12 Steps to a Successful Micro Niche Site
People were having a dreadful problem, and nobody was doing anything about it.
Internet scams were just getting started and the trend was growing like a house afire. Thousands were being targeted daily by professional scammers.
Like thousands of others, I had been scammed by a professional fraudster and I wanted all the information I could get.
The Internet, answer to all our encyclopedic prayers, had nothing to offer me. I was furious.
I started with what I already knew from my personal experience, which covered how scammers act and how their victims react.
Time to get out there and help others online.
Build a site containing well-researched information that addresses the individual and common needs of the audience with the problem.
How dull that sounds.
It’s really not. Digging for information to present to your readers who are hungry for all the knowledge they can get is like digging for gold, for buried treasure.
Yes, in the early 2000’s fraud was a micro niche. Fraud wasn’t nearly as widespread as it is today; nonetheless, there was still an audience of thousands of people from all over the planet who were desperate for solutions. It’s the same in nearly any niche.
Here’s what you will find in this article –
- Step 1 – Determine a problem
- Step 2 – Research the problem, research solutions, write
- Step 3 – Put your readers first
- Step 4 – Make sure your readers can contact you and don’t ignore them
- Step 5 – Respond to your readers and they will respond to you
- Step 6 – Post regularly
- Step 7 – Over time, make your site a 1-stop site, especially if you are building an authority site
- Step 8 – Minimum SEO to start
- Step 9 – When writing for your readers, keep it simple
- Step 10 – Build links between articles and posts on your site
- Step 11 – Use surveys and quizzes
- Step 12 – Keep everything on the site relevant. That means your ads, too.
The How To:
Step 1: Determine a problem.
I stumbled on a problem, it suited my passion, and I jumped on it right away.
By “suited my passion”, I mean that the fraud victim niche covered a topic I was hot to research. I can work up the same enthusiasm for nearly any niche once I turn my focus to it. It’s all in the mindset and imagining yourself in the shoes of your readers.
Step 2: Research the problem, research solutions, write.
That’s what I did with every moment I could devote to my site, even if all I had was 15 minutes to spare.
The Internet is the biggest encyclopedia available. It’s huge. You can find answers to any problem unless it’s so obscure, no one has thought to write about it yet. Like the number of Sherpas living in Los Angeles… Oh my gosh. There’s a Los Angeles Times article about climbers and their Sherpas, and another about Sherpas in New York.
See what I mean?
Step 3: Put your readers first.
I did that from the get-go. Imagine yourself in their shoes, even if your current niche specializes in refrigerators. Right, I already told you that. Well, I’m telling you again because it is DRASTICALLY IMPORTANT.
You and me, not me and you. I know this is the “Me” generation, but skip that thought when you are writing solutions for the problems of others.
Step 4: Make sure your readers can contact you, and don’t ignore their emails.
Example: You can contact me by
- Clicking HERE to go to my Contact page
- Clicking on Contact in my Navigation Bar (that’s the line of links next to Journey Niches above.
- Subscribing to my email list for updates and related newsy stuff
- Copying and getting rid of the spaces my email address, configured to deter spam bots: annie (@) journeyniches.com
… and I will get back to you within 48 hours (usually 24 hours).
Pretty soon, I was receiving emails asking me to look into scams I’d never heard of. People were desperate for information and were losing money right, left, and center.
I immediately started asking them questions and doing scads of research.
I’d write an article about my results, and I’d email those who had asked the questions that led me to the research, pointing them to the article.
In return, my site was referred to friends and relatives, and mentioned on other web sites. I had backlinks galore, even from government web sites.
Step 5: Respond to your readers and they will respond to you. Answer your readers’ emails and comments with direct response, plus research and posts. With a responsive email list, your readers questions and comments will tell you what they want you to write PLUS your increase your referral rate, meaning traffic will increase because people are pointing to your site as a go-to resource.
Tip: Set up email templates to personalize and answer the most common questions, read and answer your emails every day – no pile up.
I crawled the Internet for info, spoke with scam victims, spoke with the Feds and local law enforcement. Called law enforcement in other countries and talked with Scotland Yard (Met Police) in London for more and more information.
Step 6: Post regularly.
I posted about once a week, steadily. Never missed a beat. You shouldn’t either.
Even once a month will do so long as your viewership can depend on it. Send a notice of the new post to your subscribers, post a notice on your social media networks.
Step 7: Over time, make your site a one stop site, especially if you’re building an authority site.
I built a solution and prevention center for the victims, and a Library filled with researched resource upon resource.
That’s not applicable to every niche, but the more How-To’s and Where-To’s you provide for your readers, the more loyal they will be. Insert plenty of links (open in a new tab) to other authority sites to show you do your homework and aren’t just talking off the top of your head.
Give yourself plenty of time to do this. One good article will get you up and running just fine; keep posting and you’ll find your site, and viewer interest, growing and growing.
