Updated: January 2021.
So I've got another fun little experiment to share with you guys today.
A while ago I heard about the idea of a "micro-niche site", and a few months back I finally decided to build one. Not for any particular reason - out of procrastination more than anything. But it turned out to be a pretty fun project.
As you know I'm always interested in new ways to build a life on the road, and along with blogging, freelancing, travel jobs, and the many other random ways to make money, this seemed like another interesting thing to try.
For those of you ready for a new pet project, below is my complete guide on how to build a micro niche site that makes money from scratch. I'm going to share the whole process with you, how I built it, and how much money it's made.
What is a micro niche site?
A niche site is just a fancy name for a website about a specific topic.
For example, you might make a website all about school snacks for kids. You could post recipes or snack ideas or summaries on which snacks have the most sugar - whatever you want.
A micro niche site is just a more narrowed down version of that. For example, you might build a site about school snacks for kid's with allergies (or vegetarians or diabetes). Not the best example but hopefully you get the idea. The goal of the site is to give information to people about a very specific topic. Because your site is so niche, it makes it easier for people to find you.
How to build a micro niche site
As you know I like to keep things super simple around here, so I broke this down into 4 simple steps. To build a micro niche site you need to:
- Get a website up and running (duh).
- Choose a good niche.
- Write a bunch of helpful articles (keyword: helpful).
- Get traffic to the site.
That's really it.
The best thing is how low-risk it is. You can do it from your bedroom, you don't need to take a course or go to a special school, and it should cost you around $50 to get started. To start a mini-business that could make you a passive income from anywhere? That's pretty cool.
My micro niche site took maybe 30 hours to get it a money-making stage (I wasn't really counting). I didn't take any courses or read any books on how to build a micro niche site, I just read a few blog posts and tried it.
Now it only takes me an hour a month to maintain and has already made a tiny bit of money - nothing I'll be able to retire on, but it has paid back my investment in the first two months and is now just making me a cool $30-$50 per month on auto-pilot. If I want to scale it up I can, and if I want to just let it run, I can. So that's pretty cool.
Update: As of May 2020 the site is now making around $300-$500 per month. I now spend my time on my other bigger sites, so I only spend about 1 hour per month on it mostly answering comments. So it's still mostly on auto-pilot!
Let's go through the process step-by-step:
1. Get a website up and running
If you haven't owned a website before, this step may sound complicated. It's actually super easy (shouldn't take more than an hour). Getting your micro niche site up and running requires 3 things:
- Choosing a web host
- Installing WordPress
- Installing a theme
All super simple steps - I'll walk you through them.
Setting up your web hosting account
Getting hosting is like renting a piece of land on the internet where your website will sit. Without hosting space, you can't own a site.
Luckily web hosting is super affordable these days and even ten year olds can afford to have their own blogs.
While there are thousands of web hosts to choose from, not all of them are good. And if you are going to start a website, trust me, you want a good host.
I can't stress that enough.
A bad host where your site always crashes and is slow and the support team never answers your emails - it's hell and you might as well not have a website at all (believe me, I've been there).
I've been a site owner for almost 10 years now, have been with many hosts, and there is only one host I recommend now for new site owners: Dreamhost.
- Super affordable! $2.50 per month on their Starter plan with this link.
- Great support. When I migrated my sites to Dreamhost, the support team were great and responded to everything super quick.
- SO EASY to use. They have a one quick WordPress-install, and you can even ask support to just do it for you.
- Free domain name!
- A great (and fast!) premium plan to upgrade to if your site starts to grow.
Also, they are one of the official hosting recommendations by WordPress, so if you plan on using WordPress (if you're reading this guide, then yes), they're an ideal choice.
Of course, you are free to choose any host you like, but Dreamhost is easily my #1 recommendation for new site owners. Simply head to their homepage and click on their Starter plan to get going:
If you're not sure exactly how to open your hosting account, I've got a guide below that will take you through it step by step. Simply click the orange box below.
Let's get your hosting account set up! This should only take 5 minutes (probably less).
First, head to the Dreamhost homepage by clicking here.
This should take you to a page that looks like this:
Click WordPress hosting as shown in the screenshot above, and you should get taken to their hosting options.
If this is your first site, I highly recommend choosing the Starter plan. You'll get hosting for one site, a free domain, one-click WordPress install, unlimited traffic and a free SSL certificate. That's more than you'll need!
Just click the Sign up Now button, and you'll get taken to registration.
The first screen is your domain registration. Since you get a free domain name with Dreamhost, this is where you choose it. Click the "Register a new domain" button:
It will then take you to a screen to enter the domain you want:
If you know what domain you want, simply enter it now.
Choosing a domain is bit of an art, there's not really any right or wrong answers. However, you do have a choice of whether you want your domain to be more "branded" or for it to be informational.
For example, a niche site on golf clubs could be "golfclubreviews.com" or it could be something more like "thehappygolfer.com". It's really up to you, I have seen both types of domains work perfectly fine, so I wouldn't say one is more effective than the other. Just choose something that feels right to you!
