In this post, I want to talk about my current project. For the last couple of months, I have been focusing on building AdSense-monetized niche sites.
As mentioned in my first online venture post, my first experiment in the world of internet business was affiliate marketing. That project wasn’t a grand success but I learned a lot. Since then, I’ve switched my focus away from affiliate marketing to Google AdSense. This doesn’t mean I will abandon affiliate marketing forever – I fully expect to experiment with it more in the future. However, for now, I feel like AdSense is a better place for me to start for a couple of reasons.
- Online advertising is a growing market. I know some internet marketers are down on AdSense, but I feel like there is still plenty of opportunity here.
- I believe I can scale the processes of building AdSense sites really well. As I am building my AdSense sites, I am documenting the entire process with detailed instructions. As I fine tune my system, I am outsourcing more and more of the work to my VA. This way, I can build sites at a rapid pace and scale my income accordingly.
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I’ve been following a couple of methodologies when it comes to building my AdSense sites. The first couple of sites I built followed the Fatcat Blueprint. This is an ebook I bought several months ago. I learned a lot from this product but I feel like it is a bit out of date now, especially with the recent Google Panda changes. It emphasizes building tiny micro-niche sites that target a specific keyword. One of the sites I built following this plan is actually generating regular income from AdSense at this point so I am happy with the result.
I have also built a couple of sites following a plan outlined in another product called The 100K AdSense Blueprint. The authors of this product just recently released an update that takes into account the Panda update from Google which is great. (They also recently published a blog post explaining the state of internet marketing today which contains a lot of great information.) This strategy differs from the FatCat Blueprint in that it advises building mini-authority sites that target a related group of keywords. I think this strategy is more compatible with Panda and sites built following this plan likely have higher earnings potential than the leaner micro-niche sites. The two sites I have built following this strategy are currently not earners as of yet but I am starting to see them rise in the ranks on Google. I am hopeful with some additional content and backlinking, these two sites will break the top 10 for some of the keywords I am targeting.
I have also been reading Niche Pursuits, AdSense Flippers, and The Online Income Blog and have been following some of the advice and techniques that they advocate. What I hope to do is experiment with a few different models until I find something that works for me.
What is Involved?
So, what is involved when building AdSense powered niche sites? There are a few main steps to follow:
- Find a niche
- Generate content
- Build the site
- Promote the site
I will probably go into each of the above in more detail in future posts but, to summarize, the first and most important thing is to find a profitable niche to target. This involves learning how to do keyword research. You need to take into account things like the number of searches a particular keyword gets, the cost per click (CPC) advertisers are willing to pay for ads targeting the keyword and the competition of the top 10 ranked sites in Google. I feel like keyword research is more of an art than a science and it definitely takes a lot of trial and error to learn. While some of the resources I talked about above provide specific criteria you can use (such as the minimum number of monthly searches, the minimum CPC you should target, etc.), I am still finding that nothing is really black and white and that you still have to make a judgment call with every potential niche you research. This is something that requires practice and I feel like I am getting better at it over time. Of course, as I launch more and more sites, I will also get a better idea of what works since I am tracking all of the criteria I used when I ultimately decided on a niche.
Once I have decided on a niche for a new site, the next step is to generate content for it. I have chosen to outsource this step completely. I am currently experimenting with two different article sources: Textbroker.com and The Content Authority. I have had great results with both so far. There are cheaper ways to get content written but, especially post-Panda, having well-written content is extremely important and I am willing to pay for it.
I have chosen to build all of my sites on WordPress. Most hosting providers make it real easy to get a site up and running on WordPress. I am also using ManageWP to streamline this process even further. I have created a WordPress site template with all of the settings tweaked the way I like which I then clone to every new WordPress site I build. At that point, I only have to make a few changes on the new site. This reduces the amount of time it takes to build a new site drastically. Right now, I am currently doing all of the site building myself but I am documenting everything I do with the intention of outsourcing it down the road.
The last step is to promote the site. Since this niche site strategy is ultimately dependent on traffic from organic search, it is critical for your sites to make it to the first page on Google for your target keyword(s). On my first few sites, this is where I have struggled the most. Even when I thought I had picked a great niche, I have found it difficult to get ranked where I need to be on the search engines. However, after lots of trial and error, I am really starting to figure out what works and I am starting to see several of my sites rise in the rankings. I am still experimenting with a number of link building techniques and will write more about them in the future. Since this is the most tedious and, for me, least enjoyable part of building niche sites, I outsource all of my link building efforts.
This is Hard Work
One thing I want to make clear is that building niche sites is hard work. I know there are many products out there that claim otherwise but do not be fooled. While no part of it is especially difficult, it still is a lot of work and takes a lot of time. It takes diligence and patience. I am a big proponent of outsourcing but, before you can outsource everything, you first have to put the time and effort in to develop processes and systems that work. After a few months, I feel like I am just starting to get the hang of it.
In summary, I am experimenting with several different techniques and strategies for building AdSense-monetized niche sites. I am documenting all of the steps I take so that I can outsource the tedious or unenjoyable parts of the system. I have learned that there are no shortcuts. This takes hard work. I have seen some success in terms of earnings so far but I have a long way to go before I am where I want to be. But, I am seeing consistent improvement day after day and am confident I will be able to scale this business to the point where I am earning substantial monthly income.