My SEO was minimum, main pages only. But here’s the thing. Every page on my site answered a question, solved a problem, provided vital information.
My home page didn’t rank, but my article pages sure did, and that was all that mattered.
And they came. Thousands came to my site to read the info I had gathered for them. They came from all over the world.
Step 8: Register your site with the search engines.
Register your blog with the Search Engines (web hosts usually have a multi-engine submission service) or wait for them to find you.
Waiting can take anywhere from 4 days (rare) to 3, maybe 4 months, and that can be a good thing.
It takes time to put your blog together, not because you want to get lost in the pretties or the content, but because you will find your blog developing its own identity as you learn more.
It can take a couple of months to determine where you’re really going and how you’re going to get there, which is fine for those followers who are with you from the beginning of your journey, but a bit awkward for those who find you through the search engines.
If the search engines don’t quite register that your site holds answers for a couple of months or so, you have time for the dust to settle.
Step 9: Minimum SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Step 10: When writing for your readers, keep it simple.
I’d write one day then edit the next, dumping all excess information until it was boiled down to helpful, attention-getting, relevant info.
I wrote so that Mohammad in Indonesia and Manfred in Berlin could understand the information as easily as Joe in Alabama or Martha in New York. No big words, no convoluted sentences, no long paragraphs, no unexplained terms or acronyms.
Plus, the translation engines can only do so much – you don’t want your page to translate into gobbledygook.
I wrote with the assumption that my readers were clueless, as indeed they were. They’d just been smacked across the head with a 2 x 4 and had no idea what had happened to them.
Tip: Never count on having experienced readers, even if – or especially if – you’re niche is technical or scientific. If you must use trade words and acronyms, build a glossary and link to the definitions or link to explanations on other trusted web sites.
The point is, when you are passionate about providing the very, very best information for people who are seeking it, and present it in a way that understands where the seekers are coming from, you are well on your way to being found by search engines and influencers alike.
It’s what the Search engines have loved from the beginning. Search engines are in the business of pleasing their customers. Please their customers with answers to the questions being searched, and Google will find you.
Step 11: Build links between articles and posts on your site.
It’s not as hard as you may think.
Build a central article, called a cornerstone post, about a variety of things that have to do with your niche. Then go back and write a post about different topics you covered on which you can elaborate. Link the topics in the original article to the relevant post and link back to the main article from the relevant post.
Google loves this because it not only builds your authority, but shows you have lots of in-topic answers for their customers.
It also cuts down on your bounce rate – show your viewers that there’s more relevant information on your site besides whatever brought them there to begin with, and they will hang around a lot longer. The longer they hang around, the more likely they are to click on your relevant offers.
Step 12: Use surveys and quizzes.
People love them and again, they build customer loyalty when you reveal results. They also show you how your post topics are doing, where your weaknesses are, and way more. Your viewership and income will increase exponentially.
Tip: Share results with your viewers through email. Place a survey and/or quiz on your blog and inform your viewers that they can get the results to all your interactive content by subscribing. Be sure to send the results to your current subscribers, too. 😉
I monetized my pages with AdSense and related affiliate products like home security and electronic device protection software, but didn’t push anything. I didn’t want to encourage my viewers to buy when they were already rendered penniless by scammers. My site made money anyway. Most of my traffic clicked out of my site through an ad.
FYI, that site was built almost 20 years ago and hasn’t been updated in 10. The information is relevant to this day, and the site is still making money, around $50/mo, and the only ads left are generated by AdSense.
Step 13: Keep everything on the site relevant. That means your ads, too.
I am amazed at the number of sites I come across that are loaded with totally irrelevant information.
If I click on a site to read about clowns, I expect to find posts about different clowns, the history of clowns, posts about party clowns, information about circuses, click-through ads for circus tickets, and more.
I’m not clicking on the site to be smacked with a vacuum cleaner ad or posts about a trip to Oregon (unless it was to attend a clown event). I’m gonna’ click out of that site in a heartbeat.
That’s just an example I made up as I’m writing, but I see so much of it, mostly by visiting sites owned by peeps complaining about a lack of traffic, a high bounce rate, and no sales.
You won’t find anything on Journey Niches or in your emails from Journey Niches that is not related to growing an income from journey niches and niche building. Those 2 interests are what brought you here.
Follow my lead.
If you build a niche site about vacuum cleaners, make it all about vacuum cleaners and cleaning, review different models, throw up a comparison table, delve into the history of vacuum cleaners, find stories about them, curate other articles about them, find accessories and elaborate on them, and so on.
You have people visiting your site who are in the market for vacuum cleaners or they wouldn’t be there. Show them that they can make an educated choice when buying through your site.
No matter what your niche is, write from the viewpoint of your audience; give them as much information and as many solutions as possible; ask your readers questions, don’t ignore them when they answer.