On October 31, 2008 by Anand Subramanian. · 9 comments so far
This post is the second post in the series of posts I plan to do on creating a niche blog.
I have been making niche blogs for about 3 years now and with each site I make, I learn a ton about making money online with niche blogs. Each site takes a different monetization approach once it hits a resonable traffic. I have been mainly monetizing my sites with Adsense and Chitika and very recently with MarketLeverage and Pepperjam.
I just finished putting my little health niche blog online and have been taking notes for the process so that I can share it with you guys.
Step 1: Domain Name and WordPress
No brainer. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out a perfect name. It is important to get the right name for your niche blog. I learnt this when I created my first niche site on Chikungunya. I went with name chikungunia for that niche site. But unfortunatly that was the wrong keyword to target and hence the site makes cents now. So, get the right keywords in your domain name. Mani Kartik has done a great comparison about keywords in domain name.
Usually most keyword dotcom’s are usually taken, so you have to settle for some other tld or add popular prefixes like iniche.com or eniche.com or some suffixes like nicheonline, nicheguide, nicheinfo, nichetips or in my health niche case, nichetreatment, nichecare, nicheremoval and the like. If you so totally suck at guessing domain names use NameBoy. They give you some resonable names.
I stick with niche-suffix for some reason. A personal preference maybe?
Then I put up wordpress CMS (not justified in calling it a blogging platform), again if you are lazy like me, use the built-in Cpanel feature called Fantastico.
Step 2: WordPress Tweaks, Plugins and Themes
First thing after logging into the fresh wordpress installation is to tweak a few things to make it perfect as a CMS. I usually do the following:
- Settings -> General: Add www to the domain name. I like it that way. There used to be SEO benefits.
- Settings -> Reading: Change Feed display to summary. In case people do subscribe to your niche site, you want them in your site to read so that they click and make you some money. Here the motive is to make money, not exactly look at user convenience.
- Settings -> Discussions: Uncheck nust have a previously approved comment box. I would rather have a few spam comments than have a genuine comment in moderation
- Settings -> Permalinks: Change to %postname% or %category%/%postname% if the site is big.
All sparky! Next to plugins.
I have a folder of plugins which I bulk upload when a new site is being being created. The majority of plugins I use are already known to you, but maybe you will find some you did not know about.
- All In One SEO – Every wordpress users favourite!
- Akismet – Built In, but I have the key safe in a text file to instant activation.
- XML Sitemap – This is a raw XML sitemap, If you want something more pleasing on the eyes use this google sitmap generator. Decent apart from their big ad on top. But it does the work without trouble. (Ads are not adsense or so, but a big self promotion text on top.)
- Photo Dropper – Finds Flickr images based on the keyword you input. Perfect for niche blogs where you have no idea what a silicon implant looks like!
- Subscribe To Comments – Regardless of niche blog or not, everyone should install this plugin to get more comments. It makes people know what other people think about your comment or the post itself.
- WordPress Automatic Upgrade – This a boon! Trust me, when you have 70 niche sites to keep secure from stalkers.
- Related Posts – Keep the visitor browsing your site and maybe click on a affiliate product or an ad.
- Simple Tags – Another tagging plugin, but I love it for the simple reason that it picks up tag phrases from yahoo. These tags can bring traffic to that page too.
- Link-a-dink – Replaces all occourances of a word with a link. I use it to link the keyword to the homepage. Internal links are good 😉
Any plugins I missed? Do share your gems with me!
To the front-end now. Themes!
I experiment a lot with themes and hence I am totally lost whenever I want a new theme! For this site, I am currently using a SEO’d Theme by CourtneyTuttle. Mainly cause I am not interested in adsense based themes now as it will get next to nothing traffic for the first 2-3 months.
Then I change the sidebar to something more functional. My typical sidebar has:
- Subscribe to newsletter: Use Feedburner. Build a list. Email Marketing in the long run.
- Recent Posts: 7-10 recent posts. 7 is a lucky number for me.
- Recent Comments – Helps in modifying all pages each time a new comments. SE advantage? Maybe.
I usually monetize sites only after some 6 months. I have noticed that Google places better trust on these non monetized sites. But more on that later!
Next week, we will do some keyword research to get ready to start defeating my challenger. Nomar, you are so dead! muhahaha