What I accomplished this week

Why I'm working slowly!

I thought it might be helpful if I shared more about how I set these niche websites up. In my last post, I talked about how I’m creating the content for the sites. Now I want to talk about how I set the site up, and what I’m doing after each post. In other words, I’m going to explain what I spent my time doing this week.

I’d first like to point out that I normally get a lot more done in a week, but due to an injury while playing with my cat back in October, I’m typing with only my non-dominant hand. Hopefully I’ll be back to normal in another month or so, but until then, it takes me at least 3x as long to get anything done.

Since I put my 2 niche websites live on Sunday, I spent the week getting the blogs set up the way I wanted as well as writing content for them.

First, I installed 3 WordPress plug-ins that I use on every blog I create.  They are all free. The first one is All in One SEO Pack, which is a plugin that helps optimize your WordPress blog for SEO.  The second one is Google XML Sitemaps, which generate an XML sitemap which will help search engines to better index your blog. The third plugin I always install is Pretty Link. I like using Pretty Link for two reasons. First, it keeps track of statistics, so I know if people are clicking on the link or not. This is very helpful for my niche websites because if I see I’m getting a lot of traffic to a certain page on my site but not a lot of clicks through to the website to purchase something, I should probably change what I wrote. On the other hand, if a lot of people are clicking over to the site but aren’t buying, then it’s probably something they didn’t like about the product/service, and I should promote something else. The other reason I like Pretty Link is that instead of having a long affiliate link, it shows a nice “pretty” link.

After activating the above plugins, I also made sure I went to Google Webmaster Tools to add my sitemaps that were automatically created using the Google XML Sitemaps plugin I mentioned earlier. This way Google knows you have a new website, and will soon start crawling and indexing it.

Each time I finished writing a post, I use a program called RSSBot to both submit my RSS feed to multiple websites as well as ping them.

Once I have more posts, I’ll start promoting the websites. I’ll write some articles, write comments on blogs, and more. The traffic I get from the search engines along with the promoting I’ll be doing should help me get a lot of people to the websites, and will hopefully start bringing in money soon. I’ll keep you updated!

Creating Content

Now that I’ve mentioned the first two websites I’ve started creating this year, you might be interested in knowing what types of content I’m putting on these niche websites.

Since my goal is to get a lot of free traffic from search engines, I’m creating the content myself so that I can control the quality, length, and keywords used. Also, since I’m referring people to sites to purchase something and not just have then click on an AdSense link, I’m also trying to make the content very helpful to the user.

How am I doing this? Well, with both of these websites, I am writing articles that review products or services. In order to have a diversity of posts, I am also going to write articles comparing the products to one another, as well as some articles that use specific keywords found in Market Samurai. I figure these will be great keywords to get people to the site, and even if these articles don’t send users to buy a product, they might click around on the site and find something that helps them.

I am trying to make the posts on these sites as helpful as I can, so for my reviews I am doing one of two things. For the products/services I have not used before, I am giving them as much information as I can. I’m researching features, and seeing what other people like and don’t like about them. For the products/services that I have used before, I’m including all of the above, and am also writing about my experiences, what I liked, and what I didn’t.

I’m careful to list the negatives as well, because I don’t want to mislead someone, and have them end up buying something that wasn’t what they were looking for. That’s just not the type of person that I am. Plus, if they don’t like it they will just return it, so I would lose the commission either way.

I’m not trying to make each post a certain amount of words, but I’d say that an average post has 400 or more words, since I’m trying to give as much helpful information as I can.

I’d say it’s taking me about 45 minutes per post from start to finish. That includes getting affiliate links, finding pictures to use, writing the post, and posting it.

Choosing a Niche

Since I’ve started off this blog by telling you about two niche sites I’ve just created, I want to share my method of finding niches to use. It isn’t the exact same way others do it, but it works for me.

I like to start off by thinking about my interests. I always like to choose subjects that I’m interested in. Since you’re going to spend a great deal of time on a website, to me it makes sense to have at least some interest in the subject, even if you don’t know much about it.

It’s even better if you know a lot about the subject, since you’ll be able to create a lot of content, and won’t have to spend time researching to write your posts. If you don’t have a lot of knowledge about a specific subject but are very interested in it, this can also work since you won’t mind putting the time in to research the subject for your posts.

If you still can’t think of something that sounds interesting, go to a bookstore and start looking at magazines. Only subjects with a lot of people interested in it would have a magazine, so it’s a great place to get ideas from. Also thinking about interests that your friends or someone in your family have can help as well.

By this point, you should hopefully have at least a few ideas about what subjects you could use for your new website. Since you want to make money from it, your first question is probably, will this subject make me any money?

This is where you spend some time thinking about your subject, and if those people spend money on it. For example, take fishing. If someone is really interested in fishing, they probably spend money on fishing rods, clothing to wear while fishing, bait, maybe even a boat. They might even have a subscription to a fishing magazine!

If you’re not sure if people spend money on your subject, go to the free Google AdWords Keyword Tool and type the name of the subject you’re thinking about using. Here you’ll be able to learn two things. First of all, are there a lot of searches on this subject? And secondly, what types of words are people searching for? In other words, would these people be looking to spend money?

