Niche Site Duel 2.1.1 – Branding, Domain Names and The NSD Leaderboard!

Niche Site Duel 2.0 LogoIn our last Niche Site Duel 2.0 post, I revealed that the niche that I’ll be building a website for is the food truck niche. Specifically, it will be a resource for people who are interested in starting a food truck business and those who already have one.

There’s a nice continuation between the two because when you start a food truck, you’re going to then need to know how to run it, market it, and all that good stuff.

The reaction from you has been very positive, which I’m extremely excited about.

Now that I’ve decided on my niche, it’s time to start talking about domain names and branding, but before I do that, I wanted to address a concern that many of you have brought up to me, both via comments and via email. It’s not about the niche I selected, but rather the Niche Site Duel in general.

Since we’re just starting out, now is a better time than ever to talk about this.

I’ve been hearing from people is that the site that I’m going to build isn’t exactly a niche site – it’s more of an authority site or blog.

To be honest, I don’t really care about the definitions. I’ve selected a niche and I’m building a website for it. Therefore, I’m calling it a niche site, and it’ll be the best one I can create to serve that niche.

A “niche site”, traditionally, is thought of as a smaller site that targets a specific keyword and has enough information on it to be somewhat helpful for people looking up that keyword in Google. Well…I hope to redefine what a niche site really is, because we don’t need any more sites that are just somewhat helpful, we want the best. When we conduct searches in Google, we want the best information – and that’s what Google is finally starting to work towards ranking at the top. Although they are far from perfect at it, that’s the direction they are headed. So, instead of trying to create a minimal site with just enough information to get by and game the algorithm to be found, how about we use the trend to our advantage instead?

Niche site, authority site or blog – if it’s online and serving a specific market, the definition doesn’t matter.

All this to conclude with: this is going to take some work, and I hope you’re up to the challenge.

“Write about what people want. Search engines will eventually catch up.” -Neil Patel

Target Keywords and What’s Up with Exact Match and Partial Match Domains

As a reminder, the keyword I found during keyword research was food trucks for sale, which has a local monthly exact match search volume of 12,100 and a keyword competitiveness score of 30. (click here for the SEO Competition matrix)

I am not, however, building a website that is specifically for food trucks for sale.

Upon further research, which includes actually speaking to food truck owners in person, I discovered that there’s a lot of room for a website beyond just the buying and selling of food trucks. What seems to be missing is a central resource or hub to help food truck owners start and grow their business.

Food trucks for sale could definitely be a part of that resource.

When it comes to branding, it’s smart to take keywords into consideration. In the past, the best practice would be to make sure the keyword is somewhere in the domain name (i.e. smartpassiveincome.com & securityguardtraininghq.com) and if you could get an exact match domain (EMD) – that’s even better. Recently, however, Google has been cracking down on poor quality sites that were previously ranking high just because their domain URL matched a search term 100%.

Even more recently, Google has been cracking down on partial-match domains (PMDs), and when I say recently I mean like 3 days ago. (see June 25th article on Moz.com)

Based on these recent updates, it’s easy to see that poor quality sites are having less and less opportunities for a quick advantage. There are still ways to game the system and get sites that maybe shouldn’t be ranking high to the top of the search engines, but Google’s working on cracking down and are highly focused on rewarding quality websites.

What defines a quality website?

Well, there are a lot of factors involved of course, but to me it’s really easy:

A quality website is one that people would be upset about if it were to disappear. 

Let’s build that.

Brandability and Selecting a Domain Name

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid using EMDs or PMDs when creating your brand or selecting your domain name – it just reinforces the idea that no matter what, you need to build a high quality site with great content and a healthy backlinking profile, or else.

What I like about this is that we can focus less on keyword density and how exact (or close to exact) our domain is to our target keyword, and we can focus more on brandability.

What is brandability when it comes to choosing a name for a business and a domain?

It’s less about what search engines want, and more about what humans want.

Below are seven characteristics of a great brand name. You don’t need to meet all of the criteria, but these are some good rules to try and follow.

1. Easy to Remember

A memorable name goes a long way. It’s not like a phone number that you can just forget about the moment you store it on your phone, so you have to think about how easy or difficult it might be before you make a final decision. The characteristics below will help with that.

2. Not too Long

The longer the name, the harder it is to remember and the more likely someone is to misspell (or mis-type) it too. Keep it as short as possible, which is definitely much more difficult to do nowadays.

3. Easy to Spell

Some words are just not meant for spelling. For example “environment”.  That word took me forever to learn how to spell correctly. Also, you might want to avoid the whole “their/they’re/there” fiasco as well. Here’s a list of the 100 Most Often Misspelled Words in English.

4. Descriptive

A great brand name will tell someone what a business is about right in the name, or at least hint at what it’s about so it becomes memorable. For example: Internet Business Mastery – great, descriptive domain name with the keywords in there as well (and again, that’s okay!). Problogger – also a great (and short!) descriptive brand name. Elance is another great brand name. Although it may seem non-descriptive at first glance, it’s short, easy to remember and actually has to do with the fact that you can hire freelancers over the web for projects.

