Making money online through niche affiliate websites is an amazing thing but it’s by no means an easy task, especially if you’re diving into it for the first time. The best thing about them is the ability to earn passive income through them later on.
Now in this article I’m going to try to cover as much stuff as possible that I remember pondering about when I first began in internet marketing.
What Is A Niche Website
To start a niche is defined as a “distinct segment of a market”.
Let’s use fitness as an example. Fitness is such a huge niche with tons of stuff to cover that it would literally take a team of writers with thousands of hours to cover everything out there.
Instead of trying to take on the general fitness niche that many big name companies have already established themselves as the authorities on then what you can do is niche down into the fitness niche to become a more authoritative figure on a specific area in fitness.
From fitness you can look into building a niche site on fitness supplements or niche down even further and just focus on pre-workout supplements.
By niching down it helps establish your site as an authority in a particular area that your writing about.
When Google sees that you’re writing so many articles about pre-workout supplements, they can tell that you might know a lot about this area which will look to rank you better in this specific topic area.
To explain that better if you had a site based on pre-workout supplements but suddenly started writing about 4wheelers or Pogo sticks then that wouldn’t make much sense and Google wouldn’t show those articles a lot of love in terms of where they ranked your site for those keywords because it is not related to what Google has shown you to be an authoritative figure on.
How Big Should A Niche Affiliate Website Be?
When most people hear of a niche site they automatically get in this small website mentality. This might of been fine when you could rank keywords for exact match domains but now it doesn’t make much sense.
A general rule of thumb for me is if I don’t see me being able to write at least 100 articles in that niche then I don’t pursue it.
How To Choose A Niche For Affiliate Marketing
Lets face it, writing is straight up boring. That is unless you’re actually interested in the topic that you’re writing about.
By starting with a topic you’re knowledgeable and interested in allows you to get your site up quicker because you can churn out more articles without having to take time to do research on the article topics.
This also allows you to save money by not having to outsource content writing and enables you to know of keywords better than most people who are not familiar with that niche.
Think about stuff you do every week or use to do that you became knowledgeable about.
Alright so start with any hobbies. Maybe you’re into weight lifting, playing an instrument, really good at a video game or maybe someone who is big into computers and how they work. Stuff like this you could turn into so many niche sites.
Let’s say you don’t do anything really, just your average joe.
Speaking of joe maybe you drink coffee a lot, you could do a niche site on coffee.
Maybe you make some crazy cool homemade pizzas with unusual toppings. That could be a niche with you reviewing different pizzas sauces, pizzas cutters and stuff like that.
I feel like the term think outside the box was made for this right here. Get creative with your thinking and just starting writing down all ideas you can think of.
How To Pick A Domain Name
When picking a domain name there is a couple of guidelines that you want to go by. First off you’re going to want to go for a brand-able domain, this just gives your site a professional look.
Don’t limit yourself on your domain name. By that I mean don’t pick a domain such as blueinkpensdotcom because later on down the road when you want to expand your site and write about red ink pens then it doesn’t make sense with the domain name.
Make sure the domain doesn’t have a brand name in it or you could be forced to change it down the road or worse with facing legal issues.
The last step is after you have a domain in mind check to see if its been previously owned and if so see how the domain was used previously.
To do that go to archive.org, enter that domain name and if it has been used before you can click on the dates that they have crawled.
Use common sense here, if the website looked like it was a spammy type of website then you probably want to avoid it.
The domain extension is the .com or .net you see at the end.
I always go for .com but .net and .org are also fine extensions.
Why You Should Get The Who.Is Privacy For Your Domain
The who.is info is public information to see who the owner is of a domain. It is required to have this information so there is no getting around it.
The downside of it though is with it being public information you have your email address, phone #, home address and name all out in the open.
This leads you to being spammed with sells calls, spammy emails and even junk mail trying to get you to buy stuff to your home.
I learned this lesson first hand when creating my first site and it’s a lesson I’ll never forget. The amount of sells calls I got in just 2 weeks after putting my site up was unreal.
This led me to finding out what who.is privacy protection is and why it’s vital.
The good news is that it’s relatively cheap like $2-$12 (per year) usually depending on where you bought your domain so I strongly urge you to get this when you purchase your domain.
