Building a Niche Site at Night – Introduction

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Niche Site at NightNiche sites. I’m obsessed with them. I’ve tried several different tactics over the last couple of years to try to grow my passive income streams – but I keep coming back to niche sites. In fact, most of my time lately has been spent building out several different niche sites. I’ve had plenty of failures along the way, and more recently have been experiencing some success. Although I’ve kept up with my monthly income reports here on Dumb Passive Income – I haven’t exactly been posting much else over the last several months. It’s a shame that I haven’t had the time. Keep reading to see how that’s about to change…

Blogging about what I am doing to create passive income online is one of my favorite things to do with my limited computer time. If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know that I like to wake up at 5am every morning to work on my computer. I’ve even been known to get up at 4am once in awhile! I do this so that I can work distraction-free for a couple of hours. Not much gets done after my 3 young kids and my wife wake up. Plus, this is still just a side hustle gig for me. I still work a full-time day job driving a semi truck. And when I get home from work each night, that’s family time. I never let my internet business stuff get in the way of family time.

So where am I going with all of this…?

What is this, “Building a Niche Site at Night,” when you don’t work on your computer at night?

Long Story – Short

My father-in-law had to get a bone marrow transplant. Pretty big deal – and it had to take place at one of the top hospitals in the nation at The University of Michigan. Everything went well and he is on track to make a full recovery… but. He has to stay in the vicinity of the hospital for a minimum of 100 days and he has to have a full-time caregiver with him at all times. My wife is going to be that full-time caregiver for at least the rest of the summer. This means she had to move to Ann Arbor, MI – where they are renting a furnished apartment – and she took our kids too. I get to stay home and work and hold down the fort. So without my family to spend time with each night – what could I possibly do?

Niche Site at Night

Of course – I’ll build a niche site! But not only will I build it for myself – I’m doing this one for you. I’ll be able to catch up with getting some content published here on the blog, and that content will be for your benefit and for mine as well. It will be in the form of a niche site case study.

I know, I know – not yet another case study by some blogger who thinks he knows what he’s doing. Heck – I’ve even started a couple of these in the past (when I didn’t know what I was doing), and I never finished them. But this one’s going to be different. This time I actually have a couple of successful niche sites, that are earning money, under my belt. There’s no reason I can’t build another one and simply let you watch over my shoulder.

I want to create the best and most detailed niche site case study yet. I plan to do this by utilizing video. Lots of video. I’ll be writing some stuff on the blog too, but much of what I teach will be in the form of video. There’s really no better way to learn – plus I’ll be able to produce more and better content faster this way. It takes a lot of time to type stuff out and share screenshots!

What About Other Niche Site Case Studies

Believe me – I know that there are other great niche site case studies out there. So why am I doing another one?

Pat Flynn’s first Niche Site Duel on was pretty awesome – for it’s time. There’s still some great stuff in there, but much of it has become irrelevant over the years. As for his latest case study, NSD 2.0 – well, I don’t think he’s exactly kept the attention of most of us in the niche site world who were looking for a relevant case study and something we could follow along with like his first Niche Site Duel. Pat Flynn is the man – and I’m sure that he’ll have amazing success with his food truck site (eventually). But I think he really dropped the ball as far as keeping the attention of those of us who are constantly on the lookout for what is and isn’t working in the world of niche sites.

Spencer Haws did two case studies last year on – and I have to give him credit. If it weren’t for those two case studies, I probably wouldn’t even be where I’m at today as far as figuring out how to create profitable niche sites. The first case study (his survival knife site) was good, but I felt he could have gone into a lot more detail on many aspects. His second case study, where he taught Perrin everything he knows – that one was the game changer. Perrin was asking Spencer questions pretty much from a newbie perspective. Questions that all of us had – and he and Spencer walked right through everything and caught much of it on video. A great, great case study indeed. But, even with all the detail they provided, I still felt there could have been more.

I’ve followed along with all of these intently – and now I am going to create my own niche site case study. Everything that is irrelevant in those, I will point out or leave out. Everything that I thought was missing, I will include in mine. I plan to share everything. No secrets. No holding back. I’ll walk you through every last little step. To the best of my ability – I’ll show you exactly what I am doing today (mid summer 2014) to build successful and profitable niche sites.

