- Hey, Nathan Gotch here from Gotch SEO and in this publication I'm going to show you how to start and grow niche website from point A to Z. And I personally got my start with niche websites and it was how I was able to learn how to SEO the right way, which then allowed me to get clients with my SEO skills that I developed by building out niche websites. So I'm super excited to show you, so let's jump right in. - Hey this is Nathan from Gotch SEO Academy and in this lesson I'm going to explain the difference between a niche site and an authority website. Let's jump right in. So let me start by saying that every website's technically a niche website because you're going to target a niche, but the big difference is how you decide to target a niche.
For example, an authority site targets a larger niche while a niche or micro site website targets a niche within a niche. Let's take Gotch SEO, for example. Gotch SEO is an authority website in the SEO industry. But when you take a step back my website is actually a micro niche of inbound marketing, inbound marketing is a micro niche of marketing, and marketing is a micro niche of business. So technically SEO, as a topic, is a micro, micro, micro niche of business. So with that said, how do you decide what route to take? Well I personally think this whole discussion about whether you should create a niche website or a larger niche website is pretty useless.
All that matters is that you can find a niche that you can actually compete in and if you have just a minor passion in that topic, that's even better. It's not necessary, but it certainly helps. Now, I'll be covering how to find a niche and whether or not you should build a brand verse a personal brand in later lessons. But for now, don't worry about whether you're creating a micro niche or an authority website. Just remember that the goal is to find a niche that you can actually compete in from an SEO perspective. More on this later, but before I sign off on this lesson, I want to establish some expectations about building niche websites.
The first thing you need to understand is what you do today won't produce results tomorrow, but it will produce results over the next few months and years. Building niche websites is a long term game. Now, you will definitely not get rich overnight using this monetization model, but there is a compound effect. Once your SEO and website picks up steam, the income will slowly start to roll in and then it will become more consistent, and then you'll know how the whole system works which allows you to take your skills and build niche site after niche site.
Or you can just continue to build and reinvest into your existing site, but the hardest part is going to be producing content and taking all kinds of SEO actions and not seeing results right away. This is totally normal. Even on Gotch SEO I spend weeks writing a single piece of content and I don't technically get paid while I'm producing this content. However, I will drive leads and sales once I publish it because of my email list and other audiences on other platforms, but that's all short lived until the page ranks in Google.
That means sometimes I'll wait two to three months for these pages to drive new traffic. The point is that you just have to be patient. Just do the work and trust the process. And this is particularly important for new websites which are incredibly stubborn in the beginning.
You can do everything right from an SEO perspective and still not rank because your website is simply too new and not authoritative enough. You can rank for long tail keywords within three to six months, but it's probably going to take six to 12 months for a new website to rank from body or more competitive keywords. So to conclude, think long term about this process, be patient, trust the process, and do the work. If you can change your mindset to think of your niche website as an investment, it makes everything much easier.
Whenever you're feeling down about the progress of your niche website, just read this quote from Warren Buffett. Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. Or, no matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.
So that's all for this lesson, thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in the next one. So the focus of this lesson is going to be on building a list of potential niches that you can enter. Now, the following lesson will help you narrow down this lesson and ultimately allow you to pick a niche, but for now let's just focus on finding some possible niches for you to enter. So the first thing I like to do is think about my life in general.
Simple ask yourself, what are you passionate about? What are your hobbies? What are your interests? What are your skills and strengths? What are things that make you happy? What are things that make you mad? And now that I've got your wheels turning, I'm going to actually do this exercise with you. So let's start with your passions. So my passions are trying to become a better entrepreneur, helping as many people as I can achieve their goals, developing myself and trying to get better than I was yesterday, and lastly giving back and philanthropy. Now what about your hobbies? My hobbies are very boring, but here they are.
Doing fun activities with my wife, going to the movies, going to dinner, spending time with my dogs and taking them on walks, reading nonfiction books, watching YouTube publications about entrepreneurship and marketing, watching movies or TV shows on Netflix, watching the Lakers or NBA in general, playing pick-up basketball and weight lifting, which is not really a hobby, but a necessity. So the goal here is to get your wheels turning. Most of what you write down won't qualify as a niche to enter, but it's important just to get thinking about these different things. Now, I want to show you some places where you can dive into to find niche ideas, but before I do I need to cover one very important topic.
Do you need to be passionate about the niche that you enter? The short answer is no, but it can help a ton if you have at least some interest in the topic. To put this concept into perspective, I started many niche websites back through 2011, 2013 and my motive was to learn SEO and build a portfolio. So after some research I decided to enter the under counter ice maker niche. I created the site, ranked for under counter ice makers and all kinds of product-related keywords, but here was the problem, I hated every single second of it because it was the most boring topic ever.
I eventually got so bored that I completely stopped working on it and focused on the sites that I actually enjoyed working on. And one of those websites was my first, which was a baseball pitching blog and I ended up selling this blog to a former MLB baseball pitcher, and the point here is that it took nearly no will power to work on this baseball pitching blog because I already was passionate about it and I genuinely enjoyed writing about the topic. On the other hand, I needed maximum will power to work on the under counter ice maker website, and even when I mustered up the strength to work on it I didn't enjoy a single second. My point here is that you should have some interest in the topic, or at least the potential to have interest in it once you dig deeper.
With that said, here are some places you can look to find profitable niches. The first place to look is good old Amazon, and I recommend starting with non-branded categories. That means you should ignore Amazon products and focus on the general topics, like home, garden, and tools. Open up the first three primary categories in new tabs.
So I'm going to explore home decor, furniture, and kitchen and dining for this example. Them I'm going to hover over the drop down for home decor and then you'll see some micro topics. Add all of these ideas to your list. Remember, we're not validating these ideas yet, we're just building a prospect list.