Once you've chosen your domain, you'll get taken to the final screen for payment:
The DreamShield and Dreamhost Email add ons will cost you extra, so I would just remove them, they aren't essential.
You can also keep the "Pre-Install" WordPress button checked so WordPress is already installed on your website for you. This is super convenient and it means you can skip the following section and simply get started on building your site.
Once you enter your credit card or Paypal details and finalise your payment, you're ready to go. Congrats! You've now got your very own website.
WordPress is the most popular website software in the world.
If you want a fast, secure, nicely designed website, I would highly recommend using WordPress. Best of all, it's 100% free. The other great thing about WordPress is it's super simple to use. No nerdy stuff, no weird programming or coding. Just install and go.
If you're hosting with Dreamhost, WordPress will already be pre-installed for you, because they're awesome like that.
If you're using another host, or if you forgot to check the "pre-install" WordPress button in the previous step, don't worry. Installing WordPress on Dreamhost is as simple as clicking a button.
Once you've set up your Dreamhost account, go to your Dashboard and click "One Click Installs" in the left hand menu:
You will get taken to the WordPress install screen.
Simply choose your domain name from the drop down box (it will be the same domain you chose during signup) and click Install It For Me Now:
That's seriously it.
Wait for it to do it's thing, and you now have a working WordPress site 😉
Installing a theme
Now, your WordPress theme.
A theme is like a pre-made design for your website. Instead of paying a web designer thousands of dollars to design a pretty website for you, you can just install a WordPress theme with one click and your site will look great. This is perfect for dummies like you and me 🙂
If this is your first website, I'm going to recommend that you don't buy a theme right away.
Why? You're probably going to spend days shopping through different themes, and it will just be a distraction from the more important tasks. There are millions of free themes you can use in the meantime.
In fact, you can just use the default theme that WordPress gives you - that will suffice for now.
Once you've written some articles and you have a better idea of how you want the site to look, you can look at investing in a theme. Changing a theme is as simple as one click, so no need to worry about this so early. Focus on building your site content and traffic.
Of course if you want to buy a theme right away, that's totally fine too. You will want to get a theme eventually anyway. Once you've written some articles and have an idea of how you want your site to look, it's time to start theme shopping.
My #1 theme recommendation right now is Thrive Theme Builder. It is simply the best theme if you want to customise your theme to look exactly how you want, without writing any code or going crazy.
The blog you are reading right now was designed with Thrive Theme Builder in a few days. Highly recommended! Check out a demo of it right here.
You can also see exactly how I designed this site using Thrive Theme Builder in my Youtube video here.
2. Choosing a micro-niche
Now that you're all set up we can work on building the site itself. First, your micro niche. What's your site going to be about? There are two things to think about here:
- Is it a subject you are knowledgeable/passionate about?
- Is it a subject other people are searching for online?
To help you with this I'll tell you about my own micro-niche. There's a little backstory here:
A while ago I had a big rash on my leg. I grew up with bad eczema so I figured it was just a flare up - the stress of blogger life maybe, no big deal. But then it started getting really red and itching like crazy, so I went to the doc. He looked at my skin and told me the bad news: Scabies.
If you don't know what scabies are, it's a skin parasite that burrows under the top layer of the skin. It's not a killer parasite like malaria or giardia, but holy crap are they annoying. I've no idea where I got it - probably from jiu jitsu, but anyway.
The doc gives me some scabies cream and tells me to smother it on, it'll be gone overnight. I think cool, no biggie.
However, the cream doesn't work the first time, and I'm kind of a hypochondriac. So I freak out a little bit.
I spend the next two weeks reading absolutely everything I can about scabies on the web - the history, all the different treatments, all the horror stories, some people saying they've had it for 5 years and want to kill themselves.
Now I'm thinking shit! I'm going to die from scabies! (nobody has ever died from scabies). So now I've gone really crazy, and I'm reading all the latest scabies studies, taking notes, reading up about all these weird plants and oils that are used in rural Indian villages and by the Aborigines and by the Ancient Romans. Then I go and try all the treatments, and spend a few days smothering different concotions all over my body.
A week later I'm cured.
I start writing up an email to my doctor about all the research I did, and I figure this information should really be public. Especially since many of my Google searches weren't really fruitful, they just came back with people crying "Waa I'm dying" and things like that. Since not everyone has the time to be reading through pages of scabies studies like I did, I figured I could summarise it all and give people answers to treat scabies properly. Surely a site like that could be really valuable to people!
So that's the long story of how I became an armchair expert on scabies and decided on my micro-niche.
Not the most glamourous subject, but perfect for a project like this.
This might not be the best example of choosing a micro-niche, because it sounds like you need to go through some weird experience like that which is not the case at all. I actually had about 7 or 8 micro niche ideas, but I just chose scabies because it was (a) on my mind at the time, and (b) felt like the easiest the subject to write about.
Also there probably weren't many other sites to compete with, because who the hell wants to spend thirty hours writing a micro niche blog about scabies...
The truth is, you can get a good micro niche out of any subject (yes, any). Games, parenting, fishing, avocados, BB guns.
