Niche Site DuelIf you follow me on Twitter you’re probably aware that I am participating alongside Pat and Tyrone in the Niche Duel that’s being documented over at the Smart Passive Income Blog.

Now, my participation in this contest is a little bit different than Pat and Tyrone. Pat always does an amazing job of documenting everything that he does and goes into an enormous amount of detail. This niche duel is no different for Pat, he’s already done an excellent job of documenting his keyword research and progress that he’s made on his site.

In my case, I’m not able to dedicate that much time to this project, but I do think it’s incredibly valuable. So, I’ve decided to dictate some notes about my progress and have them transcribed by my awesome transcriptionist, that way you can get some information about how I’m approaching the niche site duel, but I won’t have to spend a ton of time documenting it on my blog.

My Approach to the Niche Site Duel

So, because of the fact that I’m trying to minimize the amount of time that I’m spending on the Niche Site Duel, I’ve decided to take the approach of outsourcing every possible element of the competition. And I’ve decided that the best way to document a lot of my progress is by microblogging the event over on my Facebook Fan Page. So, be sure and check the Facebook Fan Page for day to day updates, and I’ll try to post my progress on the blog every week or two so you can get a sense of how things are going in the big picture.

My first job was niche selection. When I select a niche I try to do three things. Number one, I try to find a niche that I actually think will generate some revenue and be profitable. In this case I chose the very popular guitar niche, specifically the learn to play guitar niche. I’ve noticed for some time that there are several successful products in the marketplace, both on Clickbank and elsewhere, regarding learning to play guitar, so I knew this would be an opportunity for me to play around in that niche.

Number Two, I try to pick something that I’m actually interested in. As a busy internet marketer I know that I have a higher probability of actually accomplishing tasks related to the creation of the niche site if I care about the contents. This is not a requirement in general for niche marketers, but for me personally I’ve found that I have a lot higher success rate if I pick things that I’m actually interested in.

Number three, for this particular project I wanted to make sure I chose a niche where there was a wide availability of materials for me to work with, this includes affiliate offers, blog themes, private label right materials, and other things that I would need for a completely outsourced project.

So, for my limited time commitment to this project I’ve decided to select something was easily outsourced, had a wide variety of materials available, looked like it could be profitable, and interested me enough that I could guarantee that I would participate in the project.

Keyword Research for Learn Guitar

Once I had looked around a little bit in the guitar niche and found out that there was a ton of material out there available for affiliate marketers I popped open my favorite fast keyword research tool, Micro Niche Finder. Notice that I’m making the distinction between fast keyword research and deep keyword research.
For deep keyword research once I’ve found a target keyword I prefer Market Samurai, but for fast keyword research where I’m searching across hundreds of keywords looking for a particular keyword to target I strongly prefer Micro Niche Finder. I think the user interface is a lot better for wide area searches.

So, when I put learn guitar into Micro Niche Finder the very first thing I did was ask Micro Niche Finder to find me all of the keywords that had an available dot net,, dot org, or dot com exact match domain. Now, the learn guitar niche is very crowded, so the number of domains available that exactly matched keywords returned by Micro Niche Finder was a relatively small number.

Micro Niche Finder

Once I had gotten a list of exact match domains I simply ordered them in decreasing order of search volume. I’m looking for a keyword that I think learn guitar prospects would be using that has a high search volume and low competition. So, starting with the keywords with highest search volume I started analyzing the competition. To make a long story short, Micro Niche Finder suggested to me that learn guitar basics was a decent keyword and it showed me that learn guitar basics dot net was available.

So, I immediately grabbed learn guitar basics dot net and continued my keyword research. In continuing the keyword research I wanted to find some additional keywords that I could target on the website that were also related to learning the guitar. I won’t go into detail about that here, except to say that for these keywords exact matches to domains are not a requirement.

So, I simply went back to Micro Niche Finder, removed the requirement for domains being available and started looking for high volume keywords with low competition. Again, the niche is very crowded, so the number of these keywords is not large. In fact, this looks like this is going to be a very challenging project from a keyword standpoint, but that’s okay, I’m up for the challenge.

Niche Site Traffic Strategy

Now I know that I’m going to be building a blog about learn guitar, and specifically the blog is going to be called Learn Guitar Basics dot net, and I know that my goal is to match offers with buyers. In fact, that’s always the goal of affiliate marketing to find some buyers and match them up to offers on the internet.

In this case I’ve found my buyers. They’re people that are typing in the phrase learn guitar basics. These are new people, maybe they just got a guitar, maybe they’re about to buy a guitar, who are wanting to learn how to play. So, the offer that I want to match them with, obviously, is an offer for online guitar lessons.
I looked around the internet and I found an outstanding affiliate program from a place called Guitar Tricks. Looking at the Guitar Tricks website made me want to sign up for their product, it really looks fantastic. As a guitar player myself I knew immediately that this affiliate offer was a good one because I found myself wanting to take out my own credit card and sign up for the affiliate offer.

As a matter of fact, one really good approach for promoting this offer would be for me to do exactly that and to blog about it. The problem is that approach is not really compatible with the amount of time that I have to spend on this project, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to do that. In any case, I’ve saved that as a note for myself in case I decide to really spend some real effort on this site.

Identifying the affiliate offer at GuitarTricks.com means that I need to consider a couple of additional keywords to target on the website. People who are considering signing up for a membership at GuitarTricks.com might type in at least two guitar tricks related keywords, and those are obviously guitar tricks review and maybe guitar tricks coupon. Additional ones that are sometimes present in the internet marketing niche are guitar tricks bonus and other kinds of things like that, but for normal people who are buying things online review and coupon are the two most sought after keywords.