Just keep going through all the categories and adding the ideas to your list. The goal here is to build a list of at least 100 ideas. You can probably find more than enough ideas on Amazon alone but let me show you some other methods you can use as well. The next method is to use ClickBank.
ClickBank isn't great for finding micro niches, but it can give you some ideas based on the larger niches you'll see. On the left hand side just look at the categories and expand those categories, then add these to your list because I'm gonna show you how to find sub-niches within these larger niches. Now what you need to do is take all the ideas you found and find sub-niches. So just copy a topic and open up Quora, and in this example I'll use baseball.
So right away you'll see related topics. Add all of these to your list, as well. Go through this exercise with all your broad niche topics. Now the next method I love to use is Answer The Public.
So once again, I'll just enter baseball as the primary niche and right away I found all kinds of potential niche ideas such as baseball cards, baseball cleats, baseball caps, baseball playoffs, and even baseball bedding. Now some of these topics may be too niche to create a website on, and may be better suited for an authority website about baseball gear, for example. Now the final method is to install a keywords everywhere plugin and then just open up Google. Then enter one of your ideas and then click the spacebar and Google suggested search feature will show you all kinds of new topics and potential niches to enter.
Then you can look at all the ideas that the keywords everywhere plugin gives you, you can scroll to the bottom, or you can deepen your search by adding another space, entering each letter of the alphabet, or even adding numbers to your search. The combinations are truly endless. Now these methods I've shown you will help you find hundreds of potential niche ideas. I'll have a sample list of ideas I found using these exact methods I've shown you today below the publication.
You can take these ideas or you can use them as inspiration. So that's all for this publication, thank you so much for watching, and I'll see you in the next lesson. So the first thing I need to establish is that this is not a full scale keyword research operation for your niche website. I'm going to show you how to do basic keyword research so that you can confirm what niche is best to enter.
Also, you should only go through this process with a small number of perspective niches, five to 10 perspective niches is probably ideal. So here's what you need to do. Let's say one of my perspective niches is baseball cleats. I'm simply going to take this idea and put it into Ahrefs' keyword explorer tool.
You can also use SEMrush for this same exact process. Now there are a few elements you want to examine here. First, is there search volume for this primary idea? This doesn't necessarily mean you're gonna target this exact keyword phrase, but you need to know that searchers are actually interested in the topic. The good news is that you don't need to guess, just follow the search volume.
The next section to look at is the keyword ideas section. It's a good sign if Ahrefs is showing different variations and sub-topics in your primary niche. Ultimately this part of the process is to confirm that this niche has search activity, that's it. The next part of the process is to make sure that it's actually possible to rank.
Now Ahrefs' keyword difficulty tool is helpful for a 30,000 foot view process. In this case, a KD of 11 for a body keyword is a good sign. Then click on a few other long tail keywords and see what the KD for those are, as well. In this case I clicked on the Adidas baseball cleats and the KD is zero.
I would be extremely interested in this niche based on this information alone. Now keep in mind, you're going to be doing extensive keyword research and keyword qualification later on to determine what keywords to actually go after, but for now we're just trying to get a general idea. All you need to do now is repeat this process with all your perspective niches, then give each of your perspective niches a pass or a fail grade based on the SEO competition. Then once you've narrowed your list down to the passes, rate those niches based on your level of interest in that topic.
Just score the niches in three different categories, either interested, could be interesting, or not interested. Now what do you do if you don't have the budget to invest in Ahrefs? Well, here's what you do. Install the Keywords Everywhere plugin and install the Moz toolbar. Then just enter your broad niche idea and see if it has search volume.
Then using the Moz toolbar, export the search results and then average out the DA of the top 20 competitors. If the average DA is above 50 then it might be a competitive niche loaded with authority websites. I wouldn't disqualify the niche through this reason alone since that's only one key word. And then if you examine 10 to 20 different keywords and you're still getting DA averages above 50, then you may need to move onto a different niche.
Keep in mind that it's possible to beat these authority websites by having hyper-relevancy and depth of content, it's just harder and will take longer. I would rather have you go the path of least resistance, especially if you're new to this process. And if you're using Ahrefs, you can go through this same exact process with their Domain Rating, DR, score, and Ahrefs' KD rating is useful, but it doesn't take into account the overall authority of your competitor's website, which is a big factor. My last recommendation is to take your time on this step, do deep research, and don't settle on a niche before you're absolutely certain you can compete in it.
So that's all for this lesson, thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in the next one. So the most important question you have to ask on every niche idea you found is are people spending and making money in this market? So let's start with spending. The first method is to use Google Ads data to give us the answers we're looking for. You can either log into the Google Keyword Planner or search your idea in Google and use the Keywords Everywhere plugin to see the cost per click.
So for the example baseball cleats the CPC is 84 cents and when the CPC is higher, it's an indication that it's a high value niche. And also that the lifetime value of a customer is on the high end because companies are willing to spend large amounts of money on ads. That's because they know their customer value and they know they can still be profitable despite the CPC. For example, look up the term Los Angeles personal injury lawyer and you'll see that the CPC is $76.
That's because personal injury lawyers know that a single case can net them hundreds of thousands of dollars. So with that said the goal of this exercise is to simple see if companies are paying for ads in this market. And if they are, it's a good sign. The second method is to see if companies are advertising on Facebook, as well.
Just go to any Facebook page for a popular brand in your target niche and click on the info and ads tab, and then you'll be able to see what ads a company is currently running. If some of the big brands in the space are running Facebook ads, it's a good sign. The third method is to go to ClickBank and see if there are any products being sold in your niche. Click on the affiliate marketplace and then find your niche.
