There are lots of ways to earn a full-time income online and lots of different paths to get there. I don’t pretend to hold the key and the only right answer. However, after years in the online space, I found niche sites to be the most accessible and reliable strategy to earn an income online. Although my health and wellness site hasn’t grown to a full-time income yet, it provides me with a reliable income each month after less than two years. I can guarantee you that it will eventually replace our full-time income, it’s just a matter of repeating what I have been doing to grow my traffic each month. That’s why I have become a firm believer in niche sites. In this post, I am going to share step-by-step what you need to do to start a niche site to earn a full-time income online.
What Is a Niche Site
Before we get into how to start a niche site, let’s make sure we have the same understanding of what is a niche site. A niche site is a site that focuses on a segment of a specific market to target the right buyers for a predetermined product. Now, if you check what is a niche site online, you will find that the definition always includes the specificity of the market segment aspect. However, you may find that the selling of a predetermined product is usually missing. I included that because it is an integral part of making an income online, which is what this post is all about.
How to Start a Niche Site in 5 Simple Steps
My strategy on how to start a niche site includes 5 simple steps:
- Setting Up for Success
- Creating Your Website
- Using Email Marketing
- Monetizing Your Website
- Driving Traffic
In this post, we will be looking at each of these steps in more detail, but to dive even deeper into these key elements, I invite you to sign up for my free 30-minute workshop. Furthermore, read my post What Is a Niche Site: The Ultimate Passive Income Strategy.
Step 1: Setting Up for Success
There are two critical components when it comes to setting up for success: starting with the right mindset and picking the right niche.
Why does your mindset matter when learning how to create a niche site to earn a full-time income? Because earning an income online has nothing to do with earning an income at your job. You will need to trade the time economy for the value economy. At your job, your boss cares that you work a certain number of hours. In the online world, nobody cares how long it takes you to create content, what matters to your readers is the value they get from it.
The right mindset will mean that you are willing to work hard and be perseverant because this is no get-rich-quick scheme. It will also mean putting perfectionism aside and learning to be OK with producing B- work because you need to be as efficient as possible with your time.
How to Pick Your Niche
My blog post How to Pick a Profitable Niche for Your Online Business will help you find a good balance between your passion and your monetization opportunities. Here, I want to spend a little bit more time talking about niche research. After coming up with some niche ideas, you need to do some research to figure out who else is in that space and what makes them successful. Understanding your competitors will help you save a lot of time because instead of starting from scratch, you have some useful strategies to make your own (for example, when it comes to your lead magnet, monetization, and content creation, which we will talk about soon).
How to Research Your Competitors
My favorite tool to research my competitors is Ubersuggest. First, install the Ubersuggest Chrome Extension, then you are going to google some questions you think people are asking in your niche. As you see which websites come up, find the ones that you want to emulate. Take notes! The chrome extension will also give you some related keywords when you google your questions. Use those to refine your research. To see the process in action, don’t forget to check out my workshop.
Step 2: Creating Your Website
My number one tip for this step is to not try to create your niche site for free. Listen, you are a business owner. Businesses require some investments upfront. It’s just the way it is. Starting a business for a few hundred dollars is extremely affordable! It will pay back a hundredfold! It’s not time to be cheap, do it right from the start. It will save you both time and effort.
Your Self Hosted WordPress Niche Site
The best way to create your website is to set up a self-hosted site on wordpress.org. The process is not overly complicated and you can surely find some YouTube Tutorials. In my course, my 5-Step Formula to Create a Niche Site for Your Online Business in Just 21 Days, I take you through the whole process with video tutorials, but I do have a few pointers I want to share here.
First, pick a simple domain name that ends with .com and doesn’t include numbers or special characters. Don’t make your domain name too niche-specific. That’s a mistake I made multiple times. You will most likely find that your niche will evolve over time and building a domain with good domain authority takes years. You don’t want to have to start over because your niche has outgrown your domain name. Get your domain from your hosting provider. I recommend Bigscoots (affiliate link) for hosting.
Your theme is the structure that holds your website and gives it its appearance. I don’t recommend free themes, they are not customizable enough. I have tried numerous themes over the years and over the last year and a half fell in love with the Astra theme and Elementor Pro (affiliate links). This combination is the easiest and most affordable way to create a website that looks professional without using a bloated theme that will slow down your website.
Step 3: Using Email Marketing
Learning how to start a niche site to earn a full-time income has to include learning about email marketing because email marketing is your number one tool to stay connected with your readers. As your readers learn more and more from you, you are forming a relationship. This relationship will mean that many of your readers will turn into subscribers and your subscribers into buyers.
