The internet is full of opportunities to make money, and blogging is one of the smartest and most ethical ways available.
One misconception about blogging is that you need to work day and night to make money. There’s some truth to that if what you’re trying to do is create a name for yourself and/or build a brand.
But if your goal is simply to earn money within a short period of time (but with long-term gains), then there are many shortcuts available.
Let’s take a look at one such shortcut:
- The micro-niche blog.
In this guide, I will give you a detailed example of a micro-niche blog that I created which is currently making $174/month from AdSense, and an average of $100/month from affiliate marketing. All of this only took a few hours of work to set up.
This is a blueprint for creating a micro-niche blog, and you can use it for any topic or niche that you like. In my case, I didn’t use a content agency, so I picked up a niche that I enjoy reading and writing about. However, if you are not great at writing, you can hire writers from sites like Contentmart or Textbroker.
This micro-niche blog has made me over $2000 in the past year, requiring only 40-50 hours of work!
- Also check out: ShoutMeLoud: Blogging Income Reports
Why start a micro-niche blog?
First of all, following many algorithmic changes from Google, niche websites now rank higher in search engines than non-targeted sites.
If you create a high-quality website on any particular topic, your chances of ranking higher are stronger than any existing authority website out there.
Plus, you won’t have to worry day and night about keeping your blog evergreen.
Once you’ve done the hard work to create your niche site, the next step is to wait for the money to be deposited into your account.
So let me give you the micro-niche blog blueprint that I’ve created.
Remember: This is the exact method that I followed, and you can follow this blueprint to create a successful micro-niche blog of your own.
The Complete Blueprint To Building A Niche Website That Makes Money:
1. Select Niche & Domain
The most important thing you need to do is find a niche that you are comfortable with.
Make sure to think about the potential commercial and popularity aspects of your niche.
Since the target is to make money from the blog using AdSense, it is very important to choose a topic that is popular in countries like the U.S. and the U.K., and that has high commercial value (high CPC).
In my case, I chose a topic called “Cydia”, which is a jailbreaking tool for iOS devices, and very popular among iPhone users. I chose this topic because I was very comfortable with the subject matter, and the expiration time on this topic was quite high. Furthermore, it had a good search rate in Google.
To find out things like CPC, Google search rate, popularity, and competition, I used LongTail Pro.
November 2016 update: This niche is now saturated, but this blueprint is still valid.
For keyword research, I used SEMrush. I like SEMrush because you just need to put the website link of the most popular site in your target niche & it will show all of the keywords that site is already ranking for.
The next step is to get a nice domain name. Since it’s a micro-niche site, I would suggest including your keyword in the domain name. Ensure it doesn’t look spammy & add a little flavor to it by using words like “Guide”, “Users”, “101” & so on.
For my domain, I settled on CydiaGuide.com.
2. Keyword Research & Content Planning
This is the most interesting part, and it’s a little time-consuming. But it pays off well in the long run.
I usually suggest using a Google docs spreadsheet to jot down your research to keep everything organized.
For content planning, I was clear about a few things I needed to do:
- Choose topics that would be in demand for a long time.
- Design this micro-niche site like Wikipedia.
- Choose keywords that are driving traffic and have a high CPC.
Instead of being particular about choosing only high AdSense CPC keywords, I created a mindmap of content, which was more like an FAQ.
- What is [topic]?
- How to use/install [topic].
- Advantages and disadvantages of using [topic].
- Important facts about [topic].
These were some of the basic ideas I started with before getting into detailed keyword research.
I then used SEMrush to find keywords.
- Read this guide to understand how SEMrush will help you find keywords that generate more AdSense revenue.
Next, I chose a few related blogs on my topic & as I mentioned earlier, I used the same tool (SEMrush) to find the precise keywords which are already driving traffic to these sites.
Note: SEMrush is a paid tool, but you can use this link to try SEMrush completely free for 14 days (a value of $150).
By the end of this process, I had at least 20+ topic ideas for my micro-niche website!
Next, I spent a few hours writing 4-5 blog posts, and then one post each day for the next several days. Within a few days, I had 15 high-quality evergreen posts and my content was ready to go. (Evergreen posts have a 2-3 year expiration date, meaning that these topics should be relevant for at least the next 2-3 years.)