It doesn't have to be the exact niche, but at least look in the larger niche you're in. Then just look at the gravity score for the list of products. This will indicate that products are being sold in this niche. So you get the point, the goal is to confirm that businesses are spending money on ads and making money in your niche.
You can also go to Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba, Commission Junction, LinkShare, and even Offer Vault to get more validation, as well. Once you've narrowed your list based on the potential profitability, then you need to see if the niche has a strong trend pattern. One of the worst things that can happen is entering a non-evergreen niche with declining search volume and interest. That's why I generally only focus on evergreen niches, or at least those that have a long term horizon.
For example, I wouldn't consider SEO a true evergreen niche because Google, YouTube or any other company with a search engine could go out of business. Now this is extremely unlikely so therefore SEO has a long time horizon. With that said, I recommend using Google Trends to see the trend pattern for your niche idea. Just go to Google Trends, enter your niche, and see if it has a trend that's going upward.
Also look at the suggested ideas below because sometimes those are attracting more attention and you may need to pivot. Now, the trend pattern doesn't have to have hockey stick upwards growth, but it should at least be stable and not dramatically declining. For example, this trend pattern for Ask Jeeves is an extremely bad one and would need to be avoided. The next niche validation method that you need to use is make sure that people are actually searching for topics within your niche.
The fastest way to find out is to use the Keywords Everywhere plugin. Just enter some keywords around your primary niche and see if there's any search volume. These aren't necessarily the keywords we're gonna go after, we just want to make sure that there's search activity since SEO is going to be the primary method used to drive traffic to your niche website. You can also use the Google keyword planner, Ubersuggest, or Ahrefs keyword explorer tool to validate that there's search activity in your niche.
The final validation method is to see if there are communities in your niche. Just go to Google and enter the simple search phrase niche + forum. And if there are forums, categories, or threads related to your topic then that's a very good sign. You can also go to Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or pretty much any platform and search for your topic.
Then just ask, are users talking about or engaging around this topic or niche? So just to review, you're going to choose a niche that, number one, you already have some passion in or can develop interest in as you dive further into the niche. Number two, companies are advertising in your niche and people are buying products. Number three, the niche has a stable trend pattern and the interest isn't declining. Number four, searchers are looking for answers or solutions in your niche, in other words, there's search volume in Google.
And number five, users on other platforms are engaging and discussing topics within your niche. This five step vetting criteria should help you narrow down your list to at least your top five. So the next part of this process is to conduct keyword research in your top five niches to see which one has the best chance of you winning in from an SEO perspective. So, that's all for this lesson, thank you so much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one.
So first, what does it mean to be an expert? In my opinion, you're an expert in a topic once you know more than most of the population. Now, this may sound like a daunting task, but it's surprisingly easy as you're gonna find out. Your goal is to simply acquire enough knowledge about your niche to be able to produce expert level SEO content. You do not need to be the best in the world in your niche.
You juts need to be better than average and you'll be able to teach people if you achieve that goal. So how do you actually go about doing it? Well, here's how. Think of these 30 days as total immersion learning. You're simply trying to get a broad understanding of your niche.
And you may uncover some micro intricacies within your niche but the goal is to get a broad understanding. And believe it or not, your knowledge of a niche will accelerate once you start doing research for and writing an SEO content asset, like I'll be showing you soon. So here's a four step approach you can use. Number one, get broad knowledge.
Subscribe to the top industry blogs, follow the industry leading experts on Twitter, join groups on Facebook and find subreddits in your niche. These different sources will expose you to a large amount of information about your niche and this is good. You don't have to understand how everything works, either. You're just getting exposure and you'll go deeper into this as you start to craft your content.
Number two, discuss the topic. If you have a question, don't be afraid to ask. Asking questions is one of the most important pieces to learning. Also, as corny as it is, there's no such thing as a stupid question.
There are stupid people who might condescend you for asking simple questions, but don't worry about them. I recommend asking questions on Reddit and within Facebook groups. Number three, go deeper. The first steps will get your wheels turning, but the fastest way to learn is to seek out knowledge from proven experts.
Since most experts within a field are expensive to hire on a one-to-one basis, you can bypass this cost by simply buying books. Books are cheap and are the fastest way to accelerate your knowledge about any industry. I recommend reading at least three to five books within your niche. Then after that I recommend enrolling in a course taught by an industry expert within your chosen niche, as well.
These may be harder to find depending on your niche, but search through Udemy, Linda, and even Google search by using search streams like niche + training or niche + course. I truly believe structured courses are the fastest ways to learn. Step four, teach. Once you have broad knowledge of your niche it's time to teach it.
Your knowledge of a topic or niche will accelerate faster than you ever imagined when you start to teach it. But for now, don't worry too much about this step because this will be the focus on creating your SEO content assets for your niche website. Also, I'll be showing you how to conduct deep keyword research which will help you identify topics you didn't even know existed during the knowledge acquisition phase. And believe it or not, this is really all it takes to be better than most of the world in a given niche.
Most people aren't willing to put in the time or effort to learn a topic, so if you do you'll be light years ahead of the competition. Immerse yourself in the niche and become your ideal reader and customer. That's all for this lesson. Thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in the next one.
The first monetization method is affiliate marketing and this is one of the most common ways to monetize a niche website, and that's for a good reason. The first reason why I love affiliate marketing as a monetization model is that it is a truly passive income source. Visitors come to your website and you drive them to your partner's website as an affiliate. That means whatever product or company you're promoting is the one that's responsible for product development, selling, customer service, and all other elements of a business.
