My recent minor success with niche sites (as shown in my latest monthly report) caught the attention of fellow blogger, Tyrone Shum. The other day, he sent me this message on my Facebook page:
I’m always up for a little friendly competition, so I accepted Tyrone’s challenge.
Both Tyrone and I are going to document and report our progress on building a profitable niche site from scratch. We’re going to give you front row seats to our little competition, revealing exactly how we select a potentially profitable niche (which we’ll reveal to you), how we build a website around that market, how we send traffic to that site, and how we begin to earn an income form it.
Yes . . . rule—singular.
There is only one rule in our little challenge, and that is: we will not use paid advertising to generate traffic. All traffic to our sites will be from natural search engine traffic, or referrals.
That’s it. Everything else is wide open, so you’ll see a wide array of strategies and tactics being used throughout this challenge.
A Tale of Two Strategies
Tyrone and I chatted the other day to knock out the details of our little competition, and what’s neat is that we found out that we’re both approaching niche sites in a totally different way. This is great because you’ll get an insider look at two completely different strategies, so we can all see how they perform against each other.
We’ll get into more detail about our strategies as we go along, but in short, Tyrone will be focusing on generating leads to an email list in his niche of choice. He’ll be using that email list to engage with his traffic and eventually offer some kind of related product as an affiliate.
What I like about Tyrone’s strategy is that he’s building a mini authority site, one that helps him build relationships with people so he can reach out with an offer later. What I really like about this strategy is that since his prospects are on an email list, he can continue to tap into that list as it grows. There is potential for major growth with this kind of site, but it may take a lot of time to build a list and get to a point where he can start earning money.
We’ll just have to wait and see.
My strategy, which I’ve been seeing a bit of success with thus far, boils down to this:
- Find a niche and build a site.
- Get traffic.
- Traffic clicks on affiliate links or ads strategically placed on the site.
- Make money.
This type of mini-site does not spend time building a relationship with it’s traffic. In fact, the whole point of getting people on the site is to get them off as quickly as possible, either through ads or an affiliate link.
What’s nice about this strategy is that it doesn’t take much time to setup, and theoretically it doesn’t take quite as much time to earn money from it as well if done correctly. In addition, the process can easily be copied over and over again in other niches.
If you know Tyrone or ever visited his blog, you know that he’s really into using videos—he uses them in almost every single post. I’m sure he’ll be using videos as a primary strategy in his niche sites as well.
I like to write, so I’ll be using the power of my keyboard to drive traffic and sales, although I may throw in some videos of my own as well for search engine optimization purposes.
Getting Things Done
We agreed that outsourcing would be allowed.
Tyrone is a master outsourcer with many resources readily available, so he’ll walk you through how working with full-time VAs is like to get things done.
I, on the other hand, do not have any full-time VAs, and I only hire VAs on a task by task, or project by project basis. For the sake of this challenge and so you can get the most out of it, I will be doing my best to do as much of the work as possible on my own, since we know a lot of you may not have the money or resources available to hire a VA just yet.
If I do utilize outsourcing for anything, it will be in the most economical way possible.
We decided to create this challenge and make it public so you will hopefully learn something—both from what we find that works and what doesn’t. Also, we want to use this publicity as a way to hold ourselves accountable for making this work, because if it does, we’ll both see another addition to our passive income portfolio.
This way, everybody wins.
As far as a “finish line” goes, we haven’t come up with a certain dollar amount, but we might come up with one later.
Of course, we have a number of progress goals along the way before we actually get to anything involving an income, and we’ll make sure to let you know when these things happen, and how they happen:
- Finding a potentially profitable niche
- Building a site
- Getting traffic
We’ll do our best to report as much information to you as possible.
We’ll at least do one progress report a month, although I might report more often, since my particular strategy moves pretty fast in the beginning.
We’re going to track our traffic and numbers using Google Analytics, and we’ll try our best to show you some of the graphs and charts coming directly from our statistics.
Do You Want to Participate?
After Tyrone challenged me on Facebook, a number of my followers asked me if it was okay if they joined in on the fun too.
My answer is: of course!
I only ask you that if you do participate in this challenge with us that you do your best to document your progress like we do, with as much detail as possible, so we can all share our information with each other. If you have a blog, that would be the perfect spot. If not, then maybe using a site like InfoBarrel.com would work, and you could make a little money on the side too. [Editor’s Note, 2019: We no longer recommend Infobarrel.]
If you’re interested, just leave a comment below about it.
The Next Step
The first thing I have to do is find a profitable niche to go after. In the next post, I’ll walk you through the process of how I choose one.
I hope you’re as stoked as I am about this!
And Tyrone, if you’re reading this . . . BRING IT!
Other Posts in The Niche Site Duel Series
- Niche Site Duel: I’ve Been Challenged, and I Accept! (8/16)
- Niche Site Duel 002: Finding a Profitable Niche – My Process Revealed (8/18)
- Oops. The Niche I Selected is Bad, and Here’s Why (8/20)
- Niche Site Duel 003: How to Setup a Niche Site – Before You Add Content (8/25)
- Niche Site Duel 004: My Content Strategy (9/10)
- Niche Site Duel 005: My Backlinking Boo Boo (9/13)
- Niche Site Duel 006: My Backlinking Strategy (9/14)
- Niche Site Duel 007: Ranking and Traffic (and Earnings!) Update (9/29)
- Niche Site Duel 008: My Monetization Strategy (10/26)
- Niche Site Duel 009: I’m On The First Page of Google! (10/27)
- Niche Site Duel 010: I’m Ranked Number One in Google!! (11/8)
- Niche Site Duel 011: THE Backlinking Strategy That Works (11/10)
- Niche Site Duel 012: An Experiment and Income Update (11/29)
- Niche Site Duel 013: CPA Promotions, Private Advertising, Job Board and Income Report(1/14)
- My 275% Increase in Adsense Revenue (1/26)
- Niche Site Earnings and Directory Listing Update (3/11)
- I Was Just Offered Five Figures For My Niche Site! (5/11)
- Niche Site Update – New Content, Record Earnings, and What’s Next (5/26)
- Niche Site Duel – One Year Later (Earnings and Traffic Update (8/15)
And make sure to download my FREE Epic Guide to Affiliate Marketing and boost your business or niche sites even further!