If you’ve heard about people making money from niche websites, you might be wondering if it’s too good to be true. On top of that, googling around about the topic might have you more confused than you started out.
What is a content website, exactly? How do you go about choosing a niche for a site?
Beyond that, can a niche website really be profitable?
Stick with us as we answer all these questions and more.
Table of Contents
What Is A Content Website?
Content websites (also known as a blog, authority site, or niche website) are a library of articles and information that center around a specific topic. The goal for content websites is typically to build up traffic to the site in order to monetize that traffic.
In short, the purpose of a niche website is to acquire visitors. One of the primary tactics used in order to accomplish this goal is SEO (search engine optimization.)
There are content sites that are run by huge media companies as well as sites that are run by just one or two people.
There are a number of different ways that you can monetize a niche website. These include:
- Selling ebooks
- Selling courses
- Displaying ads
- Offering services
- Collecting and selling leads
- Affiliate marketing
It’s worth understanding that building a content website isn’t a way to get rich quickly. However, with hard work, dedication, and a solid plan, it can end up being an awesome way of making passive or semi-passive income in the long run.
Building a content website is a long-term investment. Much of the work that goes into building a successful niche site is frontloaded. You might find that you work on your site for four months every day without making any money, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t make you money in the future.
In fact, it’s common for people to not see any profits until at least six months have passed. For this reason, there are a lot of people who give up on their sites before they start being able to make a profit.
However, if you’re able to build a website that is helpful to people, you will eventually be rewarded by Google through traffic. If the algorithms determine that your content is the most helpful article on the internet to answer a person’s search query, you will turn up high in the results.
(Are you wondering why your site has low traffic and how to fix that? Check out this twebsite traffic article).
Operating a content website as a business Running a website where the goal is to create value and earn money is like running a business. Invest profits, analyzing what part of the website is making a profit and where to put in the work to grow.
What Is a Niche? What Is a Niche Website?
The terms niche website and content website are often used interchangeably. However, it’s worth understanding exactly what a niche is before we get too much further.
Basically, a niche is a segment of a market that has a focused audience with a problem they are trying to solve. When you create a niche site, you are providing a solution for their problem.
You’ll find the hierarchy of market segments broken down in various ways. In general, though, a niche is only one part of an industry.
For example, an example of an industry might be outdoor sports, and a niche within this industry might be hiking. You could further niche down to focus on minimalist hiking gear, hiking in the upper Rocky Mountain region, or hiking with kids.
The goal when you are choosing a niche is to be specific, but not too specific. Basically, if you just try to create an outdoor sports site you likely won’t ever get the traffic you are looking for because your topic is too broad and there are already established, giant sites that are the authorities. On the other hand, though, if your niche is too specific then there simply won’t be enough people that are looking to solve the problem you are providing a solution for.
Why Is It Important to Have a Niche?
When you’re thinking about starting a niche site, you might think that a broader topic is better. After all, the bigger your subject matter is, won’t that expose you to a larger audience base?
Having a niche that is too large, however, is exactly how you will end up finding yourself lost in the endless sea of the internet. Let’s say that you want to start a site about photography since this is one of your primary interests. Photography is an extremely popular topic for searches, but there are also a lot of big, established sites that are vying for top spots on Google for this topic.
Basically, too broad of a topic leaves you with way too much competition. The way to deal with this isn’t to give up on your dreams of generating passive income. Instead, you’ll want to narrow down your niche to remove the competition.
Continuing with our example of photography of a topic, you can simply add another keyword to niche down the topic. You might look into focusing on nature photography, sports photography, or portrait photography.
What happens if those niches are still too competitive? You might consider adding more keywords to niche down further.
For example, maybe you niche down to digital nature photography or family portrait photography with a specific type of camera.
You are narrowing down your niche each time you add a keyword. Be careful not to niche down so small that there won’t be engaging content that you can create for the long term or a big enough audience. However, you’d be surprised how specific a niche can be and still be profitable.