Going back to my fishing example, when I type in fishing into the Keyword Tool, I see that there are over 20 million searches a month for the word “fishing”. So there is definitely interest. Then if I look farther down on the page, I see that there are a lot of searches each month for fishing tips, fishing books, lures, tackle, reels, gear, equipment and more. So I would say that yes, there is a lot of money spent on this subject.

If you do this with each of your subjects, you should hopefully see at least one that is a good fit.

Now that you have a topic, don’t think that you’re done and are ready to start your website. There is a good chance that the topic you chose is too broad. For example, fishing itself gets 20 million searches a month. If you create a website on “fishing”, and don’t get any more specific, there is a good chance your website will get lost. You’re hoping to be on the first page of the search engines, so you want to go for a smaller target. So your next job is to come up with a smaller niche that still works with what you plan to do with your website.

Once you’ve narrowed that down and have a few ideas, you want to make sure there isn’t too much competition. If you go to Google and type your new smaller niche idea in with quotes around it, you’ll see how many exact matches there are. The less exact matches there are, the better. I try to find something with less than 85,000 or so exact matches.

With over 1.5 million exact matches, there is too much competition for this keyword.

With only 81,000 results, this is a much better keyword.

In the example above, you can see that fishing poles might sound like a great keyword, but with over 1.5 million exact matches, you’ll have a hard time getting on the front page of Google.  But with bamboo fishing poles, you only have 81,000 exact matches, so you have a much better chance getting on the front page of the search engines.  This means you should get more free traffic, and have the chance to make more money.

As you’ll see, it may not always be simple to find a niche, but if you do all this research first, you should hopefully get a lot of free traffic from the search engines.

This is the process that I go through each time I’m looking to start a website, even before I decide what I’m going to do with the website.

I didn’t want to start January off with no websites to talk about, so I’ve been working on a few websites that I’ll go over in the next few posts, and they are going live today as well. After this, I’ll talk about the websites as I’m creating them.

The first type of website I wanted to put up is a niche website. I had a few ideas of some niches that are popular, and I thought I could easily write about. I’ll call these websites NicheWebsite1 and NicheWebsite2 from now on.

I’d love to be able to give you the niches and domain names, but as I’ve seen over and over again, when you do, other websites with either almost the same content – or exactly the same content will show up soon after. So for now, while I’ll give details of what I’m doing and how I’m doing it, I won’t be able to get too specific on the name or niche. Hopefully sometime in the future I’ll be able to share some of them though.

So, going back to the two niche websites, I picked the domains based on keywords I had researched on SEO Book and how many exact results there are in Google. Unfortunately, I didn’t have Market Samurai until a few weeks ago, so I wasn’t able to use that as a tool.

I’m going to promote affiliate products on these pages, on the sidebar as well as within each post. On one of the websites I should make between $8 – $15 or so a sale, and on the other more likely between $50 – $100 per sale.

I’m using WordPress blogs, and will drip the content out every few days. So far I only have a few posts for each, so I’m not sure exactly how many I’ll do before I stop, but I know I have enough to write about to create 20+ posts for each.

I’d say that it took me a few hours each to put the websites up. I purchased the domains, installed WordPress, and found a free theme I liked for each. I then also installed a few free plugins. I like All in One SEO Pack and Google XML Sitemaps.

Then it’s all about the posts. I’d say I’m averaging about 45 min per post for these websites, since I’m doing a bit of research for each.

That’s all I’ve done so far for these sites. Over the next few weeks I’ll continue posting to them, and will keep you updated on them.

If you have any questions so far, please feel free to ask, and I’ll answer the best that I can.

In the next post I’ll talk about a few other sites that will be going live today or tomorrow.

On November 30th, 2011, I started doing what a lot of people do at the end of the year. I was thinking about my year, and where I wanted my business to go in the next year. I was happy with what I had accomplished so far, but wanted to change things in two different ways.

First, I want to help more people learn how to make money online. While I don’t know the exact numbers, I keep reading the statistic that 98% of Internet Marketers don’t make any money online, and I want to help change that. I’ve learned quite a few ways to make money online, and want to help more people do the same.

Second, while I have been reasonably successful online, I want to do more testing, create more websites, and bring my business to the next level.

And so The Quest for a Million was born.

My goal is to help both you, as well as myself make a million dollars online. How will I do this? I plan on trying many new things, sharing what is working, and what is not. I’ll share with you how much I’m making with what types of websites, so that you can then take what works and start creating your own.

So what makes me different from all of the other successful Internet Marketers out there?

Well, the guru’s all say ‘If I was starting over, this is what I would do…’, but they never do it. They make a lot of their money because of the fact that they are well known, successful Internet Marketers. So I want to start here, from scratch, and start making money, so that you as well as I can begin our quest for a million dollars together.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still spend time working on my other websites that currently make money, but I will keep those out of here, so that you can see what kind of work goes into something, and the timeline you can make money when starting from scratch.

I’m going to start with brand new websites, and tell you every step of the way what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, what’s working, and what’s not. Hopefully this will help you, so that you too can make money online.

This is going to be a lot of fun, and I hope you’ll follow along and join in, with your own quest to make a million.

About this blog

Some people only tell you about the money they make online. Others only tell you about the money they've saved. I want to show you how I make money as well as save money on my quest. You'll learn what works and what doesn't, so that you as well as I can continue on our quest for a million dollars.

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