Try and think about an experience that caused you to start researching/buying new things, or a particular problem that you needed information on recently and started Googling.
If you actually had trouble finding information, even better!
Since a good site doesn't exist yet, you can make it.
Here are a few idea starters for helping you choose a micro niche:
- What is something you have bought online recently?
- What is something you purchased at the store recently?
- What is a question you have asked a friend for advice on recently?
- What is something you cook/make often? (niche recipe sites are excellent).
- What is something you've typed into Google recently?
- What is an item you spent a lot of time researching/shopping for?
- What is something you bought that was expensive but you really needed it?
- What was something that stressed you out recently that you needed help with?
- What is something you've bought that has made your life easier?
- What is something your friends are really into or spend a lot of money on?
Remember, micro niches are about information. People are searching for information - you need to give it to them!
If you bought a juicer recently, you could make a juice recipes site, even micro niche it down further into specific juices for specific health conditions.
If your kids are playing with new toys or games you could build a site around toys for "insert blank".
Another really good micro niche site idea:
What is a hobby or interest you've taken up recently? If you have none, what is a hobby or interest you would like to take up?
Start that hobby today, and start documenting your progress in a micro niche site.
Example: Let's say you want to get into archery. Go and buy a bow, gloves, arrows, find an archery club, start learning to shoot. After you've done all that, you now have five blog posts you're perfectly placed to write:
How to buy your first bow
Which arrows to buy as an archery beginner?
Do you need gloves as an archery beginner?
What to look for when deciding on your first archery club
Five things I learned at my first archery lesson
There really are endless possibilities.
Take thirty minutes to jot down some ideas of things that you've experienced/are knowledgeable about/are interested in. Write down everything - there are no wrong answers.
In the next step, we'll help decide which one is a winner.
Validating your micro niche. Is it a site people want to read?
Now you've thought of a niche(s), we need to see if people are actually interested in it.
Are there enough people searching for your niche to make a site worthwhile?
Luckily, Google has a free tool where you can type in a subject and see how many people are searching for it. Frikkin perfect.
Now the following process might sound a little heavy. If it confuses you, don't worry. Once you start doing it, it will start to make sense.
So in my example, we want to find out how many people are searching for stuff about scabies on the webs. If only 500 people per month are searching for scabies information, probably not a great niche idea since nobody is interested it. However if it's getting many thousands or millions of searches per month, we could be in luck.
Here's what Google shows:
100k-1 million searches per month.
Makes sense too - it's one of the oldest ailments known to humans.
But it is unlikely I'm going to rank highly in the Google search results for a term as broad as "scabies". You'll be competing with the Wikipedias and WebMDs of the world.
Instead, it would make more sense to focus on long-tail keywords, or niche keywords.
An example might be, "How to treat scabies with tea tree oil" or "How to kill scabies with natural treatments".
When people Google search those specific terms, it's less likely that many sites have targeted those phrases, giving your micro niche site a better chance of ranking in Google.
We are looking for phrases that have:
- Low competition
- Good search volume.
Luckily the Google keyword planner will suggest many keyword phrases for you. Here are some suggestions for scabies:
Now for a micro niche site you don't need a shit ton of search traffic, but you still want as much as possible.
1,000 searches a month would be a minimum. That means 1,000 people are going into Google typing that search term, meaning 1,000 potential visitors to your site. If you can target 10+ keyword phrases, that's a decent amount of potential traffic.
Then look at the competition. If the competition is high, it means a lot of sites are targeting that keyword. You'll have a hard time ranking highly in Google search results. If competition is low, you have a better chance of landing on the first page and being found.
To do this research I actually use a software called Keysearch.
While this makes things easier, remember you can do all your research with free online tools such as Google's Keyword Planner. Software like Keysearch just saves you a lot of time. As a guess, the information you can get in an hour from Keysearch might take you 3-4 days with the free Google tools.
Keysearch is $17 per month. You probably only need it for a month anyway for your first site. If you can afford the extra $17, I strongly recommend it. It will make your life 100x easier.
You can sign up for a Keysearch account here. Use the code KSDISC for a 20% discount 🙂
The other reason I like Keysearch is, not only is it faster, it provides much more information.
For example, it shows you the sites that are actually on the first page for that search term, so you can see who you're competing with, how old those sites are, and gives you more detailed search numbers.
Take a look at what comes up when you analyze the search term "how to treat scabies":
Now I won't go and explain all those columns for you, but basically red means very competitive (bad) and green means not competitive at all (good).
Obviously we want to compete for words with low competition, so we want a lot of green in that table.
This search term above has quite a bit of red, so it's not a keyword phrase I decided to target.
You can also see I'd be competing with sites like Healthline and Mayo Clinic which are super established - that will be difficult.
After spending about 4-5 hours on this I did find some great low competition/high search volume keywords, which are the phrases I've targeted in my articles.
A quick note about keyword research: It's not everything!
Some say good keyword research is everything in niche sites and if you can't find many good keywords you should abort and choose a different subject.
I think the most important thing is you actually enjoy writing and learning about your niche. For me building a micro-niche site is not a job - it's something you do on the side - a fun little challenge, like building a model airplane.
