Niche Designer

An Exploration of Niche Site Design and Development

Niche Template

I have created a template system for new niche sites that I make. I’ve used this method on the last few sites I have created and it works great for me. My system isn’t fully automated like a site generator. Instead its a matter of copying a small template for each page and entering my own articles into each page. This way I have genuine content without spending extra time to code it. This system also has a contact, links, about page, plus an auto-generated sitemap. So far, its working out well for me, so I thought I would share my system with my readers. You can see the template at work on my MRSA website. Read the rest of this entry »


$1 Domain Names

Dotster is having a domain name registration “Happy Hour” tomorrow (Feb. 14th) at 4pm Eastern. During that hour you can get a .com/.net/.org name registered for just $1. The trick is that you can’t get more than 1 $1 domain per order. However, you can make unlimited numbers of orders. I only hope Dotster is capable of handeling the high volume of traffic. If they are, then this should indeed be a fun hour.

Note: If you plan on getting some $1 domains you might want to start checking the Dotster website earlier than 4 eastern tomorrow. Although that is their published time to start, 4 doesn’t seem to correlate with their countdown clock on their homepage. Unless I got my timezone calculations wrong, which is possible… According to world clock its 7:30 Eastern right now and their countdown says 1 day 2 hours 30 minutes, does that sound right?


Keyword Difficulty Tool

I am loving this keyword difficulty tool. You type in a keyword and it will tell you how difficult it will be to rank well in that term. And instead of confusing numbers, it gives you an answer in graphical format.
Keyword Difficulty Tool Results

You can try it for yourself below: webmaster tool

This site also has other neat tools like the google cache dance, which will let you see when the next update of your cache will happen, or you can check to see if you are banned by google.


Wallpaper Site and 3 New Tools

I have just finished my first niche site that includes Peakclick as a method of monotization. I made a site about Wholesale Wallpaper with RSSG (really simple site generator). RSSG is a free site generator that is open source. I have never used any of the site generators that cost money, but I must say I rather liked RSSG. In the future I will offer templates to use with RSSG and also additional modules, etc.

For this site I used Peakclick RSS to add filler content that will keep my pages fresh. I found that Peakclick paid about 4 – 5 cents for a click with the keyword “wallpaper”. This might sound terrible, but Adsense usually pays less than 10 cents for this keyword. Also, other keywords do make more (although I don’t think they have any keywords that get over $2.00 bids). I wouldn’t stop using Adsense or YPN and use peakclick instead. But I don’t think that’s what peakclick is meant to do. It is a nice way to add RSS content that can make you a little extra money.

I actually used 3 new tools for this site: RSSG, PeakClick, and Orwell. Orwell is a great piece of software! I found out about it over at the Niche Marketing Mastermind Forum. Basically, its like an article browser. You to go certain article sites with the software and search for your keyword, when you find an article you like, it saves all the information for you. You can save it as a .txt or .html. I used it tonight to find wallpaper articles for my Wallpapersite and it was actually fun to use. I didn’t want to stop finding articles, it is addictive! Be warned. Plus it’s free, can’t get any better than that.


Keyword Research Methods

One of the most important steps in niche site building is keyword research. You can have the best design, best content, but if you pick poor keywords you simply won’t get the traffic you deserve. One option is to spend money on a keyword subscription. I prefer to do things for myself. I think it’s also beneficial to find your own keywords because then you don’t have to compete against the other members who are using the same keywords. Here are the steps I go through when I research keywords.
Read the rest of this entry »


My Blog Log

 Sign up for

There are lots of stats programs out there that tell you how many visitors are going to your website and where they are coming from. But recently I found a blog stats program called MyBlogLog that also tells you what links your readers are clicking on. This is valuable information because you can experiment with what location gives you the highest click-thru rates. It’s very simple to install and there is both a free version and a pro version.


PeakClick + Dreamhost = SimpleXML

I was anxious to start using PeakClick so I could give it a useful review. However, I came across an obstacle in implementing their feed. My host, Dreamhost, has file() disabled as a safety against hacking. This means that to use the PeakClick feed on Dreamhost, you need to use cURL (a php function).

The problem is that I would imagine many people who use these kinds of PPC feeds don’t know much about php and just copy and paste what PeakClick gives them. That’s certainly what I tried to do at first. Remember that customer service I spoke of that PeakClick prides themselves on so much that they make it a main selling point? Well, their exact reply to my problem was “there is most likely a bug in your script with curl, please try to debug it.” Granted, I understand it’s not their job to teach me php, but I was hoping for many a little snippet of code or atleast a resourceful link. So I decided to look for another solution to my problem.