5. No Numbers or Hyphens

Is it two, to, too, or 2? Three or 3? Hypens – not good either. Again, this isn’t about what the search engines want, it’s about what’s not confusing for people. Imagine you’re on national television talking about your website. If you have to explain how to spell your domain when you mention it – millions of people aren’t going to hear that part. There are exceptions, such as fiverr.com, but generally you’ll want to stay away from something you’d have to explain each time.

6. It Has Rhythm

Rhythm in a domain name means it rolls off the tongue nicely. It’s almost pleasurable to say. This one is a little more difficult to figure out, but you’ll hear it once you land on the right one.

My favorite brand name is Paypal. Two short Pa words that sound great together. It’s awesome.

When you’re exploring a brand with multiple words, if you can’t get two short ones like Paypal, listen to the syllables. A one syllable word (short) followed by multiple syllable words (long) typically sound very good. For example: Smart Passive Income (short long long). Smarter passive income (long long long) just doesn’t sound as good, am I right?

The reverse works well too: long long short. For example: Podcast Answer Man, or ViperChill.

If it sounds good, it’s more likely to be remembered and shared.

7. A .com, if possible. 

There are a number of domain extensions now, and ones other than .com are definitely gaining popularity (i.e. Fizzle.co), but .com still rules the bunch, so if possible, grab a .com domain.

8. Can You Imagine it as THE Ultimate Resource for your Niche?

And the last test: just imagine yourself with your brand and its name a year from now..maybe 5 years from now. Can you imagine people talking about it? Can you visualize people saying the brand name when bringing it up in conversation? Just think about that.

Next Steps

Once you come up with a brand name that seems to work, you’re going to want to conduct some research first before you move on with it.

Does a brand name like it already exist? Conduct a Google Search (use “quotations” around your brand name so you can find exact matches in Google, with spaces between each word and without) to see if another brand exists already.

Is there a trademark that I should worry about? You don’t want to use trademarks that are not your own in your domain name. Trust me – I’ve gone down that path before and the lawyer fees were not worth it. Some brands allow it and will not send you a cease and desist letter, but if it’s their trademark, they can change their mind tomorrow if they wanted to. If you’re in the U.S. you can conduct an online search for trademarks at The United States Patent and Trademark Office.

There are going to be times when you may not be sure when or when not to use a particular brand name. In that case, it’s always best to contact a professional (i.e. your Attorney) who might be able to help you out to get you the right answer. I cannot give you the right answers myself.

The Forums at FreeAdvice.com has actually been a reputable source of good information for legal matters around domain names, but again it’s best to use your own legal counsel.

Is that domain that I want available? 

Most domain name checks are done at the place where you’ll want to get your domain and hosting account. GoDaddy is one, for example, however I recommend going through Bluehost.com to get both a domain and hosting account all in one shot. I still use Bluehost for some of my niche sites, and they are currently running a $3.95/month sale (and your get your first domain for free).

So Pat, What’s Your Brand and Domain Name?!

Well…I found a domain name that’s perfect for the food truck business niche, but upon further research I recently discovered that another site was already using that brand name. Interestingly enough, it’s a website on a freely hosted blogging platform, and because I want to do this right and lead by example, I asked my lawyer, Richard, for some advice before diving into it.

He shared that Trademarks work on a “first in time” basis, which basically means that the person who uses it first “in commerce” owns the mark. A website would count as “in commerce.”

He also followed up saying that it’s not so much that there’s the name in the domain name, but that the website is using that brand name in the logo and as an identifier for the site.

If my site took off, the owner could, if they wanted to, file for a trademark and then sue me – which is a little scary.

On the other hand, he also mentioned that the domain name in question consists of fairly generic words, and even if someone were to trademark the phrase (if they could) it might be hard to uphold in court.

So, all this to say that I’m still exploring the brand and domain name. I’m still in love with the one in question, but I’m open for others as well.

I just wanted to keep you up to date and share why I haven’t selected the domain for the case study yet. It’ll happen very soon.

Furthermore, let me just say that I understand what may happen after I reveal the URL.

I realize that I’m in a unique position as someone building a business and website live in front of a large audience. I realize that because of this, there is a very high possibility that people may link to the site or start to talk about it, which  would give me an unfair advantage over someone who doesn’t have a platform and an audience like I do.

I thought long and hard about the idea of not sharing the domain name with you. I thought about buying two domains – a “faux-website”, one that I would add content to over time and share with you but was actually blocked from the search engines, and then I’d post the exact same content on the real website and then reveal that URL once it started to make some movement – but that got too complicated and I would double my workload which would take away energy and time I would need to make any one site succeed. I thought about never revealing the website ever to you, but if I was in your position I’d hate that, even though I would understand why it would need to happen. Plus, I’ll be using my real name and you’d probably eventually find me anyway I would think.

So, like in Niche Site Duel 1.0, I’m going to reveal my URL again – once I arrive at one. Hehe!

I urge you, if you are following this case study, to please not link directly to my niche site URL for any reason. I will not link directly to it here either.