If you make some money, great, but if not, it should still be enjoyable.
The other, more important reason is, search stats change all the time. Maybe what you're writing about isn't popular today but it might be in 12 months from now.
So as long as you're writing about a subject you love and find interesting, then go ahead and make the site. In a few years maybe every 18 year old will be searching for your niche, and guess who's site will be popping up first on Google? Your cool established micro niche site, of course!
The truth is, if you're interested in this niche, there's bound to be other people in the world interested in it too. Like I said, this should be enjoyable. Of course do some research, but also ensure you choose a topic you love and have fun with it.
3. Write quality articles for your micro niche site
Now that we've found some keywords to target, what do we do with them?
We integrate them into our articles.
There are two types of articles you will need to write for your micro niche site:
- Two or three epic, in-depth, expert articles on your subject (1,500 words plus).
- A collection of smaller articles to publish regularly (500+ words).
For example, one of my cornerstone articles is a huge 3,000 word guide on scabies treatment. Super well researched, lots of cited studies, super high quality.
I have about three of those types of articles.
All the other articles are minor, less important articles. "How to stop scabies itching at night" and things like that. Why do you need to publish these smaller articles?
- To show Google your site is being constantly updated (Google loves this).
- To target the less popular keywords and bring more people to your site.
Now to keep publishing content you're going to need a lot of article ideas. I'll recommend you come up with at least 30.
Because that gives you enough content to publish an article every week for six months.
After 3-6 months you should have a better gauge of your site's profitability and can decide whether you're going to continue and can work on your next 30.
Now you might be thinking 30 articles is a lot, but it really isn't. If we take my site for example, I've got all the usual articles like:
"What are the symptoms of scabies"
"How to treat scabies"
"The best natural treatments for scabies"
Those were the obvious topics and I came up with maybe 10-15 of them.
But remember, not all articles need to be 1,000 words long and super detailed. I went back into my search history and looked at all the things I searched for when I was dealing with scabies.
I had typed in things like:
"Can you get scabies from the gym?"
"Can you get scabies from jiu jitsu?"
Ding! Those are two more article ideas I can add to the list. That led to all kinds of other possibilities like:
"Can you get scabies from a spa pool?"
"Can you get scabies from a massage?"
Just think of the types of things people will be typing into Google. Those are the exact articles you want to write.
Another hack is to find another site about your niche, and steal a few article ideas (obviously don't copy the actual article, rewrite it in your own words and try to make it better).
Remember your 2 or 3 cornerstone articles will account for 90% of your traffic. The main purpose of the other articles is to build credibility with Google and show your site is active.
That means you can really post anything - answers to specific questions, some random thoughts on your niche etc. Even if the post is only 500 words, that's fine too. As long as they add some value, it's a good addition to your site.
As for scheduling, I would suggest publishing your "epic" content straight away, and maybe 3 or 4 smaller articles. That should give your site a good foundation to start with, and from then you can aim to publish one article per week. Writing those initial articles may take some time, but niche sites are typically labour-heavy in the beginning and the workload starts to taper off after a few months. Hopefully by then, you're already collecting revenue each month.
For my particular site, the first few articles I wrote took more than an hour each, but now I've done all the big detailed guides, the shorter articles I write only take 15 minutes. That's 15 minutes a week, or an hour a month! So it definitely gets much easier, just grind it out at the start.
Target your keywords!
To get found in Google, you need to target keywords in your articles. That's why we spent all that time in the previous step finding good keywords to use.
The way to "target a keyword" is to add that string of words within your article in a decent number of places. Why do we do this?
Because this is how Google knows what your site is about. For example, if someone searches for "best vegetarian snacks for kids", Google goes and scans the web for a relevant article. Obviously if your article has the phrase "best vegetarian snacks for kids" in it several times, Google will pick it up as relevant and return it to the searcher. This means it's in your interest to make it as clear as possible to Google what your site is about.
From a practical standpoint, this simply means including the keyword phrase within the body of your article 3 or 4 times, preferably near the start.
You can also try and put the phrase in the URL of the article, and also the article title itself.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a lot more complicated than that, but that should set you on the right path for now. If you're new to this, I don't really recommend diving into SEO right away - it's heavy and will suck up almost all of your time.
What I've told you above is enough to get started.
Focus on getting your site up and targeting keywords in your articles. We can worry about the super geeky stuff later.
4. Getting traffic to your site
This is easily the most difficult and least enjoyable part of the process.
Because so much of the advice out there is scammy, secret tricks, "spam your website all over the internet" type stuff.
This is why I haven't really done that much traffic generation, but of course it's a necessary part of the building your site.
One source of traffic we're going to rely on is Google, but this doesn't happen instantly. Because your site is new, Google doesn't know whether it's good or not. Usually gaining traction in Google takes around 6 months or more. That's okay, in the steps above we've set ourselves up for Google success in the long term. But we also want to get results from Day 1, remember? Here are some traffic sources that will help us do that:
Facebook - If your site is about one of your hobbies, and it's something people often ask you about, you can share your stuff on your Facebook page. Obviously treating scabies isn't a hobby of mine and not something I think everyone wants to hear about, but it might be different for you.