Now, here’s an important lesson for you. Those keywords do not appear in the Google Adwords Tool. Micro Niche Finder and Market Samurai do not recognize guitar tricks review and guitar tricks coupon as keywords that people are searching. Why is that? The reason is that those tools are based on the Adwords database and it simply means that no one is bidding on those keywords.

However, if you go to Google and type the word guitar tricks into the search box and then hit the space bar several suggestions will pop down. Those suggestions are based on the actual search data that Google is collecting. They’re not based on the Adwords data, they’re based on the search data, and if you look at that list is presented to you when you out in the words guitar tricks, you’ll find guitar tricks coupon and guitar tricks review. That tells me that I need to target those keywords on my site.

Additionally, if you look at that list you’ll find that there are quite a few people that are trying to steal the Guitar Tricks system, because you see things like guitar tricks torrent. That makes me a little sad and reminds that whenever you have electronic products in the marketplace you need to protect the download.

Creating the Niche Website

Again, my goal in this website is to outsource everything that I possibly can. I’ve done my own keyword research, but it’s been a quick and dirty effort using Micro Niche Finder for less than an hour. If you want a really good tutorial about how the keyword research should be done, you should hop on over to Pat’s blog and look at his video about how he used Market Samurai to do keyword research for his Security Guard website. In my case however, I’ve picked quick and dirty keywords and now I need a quick and dirty website.

So, my next task was to put the search term guitar plr into Google. This returned for me a list of PLR products that are available in the guitar space. I knew I wanted three things. One, I’m looking for PLR that I can use for an autoresponder on the website. It will be very important to collect leads on this website and follow up with those leads and try to drive them to the affiliate offer. Number two, I’m looking for a blog theme and sometimes blog themes are available as PLR. Number three, I’m looking for content for the website. Again, this is an outsource project, I’m going to have some original material written, but really I want to consider PLR as the source for blog site content.

A note about PLR. I think PLR is absolutely excellent for autoresponders because there’s no search engine implications to using PLR. As long as the PLR is high quality and is in your voice and is valuable to your readers, I don’t see any problem in using it in an autoresponder. I don’t normally recommend the use of PLR for website content unless it’s completely rewritten. I’m not a big believer in the duplicate content penalty that’s often talked about by Google, but I do think you owe it to your readers to generate decent content on your own. If you do use PLR on your website, make sure it’s excellent quality and that the PLR you use is rewritten to avoid any issues with similar content outranking you for your search terms.

Having said all that, in this case I’m in a huge hurry, so I need to use PLR because I’ve committed to outsourcing as much of this as possible and moving as quickly as possible. So, lucky for me I found a complete and totally awesome guitar website theme complete with PLR content that I could buy with one click of the mouse. It cost 27 dollars and I bought it, it’s up and running at Learn Guitar Basics dot net.

Niche website screen shot

Outsourcing Tasks for the Duel

Once I bought the PLR mentioned above I was able to outsource a series of tasks. The first task I outsourced was taking some of the PLR that I purchased and breaking it up into content for an autoresponder that was appropriate for beginning guitarists. The virtual assistant was able to split up the content, edit it, place a call to action to the affiliate offer at the bottom of every email, and load that content into an autoresponder over at Aweber.

Task two, I asked another one of my virtual assistants to take the PLR website and get it up and running on the domain that I had purchased. I also asked the VA to modify the site header so that it matched the domain name, to edit the footer, to take out references to the PLR and so forth and make the site somewhat visually unique.

Task three, affiliate offers. I asked the VA that works on my websites to integrate creatives from the Guitar Tricks affiliate site into the website. This meant that the virtual assistant needed to change the banner in the header, as well as place a video creative in the sidebar of the website.

Task four, I also asked the virtual assistant to integrate the autoresponder into the website so there would be a signup form in the sidebar. The sidebar will say something like, “For free beginning guitar lessons delivered straight to your inbox leave us your email and we’ll rush you your first lesson,” or something like that.

Task five, I asked my writer to go into the website and edit every PLR article on the site to change the title, very important for changing PLR, the permalink, also very important for PLR, and the text, less important but still important for using PLR on your website. This will help guarantee that my content is more unique, which can help in my search engine rankings.

To be honest with you, I’m not very worried about the impact of PLR on the search engine because I’m not trying to rank the PLR pages. I’ll be trying to rank the home page and some other pages targeted at guitar tricks related keywords, that content will be completely original and unique and will be easier to rank than the PLR content.

Task six, I asked my writer to write 10 articles around keywords that I had found in Micro Niche Finder. Among these included content for the home page around the keyword learn guitar basics and content for the affiliate offer landing pages for guitar tricks review and guitar tricks coupon.

Current Status and Next Steps

Right now I’m waiting for all those outsourced tasks to be completed. Once those tasks are completed I’ll move to some additional site set up tasks that need to be addressed. I’ll need a Twitter ID for this project, I’ll need email addresses and other set up items, I want to add an eBay and Amazon store into this blog, and so forth. We’ll talk about all of these tasks and more in a future blog post.

Once the site has been set up to my satisfaction (in about a week) I’ll need to start promoting it. For promotion I intend to use article marketing and other backlink building techniques that we’ll talk about in subsequent posts.

That’s it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed this update, sorry it’s a little bit long winded but that’s one of the downsides to dictating posts rather than editing them. Please let me know if you have any comments, I’d be happy to answer them below. Have a great day!

Best Regards,
Mark Mason

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