From a Pizza Boy to Making $18,000 With One Niche Site Series (2/3): Building Your Niche Site

Thank you all for the warm regards with the first part of my series!  I have received quite a few questions, and I enjoyed reading them and answering them!  For those of you that haven’t seen, I recently opened up my keyword service for a reduced price of $29.99 for the next week.  But, I hope you enjoy this piece as much as you enjoyed the last one!

Building Your Niche Site:

Now that we have gone over the process of finding viable keywords, it’s time to get cracking and actually start building out your new website.  Because WordPress is very user friendly, I won’t be going to in-depth on how to actually set up your site (I’ll make another post later on pertaining to this if need be).

DOMAIN NAMES:

Exact Match Domains vs. Partial Match Domains vs. Branded Domains:

Back in about 2012 when I first started building websites, exact match keyword domains were all the hype.  If you were making a niche site at the time then you essentially needed your exact keywords to be in the domain and nothing else (Yourkeyword.com/.org/.net).  Back then these gave a huge ranking bonus.  But what are my opinions on them now a days?

If you are building a long term niche site, I say stay clear of exact match domains.  I think they make it very easy to get an over optimization penalty from Google, and they can be difficult to brand.

As for partial match domains and branded domains, these are what I prefer.  A partial match domain (PMD) is a domain that includes either some of your keyword, or it includes all of your keyword and other words.  For example if you were focused on “Best Hunting Knife” a PMD example would be “besthuntingknifeguide.com/.org/net”.  I think PMD’s help to keep you away from that Google penalty while providing relevance.

But, my overall choice for domains would be a branded domain.  Branded domains are domains that relate to your niche but don’t necessarily have your keywords in it.  These are domains that a visitor would remember, as you build your niche site and your brand.  These help you to be able to branch out and not have to be stuck on one main keyword, as well as build a brand that visitors trust.  An example of a brand able domain could be “knifehut.com/.org/.net”.

HOSTING: BlueHost

Overall hosting is very simple but it’s extremely important.  You want to pick a hosting provider that has great overall uptime, and has good server speed.  The server speed is important because site speed actually is a pretty important Google ranking factor, so if you have a hosting company that provide a slow service, it’s going to be harder to rank.

For my past few niche sites I have chosen to go pretty much exclusively with BlueHost.

The reason I pick BlueHost is because of their customer support which has saved my butt a few times, and because of their server speed.  I have been able to get my site speed below one second with nearly all my niche sites because of them.

Where To Buy Domains:

I don’t think where you buy your domains is nearly as important as where you buy your hosting.  I personally like NameCheap because their prices are reasonable, and they include free Private Whois, which can be a big advantage to some people.  That said, I have also used Domain, and Godaddy with no issues.

THEMES:

When you are building a legitimate niche site, you really want it too look presentable to help build trust an even increase conversions.  For my past few niche sites I have switched over to premium themes at Thrive Themes.  With these themes I am able to truly customized it how I want.  Now with these themes I love having a good looking theme, but if these themes restrict my ability to do what I want, and really silo my website, then I will pick something simpler.  Thankfully I haven’t had any issues like these with Thrive.

For the most part if you know what you are doing you can make a halfway decent site off a default theme, but I personally prefer premium themes for the versatility and looks.

Plugins:

Now everyone has different opinions and personal preferences on what plugins to use for their niche sites.  I tend to keep it pretty similar for most of my niche sites, and the plugins are the following:

  • Yoast SEO: Helps to make sure your on-page SEO is perfect.
  • W3 Total Cache: Helps to increase page load speed.
  • Akismet: Helps reduce comment spam.
  • Floating Social: Gives you social icons for your visitors to share your website with.
  • Tablepress:  Makes great tables for Amazon product comparison tables.
  • Table of Contents Plus: Creates a table of contents on your specified pages to help give your users a better experience.
  • Contact Form Plugin

Writing Content:

Everyone has their preferred way of writing content.  I personally write all my main content via the regular WordPress function, and then I outsource my less important pieces.  I know some people who write in Microsoft Word, but i don’t suggest it because of format issues, once you try to transfer it over.

If you are someone who likes having call to actions on your niche sites to either grab subscribers or to increase your affiliate link conversion rate, I have heard great things about Thrive Themes Content Builder.  I personally haven’t used it so I can’t vouch for it completely, but some friends of mine use it to build their content, and the peer look of it and their conversion rates beat mine!

On-Page SEO Checklist:

If you are interested in niche sites, I’m sure you have heard of the importance of On-page SEO.  It definitely is very important for ranking your keywords.  I have based my on-page SEO checklist off of what I have learned from Backlinko and Moz.

  • Quality, Unique Content That Is At Least 500+ Words!
  • Keyword In The Title
  • Keyword In URL If Possible
  • Don’t Over Use Keyword (I like to keep it around three or four times per article)
  • Relevant Picture With Either Keyword as Alt Text, Or a Similar Keyword
  • Youtube Video/Table/Graph all help to give more user interactivity and helps with rankings
  • No Ugly Permalinks (Yoursite.com/?p=123), Change Permalinks to Post Name

Siloing Your Homepage:

When I start putting content onto my niche sites, I like to have a very large homepage that essentially controls the flow for the rest of the site.  It isn’t out of the ordinary for one of my homepage’s to have around 3,000 words of content or more.  On the homepage I really want to establish what this site is about, and that I am a resource for all the questions a reader might have.

To accomplish this I generally begin my homepage by describing and talking about my main keyword (“Best Hunting Knife”).  I normally do this in about 1,000 words or so.  This I consider my content for my main keyword.  From there I begin my silo process, and start linking to my secondary pages.

After I finish my content for my main keyword, I start the introduction to the other topics on my site (my secondary keywords).  For example my homepage about “Best Hunting Knife” might have a paragraph describing “Best Folding Hunting Knife” and then it would have a link to a page that is completely focused on this secondary keyword.  This process of linking to secondary keywords is generally completed around eight to ten times on my home page (depending how many secondary keywords you are targeting).

how to silo a niche site

Note: I forgot to mention this in my first post, but I consider secondary keywords to be above 500 searches, and low competition as well.

As you can see, our homepage really starts become a pathway to our large secondary keywords.  This not only helps the user find what they are looking for, but also helps to pass link juice to the whole website.

I also like to add a Youtube video to the end of my homepage.  This helps to add even more relevancy to my homepage.  I generally create these videos my self and upload it.  From there I also link back from my Youtube profile page, and from the video description.

Setting Up Secondary Page Silos:

After you have set up your Homepage with the content about main keyword, and then the introduction paragraphs and links to secondary pages, then it’s time to actually set up the secondary pages.

Siloing Secondary Keyword

As you can see you are generally just putting your content about the secondary keyword, and then if you have an even smaller secondary keyword you create another type of silo to link to these smaller keywords.

Along with that, I like to link back to my homepage to help return some of the link juice to the homepage and the other sections of the site.

Other Pages:

I always include an About page and a Contact page on all of my niche sites.  There are quite a few plugins that can be used to for your contact page.  If you don’t want to use a plugin, you can also add text to give them where the best places to email you are.

Along with this, if you are monetizing through Amazon or Adsense you will have to include a privacy policy page that discloses that you are using Amazon.

Conclusion:

Now you have seen exactly how I set up my niche sites.  I think you can definitely have success with going about your own way of setting up these sites, but I have had success with my version and especially how I silo these sites.

Remember to check back in a few days when the third and final post for this series is up, and you learn exactly how I ranked my past niche site!

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