That means your only job as an affiliate is to drive traffic to your website in pre-sell offers and that's it. Now of course this model does require you to create content and maybe run ads, but your entire focus is on traffic growth. This is why affiliate business models are truly low maintenance because you won't be dealing with customers. While I do love the affiliate marketing model, it does come with some downsides.
First, you're not in control. A company can lower your commissions or say your commissions aren't valid whenever they want. They are in control of your income source. This is why so many affiliates have moved on from the Amazon affiliate program because they've cut commissions so much.
And believe it or not, this happens a lot. Not only that, companies will often delay your payments or sometimes conveniently forget to pay their affiliates. And the other big concern I have about websites that are purely affiliate driven is when an economic recession hits. When companies tighten their budgets, affiliates will feel the pain because many of the programs will be cut and commissions will be reduced.
That's why I always recommend diversifying your income sources and never solely relying on affiliate marketing on its own. But more on this later. The last issue that you may encounter with pure affiliate marketing is that there's an income ceiling. There's only so much traffic you can drive until you're tapped out in a niche.
You will eventually hit a wall and you'll either need to modify your monetization model or create another website to push your income up to another level. Now of course, everything I'm outlining here are doomsday scenarios. Economic recessions don't happen often and many companies treat their affiliates really well. I just want to make sure you're not blindsided by these potential challenges that you may encounter.
The biggest issue I have with affiliate marketing is the lack of control. That's why I recommend stacking affiliate marketing with more controllable income streams such as products or services. Now more on this second, but for now affiliate marketing is truly the best income source for beginners since you won't have to deal with all the other facets of business. Instead, you can just focus on driving traffic, pre-selling, and marketing in general.
Now there are many ways to find affiliate programs, but here are some of the best ones. Number one, Amazon Affiliates. Now, it isn't what it used to be, but it's still an easy way to get started with affiliate marketing. Number two is ClickBank and you can earn some pretty huge commissions on ClickBank if you promote the right offers.
But it definitely won't work in every niche, but it's definitely worth researching. You should also check out Share A Sell, Commission Junction, LinkShare, and Offer Vault. You should be able to find plenty of great programs on these platforms and if you're entering the fashion niche you should look at ShopSense or rewardStyle. And last but not least, one of my favorite ways to find great affiliate programs is to work directly with the brand.
Just use the following search string in Google, brand + affiliate or brand + affiliate program. Many will direct you to other affiliate platforms, but it's worth researching. Now the next monetization method I want to cover is using AdSense or ad placements in general. You can either use AdSense or make money from clicks passively or sell ads on your website.
The latter is only possible once you have traffic so we'll probably start with AdSense. Now, like other monetization models, AdSense comes with both pros and cons. Let's start with the cons. Like affiliate marketing, making money with AdSense has a ceiling and you're going to need lots of traffic to make a respectable income.
The other issue is that having adds all over your website can hurt user experience which may indirectly impact your SEO performance. Now this can be avoided if you're not super aggressive with your adds and instead you prioritize the digestion of your content over aggressive ad placements. The other issue with AdSense is that you're sending people off of your website. Sure, you're making money from those clicks, but you could be missing out on the long term lifetime value of that visitor.
That's why it's really important to try to convert your traffic into email subscribers and make sure you have a Facebook pixel installed on your site so you can remarket to these individuals in the future and get them back to your website. On the other hand, AdSense is truly the easiest way to make passive income with a website. You just slap on an ad on your website and get paid whenever someone clicks it and it's honestly that simple. I recommend that most beginners either start with affiliate marketing or AdSense as the initial form of monetization.
In the long term, though, you should consider creating your own product or service because then your niche website becomes a real business and your income can swell to new levels. For example, there are different types of product businesses. You can create an information product like Gotch SEO Academy, you can create your own physical product, you can drop ship products, or you can use Amazon FBA to fulfill products. The possibilities are truly endless.
Now of course, the downsides of creating and selling your own products is that you'll now be running a real business. That means you'll need to handle all facets of the successful business such as marketing, sales, operations, and even customer service. It's not easy in the beginning and requires constant learning to handle all these areas, but it's worth it if you're looking to take your income to another level. But at the end of the day you need to figure out what path is most desirable for you.
I use a combination of products, services, and affiliate marketing within my own business, but I only used AdSense and affiliate marketing when I first started. My big takeaway here for you is to take baby steps and don't try to do everything at once. Choose one monetization model, get really good at it, and then stack another and another as you master each one. And most importantly don't feel like you're tied down by your decision.
Test affiliate marketing, test AdSense, even test your own products and then decide which one is best for your specific niche. You're not always going to get it right on the first try, but testing is the key to eventually getting it right. And I cannot stress this point enough, test, test, and test more because at the end of the day this is just advice based on my experience in testing. Your experience is different and how you'll operate is totally different than I would.
That's why you need to conduct your own test to figure out what works best for you. I could create an entire course on these different monetization models, but for now start with the easiest methods if you're new and if you're more advanced then start moving into the more advanced models to take your income to another level. So that's all for this lesson, thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in the next one. Unlike much of the advice out there, my goal is to help you build an incredible niche website that you'll be able to make real money from and maybe be able to sell one day for a nice lump sum.
And that's only possible if you treat your niche website like a real company. So the first question is, should your niche website be a general brand or a personal brand? And this is one of the most challenging decisions you'll encounter. A general brand is like Best Buy and a personal brand is like Gary Vaynerchuck. I recommend creating a general brand for your niche website and here's why.
First, you need a big personal brand to use it as leverage. This simply is not the case for most people. Number two, it's easier to build a company than a personal brand that revolves around a single individual. Number three, you can build your personal brand once you've achieved success with your niche website or other websites.