Asking you to do that will help some, but not 100% I’m sure. That said, I believe my results will be not because of this case study, but because of the work I did to create something hopefully worthwhile for the target niche to start talking about and linking to on their own. I have a lot of ideas up my sleeve, so even if you feel my results in the end aren’t actually true to what would normally happen, focus on the strategies and how they are implemented instead. Focus on the ideology behind the marketing and reaching out process, and then you’ll be able to better understand what works and what doesn’t for your own business. This isn’t about my results, it’s about your journey.

If You’re Ready to Build Your Website

If you’re ready to purchase your domain, here’s a quick video I created below that will help walk you through that process. It’s not very hard at all but if you have any questions, please let me know. I do earn a commission if you go through my affiliate link (at no additional cost to you!) and please let me know if you do so I can thank you personally!

One note: you do have the option to privately register the domain. You’ll see this option as you go through the process. What that means is that the information you use to register the domain with Bluehost (or any other company you use) will be hidden from plain site. Any person in the world can look up who registered a domain, and unless your domain is privately registered, they’ll see your name, address, email and phone number as well.

Bluehost and other companies will offer other add-ons like security features and things like that during the checkout process. For now, that stuff isn’t needed – you can always upgrade later. Plus, WordPress can be secured using various plugins that do what we need to do for now.

A few of you might be wondering if it’s smart to also nab the other domain extensions that are available. So for example, if you pick up the .com, should you get the .net, .co, .biz and others?

The answer is: it’s really up to you. I will personally get the other extensions because this is such a public case study, but for you – you may want to pick them up now, or you may want to pick them up later. You may never want or need to pick them up at all. Again, it’s up to you. If you use Bluehost, you can purchase additional domains for $10.00 per domain though your cPanel Admin section after you’re all setup. You don’t need to purchase separate hosting accounts for each domain.

After You Get Your Domain – Join the Leaderboard!

I’m so excited to announce that the NSD2.0 Leaderboard is now ready for deployment. Like, right now!

Yep! My developer, Bryan (who is amazing!) spent the last 3 weeks completing an all out hub for everything Niche Site Duel, which you can find at NicheSiteDuel.com – remember that.

If you’re participating in NSD2.0, you’re going to visit there quite a bit. It’ll be used to keep track of everyone’s progress, but it’s also a place for discussion since there’s a categorized forum there as well, and most important it’s a place for motivation and accountability. I expect big things from those who put themselves on the leaderboard.

You’ll need to register to join. It’s free! Just go to NicheSiteDuel.com and follow the instructions, and you’re golden.

Mind you, this was all built from scratch, so if there are bugs – don’t trip out. We’ll get it all worked out.

Mastermind Learning Group (MLG) – The Chosen 5

This weekend, I will be emailing each person who applied for the Mastermind Learning Group. In fact, I’ve already replied to over 150 applicants, and I have around 400 left. Only 5 out of 600+ applicant were selected for the MLG, so if you get a polite no from me, please don’t feel bad. A lot went into my decision and I seriously wish I could take more.

If you applied and haven’t heard back from me yet – I’ll get to you very soon!

There will be more case studies down the road though, I promise, and more opportunities to work closely with me again.

Sign up for ONLY72.com for My First Course!

And last, but not least, my first product actually comes out this Monday, July 1st! It’s going to be a part of the next Only72.com sale and will be packaged alongside some other top products for bloggers and business owners. It’s seriously a ton of value at a steeply discounted price, so I encourage you to go to Only72.com and watch the trailer (I’m in it – I’m a partner with Only72) and sign up to get notified on Monday about the sale.

This is something I’m super proud of and know will help a lot of people, and thank you so much for all of the encouragement! Without you, the SPI readers, I’d have nothing.

I appreciate you. :)

Cheers!

  • Sean

    Another informative post, Pat. I’ll be following along on AffiliateAnswerMan.com ~Sean

  • Brandon

    Awesome post pat. I was late to the party and didnt get to apply for your super exclusive group, but I’m still going to join the niche site competition.

    Looking forward to all the success stories from everyone!

  • Alex B.

    Thanks Pat for putting this together!

    I’m really looking forward to being a part of it!

    All the best,
    Alex

  • Curt

    Hey pat

    I am really looking forward to this project, I know it is going to be incredible.

    What if I already have a site started, it is about a month old. Or do I need to start a new one?

  • http://theglutenfreefoodlist.net Nik

    I’m so with you on the niche site definition, Pat. I don’t have the restraint to just toss up a site with a little information anyway. I need to really get into it.

  • http://dageniuslab.com Brian Kwong

    Great write up and points about what to do with the domain name :) Hope you are not being too stress out about going over so many applications!! Have a great weekend :)

    Brian

  • http://www.musicproductionhq.com/ Jamie

    Thanks again Pat looking forward to the leaderboard. Should help keep me accountable as I am a very competitive person!

  • http://www.equinoxbrown-creative.com Mike

    Thanks Pat, really looking forward to working alongside you and the rest of the SPI community for the NSD…

    p.s. AND subscribing to your first product :)

    Cheers, Mike

  • http://howtoprotectyourpdf.com gavin simone

    Really like the paragraph on how to name your domain using catchy syllabus combos.
    Also, having had received a friendly email for trademark infringement, that topic is worth rereading.

