Choosing a Niche and Keyword Research

A few things were taken into account when I chose the niche for this Niche Site (the Dumb Way) Follow-Along. For starters, I know it can be risky to reveal my niche, keyword and URL to others. One reason is that somebody could steal my idea and build a better site around my targeted keyword. Another is that somebody could attack me (for various unknown reasons) by click-bombing my Adsense ads and putting my Adsense account at risk.

For the sake of this follow-along, I wanted to minimize those risks by choosing a very specific niche that will only be good for a limited time. Actually, I said that backwards. I already had the idea for this niche and decided that it would fit perfectly for this follow-along because it will be a short-lived site. Being that the site will have a very short life, I needed to find a keyword that I thought I could rank very quickly for. I am 1 for 2 on ranking quickly with my first two niche sites. Let’s hope that improves to 2 for 3 after this attempt.

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Building a Niche Site (the Dumb Way) – Follow Along

A couple of weeks ago, I had this idea to do a niche site follow along. This is not an original idea, as you probably know. One of the most popular follow-along’s out there is Pat Flynn’s Niche Site Duel. I myself have followed most of the posts in the Niche Site Duel and have learned a great deal about building niche sites from it. The difference with my follow along is going to be that I am doing everything the “dumb” way. When I say dumb, I mean that I am not using any paid tools or paying anybody else to do any of the work. I am doing everything myself using only free tools that are available. I am writing all of the content myself and doing any necessary link building myself.

Risking Very Little Money to Build a Niche Site

If you want to see how to build a niche site without risking very much money at all, this is the follow along for you.

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Income Report – July 2012

Welcome to my first ever income report here on Dumb Passive Income. I’ve been hesitant to start doing these as my online income is sporadic at best. It might be another month or two or three before I have another net positive month, but I decided to start my monthly income reports nonetheless.

There are several reasons I decided to start sharing my side hustle income on this blog:

  1. This is my favorite part of the month in the blogosphere. Several bloggers and other internet entrepreneurs share their monthly income and expense reports and I always seek them out and read them. People are naturally curious about how others are doing, so I figured I would join in on the fun and help satisfy the curiosity of others.
  2. Income reports serve as proof. This blog is ultimately about how to create passive income (the dumb way). If I share exactly how much money I am earning and spending, people who read this blog will have proof that what I am doing is or is not working.

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The State of My First Two Niche Sites

In my little world of internet entrepreneurship, a lot is happening. Considering the time that I have to spend on this side hustle, I am starting to get some things accomplished.┬áMy most recent schedule change at my day job leaves me with just under 2 hours each day to do whatever I need to do on my computer. I get up at 5:30am every day and have until about 7:15 to work on my computer. In this time I conduct several forms of research, including: keyword research (the dumb way), online income and how to build niche sites research (mostly by reading other blogs), learning how to use WordPress research (playing with new themes and plug-ins) and whatever else I happen to stumble across. When I am not doing that stuff, I am trying to actually get some work done on my sites and this blog. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I try to get at least one post up on this blog per week. Since I am not really trying to make money with this site right now, I find it more important to work on my other sites.

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Keyword Value Estimation

Estimating how much a keyword might earn for you if you created a niche site around it can be tricky. You have to work with a set of assumptions and guesses and then plug those numbers in with actual numbers provided by Google. First of all, you need to assume your niche site is going to make it to the first page of Google’s search results. If you can’t make this assumption, then you shouldn’t be building the site at all! Next, you need to guess where on the first page your site might land. Being up at #1 yields a ton more clicks thru than if you are down towards the bottom. The last assumption or guess that you need to determine is the click thru rate, or conversion rate for whatever your monetization method is. Google tells us the number for average monthly searches on particular keywords, and also the average cost per click that advertisers pay for that keyword.

Guessing Your Visitors per Month

Click thru rates for sites on the first page of Google seems to be an ever-changing phenomenon. The latest study I could find indicates that the top 3 spots in Google get 18.20%, 10.05% and 7.22% respectively.

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Keyword Research the Dumb Way

Sticking with the theme of the blog, I need to tell you about some dumb things I’ve done when it comes to keyword research. I thought I had it figured out. I thought it was pretty simple. As it turns out, I was doing more than one thing wrong!

Until recently, I didn’t even properly or completely understand what a keyword was. I knew it had to do with the basic subject matter of content and that it was important for search engine optimization (SEO). In the past, when I had to fill out a form for keywords to an article, I would separate every single word with a comma. I didn’t know that a keyword (singular) could actually be a set of words or a phrase. For example,

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