And number four, it's easier to sell a general brand than a personally branded website. Now it's important to mention that this doesn't mean you should hide your identity. You, as the author and expert of your content, should be visible. You can make your website relatable and personable without having the entire business centered around you as an individual.
So now the next step is to actually brainstorm and select the brand name. I'm going to show you a few different ways you can do this, but first do not overthink this process. Most brand names mean nothing when they're unknown. For example, would Google mean anything to you if it wasn't the most popular search engine? What about Canon or how about Donald Trump? These traditional and personal branded names mean nothing on their own.
They only mean something because of what they are or who they become or how we associate them. That's why you don't need to stress to hard about picking a name. With that said, here are a few ways to come up with a solid brand name for your niche website. Method number one is to create a mindmap.
Write your niche in the middle and then surround the primary idea with subtopics, keep breaking it down until you find something interesting. Method two, think about how people feel about this topic. What emotions are stirred up in this niche? What are customers achieving in your niche? What are problems being solved in your niche? What is the end goal for someone navigating through your niche? Method number three is to use Bustaname. Just take some of your ideas or words and put them into Bustaname and this will give you all kinds of ideas.
You can also use Lean Domain Search to see if some of your ideas are available. Method number four is to use a thesaurus. And if you're really struggling, just go to thesaurus.com and start gathering some ideas from there, as well. I recommend coming up with at least 20 to 50 quality brand names and then narrowing that list down to your top 10 because some of your top ideas won't be available for domain registration.
Use Instant Domain Search or Lean Domain Search to see if your ideas are available. Although there are many TLDs, which are Top Level Domains, you can choose from these days, I still recommend trying to land a .com TLD. That's only because it's still the most well known TLD and Google seems to show preferential treatment to them. Just look at the search engine results and you'll see this in action.
So with that said, keep coming up with new brand names until you find an available .com TLD. But before you purchase a domain you need to use two more qualification methods. Open up Archive.org and enter the perspective domain then look at the history of this domain. Ideally you want it to be 100% unused, but if it's been registered in the past, you want to make sure that it hasn't been used for spam.
This will be quite obvious as you dig around. The second qualification method is to take the domain and run it through any backlink analysis tool such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Majestic. Ideally, the website will have no backlinks, but if it does the backlinks need to be high quality and natural. Deeply examine the links and if you see any blog networks or link spam, them make sure you move onto another idea.
And then once your domain idea has passed these two tests it's time to invest in your domain. I recommend using either GoDaddy or Namecheap to purchase your domains. I'll have discount codes below the publication for both. Now during the domain registration process you're going to encounter a few different offers.
The first is whether or not you want private WHOIS information. Namecheap gives this to you as part of your purchase, but you'll need to pay extra for it if you're using GoDaddy. But the question is should your WHOIS information be private? Well that's totally up to you, but if you don't want to pay for private WHOIS you can use a PO Box or an address generator. And from an SEO perspective, it looks much more trustworthy to have public WHOIS so that's something to consider.
Now the next checkpoint you'll encounter is whether or not you'll want an SSL certificate. I highly recommend adding this to your purchase because Google stating a few years ago that having or not having an SSL certificate could impact you SEO performance. Plus Google Chrome now labels websites as not secure if they don't have an SSL certificate installed. And if you don't want to pay extra, you can use Let's Encrypt which helps you install a free SSL certificate.
It's slightly more complicated to go this route, but it's a solid option if you're on a tight budget. The last checkpoint you'll encounter during this process is if you want to get hosting from which the registrar you've selected. Both GoDaddy and Namecheap offer solid and affordable web hosting. And if you don't want hosting through one of these providers then I highly recommend you check out HostGator or WPEngine if you're looking for a premium web host.
Now let me recap to make sure you have all of your bases covered. First, you need to come up with a brand name and make sure the .com TLD is available. Second, you need to register the domain using GoDaddy or Namecheap, using a coupon code below this publication. Then you need to decide if you want to pay for an SSL certificate or use a free option like Let's Encrypt, and lastly you need to choose a web host.
The best situation is to have your domain, SSL, and web hosting all housed under a single provider. That way you don't need to manage multiple logins and deal with unnecessary operational headaches. Now there's one last piece I want to cover in this publication and that's your brand identity. So at the most basic level your brand identity is going to be your logo, your primary brand colors, your graphics, and your images.
So let's start with your logo. If your budget is limited then I highly recommend using Canva to create your logo. It certainly won't be original, but it can pass for the time being until you're able to invest in a higher quality logo. And if you have the budget, I recommend using 99 Designs or Fiverr to get a logo designed.
I'll have links to both below the publication. The next decision you'll need to make are the colors you want to use for your brand. For example, you'll notice that Gotch SEO uses the same red on my website, on social media, and pretty much everywhere online. That's intentional because that's our primary color.
Different colors represent different feelings. For example, red represents intense feelings including aggression, happiness, love, and passion while blue can often represent calmness and peace and can even cause the body to produce calming chemicals. It's also a symbol that has positive meanings in the professional world. I'll have a link below this publication to a resource on the psychology of color which may help you decide.
But one big factor that should dictate your decision are the colors that your competitors are using. Ideally you should choose a primary color that's different than your competition. For example, when I settled upon the red variation for Gotch SEO that was because most people in my niche were using green, blue, or orange as their colors. So those are all the steps you need to cover to establish your brand for your niche website.
Brainstorm and choose a brand name, register your .com TLD, get an SSL certificate, setup your web hosting, design a logo, and choose your primary brand colors. So that's all for this lesson, thank you so much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one. So at this point you should have a brand, a domain for your brand, an SSL certificate, and web hosting. Now you need to setup your content management system, or better known as a CMS.
