How to create a great niche content site?


I think I've recently discovered a niche with several high-traffic keywords, that doesn't have a good source of content ranking for it. I intend to create a content site for this niche, and I'm looking for suggestions on how to best do it. To be clear, my priorities are:

  1. Serve the audience in this niche with high-quality content.
  2. Minimize my opportunity costs by not spending a ton of time on this site. (Automation and evergreen content is key.)
  3. Monetize ethically, providing value to myself and visitors.

The current plan is to register a domain for it, set up Wordpress, start writing articles, aggregate content others have produced (legally; roundups w/ exerpts or video embedding or link lists, not scraping), build links, and eventually monetize through affiliate sales of relevant products (e.g. well-reviewed books on Amazon about the subject).

What tips do you have for setting this up, managing it, promoting it, and monetizing it? Edit: I'm looking for specific tactics, the little details that make a big difference. I know how to do each of the things I talk about above, but I haven't executed on each of them for this purpose before.

Inbound Marketing Monetization Affiliate Niche Content

asked Mar 12 '10 at 11:39
Jay Neely
6,050 points

4 Answers


You seem to have a very executable plan already - go for it!

The idea sounds similar to what Mahalo is doing - check out this interview with Jason Calacanis. There is plenty of niches to be filled.


For setting up - There are hosted Wordpress solutions. Fast and easy.

For managing it - Best to do it yourself in the beginning - but when it gets complex enough, you can always hire help.

For promoting it - Since you're targeting high traffic keywords - you're gearing yourself towards Google traffic - just don't get banned and you'd be alright. Having fresh content on a daily basis also helps a lot.

For monetizing it - Ad links, or premium service like Mixergy Don't know which "niche" you are targeting, so, it's very hard to advise (also not sure of what leg work you have done so far - you may already have done the following) - but here are some spectacular things I've observed over on projects over the past year to work out really well.

1) Have an iPhone page / app - You've probably read Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point (and his other wonderful books) - if you are in a specific niche - it is very likely to reach the "influencers" in that niche via the iPhone app. Personal anecdote - having seen an app reach a few thousand downloads - but the corresponding website saw a multiple of that growth (no other marketing until later). For a while, the influencers/mavens are being curious on the app store - and open minded, as they are looking for opportunities - this is the best time to reach them. Mavens love "discovering" and sharing what they've discovered.

Next wave of that is coming in with the iPad.

2) Physical connection still matters. Being able to meet people in the particular space still creates the best reference buzz. If you're developing content and niche for a particular space - and if there are events/conferences for the community - be there in person. The smaller the niche, the more powerful this is - since the community is fragmented, and your content/site would become a sort of reference point. By meeting the group in person, that meeting would be a reference point in the future when your site/brand comes up. Word of mouth is still the unbeatable reference.

All the best!

answered Mar 12 '10 at 14:12
Alex Lam
699 points
  • Sorry Alex, all of that seems much more general than what I'm looking for. As I mention in the beginning, I have a specific niche in mind, I'm not looking to do it for multiple niches like Mahalo. And I'm asking for specific tactics, the little details that make a big difference -- not the basics of hosting Wordpress or including ads. Thanks for your comment, but I'd love to hear some more specific advice. – Jay Neely 14 years ago
  • No worries Jay. Perhaps you'll need to launch it or get in touch with private mentors in the niche who can give you some better insights. I'll add two "big levers" that I've been noticing. – Alex Lam 14 years ago


A few tactics I've discovered since I started looking into this:

  • Using Google Alerts to monitor for news mentions of the keywords I'm targeting is a great way to find content both to get links from and to respond to. Reaction pieces are not only easier to write since they have a built in prompt, but it's usually pretty easy to add value to what a harried news reporter who doesn't have as much expertise on the subject has to say.
  • Hosting a blog carnival gets you links, awareness from blogs related to your niche, and more content you can link to.
  • Spending a few days coming up with 365 'tips' related to the niche allows you to create a "Daily Tip" newsletter people can subscribe to, that could also include links to the 3 most recent pieces of content on your site. This may be value-light, but that's what some people are looking to receive, since it's also effort-light for them.
  • Images are valuable content too. Think about what images related to your niche people will search for (charts, infographics, how-tos, illustrative images, etc.). Post the image with the appropriate keywords in the filename + the alt & title attributes for more search traffic, and provide HTML code for others to use the image with a small link credit to you for more links.
  • If you promote / advertise specific products for affiliate sales, showing customer reviews for that product (from a credible third party source, like Amazon), can increase conversion rates.
answered Mar 15 '10 at 23:18
Jay Neely
6,050 points


Belong to the niche or have close contact with members.

answered Mar 15 '10 at 23:56
Jeff O
6,169 points


There's not really any other way than developing great connections and doing right by the particular community. That usually means getting out there on the front lines (i.e., conferences, local events, etc.) and be laser focused what you're about. Usually, if you're friendly, listen and show good discretion, people tend to open up some. (Alcohol can also help.)

Most of all:


: D

answered Nov 15 '11 at 07:47
131 points

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