Build-in-Public – Episode 7 – Niche Sites

Building a successful website can be a complex task, but breaking it into steps makes it manageable. It’s been a week since starting the 30-day challenge on building a “rank and rent” website. Although early, the site is already ranking well for local keywords. This model is promising because local markets typically have less competition compared to global ones.

Switching gears, another interesting strategy is the niche site business model. This involves creating a website focused on a specific topic and generating content around it. Revenue often comes from display ads or affiliate offers. One good example is Epic Gardening, which started as a niche site but evolved into a successful brand selling gardening products.

Key Takeaways

  • Local markets have less competition, making ranking easier.
  • Niche sites focus on specific topics and monetize through ads or affiliates.
  • Epic Gardening is a strong example of a successful niche site.

30-Day Challenge Update

Rank and Rent Site Progress

It’s only been a week since I started the 30-day challenge. I purchased a domain around four or five days ago and the site is already ranking between positions 5 and 7 for my main keyword. The rank is still fluctuating a bit, which is normal for a new site. Additionally, it is currently on the first two or three pages for some other keywords. My goal is to get it to rank more steadily. Once this happens, I plan to pitch the site to local businesses and rent it out, directing all leads to them.

Local Market Ranking Advantages

Focusing on a local market makes ranking significantly easier compared to targeting a global one. Local markets have less competition, which allows for quicker and more stable progress in search engine rankings. This strategy means I can effectively target specific keywords and reach my goals more efficiently.

By narrowing down to local search terms, I can optimize the site to serve local businesses better and increase its chances of success in attracting potential clients.

Niche Site Business Model

Creating Content

Building a niche site involves focusing on a very specific topic. It’s essential to generate content that is both engaging and informative on that chosen theme. This could include detailed guides, tutorials, and reviews related to the niche. For example, a site dedicated to cars might have articles on how to change the brakes on various models or the best ways to detail a vehicle.

Making Money from Niche Sites

Monetizing a niche site can be achieved through a variety of methods. Display ads are the most common, with networks like AdSense, Ezoic, Mediavine, and Raptive offering different levels of revenue based on site traffic. AdSense is easy to join but pays the least, while Mediavine and Raptive require significant monthly traffic but offer higher earnings. Affiliate marketing is another option, where commissions are earned by promoting products.

The Role of Email Lists

Email marketing plays a crucial role in generating income from niche sites. By building an email list, site owners can send targeted campaigns to subscribers, promoting products or content. Despite the perception that email is spam, it remains one of the most effective ways to reach an audience and drive sales. A well-maintained email list can be a significant source of revenue.

Ad Networks and EPMV

When working with ad networks, there are several tiers to consider. The bottom tier is often AdSense, which tends to pay the lowest amount. Moving up, Ezoic offers more benefits. One key point to understand with Ezoic is EPMV, or Earnings Per Thousand Views. This metric helps to gauge how much income a site generates for every thousand impressions or views it receives.

In the higher tiers, options like Mediavine and Raptive come into play. Mediavine requires around 50,000 sessions per month, while Raptive needs about 100,000 sessions monthly. These ad networks pay significantly more than the lower tiers.

Here’s a brief comparison:

Ad NetworkMinimum Sessions/MonthEarnings Potential

Using these ad networks, niche sites can monetize effectively by focusing content on specific topics and optimizing for higher revenue through these platforms.

Issues with Google Rankings

One of the main difficulties is the unpredictability of search engine behavior. Rankings often fluctuate due to the “Google dance,” where a website can move up and down in positions quite frequently.

Another trouble spot is the steep competition in various niches. While it’s easier to rank in a local market, the global market is much more challenging due to the high number of competitors. Sites need to continuously update their content and SEO strategies to maintain their positions.

Algorithm changes also pose significant challenges. Google often updates its search algorithms, which can negatively impact a site’s ranking. Quality sites, even those with well-researched and tested content, can still be outranked by AI-generated content.

Ad network requirements can be another obstacle. For instance, higher-tier networks like Mediavine and Raptive have strict eligibility criteria, such as having 50,000 or 100,000 sessions a month, respectively. While these networks offer better payouts, reaching their traffic thresholds can be tough.

Additionally, many niche sites have been heavily affected by these algorithm updates. Quality content might not perform well, leading to reduced revenue and traffic.

Overall, maintaining and improving Google rankings requires consistent effort, staying updated with SEO best practices, and adapting to changes in search engine algorithms.

Example of a Niche Site: Epic Gardening

Epic Gardening is a great example of a successful niche site. This site is dedicated to gardening and offers detailed content about various gardening topics. Articles include titles like “How to Start Vegetables,” “15 Flowers That Are Easy to Grow,” and “15 Benefits of Raised Garden Beds.”

The site has grown significantly by providing high-quality information. Initially, it likely started with basic topics and content to attract an audience. Over time, it expanded its reach and began selling its own products, such as raised garden beds, totes, and seeds.

Here are some key points about Epic Gardening:

  • Topic: All about gardening
  • Content: Detailed articles about gardening tips, plants, and techniques
  • Monetization: Display ads, their own products

Epic Gardening didn’t just stop at writing articles; they expanded into creating their own line of gardening products. This dual approach helps maintain steady income and further cements their authority in the gardening niche.

Closing and Personal Update

I’ve been working on my 30-day challenge for a week now, and today is day seven. I want to give a quick update on the progress of the rank and rent site I’m building. Despite it being just four or five days since I bought the domain, the main keyword is already ranking around positions five to seven. It fluctuates but it’s showing promising signs.

The site is targeting a local market, which is easier to rank in compared to a global market due to less competition. My goal is to stabilize its ranking and then approach a local company to rent the site to them. This way, I can generate monthly income by sending them the leads.

Additionally, I’ve been thinking a lot about the niche site business model. Niche sites are built around specific topics and monetized through display ads or affiliate offers. Email marketing is also a significant revenue generator, even though many people don’t realize its potential.

Epic Gardening is a great example of a successful niche site. It provides detailed content on gardening and has expanded into selling its own products. It’s a perfect illustration of how effective niche sites can be when executed well.

In personal news, I had to keep today’s update brief because I had minor surgery this morning. I’ll be back with more updates tomorrow.

Published by

John Ward

With nearly two decades of experience in building, growing, and monetizing websites, I share insights from my journey—highlighting what works and what doesn’t. Whether you're new or experienced, there's something here for everyone.