Criteria For Successful Niche Websites

August 13, 2013 7 mins to read

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m infected with the virus of creating niche websites.

In fact, right after I finished my challenge, I started doing researching keywords to create four additional niche websites. People like Spencer Haws and Pat Flynn are really inspiring me and they show that it’s possible to earn money with niche sites. What makes me most excited about niche websites is the possibility to make 100% passive income!

Since the keyword research is crucial to find a profitable niche, I decided to furthermore reveal the EXACT criteria I’m going to use for my next niche websites. You need to know that the keyword research is deciding whether you can make money with your site or not. I started making money with Google Adsense and it did quite well. But I could earn at least the double amount of money if I considered keyword targeting right from the beginning.

Since I want you to replicate my success and to start earning money online, I’ll guide you through the process I’m using when I do keyword research in preparation for niche websites.

You might say, damn you created only one niche website, what makes you an expert for keyword research?

Well, you’re right when you only consider the amount of my niche sites. But that niche site is on Google’s #1, as Carlie Hamiltons comment beneath my review post proves. Not only that, my Yodelay iPhone app also shows, that I’m ranking #1 for my main keyword.

You can see several interesting facts in this graphic that I’m going to explain in this post. But for now that screenshot should show to you, that I successfully ranked that page at number one in Google.

If you’re still not convinced, I revealed my methods to increase website traffic for this blog. 60% of my current traffic comes from search engines, which are exactly 2.996 visitors from Google so far in this month!

Niche Websites Need Free Traffic!

Especially niche websites need free traffic from search engines. There are lots of strategies for driving traffic to your websites, you could use blog hopping, social media, videos, paid ads and of course traffic from search engines.

And the latter one is most important for building money making niche websites!

First of all, traffic from search engine result pages (SERPs) is totally PASSIVE! Since you’re targeting keywords with a quite low competition, you won’t need lots of SEO efforts to make your sites rank well in Google. You do the SEO stuff once and than let it rank, it’s no magic here.

It’s actually simple, the higher your website ranks in Google, the more traffic you’ll get.

Every other method listed isn’t passive – and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Would it make sense to constantly comment on blogs, use social media or publish videos when you want to get passive income? Of course not!

And even worse, why would you ever pay for ads to drive traffic to your niche websites? The sites shall EARN money, not force you to spent money.

So free Google traffic will be the main traffic source for my niche websites and I recommend that you plan your niche websites similar.

We’ll use Long Tail Pro, that tool will make it easy for you to analyze the SEO competition in Google.

Criteria Of My Next For Niche Websites

I already told you, that I used broad keyword research for my first niche website and that I want to use exact match research for the next niche websites – to show you the differences. But Long Tail Pro got a new update which disabled the differentiations between the various search types. Google will disable the Keyword Tool in a few months and replace it with a new tool called Keyword Planner. Long Tail Pro already adapted this change, so that you’re safe for the future, get more exact results and don’t get confused with the different search types.

Search Volume

So when I create niche websites, I always search for keywords with a local search volume of at least 3.000 monthly searches, preferably higher. My new keywords have 12.100 to 27.100 monthly local searches in the US.

This way I can assure to get lots of traffic, when I manage to rank those niche websites high. It’s important that you only consider the local search volume and don’t get distracted by the global searches. Google ranks sites differently based on your location, that’s why you always should focus on one single country and take traffic from other countries as nice side-effect.


The Cost-per-Click decides, how much you can make when your visitors click on your ads.

Though you don’t get the whole amount, because that’s the amount the advertiser pays to Google.

I calculate with 60-70% of the CPC and I only target keywords with a CPC higher than 1€. The new niche websites will have CPCs between 1€ and 2.50€, so they should earn a decent amount of money.

One problem I have on this blog is the really low, and this way I don’t make as much money as I could. I didn’t consider the CPC when I wrote my first posts and my most visited post displays ads, that earn an average of less than 0.60€ per click.