Having a niche is also important because it helps you focus on a more specific target audience. While there might be less people in the world looking to read articles about family portrait photography with a GH5, at the same time the people who are attracted to your site will find your niche blog to be all the more useful to them.
What Are the Benefits of Creating a Content Site?
There are a lot of compelling reasons to create a niche website as a business.
Ultimately, it’s incredibly valuable to have a business that has low-maintenance needs and makes a profit every month. You can either keep content sites as a form of passive income or you can even sell content websites to interested buyers.
These days, profitable content sites are sold for roughly 30 to 50 times the revenue made each month. This means that if you are making $1,000 in profit monthly, it’s possible that you could find the right buyer to pay $45,000 for your site.
If finding a buyer for your site seems like a daunting task, you might be relieved to know that there are marketplaces like Empire Flippers to help you find the right buyer for your site.
High Profit Margin
Typically, starting a business involves quite a bit of monetary investment. However, building niche sites has the benefit of very low overhead costs.
Though it can take longer to start turning a profit with niche sites than with e-commerce sites, in the end, the profit margin can be much higher.
Potential for Passive Income
Once you have put in the work to build up your site and drive traffic to it, content sites can be an awesome way of producing passive income. If you hire other people to manage your site, you can literally be making money in your sleep!
If you aren’t selling any products of your own, you won’t have to deal with order management, fulfillment, or customer service.
You Can Create a Portfolio of Sites
Once you have built one successful content site, what’s holding you back from making another? As you build your expertise in the world of running a niche site, it’s possible to run several sites at once. Since these sites get to be fairly hands-off as they grow, you won’t have to put your attention towards any one site full-time.
The main strategy people use to drive traffic to their sites is SEO. When SEO is done correctly, this can be a source of free traffic in the long term. This means that you won’t have to put tons of money towards paid ads in order to get traffic to your site.
Creating organic traffic means that you are building a system to drive traffic to your site over the long term. You’re also establishing yourself as an authority in your specific niche. This means that over time you will build a base of followers who will be increasingly interested in what you have to say or sell.
There are so many different ways of monetizing niche sites that there’s likely a niche and a strategy that will work for you. Whether you want to make money from affiliate links or sell your services online, content websites are incredibly versatile.
The Different Ways to Monetize a Content Website
Now that you have an answer to “what is a content or niche website?” we can talk about the elephant in the room. How exactly do you make money with a content website?
Sell a Service or Product
One way that you can make money from your site is to sell products or services.
If selling products sounds like too much hassle to you, it’s worth mentioning that you can also sell digital products. If you do choose to sell physical products, you will have to deal with things like inventory management, fulfillment, shipping, and customer service.
Ebooks are audiobooks are popular digital products you can sell. If you’ve built up a following using your content site, you can write books based on your niche to earn more profits. When successful, ebooks can be an awesome way to earn passive income.
You can also sell courses online as a way of making money from your blog. This is another great way to create passive income as you only have to put the course together once and can continue to sell it ad infinitum.
You might also choose to sell software, digital downloadable, or physical merchandise.
Maybe you find that you’ve built up an audience of loyal readers who will happily purchase products with your branding on them. If you run a home interior affiliate site, for example, you might find that there is a market for home interior products with your branding and approval.
If you run a blog about natural hair care for women with curly hair, you might find that your audience is interested in buying branded hair products from you. Basically, what started out as a content site can turn into a hybrid with an e-commerce site.
When it comes to thinking about how to monetize your blog, it’s good to start off open-minded and creative. As you brainstorm ideas, you can start to redline ideas that simply don’t make sense or that you don’t want to do for one reason or another.
Selling services is also a way to monetize your site. Let’s say you run a nutrition blog and you are a nutritionist. You can use your site to advertise your services helping people build a meal plan.
Some people who run content websites also start a coaching or consulting business. This is a monetization strategy that can be a great way to create an additional revenue stream.