Pinterest - This is actually a really great tool for promoting your site. I would recommend starting a new Pinterest account for your site, make some professional looking pins in Canva and then start sharing them. You can share on your personal Pinterest too. Pinterest has been my main traffic driver so far.
Youtube - You can rank videos super easily in Youtube. If you do a specific title like "How to treat scabies with tea tree oil" you'll probably rank on the first page within a day. However the challenge is actually making a good video that people will watch. I just uploaded a crappy Powerpoint presentation and it ranked almost instantly, but never drove any traffic. At this stage I don't think I'll be investing any time making a proper video, but if this was more than just a side experiment I'd definitely consider it.
Quora - Lots of people ask questions on Quora all the time, like "I dropped my iPhone in jelly will it still work?" If you search for questions like this related to your micro-niche, you can then post an answer and link back to your site. It's a rather untapped resource that you should definitely check out.
Reddit - There is most likely a subreddit related to your niche. Post your articles up there, you might be surprised.
Forums - Always a great place to promote your site. If anyone has questions related to your niche, answer them and then direct them to a relevant article on your site. Great way to build backlinks too.
Stumble Upon - Super easy to use - just submit your pages and see how they do. I would choose 1 or 2 sources to start with and focus on those. If you see any success keep going, and if you don't, try something else. Which one is most effective really depends on your promotion style and the niche itself, so just keep trying. Just for reference, here's what my site traffic has looked like in the 2.5 months since going live:
And here's what my referrals look like:
As you can see Pinterest is the clear leader. I've also been getting a bit of traffic from search engines already, which is nice and hopefully will grow as the site gets older. Honestly two months is still early days, so if you're struggling with traffic after that long, don't flip out. Traffic generation takes time.
The site has been growing! I haven't really been doing much, as there's not much left for me to write. If I can I write one new post per month, otherwise I just keep pinning on Pinterest and that's about it. Here's what the traffic growth has looked like:
And here's how the traffic sources have changed:
As you can see, Google has picked up the website and delivered much more traffic over the last few months. Search is now the biggest traffic driver, with Pinterest a close second. I think the reason traffic is grown is because Google is getting smarter and my posts are really in-depth. It goes to show hacking SEO isn't everything - if your content is top quality, Google will find you eventually.
Traffic in 2019 was almost double 2018 at 137,000 page views. I did barely any updates in 2019, maybe just a few new articles, but most months I didn't do anything. The site has simply grown organically:
As for traffic sources, it's almost all Google traffic now. I still get some from Pinterest and Facebook, but it's a much lesser percentage:
Earnings have also grown, which I've shared in the monetisation section below.
5. How to make money from your micro niche site?
Now you've got people visiting your site, we need to turn this traffic into dollars. There are two ways I'm going to recommend for making money from a micro-niche site. One is advertising, the other is affiliate marketing.
Advertising is most easily done through Google Adsense.
Simply sign up for an account, enter your site details and if your site isn't a spam factory you should be approved. Then you can start copy-pasting the ads up around your site. When a reader clicks one of those ads, you'll usually earn between 10 and 50 cents. Simple.
The downside with advertising is it requires a lot of traffic before you see any results. To me, advertising is a more long term strategy for once your site and traffic matures. If this is your first micro niche site, I would highly recommend using affilate marketing.
If you want your site to make money from Day 1, I would suggest using affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission for recommending a product or service. You put a special link to a product on your site, then if someone clicks that link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.
If this is your first site, I'd recommend using the Amazon affiliate program. How this works is you post affiliate links on your site for anything on Amazon (Amazon will provide the links for you). If your readers click that link and then buy something, Amazon will pay you commission of between 1-5%.
The program is particularly great because their affiliate links are valid-store wide. That means if someone clicks a link for coconut oil on your site, but while on Amazon they end up purchasing a laptop, you'll get commission for that too. Once you get more familiar with building sites you can start looking at other, more lucrative programs, but Amazon is a great one to get started.
Other things to think about:
- If your micro niche involves products people will need to buy (for example, if you made a site about coconut oil recipes your readers will obviously be buying coconut oil) it makes more sense to monetise with Amazon. Why? Because you can link to coconut oil (or whatever product) on Amazon and collect commissions.
- If your micro niche is more informational and people generally won't be buying things (for example, philosophy or meditation) then it makes more sense to monetise with Adsense.
- Lastly: Make sure you build your site first before submitting an application for either Adsense or Amazon's Associate program. Post some articles to your site and make it look full and active. When you apply, they are going to review your site to see if it fits their guidelines. This sounds daunting but it's really not. As long as your site doesn't look like shit (and it shouldn't if you've followed my guide above) you should have no trouble getting approved!
How much money did my site make?
Since my site was based around home remedies (lots of oils, powders, plant products etc) I included Amazon affiliate links to all those things in my articles, and people have been clicking them and buying them.
At first I was pretty surprised that this was happening, but then I remembered when I was treating myself I was also ordering all the same things! The whole point of the site was to recommend people the same treatments that I used, so it made total sense in the end. The site was working exactly as I intended.
