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Selecting a domain for a new niche site is more important than you think. It is also one of the more overlooked and less talked about aspects in the overall process of building a niche site. I’ve come to understand just how important it really is – and for this reason I’ve dedicated an entire video and post on the topic. Choosing the right or wrong domain can literally make or break your site.
I had to learn one lesson the hard way when I built out a brand new niche site on a bad domain. That experience has led me to this entire process that I now use to spam-check domains before I purchase them. That’s right – even if it’s a brand new domain name that I dream up and think is totally original – I always check every single domain now before I register them. You just never know. It really doesn’t take very long and it can save you a lot of time and heartache if you are able to find that a domain you were considering is actually no good.
I thought this video was going to be shorter – but I wanted to explain each step of this process as best as I could and in as much detail as possible. I still don’t think my videos are super-awesome, but hopefully you’re picking something up and learning a thing or two from them.
Niche Site at Night Video
Selecting and Spam-Checking My Domain
Or you can watch the video directly on YouTube here – http://youtu.be/xoDEpRN4b2A
Tools Used in the Video:
- OpenSiteExplorer (Moz.com)
- Sistrix.com (Google updates)
- Bluehost (affiliate link)
- YouGetSignal.com (Reverse IP Checker)
Dumb Passive Income pages mentioned in video:
- DumbPassiveIncome.com Resources page
- Article: Building a Niche Site on a Bad Domain – And How I Fixed It
Types of Domains to Consider
- Exact Match Domains – say you are targeting one main keyword for your niche site (example: best charcoal grille). An exact match domain (EMD) would be bestcharcoalgrille.com. These types of domains no longer get a huge boost in the search engines like they did a few years back – but they don’t hurt you either. Plenty of EMD niche sites still rank on the first page of Google and surely are making tons of money.
- Partial Match Domains – again, for sites targeting one main keyword (primarily), your domain in this case would contain just part of that keyword. An example would be charcoalgrilleguy.com or charcoalgrilleguide.com. Tons of these types of sites still rank highly in Google too. Not a bad option if you can find the right word combination.
- Brandable Domains – These types of sites may or may not target just one main keyword. You won’t be able to tell by the domain name. This type of domain is usually something catchy or memorable and fits with the overall theme and purpose of the site. An example might be something like meatcookingmaniac.com or cookoverblack.com (<— pretty good one I just made up!). These sites don’t care about their keywords being in the domain and are more or less trying to build a brand for themselves.
- Expired Domains – These are domains that were previously owned by somebody and possibly used in some fashion and at some point. You have to know what you are doing if you plan to use an expired domain. Possible benefits are relevant and/or powerful backlinks that are already pointing to the domain and the domain showing some age for having been registered some time in the past. Might be a way around the recent Google sandbox phenomenon. Possible disadvantages could include bad links pointing to domain or unknown penalties against the domain based on what previous owners did with it.
- Brand New Original Domain – This is a domain name that you or I cleverly dream up and register for the first time ever. Nobody else has ever registered this particular domain. It’s a clean slate. An open book just waiting for somebody to create something on.
My Domain Choice Explained
The domain I chose actually shares 3 of the traits described above. It is an expired domain. I would consider it to also be a brandable domain. And it is kind of a partial match domain. I say “kind of,” because I am not targeting one main keyword with this site. The domain I chose is coffeebeanworkshop.com. Expired domain – yes. Only one backlink pointing to it at time of purchase. Domain is a couple of years old with some okay authority stats – PA 19 DA 13. Brandable domain – I think so. I will be building a site about home coffee roasting. Calling it the Coffee Bean Workshop is genius I think – totally brandable and memorable. Partial match domain – well, some of my articles will certainly be targeted around coffee beans, so it is kind of a partial match domain as well.
I’m actually pretty excited about this domain. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get around the Google sandbox phenomenon or not with this domain. I’m really eager to find out though. But then again, I frankly don’t really care whether it ranks quickly or not. This is going to be a long term project and it’s going to take me longer than normal to build out anyway. This due to the fact that I am spending just as much or more time on these case study videos and posts! If I don’t rank in Google for 4 to 6 months, that will be fine with me. Sooner will be better though. Besides, there will be plenty of potential to market this site in ways other than SEO.
Hosting for Niche Sites
Also explained in detail towards the end of the video – why I purchase new hosting now for many of my new niche sites rather than put them all on the same hosting account. Two main reasons: 1. I don’t want sneaky internet geeks finding all of my niche sites and 2. I want to point links from my PBN sites to my money sites, without making it obvious that my PBN sites are pointing to sites owned by the same person.
I have experience now with several different hosting companies. My current favorite is Bluehost for several reasons. Mostly for ease of use and a really nice user interface. But also for fantastic customer service, communication and overall experience. Especially for somebody who is just starting out – I highly recommend Bluehost. Oh! I almost forgot to mention that you get your domain registered for free when you sign up for hosting at Bluehost! Can’t beat that if you are building your very first niche site.
As mentioned at the very top of this post – I don’t think the topic of domain selection is talked about enough. I hope this post along with the embedded video is helpful for you as you consider purchasing a domain for your niche site. In my quest to create the best and most comprehensive niche site case study on the internet, I wanted to make sure I spent a good deal of time on this topic.
I look forward to reading your thoughts and answering your questions in the comments section below.
Matthew Allen is a full-time trucker, part-time blogger, and imaginary entrepreneur. He is the only known trucker who is blogging about creating passive income online. He is also the co-founder and co-creator of the most popular WordPress plugin for Amazon affiliates – AmaLinks Pro.