Building Your First Niche Site [ 2020 Guide ]

by Josh Koop | Last Updated: September 30, 2020
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The excitement and anxiousness when you are looking at starting to build your niche site business may give you crazy heart palpitations, I know it did for me.

There are many steps to building out a niche website that may make it feel very complex but today you will go from no site to ready to begin the blogging side.

Your first step before anything else will need to be figuring out your niche, or topic, that you want your business to be about. This will help you craft a good identity to build a brand along with help visitors understand your website.

Before you read down further I wanted to say that I am an affiliate for many of the links below, this hasn’t changed my opinion of their services and I know they will provide you amazing help in your site.

  1. Selecting A Niche
  2. Choosing a Domain Name
  3. Choosing a Web Host
  4. Choosing a Theme
  5. Choosing Useful Plugins
  6. Building a Post Hitlist
  7. Publish, Publish, Publish

Within the steps above is everything you need to get yourself started and to begin creating your business. Note how I don’t have you customizing your site, this is a vanity measure and won’t gather you visitors and profits.

Once you start to have 1-10,000 pageviews a month you can start taking some time to figure out if you want to do a major layout shift. The best thing you can do in the first year is to publish as often as possible and with super useful content.

Selecting A Niche

This is the first step to build your niche site and will help you out tremendously as this site is highly focused on finding and exposing niche options for people to choose as maybe the way for them to build their own profitable business.

You may have been told that you should choose only high value products that will get you a high commission, while this can work you will have far less chances to have a buyer along with less chance that your affiliate cookie will be in place.

Focus On Finding A Niche That Fits You

You are building a business for yourself, if you are looking at quitting a 9 to 5 job that you hate then you know why you don’t want to choose based on money value alone.

You will need to work hard for more than a year, many times at least 2-3 years, writing content and working on building methods to bring in income. Doing this on something you love will make you enjoy working on this day to day over the long haul.

Monetization Options Each Niche May Have Available

Part of what you want to think about though in this process is how you could convert your work and effort into a profitable business. This isn’t being built with the intention of being a personal blog to just get your feelings out.

There are many ways you can look to monetize a niche website and blog and some may fit each niche better than others, some will get better results in one or more of the monetization options, know and have a plan of attack here.

Each of the above could be applied to ANY niche site you would choose to build. When you build a site you will want to diversify your income from many sources. This will help you when the off season should come or a pandemic should occur, if you focus on only one you could fail in harder times.

Choosing a Domain Name

When choosing a domain name you will preferably keep them split from your hosting company to allow you the ease of being able to migrate your site. Since many times hosts love to hold your domain hostage in many cases and on their platform.

I personally use Google Domains and NameCheap as they both provide free WHOIS protection, that is the thing many hosts will charge you for, it makes your name be hid behind their service and keeps you free from phone, home and email spam.

I have had nothing but good help and fast action on NameCheap when I change the Name Servers to move a domain the updates come fast and the migration proceeds without issue.

After you choose where you want to get your domain name from then you will need to choose a name that matches your website business niche. There are many ways to search out help in finding names, the only hint I can give you is to avoid dashes, numbers, the shorter the better, and that it should be a .com.

Choosing A Web Host

There is about a billion web hosts, everyone says that their host is the perfect match to get you maximum performance at a good cost. I can’t tell you I have tested every host out there and that I know the perfect match for each person.

This is intended to just get you moving forward and building your niche site, if you want to delve deeper into hosting please jump over and have a read on this post dedicated to website hosting.

I can tell you I see three tiers of service available which will work for the normal non-techie person to get a niche website up that also provides good quality support to help take care of you should you have a website failure or crash.

Shared Servers Tier ( < 30k Monthly Pageviews Traffic)

Within this bracket I see two ways to host and either will suit you starting a business and reaching the 30k pageviews per month level. Both provide excellent service to help you out when you experience issues and aim to keep you online 24/7/365.

Siteground Web Hosting

One of the hosts that provides very good performance to costs allowing new affiliate marketers a good starting place with excellent support when things don’t go as expected. Click here to check current deals…

GreenGeeks Web Hosting

One of the newer hosting companies compared to names like BlueHost and others but they have high quality LiteSpeed technology servers which has a native plugin for WordPress to help increase your performance without needing additional plugins. Click here to check the current deals…

Additionally they provide a 0 carbon footprint approach that may appeal to many who try to limit their carbon footprint on the world.

Mid-Range Tier (30k-100k Monthly Pageviews Traffic)

These are sometimes still a “shared server” environment but with far less websites on each host. This along with building a better stack of technology helps them to be able to support the higher levels of traffic.

