Two years ago I built my first niche sites. I had no idea of knowing it at the time but those niche sites were going to transform my life.
They transformed my life from wanting to work online and a be a digital nomad to earning enough online to support my family not just while travelling the world but while living in expensive, inner city Melbourne.
Yes, I had my travel blog and it earns me a nice income as well. However, it’s my niche sites that first transformed things for me. They started earning a great passive income first and they showed me how to transform my travel blog to do the same thing.
So it’s only natural that I have finally revisited the idea of building more niche sites. And after I decided I was going to do this, I decided I wanted to share them with you here in another niche site case study.
What is a niche site?
Niche sites are basically sites built around a certain topic. For example, you could say that my main site,WheresSharon.com, is a niche site about family travel. Generally when people are talking about niche sites in the context that I am currently, they mean sites built around a niche (generally a small specific one, but not always) that are purposefully built to earn money. Usually this income is from advertising, such as adsense, or affiliate programs, such as Amazon.
Niche sites can be many shapes and sizes. Some are ultra small, maybe only about ten pages, about a very specific niche. Others can be massive, like WheresSharon (over 1000 pages).
In my niche site case study, I am talking about Amazon affiliate niche sites – these are product focused sites built to make money from the Amazon affiliate program.
The best way to describe it is by example. If you go to google and type in “best” and then any product name, you will probably find some niche sites. For example, I just typed in “best blender” and the first site that appeared was bestblender.com. This is a niche site and this is the type of site I am building in this case study.
How much money can a niche site make?
It may suprise you to learn just how much these little sites can make. This year, my two Amazon affiliate niche sites have averaged USD$5300 a month.
That is amazing – as I barely work on them. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I worked on them. It must have been in August when I spent about 30 minutes trying out some new ways to optimise my earnings.
They provide such a better return on my effort than my travel blog or anything else I have ever done.
To illustrate it further, here’s my earnings for the last two years since I created these two sites in July and August 2014. I have shown my first year earnings before, but not my second year. All these numbers are in $USD.
First year 2014/15…
|Month||Site 1||Site 2|
Second year 2015/16…
|Month||Site 1||Site 2|
I think it’s important to show this information to give you the right idea about how a niche site of your own might earn money. It is not a get rich overnight way to earn money like some internet marketers might have you believe. If you are patient, however, they definitely earn good money over time.
One of the reasons I am especially keen to build more niche sites is that my traffic at the end of that first year is the same as my traffic after the second year – I didn’t start earning substainially more money because my niche sites started getting substantially more traffic. It was because I became far better at optimising my conversions and making more money from my sites. I give some tips about how I did that here.
I currently make about 50 cents per visitor on my niches sites! For people in the blogging world, that figure probably blows you away. In fact, I went to a workshop about creating products at the Problogger Training Event and they said that you can’t make that much money from affiliate marketing -and that you should sell products so you can get up to the 10 cents per visitor mark. 50 cents is very very good.
It does take awhile to build up traffic though. This is why I am a big advocate of building quality niche sites. You don’t have to look too hard to find many niche sites that are incredibly poor quality. The “English” doesn’t make sense, the links don’t work and the backlink profiles are terrible. I would worry they wouldn’t last long enough in Google to bring in the decent money. Besides which, who is going to trust the recommendations of a site that can’t even spell the name of the products?! I am quite sure that they wouldn’t be making anywhere near the 50 cents per visitor mark.
It’s also worth remembering that you can always sell your niche site. Empire Flippers is a great place to do this and the rough ball park figure they give is that they are worth 20 times their average monthly income. That’s a lot of money for very little work.
Why would you want to build a niche site?
Ask yourself: What would your life look like with an extra USD$5300 a month in largely passive income?
Who wouldn’t want extra money in their bank account every month? And USD$5300 a month is enough to change most of our lives. It’s enough to become a digital nomad, live comfortably in most parts of the world or so you can stay at home with the kids.
I’m not going to lie – it is a fair bit of work up front. But then you can reap the rewards indefinitely.
If you are one of my readers who is a blogger, like me, I can promise you that it is so much less work than blogging. I often wonder how much more money I would have now if I had spent all the time I spend on my travel blog on niche sites instead.
What can you expect from this niche site case study?
I am going to share how much time it takes to build my next two niche sites, how much money they make and when, what costs are involved and how we do it.
In my last niche site case study, I never explained much of the how as I was worried it wouldn’t work and I wasn’t sure that I knew what I was doing. I never want to be the type of blogger who acts like an expert when they don’t have proven techniques and actually just makes money from pretending they know what they are doing. This time I know and have confidence that my strategy will work.
There is another big difference to last time too. This time my new employee (my brother!) has been building my niche sites for me under my instruction. Seeing how well these sites have been going is what prompted me to take on the big cost of an Australian employee as I don’t have the time to build more. I have no doubt that it’s just a matter of time before these new sites cover his wage and more.
So come along for the ride! Build your own niche sites and make some money!
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You can now read my first update – how to pick a niche for your niche site!
Please ask any questions in the comments and tell me about your own niche site journey!