Niche Sites: Don’t Be A Copycat

By Jamie McSloy / January 6, 2018
copying niche sites featured image

Let’s take a step back with niche sites for a minute.

What are we trying to accomplish?

The answer, for a lot of guys and the odd girl that builds niche websites, is emulation without knowing why.

I remember back some years ago, Mike Cernovich – pre-political pundit era – talked about making money with niche sites. Specifically, he created a niche website that focused on selling juicers and later an ebook about juicing.

Now that was a pretty decent blueprint.

You had:

  • Low competition (it was a new industry)
  • Products with a worthwhile price point (you could make $10+ a sale even with Amazon Associates)
  • Quite a lot of material to work with (recipes, juicing in the news, random health topics)

Throw in an ebook, some case study/personal experiment articles and Mike had a successful niche site.

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The blueprint was, therefore, successful. Anyone could take the above couple of points and create a niche site using that blueprint.

What actually happened though?

Bear in mind that at the time I was just freelance writing on places like Fiverr and Upwork.

Did people come to me and say, “Hey… I want to start a website about X that uses [this blueprint]?”

Not at all…

What happened was that I got about fifty million requests to write articles about juicing. It was unreal. Every day I’d write about juicing.

I wrote ebooks, articles and newsletters.

In fact… one guy asked me to write a couple of e-books and then disappeared. So I put those books on Amazon and they still make me money to this day.

So obviously, juicing was a good niche. But 99% of those sites aren’t in the space any more. A lot of those people aren’t even in online business anymore.

This brings me to the point.

It’s Not About The Niche

You should concentrate more on the blueprint than the niche. When you see a good website, it doesn’t really matter what the niche is.

A thousand plus people tried to create juicing websites in a three month period. Only a few remain.

It’s not because they were about juicing. It’s because they were better at talking about juicing than the others.

They had better fundamentals: writing, topics, SEO, pictures and whatever.

Those are all skills that you can learn and are part of the fundamental premise. Those are what I try and teach you on the endless niche site rambles I do every week.

Inevitably, people want to talk about two things though when it comes to niche sites (and online projects in general):

  1. The design of your site
  2. The specific opportunity (once in a lifetime!)

Let’s just quickly address those.

Your Design Is Basically Irrelevant

When I talk about web design, I rarely talk about the themes, plugins, etc.

On the other hand, I talk a lot about the structure of a website.

I used to think that a slick web design was the difference between success and failure in terms of profits.

I’m friends with a guy who does the online thing. One of his side projects changed my mind on the above.

It’s in the health niche. I wrote about it in this article on online reputation management.

Here’s the crazy thing about that site: It looks nice, but the “theme” it uses is basically a blank white page with a yellow call to action to sign up to the mailing list at the bottom. That’s on every page.

The main money making pages have a couple of images and some testimonial images, but it’s really basic. It almost looks like it’s been made in Microsoft Word.

He has a limited sign up window every three months (scarcity works!) and the most basic of basic sites.

When he opened his sign ups, he made nearly thirty thousand dollars in one day.

Now, niche sites don’t make that much (unless you’re a lot better than I am at building them.) But the principle is the same. Providing your site is easy to use and clean to look at, forget the absolute specifics.

Most WordPress installs with a premium theme to your liking fit the bill.

The Specific Niche

The specific niche should be something you’re interested in and can enjoy writing about.

It’s better if you get something new and exciting, because there’ll be more demand for affiliates and you’ll potentially get in before saturation… but neither of those things are the major deciding factors.

If you have the fundamentals down, then you can create a better site than your competitors. When you get the fundamentals down, you’ll be able to move into new niches without thinking too hard.

Concentrate on the fundamentals and the niches will sort themselves out. You’ll not only get a better idea of what will work for you as a niche, but you’ll also be able to turn your hobbies into niches that other people wouldn’t have a chance in.