If your are interested in earning a passive income online, creating a niche website is a good avenue to pursue. A niche website is a site that focuses on one specific topic or subject that provides value in the form of information, education or entertainment. An example of a niche website would be a website that focuses solely on how to train your dog, or a website that provides meditation courses and tips. Information and value is given to the visitors of the site on a consistent basis.

This article will show you how you can start your own website, and what you can do to start earning an income with your site.

1. Choose the (right) Niche

The first thing that you will need to do is to pick a niche topic for your website. Choose something that your are passionate about, or something that you have a lot of knowledge about.

A niche is basically a topic or a market you want to create your website about. Examples would be something ‘pet supplies’, ‘dog training’, ‘coffee machine reviews’, ‘travel tips’ and so on.

Niches can be very broad (such as ‘pets’ or ‘travel’), more focused (‘pet supplies’ or ‘travel blogging’), to very specific (called longtails — such as ‘organic dog food’ or ‘travel tips for paris’ or ‘automatic coffee machine tips’).

Make sure not to choose a redundant topic as there will be thousands of sites similar to yours.

Choosing the right ‘niche’ is an article topic on it’s own and it’s arguably the most important part of the making money with a niche website process. If you don’t pick the right niche, it will a) be difficult to get traffic because the competion for ranking your site in the SERPS will be very tough and b) there will be many other websites doing the exact same thing and c) your niche topic might not be easy to make money in.

There are a few things you can do to make sure you choose the right niche.

  1. find the right niche (look to see if the niche topic has good commercial intent — people are spending money in the niche, the are affiliate offers, and adverters are spending money on ads on places like google adwords in your niche for related keywords)
  2. the competition is lower (called keyword competition analysis). You can use tools like Google Adwords and other software tools to check up on how competition a niche / keyword is to rank in. There are tools online that can help you with this.

We will have a specific article about this topic in the future or you can do a google search about how to find the best niche — there’s a lot of information about this.

2. Register A Domain Name

Now that you have chosen a niche idea for your website, you need to make and register a domain name, which is the name of your website. Choose a domain name that gives a snapshot on your site topic. For example, if your site will be about Paleo Diet cooking recipes, then an acceptable name could be paleorecipes.com.

Some popular domain name websites include hostgator.com, and godaddy.com. It will cost you about $10 per year to use this domain name.

3. Purchase a Hosting Account

Now that you have your domain name, you need a hosting service to host your website. It is recommended to use hostgator.com or godaddy.com as you can use both these sites to purchase your domain and to purchase your hosting account. Choose one of the 3 plans offered. It is recommended to start with the “Baby Plan” as it will have all the features you need and is only $8 per month.

Note: If you use Host Gator or Go Daddy then you will be able to link your domain with your hosting account very easily.

4. Build A Website With WordPress

Now that you have your domain, and web hosting server it is time to begin designing and building your website. Now there are a few popular website software platforms you can use, however by far the most common software used is called WordPress. WordPress is a free to use management content system that allows you to choose from a wide variety of designs, templates, and features to fully customize your website.

Getting started with WordPress

When you purchase your hosting account you will receive an email from HostGator or Go Daddy providing you with a Control panel Link along with a username and a password. You will need to do the following:

  • You will need to click the control panel link and enter the username and password to log in.
  • Once you do that if using HostGator you will see an icon called Fantastico De Luxe under the software/services tab.
  • click the Fantastico De Luxe icon and choose WordPress and install. WordPress will take a few minutes to install, and once finished you can choose layouts, themes, and add blog posts and videos to your website.

Now that you have your niche website set up and ready to go, you might be wondering, how can I start making money from this website? Well rest assured as the remainder of the article will guide you to do just that.

5. Monetizing Your Site (Making Money)

Add Content to Your Website

Before you can make money with your website you will need content that will attract and keep visitors coming back to your website. Adding frequent new content is the best way to have visitors coming back to your site on a repeated basis. You can add contain by writing articles, blog posts, post videos and much more. The most important thing to remember with content is you want to provide value to the readers so they will continue to visit your site.

It is important to consistently add new content to your web site. You do not have to add new content, every day but at least a few times a week is recommended.

When you add content, you need to tailor your content to your reader market.

Target Your Content 

Before you even get started, you need to look carefully at your specific niche and figure out a content strategy. This itself is an entire series of articles, but we’ll give the basic here. Quite often, much of your niche website traffic will come from the search engines — mostly from Google.com.

To maximize the amount of traffic you get, you need to pick out TOPICS people are searching for in Google and tailor your content to these article topics and searches within your niche market. For example, if your niche is about ‘tennis’ you’ll want as many tennis related articles as possible, but you just don’t want quanity, you also want to focus those articles about specific areas of focus. You’ll also want to make sure your articles are about topics your website can easily rank for. This is called KEYWORD competition research and SEO.

Making Money 

One main method to monetizing your site will be through ads.

Whenever somebody clicks on an ad you will receive a small payment. This can be done through Google Adsense. Google Adsense is free to use advertising system run by Google that allows website owners to earn money by displaying a variety of ads on their websites. The great thing about Adsense is that you do not have to pick the ads that will be shown, as Google atomically finds targeted ads for your site, as well as accepted the payment, and sending you your portion of the earnings gained when visitors click the ads. A great advantage about Google Adsense is you get paid if the visitor clicks on the ad, they do not have to actually purchase the product.

