Online Business Idea 001: Build a Niche Website

build a niche websiteWhen it comes to online business, there are literally dozens of ways and ideas to start with, each of them has its own pros and cons so there is defintely no ‘perfect’ idea. When I first started, the concept of making passive income through niche websites really amazed me. As an action taker, I went on buiding my first niche website immediately.

The result? I failed. 

What I did at that time was just simply register a domain name, install wordpress and write a bunch of non-optimized and low quality articles with no specific keyword research. Those websites did generate some income, but just a few pennies. That first failure taught me a lesson:

Taking action is good, but taking action after properly researching and learning the method is way better”

There is a big learning curve in building niche websites that generate passive income; however once learned, the process can be replicated over and over again. This is why I love this business model so much. To help you reduce the learning time, I will be writing about everything related to building niche websites and will be walking you through the process of building one step by step with a real-time case study.

Here are the links to all my posts on this public niche website project:

Last Updated: August 29, 2013

Overview of Niche Website Business

1. What is a Niche Website?

The main idea behind building a niche website is to build a website in a specific niche targeting a group of keywords and put in SEO effort to rank well for those keywords in search engines to get as much free traffic as possible.

My main and favorite strategy is to enter a market where I can find some low-competitive keywords that I can rank in page one (top 5 prefered) very quickly (within a couple of months). Then I start to target other longtail keywords and gradually build up the authority of the site.

2. What Makes Niche Website Business Model Great?

  • Enormous and Growing Market: Even though the internet is so HUGE, only 30% population of the world has access to the internet. There is still a huge potential for growth. Billions of dollars are being spent in online advertising and the figure is growing faster than ever, so there are still a lot of opportunities for you.
  • A Scalable Business Model: There are thousands of niches to choose from and that you can replicate the process of doing it over and over again. And actually you can scale your websites into something bigger by adding more content, building a community around that topic and creating your own products.
  • Passive Income Potential: Honestly,  You should be careful in having a “passive income mindset”. It takes hard work and lots of efforts so don’t just expect to do just a little work and retire with a load of money, especially when you are at the beginning. Yes, the potential of generating passive income from niche websites is real, but you have to dedicate yourself and enjoy your work to maintain that income stream. The internet is quickly changing over time, and you have to adapt to the latest trend to survive and keep your income. This was my biggest lesson learned. 
  • Low Start-up Cost: I can build a niche site from scratch with just under $100. This cost is mainly to cover domain registration and hosting fees. To keep the investment low, you can write content on your own and do SEO manually at first.

3.  Where to learn?

You’re in that place right now. Yes, Cloud Living Journey is the good (soon to be the best) place for you to learn how to build a niche website. However, you have to keep your eyes on the resources below, they’re owned by some well-known online entrepreneurs who know their stuff. Actually I learned a lot from them and I’m sure you will too:

  • Niche Site Duel by Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income: I can’t say enough about how much I love Pat and his awesome blog. The Smart Passive Income blog is nothing but full of values: tutorials, podcasts, interviews, and more… Pat created his Security Guard Training website  back in 2010 in a challenge with Tyrone Shum and documented all the process of going from $0 to $4000 per month (see his January 2013 report). His project inspired and helped many people (including me) to start their first niche website and generate profit from the internet. I highly recommend Pat’s stuff! 
  • Public Niche Site Project by Spencer Haws from Niche Pursuits: Actually the blog name “Niche Pursuits” tells it all. This blog is dedicated to niche website business. Spencer is the creator of my favorite keyword research tool Longtail Pro as well. Compared to all softwares out there, LTP is the best bang for your buck!
  • Create a Blog Case Study by Zac Johnson from Blogging Tips/Zac Johnson. Zac is a famous blogger and he’s been doing online business for over 15 years. Impressive! His case study is still new but packed with useful information.
  • Authority Site Case Study by Jon Haver from Authority Website Income: This case study is quite interesting and it took Jon 5 months to generate over $450/month from his blog.

Introducing My Own Public Niche Website Project

As this blog’s mission is to help people build their online business by providing proven and tested online business ideas that work, I decided to create this case study to show you all the process of building a niche website from scratch.

With this project I am committing myself to being transparent. I will reveal anything I did, all the traffic stats and income generated from the site. The reason is quite simple. I’ve had enough of internet gurus and experts who make money by telling people how to make money despite the fact that they don’t have any other income streams outside their make-money-online-niche blog.

I’m not saying that I don’t intend to make money from this blog, I DO include affiliate links in posts and pages but I will only promote products that are personally used and tested. In short, I make money by providing real value to the reader and not from teaching them some worthless and crappy methods. If you stumble upon any of my articles, get some value from it and decide to buy through my affiliate link. Thank you! My effort to create these articles is worth that!

The Goal

Every business needs a goal. Mine for this Niche Website Project is to:

  • Make at least $1000/month from this site after 6 months or so.
  • Develop a system to scale up the business. And build more sites using the power of outsourcing.

The Plan

Before starting any online business, it’s worth your time to break down the process and create a plan. This will help you have a broader view about the project and everything will go in a systematic way. Here’s my plan.

  1. Find a profitable niche and select keywords.
  2. Use my secret method to figure out exactly whether the chosen keywords are really the winner.
  3. Find affiliate products to promote.
  4. Setup the site and produce high quality & original content.
  5. Drive traffic through SEO and other methods.
  6. Build an email list.
  7. Monetize the list using affiliate offers or create my own.

Here are the links to all my posts on this public niche website project:

Last Updated: May 17, 2013

It will be an exciting journey and there will be plenty of updates and reviews along the way on a weekly basis.

Please keep checking back in and I would love to see your comments and questions along the way, and feel free to start up your own new blog and follow along in the process.

Remember to subscribe to keep your self posted with the latest updates.

Tung Tran

Tung Tran is the founder of CloudLiving.com.

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