A few days ago I posted my very first Niche Site Duel update.  For those of you that missed that one,  I’m participating in the Niche Site Duel along with Pat Flynn at the Smart Passive Income Blog and Tyrone TyroneShum.com from . The point of the duel is to try and create a profitable niche website in plain view of our readers so that you can see the different techniques that are used.

You’ll recall that Pat is taking an organic SEO approach where he is trying to convert visitors to sales directly from copy. At least that is my short version of his approach.  Tyrone, on the other hand, is taking an organic SEO approach where he is trying to capture leads to a list and will convert them later with copy. They have both agreed not to buy traffic.  I am not buying traffic either, and I’m taking an approach more like Pat

In my case I’m outsourcing everything I possibly can.

In the last article I described all of the procedures that I went through to select a niche, find an affiliate offer, and get a website up and running. I used a quick and dirty approach. I didn’t spend a lot of time doing keyword research and I used as much rewritten PLR as possible so I could get the site up and running as quickly as I could. I strongly prefer using Pat’s method of careful thought and original content (Pat is THE man), but the point of this approach is to see what can be accomplished with outsourcing and a minimum amount of personal effort.

Now that the website is up and running my next task is to think about finishing out the build of the site so that I can turn my attention to task three, which will involve promoting the site.

Four Phases Of Niche Site Creation

It’s worth mentioning here that when I create a niche site I think of it in four phases. Phase number one, which we’ve already completed, is identifying the niche, the domain, the keywords that I plan to target, affiliate offers and so forth. Basically, I’m getting a niche strategy defined in my mind. In Phase two, I create the site and a bunch of info structure around the site, and that’s what I’ll describe in this post.

In Phase three I do kick off promotions for the site where I use various techniques to get up and running from a traffic perspective. We’ll be talking about that in the next post. Phase four is simply an ongoing phase that involves ongoing and continuous promotion of the site until the site is either running itself or I decide that the site is not going to be profitable and it’s not worth further effort.

The Phase Two Plan

So, for phase two of setting up this site I’ll take on several tasks, all of which will be completely outsourced. Task number one is identification of ten keywords that I want to use on the site and in the promotion of the site. I usually start with five keywords that I want the site to rank for and five keywords that I want to use in article marketing. The criteria for the five keywords that I promote on the site are simple. They need to be keywords that I want people to find in the search engine that I believe will convert to sales.

Now, we’ve already talked about the fact that “learn guitar basics” is the primary keyword for the site. It’s in the URL and it’s the main keyword that I want to try and work for. We’ve talked about the fact that I want to rank for “Guitar Tricks review” because Guitar Tricks is the main affiliate promotion that I want to go after. I’ll look for a couple of other keywords that are related to “guitar basics” and “Guitar Tricks” until I get a set of five.  Five simple keyword phrases.  Then I’ll create five pages where people can land.  Bottom line is that I want five pages to rank in the search engines — one each for my five keyword terms.

Some Early Success

As I mentioned on twitter, we are already ranking for our primary keyword phrase.  Now, understand that this is quite likely to change over time, and our site may even disappear for a while.  I never worry when that happens, because in my experience, the site always comes back.  But at the moment, we are ranked 17th on Google for the main site keyword “learn guitar basics” (without quotes).

Keyword ranking results

I'll bet you are wondering what the keywords are.  I used to get so sick of people that would never reveal what they were actually doing.  Well, here they are.  This is a screenshot from my “site spreadsheet” for the learn guitar basics site (I call it the LGB site).  I use the sheet to control some automation, and to communicate with virtual assistants.

Niche Site Keywords

Now, “learn guitar basics” of course will be the home page, but the other four pages (based on kw02 – kw05) will be stand alone pages on the site that are designed specifically to collect search engine traffic for those other four keyword terms. I’ll outsource the creation of all five of those articles. I’ll also find five keywords that I think are related to guitar enthusiasts that are looking to buy a subscription at Guitar Tricks that are low competition long tail keywords. By this I mean I’m looking for keywords that I think I can win easily, because I’m going to use them for article marketing.   My quick and dirty selection of article marketing keywords are shown in kw06-kw10.  I am not to worried about these — because I can always add more articles later.  That writing is outsourced as well.

Niche Work Details

So, to be clear — What’s I’ll do this week is outsource the creation of five articles against keywords that are relatively low traffic and therefore low competition and I’ll try to get my articles published in Ezine Articles and ranking for those terms. The reason we go after low competition articles in this case is because a lot of times article sites like EzineArticles.com are plenty powerful enough to go straight to the top for those long tail keywords that you find at the bottom of the keyword list produced by tools like Micro Niche Finder and Market Samurai.

I’ll also start building out the site with eBay and Amazon store pages that I think might be relevant. For example, I know people look for used guitars online and I know people buy guitar stuff from Amazon, so I’ll have my VA look around Amazon and create some pages on the website to fill out the content. Now, this simply has the effect of making the website more multidimensional. I’ve got content, I’ve got affiliate offers, and I’ve got Amazon and eBay pages that add additional content to the website and just make it a more rich experience for the user.

Hear me now:  If you want to be successful in internet business, you need to do things (and build sites) that make the internet a better place.   That is the best advice I can give you, and it is a phrase that I stole from Nicole Dean.  If you are not adding value for your visitors, you cannot be successful in the long term.

In order to add those pages I’ll use a popular plugin known as PHPbay. There’s also a related plugin called PHPzon. PHPbay is used for eBay stores and I’ve talked a lot about it on MasonWorld.com over the last couple years. PHPzon is the same thing, but targeted at Amazon. In both of these cases stores are automatically added to the site using keywords that you choose, they’re dynamically updated, and the URLs that are created for those store pages inside your site are masked in such a way that it makes it harder for Google to tell that they’re just Amazon and eBay store pages.

As a side note, we do this URL cloaking because there was a time when Google took an aggressive stance against what they called thin affiliate sites that were basically just redressing Amazon pages and putting them on your domain. We don’t want to leave Google with the impression that we’re just a think affiliate site even if we really are just a thin affiliate site.

Many Niche Site Tasks Remain

Other site building tasks will include the creation of a Twitter ID specific to the guitar niche, hopefully something that involves some of the keywords that we’re targeting, like “guitar basics,” creation of article marketing accounts on the various article marketing directories that we intend to promote to under pseudonyms that are appropriate for our niche. We’ll also set up specific email addresses for the site, like [email protected] guitar basics dot net, and [email protected] learn guitar basics dot net, so we can use those on the site for the contact and about pages and so forth.

Finally, we’ll have the virtual assistant add privacy and disclosure pages and all those other kind of pages as well. Once all this is done I’ll have a working site with an autoresponder set up so I can capture leads, an affiliate offer up and running so that I can make sales, and lots of content so that I can get indexed in the search engine. I’ll also have an online store powered by eBay and Amazon where I can see if I can get some traffic converted to affiliate commissions that way.

One note on eBay and Amazon, if I am getting traffic and sales from eBay and Amazon I may not be satisfied with commissions that I end up with, that’s something that you just have to test and see. If I’m not satisfied with those commissions, but I have the traffic and sales, I can always convert those eBay and Amazon offers over to other offers at a later time. So, that’s not something to worry about upfront from my perspective.

That’s it for this update on the Niche Site Duel. My virtual assistants will be working on those tasks throughout the week and next week some time I’ll by updating up with Niche Site Update #3 where I’ll describe my kick off promotion strategies that I use, which include article marketing, link building, and some other nifty easily outsourced tricks that I think you’ll really enjoy. Until then I hope you have a very profitable week.

Best Regards,
Mark Mason

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