Do you know what all money making niche sites have in common? There's one secret to all of them besides having a good backlinking structure.
They all were created with a good content strategy right from the beginning. The content strategy is what determines whether a niche site has the potential to earn money, it even makes it easier to build backlinks to the niche site.
While a content strategy isn't only relevant for niche sites but also for almost any other type of website, I want to focus on niche sites in this article - as there's a special need to have the optimal content. Please do not confuse the content strategy with copywriting, market research or SEO optimization. Those are parts of the content strategy which I'll explain in detail in separate posts.
If you want to learn more about SEO, I highly recommend that you go through this SEO analysis of KISSmetrics. Ok, back to topic.
Basically the content structure is what ensures that you have enough relevant content for your site. It structures the site and thus is important to allow users to easily navigate through your site.
Purpose Of A Content Strategy
Having a content strategy is critical if you're creating a niche site. Normally the creation process starts with keyword research to find the overall topic and the main keyword for the site.
But do you know what step to take next after you actually found a keyword with the potential to be monetized? You need to plan the content for the website. You'll figure out how many posts you could write targeting the keyword and how many posts about related topics you can create.
If you decided that you could write a reasonable amount of relevant content, most people make the mistake of directly creating the content. They don't realize that they subconsciously started working on the content strategy - thus they don't finish it.
The content strategy is more than just estimating the number of posts you could write about the main keyword and related keywords. It serves several purposes:
- The content strategy ensures that you have enough relevant content
- The content strategy structures the niche site and helps the user to navigate through the content
- The content strategy shows ways to monetize the website (product reviews, random text with ads, etc.)
- The content strategy helps you to get clear about the creation process
- The content strategy shows you whether to outsource creation or not
Those are the main reason why you should always create a content strategy.
Creating And Implementing A Content Strategy
I want to outline five easy to follow steps that will guide you to your content strategy. I've used this process myself over and over again and niche websites like my shinsupport.com site still rank #1 months after being created with this process (I won't link to it here since Google may treat the link as not natural - why should a business blog link to a running site?).
1. Finding The Main Keyword
To create a website you'll need to do keyword research. I'm using Long Tail Pro, a keyword tool created by niche site guru Spencer Haws. I highly recommend using it, but you can do the competition analysis in the free Google Keyword Planner yourself. It's more difficult, but it's free.
Make sure that the keyword you chose has the potential to earn you money, don't waste time targeting a non-profitable niche. I wrote a post on doing keyword research, where you can find more information and helpful advice.
2. Find Related Keywords
There are very few cases where one keyword is enough to build a profitable niche website. Usually niche websites get traffic from a variety of related keywords.
This is why it's critical to do more keyword research on related keywords and to include at least 10 of them in your content strategy.
In this step, you need to get clear about the needs of your target audience. Who do you want to visit the website? What questions do they have and how do you answer them?
Now you know two questions that can serve as a starting point. Put some thinking into this step, it will pay off later.
3. Structure The Content
The next step in creating your content strategy is actually structuring the content. Get clear on menu items and hierarchies in the information.
If you're using WordPress get clear about which keywords you want to target with pages and which keywords will be targeted with posts. This is also where media comes into play.
Now is also the point to prioritize the content creation process. Are there trends that you can ride?
4. Content Creation
Once you're clear about the content structure, hierarchy and priority, can start creating the content. Here you've got 2 options.
4.1. Create The Content Yourself
If you're creating your content yourself, this is what you want to do:
- Install a SEO plugin to your WordPress to ensure the content quality
- Write the actual content, focusing on your audience
- Optimize the content for search engines
- Include media supporting the content
- Research outbound links and include those
- Organize the content with categories and tags
- Publish the content
4.2 Outsourcing The Content Creation
Outsourcing the content creation is a path that lots of niche site creators follow these days. It seems to be easy, just hire somebody to write all the contents and then watch the website rank (sometimes even without backlink building).
I'm sorry, but outsourcing content creation for niche sites isn't as easy as you might think. Here are some things to consider before you hire a contractor:
- Make sure the contractor has skills in SEO, copywriting and WordPress
- Explain the goal for your text and make sure the contractor understands it
- Make sure the contractor REALLY understands your requirements and doesn't just say "Yes" to get hired
- Agree on a fair price and a deadline (a good article might cost up to $20)
- Check the text and ensure all requirements are met
- Make the contractor fix missing requirements
- Organize the content in categories and tags
- Publish the content on your site
Outsourcing isn't an easy process in itself and content creation is a tricky example. Contractors will give their best to convince you that they understood your requirements. They're good at it - and it's your task to find the one contractor that really fits your project.
I'm not saying that outsourcing is a bad way to go. I'm hiring contractors for some niche sites myself - in fact I've got a few contractors I'm working with on several projects.
But be careful if you don't have any experience with outsourcing!
5. Promoting The Content
The last step in this process of creating and implement a content strategy on a niche site is promoting the content.
Your best content is useless if nobody is visiting your site, right? So make sure that you've got people coming to your site.
One way to promote your content on a niche site is social media. It doesn't have to be under your name, you could easily create a Facebook page and automate updates via Buffer.
The trick is to find the networks where your target audience is spending time and marketing to them in their voice.
Of course backlinking is another very popular way to promote your content. Instead of explaining all the different techniques you can use, I'd like to point you to this free awesome resource of Point Blank SEO. Those guys did a terrific job on creating a filterable list with 100+ techniques.
Ok, now you know the most essential steps I'm using to create the content strategies for my niche sites. In my coaching program I'm teaching these steps in every single detail, explaining each step I make when creating a successful niche site. If you're interested, you can apply by using my contact form. I promise that I'll get back to you within two days. It's no standard process, my coaching is specifically taylored to the needs of every single student, be assured that I'll do my best to teach you everything I know!
I hope this article gave you insights that you can use to take your niche websites to the next level. If you know a friend who's creating niche site and who would benefit from reading this, do him or her a favor and forward this article.