road best followed as far as I am concerned, but for short term earnings sites like this can rank very easily for a quick return.
How Many Satellite Sites
Golden question and only one that you can answer.
It takes time to build them up and this is a process that you cannot rush. Much like your main site. But the sooner that you get your main site ranking for some good terms the sooner you can then build other sites around these terms. Or take a more gung-ho approach and give an educated guess as to what your future best earning terms will be.
I prefer to wait to take the guesswork out of it but if you have built Web 2.0 properties first to test terms then you can go straight ahead and build your satellite sites near to the time you build your main site.
Don’t do them just for the sake of it though, do them because they will be real sites in their own right. How many you build will depend on how may you think you need to help support your main site and to help you maintain good rankings in the search engines because of the high quality of the links that these satellite sites provide.
As I stated earlier I have sites that have up to ten or more support sites but just make what you feel you need to gather those important search engine positions.
This is not a quick approach this is a long term strategy and one that you need to do as soon as possible. The longer you wait the harder it will be to rank as others will always be chasing at your heels and it gets harder every day.
Build then and then forget them for six months, you will be glad you did.
Only the other week I finally got around to beginning to backlink a few support sites. Initially I was thinking I had the unfortunate task of adding the content to them first. I thought I had just registered the domains and that was it.
I had installed WordPress and actually added the content at the time. They had been sitting there for six months aging nicely and I had totally forgotten that I HAD DONE IT.
I can tell you now with no uncertainty that aged content is a lot easier to rank.
The older it is the better it responds to links. By making these sites and forgetting about them for a while you are cutting down on the work that you have to do in the future as you will not need to build anywhere near as many links to them to get them to rank.
DO IT NOW
How Should You Treat Satellite Sites
Treat them like your main site. Maybe not going as far as getting social validation via Facebook or Twitter and the like but make them look good, provide good information that the searcher is looking for and then backlink them.
The links that are then put in them that point to your main sites carry a lot more weight and will have a much more positive effect on your main niche sites rankings.
These are also back-ups so they should be there to quickly take the place of your main site if need be. So work on them properly and earn more money while also covering yourself if anything unfortunate ever happens.
Should we do this?
Link Wheels To Boggle Your Brain
Link Wheel ology to maximize your rankings and dominate your niche!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah right. More like how to fry your brain and get yourself so confused you don’t know what the hell you are doing!
Keep it simple folks.
The golden rule in this here game. Forget all this complicated link wheel nonsense. Build backlinks to your sites. Build other properties that can earn you money and backlink them to get them to rank. That is all you need to do.
Backlink your important backlinks to make them pass you more authority and that is as far as you need to go. You will simply muddle your brain in to a gooey mess if you get too convoluted in this game and try to be too clever.
Find your links from as many different places as possible. There are more resources, free and paid for, on my Tools To Succeed page. Use them all and never rely on just one source for links. Comment on blogs, get nofollow links, get plenty of links that are not keyword specific. Get direct URL links, do guest posts on other blogs, use Build My Rank like it was going out of fashion. Use Postrunner from The Keyword Academy and beg for them from other site owners. The more varied the better.
Tips for using free resources:
It came to me the other day when a keyword I wanted was not available on Squidoo and Hubpages. Um, put a dash at the beginning! Simple but it is amazing how many obvious things we never think of. I have done it and tested the results with backlinks and the fact is that even for very tough terms it makes no difference to the ability to rank these free to use web properties.
Get your call to action in early
As with the post layout on your own sites much of it also applies to how you use free resources. Above the fold is where it is at. Maximize the content you make by putting an affiliate link in above the fold and a link to your own main niche site. You get a double whammy.
You really do want to spend time laying out the content you put on other properties. Use them to increase your earnings not just for backlinks.
Use them like mini satellite sites.
Make them good, backlink them until they rank. Mine them for additional keywords and then use those keywords on your own main niche site. You will be amazed how two different pieces of content can bring up so many diverse keywords.