Here's what the first couple of months looked like:
If you can't read that, it means the site made $59.02 in its first two months. That doesn't sound like a lot, but it's actually more than this blog you're reading now! (which made zero dollars in its first two months).
Having a site make money from its first month is actually quite rare. However, if you write good content and promote it with a monetisation plan in place, there's no reason you can't do it. Even if this site just chugs along making $60 every two months, that's still $360 per year, with potential to go a lot higher.
Pretty cool for a little side hustle you can put together in just a couple of weekends.
It's also not uncommon for niche sites like this to be making $1,000+ per month after a bit of love and growth. I'm sure if I dedicate significant time to this site it could reach that level. For reasons I'll share below I probably won't do that, but if you want to build a serious niche site income stream it's definitely possible!
When I first wrote this article the site was making $30ish per month. Now it's making around $100. Considering I've barely done any work on it, that's pretty cool. Obviously I don't rely on this site to make a living or anything, so I'm happy just leaving it making pocket money, but it's fun to watch it tick along.
Earnings have definitely been growing consistently since the site started. It's been fun to watch. The income has been mostly passive, and even though there are things I could do to improve the site, I've tried to leave it as passive as possible for experimentation's sake. The goal was to create a passive income asset so that's what it's being treated as.
Below is last month's income (April 2020) which came in at $414.26. It's a little higher than usual, normally it's closer to $300-$330. Just shows that if you invest a few weekends to build a micro niche site, and do it properly, it will continue to pay you for years.
The last monetization method I hadn’t tried was selling a product.
Of course the goal was to experiment with everything possible on this site so I wrote an ebook, which was basically a treatment plan summarised into about 20 very short and easy to follow pages. The goal was to create something that someone could read through in 15 minutes instead of spending an hour scouring through all the blog posts for the information they needed.
I created the book in Canva (free) and split tested it — one page was selling at $10 and the other was selling at $27.
Surprisingly, they sold exactly the same amount of copies, so obviously I went with the $27 price point.
I really wasn’t expecting much from ebook sales, but it’s actually turned out to be the top income generator for the site (a testament to the importance of experimenting and testing everything!) The ebook has now brought in $2,500 in sales:
To sell ebooks, I use Sendowl.
Rinse and repeat
I have since used this exact same method to build several more micro niche sites which around more lucrative topics. Obviously I can't share all of those with you, but this site I've shared with you is a good example of how you can make a profitable niche site about pretty much anything!
Get started today, maybe your first site will bomb, but it's the learning process that is important. Once you have successfully built one site, there is nothing stopping you from building 10 or 50 or 100.
My advice? Start today! Here's a cheat sheet for you to get started below:
Summary: Building Micro Niche Sites That Make Money From Day 1
- Get a website set up. I use Dreamhost and highly recommend them. If you're ready to get started, click here.
- Choose your micro-niche. Try and choose something you're knowledgeable/interested in.
- Think of 25-30 article ideas.
- Write 2-3 epic articles to start with (ultimate guides etc). Monetise with affiliate links. I recommend using Amazon Associates if this is your first site.
- Target your keywords to make sure Google can find your site. I recommend Keysearch.
- Start making your site look reputable with a professional design. You can do this yourself with a WordPress theme. I use Thrive Theme Builder.
- Start promoting on social networks like Pinterest, Facebook and Stumbleupon.
- Publish one article a week to keep search engines happy.
- Watch your site grow and collect your money!
It's seriously that simple. There's nothing intellectual or difficult about it. Just set aside the hours to do the tasks and you'll have a micro niche site that makes money.
If you have any questions, hit me on my Facebook page. I'm here to help.
Most importantly: Have fun!
One last piece of advice I want to give to anyone trying this is don't take it too seriously. People always say you need to treat your websites like a business and struggle struggle struggle etc.
It's going to cost you maybe $50-$100 to get this thing going - there's no risking your life savings here. Choose a subject you enjoy reading and writing about, say stupid things in your articles, swear if you want to, add stupid photos. There's nothing worse than slaving over a site about some boring shit that reads like a high school textbook. Treat your new website like a video game and just have fun with it. Even if you only make $2 from it in the end, at least you learned something new and had a good time. And if you do genuinely enjoy what you're doing, I promise you'll make much more than that 🙂
Your article was very informative, easy to read, fun to read, and i honestly cannot wait to start a micro niche site using every single advice you gave me! Thank you for this! I actually have a question for you. The article is well written and it flows very smoothly. You said you write all articles yourself. Do you have anyone edit them before publishing them as well? Or do you do all the editing your self? I am a terrible writer but I do like to write. Do you have recommendations for affordable editors who are helpful and like to engage with the costumes? Awesome article! Thanks again.
I do all my writing and editing myself. Editing is actually very expensive, but you could probably find someone in some blogging/writing Facebook groups or on Upwork.
Hello bro, if u get the answer ,plz share with me also.
This is super useful, thank YOU!
