For those who don’t know, I decided to take on Pat Flynn’s niche site duel challenge – the only difference is this is a year after the fact. For most of you, I bet you’re wondering if these types of niche site techniques still work, so I decided to put them to the test. I’ll try to walk you through each step as best as I can, and don’t be afraid to ask questions on the way in the comment section below.
Alright, let’s get started. The first step in the whole process is choosing a niche. The four things that make a profitable & obtainable niche is low competition, high search volume, high Adwords CPC, and a passion for the topic. Each is essential to making this project be successful, and without just one of them, you could be killing your chances of making this work.
Here’s some of the specifics you want to hit when researching your keywords. You want upwards from 50 Phrase searches a day. Exact searches are even better, but 50 phrase searches will do. I recommend going for a keyword around 100, but most guys say 50-60 will do the trick. For competition you want to find a niche in which there are no exact phrase domains linking in the top 3, because that means someone’s already beat you to the niche. You might have success if they’re on the bottom half of the first page, but first look into their site and see what they’re doing. If they’re getting solid links & creating great content, chances are it’s too competitive of a niche. If you find one static page with 5 links to it, then that’s great news: the only thing ranking them high is their domain name, so get one very similar and you shouldn’t have a problem ranking. You want usually all your results having little on site optimization for that specific keyword, and you want those pages to have a PR of 3 and lower. Try to stay away from a niche with the top 5 pages having PR4 and up. For Adwords CPC, $1 and up will do. I usually look for $2-3, but between 2 and 1 will be OK as long as the advantages off set each other, like a higher search volume.
Another thing to note – the domain is the most important part of your project. If you can’t get an exact match domain of .com, .org, or .net, you better be very confident that you can rank for the keyword with a keywordhq.com or mykeyword.com domain. I’ve read a lot of research on exact phrase domains, and this could be the single most important reason why you’re ranking high.
So we know what we’re trying to do and how to do it, but how do we find niches to start researching in the first place? Pat tells his readers to pick 7 likes, 7 fears, and 7 problems you have. The only thing I’d tell you when doing this process is to make sure you think of things that are unique to you and aren’t loved by the world, like fantasy football. I’d put money that there are hundreds of fantasy football niche sites just because almost every man in America loves playing it. Write down the 3 7’s so we can start researching.
I’m usually skeptical of a lot of Internet marketing tools on the web, but one that I’ve seen promoted everywhere is Market Samurai. I decided to try this tool out on a 14 day free trial, and wow was that the best choice in keyword research I’ve ever made. This tool really lives up to the hype – You can find great keyword analysis combining Majestic SEO & Google Adwords data. I did all my keyword research using this tool. I’m debating whether or not to create a demo on using this tool, and in the mean time you can find a ton of great tutorials on it (Pat does one on this post).
After doing research on various niches, I ended up finding ‘BPO Industry’ to be my best bet. BPO stands for Business Process Outsourcing, which has to do with big businesses outsourcing specific business tasks either onshore, offshore, or nearshore. What made me choose this niche is because of an exact match .net domain, low competition for the exact term (few of the top ranking pages optimized on page for it), and the only page that would be problematic when ranking is the Wikipedia Business Process Outsourcing page. They rank #1 for it, and it looks like it’s the only thing that might come between my site and a first spot ranking.
Also, I will be cheating a little bit. I linked to my site from my blogroll so you can check it out easily, but this will skew the links towards the site a little. Ideally I would not link to the site at all, but in reality I want to make money off of this site just as much as you would, so give me a break here J.
What do you think of my keyword research technique? Yeah, a lot of people do the same thing & use the same tool, but I honestly think there’s nothing wrong with that. If you know of a better tool, comment below about it (please, don’t try and promote it. I want honest responses).
Thanks for reading – stay tuned for my next post on setting up your website. Please share this post! It makes a huge difference – I don’t make a single cent off this blog (call me crazy), so I only care about readership. Please subscribe to my RSS!
Niche Site Challenge #1 – The Saga Begins