How To Set Up Your First Niche Site (STEP-BY-STEP)

How To Set Up Your First Niche Site (STEP-BY-STEP)
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How To Set Up Your First Niche Site (STEP-BY-STEP)

NICHE SITES 101: What Are Niche Sites & How Do You Build Them

Ready to start your very first niche site? Follow along and build it the right way.

niche site blueprint

Who is this guide for?

monoflat_icons_193This guide was created for beginners starting out with their very first site. It’s going to take you step-by-step through the entire process of putting up your first site.

By the end of this guide, you’re going to understand how everything works, choose your own profitable niche topic, and have your first site up and running.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

Follow along: This guide is designed to be interactive. To get the most out of this guide, follow along with each step and take action right away.

Can you make money with niche sites?

monoflat_icons_81Niche sites are one of the best ways to build a long-term business online. If built properly with correct SEO strategies, they get stronger and stronger over time.

Your site amasses more and more traffic, and you can make money day and night.

Think passive income. The internet is running 24/7. Websites don’t close shop at 5pm like most offline stores. That means, with the proper set up, you can make money passively without needing to be present.

The bigger your site gets, the more traffic you get. And the more traffic you get, the more money you can make.

I make a full-time living running blogs and niche sites, and they’re one of the most passive business models that exist in the world today.

Monetization models

There are various different ways to monetize your site:
1. Display advertising
2. Affiliate marketing
3. Selling products and services

The most commons ones include using Google Adsense ads, Amazon affiliate links, and affiliate links from other websites that are relevant to your site’s niche.

My personal favourites are Adsense, and selling your own ebooks and courses.

Since this is your very first niche site, don’t worry too much about your revenue model. If you can build a high-traffic site, the options are all available to you.

Setting up monetization isn’t the difficult part. The difficult part is building the site out and growing traffic.

A big payoff: Eventually, you may decide to sell your site. Niche sites are like pieces of property on the web. And selling a large site can result in a massive paycheque.

Sites usually make 20-30x monthly revenue.

So if you grow a site to $10,000/month, that’s a potential $300,000 sale — or even higher, since sites that are grown to such a large revenue are usually sold for even more than 30x.

Further reading:
How much traffic do you need to make $100/day?
How Jack Herrick built a million dollar niche site, twice!

How do you choose your niche correctly?

monoflat_icons_48We have to keep in mind that this is your first niche site.

For an experienced marketer and site builder, choosing a niche can be more about profitability than their own interests. This is because they have the experience and knowledge to build the site out correctly, and know exactly how to grow it out.

As a rule of thumb, the more profitable a niche is, the more competitive it’s going to be. Think of things like finance, stocks, real estate, business. These are all very crowded and competitive niches.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enter these niches. It just means that it’s going to take a lot more work (and expertise) to stand out from the others.

For an inexperienced marketer, this first site is going to be a learning curve. You’re going to learn a ton of things as you build it out and grow traffic. So targeting a super competitive niche might not be the best idea.

Rather thinking about the level of competition and profitability, we’re going to think about your interests instead.

That’s why your first niche should be something that:
1. You’re knowledgable about.
2. You’re interested in becoming knowledgable about.

Your niche should fall into one of these two categories.

Either you already know a ton about the topic, or you’re interested in learning a ton about the topic.

As your first site, you’re likely going to research and write all of the articles yourself (I wouldn’t recommend outsourcing anything until you learn how everything works first). As a result, over time you’re naturally going to become quite an expert in the topic you choose.

TAKE ACTION: Determine your own niche

Okay so here’s the first “TAKE ACTION” step in this guide.

It’s time to select your own niche.

Now here’s how you do it.

Step 1: What do you know?

monoflat_icons_76You need to start here.

Make a list of 10 things you know.

These are just things that you know and have some experience in.

For instance, if you go camping often, and know a lot about how to set up tents, start fires, and know a lot of nifty wilderness hacks, then that’s an awesome candidate you should definitely jot down on your list.

You’re not a wilderness expert.

You just know a bit more about it than the average person.

And don’t just do this in your head.

I want you to really get a pen and paper and write this down.

And don’t think too hard. Just write whatever comes into your head.

This should only take you 5-10 minutes max.

