The SEO world changes quickly, and some of this content may be out of date.
For more recent content, check out the following case study where I break down step-by-step how I build an authority niche site that ended up generating $119,088 in just 9 months. Or check out the more recent posts on SeoFlipper.com.
“Your efforts are appreciated. I guess I am reader 13 of this wasteland you call a blog (your words).
Can you write a bit about how you determine the niche’s that you decide to build sites for?”
Bob, I’m glad that you clarified that those were my words, else we might have given reader 14 a bad first impression.
when it comes to niche selection for small Adsense sites, I think there are two approaches that will always make money.
1) Go after product terms: Target people searching for cheap widgets, widget reviews, widget coupons etc. This almost always leads to high CTR and very nice rPM since these are individuals with commercial intent, and there will almost always be lots of advertisers targeting your visitors.
2) Create helpful content for people looking for a solution to a problem: The peskier the problem the better. So “urinary tract infection home remedies” might be a good target, but so would “how to get a divorce”. Of course, the latter is much higher competition (also lower shame factor), so that will factor into your selection process. In general, people looking for a solution to problems will click ads if there are advertisements that promise a solution.
That’s what I’m generally looking for when I think about niches. As for the process itself, nowadays I usually don’t need to do much to get niche ideas. If you just stick to the two ideas I’ve outlined above, you’ll find that after awhile you’ll see niche ideas everywhere. I’ll usually just get a niche idea, start pulling up related keywords, which will generate more ideas for which I’ll run another search. Rinse and repeat.
If you’re not at that point yet though, a great way to get niche ideas is to browse through Flippa or Amazon. Amazon is great for product ideas since they stock just about everything that can be bought or sold online.
I should also clarify that when I suggest Flippa as a niche selection tool, I definitely don’t mean that you should find an auction and copy the keyword/buy a similar domain like some people (parasites?) do. That doesn’t work very well since the initial site already has a head start, there will be other copycats jumping in the mix, and it isn’t a really scalable strategy. Plus its just kind of a crappy thing to do.
Just use flippa to get general niche ideas (if someone else got their site to $XXX in 3 months, chances are there are other low competition keywords in the niche up for grabs), then go to the google keyword tool or your favorite keyword research tool and generate tons of related keywords (filtered for the type of volume/cpc you want), run them through a bulk domain checker (You can use something as simple as dynadot’s bulk keyword tool). Then use your favorite competition checker (I’m using SerpIQ at the moment) to check out the competition.
Hope that helps get you started. If anyone else is in a generous mood, feel free to share your own niche finding strategies in the comments.