If you’re new to internet marketing or making money online, you may have heard the term “niche website”. But what exactly is a niche website and how do they work?
In simple terms, a niche website is a website around a particular topic or product for the purpose of making money. While this may sound like an e-commerce store, niche sites usually don’t sell anything. Some of these sites are more like blogs while other niche sites are more like product review websites. These websites often get traffic by showing up in search engines (a practice called Search Engine Optimization). They are usually monetized by showing display ads and promoting products through affiliate links.
Here are a few examples of different types of niche websites:
- PS – We also compiled a huge list of real niche site examples that you can explore.
General Niche Website
- A mix of informational articles and product reviews within the niche
- Monetized with display ads, affiliate links, and digital products
- Lots of opportunities for growth
- Example: CamperReport.com – provides information about RVs
- Focuses on reviews for a particular type of product
- Monetized with affiliate links
- Often very competitive
- Growth is limited to the number of products
- Example: TreadmillReviews.net – provides reviews about treadmills
- Focuses on a small topic
- Usually lower traffic but not always
- Can be risky when promoting a limited number of products
- Often promotes a high-priced product
- Example: batteryaz.com – Provides information about batteries
Personal Brand Website
- Focuses on the expertise of the website owner
- Usually accompanied by videos
- Monetized with display ads, affiliate links, and digital products like courses and ebooks
- Example: RealMenRealStyle.com – Men’s fashion blog
These types of niche sites are just examples. There are many different kinds of niche websites, some large and some small. They all have the following in common though:
- Focuses on a particular topic, product, or audience
- A large focus is on publishing new content
- Monetized in some way, typically with display ads or affiliate links
- Focuses on getting traffic from search engines (Search Engine Optimization)
How do niche sites make money?
The two most common ways for niche websites to make money are with ads and affiliate links.
- A very passive monetization method. Ads don’t require visitors to buy or click anything and require no maintenance.
- A typical range for ad earnings is $10-$20 per 1000 pageviews. If a website was receiving 10,000 visits per month, a publisher could expect to earn $100-200 from display ads. The actual earnings could be much higher or lower depending on the niche, type of traffic, website quality, and traffic country origin.
- Website owners can start using ads by signing up with an ad network. Some ad networks have a minimum traffic requirement, while others do not. A great network for smaller websites is Ezoic which has no minimum traffic requirements.
- Can earn more than display ads depending on the price of the product. For physical products, commissions of 4-12% are normal. Digital products such as software and courses can see as much as 50% commissions.
- Most online merchants have affiliate programs. Amazon is the most popular affiliate program, but many other programs exist.
- Affiliate networks let publishers browse and compare thousands of programs from different networks. Popular networks include Sharasale, Impact, Avantlink, and CJ.com.
- It’s common for affiliate marketers to use multiple affiliate programs on their websites
- Digital products such as online courses, ebooks, or software
- Membership areas for premium content
- Sponsored posts
- Advertising personal consulting or coaching services
- Lead generation
How do niche sites get traffic?
While it’s one thing to make a website, it’s another thing to get traffic to that site. While telling your friends and family and posting on social media can get you a few visits, it’s not a good long-term solution. What most niche site builders do instead is what’s called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short. SEO is getting your website to show up higher in search engines. This is done by “reverse engineering” (called keyword research) what people are searching for, then writing content that matches their query. This way, your website will show up when someone searches for a particular topic that you’ve written about.
While keyword research is a very important part that Keyword Chef can help with, there are other important aspects too, such as:
- Competition analysis
- Creating quality content
- On-page optimization
There’s a lot to learn about SEO, but the basics are learnable. With proper research and quality content, you can become successful without becoming an SEO expert.
Is building a niche site hard?
Building a niche website isn’t particularly hard, but like all businesses, it does take a lot of work. Don’t expect to magically start making money overnight. Even if you do everything right, it can still take several months to start generating income. This is because this is the amount of time it takes for Google and other search engines to start trusting and ranking your website.
Here’s what it takes to build a niche website:
- Creating the website – If you don’t like working with technology, this could be difficult. You don’t need to be a programmer or designer though. You can set up a website with WordPress and install free themes and plugins.
- SEO and keyword research – This involves finding topics to write about – thankfully Keyword Chef can help.
- Creating content – This is where most of the work is done. More content means more traffic which equals more profits. You can write the content yourself or hire writers.
A huge part of building a niche website is creating new content. If you’re someone who loves researching, writing, and creating content, then you’ll probably do quite well with niche websites. A good goal is to publish 2-3 new articles a week on your site. As your website grows and gains traction, you may decide to write less often or hire writers to write articles for you.