To be honest, it really maddens me that I didn’t know about this factor earlier. Please consider the CPC when you write a new post, so that you don’t leave money on the table!


The competitiveness is most important and decides whether your niche website will rank in the top three or not. Here is the function that I really love about Long Tail Pro, it automatically analyzes the competition in Googles Top Ten. You don’t need to worry about all pages that target your keyword, your just competing with the top ten!

I go with the recommendations of the most respected specialist for niche websites, Spencer Haws. He is the creator of Long Tail Pro and builds niche websites for several years.

He recommends to go only with keywords that have a keyword competitiveness below 30. Long Tail Pro calculates this feature only in the Platinum version that requires a monthly fee of $19. It’s definitely worth the investment, the first successful niche website will pay that fee!

My new niche websites have a keyword competitiveness from 24 – 29, so everything should be fine. I won’t do anything about off-site SEO for those sites, we’ll see how they go 😉

Content Creation

The content creation is outsourced to experienced writers. It’s quite cheap to do this, though you’ll need to give them detailed instructions how you want them to create the content.

In the Niche Websites Blueprint I’ll reveal my detailed job instructions to you, so I recommend that you sign up to the early bird mailing list.

Basically I’m telling them, how many texts to create, their length and their structure. It’s something that evolved over time and that I learned from a very successful friend of mine in the US.

He owns 100+ niche websites, studies at Haas School of Business in Berkeley and earns enough passive income to finish his studies without any debts! Yay for niche websites!

Future Plans

As you might guess, those niche websites won’t be my only ones when they start earning money 😉

I love the idea of building multiple passive income streams and I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Be sure to sign up to my newsletter, so that you get the latest updates right into your inbox. And of course leave a comment if you’ve got something to say, I’m looking forward to hear your thoughts!

Keep it on,


12 Comments on “Criteria For Successful Niche Websites”

  1. Hi Jan
    That’s a very good article you’ve created and puts a very focused approach on niche site selection.
    Over the years I’ve studied several alternatives about niche websites, the latest being on creating affiliate mini-sites using exact match domain names and then creating a quick 3-page site, one of which is an information page that is highly optimized towards the keywords in the domain.
    I created a site a few months ago using this very simple strategy, and I’m working on another two as I write. I’ll just put these sites up, and let them get ranked.
    Now, exact match domain names have been frowned upon in the past, but guess what … they still work!
    It’s very important to also add a Privacy/Terms/Disclaimer page, and FTC compliance page.
    The final step in the procedure is getting backlinks. And I’ve found the „holy grail“! Amazing information from a young guy who has been at this stuff for a few years. There’s a lot more to backlinking than meets the eye, but it is essential to get high rankings quickly.

    Hope this helps. Because you gave a lot in your post I thought I’d respond the same way.

    All the best with your business.


    1. Hi Des,

      thank you so much for this awesome comment!
      People should consider this as a stand-alone post, you’re sharing so much information!

      I also considered building small sites for affilliate products and actually I’m doing this with the upcoming Authority Blog Profits (though it’s a small blog and no niche website). Since that product isn’t up for sale and I’m getting information from the creator, I’m in a very comfortable situation having a headstart 😉

      This is a strategy I’ll explain later, I first want to validate that idea and learn more about affiliate marketing.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. hi Jan

    Wow, 12k queries a month for a keyword with little competition is quite impressive… I guess you’ve spent some time looking for it, is it?

    I wonder…

    Do you have any plans to be transparent with your domain and earnings once it starts making passive income or anytime soon as Spencer does with some of his niche blogs? 🙂

    Also, I’d love to hear more about your friend (the guy owning 100+ niche sites)… I’m a niche site builder myself (I built 300+ niche blogs/aged domain names, mostly in the health industry) so I’m always looking to meet new niche specialists and brainstorm together for new ideas and methods of operating…

    Does it make sense?