You may have a page on your niche site about white socks for Dogs and build a Squidoo Lens around the same topic. Your site may even rank higher but the terms that the Lens ranks for may never show up in your own stats. One of the quirks of the Internets search engines. So for popular terms make a number of properties to dig for more and more keywords. Then incorporate them in to your existing content or write a new article to rank for them and further increase the overall authority of your site.
Using Your Stats
Often slightly overlooked and neglected your stats really are your own personal niche specific keyword research tool. Stats for your main site, your satellite sites and your Web 2.0 properties should be checked regularly for these hidden gems.
I don’t really use keyword research tools but I do use my stats. They bring up surprising results and should be at the heart of how you continue to grow your site. You will uncover things you never thought of. You will find that people type in all manner of odd things and you need to then incorporate those terms in to your content or add new content. Then link the two post together for the terms and get the coveted double listing.
This is of prime importance and it really expands your site while also making your site even more relevant in the eyes of the search engines. Look for the hidden gems.
Look for terms that a couple of people have come to your site for and check your rankings. If you are low on page 1 for the term then a few backlinks will see you at the top and once you have been doing this for a number of months all of those longtail terms will easily bear the traffic and earnings that you get for your main term.
The Beauty Of Longtails
People get so hell bent on ranking for a single term that they overlook the simple fact stated above. Ranking highly for a number of longtail search terms can provide you with more money than the main term. Longtails are usually a lot more specific and are often much more likely to convert in to profit for you.
You may only get 4 people a day typing in “buy white socks online cheap for large feet” but you can pretty much guarantee a sale. But the “white socks” brigade may have absolutely no intention of buying anything. Window shoppers the lot of them, and bloody annoying it is too 😉
Never neglect the longer search term.
You will find that by backlinking for hundreds of varied terms that your stats show you get a few visitors a day for will result over time in masses of highly targeted traffic that are easier to convert.
It also plays one other very important role.
It is much more natural to the search engines for you to have links for long and relevant terms. A site that only has links for the exact term in the post title is fishy.
A site that has links for countless terms all related somewhat to the niche is a lot more natural. With updates to algos coming thick and fast over recent years we want to do our best to ensure our niche site stays ranking. And by linking for hundreds of longtail search terms we have a much better chance of keeping our sites ranking when the next algo hits.
Longtail traffic is very important and once you get hundreds and hundreds of them you will see just how much earning potential they really have.
Well, that is about it apart from some final thoughts and ramblings.
Facebook is new to me but I can see the potential. Go with it or forget it, up to you. But at the moment they are one of the big boys so see what it can do for you. If nothing else having a Fan Page widget on your site with a number of fans is certainly not going to hurt. It provides social validation to your visitors and may help your conversion rate.
And who knows where the future of Facebook search will go?
Won’t hurt to be in the index will it? But don’t get me wrong. It is clunky, stupidly set up and hard to navigate. I am amazed that it is like it is or maybe it is just me being a thickie pants.
Social Media can be used to your advantage if you have the inclination. I don’t really but there are more ways to earn than just through search.
Lets say that you are a real fan of a baseball team. You build a great looking site and update it all the time about what the team is up to. What do you think would happen if you set up an auto follow on Twitter for anyone that mentions any term to do with your team. You would soon have thousands of people who follow you back. What if you then set up to auto Tweet your daily articles. What if you also set up auto Tweets about daily special offers for Jerseys and the like. What if over a year you build this up to tens of thousands of Twitter followers and write content all day for that site that gets Tweeted to them.
My guess is that for those with a passion for a topic that set up would work pretty nicely. No worrying about search and targeted visitors. Social traffic can convert, you just need to think about what would work. A passion site could convert social traffic in the right niche, just think about these things rather than just dismissing them. You know, like I do. Joke, I could never do something like that, I have no real interest in anything I could write about daily in that way. But maybe you do.