As I said earlier, if you are not good at writing, there is no harm in hiring someone to write for you. Managing a blog takes a lot of work, and it’s important to make sure you have good content to manage.
November 2016 update: You can find a more detailed step by step guide on micro niche blogging over at Shout University.
3. Setting Up The Micro-Niche Blog
This part of the set-up was very easy for me. If you know how to create a blog on WordPress, then this step will be easy for you as well. Beyond this, your content will be the main attraction.
The following is a list of the exact tools I used to create and set up my blog:
- Hosting: Bluehost – only $3.95/month with one free domain.
- Check out this tutorial to learn how to install WordPress on Bluehost.
- Theme: Genesis – plug and play.
- Yoast SEO for site SEO (click here to see the video tutorial).
- Akismet for preventing comment spam.
- Auto Post Thumbnail for automatic generation of featured images. (optional)
- SocialWarfare for social bookmarking icons.
- Jetpack by WordPress for multiple purposes, including stats in dashboard.
- No Self Pings to stop self-pinging!
- PushPress for faster indexing.
- SEO Friendly Images for image level SEO.
- Shortpixels for image compression.
- WP Super Cache for caching. An alternative is W3 Total Cache.
Additional steps that I followed:
- Made the blog’s SEO perfect.
- Took extreme care of content quality and keyword score.
- Made a few videos on YouTube and linked them to my blog in the description, generating additional traffic. This also helped me generate backlinks.
- Submitted my sitemap to major search engines. (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.)
- Submitted my blog to traffic estimator sites using IMT submitter. Note: Don’t build more than 50 links using them in a day.
- Created a logo using a free online logo maker.
- Set Up Google AMP.
- Set Up Facebook Instant Articles.
Optional (but very good) steps to follow:
- Add “Contact” page and “About” page.
- Configure push notifications for getting return traffic.
- Start building an email list. You can later give them interesting deals related to your industry & earn commissions via affiliate marketing. You can read about affiliate marketing over here and in this eBook.
The whole idea of the blog was to not do a lot of work, and create a blog that was capable of earning money. For this reason, I didn’t invest much time on branding. The goal was to get great search engine traffic, provide solutions, and quickly make money from this micro-niche blog.
Here is the traffic report:
Remember, the blog had only 29 posts and had not been updated beyond the first month. At this stage, I had to prepare more content to push traffic again.
The following are a few things that I should have done, and are things that you should do if you are interested in creating a micro-niche blog:
Create A Separate Social Media Page
Social media profiles are helpful in many ways, but I skipped this step because I didn’t want to create a new social media property. That said, it’s always good to add social media profiles to your site and use social media automation. (I use Buffer to share content from this blog on my Google+ and Facebook pages.)
Backlink Building & Promotion
I did not build a single backlink beyond submitting my site to IMT and my YouTube videos. I did not do any promotion apart from a tiny bit of social-media promotion. All traffic is organic, and purely due to the SEO settings of the site.
However, this approach may not work for everybody as it varies from niche to niche. For certain niches, competition is too high & the best way to make your blog rank is by generating high-quality backlinks.
Here at ShoutMeLoud, you can find tons of amazing link building guides contributed by the community. Use the search button to find free link building articles on SML.
Here are a few:
- How To Use Search Operators To Find Link Building Opportunities
- From £0 to £11,000+ Per Month E-Commerce Link Building Case Study
- 7 Link Building Mistakes To Avoid While Building Backlinks
For the first couple of months, I only used AdSense, and later I added one affiliate product related to the iPhone niche, which generated an extra income of around $100/month.
Something To Consider
With a $160 investment and 40 hours of work, I made over $2000 in one year. This blog is still making money. The idea is to create a few more niche blogs like this one, thus creating additional sources of online income. I’m working on a new niche site right now called CoinSutra.
For now, this micro-niche blueprint is enough for any minimally experienced blogger to create a money-making site with just a few hours of work.
If you are a member of Pro.ShoutMeLoud.com, you can find all video tutorials (and a more detailed extension of this micro-niche guide) in the AdSense section.
If you have any questions, or if you have any tips to add, I would love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments below!
If you find this micro-niche site blueprint useful, don’t forget to share it!