I’m in the process of developing websites in a couple of different niches and going through the process of building sites from scratch has been instructional, especially since the process has changed with the availability of new technologies, here’re a couple of steps to help accelerate your site development.
Choice of niche:
Obviously an important choice which will affect your daily/weekly routine for at least the next couple of months. It’s never a good idea to go into a vertical/industry solely by the perceived high payouts or bonuses you’re being offered.
Choosing a niche based on your affinity and interest seems to work for me, and I don’t feel that passing up on a number of “lucrative” niches has hurt me.
Working the Grind
Any vertical will have a period of “grinding” or what gamers refer to a period where you have to go through some repetitive, potentially painful effort. Any site will require more than its share of TLC, especially in its early stages. If you’ve outsourced help or an employee to take care of this mundane stuff, it helps, else it’s about 5-10 hours of setup and optimization if you choose to do it yourself.
With that, here’re an accelerated blueprint to get your niche site up.
Key in some general keywords/keyphrases specific to your niche, take a look at competitors and affiliates through the search engine results from Google, Yahoo, MSN and other tier-2 search engines. Also take a look at results from Ask.com, Wikipedia, YouTube, Squidoo, Hubpages to get a comprehensive view of the landscape.
While keyword spy tools are all the rage, it’s a little too tempting (and could be a potential downfall) to believe that SpyFu, Keyword Spy and other tools will “do all the work” for you.
Instead, going to a back-to-basics approach with free tools like Google Trends, the Google Keyword Suggestion tool, Microsoft AdLab, will give you insights not just into the keywords, but the searchers intent.
Do realize that search volume does not always correlate to buying intent. Someone searching for “Rhianna gossip” may not be as keen on “Rhianna ringtones” and making that mistake can be costly.
Site Setup and Optimization:
WordPress still continues to be my CMS (content management system) / website builder of choice. HTML editors require too much effort to build stuff, and other CMSes require too much time to configure and aren’t as search engine-visible.
The current trend as I’ve seen is moving away from flashy, resource-heavy sites and moving towards functional websites with easy navigation and ease-of-use.
Creating and publishing content on a regular schedule helps, especially if it’s geared towards human readers, rather than merely keyword-rich content.
Take note that you will need to work through the grind, even if you’re using PPC, but eventually it will pay dividends.
If you’d like to access some blog marketing strategies, you might like to check out my Secret Blog Weapon system.