I highly highly recommend using WordPress because it's the most beginner friendly and it's optimized for SEO out of the gate. And it's also the most popular. Now this lesson is going to focus on how to setup your website using WordPress as your CMS, so let's jump in. The first step is to optimize your WordPress settings.
Go to settings and click on general. So in this section you want to make sure that your preferred WordPress address and site address are correct. In most cases the URL will be the same in both fields. Then click on the reading tab and make sure that the search engine visibility is unchecked.
Next click on the permalinks and select post name and this is the most efficient and best URL structure for SEO. Econ websites may need more complex URLs, but in most cases you can just use the post name option and that's what I personally always use. So that's it for the general settings, now let's go over to the plugins you'll need. First I'll show you what plugins you need to install and then I'll show you how to actually set them up.
So the first plugin you'll need to install is an SEO plugin. The two most popular SEO plugins are All in One SEO Pack or Yoast and you can't go wrong with either. With that said, let me show you how to setup All in One SEO Pack. Son on the left hand side in your WordPress dashboard, click on the All in One SEO Pack and click on general settings.
Under general settings make sure that canonical URLs is selected. Then under homepage settings fill in your homepage title and home description. In most cases this will be a general description of your website and won't be used to target keywords. The next section that's really important are the no index setting section.
Make sure hosts and pages are unchecked, and I recommend checking the following; I use no index for categories, date archives, author archives, tabbed archives, the search page, the 404 page, and paginated pages and posts. And the reason why you want to no index these sections on your website is because it can help prevent duplicate content related issues in the future. The next plugin you'll need is Really Simple SSL. This plugin ensures that all pages on your website are properly secured.
And once it's installed go to settings and click on SSL. And as long as the first four check points are marked with a green check, you should be good to go. I do recommend opening an incognito window and testing your domain to make sure it redirects to the secured version of your website. The third plugin I recommend is the Schema plugin.
Now this plugin makes it super easy to implement structured markup on your pages. And this will be super important if you're doing product reviews in the future. So once it's installed just click on the settings under Schema and enter your details under the general and knowledge graphs tab. The fourth plugin is Pretty Links.
Now Pretty Links is only necessary if you're going to promote affiliate offers, but in short, this plugin is going to make your affiliate links look a lot cleaner and will track your click data for those links. So to create an affiliate link using Pretty Links just click on the add new link under the Pretty Links tab, then paste your affiliate URL in the target URL and then choose how you want the Pretty Link to look I usually do /recommend/offer. So for example the Pretty Link version of my Ahrefs affiliate link is /recommend/ahrefs. The next plugin is the Open Graph plugin.
Open Graph is what social media websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter use to display post information. This plugin will relay the right information to these websites so that your posts look correct when they're shared on social media. The good news is that this plugin doesn't require any setup. Just make sure you check how your posts look by using Facebook's debugger tool and LinkedIn's post inspector tool.
The next plugin doesn't do anything cool, but it's called No Self Pings. In short, it prevents getting ping notifications every time you link to another page on your website and it also does not require any setup. The second to last plugin is Akismet and Akismet prevents spam comments on your blog and it's very, very effective. You will need to create an account but it's worth it because this plugin will stop most comment spam.
And the final plugin you'll need to install is Contact Form Seven. Contact Form Seven allows you to create contact forms on your website. And to create your first contact form just click on the add new under the contact tab and you can then copy your short code and paste it directly onto your contact page. Now these are the bare minimum plugins you'll need to have a properly functioning and optimized website.
You'll likely need or want other plugins in the future, but these are simply just a great start. Now the next most important step is to install Google Analytics on your site. First, if you haven't already you'll need to create a free Google Analytics account, then Google will provide you with an analytics tracking code. Now there are a few different ways to place this code on your website.
First you can copy the UA number and paste it directly into the All in One SEO pack, or the other method is to place the entire code in the head section of your website. Now you'll need to understand how to navigate through HTML to do this correctly. Now the last method, which is my personal favorite, is to install the Insert Headers and Footers plugin and all you need to do is copy you Google Analytics code and paste it directly into the headers section. You can also place your Facebook tracking code, or whatever pixels you want in the future using this plugin, as well.
Now the next type of tracking I recommend you setup is Google Search Console. Go to Google Search Consol, click add a property, enter your domain, and click add. Then click alternate methods, select Google Analytics, and click verify. Now this should work, but if it doesn't then you may need to use the HTML tag method.
Just copy the HTML tag and go back to the Headers and Footers plugin and paste the HTML tag in your header. Now it may take some time for Google to recognize it, but it should work. Then the last step is to connect Google Search Console to Google Analytics. Just open up Google Analytics, click on acquisition, and click on Google Search Console, and click on landing pages.
Then click on setup Google Search Console data sharing, scroll down and select adjust search console, click add, select your site from Google Search Console, and click add a site to Search Console. Now let's quickly talk about the design of your website. I recommend using a traditional WordPress theme when you're starting out because custom builds are a big financial and time investment and definitely not worth doing in the beginning. You can either use free or paid WordPress themes.
For free themes just go into the WordPress dashboard and click on themes under appearance and select add new theme, then just dig around and use the search function to find an appropriate theme for your website. And if you want to use a paid theme then I highly recommend StudioPress, Elegant Themes, or ThemeForest. I'll have links below the publication. Now, the one thing you need to keep in mind about the design of your site is to avoid tinkering with it too much.
Slightly changing your design will have little or no impact on your SEO or business performance. Spend more time on the high impact actions I'll be showing you soon. Now I'm saying this because it's super easy to become obsessed with your site's design and most of the time spent on it will be a form of procrastination because it's an easy activity. Just make your design presentable and make some changes over time, but just don't go overboard.