Welcome to my case study – Niche Site at Night.

I can hardly wait to get started. I’ve already got tons of ideas for tutorials, based mostly on questions I get in the comments and via email from you, the readers of Dumb Passive Income. Until now, I haven’t had the time to answer those questions in as much detail as I would like. That’s all about to change…

So – only one thing I need from you. I plan to cover everything anyway, but I would love it if you would answer this question. What would you like most to learn about when it comes to creating niche sites or what do you struggle with the most?

Image in logo from Flickr by Aram Kudurshian

76 thoughts on “Building a Niche Site at Night – Introduction”

  1. Matt looking forward to seeing your case study! The most basic thing overlooked IMHO is the content, I’m not good at it and it takes me forever to get a decent page together, I would like to see more on how to put a really good page together quickly. Good Luck

  2. Hi Matt,

    I look forward to follow the case study. What are your thoughts on sharing the domain and main KW? Will you keep it private or will that be shared as well? On one side it would be interesting to see which kind of niche you choose, but on the other side, we all know that results will be skewed if shared publicly..

    • I will absolute be sharing everything. I don’t think my results will be skewed very much as a result. I have a decent following here at Dumb Passive Income – but nowhere near the numbers that the likes of Pat Flynn and Spencer Haws see. A few people might link to my site – but I don’t think enough to make a huge difference. This case study would not be very interesting or effective if I weren’t going to share everything.

  3. Matt thank you so much for this post. I thought maybe I was the only think this with the two people I follow most on advice about Niche websites. I will definitely make a point to tune in regularly on your Case study. I’ve built several websites, but always seem to get stuck when it comes to building links, back-linking, or commenting. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on which way to go, but for me, it only adds confusion. I’ve been doing all three, but if that’s a mistake. Watch your new case study will provide me with a new perspective… Can’t wait!

    • Can’t say that I’m an expert either when it comes to link-building. But I’ve learned enough to get the job done and get some of my sites to rank for some low competition keywords. I’ll do my best to share when we get to that point in the case study.

  4. Great idea Matt. I’m in a similar place, with my family away visiting family for a few weeks. Its a great time to be uber productive. (Glad your father in law is doing OK). I am looking forward to following along, and am most interested to see more about your content outsourcing strategy. Good luck.

    • My content strategy is one of my strongest points – I think. Can’t wait to share it when I get to that point. Glad to have you along Tom – as always.

  5. Hey matt,
    Great to here your gonna do a case study! I’m brand new at trying to build sites and it will be nice to follow along with someone who’s not an expert (no offense). Some of the other studies went from revealing the keyword straight to the site built with 10 pages of content on it! Be nice to see theme selection and layout and why. Maybe some short videos on the process if it would take a lot of your time.

    • My thoughts exactly Bill. The previous case studies really didn’t go into enough detail on content creation, site layout, etc. That is the part of my case study that I think will set mine apart from the others. And yes, there will definitely be videos.

  6. Hey Matt –
    Really looking forward to seeing the results of this, and really excited about the video. I think I could most use more direction with keyword research. It seems like there are so many KWs and affiliate offers, I just don’t know how to match them up.

    • Keyword research is my favorite part Jeff! Can’t wait to share some of my strategies for that aspect of building out niche sites. I think I’ll be able to shed some light for you.

  7. Matthew,
    I am so excited about your plans! I’m looking forward to watching your progress. I’ve built a couple of niche sites so far. The hardest thing for me, as it is for you, is doing it outside of my regular job. I don’t have a lot of energy by the time the evening comes around – making it hard for me to do quality work and stay consistent. Finding a way to get past this roadblock would be a great learning point for me.
    Thank you for doing this!
    – Karman

    • Karman – have you considered trying to work in the morning before your day job? I love drinking my coffee in the morning and working away on the internet – and I hate that it always has to end too soon for me to head off to the day job.

      • I have thought about doing that. I really should do a “trial” experiment for a solid week – just so hard to wake up even earlier than I do already! Thank you for reminding me.

