I've covered so much in this series and I want you to be able to take action from what you've learned. This summary is going to cover the key takeaways from each post. In addition, I will cover some action points and lessons for you to take on board.
Going back and re-reading all of these posts will surely teach you a lot of things on every read, but use this post as your quick access guide.
Post 1 – Key Takeaway: Niche Selection Is More Than Just Keywords
Keyword tools are a great way to filter out ideas and test how viable a niche might be, but ultimately you need to do more.
This is because keyword tools aren't an absolute science. Additionally, you need to look at the competition as a whole, and look at whether or not the products are going to earn you some money. If you just focus on keywords, you might end up getting traffic, but who is to say if that traffic will convert?
How do you go about this? Get creative with Google. Check other sites to see if there are signs of them selling things, read forums for signs of people buying things, and look at best seller lists on Amazon.
Look at the niche more broadly and see if other things are being bought as well. I started out just promoting one product, but when I went more broad I made a lot more sales.
What if nobody appears to be buying anything or you can't find the answers you need? Well, it's up to you to decide whether to take the risk, or look for another niche. When you have more experience you may be able to tell based on gut feeling, but as a beginner, I would suggest you to follow the more obvious money.
Action Steps: If you've got some niche ideas, start looking around and seeing if there are other sites doing well in the niche. Ask yourself if there are people buying multiple products and if you would have a clear monetization path. Do people buy these items online too?
Once you have some positive answers, THEN look at keyword research, or if you're more comfortable doing kw research first, that's fine too.
Post 2: Key Takeaway: Site Structure Is Important But Don't Overcomplicate It
I spent hours building a site the wrong way, and later I found out that the simpler structure resulted in more money for me.
This is not just because it is easier for your visitors to navigate around the site, it's also easier for Google to understand your site, rank you better, and so that YOU can do things such as CTA's and internal linking more easily as well.
How should you structure your site? Well I've explained it clearly in this post, but take a look at this box below to get the key ideas again:
Ideal Niche Site Structure
Make this a blogroll showing your latest posts. You can have 1 or 2 featured/sticky posts if you want.
Have links to your main categories, so in this case, straight razors, safety razors, accessories, and also have links to your money posts (such as your “top 10” posts).
Create a mixture of reviews, “best of/top 10” posts, and info posts. Link the best of posts to the reviews, and link the info posts to the best of and/or the reviews.
The idea is:
- People will read your reviews and then click through to Amazon.
- They'll read your best of/top 10 posts and either click to Amazon or click a review (and then click to Amazon).
- They'll read your info posts, such as “Straight razor vs safety razor” and will then click through to your best of/top 10 posts.
This way, everything is sending the user closer to Amazon, and you are also linking internally to your money posts, causing them to rank higher in Google.
It's also very easy for you to manage.
Put your privacy, about, contact pages in the footer.
Test this, but things like Native Ad blocks, Category lists, Top Posts lists, and the usual sidebar content is fine.
What if your site is already built a different way or is a different type of site? It's not necessarily a bad thing, but ask yourself if you can simplify things based on the lessons I learned. Think about how you can simplify your structure and if you really need all those convoluted pages. Test it too.
Action Steps: Use some flowchart software or even a pen and paper and sketch out how your ideal site structure could be. Come back to it later and see if you can simplify it more. Most of you will just need 2 or 3 “themes” or main pages with supplementary posts linking to/from them.
This gets much easier every time you do it, so don't stress if it takes time initially.
Post 3: Key Takeaway: Content Is Key – But Don't Rely Solely On It
You won't get anywhere without content, and you might not make many sales without GOOD content, but your content won't get anywhere without promotion. This means internal linking from your other posts, external linking (aka backlinks), social media sharing, and even outreach.
Start off by focusing on your key content, most likely your “best xyz product” article, and build some links to it. Start with your social profiles, related posts on your site, and then branch out into guest posting and other backlink building techniques.
If you're not sure how to go about backlink building or how to do outreach, this is just something you'll have to learn. Start small and simple, and grow as you learn more.
Action Steps: Think about which content you want to rank first, and start linking to it from all your relevant posts. Make a note to learn about building backlinks and social links.
Post 4: Key Takeaway – Links Are Good
Similar to post three, link building is very important when it comes to promoting your content and ranking your site. Nothing moves the needle more than a good quality link.
Link building can refer to either internal (linking from one of your posts to another), or external (a link from another website to yours).
There are many different ways to build links, and I suggest you start with the simple methods first, such as forum posts, social shares, and blog commenting, then move on to more advanced and riskier techniques such as PBNs or other paid links.
Action Steps: Build your first social links from Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and the other big networks. Then, comment on 5-10 relevant websites and put your website in the “Website” section. Don't worry about putting a link in the comment section, as this will look spammy and the comment won't get approved.
Do this for 1 or 2 weeks until you have a good layer of comment links, and then start building some links from The Hoth or elsewhere.
Post 5: Key Takeaway – Boosting Conversions Can Give Some Great Quick Wins
A lot of the time we associate more traffic with increased earnings, and that's generally true. However, you can also do more with your existing traffic in many cases. Spending a few hours on conversion rate optimization can result in an instant uptick in earnings, and is usually scalable.
Conversion rate optimization is basically just a case of experimenting with buttons and banners, things like “Click here to view on Amazon” and conversion tables.
You can follow some of the general rules I applied to my site here, and use this as inspiration for boosting your own site's income. Try other things as well, such as adding tables above the fold or sidebar banners.
If you don't yet have enough traffic, then focus instead of getting more. If you do some CRO and do so many results, then try some other techniques as well. What worked for my site might not necessarily work for yours, and vice versa.
Action Steps: Log in to Google Analytics and make a note of your top 5 or 10 visited pages. Have a look at them to see if you can replicate some of the CRO I did for my site. Can you add more affiliate links? Can you make fancy looking buttons and boxes to get more clicks?
Post 6: Key Takeaway – Reinvest In Order To Scale
Once your site is having some success, you can reinvest the income into more content, more links, and tools like semrush. You can start to broaden the topic of your site, see what your competitors are ranking for that you can also write about, and you can get more and more rankings.
By this stage, your site should already be in Google's favor, so you can utilize this authority even more and get rankings a lot more easily. Life is good at this stage!
It can often be a lot easier to get from $100 per month to $500 than it is from $0 to $100, and this is done by scaling.
The best way to do it is to sign up to Semrush for a month or even a day (they have a 7 day free trial last I checked), and find out what your competitors are ranking for. Some of these keywords will be perfect for you and you will likely be able to rank just as well as them.
If you can't afford Semrush yet and there's no free trial, or you don't find many competitors, that's fine. You can scale by just adding more content that keyword tools offer you, or by browsing forums and Quora. You can also take advantage of the other tips in post 6, such as jumping from page 2 to 1.
Action Steps: Use SemRush to identify new content ideas and content that you can improve for quick wins. Keep building links, but scale your income by growing your reach wider and improving your existing content.
Post 7: Key Takeaway – Selling vs Keeping Is A Personal Decision
There's no rule to dictate whether you should keep your site or flip it. It really depends on your own personal situation and whether or not you want to start a new site. What would you do with the money if you kept the site? What would you do with it if you sold it?
Action Steps: Make a list of all the pros and cons of selling your site, and read the blogs on FE International and Empire Flippers to get more insights.
Well that's it! Documenting this has been quite the journey and it's got me excited for building and ranking new sites, which I will be happy to document too.
If you have any questions, leave comments on this post, or on the posts relevant to your question. Don't forget to join our Facebook Group too!