Your Marketing Funnel
One of the most important aspects of email marketing is your marketing funnel. Your marketing funnels includes the following components:
- Lead magnet: someting free you are offering in exchange for your reader’s email address.
- Landing page: the page that explains what your lead magnet is about.
- Thank youi page: the page that tells your new subscriber what the next step is.
- Onboarding sequence: the series of automated emails your new subscriber receives after signing up.
Your marketing funnel has the purpose to deepen the connection with your new subscribers and promote a paid product that will solve their main pain point.
My 5-Step Formula to Create a Nite for Your Online Business in Just 21 Days course includes onboarding email sequence templates.
Step 4: Monetizing Your Website
Figuring out how you are going to monetize your website will help you come up with an effective lead magnet and content strategy. You don’t want to produce free content randomly without a definite goal in mind. That’s why when figuring out how to create a niche site for a full-time income, you need to come up with a monetization strategy right from the beginning.
Affiliate marketing is the most effective monetization strategy for beginner niche site owners. Your competitor research should help you find some good affiliate products to promote, but make sure you do try these products before promoting them. For more affiliate product ideas, google your niche and “affiliate products.” Hold off before becoming an Amazon affiliate (If that is one of your goals) as you need to make at least three sales within 180 days to keep your affiliate status. You will need to have some traffic to your website to achieve that (don’t worry, that’s our next step).
Every niche site owner that desires to earn a full-time income needs to consider creating digital products. It could be ebooks, workshops, digital courses, etc. As usual, your competitor research will help you see what works in the marketplace, but another easy way to decide what to create is to simply make your own of whatever affiliate product you may have been promoting. Creating digital products is something your will do down the line (maybe about 6 months to a year after creating your niche site). You will need to have a good understanding of your readers pain points and what you want to help them achieve (the goal of your digital product is to help your audience get from point A to point B),
I haven’t bothered with ads on my websites yet, but I do know that some ad networks (like MediaVine) can generate thousands of dollars in income monthly. The reason I haven’t done that yet is that my websites don’t have enough monthly pageviews (MediaVine requires 60,000 pageviews a month) for that kind of income yet. I will certainly be considering this as an option when I build that level of traffic (btw, some networks require only 10,000 pageviews a month, but your earning potential is only a few hundred dollars each month).
Many online marketers worry that having ads on your website diverts your traffic away from your digital products and whatever other offerings you have. That’s something to take into consideration for sure and that’s why I am waiting as well.
Step 5: Driving Traffic
Now, this is the less exciting part of the whole process, but it is no less important. Unless you know how to run ads effectively (which you probably don’t as a beginner), the only way to make sales is to get people to view your sales pages through organic traffic. To accomplish this, you need to have a content strategy that will drive the right kind of traffic to your website. My content strategy is mostly based on SEO research and it has been quite effective. Let me show you what I have been able to accomplish:
There are a few things I want you to note from this screenshot:
- My domain authority is still low (a good domain authority is above 30).
- My website is only a bit over one year old, so I don’t have tones of organic keywords (most professional sites have over 10,000 organic keywords)
- My organic traffic is almost double the number of organic keywords I have.
That last point is why I think that I have been doing a good job at driving traffic to my site. Despite a low domain authority and a highly competitive and censored niche (health and wellness), I manage to drive decent traffic through my keyword research strategy. If you use the Ubersuggest chrome extension on most websites, you will find that the organic traffic usually ranges from half to about the same number as the number of organic keywords. Having double the traffic as the number of keywords means I am saving myself a lot of time and effort by having to create less content for the same amount of traffic. I am just about to implement my content strategy on this marketing website. I am really looking forward to seeing what kind of results I can achieve here.
My SEO Content Strategy
Quickly here, what is my SEO strategy? It is threefold:
- First, I see what keywords my competitors are ranking for and I make a list of those keywords and create content using them (with the help of the Yoast SEO plugin).
- I create a list of related keywords and create content for those.
- I create more content related to the content for which I am already ranking.
As you follow these three steps, always keep in mind your potential buyer. It’s not everything to rank on Google. You want to attract the right kind of traffic, so you always need to make sure that your keywords relate to whatever might be in the mind of your potential buyers (that’s why picking your monetization strategies came before driving traffic).
How to Start a Niche Site Workshop
Alright, so this post gave you all the info you need to know about how to start a niche site to make a full-time income. It’s not that complicated, but it does require time, effort, and perseverance. There is no magic wand you can wave to get the results you want. Instead, you pick your niche strategically and research it well enough to be able to come up with an effective email marketing, monetization, and content strategy.
As a reminder, you can follow the process along in my 30-minute workshop, so don’t forget to sign up.