  • Vijay

    hi Pat, this is going to be the awesome experience. Frankly speaking I had entry in the same niche a year back but could not continue it to a profitable niche. It would be interesting to watch you – how you do that.

  • http://www.catalystmlm.com Brian Swichkow

    Best. Birthday. Present. Ever.

    Thanks so much Pat (and Brian) for creating the community and leaderboard. Finding NSD1 was the catalyst that brought me into the IM world and your posts have been a plethora of information. Your simple breakdowns for asking the right questions make the process of starting a site entire more simple. I’m signed up on the leaderboard and psyched to compete!

    ~Brian

    P.S. I would love to interview you for our new site!

  • Joe

    Hey Pat , I have a good idea for a domain name for your niche, I don’t want to mention it here as some one else might snatch it up. The .com is available , how can I send it you as I see you removed your email address from the blog?

    • http://breakingferriss.com Nate

      I had the exact same thought. Honestly, though, announcing the name in a comment might be the best way to “lay claim” to it, because it’s on record as your idea.

      Also, why not just buy the domain? It’s only $3.49 or whatever – even if you don’t end up using it.

      Finally, if you’re between a few good ones, try bouncing them off your non-onlineincomenerd friends. They’re usually a good sounding board.

      • Joe

        Hey Nate , yea I would just buy it, the price isn’t a problem,I just have a ton of domains already , Some that I have not got around to using yet .

        I’m not planning on getting the food truck niche any time soon so I rather see it go to someone that can use it ,especially Pat.

  • http://www.homelearningexperience.com Sibo

    I signed up for http://www.nichesiteduel.com and Only72.com. I am sure this adventure will be fun with Pat and all the SPI fans!

    Good Luck on keyword research, everyone!

  • http://www.plugins24.com Phil

    Hi Pat,
    I’m in! Decided against the german keyword and went with a great english one I found :-)

    See you at the top,
    Phil

  • http://www.lowd.ca/ Derrick Barber

    I just wanted to add to this post by saying that everyone who will be participating in NSD 2.0 should consider themselves very fortunate. This isn’t my first rodeo, but I’m happy to follow the lead of someone like Pat who, in my opinion, just so obviously “get’s it”.

    I have been making niche sites (the kind he mentioned at the start of this post) since 2004, and only recently I have realized this was totally the wrong way to go. Wrapping your mind around the fact that you need to build a niche site that best fulfills a gap in a niche, and makes the internet better as a whole is the very best starting point for your new venture.

    Regarding domain names – I completely agree with Pat. While having keywords in your domain name can still be helpful for SEO, I believe a wiser decision is to choose a domain name that is designed for people to like & remember, as opposed to choosing a domain you think will help you rank well in search engines.

    I am pumped up for NSD 2.0. Hopefully I can add some helpful comments during the process. While in the past I have managed to repeatedly do things the wrong way in the make money online/niche website industry, I have learned so much from my past failures that I believe will help me succeed this time around. Hopefully you guys don’t mind me sharing my two cents on these posts… I just have this feeling that I’m supposed to be here not just for me, but to add to the conversation & hopefully helps others succeed by supporting what Pat says, and sharing what I have learned from my previous failures.

    • MiaGal

      Derrick, I’m very much looking forward to the various perspectives and hope you do chime in. Thanks!

  • http://breakingferriss.com Nate

    Haha it’s in the zeitgeist. Both you and Spencer Haws have talked about how exact matches are less important now.

    I’ve been thinking of clever domain names and this post sent me into overdrive. Interesting thing, a lot of obvious ones in my niche are already taken, but nobody’s building sites with them, or else the sites are 3-4 page “old school” niche sites it should be easy to outrank.

    Point being, as any good post should, this got the spark going and got me even more excited for NSD2.OH

  • http://freelanceblogginglife.com Ruan

    Hey Pat!

    Well done for finding your niche! I’m just as excited as you are to get started with this project. I gained a ton of respect (over and above what I already had) for you by delaying your domain registration because of possible hick-ups with a brand name in there… Good example for some out there facing a similar situation indeed.

    I’m happy to report that I’ve already registered my domain, heck I even installed WordPress already! While I can’t wait to get started with the next step, I think I better get myself registered on that leaderboard ASAP.

    I have just one quick question… I was wondering how the process would work for those wanting to follow along with their own niche sites… Are you going to share and talk about “the next step” each time before we all go out and actually do it (yourself included) or are you going to be coming back, reporting on how you went about doing it?

    Either way, the latter might just have me left without any nails before the end of this year but I guess I’ll get there eventually! ;)

    Keep us posted!

    ~Ruan

  • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore Nwangene

    That’s so interesting Pat,
    First of all, i want to applaud you for all your efforts towards making this duel a success including the Niche Site Duel site you just created. More strength to your elbows.

    I have also registered my own domain and will soon putting other things together.

    Lets all succeed together Pat.

  • sally

    Thanks Pat. Will you be taking us through some theme and framework tips? Keen to hear your thoughts abouts using Thesis?