What I found was SimpleXML. Its a great, easy way to integrate XML without any hard work. You don’t even have to know anything about php. The one requirement is that your server is running php 5. For Dreamhost this is no problem, simply go to “manage domains” and then edit your domain and click the “PHP 5” option. Then just add the SimpleXML code into your webpage wherever you want the PeakClick feed to appear. Here is the complete code:

result as $result )
foreach($result->record as $record)
#### This part determines how the results look ####
echo "<div id=\"record\">";
echo "<a href=\"" . $record->click . "\">";
echo "<h3> " . $record->title . "</h3>";
echo " <dl ><dt>" . $record->thumbnail . "</dt> <dd>" . $record->description . "</dd></dl>";
echo "</a>";
echo "</div>";

It’s really so easy. The only part you would need to change is the output. You’d probably want to style the way it looks but that can easily be done with style sheets. And you can change anything in the “echo” statements to suite your needs.


Useful Tools

I was reading through Work Online From Home and found a link to a very useful tool for niche site builders. If you are looking for a way to get quality backlinks to your niche sites, Backlink Builder can help you find sites in your theme that has a place to add a link. Many of them require links as well, but I think this could still be effective. This site also has a keyword playground to find keywords, a density checker, and lots of other useful tools all in one place.


Million Dollar Experiment

Recently I stumbled upon Steve Pavlina‘s website and began reading a few of his articles. I am amazed that he writes such quality and quantity. He has so many insightful articles that I don’t think I’ll ever read them all, yet each article is truly quality content. He’s also running this Million Dollar Experiment on his site right now. Anyone can participate in the experiment, and all you have to do is intend to gain $1M and daily reinforce that intention. The full intention is as follows.

In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all, I intend $1,000,000 to come into my life and into the lives of everyone who holds this intention.

It’s not a chant that magically brings you money. Instead, you are allowing yourself to believe it will happen, thus you are more likely to take steps daily to make it happen. I have noticed that it helps me remain positive and become more aggressive about my goal. Plus the first day I began with the intention I saw a 600% increase in my revenue, so maybe that was a good “sign” that it works.


My Google Nightmare

My fist niche site I built was my Spinning Information site. I got the idea to do it because I take spinning classes, which I love, and in the past I was looking for information and could find no good information online about spinning. So, it’s a topic I actually know about, and care about. I wrote my articles myself, took great care with the site, and was thrilled when google picked it up about 2 weeks after creating it. One of my pages went the front page of google for its keyword, I got great traffic, and great adsense money. But after just a few short days on google’s front page I disappeared. My site was still there when I searched and my results weren’t showing up as supplemental. So I freaked. I used copyscape and removed any slight possibility of duplicate content. (At first I used 2 pages from wikipedia for the “about spinning” section). I also submited a reclusion request to google, hoping that could fix the problem.

Since then my site still isn’t on google. Its on msn, thankfully, and doing “ok.” I know I’ll make atleast $1 a day on it, and usually more like $2, somedays $6 or so. So I can survive without google, but it was soo sweet to have google traffic. I didn’t have to worry, I always knew that I would have a smiling face when looking at my adsense report. I would really like to be back in the google index, and I’m willing to make any changes to the site that are necessary.

Well, today I get an email back from google about my reclusion request. Here is what it said:

Your page has been blocked from our index because it does not meet the qualitystandards necessary to assign accurate PageRank. We cannot comment on the individual reasons your page was removed. However, certain actions such as cloaking, writing text in such a way that it can be seen by search engines but not by users, or setting up pages/links with the sole purpose of fooling search engines may result in permanent removal from our index.

Atleast they responded and now I know what I’m dealing with. But now my problem is – what’s wrong with my site? From the beginning I wanted it to be a truely informational site that is “quality.” I have looked at it and looked at it. No cloaking. I don’t even know how to cloak. All my text is visible. I checked this because sometimes I will do image replacement for my titles or logos, but I didn’t do that here. This is the site in question and more specifcally this page. If anyone else can find anything about my site that they believe would get it blocked from google I would be eternally thankful. Any ideas?


Sponsored Link (click for more information)
70% payout every 15 days plus advanced stats analysis and lots of options to generate money.
Sponsored Link (click for more information)
Get detailed statistics on your blog.
Sponsored Link (click for more information)
With Dreamhost you get unlimited domains and subdomains hosted, 20GB Space and 1TB of Transfer for $7.95/mo.