Niche Site Challenge Step 1 - Determine Your Niche
I'm glad that so many people are jumping in to take up the challenge of building a niche site too!
There is a lot of work to do, and we've already got the guidelines laid out so let's jump in to the first part of the challenge - discovering a topic.
What is a niche site?
To get things started, the first thing we need to do is make sure we all understand what a niche site actually is. I had a couple people with questions on what a niche site actually is, so let's start there.
A niche site is an entire website that's based on a single concept and associated keyword. It's really nothing more complex than that. The idea that we're going to pursue here is to find a niche, create a bunch of content for it, and find a way to get as far as possible - even to the number one spot - in Google, and monetize it.
The important thing - the most important thing, says Pat - is to get a clear idea about the topic you're going to use for your site.
You can see Pat's process here. I really like his idea of 7 passions, 7 problems, and 7 fears. I might add, 7 thing you're curious to learn more about too.
The next thing you're going to need to do for your topic is to do some market research. Of your 21 potential targets, it's best to rank them in order of interest and potential market viability, then get started digging in to the research.
You need to find out which of your topics is going to present the best opportunity for you to succeed. Take some time to research keyword phrases associated with your topic. It's a good idea to build a map of topics and associated keyword phrases using something like MindMeister. And in order to do this effectively you need to keep the Golden Rules of Keyword Research in mind:
- Relevance - The keywords associated with your topic must be relevant. I know that should go without saying, however, you don't want to pick an obscure phrase that no one will ever be searching for.
- Traffic -There has to be a reasonable amount of traffic for the term. It may be great to optimize and create content for a keyword phrase that doesn't have a lot of competition, but if it doesn't get any traffic, then it's not going to help you achieve your goals.
- Competition - There must be reasonable levels of competition. Choosing a keyword phrase that has a lot of established competition will be more frustrating than successful. Find opportunities where the level of competition is acceptable.
- Commercial Opportunity - There needs to be a commercial opportunity for your keywords. Even if you get the other three points down, if there isn't a market for your keyword then all your other efforts will be fruitless.
Any combination of three out of four will result in failure. Only when you get all four will you be able to be successful here.
As you're doing your research, keep in mind potential domain names too. It will be an important part of SEO in later steps.
There are several tools that are available to do this research, some free, some not.
- You can use tools like the Google Keyword Tool to do your research.
- Bing has a free keyword research tool too.
- SEOBook has a whole bunch of different tools here.
- I personally have been using Market Samurai (that's my affiliate link) for a long time and can attest that it's absolutely awesome. It will save you a TON of time and the information is rock solid. There is a free trial and the full premium version is only $97.
These are the ones I'm familiar with. Feel free to chime in with others that you know or have used.
So let's get started with Step 1 - Determining Your Niche! I figure we can take the next several days to get this done. This is why I was thinking Friday would be a good time to start things up, because the weekend is close at hand! Next Friday we can move on to the next step. Everything here will also be cross-posted over at nichesitechallenge.com.
Have any questions?