How to build a niche site – Part 3

In the third and last post of this niche site series, we’ll talk about link building and monetization.

Link building

To many, it has almost become a 5-letter word now, but backlinks still matter, a lot, what changed is the way you should get them. After the Penguin update, there are two things you need to pay extreme attention to: anchor text and relevancy. When building links, keep exact match anchor texts to the minimum, let’s say 10-15%, and vary the rest as much as possible. Use synonyms of the main keyword, long phrases, your naked URL, your own name, and maybe even a few “click here.” Also, get links from sites that talk about the same topic, as this is another authenticity signal in Google’s eyes.

How much link building will you need? In general, the more time you spent on keyword research, the more patient you were in digging up keywords with good potential, the less link building you will need to make those terms rank. When you start doing it however, take it easy during the first month, and be a bit more active afterwards, but don’t go too fast anyway. Here are a couple of tips for a basic link building strategy:

Guest posting

Its popularity as link building technique has soared a lot in the last year. Maybe you won’t be able to get attention from the top sites in your niche, but you can still find a good and relevant blog that will accept your article

Commenting on blogs

It’s still a good way to get a backlink, but make sure you use your name as anchor text, and please leave comments that can add something to the discussion

Ezine and Goarticles

These two are especially good at the beginning, to let Google know you exist and to have your site indexed more quickly

Other web directories

Go for the good ones, stay away from bad neighborhoods. A good list can be found here at SEObook.

Slideshare and Docstoc

If you can make a slideshow or a pdf out of your content, these two sites are gaining more popularity as link building resources

Press releases

One or two press releases won’t hurt the link building process, and will help spread the popularity of your site a little

If you don’t see any meaningful result in rankings after one-two months, there is a more advanced method that you can try, which involves buying an expired domain with PR 2 or 3. With a little bit of research you can find one that is not too expensive, and then populate it with content related to your niche. When this satellite site is indexed again, then you can use it to link to your main site directly or, if you want to be more sophisticated, you can reach out to a webmaster in your niche, with a good authority site, and offer a three-way linking: you will link to his site and he will link to yours.

Making money

Let’s finish where it all begun: the money. Once you’re getting traffic, you will need to experiment a little to find out the best way to monetize your site. In general however, you can follow these two principles:

What are you selling?

Programs like Adsense work better for purely informational sites, whereas if you dealing with products that you can physically buy, then Amazon, Ebay, or affiliate programs in general might be a better choice

Differentiate

Adsense is the best online advertising program in its category, but not the only one. Try with different sources of income: you might find better alternatives, and you will get familiar with different programs.

If you like the process of discovering of new keywords and the challenge of learning about a topic you don’t know yet, niche sites can be a nice source of passive income. This is all you need to know to get started.