The bottom line is that when it comes to making a long term living, and a good one Online you really do want to focus on in on a specific niche or two. You should have a niche that occupies most of your time and you should stop looking around for new ones all the time.
Safeguard your site the best you can with satellite sites and Web 2.0 properties and maybe even get yourself a fan base away from search traffic. If there are forums for your niche then be a leader on them. Heck, make your own and be the leader there. I have seen a very popular forum for a tech gadget set up by a woman. She interacts there all day long and women love to chat there. Thousands of people daily reading it and tons of comments and every now and then she pops in an affiliate link. Do you think your average person even knows it is an affiliate link? Of course not.
Another example that I was very impressed with was a Facebook Business page. It was linked to from a niche blog about a gadget. The blog ranks high for the main terms. It obviously gets a lot of traffic. Their Facebook business page ranks on page 1 too for the main term. It has over 16,000 fans. It gets updated regular and guess what? Their landing page is a simple “click HERE to buy the ……..”
It goes straight to Amazon!
They update the wall regular and those updates get seen by people. Peeps comment on the updates and interact, you can’t tell me they don’t make money from it. They wouldn’t do it otherwise.
And if Facebook changes their search interface and make a play for Googledom I would like to be there waiting just in case.
If not then no biggie, a couple of hours to get your head around it and 30 seconds a day to check in to make sure no one has written “These white socks are crap” is worth the social presence.
But the main thing I hope you have got from all of this rambling is to go big. Make a broad niche site that gives you endless scope to expand as and when you feel like it.
Stop looking for the next big thing and knuckle down to really building a serious contender for thousands of keywords that you can work on for a lifetime. Stop looking for the next shiny thing. Concentrate on your niche and hone in on the pages that earn. James will tell you that you can make a full time living from a single page of content. You should really try to hone in on your winning content and take it to levels that you never believed possible. Billy will tell you that small programs can help you become more productive and mine for data, I am too brain dead to understand but look for ways to be as productive as possible.
This means not wasting your time looking for new niches all the time. Find one that converts and make it your lifes work. If it is boring then suck it up, better than working for “The Man” isn’t it. You can at least have a coffee break as and when and maybe whisk the Wife off upstairs for a cuddle. Can’t do that when you have a “real” job can you.
Now and then surprise yourself. Make a thing of beauty just like this article you are writing 😉 Seriously, I am proud of this site and I have taken a lot of time over this article to try to get it to look nice. I feel proud. Try to do that yourself now and then, even if just for the sake of your sanity. I was not joking when I said make something you would be proud to show your Mum. It does not have to be to earn money, it just keeps you sane if you know that you have created a little thing of beauty amongst all the dross.
This game is limitless and the money that you can earn is unlimited. You won’t get there by trying to do everything at once. You need to FOCUS. You need to attack a niche with gusto and confidence. You are going to be a PLAYER. You are going to dominate your niche and earn countless riches. You are NOT going to jump from one thing to another and never really take anything to its full potential.
If you find it impossible to write much content and repeatedly write about the same things many hundreds, nay thousands of times, then I hope you enjoy your day job, you will be in it a long time.
Me, my retirement is part of my life. I ain’t waiting until I am 65 to put my feet up. I work hard but I work to my own rules. I type until my fingers bleed and I reap the rewards. I attack my niches with gusto and I won’t ever give up until I am number 1 for everything. I won’t give up until I rank number 1 for every term that a human could possibly type in to a search engine for my niches. And when I rank number 1 I am going to then rank number 2 with a double listing.
I am NOT going to bang my head against a wall and stick with a niche that does not convert. Once you find something that works stop looking. Sure, mix it up for the sake of your sanity but always return to your main niche as a priority.
That way lies riches, and untold ones at that.
Over 10,000 words and all free. You know what to do to share the love you tight gits.
Who loves ya, baby?
Don’t forget the Facebook thingy below!