WPX Web Hosting

Having a high performing service that allows for 5 websites for $25 a month that can support traffic to 100k monthly is impressive and really inexpensive. They also have built in ability to build out staging environments to allow you to customize your site before moving it to a production environment. Click here to check the current deals…

Cloudways Web Hosting

Cloudways is very unique as they offer a management console and support for your choice of high end cloud server providers. The likes of Google, AWS (Amazon Web Services, Vultr, DigitalOcean) all are available for you to choose the best server for your needs. For most affiliates you will get exceptional speed with a VULTR HF (high frequency) server that currently comes in at $13 per month. Click here to check the current deals…

High-Range Tier (100k + Monthly Pageviews Traffic)

These hosts maximize their performance and typically have none of the huge “shared” environments but due to this the costs tend to increase pretty dramatically versus other earlier shared hosting.

BigScoots Web Hosting

Whether you are running a small blog or looking to scale out a sophisticated corporate site, BigScoots offers the fastest Managed WordPress Hosting plans on the web today. Click here to check the current deals…

Kinsta Web Hosting

One of the most expensive services online from hosting but also incredibly reliable while providing A++ help and support. When you are at this level having a team like theirs ensuring your site stays up is vital to your fortunes. Click here to check the current deals…

Choosing a Theme

After you have chosen your hosting plan and got your website up and running then you will reach needing to choose a theme, the default theme in WordPress can work but I don’t find them very visually impressive as a reader.

You will want to pick something simple and not try to fiddle with it as that can come down the road in 6-8 months when you have content and traffic to that content, too many people will spend months “perfecting” a website that no one visits.

The other thing you need to understand is that you are building the site for YOUR VISITORS, not for yourself. Don’t decide to do something because you think it is “cool” if it adds nothing to functionality now isn’t the time for it.

Free Theme Options

There is a huge directory of free themes in WordPress by just going to Appearance -> Themes and Add New. While there are plenty of options there is some solid free themes you can start with that will help you get good page load speeds and look nice out of the box.

These are where the ultimate in settings and configuration options become available within the theme without many other plugins. These will allow major customization without the headaches and manual coding free themes will need.

There are some outliers that may fit your needs that are paid for, I have used both and there is benefits and drawbacks to each of these, but they are both able to peg out the PageSpeed scores from Google with little effort.

Choosing Useful Plugins

We have a list of the main plugins that will help your niche website that covers all the main needs that any affiliate website owner would need to be effective in building a community through email and to get continuous traffic from social sharing and more.

I would suggest that at this point in your site build that you avoid any plugins and instead double down on writing helpful and useful content. This content will help you increase traffic that you can then easily monetize.

At most you can look to add a plugin like ShortPixel to help shrink images along with something like Flying Analytics to add your Google Analytics code to your site and begin tracking site visitors.

Building a Post Hitlist

Your next key to building a good start on your niche website is to find good keywords to target for these first posts, while you may think a short keyword will get you traffic it will most likely ensure never making it to page one and will not yield any search volume.

I believe in building a list of posts with which to start building your highly targeted content, these and known as long-tailed keywords that will typically be 4-5 words in length and may not have as much traffic but can be won by a new website.

Now not every long-tailed keyword is going to be simple to rank for and what you will want to look for are results on the first page that include things like forums, reddit, and quora. These are all smaller answers and not given the priority in ranking with Google over the long term and should be what you target.

There are numerous free keyword tools to help you get some ideas for free if you need, personally I use SEMrush as it helps combine multiple steps and get through the research phase much faster.

Publish, Publish, Publish

The final thing you need to remember is that you aren’t writing English term papers here, write like a neighbor or friend, you don’t need the kings grammar and if anything mess ups make you look human.

The thing that will ABSOLUTELY doom your site is when you don’t post or post very slowly, you are needing to create content and inside that content you want to have there be lots of keyword rich content that Google and other search engines will be able to rank you for.

Over time these all will add up and help you become more visible in the search engines, while you can do this over years I would say to put in an hour a day and aim for at least one post every day or every other day.

Make sure these posts are better than the top 10 results in Google and if not then don’t post them and keep working on it, build the BEST resource for that post on the web and the traffic will find you.

The killer of any niche website business will be on failure to create content that can get you traffic, build the best and be the best!

Final Thoughts on Building Your First Niche Site

This whole process should take about 60 minutes from start to finish to start moving on your first niche website. Building your first niche site is a super exciting period and will be amazing for your confidence if you can maintain for the long term.

I want you to finish with the understanding that niche sites don’t grow fast without content, the most consistent site over 24 months with 200 posts will probably be close to a “replace your job” income level. This isn’t to say it will as you need to write well and most people fail, they don’t see immediate results and you won’t either.

To start building a site is a commitment to at least 2 years of effort to build your site and look to finally reach larger visitor counts when you are aged and the search engines respect your content, but also you will write better the longer and more you do this.

Now go kick some butt and grow yourself a business!

I love technology, I have plenty of technical side experience but never really thought of blogging as a way to earn an income. With everything that has gone on in the last couple years and the instability of the job markets I started to learn how to blog and build affiliate niche sites to add more income channels to give me the chance to break free from the financial chains that bind me and find real freedom!