Cloning Niche Sites
Let’s talk about cloning niche sites.
Now, I don’t mean some scammy, black-hat marketing way to steal someone else’s work and then not profit.
If you want that, then you should probably go somewhere else.
So what am I talking about?
Let’s find out.
Setting Up Websites Is A Pain
Some of you might already know this. I might be some idiot who is massively behind the times.
Building a website is pretty mind-numbing stuff. Installing all the plugins, setting up the theme, uploading your logo and then setting up the categories and whatever… it’s all quite tedious.
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Now Back To The Regular Programming Schedule…)
It’s also time-consuming and there are better things to do with your time – like actually writing the content.
At least, that’s what I’ve thought. The few hours it takes to set up a site have always put me off doing more projects.
In fact, this week I had a set of notification emails telling me that four domains that I’d bought for niche sites were up for renewal.
Now, I had planned to put niche sites on these domains. They’re all related domains, but for slightly different audiences.
I just never got around to it.
So I had to think quickly: Do I want to let these domains drop or am I going to do something with them?
I’m not one to let an idea go, even when I don’t have the time. So I paid for the domains for another year and then thought about how I’d go about turning them from parked pages into real sites that hopefully earn me some money without really taking me all that much in terms of time and effort.
Then it hit me.
Could I Create A Site Once And Then Keep It?
Most of my niche sites follow a typical structure. I wrote about that in this article on mindmapping for a niche site.
So when it comes to building a niche site, I already know what I’m going to include generally. So I have to build the site, write the articles and upload –as well as doing all the tricky bits.
Wouldn’t it be great if I could literally create a template site that I could upload?
At the moment… I have a folder with all my themes, plugins etc. which I upload to the CPanel File Manager. This saves time on uploading everything one-by-one like I used to… but we can do better.
Introducing The Humble “Back Up Plugin”
There are tons of free plugins available that let you back up your WordPress installation. You upload the plugin, compress and download your site as a zip file with everything intact, and then should anything bad happen, you can then upload your site again and extract everything. Your site then is the same as when you made the back-up, fully restored.
At least that’s what normal small-brained folks like me use it for.
But an enterprising genius could instead make a fresh WordPress Install, upload all his plugins and themes, set a generic logo, create the site architecture for a niche site (or any other project, really) and then download that.
Then they could use this for every new site they start.
This would mean they’re starting from a fully-formed template each time instead of a new WordPress Install.
Taking It Further
From the above hot tip, you can tell that I’m as lazy as I can get away with. The above will save you a couple of hours.
We can do better and take it further. Here are a couple more things that I’ve done (or am in the process of doing) that’ll make things even easier:
- Create template pages in Thrive Architect so that your main pages will look great
- Use Pretty Links plugin so that you just have to slot in your affiliate ID’s when you have
- Create empty/template posts and category pages so that you are literally copy-pasting articles once you’ve written them
- Upload stock photography that you’ll use multiple times
There are probably a lot more things that you can think of.
Business is a game of optimising and freeing up your time and brain power so that you can concentrate on important stuff.
With niche sites, you’re looking at low-investment strategies that pay off over the long term. It doesn’t pay to spend ten hours setting up each niche site when you can do the above process once and then spend fifteen minutes every other time.
Now… you could hire a virtual assistant to do the boring set up stuff. But then you’re looking at a few hundred dollars a month. I always prefer hacks and using the power of lines of code where I can.
This method is like hiring some guy from Upwork to set your site up for $50, except better and free.