  8. Hey Matt – Looking forward to seeing a case study that’s kicking off right now. Things change so quickly so I know you’ll be able to add some very valuable info.

  9. Hey Matt,
    Looking forward to reading your blog and your niche site. It’d great if you could share your back linking strategies to us, as we all know there changing constantly and would love to know what your doing.


  10. Cool idea to use video to document your niche site. That is something new that could separate this study from all of the other ones on the internet. Good luck and I will make sure to keep tabs on it!

    • Can’t say that I’ll produce the most awesome and eye-catching videos. But they will be packed with all sorts of useful info. Hopefully you all get some awesome value out of it.

  11. Matt, really looking forward to it. Definitely will be interested in your link-building strategy, and how to deal with the sandbox issues of new sites.

  12. Having read lots of your posts in the past, I look forward to this case study eagerly. Like other comments I would be interested to see how you create your content for the sites as that is what I have found the most difficult in starting my own site.

  13. Okay, I love this creative slant – niche site at night. I look forward to your further posts and following your progress. I wish you much success and money!

    • Thanks mazel. Glad to have you along. I had to do something creative to set myself apart. Niche site at night had a nice ring and I was able to create a pretty cool graphic with it too (I think).

  14. I look forward to following along! I have just built my first niche site and PBN.. It’s too soon to find out if I know what I am doing or not. I look forward to finding out how you link build, find affiliate programs and how you build your sites to maximise click throughs.

    • Awesome Sharon. I’ll be covering all of that stuff at some point. Should be fun! My strategies might not be the very best for all aspects – so I’m looking forward to interacting and learning from the readers as well.

      • I thought of something else! what you do to try and hide everything you are doing from google. This aspect is driving me personally a bit crazy at the moment.

  15. Hey Matthew,

    Great start! I will definitely follow along. I am in a very similar situation. My wife and two sons just left home to China yesterday and stay there till the end of August. I am home alone to work on my own stuff. Have a chat with me and we can bounce ideas back and forth maybe.



    • Hope you get lots done while your family is away Sibo! I’m finding I have a little less time than I originally thought. Turns out, it takes time to do my own cooking, laundry, housework, etc. Sure makes me appreciate my wife even more!

  16. Thank you I can’t wait for this case study I follow all case studies from the other people you mentioned. One thing I have trouble with in keywords and finding a suitable niche. I need an in depth study in niche/keyword finding.

    thank you again

    • I plan to spend a great deal of time with this Avi. First thing next week I plan to jump right in and start recording videos, etc. Hope you get lots of value out of it.

      • ok no problem one more question. you said on top that you do this only at night and work full time how the heck do you do this? how do you get up at 6 in the mourning and start working on your site then go to your reg job?? what time do you go to sleep???? i dont understand how you manage working full time and running this website plus your going to do this niche case study?

        Thank you

        • Haha Avi! Great question. For me, sleep is just an over-rated but necessary evil. I actually get up at 5am most mornings. I leave for day job around 7:30. Get home usually between 6 and 7. Try to get to bed by 11 most nights, but usually end up staying up a bit past 11. Five and a half hours of sleep is normal for me during the week. That’s how I get stuff done. The excitement that this internet stuff brings more than makes up for the lack of sleep!

          • wow i admirer you for that its so true who needs so much sleep. when you love what you do i guess you can push your self to do it. i personalty would do the opposite work till like 2am in the mourning then wake up at 7am. i am a night guy i guess. also if this website or online stuff you do is making you alot of money then why work a full time job?

          • I’m not making nearly enough online to even think about quitting my day job Avi. Besides, that’s still not even a goal of mine. I also enjoy my day job very much. When I start making ridiculous money online, then I may start to reconsider my long term goals and whether or not I should continue driving a truck during the day.

  17. Hey, Matthew! I can’t wait to see the new posts in this case study. For me the two most hard things are finding a profitable niche and the link building process. Also, I’ve contacted you a few weeks ago with some questions related to that for a niche website of mine. However, I’m looking forward to your new posts about the topic 🙂

  18. Hey Matt it’s Alan from Italy! i just found out about your blog today and BAM! exactly what i was looking for 🙂 i’m in the process of starting my first ever niche site, i’ve consumed the case studies by Patt Flynn and Spencer haws and totally agree with you, i want more! so this is going to be very helpful.
    best of luck!