Being a travel blogger has equiped you with enough skills, so why not create micro niche sites for extra income. A good idea and this is a helpful guide. Thanks
This is the most comprehensive website on building a niche site. Thanks Bren.
I love your blogs. Yours make me want to come back and see what is new. Thanks for your tips, articles, and for sharing useful information.
This is great! I am getting ready to start a niche blog, and I am based in South Africa . . . so I am not sure what it needs to be about. I did create a director though . . . it just needs a blog on it
Great article, thanks for the info mate.
Shouldn’t this be called spending money and time from day one. After just a few paragraphs your stating I need about $100 to start…I’m confused.
You can use a free web host if you want. They’re just not very good.
Very pleased with this article, easy to understand and informative way better than the ones I’ve read before. I’ve been wanting to have some form of Internet side hustle for some time now, hopefully this year I can actually take action.
I must say that not only are your blog posts like this one and you “Freelance Writing” post outstanding, but your email sign ups for more detailed info on each are amazing as well.
You seem to have a way of breaking down the complex, simplifying it and putting it into doable steps that mostly anyone can do. On top of that you are quite transparent with your sites and info.
It’s funny since there are all sorts of IM gurus out there with blogs and YouTube channels who seem to do the opposite, by taking the simple and making it more complicated, all seem to have some kind of course or forum to join (paid of course). On top of that, they’re not even as transparent as you are, although I did find some YouTube video from “IncomeSchool” that seemed transparent (but of course, they have a “course”).
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate all the info you have and continue to provide….Thank you! P.S.
How is your MicroNiche journey coming along?
I’m dabbling in a few different sites, don’t really find much time to work on them anymore. The site I use as an example in the article above is still there though, ticking along and bringing in some pocket change every month. It’s pretty cool how that works!
One of the best articles, I have ever read.
Now I can start up a micro niche.
Great article and course. I have built my first niche site and I am anxious to get some content into and get visitors. Your step by step is fantastic. Thanks
Love bed the article, especially the questions to ask yourself to discover niche ideas. Thanks!
One suggestion. I was reading this on my phone. Your social share buttons are on the left side covering up part of your text. That makes it difficult to read. Could you change that so that they’re on the top or bottom? Thanks!
Sorry one of my plugins has been pooping itself. Fixed now, hopefully!
How did I find your site? I Googled “fun niche sites”. You were fourth on the first page. Why did I search for “fun niche sites”? I got bored with all of the hype. “Quit your job, $5,000 a month, buy my course, rank on page one guaranteed” aaarrggghhh! 🙂 Your article was a breath of fresh air. Maybe I can author a site that I can actually have a good time with. I signed up with your free course. Eager to get going. Thanks for all your hard work.
Hey Don, that’s awesome. Good luck with your site! Come back here if you’ve got any questions.
Super easy to understand, a lot of ideas I get there. Niche sharing bro
Thanks for the amazing info
Hey this is super great!! I am running a blog right now and think of having some extra income to keep my blog running and pay some little expenses when I read about micro niches site and thought of building one and finally!! I found a great article. But, still I have some questions which may take you some time to answer but can help me a lot!
1. You said you could get it to 1000$+ per month, then why don’t you do it? I mean it is 10X. I am asking this because I really am willing to know weather it takes a hell much of time or what? Do it takes some link building tactics which you don’t want to do yada yada?
2. I also want to start my own micro niche site and I heard people are earning 10,000$/ month from their micro niche sites. Ok, now I want to get it clear that I am not focusing on earning but I am very very curios about how they do that!!
“Micro Niche Sites” is a very different and broad thing and as I am reading more of it from here and other blogs I am getting in a lot of questions which are confusing me.
3. And Ya, some people say that they built a site with no initial interest in the topic but later on they got interested(Some don’t) and is now earning a lot.
4. Last but not the least, I hear people often saying that they are running or had build hundreds of micro-niche sites! and this thing just confusing me because a single site can take around 1-3 months to rank good and if they had made 100 then if I assume that they just focus on building one at a time then by a simple maths its a total of 100*2(approx)=200 months ,i.e, equals to 16 years… ????????
By now you may had known how dump and confused I am in this topic(and some grammar). Please take some time and If you understand what I asked(sorry for bad grammar) then do reply me with the great Answer just like this article of yours!!
I just have things I am more interested in than making niche sites. I could definitely do it full time and earn a lot more money but money is not the biggest motivator for me right now. A lot of people make and manage many niche sites, but these people generally hire SEO freelancers and writers to do a lot of the work for them.
dear friend your artical is helpful and very atractive but i seen your website is not monitize for ads……whyyyyyy i want to know please
Thanks Brian… I am looking for this. It’s helpful for me to figure out, how to get started. Thanks for sharing this. I will follow this technique.
Excellent post.Ne’er knew this, appreciate it for letting me know.
Wow! What a great article. I’m super excited to get started!
From the beginning of the article to the end I read it, and I was intrigued by the idea of writing and found a way to make 30 articles for micro blogs, because I had a hard time writing what I had to write again when I made it. 5 articles for my micro blog, that's when I feel confused. Thank you for the enlightenment.