So those are all the foundational elements of your website. Thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in the next publication. So the first question is what is SEO content? Well there are two types of SEO content. The first is content that targets a specific keyword phrase.
For example, if my target keyword was dog training, then I would create a page targeting that exact keyword phrase. The second type of SEO content is link bait. Now this is a more advanced type of content and shouldn't be the focus in the beginning. In fact, I recommend spending 100% of your time creating keyword targeted pages for at least the first year of your niche website before even thinking about creating link bait.
Now, link bait is typically some type of asset that's designed to attract backlinks. And these assets aren't usually keyword targeted, but they can be. For example Moz's open side explorer is an example of link bait. It attracts branded searches and backlinks, but it isn't necessarily keyword targeted.
But for now, let's just focus on keyword targeted pages because these are the foundation of your organic search traffic growth. And it doesn't matter how many backlinks you acquire if your SEO content isn't developed well. Now let me cover some facts about SEO content that will help you a ton. First, a keyword targeted page isn't always a blog post.
While blog posts are the most common way to attack keywords, it's not always the best, and why is that? Well the reasons is because of search intent. In layman's terms, search intent is a fancy way of saying what the searcher is thinking when they are searching a keyword in Google. You must model your keyword targeted pages to match the search intent of your keyword. I've already covered this in the first part of the course, but here's a refresher.
There are four types of search intent. Number one, informational. These are your classic how-to types of keywords. Number two, navigational.
These occur when a searcher is looking to navigate to a specific brand. For example, if they search best buy it's a navigational query. Number three, comparison. These occur when a searcher is looking to compare two different types of solutions.
For example, they may search something like Nike baseball cleats verse Adidas baseball cleats. Number four is transactional. These occur when a searcher is at the bottom of the funnel and likely ready to purchase a product. Some examples might be buy blank or blank discount codes.
So your goal should be to cover keywords at all the different stages of search intent. But more importantly you should always structure your keyword targeted pages to satisfy the search intent for the keyword phrase. For example, if someone is searching using a transactional keywords like best buy coupon codes, then your page must give them exactly what they're looking for. Now, I know this may seem like common sense, but you wouldn't believe how often people get this part wrong.
Just keep search intent in mind whenever you're planning on targeting a keyword and analyze the search results to see what types of pages Google is serving for that particular keyword. Then just model whatever you see and use all the methods I showed you in the SEO portion of this course. The second fact about SEO content is that quantity-based publishing is dead. Instead you should focus on creating the absolute best and most helpful keyword targeted pages.
Don't worry about how often you publish. Just focus on adding the most value for your targeted keyword and don't worry about how long that takes you because it will payoff in the long run. And more importantly, quantity based publishing is a drain on resources and will ultimately lead to thin content which may actually hurt you over time. I'll repeat this again, do not worry about how often you publish.
Worry about how incredible and valuable each page on your website is. Live by this principle and you won't regret it. For example, I spend weeks developing a single blog post for Gotch SEO. And keep in mind you're not working any less by doing this, you're just producing more behind the scenes, but when you do publish it's going to have a lasting impact.
Focus on adding as much value as you possibly can for every keyword you decide to target. The third fact about SEO content is that it needs to be unique. Examine the top 10 competitors for your target keyword and try to find a unique angle that hasn't been covered. Look for weaknesses on their pages like lack of publication or even lack of depth.
These are all your advantages. And I cover this concept in great detail in the SEO portion of the course, so make sure you review that. Now let me quickly cover an effective SEO content strategy you should use for your niche website. This may vary based on your monetization model, but for the most part it's a good strategy for most business models.
I recommend an 80/20 split between informational and transactional SEO content. That means that 80% of your keywords should be informational and the other 20% should be transactional. This is particularly important if you're planning on doing affiliate marketing. It may seem strange to focus so much on informational content when you're doing affiliate marketing, but that's actually the best way to presale affiliate offers.
You add massive value up front and then link to your affiliate product review pages as more comprehensive solutions to whatever the problem is. And another important reason to focus more effort on informational keywords is because it's easier to attract backlinks to informational content than it is for transactional content. Think about it, would you rather link to a page about how to plunge your toilet or a page about toilet reviews? I think the answer is obvious. And this slight variation in strategy is what most affiliate websites get wrong.
They focus purely on review-based content and rarely focused on adding value through informational content. And this is a huge mistake on so many fronts. But it helps to visualize this strategy by looking at a content marketing funnel. A content marketing funnel is broken down into three sections.
These three sections are the TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU abbreviations which stand for top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. All of your informational content will be at the top of the funnel. Prospects at this stage are just looking for information and most searchers are at this stage at any given time and that's why the cone is larger at the top. And also the reason why you want to hammer informational keywords more than anything else.
The next stage is the middle of the funnel, this is often the most confusing stage, but think of it this way, you're trying to persuade someone to take baby steps with you and the best way to do that is through offering a lead magnet, which is a free offer they can receive in exchange for their email address. And I have a section dedicated to lead magnets in the academy, but I highly recommend you create a site-wide lead magnet so you can capture email addresses because email is the best way to promote new content you'll be publishing. And then the bottom of the funnel, also known as BOFU, is where all the transactional content occurs. If you're an affiliate website these will be your review or product comparison pages.
If you're selling a product, these may be sales pages or testimonial pages. Now let's step back and see what this process looks like from a 30,000 foot view. First you're going to create a page or a blog post targeting an informational keyword. Second, you're going to create a site-wide lead magnet that will convert a percentage of people that digest your informational content.
