Welcome to the first week of the niche site journal.
The purpose of this journal is two fold – on the one hand it’s a weekly update of recapping what I’ve done during the previous week as well as the plans for the week ahead which keeps me accountable. On the other hand I hope it is a source of inspiration and motivation for those who are just starting out and also a booster for those who have already started but are finding the road to making money online a little tough.
What I will share with you
- Statistics – I will share the sites monthly growth in impressions, clicks, queries and revenue.
- Costs – I will openly discuss the costs of both the setup and ongoing costs.
- Time – I will discuss the time I’ve spent each week on the website.
- Strategy & Goals – I will share the strategy I am implementing and the short-term, mid-term and long-term goals.
What I will not share with you
- The website URL or the specific market I am in.
You may find this unfair but it’s a choice I’ve made based on what I’ve seen happen to other people’s businesses once they publicly announced their website and market.
OK so with that all out the way let’s get in to it.
First of lets talk about my goals for this niche site.
I’ve previously discussed how important it is to have goals when building a niche website and that’s why we shall start with my goals for this niche site.
- 6 month goal – to hit $1,000 monthly in affiliate net revenue
- 12 month goal – to hit $5,000 in accumulated net revenue from Amazon FBA and affiliate revenue
Notice: I said ‘net revenue’ yes well I am referring to revenue after I deduct costs which would include monthly SEO and content costs as well as any other ad hoc costs.
Also in the 12 month goal I mentioned Amazon FBA, yes well I am launching my first Amazon FBA product next week and this website will be in the same market so I plan on leveraging this affiliate site to help generate additional sales for my FBA product in the future.
To be honest it’s a little backwards the concept of doing Amazon FBA and Amazon Affiliate marketing combined should really be done in the opposite way – build an affiliate site first, wait until it has traffic and generates an income and then source a product similar to what you are selling on the affiliate site and begin promoting your own product. This is exactly what I was going to do with one of my largest authority sites however after doing some pretty heavy research I realised the margins on the products I was selling were just too small for me to enter the market, therefore I have just continued doing affiliate marketing for that website.
However, I’ve already done the calculations for this niche website and everything looks good, so the long term plan is to leverage the site for my own Amazon FBA products.
What’s been going on in week 1!
Whilst we are calling this week 1, realistically it’s actually week 3 for me as the initial market research, keyword research, competitive research, content plan and site setup have now been completed.
Generally speaking when I launch new niche websites I usually outsource approximately 10-15 pages of content which usually consists of several ‘best xxx’ related pages of 1,500 – 2,500 words and then 5-10 product review pages which are usually ‘xxx review’ and are usually about 750 words. However, for this niche site whilst I was doing the keyword research and content plan I just realised there was so much to write and because I am very confident it will generate a revenue quite soon I decided to outsource 30 pages of content which is about 28,000 words in total.
If you are wondering how much I pay for content I pay $2.50 per 100 words and have a team of writers I’ve been using for many years, unfortunately I can’t refer anyone because they are really busy with my projects ha.
Also, what I do when setting up new niche sites is give the writer editor access to the backend of WordPress where they will find drafts of the content I want them to create. I will add the headline such as ‘best xxxx’ and then I will append ‘- 1500’ to the end which refers to the minimum word count.
Note: I say minimum because I never add a maximum as I want the content to be as in-depth as possible.
Then the writer goes in to the backend of WP writes the content and I go in afterwards and add images, format headlines e.t.c which usually takes me between 15-20 minutes.
The finished content usually looks pretty average in regards to the design/layout and there is definitely room for improvement but the purpose is to spend as little time as possible but to ensure it’s good enough to convert and not to scare people away. This is my initial strategy as time for me is pretty darn sacred so I can’t afford to spend more time than that curating content and making it look all pretty. That comes later once the traffic starts coming in…
Website Structure & Layout
I have a few go to wordpress themes I use for my niche sites and I use the same themes across a few websites simply down to the fact that it cuts down the learning curve and time investment when setting up new websites. Oh and the fact that some of my authority sites use the same themes and they are doing very well, so they can’t be that bad, eh!
I do not use Thrive themes or any other type of backend addons as I just don’t think I have the time right now to try and learn how to use Thrive themes and when my sites get established enough I always get a completely custom design built.
In regards to plugins this is what I usually use:
- Yoast SEO – for on-page SEO, title tags, XML sitemaps (for use with Google Webmaster tools)
- HTML Sitemap – it’s a plugin which uses a shortcode to automatically create a HTML sitemap (for user experience, add it to my footer)
- Sucuri Security – it’s a free plugin with a paid option which helps keep little hacker kids hands off my websites
- Table Press – the best (only the best because 99% of the others are pure garbage) plugin for creating tables within WordPress
And that’s it really, I try to keep plugins to a minimum since they slow down websites massively, or at least some plugins do.
What’s the plan for next week!
Since the website is practically finished the next step is off-page promotional activity which is primarily focused on link building. I have sent the website information to my SEO agency who helps take care of my off-page link building and they will begin outreach next week.
Apart from this I am testing several virtual assistants at the moment to help me create an outreach system for use with guest posting. Basically, I am trying to get a team to help find guest post opportunities, create a list of leads with contact information which I can then contact and build relationships with. This is on-going and will likely take a few weeks if not a month or so and this isn’t just for this website but for my entire business.
Specific plans include:
- Liaise with SEO agency to ensure outreach is being completed
- Research additional affiliate networks (a few of the pages on my site are more related to B2B products which Amazon can’t supply so I need to find another affiliate network or establish partnerships directly with certain brands)
- Implement Google Adsense advertisements within the website (yes it’s an Amazon affiliate website but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t test Adsense)
That’s all for week 1 if anyone has any questions just drop a comment below or if you have any requests for this journal then let me know!