A tad over one year ago, I was a complete beginner to making money online. I still am, but I know a bit more than when I started.
I am lucky, because I was taught by my boyfriend, and he still helps me, but what I’ve realized is that building a niche website is simple, but it still takes hard work.
Here are five simple steps you can take to start building your own niche website, and start making money online:
The first step you have to take is to plan your approach. What topics are you interested in? What does the demand, supply, and profitability of that niche look like?
So many people jump into their favorite niche without doing some research. It’s easy to start a blog and begin writing, but if you neglect doing research, you may be in for a very bumpy ride.
This can be as simple as using the Google Keyword Tool, making sure that there’s demand for your topic, and checking the top 10 listings in Google, to make sure the competition isn’t too fierce.
The next step is to write valuable content. You know all those mini-sites you see out there on the web? Please avoid doing that.
Build something of value and you will naturally attract links and readers. It’s going to take a while, but if you write content that is useful for both humans and search engines, you will see dramatic levels of traffic in time.
How much should you write? I’d say at least 100 really good articles. And if you’ve picked a topic you’re interested in (or even passionate about), you should have no problem writing much more than that over time.
When you have your content in place, it’s time to attract readers and build links. Start off by using article directories, guest posting, and web 2.0 properties like Squidoo.
I also recommend you submit to directories, but only the top 10. Avoid the free ones, and avoid swapping links with them. The best ones are paid, and there’s a reason why they’re the best.
Once you’ve got some PageRank on your site, you can start doing some high-quality link exchanges, or simply asking for links nicely.
I’m not talking about having a page where you collect links, but instead swap in-context links by putting the links in your articles, and ask someone else to do the same for you.
Give your readers value, and everyone wins.
Once you reach a few hundred daily visitors, it’s time to monetize. You should have a pretty good idea of how you will monetize, because you did you research in the planning phase, right?
Don’t go overboard. Keep it sensible. I usually like to start off with Google Adsense, and affiliate marketing. Adsense can be very profitable in many niches, even though many say Adsense is dead (it’s not).
But keep your eyes open for different possibilities and test different options, because not everything works in every niche.
As your website gains traction, keep observing what works and what doesn’t, and build on that.
It may take you 6-12 months before you start significant levels of traffic, but keep going, and keep building content.
From what I have observed, the real results come after 3-4 years, when your website gains trust in the eyes of the search engines.
I wish I could say that it goes faster, but it doesn’t. The good news is that most people will give up within a few months, so the competition is slim for those ready to go the extra mile.