Which Hosting To Use For Niche Websites
Choosing the right hosting is one of the more important decisions you have to make.
This is because a bad hosting company will cause your website being down, speed issues and just a big headache overall so please do not assume that all hosts are the same in quality.
Other than the actual hosting company you will need to decide which type of hosting to choose once you decide on the company.
First Off I highly recommend going with Siteground for your hosting, it’s who this site is hosted with. They have a very simple to understand system that basically holds your hand through the setup process. They also offer a free domain that stays free for as long as you host with them.
The Different Types Of Website Hosting
For the most part you’re going to have three major different plans to choose from overall. This being Shared Hosting, VPS or Virtual Private Server and a Dedicated Server.
Allow me to explain the difference and which one you should go with.
Shared Hosting – This is entry level hosting, you will start with for a new site that doesn’t get a lot of traffic. Each hosting company has their limits on how much resources you get with their shared posting. You shouldn’t need to upgrade past this level unless you’re getting more than 100,000 visits monthly. Once you hit this level and start to notice your site is getting slower then you would look to moving to a higher hosting tier.
VPS aka Virtual Private Server – This is the middle tier where a section of the server is virtually blocked off to only allow your site the allotted resources in it. If you’ve made it to where you get enough traffic for this hosting then you’re doing something right. There are also different tiers of VPS which add more resources/better specs the higher you go.
Dedicated Server – This is where you get an entire server just for your site. You can use this if you have a major site that gets tons of traffic or you can do something like use the server to host a bunch of your moderate traffics sites on it.
What I recommend is start with the lowest level of shared hosting if your creating a brand new site. You can upgrade to higher hosting tiers easily so don’t be worried about being stuck in whatever tier you start with.
How To Choose The Right WordPress Theme For Your Website
Picking a good WordPress theme is crucial and also one of the most difficult parts.
Most people look through themes and try to find which one looks the best visually. The problem with this is that the theme can look great out the surface but inside the code quality can be absolute crap. This is like buying a car just on the paint job, it might not even have an engine inside!
Unfortunately for myself and many others we have no idea how to tell what good code quality looks like so this part becomes very difficult.
When you’re setting up a theme and working with it you can start to tell if the theme is working like it should by noticing little things here and there. The downside here is that you’ve already bought the theme so you notice it to late (unless the company offers refunds).
To the point, I’ve wasted my good share of money on buying WordPress themes that were a giant headache because they did not work like they were suppose to. This is why I recommend finding a good WordPress theme company and stick to them like glue.
Feel free to search around and get your own opinions but I hope to help some of you save the hassle/money that I went through by recommending the company I’ll use probably forever which is StudioPress. I can not speak highly enough of them and absolutely love the genesis framework that their sites are built on.
What Is And How To Do Keyword Research For Your Site
First off, when someone types or searches for something on Google then those are keywords that Googles uses to direct that users search to what they feel as if is the most related/best result for that person is searching for.
So let’s say I search Google for ball point pens then ball point pens would be keywords.
Now the point of doing keyword research is to find keywords that people are searching for in your niche that aren’t impossible to rank on page 1 of Google for.
I started to type out all about how I do keyword research and the more I type the more confusing I realized that it would come off to you (the readers).
Keyword is such a critical part of building a successful niche site so I don’t want to drop the ball here, so I decided to just give you a better resource that goes into it much more in depth with videos and other visual learning tools.
The tool that I use and have used ever since I began is Long Tail Pro. I highly recommend if you buy anything to help you get started in this affiliate marketing scene it’s this tool.
Now the resource I mentioned to help you with understanding keyword research actually comes with Long Tail Pro and it’s Long Tail University.
Which Plugins To Install On Your Niche Website
Plugins are one of the best parts of WordPress and the sheer amount of available plugins can have you looking through them like a kid in a candy store.
Overall plugins can be completely up to you but there is some core ones I install on every website I use.
WordFence – This is a security/anti-virus plugin that helps protect your website. If you install any 1 plugin I suggest this one.
All In One SEO Pack – Takes care of so much of the little stuff like creating a sitemap and many small features that can make a big difference on your site.
EasyAzon – If you’re planning on participating in Amazons Affiliate program then I consider this plugin a must have.
