Niche Sites: Best Passive Income Stream?

This blog is a ton of work. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I spend hours working on it. That being said, the interactions I’ve had with the blogger community and my audience, although the site is new – has been nothing short of awesome. For that, I sincerely thank you all!

Upon reflecting, I got to wondering, though, what’s the next hustle? And I think I found it.

Niche Sites

The idea behind a niche site is simple: you target a specific term, product, or keyword, to drive tons of traffic to the site, and ideally – you monetize it along the way. Pretty simple, right? The cost of the website is negligible, and ideally, it’s very low maintenance if the content is not being updated too often.

Here’s an example: as an engineer, I help customers design, engineer, and ship solutions around the world. We regularly talk about shipping equipment to Paris, or Australia, or the Bahamas, etc. As part of this, I need to know what power cables to use in each country, because sometimes it’s not clear. Enter the site power-plugs-sockets.com. The sole purpose of this website is to provide you with a photo of the outlet in nearly every country on the planet. That’s it. That’s the whole site. It seems to be generating a ton of traffic in the process, and with all the affiliate links and Adsense, I have to believe it’s a decent side income stream for the owner.

Other Niche Site Ideas

To give you some other ideas, here’s some other examples of niche sites:

  • Best Survival Knife website
  • Appliance Review website
  • How to Host Backyard Movie website
  • Best Dog Training Method/Toy website
  • Caribbean Travel Tips site
  • Travelers Checklist website
  • How to.. Sites (could be anything!)

Get the drift? The whole point is to be specific, but you also want to cast a wide enough net that you get some traffic from google. To determine this, I’d recommend using Google’s Keyword tool, which can be found inside Google Adwords. Once you log into Adwords, you’ll see a section that says “Your first campaign” (if you haven’t used Adwords before), and you’ll be looking for this section:

Google Keyword Tool

If you expand the “Select Your Keywords” section, you’ll see the below image.

Google Keyword Adword Tool

Most of the search terms are already pre-loaded, but I added the last three. The number that is to the right of the search term is the volume of searches for that phrase, on a monthly basis. On the keywords I searched, the only one I’d begin to consider would be the “best dog breed” option. I’m not sure how you’d monetize that keyword, but there’s surely some ways to go about it. The point is – find enough volume to make it worth your while. A search volume of 1300 for “backyard movie” is pretty poor, but if you tied that to some high margin items, it could be worth the trouble, though I’d personally prefer a higher search volume.

Once You Select a Niche

Once you have an idea, and you’ve done your homework, it’s time to build the site. I’d strongly recommend HostGator. Check my article out (An IT Guy’s Take: HostGator vs. Bluehost) to learn about why I recommend HostGator over other options (spoiler alert: I’m a full-time IT Architect). That being said, once you’ve got your account up and running, I’d recommend a simple one-click WordPress install, a basic theme, and a little customization. If you really wanted to – you could have a niche site up in a couple of hours. I would recommend taking the time to do it right, but it certainly is possible for a very low investment of money and time.

Technical details aside, the next step is to build content. The secret is quite simple: put yourself in your customers (or audiences) website. Ask yourself a few questions to help you with this:

  • Why would they land on your site?
  • What problem do they have that brought them to you?
  • How can you uniquely help solve it?
  • How will you monetize this process?

I feel confident that if you can answer these four questions, and have done your basic keyword, domain, and competitive research – you will be very well-prepared to build content which is relevant to the audience that google will (hopefully) drive to your site.

Making Money

There’s a few ways to monetize a niche site, and quite honestly, it’s not that much different from a normal site. Here’s a few methods:

Affiliate Marketing

One of the best ways to monetize a niche site is via affiliate marketing. There’s many different methods here, but at a high level, you’re providing content which informs, educates, or sells – and then a convenient link to purchase the item or service. When the user clicks the link and purchases, you get paid.

AdSense/Media.Net

With a lot of traffic at your site, another option is simple display and text ads through Adsense and Media.net (an alternative to Adsense).

Sell a Product

If you have a visitors attention, use it to sell one of your own products. If you get 50,000 views a month, and convert 1% of the users on a $39 product (assuming you make/sell the product) – you would net $19,500 before your production costs.

What are your thoughts on Niche sites? No matter where you stand, I’d love to hear your thoughts or stories around Niche sites. Comment Below or shoot me a tweet @sidehustledad  – I’ll respond to every comment.