    1. Hi John,

      thank you for stopping by!

      I spent maybe 6 or 7 hours on the keyword research, 12k is the keyword with the smallest search volume, the others have 27k 😉

      For these sites I won’t share the domain and keywords, because they’ll be monetized with Google Adsense. Spencer doesn’t share his niche sites monetized with Adsense as well. I’m scared that Google treats sharing them on this blog as unnatural promotion and I don’t want to risk a penalty.

      Maybe I’ll create an affiliate niche site like Des suggested in his comment and then I’ll share domain and keyword for that site.

      Of course I’ll include the Adsense earnings in my income reports, so that people can see how good the sites perform.

      I’ll ask my friend whether he’s interested in meeting you. He doesn’t want to get his name out in the public, because he’s planning to start a career as consultant after he finished his studies. That’s why I don’t share any page or other information. I’ll sent him your contact information if that’s ok with you.

      All the best!

  3. Hi Jan,
    Thanks for a really informative article. Des‘ response is very intriguing as well! I think you’ve got a good criteria here, and I’m sure you’ve seen some of the suggestions Pat Flynn has offered up recently. I’m not sure if those fit the scope of what you’d like to accomplish with these, so I will sign up to learn more about your plans.

    I’m going to re-read your article on making money with Google AdSense because in one year I’ve made $4 USD, and I’d like to see what the most current thinking is out there about it. So far I’m not finding much, so that may be an opportunity for you to explore … cheers!

    1. Hi Nick,
      yeah, I’ve seen Pat’s criteria for his Niche Site Duel 2. They are pretty similar, basically it’s all about having a decent search volume, a good CPC and low competition – and everybody defines these criteria based on what works best for himself.

      Google Adsense is heavily discussed for the use on blogs, but for niche sites it’s still one of the biggest monetizing methods. Of course there are other ad networks, affiliate marketing and even selling your own products to a very specific niche (though that would probably require a big site). For me, it’s simply one of the easiest ways to earn money, that’s why I’m using Adsense. I’ll aggregate the thoughts of others as well to provide a comprehensive image of the current situation, thanks for this idea 🙂

      Thanks for signing up, that will definitely bring you some more information about my niche websites!

      All the best!

  4. Andrew
    August 15, 2013

    You are a machine Jan. You are keeping a eye on all the right people (spencer, pat, ibm etc..)

    1. Thanks Andrew,

      I try my best to stay up to date 😉

  5. Dodd Walsh
    August 18, 2013

    Really love your website. I am a new website owner and I have been leveraging a lot of the information that you have provided.

    1. Hi Dodd,

      thanks for stopping by, I’m glad that you like my site 🙂
      Let me know if you need help with anything!

      Best regards,

  6. Wow, sounds like you have been busy with creating your product and taking care of your blog.

    I know that niche sites can be an extremely profitable business. I used to be in that niche as well. The program that you are working on definitely seems like it is going to help a lot of people.

    Is your program going to be a membership site with videos? How are you going to be teaching people about niche sites?

    1. Hi Susan,

      thanks for sharing your experience, it makes me confident that I can earn some money with niche sites 🙂

      My program is going to include video interviews with entrepreneurs like Caleb Wojcik, Andrew Warner, Gary Vaynerchuk and others, checklists and step-by-step guides and a private mastermind group. I’m doing this together with Josh Taylor and we’ll mentor young entrepreneurs together.

      For the niche sites, I’m going to create a blueprint which contains checklists for keyword research, exact job descriptions to outsource the writing and guides how to set up a WordPress with a special theme and Google Adsense. I want to enable every person to create successful niche sites, especially those without technical experience 🙂

      All the best!

Leave a comment

Lass uns KI einfach machen

In nur 20 Minuten zu Deinem eigenen KI Bot – ich zeige Dir wie es geht. Trage Deine E-Mail Adresse unten ein und ich schicke Dir die Video-Anleitung zu!