  • http://www.guestblogginghq.com/2013/06/ultimate-guide-what-is-guest-blogging.html Kingsley Agu

    At long last!

    I’m running to sign-up as fast as my legs can carry me… Niche 2.0, here we go!

  • http://www.theweirdproblogger.com/2013/02/what-heck-is-guest-blogging.html Ejike

    Thanks for sharing the tips on choosing a domain name.. I’ll keep those tips in mind next time.

  • http://magenticperson.com D.T.

    Pat, great info but considering the fact that you talk about proper spelling you should probably change the “United STARTS patent office” to “United STATES patent office”. ;)

    • http://brestrogenreviewer.com Stephanie@Brestrogen Is What

      I agree. That’s a good point. Pat, go with D.T. on this.

  • http://PhilFAQS.com Dave Starr

    Great going, Pat, and thanks for all the work you’ve put into this so far. My thought on those who want to spend their time arguing about “What is a Niche Site” and “What is an Authority Site” is this .. spend your time arguing semantics and I’ll spend my time building skills and earning money, thank you very much. ;-)

  • http://sensei.blackbeltproject.com The Virtual Sensei

    It’s good to see the shift in laying out what “niche” means. Too often it’s meant small and after one keyword. To me niche is a market. You can make a lot of money off a market and not necessarily a keyword. Thinking big and going big makes the most money.

    Next step avoiding manipulating google to dominate the market….lol.

  • http://collegesinvirginiafacts.com Bruce

    Pat, I’m stoked! Let’s get this party started. I really appreciate all of the thought and effort you’ve put into this and for being so helpful to all of us who are just fumbling along in the dark. You are a bright light worth following!

    Bruce

  • http://authoritywebsiteincome.com Jon Haver

    The niche site duel hub is awesome. Your designer/developer did a great job!

    Really looking forward to following along.

  • http://www.streamlinepropertyinvesting.com Len

    Hi Pat,

    Great work and I’m really looking forward to following this process you. We’ve just shifted our Blogger blog to a proper domain name so looking forward to learning more from you. Will hopefully also make time to make a niche site from some of my keyword ideas.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattkostan Matt Kostan

    Hey Pat

    Just had a random thought.

    If you noticed other sites linking to your niche site which you didn’t intend for, maybe just use the disavow tool?

    https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main?pli=1

    Might not be worth the hassle, but it probably would make for a good blog post on how to use it properly. :)

    Cheers,
    -Matt

  • http://www.planetnaveen.com Naveen Kulkarni

    Great stuff Pat,
    I loved the design of Niche Site Duel Hub. It’s sleek and appealing !
    I am going to fill up details and submit soon.

    So, basically leader-board will list all the participants and sort based on their performance is it something like that? I mean it will check the current ranking in Google for their chosen keyword v/s their URL. Correct me if I am wrong. I think it will be fun.

    I have my niche site up and running since last 22 days and it seems doing good (secondary keyword ranked 1st page of Google and primary is appearing in 5th page). I added 2 dedicated pages + 9 articles so far. It has been a fantastic journey so far for me.

    Great atmosphere on this blog Pat and you f(d)uelling it :-)

  • Nicola Cantafora

    The leaderboard looks nice, while regarding the MLG I wished I was in for a bunch of personal reasons, I believed it was such a nice opportunity to seize.
    But anyway my catch is: in life we should never give up on things we really care, so I’ll persist in this, I’ll work fine in this NSD2.0 even being out of the MLG and I will try again next time. My only request is:
    MAKE SURE TO SHAPE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR A “NEXT TIME”, please, please and pretty please. Brainstorming along with Pat Flynn would make my day every-day :-)

  • http://www.phponly.com/blog cristian

    Hi Pat flynn great post. Thank you for the big effort that you’ve done. I found a good domain name.

  • http://www.fandomize.com Cynthia

    My trouble is – I still can’t settle on my niche. I bought several domain names to develop – none are “perfect” based on keyword criteria. Guess I need to throw caution to the wind and go with the one that makes me the happiest. Or should I go with the brand new one that doesn’t have any info on it. . . . . Hmmmm

  • https://www.pasardumay.com/ Jual Beli Online kan

    Very nice look of blog, I learn much from this site

  • Joe

    Hi Pat,

    You may want to include the forgot password feature in your NSD 2.0 site.
    I happened to be unable to login of forgot my password, but there is no way to reset the password.

    • Pat Flynn

      It’s coming – we needed to secure some stuff before putting in that feature. Will definitely be there soon!

  • http://tailoredsuitsonline.com Lewis

    Pat,
    A weekend post – a bit different (cheeky) for you ;)
    I signed up for the leader board and like others, am excited about growing my site with the rest of the community here. I’ve got a first page ranking for the exact match of my domain all ready, and I’m building up an archive of decent in-depth content right now, so I’m optimistic!

    A difficulty I’m facing in my niche is actually getting reviews for products, I’m having to contact a load of companies in my niche asking them for review copies of their product (custom suits) and then write indepth reviews of the actual product. It will be a long process but I believe it will result in a website that’s truly valuable, that I’d be proud to show business associates, friends and family (one of my ‘rules of conduct’).

    Anyways, keep up the great work Pat!

