So, you’ve probably heard that you can make money with affiliate marketing or something like that. Now that you know that it’s possible, I am going to be teaching you (in-depth) how to build a niche site in 2019 (from start to finish).
What is a Niche?
For those who’ve never heard of niche marketing, a niche is a subcategory of a broader category.
An example of this could be Dog Training.
Dog Training is a subcategory to Pet Training (which is a subcategory to Animal training).
Let’s visualize it.
Not all animal trainers are looking to trainer their pet, and not all pet trainers are looking to train a dog.
That’s why it’s essential to understand how to choose a niche.
Choosing a Niche (Understanding What Topics You’ll Be Blogging About)
The first step you need to take before building a website is choosing the niche of your website.
It doesn’t matter how awesome your site is, if it doesn’t cover an interesting topic then nobody will care.
Doug Cunnington said: “Every single part of the process is dependent on choosing a niche that targets a group of willing buyers.”
Whether you’re building an affiliate brand or launching a startup company, creating a business around the wrong group will kill your business before it started.
Since I mostly focus on affiliate marketing, I’ll be building a website through that perspective.
However, you can use this guide no matter what business you’re building.
So, as an affiliate, how do you choose a niche?
Looking Through Amazon for Ideas (The Main Way I Find Niches)
Amazon is the biggest online realtor ever.
They sell anything.
The best part is we can use that to our advantage when choosing our niche.
The first thing you’ll want to do is surf through the Amazon Directory and look for things that stand out.
Since I have started a podcast, microphones are something that I have been interested in lately.
Microphones are a great niche to go into for these reasons:
- There are a lot of them (meaning more content).
- Microphones are used for many things (Streaming, Podcasting, Music).
- Each microphone has a lot of reviews (meaning that people purchase them).
- The number of problems people face with microphones (again meaning more content).
- There are a lot of accessories you can buy with microphones (upselling potential).
So, for this example, I will be going with that niche.
Anthony Says: Even though I am going with the microphone niche, I didn’t use a domain name that most people would use going into that niche. Don’t worry about that; the guide will still be the same.
What to Do When You’re Having Trouble Finding a Niche
As you can see, I managed to find a niche with ease.
That’s because I have been doing niche research for over three years. For you, however, that might not be the case, and you may struggle to find the niche that you want to build your site around.
So, when you’re struggling to find a niche, what are some things you can do to choose one?
Brainstorm Topics That You Know A lot About
The easiest way to get started is to brainstorm topics that pique your interest.
The main reason that I am telling you this is because you’ll be creating content around this topic for a long time.
Sure, you can choose a niche that you know nothing about and learn as time goes on, but it’s simpler to pick something you’re knowledgeable in already.
Here’s how I brainstorm topics.
First, I head over to Answer The Public.
All you need to do is search for a general topic.
In this case, I’ll use football (European Football).
Answer The Public will spit out a bunch of topic ideas that you can use to visualize the content that you’ll create.
Looking at the image above, you can see some questions, prepositions, and comparisons.
You can either save them as images or download them as a CSV file.
Another place you can use to brainstorm topic ideas quickly is Keyword Shitter 2.
For this one, you’d need to put in a keyword, and it will “shit out” longtailed keywords for you.
Using Google Trends to Narrow Down Your Niche
Google Trends is underrated in my opinion.
To put it shortly, you type in a topic, and it will give you data on how popular that topic is within a specific country.
For example, our niche (microphones) is generally a popular topic on Google.
It’s recently started to go up in search popularity.
Where Google Trends becomes powerful is when you combine the data of popularity with the related queries.
At the bottom of the page, you’ll find the “Related Queries” section.
You can look at related searches, download them as a CSV file and even sort them out based on rising popularity or all-time popularity.
Though it’s not as good as a keyword tool, just using Google Trends with Amazon is enough to get a better understanding of whether you should build a site around that niche.
Anthony Says: That’s how to pick a niche! Remember that when you’re looking to choose a niche, you want to make sure that there is a balance between the profitability of the niche and your interest in it as well.
Choosing a niche just for the money will only demotivate you after you’ve been working for nine months with no results.
And by choosing a niche solely because you have interest in it might not be the right decision.
Some niches out there are just not profitable (or they’re too competitive).
The Difference Between WordPress.org and .com
Right, now that we’ve chosen our niche, it’s time to start looking into building your blog.
There are many CMS (Content Management Systems) out there.
