It’s almost impossible to dive into internet marketing or online entrepreneurship without getting some real experience first. There are e-books, video tutorials and programs guaranteed to make you millions but most of them are total crap. The easiest way to start making money online is creating a niche website and throwing Google adsense on the page.
Not only will you create a new stream of income, but you’ll start building the skills you need to make real money online.
What is a niche website?
Niche websites are usually 10 – 15 pages of information around a certain topic or keyword. They answer a question, solve a problem or provide just the thing that people are looking for.
How do I make money from niche websites?
The easiest way to make money is to sign up for Google Adsense and embed a few advertising units on the site. Google will then show ads to your visitors that are relevant to your website’s content. Whenever someone clicks on an ad, you’ll make anywhere from a few cents to a couple dollars.
The increments might not seem like much, but when you’re getting 15 clicks and making $25 a day… it adds up. The best part is that once you set up a niche website they require very little maintenance. Niche sites generate passive income and each month you’ll get a nice direct deposit from Google.
What skills will I learn?
WordPress is a content management system that this blog and countless other websites run on. You can do anything with WordPress and unless you’re a programmer, it’s probably what your first projects will use. I recommend building your niche site on WordPress (five minute install guide).
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making the right on-page changes and incoming links to rank higher in Google. Position #1 for a keyword might get you 60% or more of the clicks where position #4 only sees 10%. You’ll read things on blackhatworld, warriorforum or seomoz and try new methods. Some will work and some won’t.
You’ll also start getting familiar with things like A/B testing, keyword density and bounce rates. One small tweak the color scheme or ad placement and all of a sudden you’ve doubled revenue overnight. The testing and tinkering never stops with business and with niche sites you can see results quickly without a large investment of time or money.
What do I start a website about?
Picking a niche (covered extensively here) is a vital business skill as you move into new industries and projects. There probably isn’t a definitive answer on whether it will be successful or not, but there are two main points that I usually consider before starting a new site.
Users: Who is looking for the information? The demographics can dramatically impact whether they even click ads or not. In my experience, less savvy internet users are more likely to click ads, whereas generation-y almost automatically ignores them.
Buyers Intent: Do the users have intent to make a purchase or take action based on what you have provided them? If there is intent behind the search and the niche is profitable, then they are more likely to click and ad and you’ll get paid. If the site takes off and you look to expand from niche to authority (25+ pages), then you can explore other options like affiliate marketing, product creation or e-commerce.
Niche Site Example:
One of my niche sites is Niceprepaid.com. It’s about prepaid credit cards and debit cards. Usually a niche site will rank for one major keyword, but for this site I took a little bit of a different approach. I started it a few years ago and it has content focused on long-tail keywords like “rush card promo code” where I sit in the 10th spot on Google.
There are no affiliate programs or products for sale on the site, just information and google ads. So if the site starts to generate more traffic I can consider moving into these other methods of monetization. Note that the color scheme for the advertisements on the page match the links, this conceals the ads and makes them blend in.
I also have not done any linkbuilding outside of the site, so I may begin to do that in 2013. At this time though, I’m only looking to go after long-tail keywords that have almost no competition. I find these keywords using the Google Keyword tool and also anticipate what people are searching for by analyzing behavior.
A lot of “experts” will tell you that niche websites are dead but I consistently make hundreds of dollars each month from adsense alone. It’s not a ton of money but it allows my to put my student loans on auto-pay. Wouldn’t you like to do the same?
You may also be interested in reading what’s better 1 website or 10 websites?