  • http://Www.adwisey.com Ron Mills

    Trademarks! Very often underlooked. When choosing a domain name Many people end up building a website around a domain name that includes a trademark term, and when you find out itcan be very late. Always do a trademark search because even “common words” can be trademarked. Unfortunately some have had to learn the hard way! Great tips Pat!!

  • http://brestrogenreviewer.com Stephanie@Brestrogen Is What

    Hi Pat,

    This is a great writeup. I am getting the hostn from your your link because you share and really care about thei niche duel. I’m in this ride with you.

  • http://www.incomegin.com Josh Lee

    I like your take on niche sites and authority sites. To draw a sharp distinction between the two is something of a false dichotomy, as I think you imply. Most niche site owners hope (or should hope, imo) their sites become an ‘authority site’ for at least a given keyword, but more than likely, they also hope to make a dent in the larger niche. I suppose it is a question of how narrow you wish to focus your ‘authority’.

    NSD site looks great, by the way.

  • elliot

    Hey pat I will be following and am currently working on a site gadgets-for-girls.com I think I signed up but am a little lost on this..

  • http://www.audio-sounds.com Thomas

    Hi Pat,

    I understand your concerns about the other party who ownes the name you are intersted in.

    Another possibility would be to organize a meeting with him and ask for collaboration if you see possible synergies. This could be a win-win situation and could lead to a greater success.

    It’s better to try talk to people first before going into war with them (in worst case). Lawers see that from another perspective… I know…

  • http://kirasozlesmeleri.com seyma

    Hi Pat,
    I have a problem with the leaderboard. I am from Turkey and unfortunately I can not type in my keyword due to the Turkish alphabetical characters not being compatible. It says me to type in only letters or numbers:(

    • http://smearchy.com/seo-buffalo-ny/ Jeff Mitri

      Great article, I’ve been writing blogs a lot, and most recently been learning more about how to get them noticed. I just discovered this website and find that it’s very informative. I’ll be a regular from now on!

  • http://igainweight.com/ Gain weight

    Awesome article,you said about the short name,but smartpassiveincome isn’t so short :D

    • http://canigivemydog.blogspot.com Rob Stokes

      The site name may be kinda long, but rolls off of the tongue easy and is very easy to remember!!! It has great “rhythm” :)

  • http://www.musclebuildingshortcuts.com/ MBSC

    Cool stuff, Pat! Looking forward to your 2013 SEO strategy… I agree that it’s always better to build websites for the reader rather than some ever-changing search engine algorithm.

  • http://itschampagne.com/ Paul Boughton

    Don’t think I’ve ever seen the ‘rhythm in a domain name’ ever discussed before. It’s a fascinating topic. What’s in a name?. Well, everything it seems.

  • http://goldirainvesttoday.com Jeffrey@Find A Gold Ira Company

    Hi Pat,

    I don’t know why people want to argue is this a niche or authority site when they should take action by building the niche site. Who cares about it unless your site really help people what they are looking for?

  • Noel

    Had a chuckle to myself when you say not to use numbers and then later refer to your new venture only72.com and just goes to show rules are made to be broken. My domain would include a number it is http://www.mydomain365.com. Not to reveal too much but I’ll be blogging about an condition that for those involved know its a 365 day of the year situation that hopefully my readers will connect with.

    As for the competition thing I will join NSD not to be top of the table but to give my family a better quality of life, they will be the ones who decide I’m top.
    See you all on the forum

    • Pat Flynn

      Haha – right? :)

  • Brooke

    Great information! I’m excited about the leader board. A lot of hard work has gone into it. Thank you for that! I’m sure I’ll find it extremely helpful as I progress in the duel.

    I also appreciate the domain naming information, particularly the suggestion to check for trademark issues. It’s isn’t something I had thought of and may have saved my butt! :)
    Thank you again!

    • http://www.marketingyourfarm.com/new-here/ Iain

      I’m excited as well for the leaderboards.

      The community is a lot of fun as well. A lot of people are learning a lot there which is awesome.

      I’m sure there are going to be a lot of success stories that come out of this.

  • http://heatExch.com/ Perry Ning

    Like Pat’s thinking about domain names. When I choose heatExch.com instead of HeatExchangerCenter.com, I had similar thought but not sure. Now seeing Pat said that, I have more confidence about my choice.

    Thanks, Perry Ning

  • http://businessplanmentor.com/franchise-franchisee/ Sylvia

    Google is killing me with the EMD/PMD. My one month old site isn’t ranking AT ALL. And it is excellent quality with epic posts (see Franchises I added today…EPIC).

    My previous sites would make page 1 within 3 wks. I didn’t even know what I was doing. I would put up a WordPress site and like clockwork…3 wks page 1. Then last fall they disappeared. Now I know why.

    But what’s the problem with my new site??

    I’ve gotten almost 200 uniques (not counting the peeks from here), made an ebook sale, and have some regular readers that have returned dozens of times. They are using the content as intended. Quality info!

    So what’s up with Google not liking me?? I am I expecting too much too soon?