Here are some questions to get your brain flowing with ideas:
– What are you good at?
– What do you know a lot about?
– What do you find yourself researching and reading about for fun?
– Do people ask you for advice about anything? What is it?
– What are you the “go-to” person for?
– What were your strongest subjects in school?
– What are your accomplishments or any noteworthy achievements?
– What are you most proud of?

Don’t overthink it.

When you’re done, move to step 2.

Step 2: What are you curious about?

monoflat_icons_76The next step is the same as step 1.

But instead of writing down what you know, write down your interests and curiosities.

For example, I’m very curious about personal finance. Mainly because I know it’s super important, and I suck at it.

For me, this would be the perfect example.

Blogging about a topic forces you to study about it and become an expert in it.

Here are some good questions to get your brain flowing with ideas:
– What TV shows do you watch?
– What did you want to become (as a career) when you were younger?
– When you go to the bookstore, what section do you find yourself visiting?
– What magazines do you read?
– What blogs do you read?
– What do you do for fun that you would like to become better at?
– If you could do one thing full-time for a year, and get paid for it, then what would you choose?
– What do you WANT to know more about?

Again, like in step 1, make a list of 10. Should only take you 5-10 minutes.

Step 3: Choose

monoflat_icons_76There are a few more filtering steps that you can do.

But since this is your very first site, we can skip those.

Now all that’s left to do is choose from your list of 20.

Base your decision on one key question:

What topic will you enjoy learning, reading, and writing about every single day?

REMEMBER: It has to be of interest to you. For example, I don’t really care about sewing. So if I started my first niche site about sewing, I would lose interest fast. The probability of me giving up is a lot higher if I have no interest in the topic.

Further reading:
Do You Have To Be An Expert In Your Niche To Build An Authority Site?
The Niche That Gets An Insanely High CTR With Adsense
How To Do Niche Research For Authority Sites That Generate 5 Figures Per Month

How do sites get published on the web?

monoflat_icons_33Before we get started, let’s go over a brief overview of what we’re actually doing here.

If you’ve never put a site live on the web before, it can seem like a daunting technical task.

BUT it’s not!

You only have to understand 2 things: Domain names and hosting.

Let’s go over each one briefly.

Domain names

Right now, you’re on my site, RankXL.com.

Rankxl.com is my domain name. I decided on that name and registered it myself when I decided to start this blog.

Think of domain names as addresses. To give directions to your you would give somebody your address, right?

Well domain names act as the same way. To get to my blog you enter in my blog address, which is rankxl.com.

That’s all you need to know about domain names right now.

Hosting

A domain name is just an address. If you don’t have anything built on your site, then all visitors will see is an empty page.

To store and display your site’s files (like a site’s articles and pages) then you need to host it on a hosting account.

For example, this page that you’re reading right now… I created it and stored it in my hosting.

As a result, when you visit this page, you’re able to see the content that I created 🙂

Don’t worry if this all sounds too technical

The reason you don’t really have to worry is that we don’t actually have to do each and every technical step ourselves.

Once we register our domain name and set up our hosting, all of that is handled automatically through the back end.

All we need to do now is register a domain name for your new niche site, and set up your hosting.

TAKE ACTION: Register Your Own Domain And Hosting

Here’s where you take action.

Follow the steps below to register your own domain and hosting.

By the end of this step, we’ll have your site live on the web. You’ll be able to open up your browser, enter in your domain name, and see your new niche site.

Ready?

Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Decide on your domain name

Before we begin the registration process, you need to decide on your site’s domain name.

What makes a good domain name?

Try and make it two or three words. Include your topic, and add in one or two brandable words to it.

For example, my blog is about SEO. That’s why I included the word, “rank” as in “rank in Google.”

My brandable word is XL.

Which resulted in RankXL.com.

I think of domain names all the time for new niche sites and blogs that I’m putting up, so I became pretty good at the process.

It’s not too hard.

Just think: Add in one word relevant to your niche, and another word for branding.

For example:

1. If your niche is cooking, you might want to use something like: spiceguru.com
2. If your niche is basketball, you might want to use something like: hoopsforlife.com
3. If your niche is home improvement, you might want to use something like: fixitgenius.com
4. If your niche is self improvement, you might want to use something like: efficientmonk.com
5. If your niche is travel, you might want to use something like: travelbear.com

These are all just examples, and I have no idea if they’re already registered by somebody else or not. But I hope they’re enough to give you a good idea of what you should be aiming for.

If you’re having trouble, try out this tool: Domain Name Brain.

