What Is A Niche Website? And How Do You Make Money With One?
If you stumbled across this post, then the chances are that you have already heard of a niche website and you are considering creating one.
Before I started creating websites, one thing that did stump me initially was the idea of a niche and how I could go about choosing one – how would I make the right decision?
What is a niche website?
A niche website is a site centered around a very specific subject area that people are interested in.
Whether that’s to find out information, or to purchase a product.
The content of your niche website should contain information that the reader finds useful, interesting or entertaining to them.
If a subject or topic has a targeted group of people are interested in it, it is a niche.
To consider niche areas:
- Losing weight over 50,
- making money online,
- Freelance writing,
- Baby clothes,
- dog training,
- mobile phone accessories,
- Nintendo gaming,
- Yoga for kids.
These are all examples of niches, some broader than others.
What’s the difference between a niche website… and a niche blog?
This is something that really confused me when I started and there really is some cross-over between the two.
However, I can very clearly show you some obvious examples…
Niche Site Example:
For example; I did a quick search for treadmills and found treadmillreviewsite.co.uk
See image below…
It’s largely filled with reviews – there are some “blog-style” posts. There is even a “blog,” tab.
But this is a classic niche site and it has a narrow focus.
This one focuses on running machines and you aren’t going to suddenly get affiliate links on this site to buy a family tent or something random; it stays within a narrow set of products.
The difference is that niche sites used to be able to rank in Google, with just a few pages!
This happens less so now and so, you have to build out large websites, with many pages of content, (usually… there can be exceptions when you land on a niche without much competition at all…. For example; in the case of this Football Snack Helmet site).
Google also loves fresh content, so whereas this used to be a way you could make sites and then just leave them to make money on autopilot, now you’ll need to put more work into adding fresh reviews and driving traffic to the site.
If you search random terms in Google for products, you should be able to see plenty of Niche sites come up.
But you will also come across authority niche blogs and larger authority niche blog sites.
Some authority niche blogs could have started out like personal blogs, but can then can turn into something much larger, with whole teams of writers and people working for it.
What’s A Niche BLOG Then?
So, my current blog here is a pretty standard example of a niche blog.
I’m in the money saving/money making niche online – it’s not a particularly narrow niche, I talk about all sorts of things related under that umbrella… but I don’t have posts just talking about what I did last week, or what my kids are doing at school.
So some blogs, (that aren’t niche blogs) may write about any number of things and cannot be defined under one niche.
Whereas others, you could quite easily be categorized within a niche.
Having a niche blog, (as opposed to standard niche website) makes it easier to build a brand and authority in Google, as you create very regular content and continue to do so indefinitely.
Some people eventually will sell their blogs on; expand their blogs to hire other writers and workers, or entirely outsource the work by hiring out a majority of the tasks.
There Is A Cross-Over…
There are times where you could equally describe something as a niche website, or a niche blog and frankly… some people just use the terms interchangeably anyway!
(Just to make things a tad more confusing! 🙂 :).
But for me, a niche blog will largely contain info that is impersonal, like straight up standard reviews, or information about something and usually focused on a very narrow area of interest.
Whereas a niche blog, would be less narrow and have a range of different types of content and usually have more of a personal feel to it.
That being said… Many Niche websites may also have a blog section now, which can then help them rank in the search engines.
So, like I say, some cross-over… but some distinct differences as well I think!
When you’re new online and wanting to choose a niche for your website…
You may be wise to narrow it down.
For example, you might be thinking about weight loss but “weight loss,” shouldn’t even be considered as a niche, but an entire industry…
You need to narrow it down to something within that.
Focusing in on a particular diet, for example.
Or one specific method to lose weight… such as intermittent fasting!
Rather than kids clothing, you may want to choose boys toddler clothes.
Rather than pets supplies, to focus on one specific animal.
You can always scale out your niche later on if you choose to.
Choosing a domain name that will allow for that could be a good idea too.
Like I said earlier; there was a time where you could throw up a small website, with under 20 pages and make money from creating content around a very narrow topic or niche and make money from it…
But now Google prefers more established sites, sites where they have built up trust over time and that google regards as “authority sites” within their specific niche.
That being said, if you target the right low-competition keywords, you can still find yourself on Google’s front page way before you have an authority site on your hands.
But as your site grows, so does your ability to rise up the rankings.
In many ways, it’s much better this way, as the people who do put the largest amount of efforts into their sites, will eventually reap the rewards.
Ultimately, whatever niche you choose, your number one focus should be on creating content for your audience and not just in a bid to make money.
Your audience, (or your customer!) is everything, focus on what will make the best experience for them and you will be headed in the right direction.
What Would Niche Site Target?
A site focused on reviews tends to translate well into sales.
As such, a Niche site will usually incorporate lots of reviews.