    • http://businessplanmentor.com/franchise-franchisee/ Sylvia

      Oh, and I am learning SO MUCH from Pat. Talk about quality!! And so transparent with his info. I am trying to follow suit on my site. Thank you Pat!

    • http://www.planetnaveen.com Naveen Kulkarni

      Hi Sylvia,
      Are you monitoring your site’s index status in Google Webmaster Tools?
      I recommend you to submit a sitemap. You can also use wordpress plugin xml-sitemaps and install it It automatically regenerates sitemap every time you publish a new post. Check for crawl errors in webmaster tools and clear them. If crawlers are not able to scan your site then your site won’t be indexed.

      Check in google site:yoursite.com How many results you are seeing? This number should be ideally total of your pages+posts+tags.

      Do let me know how it is going?

      • http://www.planetnaveen.com Naveen Kulkarni

        Assuming that your site is the same mentioned in your signature, I tried below in Google
        site:businessplanmentor.com — Returned 42 results
        site:www.businessplanmentor.com — No results

        That means, one version of your site has been already indexed by Google. Have you set the preferred domain in Google Webmaster Tool already?

        • http://businessplanmentor.com Sylvia

          Thank you so much Naveen for taking the time to look at my site and stats.
          It was already set up with sitemap.
          I have not gone to Webmaster Tool yet. Will do that asap.
          I did see in my site monitor account the first week that it got crawled. But no more crawls after that. My previous sites got crawled like weekly.
          Thank you again!

    • http://kiemtienadsence.blogspot.com/ Phuong Le

      What you need to do now is finding bad backlinks poiting to your site to see if there is any dirty competitors plays tricks on yr site, if it is right, use the webmaster tool to prevent index those bad link. Then add much more fresh unique contents, about 4 new articles each week.

  • Juan

    Hi Pat,

    I have a quick follow up question about the trademark issue. What if the domain is registered, but parked free (not listed as “for sale”). Is it still considered as “in commerce”?

  • Juan

    if you reveal the new url you will have everybody going to your new website ,all your readers will go, won’t that mislead you.

  • http://howimakealivingonline.net Norm

    Good domain name selection criteria, however in my experience it is very hard to stick to it because of so many domain squatters and people already purchase the names.

    • http://www.truebluetitan.com Rob Schultz

      Norm, I think that’s part of the “sport” of creating an online brand. It’s amazing how much creativity and challenge finding a domain name for an online business can be.

  • http://themoviezones.com/ arif mardiyanto

    Hi Pat,

    i have question too.. in your opinion, which one is the best for you.. buying pagerank domain (brand-less) or new domain that truly focus on branding?

    since i think buy pagerank domain is better seen from SEO .. whats your suggestion . thank you

    Arif

  • http://kidney-pain.org Steven

    As for my strategy on choosing the domain name is having main keywords in it. It can be org, net, with “-”, etc — but if you have you main kws in the domain name this will definitely be good for rakning.

  • Stephanie

    Your developer should really check his work on the iPad mini. A few layout issues going on there. Nice design though!

  • http://mypropertips.blogspot.com/ Tyson

    I always learn from your online business! success always for you pat

  • http://smallbusiness-ideas-for-women.blogspot.com/ Tyson

    I always enjoy your posts, pat .. Your blog has provided a lot of inspiration related to online business.

  • http://www.xn----8sbabasiuwffnt2ac.com/ Martin

    Hi Pat,

    I tried to submit in the NSD 2.0 but since I’m from east europe my target word (and domain) are both on cyrillic. Because of that it says my target word is not valid and cannot submit. :)

  • http://www.moneyAhoy.com Derek @ MoneyAhoy.com

    Pat,

    I especially agree with your rules #2 and #3. Short and easy to spell seem like two of the most important for success in the short term.

    I try to focus for something is that less than 8-9 characters long.

  • dom

    Pat,

    All the three extensions ( dot com, dot net, dot org) of foodtrucksforsale have already been registered. Have you registered any?

    Most of us have very little knowledge about trademarks for domains and does not have access to domain lawyers, but still in developing and flipping websites. Can you write a post about minimum things to look for regarding trademarks , before buying domains.

  • http://bestfishingpoles.org/okuma-reels-reviews-and-recommendations-on-the-best-okuma-fishing-reels/ ray

    pretty excited about following along with this project! quick, semi-related question for Pat and others–when it comes to SEO, which do you think has the advantage (wordpress)–pages or posts?

  • Ron

    Speaking of Branding. Here is a fun map of the most popular brands by state.

    http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2013/06/friday-fun-most-famous-brands-by-state.html

  • http:.//www.theworkindad.com Ian

    I think SEOs take too much stock into what Google cares about. There is abolsultely no way that Google can defeat web spam. Period. Create great, useful, and relevant content, and it won’t matter. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the same result twice in Google anyways. It’s part luck, part crapshoot, part hard work to build the site’s profile.

    Google is going to continue to alter the algorithim, but again, it will never be a fool-proof system. It’s utterly impossible for Big G to create algorithims that allow for both corporate and “small-timers” to rank in an equitable space.