Read my official EasyAzon review here.
UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore – Don’t let all of your hard work be lost because you forgot to backup your website, get this plugin.
Which Affiliate Programs To Start Promoting
The overall goal here is to make money and there are plenty of ways to do that but the most straight forward is to promote a product(s) from an affiliate program.
The most popular and my favorite is amazons affiliate program. You can promote basically all the items they have on their site and you get a commission from it.
Next there is Google Adsense which works good depending on your niche but can also do very poorly if there isn’t a lot of advertising for the niche you picked.
After that you have tons of affiliate programs like clickbank, jvzoo and plenty others that offer tons of products to promote. Most of the products you find on these sites to promote are digital based products.
What Kind Of Articles To Write
This really depends on the type of site you’re creating but a good foundation would look something like this.
Write at least 10 “How To” articles teaching your readers how to do something or solve a certain problem.
Write another 10 articles on “Product Reviews”, this will be you reviewing products in your niche.
Doing this would give you a good start and you can simple repeat this over & over until as much as you’d like.
The articles that you’ll write rely heavily with what your keyword research reveals so you’ll get a better understanding on what kind of articles you’ll be writing once you begin searching around in long tail pro.
Where To Get Images For Your Affiliate Website
If you learn anything from this guide I want it to be this.
You can’t just go grab any image you want off the internet and slap it on your articles. Nowadays copyright infringement is taken very seriously with photos and I’ve read stories of bloggers getting sued over using photos that they didn’t have the rights to us.
The good news is that there are tons of photographers who allow *the rights to use their photos through websites like bigstockphoto.com for a price.
*Each photo will have it’s license information on it before you buy it so just take a couple seconds and look to make sure you can use it for whatever reason you plan on.
There are also some free websites that offer these but I can’t recommend any because I’ve never tried them.
How To Make Your Websites Posts Rank Better In Google
Aside from doing good keyword research to find low competitive keywords to go after there is also another major factor that Google takes into account when deciding where to rank your site and that is links.
Links are simply that just an actual link to your site from other sites.
Google places high value on links so they’re one of the top ranking factors but note that all links are not created equal.
With that said I’m not going to go over all the difference in domain metrics in this post, will provide a link when I create an article on this.
Think of links like recommendations for a job. A recommendation from a relevant high job title in that field will do wonders for you getting that job versus a entry level person in a field that doesn’t relate to the job your trying to get.
Example: Let’s say your trying to get a job/creating a site in the medical field. Getting a recommendation/link from a medical doctor (link from web.md) would be great for getting hired/ranking your site because it’s a high authority relevant vote of confidence.
A bad example of this would be the same medical field scenario with you getting a recommendation/link from a bartender at a night club. The title/authority is no where close to the same and also it’s in no way relevant to the medical field.
I hope this is making some sense to you.
How do you go about getting these links is logically the next question.
You have a few options here.
Natural Links – These would be from sites liking your content so much that they naturally place links your articles. The downside is these can take a very long time to start gaining.
Guest Posting – This is where you write a article for a site where they allow you to link back to your site in the article. The downside is it can be tedious finding sites to accept these guest posts.
Buying Links – This is the most straight forward way where you simply pay money to have a link placed. Downside is well it costs money & it’s against Googles policy but can save a crap ton of time.
Other than that just note that there are many reasons that you can get your site in trouble with the search engines (Google) with many of them coming from links so just do some research on this for yourself before committing to a link building campaign
How Long Does It Take For Your Website To Start Making Money
This is the most difficult part for most people and is the reason why most people who start internet marketing to throw in the towel.
Earning any sort of money in this game is a very slow start, especially if you have no idea what you’re doing.
This makes many people question whether or not its worth it or if they are doing things the correct way.
It’s very common to not be earning anything until 3-6 months after you’ve started. This of course varies but I did not earn squat until after 7 months and that first earning month was only like $1.34. This was mainly because I was learning the ropes but still you have to have patience in this field or it will drive you crazy or to quit.
Focus on putting in time on your site everyday by adding new articles, getting new back links and it will slowly start to build into something to match all of this time you’ve put into it.
I will end this article here but I plan to add much more onto this in the near future so I hope this helped some of you.