On the 1st November, I launched a little niche website as an experiment into how they work, and where growth comes from. This is the first of a series of reports that I plan to write, reporting on the progress.
These reports are designed to both give you an insight into my wins and mistakes, and to keep myself accountable as well.
What is a niche website?
A niche website is a website dedicated to a specific single topic. For example, we’ve all seen websites about motor vehicles. They could be considered niche in a way, I’d call them ‘macro niche’. However, real niche websites would be those who are only about electric vehicles, or classic cars or American muscle cars.
Micro niche websites would be those who only publish articles about car seats, a specific brand and model or car polish.
These niche websites are created to cater to a very small segment of people who share a common, very specific interest. They tend to perform better in SEO than general websites, because they have a smaller target keyword list to start with.
Examples of niche websites
There are a number of famous examples of niche websites out there, that do a great job in their respective fields. Here’s a few of them to take a look at;
- The Athletic Build
- Clever Hiker (hiking)
- Living Cozy
- The Spruce (lifestyle)
- NerdWallet (banking and stock advisor)
- Swim University (backyard pools)
These are all very popular websites, and they do a great job of earning money through publishing content.
Niche website income
Generally, the majority of niche website income tends to come from three main channels;
- Display ads (Adsense, Ezoic, etc)
- Affiliate sales (Amazon, Commission Junction, etc)
- Own products (e-books, Courses, etc)
I plan to use display ads and maybe affiliate sales to monetise this site, however only if this niche website gets enough traffic.
Website tasks and progress
In each of these monthly reports, I will be documenting the work I have done, as a way for you to see what I am working on, and what works and what hasn’t.
I won’t be sharing the website address yet, as I want to keep the site at arms length, while I do these experiments.
In a couple of hours on a rainy weekend, I got to working on the website;
Registered the domain name
Set up some space on a hosting server of mine
Installed my favourite WordPress plugins
- Better Search Replace
- Classic Editor
- Classic Widgets
- GA Google Analytics
- Simple Share Buttons Adder
- WP Rocket
Added two WordPress plugins which I don’t have much experience with (but have heard great things);
- Rank Math SEO
- WP All Import
Created a simple logo (like 5 minute simple) using;
Created and added Google Search Console
Created and added Google Analytics
Created a favicon using favicon.io
Added meta tags using metatags.io
Purchased a WordPress theme from Envato Market
Once it was all set up, I posted a single blog post, and left the website as is for the next few days.
During the rest of November
As well as writing content, and formatting the website, I also;
- Created a Pinterest business account
- Created a Facebook business page
- Created a Twitter account for the brand
- Hooked up MissingLettr to post to the Twitter and Facebook accounts
- Connected Publer to post automatically to Pinterest when a new post goes live
- Promoted two articles using Quuu Promote
- Built 11 backlinks from 9 other websites.
It may seem like a lot, but 15 minutes here and there got it all done fairly easily.
During the first month, I published 155 posts. They had an average of 1,299 words each, so it totals 201,396 words. That’s probably the most I have published on one website in a month.
These are a combination of hand written, formatted and optimised posts (24 of them) and 131 posts which are created semi-automatically. I say semi, because I wrote all of the content, but I used a plugin to stitch them all together as reusable content snippets. That’s called programmatic SEO, which I explain in detail in my article, What is Programmatic SEO?
Month 1 results
As you can see in the screenshot of Ahrefs.com below, I ended the month with 110 backlinks from 10 websites, and a domain rating of 8 at the end of the first month. The exciting bit is the 68 keywords that the site is already ranking for.
I had no expectation of visitors or traffic at all, given this was month 1. Turns out the website attracted 104 unique users, who stayed for an average of 4 minutes and 10 seconds each. Awesome!
That’s the screenshot from Google Analytics above. Now, looking at Google Search Console, we can see that Google has indexed 120 of the pages, and found but not indexed a further 288 pages.
There’s a number of reasons for that. Some are settings I have, to stop indexing of author, category and tag pages, and others are the result of Google having a low crawl budget for a brand new website.
Above I have tried to explain the steps I took to get a new website up and running. I’m sure I missed a few steps, but please comment below if you have any questions, and I’ll update.
I’m publishing new posts every day on this niche website, so I can’t wait to share my month two report with you in early January 2023.