Adding Google Adense

  • To begin, you need to sign up for a Google Adsense account. To do this head to com/adsense/ and either sign in with your existing Gmail account, or create a new Google account.
  • next you will fill out the application by entering your personal information, as well as your site URL. You should receive an email in 6-8 hours saying you have been approved.
  • log back onto your Google Adsense account and click on the My Ads
  • click on the New Ad Unit tab and here you will choose the ad size, and the ad type. When choosing the ad size choose any of the recommended options. Google does a good job of walking you through these steps as it shows which options are recommended.
  • When choosing the ad type, it is recommended that you choose the text and display option.
  • Once you have completed these steps click on the Save and Get Code Copy and Paste your ad code to your notepad, as you will need this code when adding Adsense to WordPress.

Adding Google Adsense to WordPress

Now that you have your ad code, you will want to ad it to the side bar of your website through WordPress.

  • Log onto WordPress and head to the admin area.
  • Simply click on Appearance, then Widgets. You can click and drag the text widget to where you will want the ad to be displayed on your site.
  • Underneath the title text, there will be a text box to copy and paste the ad code, paste the code you previously saved to your notepad and click Save and your done.

Affiliate Marketing

Another popular and effective method to earning money from your website is to ad affiliate marketing links to your website. If someone purchases the product or service from the affiliate marketing link on your site you will receive a commission for the sale. This can be a great way to make big money especially if you are driving a lot of traffic to your site.

Note that depending on your niche, Affiliate marketing may or may not be effective. Sometimes Adsense is more effective, sometimes affiliate marketing is more effective.

There are also different types of affiliate marketing such as offers where you get commission per signup AND something like Amazon Associates where you get commision if someone buys a product on amazon you link too.

How to add Affiliate Marketing Links

Amazon Links: Amazon has a great affiliate marketing program. Basically, you promote an amazon product and write a review on it, with a link that will take the visitor to the amazon product page. If the visitor buys the product you can earn up to 15% commission. Ensure that the product you are promoting is related to your niche.

Furthermore, with the Amazon affiliate program you can also feature ads on your website that promote Amazon products that are related to your niche.

For more information on Amazon affiliate marketing click here.

ClickBank

Clickbank is a website that offers digital products that pay out a very high commission level ranging from 50%-75%. Since the products are all digital, there is no shipping or handling involved resulting in high commission payouts.

You can create an account and sign up for free in minutes. Once you are signed up, click the marketplace tab to view all the products offered. You can search for products related to your niche. Once you find a product to your liking, click the green Promote button and enter your ID you entered when creating an account. You will then be presented with a link called a hop link that you will input onto your website. When a visitor clicks on the link they will be directed to the product page. If the purchase the product you will receive a commission that will be credited to your ClickBank account.

When adding a ClickBank product to your site, it is best to write a review on the product, informing the readers the effectiveness of the product.

Keep in mind you do not want to continuously pitch products, as you will come off as desperate for sales. It is recommended to possible pitch a new product once a month.

6. Building Traffic

Even though you might gain a loyal following on your site, many of the regular visitors will eventually block out the adds, rarely clicking on them. This means, the majority of people who will click on your ads will be visitors who visit your site once or twice read some of the content for information, and click on an ad or two.

Traffic building is both something that happens organically over time, if you work on your site and produce lots of compelling content and something that happens if you market your website. You market through advertising your site, through outreach to other blogs, and with a strong social strategy (facebook page, twitter, etc).

Keep in mind that it helps to have very compelling content that offers a lot of value to readers. Just creating a generic website with average content won’t be enough in 2016 to bring enough traffic to make an income with.

It can take months and years to build up enough traffic levels to make a part time or full time income with your site. SO be prepared for the long game

However, here are a few things that you can do to help build traffic sooner than later.

Search Engine Optimization to Improve Traffic

These one time visitors will most likely search something on google and if you have a good ranking with the search engines, mainly Google, your site will be one of the search results on the first page. The key to your site being successful is having a good search engine ranking, which can be done by using something called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO involves using a variety of tactics to improve your sites ranking on Google.

SEO Tips to Improve your Site’s Ranking

  • Use keywords and phrases in content: Your content should contain key words or phrases that someone would type into Google when searching on a particular subject. Think of what someone would type into google and include this keyword or phrase in your blog post etc. For example, someone might search “how to train a dog to sit”. Your blog post should contain this phrase at the beginning, middle and end of the blog post.
  • Add new content regularly: Search engine’s like to rank sites based on how often a site updates its content, which increases the sites relevancy. Be sure to always keep the site updated with fresh content.
  • Keep content original : Be sure all the content that you add to your site is original. Do not copy and paste articles from other web sites on the internet. Doing so will hurt you in search engine rankings.
  • Backlinks: Back-linking refers to having links from other authoritative websites linking to your websites. The more incoming links you have coming to your site the higher you will rank in search engines. You can create backlinks to your website by submitting articles on Reddit by posting in the sub Reddit that pertains to your site subject. Furthermore, you can submit articles with links to your site on article submitting sites such as Stumble Upon and HubPages.

Email List Building for Traffic

Another effective way to generate income from your site is to build an email list. Once you get a large list of targeted email subscribers you can send them emails about product offers etc. The best strategy is to begin by offering value in your emails that you send to your subscribers. You have to build trust with your subscribers before you can start offering products in the emails.

How To add An Email List

When you have an email list on your site, a pop up page will appear on your site, asking for the users name and email address. An example of this pop up page would be “ enter your email for weekly dog training tips and videos”.

To add this pop up page you need to make an account with a list building program. Some popular email list websites to use are mailchimp.comaweber.com, and sendinblue (my favorite because it’s a fraction of the cost of the other mail services). For a tutorial on adding a Mail Chimp email list to your website

For a tutorial on adding a Mail Chimp email list to your website click here. For detailed instructions on adding an email list to your website using AWeber click here.

Social Traffic

Another very effective method of improving your traffic is through social traffic channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest and other social networks. These involve building up a social presence of some sort — such as a Facebook Page and communicating with your social readers. You then drive that social traffic to your website.