Monday, May 27, 2013

Passive Income!

© Nejron | Dreamstime; Stock Photos
What are Niche Sites?

There are people making money online through (relatively) passive income websites. These sites are often called Niche Sites because they focus on a narrow market and have a focused customer base.  They do it by setting up a website that is primarily focused on selling a product or specific product type; the site earns money when people buy the product.  Affiliate marketing is another way to sell a product by linking to a commercial site where the customer buys the product.  An affiliate marketer will have advertising and product information on the page with links to the product page of the seller.  When the user clicks on the link on the affiliate site and buys the product on the seller’s site, the affiliate earns a commission. Until the affiliate site begins showing up on the first or second page of search engine results it probably won’t make much money, so most of the work early on is getting traffic to the site.  Once the site is getting a good share of traffic it will earn income without a lot of additional work.

What is required to start an affiliate marketing or commercial site?

Website and Domain name

Although you could build an affiliate or commercial site from a free blog there are restrictions on how you can organize and monetize that blog site which will limit your ability to compete with other commercial sites.  A free blog format limits how you can organize the site; the blog format may not be appropriate or as user friendly as you want if you are selling products.

When choosing a domain name you want to include the main keywords that will direct people in the market you are targeting to your site.  Having the keywords in the domain name will also help your site show up on the first page of search engine results.  It is important to have your site on the first page of search results because as you probably know users rarely search past the first page and almost never go past the second page.

Keyword Research

The choice of keywords is important in getting users to your site.  You ideally want keywords that are searched fairly often, but you also don’t want keywords that have a lot of high-ranking competing sites.  A beginner shouldn’t start out trying to compete for keywords like “quick weight loss” or “cheap Viagra” there is just too much competition.  So you need to research your keywords to find just the right balance between a highly searched topic and low competition from other sites.


Once you have chosen your topic and keywords you have to be able to write (or have someone else write) a substantial amount of content for your site.  This content should include useful information, product reviews, comparisons, product options, how to choose the best product, etc.  If your site is too thin on content it will eventually be downgraded by Google and other search engines and will show up lower on search engine results.

Creating Backlinks

Backlinks are links to your site from other related websites.  Backlinks are needed to provide users with another way to find your site, and backlinks are used by Google to determine the quality of your site.  Google uses both the number and of the backlinks to rate the quality of your site.  The higher the quality of your site, the higher Google will place it in the list of search results.

On-site SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Not as important, but also not to be ignored, is the process of optimizing your titles, headings, tags and content for the keywords you want to focus on to bring people to your site.

On-Site Ads and Affiliate Links

Google Adsense provides ads that are geared to the searcher and the site.  It is easy to sign up and get started

Amazon has an affiliate program that allows you to link to any product sold on, and they sell almost anything.  You can get more information or sign up for the Amazon affiliates program here:

Commission Junction also lists other commercial sites that have affiliate programs or that want to place banner ads on appropriate websites.  For more information go to:

Niche Site Duel

I haven’t started a niche site yet, I’m still studying and learning the process, but one blogger that I follow, Pat Flynn of, has started what he calls the Niche Site Duel.  He has challenged his readers to follow along with him as he starts a niche site and goes through the process step-by-step.  I’ve committed to joining in the Duel.  I don’t know what niche I’m going to target yet, I’m still in the keyword research process.  As I get deeper into the process I’ll be posting on each step in more detail.

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