Simply add in your niche related word, and it will give you an endless list of suggestions.

For example, if my niche was travel, I would simply add in the word travel and hit enter. And Domain Name Brain would give me a huge list of brandable domain name suggestions.

domain name brain

Not every domain will be available

A lot of domains these days are registered by other people and won’t be available.

So instead of just picking one, go through and make a list of 5-10 that you like.

Just write them down on another piece of paper.

In the next step, we’re going to go ahead and check if they’re available, and register your favorite one.

Further reading:
How to Choose The Perfect Domain Name For Your Niche Site

Step 2: Registering Your Domain & Hosting

The biggest question that you might be wondering right now is how much registering this all cost?

There are a lot of different companies out there offering domain and hosting. Not all of them are reliable. Some are stupid expensive, and they suck.

Trust me, I’ve tried a ton of different hosting companies.

And the one that I would recommend is Bluehost.

Usually, a domain name registration will cost about $10/year and hosting will cost around $100/year – so roughly $110/year.

But for readers of RankXL, you can get your hosting from Bluehost at just $2.75/month. And on top of that, you’ll also get your domain name registration free!

Click here to go to Bluehost.com and grab this deal.

Once you’re on the page, come back and follow along.

I’ll guide you step-by-step through the setup process.

Step 1: Click on the big “Get Started Now” button

get started with hosting

Step 2: Choose the basic plan

hosting registration 2

Step 3: Enter in your domain

Remember when we made a list of preferred domain names?

Now’s the time to enter in your favorite one here.

domain registration

Enter it in, and press “Next”.

Step 4: Payment

The next step is easy – just fill out all your contact details and payment information (billed annually). Make sure you use your real details so you can verify your account.

Then, make sure your package information section looks like this.

hosting registration 3

We don’t need the Site Backup or SiteLock Security features. They’re a waste of money.

After that, just click Submit at the bottom of the page, and you’ll be done!

Your domain and hosting are now registered 🙂

And that was it!

Not too hard, right?

Now you own your domain name, and you have a hosting account where you can build out your new niche site.

In the next part, we’re going to install a piece of blogging software called WordPress. This allows us to easily build out professional-looking websites without having to know any web programming language!

What is WordPress?

Chances are, you already know what WordPress is.

But if you don’t, let me give you a quick little description so that you actually know what we’re going to be doing here in this step of the guide.

WordPress is…

wordpressA gift for marketers like you and me.

Let me explain.

In the past, the only way to put up a website live on the web was to learn how to code. Webpages are built with databases, html, css, and javascript.

On top of that, you also needed to learn graphic design in order to make them look nice and pretty.

Well WordPress allows you to build beautiful, functional websites without knowing any code or design. And it’s perfect for bloggers and marketers building niche sites.

Here’s an example scenario to illustrate how awesome WordPress is

Let’s pretend that you wanted to create a new page, and then allow comments at the bottom for readers.

Without WordPress: You would need to create a brand new file, build the site using web programming language, upload it to your server, and create a custom code so that people can add in comments. You would also need to create a separate database so that you can store those comments separately.

With WordPress: You login to your dashboard, click “New Page”, write your content, and hit publish. It’s now live on your site.

So yeah… WordPress is pretty awesome, and that’s why we’re going to use it. 99% of digital marketers, SEO’s, and bloggers I know use WordPress. Media giants like CNN and The New York Times also use WordPress for their websites. So you know it must be reliable.

Oh, and of course, it’s completely free and open source.

That’s all you need to know about WordPress 🙂

Let’s go ahead and install it on your site.

Congratulations! You just put up your first live niche site on the web!

Isn’t it a great feeling?

Let’s have a virtual high five!

monoflat_icons_281

I remember when I first put up my first niche site.

I would open up an internet browser, type in my domain, and get all excited to see it there live on the web for everyone to see!

We need to fill your site with content, and start driving traffic and working on our SEO.

That’s the really exciting part: When you start seeing your pages rank in Google, and see people visiting and interacting with the site that you created… it’s a really fulfilling feeling.

I’ll never forget running and bragging to my mom that someone just came and spent a whole 7 minutes on my site!

It’s just a really awesome feeling.

And I can’t for you to start experiencing that feeling, too!

How To Set Up Your First Niche Site (STEP-BY-STEP)
How To Set Up Your First Niche Site (STEP-BY-STEP)

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