There is an unlimited amount of ideas for niche review sites…
…exercise bikes, men’s running shoes, infant car-seats, campervan supplies, for example.
Some people have done extremely well with these sorts of sites.
But unless you’re outsourcing your content, you may want to focus on something directly of interest to you, (especially if this is your very first niche site).
As writing hundreds of in depth reviews on the benefits of some specific crockpot, running shoe, treadmill or juicer, may get old very quickly if you have zero interest in your chosen niche.
Useful Post: Choosing a niche – passion or profit?
Alternatively, your site may be more information based.
The benefits of essential oils, for example, a site based on a specific diet, including recipes, online programs –
or perhaps a site reviewing certain membership based sites – such as dating sites.
Your site could be hobby based – a site on figure skating techniques, zumba or snow boarding…
Really, there are infinite of possibilities for niche websites.
How Do You Make Money From A Niche Website?
It’s not all about your niche area, you need to also consider beforehand how exactly you will make money from it.
It’s likely your first step to monetize your site would be via affiliate marketing.
Most companies and products have affiliate programs attached to them in one way or other now, so you have the opportunity to get a commission every time someone buys something you promote via your website.
Commission rates vary wildly and, as such, you may want to consider the amount of commission you’d likely be receiving in your chosen niche, (by checking out related affiliate programs).
You should also consider whether the amount of traffic you’d possibly be generating to your site eventually –
could lead to you making decent money within it, (or not!). (keyword research is necessary here)
Sites that attract customers already wanting to purchase a product, will convert to much higher sales than a site whereby people go primarily for information.
However, you don’t have to solely rely on affiliate marketing….
If you have an authority site on a chosen niche that is very competitive and information based, you may be generating a huge amount of traffic and therefore, could be making money via Ad networks instead.
I personally combine affiliate marketing and paid Ads on my site at the moment and Ad networks like Mediavine pay really well, (much better than something like Adsense).
However, some people may have to rely on something like Adsense, due to the sort of site it is, (different Ad networks can have different acceptance criteria).
Checking Out Your Competition…
Of course, thousands of other sites are all competing against each other and for some niches, competition can be fierce.
So, it is wise to check out your competition via either a free keyword search tool, (such as google keyword planner).
Or via some other keyword search tool, (such as the one I use – Jaaxy).
You’ll want to give yourself the best chance of getting to the top of the search engines.
Another way to check out your competition is to simply do a search on google for terms related to your potential niche, check out the competition on the front page.
Are these sites ones that you feel you can compete with in the future?
You will be spending hundreds and even thousands of hours on your chosen niche site and in a very real sense, you are gambling with your time.
It may take months before you start making any money from your site and at the beginning your income will be more of a trickle than a flood.
If you’ve chosen the wrong niche, all your hard earned work may be wasted… and this is where many people give up.
However, by failing in one niche, you will learn a great deal of valuable lessons and if you suck this up and move on, you can move on to success.
While choosing a niche is important, many people take far too long thinking about it and never get started –
it’s best to throw yourself into something that you are fairly confident can work and learn as you go!
Why some niches fail:
Key reasons that niches fail are that someone either dives into a niche that is too broad, too competitive, or not popular enough.
Now, some people will claim that really no niche is too competitive, because as long as their are low competition keywords to target and you rank for those, you can still generate a decent amount of traffic as you build your site.
Then as you build your site out, you will start ranking for the more competitive keywords eventually too.
That being said, it would be wise to make sure your niche is not too broad when you are a newbie.
By contrast to the overly competitive niche –
your niche may either not drive enough traffic to it, (because it’s not searched for enough) or be overly narrow, to the point you run out of things to write about!
You may have the only website in the world dedicated to the brain mushroom (Gyromitra esculeta) – but unless you’re generating enough traffic for your chosen keywords, you’re not going to be able to translate that into a full time business.
That being said, if your ultimate goal is to create lots of smaller niche sites, each making a small amount of money each month, then you could choose to target more narrow niches in the hope of getting to the top of the search engines easier.
The less competitive your niche, the easier you will find it to rank highly.
There are also still narrow niches out there, (if you can seek them out) that will have a large amount potential traffic and still a low amount of competition.
If you can find little gems like this, they’d be worth pursuing.
I first learnt about how to build websites over at this program.
You can sign up for free and benefit from a 10-part free course as a starter member – which is initially what I did myself.
Check out this training video below, it talks about how you can become an expert in any niche…
The above video is almost an hour long and packed full of information, so well worth checking out.
Some other posts you may find useful & related to this post are:
- Affiliate Marketing Basics,
- Choosing A Niche: Passion Vs Profit,
- Keyword Research Explained,
- How to make your first affiliate sale.
If you have any questions at all, please leave me a comment below!
All the best… 🙂