Today I would like to introduce you to Josh Shogren from joshshogren.com. I recently discovered Josh’s blog and was inspired by his niche site journey. On this journey Josh will be giving you a front row seat to watch him build a niche site from scratch into a successful niche site.
While I am a huge advocate of Authority Blog building I am always interested in case studies and other methods of making money online. In the past I have even created the complete guide to building a niche website. Today we will be focusing on Josh’s success with niche sites and his new case study that is off to a great start. Although we are talking about niche sites Josh mentions something very important later on in in this interview that we will get to later.
If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you visit Josh’s site at joshshogren.com and follow along with is niche site journey, I know I will be :}. Also, you can get an inside view of two other niche sites that he has already seen a lot of success from.
Finally, I would like to give a big shout out to Josh for taking the time to put together all this information for the Authority Powered community!
Here is what you will learn from this interview:
- How to research and find a profitable niche market
- How to build a niche website
- How much content should you publish on your niche website
- What plugins, tools, and themes do you use on niche sites?
- How to rank a niche website
- How to get traffic to a niche Site
- How to monetize a niche site
- How to build a network of niche sites to maximize profits
William – Tell us a little about yourself.
Josh – My name is Josh Shogren and I am an 18 year old from Washington State. I have just graduated high school and I will be heading off to college in a couple months. One of the main reasons why I started building niche sites was to help pay for college tuition as it is really expensive. That is my motivation to make money from these sites.
How to research and find a profitable niche
William – What is your process for finding a profitable niche?
Josh – My process for finding a profitable niche is pretty basic. The only thing that I make sure I do is find a niche that has a lot of keywords that I can rank for. I like to have over 10 keywords that I think that I can rank for that are all similar. A lot of people make the mistake of trying to rank for only one term and that really limits the potential of the site.
I find a bunch of related keywords that I think I can rank for and break these keywords into groups. These groups are made up of keywords that are closely related. I will give an example of this. Let’s say that my whole site is based around lawn mowers. I am not going to try and rank for the keyword “lawn mower” but that will be the niche that I am in. I then make groups of similar keywords and make each group its own page. In this niche one page may be about riding lawn mowers. On that one page I would try and rank for keywords like “riding lawn mower reviews, best riding lawn mower” and others. That would be one page.
Another page might be about push lawn mowers. Then I would find a group of keywords that are related to push lawn mowers and try to rank for those keywords on that page. Now I have two pages about two different things but both pages are still related to lawn mowers.
You can keep making as many pages of similar keywords as the niche allows. Some bigger niches may allow for 10 different pages. Some smaller niches might just have 3 pages. Just remember that you are trying to rank a group of keywords on each page, not just one keyword.
This way of building out sites might not be the best way for everyone but I have found some great success doing it this way. You also might think that it is impossible to find a niche that you can find a bunch of related keywords that are easy to rank for, if you keep looking there are hundreds of niches out there that are incredibly easy to rank in.
Just to boil this all down, basically what I am saying try to stay away from building a whole site around one keyword. You are only setting yourself up for failure when you do this. Try to find a niche that you can dominate in and become the authority in. It might take a couple hours of research but you will find it.
William – What tools are you using for niche research?
Josh – The tools I use when I am researching are Google Keyword Tool, Long Tail Pro and Amazon.com. That is all I use. I just browse Amazon and look for items. I put those items into either Long Tail Pro or Keyword Tool and see if there is any potential in that niche. If you find that there are a ton of similar keywords in that niche put those keywords into Long Tail Pro and see what the competition looks like for those keywords.
William – Are there any stats or numbers you focus on as far as keyword search volume, CPC, product prices, etc.?
Josh – I like to see keywords below 25 KC. KC stands for keyword competitiveness and it something that Long Tail Pro uses to calculate the difficulty of ranking for that keyword.
If I can find over 10 keywords that are all related and below or around 25 KC then I know that I found a good niche. The monthly searches don’t really matter a ton as long as you get over 8,000 monthly searches combined from all of your keywords.
I do like to find higher priced items on Amazon.com because that means a higher commission. Anywhere from $80 to $500 is a good price.
How to build a niche website
William – What is your process for creating a niche site?
Josh – Once I have my groups of keywords then I can start setting up my site. Like I said earlier each group of keywords get their own page on the site. So if I have 5 groups of keywords then I set up 5 different pages on the site. My homepage links out to each one of the pages on the site. The homepage basically acts as a directory to the rest of my site. I do not try and rank the homepage.
I hate writing about things I don’t know about so when I start a new niche site I find an expert within the niche on Elance and have them write my articles for me. We will continue with the example of 5 groups of keywords, I will have 5 articles written for me. Each article talks about the group of keywords and is usually around 1500 words. This is the article I will be trying to rank for. Once I have the 5 articles posted on the site I will start to build links and rank these pages.
William – What plugins, tools, and themes do you use on niche sites?
Josh – I personally really like the Genesis themes and I use them on all of my sites. The plugins that I use are listed below:
- Wordpress Seo
- Google Analytics for WordPress
- Google XML Sitemaps for Videos
- TinyMCE Advanced
That is what I use for the plugins. Pretty basic.
How to rank a niche site
William – What is your process for ranking a niche site?
Josh – I use my own personal private blog network to rank all of my niche sites. I currently have around 40 sites in my network and I have used it multiple times to get first page rankings for a ton of keywords. PBN’s are hands down the most powerful weapon you can have when it comes to ranking sites.
William – Do you see this method working long term?
Josh – I don’t see Google being able to catch people using their own PBN’s and I see this way of ranking as a long term strategy. If you haven’t already I would start investing in building your own network if you are trying to rank sites. It makes it 100x easier.
How to get traffic to a niche site
William – What methods are you using to get traffic to your niche sites? Is it all organic search traffic?
Josh – All of the traffic that I get from my niche sites comes from Google. This might be a little risky because no one knows when a site could get penalized but organic search traffic is also the best kind of traffic there is, at least for what I am selling on my niche sites.
How to monetize a niche site
William – How do you monetize your niche sites?
Josh – All of my niche sites are monetized by Amazon Associates Program and if the items that I am trying to sell aren’t on Amazon then I will find an affiliate program. I really like Amazon’s associate Program because you get awesome conversion rates and decent commissions. Amazon just makes it really easy to make money as an affiliate.
William – Do you build a list or only focus on one time monetization?
Josh – The niche sites that I have now I do not build a list. The niches that I am in don’t really have a use for an email list anyways.
How to build a network of niche sites
William – I know you currently have 3 niche sites and would guess you plan to build more, what tips would you give to someone looking to make a network of profitable niche sites?
Josh – Start one site at a time. If you don’t you will not be able to fully focus on the site and get it going. Once you start to get the going then you can think about starting another site but just make sure that you only start one site at a time.
William – What are your future plans for your blog and niche site building?
Josh – Future plans for my blog is to keep documenting all of my niche sites and try to help as many people as possible learn how to build profitable niche sites. I really enjoy building niche sites and I know a lot of other people do as well, that is why I want to help them learn from my mistakes.
Come swing by my site and follow along my Niche Site Journey as I build a site from scratch and turn it into a profitable site. I document all of the things I do and show you exactly how I go about building this site.