If you are an expert in a specific field and people are interested in paying you for your expertise, then you can be a coach or a consultant.
One simple way to monetize your niche site is to run display ads. Whenever you visit any large, well-branded websites, you’ve likely noticed ads on the page.
When you run display ads, it allows you to monetize every page of your site as well as every visitor to your site.
There are some benefits to running display ads that can make them more appealing than creating affiliate pages. With display ads, you’ll be able to monetize every single page of your site with a roughly equal amount of success.
Another way to make money with your niche website is through the use of affiliate marketing. There are a number of different affiliate marketing programs. One of the most popular choices is the Amazon Associates program.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most common way that people make money with their blogs.
What is affiliate marketing, exactly? To put it simply, you get paid when someone buys a product that you recommend. You write content that links to products as a part of an affiliate marketing program and you earn a commission when visitors make a purchase.
These are only a handful of the ways that you can make money with your blog. Some people choose to offer a paid membership plan on their blog, while others might start a podcast. You can even accept donations on your blog if that makes sense as a part of your niche.
Hiring People to Manage Your Niche Website
One of the most important aspects of creating a successful niche website is content creation. If you are hoping to earn a reliable passive income from your site, your content needs to be high-quality and you need to build up a lot of it over time.
There are certainly people who create all of their own content, but this requires a lot of work and a big-time commitment. This is particularly reasonable at the beginning when you are working to build your site.
However, as your site grows, you might want to put your attention elsewhere or the content needs of the site might demand more than you can offer. No matter your reasoning, at some point in the journey you might consider hiring people to help manage your niche site.
There is no shortage of content writers out there that you can hire. However, the quality can range dramatically. If you choose to hire the cheapest writers you can find, don’t be surprised when your content is filled with typos and fluff if not basically unintelligible.
On the other hand, hiring top writers can cost a pretty penny. You’ll need to determine where the sweet spot lies. On the one hand, hiring top writers can drive more content and provide a better ROI than using content mills, but on the other hand, you don’t want to spend any more money than you have to in order to reach your desired profits.
How to Choose the Right Niche for Your Site
Choosing the best content website niche for you can be a daunting task. Not only do you need to find a niche, but you need to find one that will turn a profit.
The first step in the process is simply to brainstorm. Make a list of the general topics you’re interested in. While it’s important that your niche is profitable, it’s also a good idea to pick a niche that you are at least mildly interested in.
If you don’t have interest in your niche, you might not feel motivated to keep creating content for your site in the initial months before it receives traffic.
Basically, your niche doesn’t need to be your primary passion in life. But you also don’t want to choose a niche that is boring to you or one that compromises your ethics and sense of self. For example, an avid vegan likely doesn’t want to run a hunting affiliate site.
Your niche should be a topic that you can write at least one hundred articles about. To help you brainstorm, think about what you look forward to either in your professional life or in your spare time. Jot down a list of the sites or blogs that you like to visit on your own time.
You can also look at the subscriptions that you have. Consider why you signed up for them and why they interest you.
Consider also if there are any topics that you are an expert in. Maybe you know everything there is to know about ballet gear or perhaps you are a master at container gardening.
All of these are simply prompts to help you think about the topics that you could start niche sites about. Once you have narrowed down the list to a few ideas, you’ll need to do some research to make sure you’ll be able to profit in these niches.
Finding the sweet spot between having too big of a niche or too small of a niche can be difficult. Check out this article to learn how to use google trends for bloggers.
Identify Your Market
Finding a niche that you’re interested in is important, but you also need to know that there’s an audience out there waiting to engage with your content.
Your niche should be helping to solve a problem for your audience. Who exactly, though, is the audience that has this problem and is interested in solving it? This is essential information as it will help determine your branding, voice, and how you advertise.
Once you have narrowed your focus to a handful of ideas, it’s time to take a closer look to find the most profitable niche. You can use Google trends as mentioned above to get a general sense of how much search interest there is in your niche.