I spend more than 10 minutes to read the complete article. I think I shoukd also write on scabies, just kidding. It is very informative and merry Xmas to you and readers.
I am really glad that you like this article and more than happy if it actually served it purpose to provide value and right information which you can utilize and I can’t be really thankful as you have made this website as a bookmark, Huge for me! Really thanks ?
If you appreciate this blog, then why did you republish Brens article under your name on your blog?
This is evidently plagiarism! (Which btw. will harm your blogs ranking.)
PS: Bred your article is great, thanks! 🙂
Very nice post! I am new to blogging and writing on “Saving money”. I want to research more this and tips will help.
Great Article! Keeping it simple for beginners is the key. There are so many course creators out there charging $500-2000 and sometimes they make it so confusing you never start! This is very tangible and the steps very clear. Thanks!
VERY nice article
I HAVE ALREADY STARTED MY MICRO NICHE BLOG WITH YOUR help
Very informative article. I got my answer to most of the queries I had. If you can help me with one more. I am new to blogging, already have a domain and parenting blog with really good content in buildup. But interest in micro niche, as I have a full writeup ready in a particular topic.
I need to know, do I have to buy a new domain to state this site, or should I post my write-up in a separate page in the same site.
Hoping to get reply form you.
Thank you in advance.
Both could work, just depends on how you want to manage your site(s). If your existing blog isn’t already making money, I’d probably just add to that.
It’s been a while. How’s the site chugging along. Still a consistent earner?
Still a great post! Stands the test of time that’s for sure. Talk about Evergreen Content. Especially in the field of Niche Websites and SEO. Well done!
Yep still earns nicely each month, plateauing now though.
Bren on the road. When are you coming back home…lol..you have been on a trip for 6 good years now. We are missing you over here. Great, great, great job bro. I’m so much overwhelmed with this great article of yours. What a curative and informative write-up!. You encouraged me to focuse on my micro niche blog https://bukdaily.com.ng . my blog focuses on students advice and business ideas for Nigerian students and the world at large. But, I find a little bit difficulty to get ranked on Google because I’m not too technical on SEO, but still Learning in the long run. Actually, i enjoy this your powerful article. And surely I will give your site a bookmark. Best regards!
Nice detailed article.. Exactly what i was looking for before i start my 1st micro niche website..
thank you brother such a nice and helpful artical, now i am going to start my micro niche website.
Thanks for the article and useful info.
Just hoping to pick your brain….
I found a keyword with 3000 search volume and light green in Keysearch (yaaaay!!)
I was also able to secure a domain name containing the exact match keyword I’m wanting my micro niche site to rank for
While I will be competing with some high DAs and my site will be totally new
Will having the exact match domain name help bring up my website despite it being new??
Ex: if my micro niche is about shiba inu training and I secured shibainutraining.com
That’s not my niche but just for example sake haha
Even as a new site when someone searches shiba inu training would my site have a good chance of coming up?
And if other search terms like best training for shiba inu, shiba inu training treats, shiba inu puppy training have high search volumes would I use those for article (and add name to my URL slug) or would I use those as supporting keywords? Or both? 🙂
as far as I’ve seen, exact match domains are of limited usefulness. Think branding instead.
I have never found useful content like this. I got all of my answers in just one blog thank you very much.
Everything was straightforward and in a simple way.
great piece of article..
Thanks for sharing hell lot of experience on this and in a most funniest manner…
Definitely the best guide I’ve read on micro niches, thank you
Wow Bren, this article is a gold, it provides tons of information regarding micro niche blogging.
I think that you were lucky to get traffic from Pinterest and Facebook in the initial year.
But sadly, now the organic reach of these social media platforms has mostly died down.
Can you please tell how the recent changes in the Amazon commission structure has affected your earnings?
And how much do you earn from Google AdSense?
I hope that you completely recovered from scabies.
Do you have any blogging related websites or blogs?
If yes please let me know, I would love to read them.
This was an amazing read, thank you.
Nice article,This is really very useful to me.The information given in your article is excellent and help to increase my knowledge on Affiliate Marketing
That's what I am looking for
the best part of this blog is that the micro niches are that which you search on google or discuss with friends and that what yo bought online and what you have researched on google .
This thing clicks on my mind and very helpful for me in finding my micro- niche for amazon affiliate.
Thanks for this blog
Really good info shared in easy to read format. Thanks!
Hi. This is very useful information
May I ask what kind of WD theme/template you are using for this site?
This post is fantastic and this helps me a lot
After reading the entire (almost 90℅) of the post, I have a question.
Will it be beneficial to start a micro niche blog on blogger. Com ??? (Plz try to ans in yes or no, I need a crisp ans only)
Will be hard to customize. WordPress is better.
My problem when I maked micro niche is get the big number visitor. I don't which one the best? by ads or by SEO. However, this is good article and very clearly. Thanks.
I’m pretty sure I can do most of this the only that confuses me is choosing a topic. Would be frustrating to commit to something that in the end no one wants to buy.
Thank you for sharing! Keeping it real and to the point, exactly what I was looking for. I also appreciate your updates…..I am going to go get started!!! Thank you