Which Niche Site Structures Work Best?

By Jamie McSloy / September 23, 2017
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When you start building niche sites, it’s best to keep it simple. You write a product review and then write another. You build up the SEO hits and get people clicking on your site once and then immediately leaving for profits.

After that though, you’ll have a site that’s getting some traction and some sales, but you’ll want to optimise it. Or, you’ll want to build a second site that does better.

That’s when you get bored and start thinking about niche site structures that’ll perform better than the “one and done” approach.

Here’s what I think about doing just that. Bear in mind, I’m experimenting with these things, and you should too.

Start With Your Niche Site’s Home Page

If you want higher performance out of your niche site, I suggest you start with designing a static home page that directs visitors where you want to go. (If you get all of your traffic through long tail and people don’t come to your main page, then start with the top menu instead.)

I’d recommend a static home page that directs to several places:

  1. Overview (Get this hobby)
  2. Best Sellers / Most Popular
  3. Latest Posts
  4. How-To Stuff

So test the home page first. But once you’ve gotten that page done, you’ll realise you can use direct marketing principles pretty easily to segment and filter the traffic.

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So your best sellers’ page directs to products, reviews and you’ll probably want to instil trust in your reader by giving a reason why the best sellers or highest recommended products are what they are.

Your how-to stuff is probably going to be composed of people who are looking for more “useful” information than just product reviews. So give them links to your email list, twitter/subscriber base and keep them in the network. Also, redirect them to what I’m calling “hobbyist articles.”

What Is A Hobbyist Niche Site Article?

I wrote back a few weeks (months) ago about starting hobbies and then creating niche sites around them.

This is obviously good for multiple reasons: the niche site will be effective, you will be more interesting and the world will benefit from your wisdom.

If you look at other hobbyist websites, then you’ll notice that there are common structures that the articles on them take. Namely:

  • Introduction “Here’s a great project”
  • What You’ll Need – a list of ingredients/tools/whatever
  • The step-by-step
  • The finished product
  • Troubleshooting

These articles function fantastically for numerous purposes:

  • Time on site/SEO/sharing
  • Affiliate linking
  • Other linking to other pages on your site
  • Lead magnets for a mailing list
  • Authority building
  • Comments

If you direct less commercial visitors to these types of articles, your site will do better in many ways. It beats just losing a customer, and at times will convert higher than a straight “Is This Product Awesome?” review/sales page.

The Overview Post

This is kind-of like the above, but it’s more basic than that, and less work is involved. With an overview post, you basically say to your niche site audience, “Start Here.”

Let’s say you have a niche site on fly fishing.

If a person totally new to the hobby gets to your page, which is optimised for “how to start fly fishing?” as a keyword, then what do you tell them?

Probably something like:

  • Here’s a list of equipment you’ll need. Types, reviews, etc.
  • Here are some of the skills you need. Books, videos, how-to articles.
  • For some of our best posts, check out this curated list.
  • Or, you can check out our blog.

So on and so forth. On that one page, you can direct to multiple offers, get people to check out the pages you select and al you’re really doing is collating information and summarising it. There’s not much work, but the “Start Here” page can make a person who would read one page on your site read twenty.

You can do multiple pages for this category. FAQ’s, About Us pages and Start Here pages are all basically the same thing.

Curated Lists

Let’s say you have twenty posts on your niche site. You’re probably not going to want your readers to choose at random which links they click. You’ll have favourites (namely the ones where you get a higher affiliate fee.)

Also, your reader isn’t going to want to sit and read twenty different reviews of the same or similar product.

So a curated list is perfect for helping everyone. Notably , you don’t have to sacrifice any of the customers.

Let’s take protein powder as an example.

You might have a protein powder niche site. You get 50% affiliate fee on an expensive product and 20% on another product.

You’re likely to recommend the former. But you can do both.

“Here’s our reader’s favourite protein choice.”

“For those of you who want a different flavour or a lower calorie content per serving, choose second choice instead.”

The whole point of this section is to direct traffic through and around to places you want it to go.