The next step will require using some of the available SEO tools out there. This can help you see the search volume as well as how difficult it will be to rank for those search terms.
Research Your Competitors
An important part of picking your niche is researching your competitors. If you find that smaller, newer sites are ranking on the first page of Google in your niche, then you might be exactly where you want to be. On the other hand, if search results are turning up huge, established sites for your topic, you’re probably going to niche down.
Having some competitors in your niche isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it can be proof of concept. The goal will be to run a better niche site than they do in order to climb your way up the rankings. That being said, you’ll need to be honest about whether or not you are able to compete with other articles.
For example, if you are deciding to start a generic finance blog, you are likely going to find that sites like Investopedia, The Balance, and Forbes are always taking up the first page. A small, new site isn’t going to stand a chance against these sites.
Can You Create Evergreen Content in Your Niche?
Another important consideration is how “evergreen” your niche is. What this means is: will the topic remain relevant over months, years, or even decades?
It isn’t a good idea to center your niche around something that is super topical. Our attention span as a culture is very short, and a topic that is on everyone’s mind one day will likely be ancient history in a few weeks.
When you create evergreen content, the words you are writing today will be just as accurate in ten years. You can, of course, keep content updated (which you should,) but the information largely remains relevant and stable.
(Are you wondering when the right time is to update your old blog posts? If so, check out this article).
For example, evergreen content might include things like how to incorporate more protein into your diet or how to ride a horse. Time-sensitive content, on the other hand, will focus on things like seasonal content, pop culture fads, trending issues, or current news events.
Choosing a niche that allows you to create evergreen content is key if you want to steadily build up more traffic over time. While topical issues might show you an initial pop in traffic right away, you’ll find that you won’t get the exponential traffic results you were hoping for.
Can a Content Website Really Be Profitable?
In short, yes. A content website can really be profitable. That being said, it isn’t a magic button you push that makes money fall from the sky.
You need to be willing to put in the time and effort to both find a profitable niche and increase traffic to your site over time.
There is no set answer for how much money you can earn with a niche site. You can definitely find stories about people who are making tens of thousands of dollars every single month with their niche sites.
However, making that much money certainly won’t happen right away, and most people won’t get to that level of profitability.
That being said, some experts claim that you can make up to $3,000 or $4,000 a month after your site has been up for one or two years. On the other hand, some bloggers find it hard to even make $100 or $200 a month.
Basically, you need to position yourself in a high-traffic niche where you can capture a lot of traffic. If you are able to do that, there is virtually no limit on how much money you can earn.
Due to the current SEO policies of Google, newer sites don’t typically start performing for at least a few months. However, your traffic will increase if you provide meaningful content consistently that is tailored to your target audience and focused on your specific keywords.
Use Analytics to Boost Your Profits
There are so many different people online trying to convince you that you can get rich quickly with one internet scheme or another. However, one way that you really can earn passive income is with a content website. Now that you know the answer to “what is a content website?” you can start deciding whether or not this is a path you want to walk down.
You won’t get rich quickly when you create a niche site. However, that’s actually one of the great things about it. While there are a lot of people that are trying to make money with niche sites, many of them drop out before their site begins turning a profit.
This essentially creates a barrier to entry for niche sites. By doing your research upfront to find a profitable niche where you believe you can gain traffic and build followers, and putting in the hard work of building the site and creating content, you can start building passive income when those looking to “get rich quick” have dropped off to try some other scheme.
One of the incredible things about starting a content site is how much information is available about the performance of your site. However, if you don’t know how to analyze this data, it won’t be particularly useful to you.
That’s where we come in. At Title Console, we help you gain insight into which content is performing best on your website. This can help you understand your audience better and let you focus your future content in a way that leads to more traffic and more profits.
Are you interested in taking your content site to the next level? If so, check out our pricing plans today!