Recently, I discovered that there are people... apparently alot of them... who make a living on the internet with something called "niche sites". Since I was recently laid off from my job, it seemed to me that making money on the internet (instead of what I usually do, which is spend money on the internet) sounded like a good idea. I had always thought such things were hoaxes, not legitimate opportunities to earn a living!
So then, in between job searches, I am working on a couple of web sites that are designed to make money through advertising. Of course, I come at exactly the wrong time. In 2012, it got a lot harder to make a living this way when Google decided that it was only right for large retailers to make money online and started squeezing out individual marketers. Of course, alot of those were junk pages anyway, but still.
So... Goal: Make $10k/year through selling advertising on my web site. (Not this one!)
How does it work?
How do web sites make money? By hosting ads, mostly by Google, because they pay the most, but there are also other ways, such as Yahoo/Bing's new ad venture (ha! ad venture). There are also affiliate sales, such as Amazon and Clickbank. I will be trying all of these.
Now, just having ads is not enough. You also need people to come look at the ads and click on them! How do you get people to see your page? When you think about it, you create a page... you give it links leading out, but there are no links leading in... so how do people find it? Yes... SEARCH ENGINES!
You can write the best material or sell the most amazing items at the lowest prices, or show the most beautiful naked women, but if no one knows you are there, you will never see any traffic on your site! The only way to get traffic is to show up when people search for stuff. And not just show up, but show up on the first page. Better yet, at the number 1 spot.
Ahhh... but how do you do that? Well, it seems simple enough. You just have to structure your page so that it looks like something that Google (and Yahoo/Bing) like. That's all there is to it. (BTW: Google has 75% of the search market and Yahoo/Bing have 25% or so.) So, I have been doing a great deal of research about this search engine business. The entire set of techniques are called "Search Engine Optimization" or "SEO". This SEO is what the Goog looks at to see what your page is about. The more focused it is, the higher you rank. This is "on-page SEO". Secondly, the Goog looks at how many links there are to your site on the rest of the internet. this is the challenging bit. You have to go out and make an effort to get sites to link to you... but not just any site... oh no... they dont do it that way anymore. Now, you have to have links that Google likes from pages that they like, hosted at sites that they like.
Fine. Then that's what I'll do. I am going to create some useful content that can be helpful to whoever reads my page. I am going to place ads on my page, so that the reader can follow along and go purchase things related to whatever it is that they are looking for. I am going to structure my page so that it shows up on a host of different permutations of my main keyword (there types of keywords are called "long tail".) And, I am going to make money... which is the goal. Making enough money so that in the long run, I can work from home, and not have to have a job to go to everyday.
Eggs (and Bacon) in a Basket... mmmm bacon...
So... if I can ramp up one of my sites to say about $10k/year, which from my research is possible, then I would need just three to five similar sites to round out a good income, which I would eventually like to see somewhere north of $40k/year. Having it spread across several sites is a good idea... too many eggs in one basket is killing me right now.
But... that brings up another point. Many niche marketers make all of their money from Adsense. This is a real issue. If you have 200 sites bring in $250k/year, but all of them generate revenue mainly by Adsense, then, in reality, all of your eggs are in one basket... and much like a 9-5 job at the office, the basket belongs to someone else.
I will try to keep you informed as I go along building these niches. And (BTW) I am not, for now, going to be doing any backlinking for this blog. And I will only optimize the page itself to the degree necessary to function. So... if you find this page and are interested in how it goes, feel free to follow along and make comments and whatnot. If, God willing, I become a niche entrepreneur, perhaps I will monetize this blog with ads and SEO and its own domain. But for now, it is what it is. A place for me to write down the journey.
So, let it be written. So, let it be done.