In 2016, I plan to focus mostly on my existing projects and only launch a new one when either one of the current project fails and I stop working on them or when one of them is complete, generates passive income and no longer needs working on (or just requires minimal work). And today marks the day when I launch a brand new project after having to dump one that didn’t go so well (note: the video gaming niche is a tough nut to crack and even more difficult to monetize!)

I am starting a new series to help others launch their successful niche blog and in order to make things as clear as possible, I will share the exact steps that I’ll be taking to launch a niche website and turn it into a passive income generator. And it will surely be a great story to follow, especially since it will be a completely new experience for me as well, something I have never tried but has to be tried.

Details about the niche blog

Until now, I usually followed my gut when it came to choosing both niches and articles for my blogs. It worked out pretty well, but recent failures have finally proved me that you can no longer trust your gut and instead you have to go with actual numbers and do the research in order to increase your chances of launching a successful blog. I hate doing the research, I hate checking out the numbers, the competition, I absolutely hate this part – and it’s the reason why I didn’t do it in the past – but money don’t fall from the sky, so you sometimes have to do things you don’t necessarily love.

So what’s this blog going to be about? It’s a niche blog that I plan to monetize exclusively through Amazon affiliates. It is in the products market, one that is pretty limited in terms of potential content, but one with very little competition. I found it after I had to buy a product in the same niche: doing research for the product to buy, I realized that there is no website dedicated entirely to this type of product. The products are pretty cheap though, ranging from $30 to $300, with an average of around $100 and they’re not extremely popular (huge search/sale volumes) but it’s a niche worth trying out and my goal is to get to $100 per month, generated passively – this means that I need to sell about 15-20 products per month, which I think is doable.

The approach

My approach to this project is more professional and for the first time in many years, I have a solid plan to follow. Taking the time to think about your plan, write it down and do the research helps you stay organized and, even though it takes a lot of time, it’s the best way to go.

Here is what I did so far:

1. After finding the niche, I started to to keyword research. I did not go to any advanced tool to do it and instead did it the old way: using Google’s Keyword Planner. Using this free tool, I managed to get confirmation on the keywords I was planning to use (so my gut still works a bit!), but I also had the search volumes: they were way lower than I was anticipating, but still decent. My main keyword has 9,400 monthly searches, but it is very generic. The long tail keywords that I am targeting, though, have a combined search amount of close to 5,000 searches. That’s not much, but since there’s little competition, I want to give it a try.

Some of the keyword search volumes. They could've been better!
Some of the keyword search volumes. They could’ve been better!

2. Check the competition. Again, I used to specific tool for that. I just did Google searches on my main keywords and all the first and second page results were from authority websites (Amazon and Youtube, as well as other websites). There is no website dedicated to this particular set of products, which is not a real surprise since the search volumes are still pretty low.

3. Got the hosting and WordPress theme. I chose a BlueHost shared hosting plan that I already had a few other websites hosted on (check out my recommended cheap but good hosting options) and I went for a WordPress Magazine theme, a premium one that I recommended here – I am planning to go with a “blog” design and not the “mega homepage” approach, so a premium magazine theme will make the blog look highly professional and trustworthy.

4. I bought the domain and launched it. I brought a partial match domain, got a decent logo from Fiverr and launched it ASAP with no content but the “Privacy Policy” and “About Us” page. It would’ve been better if I had at least one article, but I didn’t and I still went for this. I then completely ignored the domain for a bit over three months – I heard of this strategy many times before and decided to try it out. The point of this is to skip the potential Google Sandbox which, according to some, won’t rank websites that are younger than three months. I personally disagree, but decided it wouldn’t hurt to try.

My surprise came this week when the time to actually work on the blog came, when I realized that even though no Google Analytics codes were used on the website, nor had it been submitted to Webmaster tools, it was already indexed by Google. Obviously, I had no link building done for it either. Now we’ll see if it ranks!

5. I have created the list of articles that I will publish on the blog: there’s a total of 11 articles to be published at the rate of two per week. Three of them are generic/useful articles that will have no affiliate links and the rest will be the money makers. I will write the articles myself in order to minimize costs in case this ones turns in yet another failure on my list. Also, I want to make sure that the articles are high quality ones and I still haven’t found a decently-priced author to write them. And that comes from somebody who writes as horrible as you can see in this article – a non-native English speaker!

Plans for the future

Now that I’ve done my homework and all the planning is ready, the hard part begins: literally launching the website and turning it into a success. This week, I will publish at least one article (a generic one) and then I’ll stop dropping two per week.

During this time, I will do no link building except from sharing the articles on Twitter and Facebook. Nothing fancy, it will all be natural.

Semrush data. There is a market in the UK and Canada as well!
Semrush data. There is a market in the UK and Canada as well!

Depending on the results – I do hope that the website will naturally start to rank organically on the chosen keywords since competition is so low – I will build a few comment links and, if really needed, a couple of guest posts. I will also push a few chosen articles to Reddit and Facebook groups. And this will be all the link building I will be doing for the first three months at least – hopefully things will grow naturally and there will be no need for me to do anything else. It will also offer me enough time to decide if I should keep on focusing on the project or not.

Looking for Part 2

Although I believe it won’t be anything spectacular, the next update will come in about a month when I’ll have the first numbers to share. Hopefully, there will be numbers to share, ha! Remember, the plan is to make $100 passively with this website, which means that I need to sell about 20 items per month. I usually get a 4% conversion rate on Amazon, so this means that I would only need 500 unique people per month to visit my website. That’s in an ideal world, because 500 uniques to your website doesn’t mean 500 clicks to Amazon. But we’ll see how this goes and hopefully it will be a success.

Until next time – good luck with your projects! And don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have.

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