However, I think that WordPress is the best way to go.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the most straightforward way to build a website (or in our case, a blog).
Just like Google dominates the search market, WordPress dominates the website market (as a CMS) with over 33% of all websites using WordPress.
To put that into perspective, Joomla (the 2nd most popular CMS) only populates about 3% of all websites.
Though they started as a blogging platform, WordPress is a lot more technical now and have become an open-source CMS licensed under GPLv2.
Which allows us to use and modify it for free.
Now, we can build any website using WordPress.
Just take a look at one of the most famous rappers of all time (Snoop Dogg).
His website was built using WordPress (though he should probably switch over to https://)
However, there’s just one issue.
Which WordPress CMS should you use?
Why WordPress.org is Better Than WordPress.com
Believe it or not, there is more than one version of WordPress.
Anthony Says: The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is that Automattic (the creators of WordPress) hosts and runs your website for you.
Whereas, with WordPress.org, you’ll have to find a hosting service and download the self-hosted version of WordPress to your website.
So, you may be wondering “Well, what’s the point of using WordPress.org?”
The short answer would be full control.
See, with the self-hosted version of WordPress, you’re not as limited with what you can and can’t do.
Check out what WPBeginner had to say on the matter.
- They place ads on all free websites. So your users will see ads, and you don’t make money from it. If you don’t want your users to see their ads, then you can upgrade to a paid plan (starting from $36 per year).
- You are NOT allowed to sell ads on your website. If you run a high traffic site, then you can apply for their advertising program called WordAds where you share revenue with them. Premium and Business plan users can use WordAds right away.
- You cannot upload plugins. Free plan users get built-in JetPack features pre-activated. Business plan users can install from a selection of compatible plugins ($299 / year). WordPress.com VIP program lets you install plugins, and it starts from $5000 per month.
- You cannot upload custom themes. Free plan users can only install from the limited free themes collection. Premium and business plan users can also select premium themes. There are limited customization options for the free version. Premium and Business plan users can use custom CSS.
- You are restricted to their stats. You cannot add Google Analytics or install any other powerful tracking platform. Business plan users can install Google Analytics.
- They can delete your site at any time if they think it violates their Terms of Service.
- Your site will display a powered by WordPress.com link. It can be removed by upgrading to the Business plan.
- WordPress.com does not offer any eCommerce features or integrated payment gateways.
- You cannot build membership websites with WordPress.com.
As you can see, it’s better to use the self-hosted version of WordPress over Automattic’s hosted version.
According to WPBeginner, the only benefit of using WordPress.com is that you don’t need to worry about updates and backups (which in my opinion isn’t worth the limitations).
Alternative Content Management Systems
Though I think that using WordPress is a no brainer for website development, there are still some other content management systems out there that are quite good.
So, to give you options, here is a list of alternative CMS you can use.
Drupal is an open-source CMS software (similar to WordPress.org), and it’s been used to host websites by huge corporations like:
- The White House
Drupal has a lot of features which helps the software be more flexible for your needs right out of the box.
Though it’s not as flexible as WordPress, it’s still a decent option to consider.
Weebly is another popular CMS among marketing agencies.
The reason for that is because Weebly is quite simple and more friendly to non-technical people.
Seen as a basic drag and drop CMS, Weebly allows you to choose from many different templates and enables you to edit all of the basic stuff (like text, images, & video).
Similarly to all of the other CMSs that I will be talking about here, it’s excellent, however, with WordPress’s recent update to Gutenburg, it doesn’t cut it for me.
Wix is known for being a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get).
Like Weebly, Wix focuses on being a user-friendly software geared towards people who aren’t that technical with website building.
Anthony Says: Though I do want to mention that with the rise of WordPress page/theme builders (like Elementor. Which is FREE to use). Sites that are built with Wix has always seemed “Outdated,” to me.
Though, Wix does have a lot of perks for eCommerce websites.
In addition to that, they’ve also started focusing on making SEO easier for people using their software.
This entry will be short because I haven’t used Squarespace at all.
So, to be honest, I don’t know a lot about it.
Regardless of that, Squarespace is popular because of its impressive interface (allowing you to build beautiful websites easier) and for managing updates for you.
So, here are some benefits I found online:
- Easily-Made Websites
- All-in-One Platform
- Speed, Data, and Security Export
- Live Chat Support
Take away what you want from that.
Now, that you’ve chosen a content management system, it’s time to move onto step 3.