    • Awesome Alan! Great to have at least one reader from Italy. Very cool man. In my head, I know what I want to deliver in this case study. I want to make it better than anything else that is out there. I just hope that I’m able to actually deliver on what I think I can do with it.

      • i’m sure you will, you sound pretty determined 🙂
        How often are you planning on posting?
        p.s. it’s super cool for me to be the only italian following this! i feel special haha

        • Hopefully a couple of times per week. I wanted to get it started this same week that I published this intro post – but I caught a freaking cold in the middle of summer and haven’t been feeling the greatest. Ready to hit it hard first thing next week.

  19. Hello matt, im in the process of building my first niche site and i was wondering how do i know what other information i need on my site (footer area) and/or what plugins are a must when using wordpress which is the platform im using.

    • Every site is different Alex, and what needs to be included depends on many different factors. I’ll be getting into all of that as part of the case study. There are unlimited numbers of plugins that do various things for your WordPress site. Again – each is totally dependent on what you are trying to accomplish with your site. I have a few that I use on every single site – and some that are specific to certain types of sites. I’ll dig in and cover all of it in detail when I get to that point in the case study.

    • I honestly don’t know for sure what I plan to do for link building Scott. I’m sure I’ll start out doing stuff myself and see how it goes. If I do end up outsourcing, I will be totally transparent and show every detail of what I do and how I do it.

      • I’m starting to think with the long wait period for the google sandbox—-one needs to be building out or “seeding” multiple sites at once maybe in groups of 3 to 5 at a time with homepage content and letting them marinate! The good thing about the sandbox is there is no rush to build links so you can take your time building links slowly…..

        • Exactly what I’m doing right now Scott. I’ve put up 2 brand new really good sites within the last 6 weeks or so. Just taking my time with link building and expecting rankings and earnings sometime late this fall.

          • makes me want to focus on massive amount of content and developing social followings on pinterest, tumblr and facebook……see how much I can convert without going crazy with SEO….

  20. Hi Matt,
    Awaiting for public case study.
    One quick question, Can I also participate in this case study by creating another website targeting same keyword just for learning purpose?…:)


    • Hi Mariaa – I don’t know why you would want to target the same niche as me. I would hope that you will learn the process from me and use what you’ve learned to find your own niche to target. I wouldn’t suggest that you target the same niche – but I can’t stop you. Doing a public case study like this, I’m sure there will be copycats at some point. I’ve got something up my sleeve though that might ward off copycats 😉

      • Ok Matt no issue, I will not target your niche keyword..:-). Also I was not looking to copy your website, I hv other content generation strategy for my website. I was just looking to apply your link building process.

  21. Hi everyone.

    I bought a new programe that updates my website with unique high converting content every hour automatically. Its a really cool program check out this link for more info.

  22. Matt, actually I never started creating a niche site yet. I think the biggest question mark for me is: “How the heck can I get a big enough audience?”

    Regards, Karsten

    • koem – getting an audience is kind of the point with niche sites. I target search engine traffic for the types of niche sites that I build to get an audience. SEO is how and targeting the right keywords is the strategy. Stay tuned…

  23. Hey Matt

    Sad about the family news but really excited for this. Spencer and Perrin’s case study was a bit of a game changer for me so hope you can take it to the next level – no pressure 🙂

    Glad to hear you’ll be using video too – do shout if you need any help if YouTube will be involved.

    In terms of what i think is missing in the space (unless i’m being totally dense) is a decent guide on building links to internal pages rather than the home page. Also detailed click by click tutorials on the setup of plugins – SEO by Yoast for example – lots of options in there.

    best of luck

    • I will definitely be using YouTube Tom. I’ll definitely contact you if I have any questions. Or if you see something I should or shouldn’t be doing, please feel free to let me know!

      I did plan to do short and separate videos for the setup of each specific plugin. Great idea and thanks for validating that these tutorials are needed.

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