Thirdly, you're going to create transactional content that you can promote within your informational content and through email, and lastly continue creating new informational content and promoting it using your email list. You're also going to need to acquire backlinks to your keyword targeted pages, but your email list is the best way to get eyeballs on your new assets as fast as possible. Now understanding the concepts within this lesson is fundamental for your niche website success and all your future online business successes. I highly recommend reviewing this lesson as many times as you need to fully understand.
Also, don't forget that I go deep into these topics in the SEO portion of this course. So that's all for this lesson, thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in the next one. So first I always use Google Docs to create content, and the reason is because it's on the cloud and you can have multiple people collaborate on the doc and you can also write the content on any device. The second tool I use religiously is Answer the Public.
Now, this tool is often used for keyword research, but I actually use it for developing structure for my SEO content. For example, let's say you wanted to rank for the keyword dog training. You then just need to dig around what ideas that Answer the Public supplies to you to find possible sections for your content. Some of the results may be better suited for its own individual page, but an idea like how dog training works is a perfectly relevant topic to cover in a dog training page.
I tried to extract as many ideas as I can from Answer the Public and then use that as my guide for creating the asset. Just avoid going off topic. As you'll notice, there are many ideas here, but something like Pigs Can Fly dog training book isn't relevant to the primary keyword phrase. Just keep it tight and relevant.
The third and fourth tools I use religiously are Grammarly which is a free browser extension, and Hemingway Writer, which is also a free browser tool. I recommend using both to make your writing better and more efficient. The fifth tool you can use is Canva. Canva is the easiest way for the average person to create graphics for your content.
Lastly, if you're planning on producing publication content then the cheapest way to do it is to use QuickTime or Zoom and voice memos on your phone using a lav mic and then you can use a free editing software, like iMovie. Editing your own publications is extremely time consuming so I only recommend doing it in the beginning if you have a tight budget. But as soon as you have a bigger budget, you should hire a publication editor because it can save you a ton of time. Those are all the tools you can use to create content on your own.
Answer the Public is my personal favorite for creating deep content so I highly recommend you use it. But before I sign off on this lesson, keep this one thing in mind. No one or no tool is going to create the content for you. At the end of the day, you just need to sit down, or stand, and put your fingers on the keyboard and start typing.
And if you have the budget, then outsource the writing. But if you're doing this yourself then you just need to do your research, outline your content, and start writing. It's honestly that simple. Don't overthink it and don't forget that you can always upgrade and improve your content in the future.
Make sure you review the SEO content portion of the academy to get a full understanding of this process. So that's all for this lesson, thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in the next one. Let's cover some facts about link building. First, you'll need links from other high-quality and relevant websites for your niche website to perform well on Google.
Now it's possible to rank for extremely long tail low competition keywords, but in most cases you'll need backlinks. The key is to focus on the best opportunities. That means, like your SEO content creation, you should focus on quality over quantity. Quality links are those that come from relevant real websites and are editorial in nature.
Now the only way to acquire these types of links is by reaching out and building relationships. And another important fact to consider is that you'll need to push harder to get backlinks when your website is new. However, once your pages are ranking for their target keywords, you'll actually start to acquire backlinks naturally. And then you'll encounter what I like to call the snowball effect.
That means your website will continue to acquire backlinks naturally and, through your outreach efforts, which makes your website more authoritative and ultimately helps you rank for your current and future target keywords much easier. In short, SEO gets much easier when your website authority is built through link building. So like I said, make sure you review the link building section of this course, but there are a few link types that are the easiest to go after when you're starting out. The first is guest posting.
All you need to do is find opportunities, reach out to the qualified opportunities with three guest post ideas, then create a super valuable piece of content for their website, and lastly inject links to your informational content within the body of the guest post. Some websites will get sketched out if you try to add links in the body of the content, but there are a few ways around this. First, link out to other content assets on authoritative trusted websites within your niche, then when you want to link out to your content asset, just make sure it's surrounded by other quality external links. I recommend only placing one link in the body and then you'll also get a link in your author bio which will go to your homepage.
The second best way to get links quickly is through Help a Reporter Out, also known as HARO. Sign up for HARO and review the pitch emails daily to find opportunities. And when you find relevant opportunities submit a detailed high quality response. While quality is important, landing links via HARO is a numbers came and a consistency game.
When your website is new you'll need to hustle for links so that's what using HARO is all about. Then you can tone down your HARO actions once you start acquiring more backlinks naturally. The third fastest way to acquire backlinks is through resource pages. Just search queries like your niche + resources to find these opportunities.
Then you'll want to find leverage and see if these pages have any broken backlinks. If they do you can use it as leverage in your outreach, and if it doesn't then you'll have to ask if they are willing to include a link to your resource on their page. What matters here is the quality of the resource you're pitching. So many SEOs and link builders get wrapped up in outreach email templates and other silly tactics, but listen to me carefully, your outreach can be terrible, but if your content asset is incredible they will likely link to it.
Now the opposite isn't true. For example, if Frank Kern wrote your outreach email, but the content you're pitching sucks, it won't convert and you won't get a link. Effective and successful link building is predicated on the quality of your website and the quality of your content. So get that right before you even think about promoting anything.
So like I said, I highly recommend you review the link building potion of this course because this lesson is designed just to give you an overview of the process. Hey, thank you so much for finishing the publication. So I hope it gave you all the information you need to start and grow a niche website. And if you have any questions whatsoever, please leave it below and I'll respond as quickly as I can because I do respond to every single blog comment.
So once again, thank you so much for watching and if you're not subscribed please subscribe to my channel because I'm gonna be producing publications like this a lot more frequently. So once again, thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in the next one.