AdSense Micro-Niche Site Public Case Study – An Introduction (Part 1)
I’m going to start this case study by pointing out the obvious: Making money online with AdSense-focused niche sites is probably one of the oldest methods around. You can read about it in a million places – much of the information is free, but there are plenty of people looking to make money off teaching you how to create a profitable AdSense niche site.
With that said, I’ve decided to diversify my niche sites a bit, and start creating micro niche sites that are primarily monetized through AdSense. To kick off this new project, I’ve decided to do one site in a fully transparent way – you will see everything I do and every tool I use. By the time I’m done, you’ll be able to replicate my process exactly (whether you choose to or not is up to you).
If you want to jump ahead to the other sections of this case study, here are some links:
- Part 1: Introduction
- Part 2: Research & Initial Setup
- Part 3: Setup, Configuration, & Design
- Part 4: Content & Ad Placement
- Part 5: SEO / Backlinking
- Part 6: Plan for the Future
I already have a few of these sites built, but as you may know, a lot of my sites focus on Amazon’s affiliate program. While I still think that’s a good way to make money, I’m always looking for new projects and ways to add new streams of income.
Before We Begin: My General Thoughts on AdSense Micro-Niche Sites
AdSense sites definitely have a negative image, in general: crappy design and spun, barely unique content, slapped together with a blanket of ads. Many of these sites add no value to the internet, which is a disappointing reality.
With Google’s recent changes, do these micro-niche sites in general have a real future, from an SEO perspective? As I wrote about here, I think these sites (when created properly) can “fly under the radar” due to the fact that they target low traffic, low competition keywords. Now when I say “fly under the radar,” I’m not implying that we’re doing anything malicious or deceptive.
What I mean is, these sites are so insignificant in the grand scheme of the internet that they will often maintain high rankings simply because there is nothing better in the search results (i.e. extremely low competition). And if there is, the creator of the site didn’t do a good job of making the site or page clearly relevant to the keyword.
Now, don’t take this to mean that these sites will always succeed, or even that they will usually succeed. There’s no set success rate that I can quote, but it wouldn’t surprise me if 50% or fewer of these sites actually get good rankings and earn enough to be worth the time and money invested.
With that in mind, the reason I like micro-niche sites is because when you do fail, your cost is minimal. My hope is that by repeating this “exercise,” I’ll become quicker at creating sites and will find ways to reduce costs.
Remember, the ultimate goal is to make money. In order to do that, however, you still need to create a quality site with unique content. These aren’t going to be the most glamorous sites that you’ll instantly bookmark, but in my opinion, if the site’s content reasonably addresses and provides accurate information related to the targeted keyword, it adds value to the internet.
My Goal with This Case Study
Because I don’t consider myself a guru or expert internet marketer, it would be silly for me to run this blog as if I’m one. I’m just like most of you – I have a day job, but I like to work on internet projects like these to build some “side” income that could one day grow into something substantial.
With that said, the purpose of this case study is to show the exact, step by step process used to build a site like this, with nothing left out. I won’t be shooting video, but I will be using screenshots when appropriate. If you’re following along and you feel I’m writing about something you already know well, then just skip it and move onto the next section (I won’t be offended).
There’s no one way to do this. There are going to be a lot of steps in this process, many of which you may choose to handle differently. For example, I may outsource the writing of an article, but you may choose to write it yourself.
Also, I don’t care if this site turns out to be really profitable. As I said before, micro niche sites can be hit or miss, for a variety of reasons. I’m more focused on creating a process that can be replicated easily and learning new things along the way. Realistically, I’ll be happy even if this site only earns $10/month. The next one may earn $50/month or only $1/month. Each one will be different, but the key is to keep moving forward and building new web properties.
What about my authority site? Don’t worry, I’m still working on it. Even though I think authority sites have much greater long-term potential, I still want my portfolio to contain a good amount of micro niche sites too.
Part 2 will contain what is perhaps the most critical step – Research. I’ll walk through exactly how I found my keyword and URL (and will reveal it of course).
As I said at the beginning of this post, this isn’t anything new or groundbreaking. This is just another project, but I’m choosing to show the process in detail, with full transparency. Feel free to follow along and build your own, or if this is something you’re already an expert with, you can just ignore it.
Let me know if you have any questions, and if you’re planning on following along with your own site, feel free to discuss it in the comments!