    Look at what Panda did to all of these 1 page niche sites with EMDs. Destroyed them. But within the past 6 months has anybody who owns these types of sites may have seen an increase in their traffic and Adsense. Sure, it’s bound to disappear eventually, and creating more of an authority niche site should be everyone’s goal, but I just think it’s absolutely impossible to penalize certain ranking factos when it hurts so many legitimate businesses.

    I have seen many legit and quality sites outranked by EMDs to this day.

    • http://kidsfourwheelers.weebly.com/ Jerry

      Ian, SEO always been some kind of rat race. Google make a step, SEO make a step and again…. Just try to play Google’s rules… well.. with some smart modifications :)… and everything will be fine. I have also seen many legit and quality sites being outranked but there always is a reason why it happened.
      If this game would be easy then every lazy guy with computer and internet could become a millioner in months.

  • http://www.eventchecklist.net Arwin Adriano

    Looks like everything is in place now. Excited to see future updates with this case study.

  • http://john-shea.net John Shea

    Awesome Pat, I’m looking forward to seeing your progress with this niche. I’m going to go ahead and get registered on nichesiteduel.com. Really excited about this!

  • http://sightforsoreeyes.net Carlos Coto

    Hi Pat, great info post! Thanks for the branding info, as it will help us to determine our domain.

  • http://www.drawingideasforkids.blogspot.com Mike

    Great article. I couldn’t wait and already got my domain name. It it an exact match for the keywords I want to target except for one catch. The domain name I wanted had the word “for” in it. That would have cost me thousands, but I did find a match with the number “4″. Do you think this is good or bad?

    Great article! More!

  • http://jobs57.com Ankit Bansal

    Lovely article. Choosing a niche and believing in it is very important because you will ultimately work around it. I love the way you write as well.

  • http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors-hire/808198-rank-your-keywords-diverse-high-google-pagerank-links-document-sharing-sites-100-manual-penguin-safe.html Vic @ DocShare Doctor

    What I respect most about what you do Pat, is how you can take a topic that’s interesting, but not amazingly compelling, and turn it into money like you did with Security Guard Training.

    It takes a lot of focus and love to research something you’re not really passionate about. At least for me. Like making a website on Security guard training or Survival Knives…I don’t know if I could do that.

    Also, I realize you’ll be outsourcing your content and everything, but of course YOU still need to do the research to make sure you sort of know what the deal is in the niche. I guess you know where you’ll be eating dinner for the next…YEAR haha! ;-)

    Good luck!
    Vic

  • http://best7seatersuv.com/ Best 7 Seater Suv

    Good luck with your niche site duel 2, Pat.
    I’m watching your progress.

  • http://www.onlineincomejournal.net Fabrizio

    Hey Pat it’s fantastic to see the leader board finally in motion, looking forward to getting on board and joining the community moving forward with things. Thanks again.

  • http://packersandmovershyderabad.5thin.com/ Rajendra

    Well, nice information, recently I have just entered in blogging world, your blog has provided me such a amazing information that I m very much thank full to you .

    http://packersandmovershyderabad.5thin.com/

  • Steve

    Newsflash people…..niche sites aren’t determined by size. A 1,000 page site on German Shepherd training would be a niche site.

  • http://www.garyasanchez.com Gary Sanchez

    So I’m a bit confused by the recent Google change. Are EMDs and PMDs now preferred or not? Don’t the recommended tools such as Long Tail Pro place a higher value on EMD/PMD sites?

  • http://www.bestjuicerreviewsonline.com Tim Cos

    Pat, great, just great! I started a niche site a couple of days ago and I try to follow your ideas.

    Good luck with your new niche site.

    Another little question: Have you thought about making your websites available in other languages? Is this something that would gives a boost to your visitors or not?

  • http://www.ratracegrad.com Jennifer

    Pat,

    Will you sell a copy of your wordpress theme for your securityguardtrainning website. I like the design and would like to purchase it.

    Jennifer

  • http://www.bestonlinejobsforcollegestudents.org/ Surendra Thapa

    Hey Pat,
    You’ve been my inspiration for all this and I’m pretty happy to say that I’ve just started a new niche site. I’m currently working on content and hope to monetize in a few months time. I’d been following you since your security guard training website but never attempted my hands at online business. Now, I’m doing it. Thanks.

  • http://bestpressurecookerdeals.com/best-stainless-steel-pressure-cookers-reviews-deals-buying-guide/ John

    Awesome Pat, I’m looking forward to seeing your progress with this niche. I’m going to go ahead and get registered on nichesiteduel.com. Really excited about this!

  • http://www.thebigtraveltheory.com Clayton

    I have a question about this

    As a reminder, the keyword I found during keyword research was food trucks for sale, which has a local monthly exact match search volume of 12,100 and a keyword competitiveness score of 30. (click here for the SEO Competition matrix)

    Is there the same thing in Market samurai. I’m trying to figure it out. i’ve had the trial for about 3 days now and I’m not sure if the exact same figure exists. That means it probably does and I just can’t find it. Thanks for all this good info

  • http://tutorial.world.edu Rina

    Most of the domain name that I choose and get have a hyphen. For domains without hyphens already taken. I hope I choose a domain name that is still able to be remembered by my visitors