Niche Designer

An Exploration of Niche Site Design and Development

Niche Marketing

Niche Sites as Passive Income

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

It’s been a long time since I have posted or put much work into my niche sites. I have been extremely busy with my day job the past few years, and my niche sites have been badly neglected. Lately, especially with the economy in it’s current state, I have thought about ratcheting up my efforts and actually putting *some* time into my poor sites.

The good news is that for the past years, even though I have spent MAYBE a few hours total updating a few things every couple months, my sites have continued to bring home a nice passive income stream. My little neglected sites even managed to pay for part of my wedding and all of my awesome, all-inclusive, super-plush honeymoon. Sweet, right?

The truth is I put A LOT of effort into the sites when I first created them. I spent hours and hours researching how to perfectly optimize my sites for maximum profits. The huge work load on the front end has meant years of easy money for me. Plus, the recent panic about MRSA in the news helped out quite a bit! It taught me how important it is to start on a topic during the time period when the rest of the world says “huh?” when I say MRSA. Sure, It didn’t make a killing the first year, but after the super-bug was plastered all over CNN for days, I was patting myself on the back for my coincidental foresight.


Saturday, June 24th, 2006

Another way to help keep your RSSGM site in good graces with search engines is to block spiders from scanning your RSSGM folder. This can be done by creating (or editing) a robots.txt in your root directory. Enter the following code into your robots file:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /RSSGM/

This way spiders don’t realize your site is an RSSG site, and doesn’t label it as spam.

RSSGM Templates

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

RSSGM (Really Simple Site Generator, Modified) is a great tool to create large websites in a short amount of time. However, the template that it comes with not only lacks seo-optimization and originality, but it can also penalize you in the search engines. Some people use RSSGM to create really spammy, poor quality sites. These sites often use the default template. So lets say you create a non-spam RSSGM site with great, original content but you use the default template. What happens? The search engines automatically assume your site is spam because it already knows the default template’s patterns and equates it with poor quality. Fortunately, there is an easy fix to this problem- don’t use the default template. If you’re short on time, or not a web designer, then you can buy an RSSGM template for just $9.00 at All of the templates are search engine optimized and all have a proven high click through rate design.

How to Get Highly Targeted Traffic

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006
  1. Good Keywords. Before you even begin creating your site or writing articles, take time to research kewords. If you spend a little time researching in the beginning, you can save yourself time and frustration in the end. It is much easier to get traffic for a topic with little competition. Also remember that subtle differences in keywords can make a huge difference (like plural or singular). You can use this GoogleDuel tool to help you pick between 2 keywords.
  2. Search Engine Optimization. Write keyword dense content, write optimized title tags, use headers, alt text, etc. This topic is huge so I won’t go into the details at this time.
  3. Article Submission. Take your best article from your site, change it a little, or cut it so that it’s slightly different, and submit it to EzineArticles, GoArticles, and SearchWarp. I have found these 3 to be the best article submission directories. You could spend your time submitting to hundreds of articles site, but I think it would be a waste of time. These articles site probably won’t give you much traffic while your article count is low, but they will give you quality links into your site, which an important aspect in increasing your search engine traffic.
  4. Links. Backlinks to your site play a big role in where your site falls on the search engine results page. Although quantity of links isn’t as important for google, it does seem to make a big difference for MSN. Spend a short time getting links from other sites that are related to your site. You can use the Backlink Builder tool to find links. I wouldn’t waste my time on spammy directory links though, they could actually harm you.
  5. Anchor Text. When asking another website to link to you, take some time to consider your anchor text, the text that appears underlined as a link. Use your #1 keyword term, which you have already thouroughly researched, as the anchor text to your homepage. Also get a few links into your backpages using their own specific keyword terms. I have found anchor text to be especially important for MSN search rankings. You can check your anchor text using this Anchor Text Backlink Checker.
  6. Forums. Search the internet for forums in your niche topic. Once you have found the best forums, read some of the posts to get an idea for your target audience wants. Is there any information they are especially hungry for? What topics to they discuss the most? This type of research can give you ideas for new content and how to present the content you already have. However, forums aren’t just good for research, they are also a great place to get links. Set up your signature so that it puts your website link (which good anchor text) in your signature. Then search the forum until you find a topic you discuss on your website. Try to offer advice and information. But don’t sell your site, you don’t want to be kicked out of the forum. If your posts are informative, you will get some traffic from the forum, but most importantly you’ll get another backlink to your site.

YPN Disappointment

Thursday, March 16th, 2006

I was excited when YPN was released because competition is always beneficial for any market. I also thought it would give niche marketers an alternative to Adsense. However, I am feeling utterly disappointed and frustrated with YPN. I started putting YPN on a few sites about a month ago. At first I got RON (“Run of Network”) ads, which was expected for the first 48 hours. A week later a few of my pages were serving quasi-semi-relavent ads… half of the time. Though the majority of my pages were still serving RON ads. I was annoyed, but kept YPN for a while longer just in hope. (more…)

Visual Design Stats

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

I love statistics. There is nothing more helpful then data telling you what works and what doesn’t. So I love trying out new statistics programs. Crazy Egg is like no statistics program I have seen. It allows you to track where on your design users click. I think this is going to be great for niche site developers because now we can see where people click and improve our site design to generate even more revenue. It works kind of like eyetracker research, except that it tracks mouse clicks and represents them either on a heatmap or in graphical format:

Crazy Egg Heat Map Graphical Representation of Clicks

I don’t think they are allowing any more beta testers at this time, but the official launch is set for mid-April. I’ll be sure to post with an update when their service is available.

How to Earn Money with Affiliate Links

Monday, March 13th, 2006

Typically the fist and easiest way to monitize AIS or Niche Sites is with Google Adsense. However, It is important to not stop there. There will be days when Adsense goes crazy and there will be keywords that just don’t convert well Adsense-wise. That’s why I believe affiliate links are an integral part in creating niche sites that make money. Here’s how you can optimize affiliate links to generate a big pay-off:

Amazon Store Template

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

With Amazon Web Services you can create an amazon store on your own website. This way you can sell amazon products and make money with Amazon Associates. I have found Amazon to be a great way to make make money.

Free .info Domain Names

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

You can get free .info domain names from 1&1 right now. There is a limit of 5 per customer and you can only register new .info’s (not transfer old ones).

Search Engine Click Conversion

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

High Google ranking is usually the holy grail of SEO. After my google nightmare I gave up on google. Instead I turned my attention to MSN. Why? Because my efforts pay off with MSN. Soon after creating a site or page, it gets ranked in MSN. If I put a little extra effort, I can easily make it into the first page of MSN. Additionally, I always had a feeling MSN traffic clicked more ads than google ads. I can nearly count my clicks by counting my MSN search strings. But I don’t have an adsense tracker installed, so there was no way for me to know for sure if MSN converted better than other search engines. Now, the Web analytics firm WebSideStory has confirmed my suspicions. Their experiment returned the following conversion data:

AOL traffic 6.17%
MSN traffic 6.03%
Yahoo traffic 4.07%
Google traffic 3.83%

A nearly double conversion rate is huge. Why the difference? Their conclusions included “With portals rich in content and services, AOL, MSN and Yahoo may tend to appeal toward a more buyer friendly demographic. Google, meanwhile, may appeal to more browsers – those with less of an intent to buy.” Personally, I have long regarded the MSN/AOL users as less technically oriented than Google users. It is possible more technical users are blind to ads. I think more than anything this proves that you shouldn’t put all your egg’s into one basket just because that basket is the biggest.

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