Today is my 4th day of being a “Niche Entrepreneur“, and with my week coming to a close: I thought it would be interesting to discuss the problems and new ideas that I have encountered. Perhaps one reason I am writing another personalized blog post so soon, is that I can’t figure out how to re-order the blog posts, and I want the good stuff up next. Theme limitations, or user error?
Yesterday, I finished an article ~ A Beginner’s Guide to Niche Websites ~ an article that I would consider to be a “cornerstone article”, or flagship content. Here is a good article from Yoast about cornerstone articles.
Basically, I attempted to make the article a “well written” resource guide, filled with likely keywords, and is one of the articles I will be prominently displaying to new visitors. An article like that should receive much more traffic than an article that is more ambiguous, like “Happy July 4th”, or “Blogging 2.0”. Therefore, I would consider it a more important article, making necessary to edit and re-edit.
I saw another excellent article from Backlinko.com, on how to write a blog post. In it, the author discusses the optimization of keywords in headlines, showing what proven headline formats work (ex: X ways to.. , X reasons why.. , The X Best…) So I sat and brainstormed for a few hours on what types of cornerstone content I should have, and what the article titles should be.
Try not to edit more than 500 times. The difficult part is that I don’t know any of this stuff, so each article will require direct research and reading comprehension. However, what I am learning about cornerstone content, is that I want these articles to be ranked well in Google, and this is where I expect to monetize. Right now, I am thinking about them as living documents, ones that I can continually update to be relevant. I expect this to be the difficulty in starting any website with the attempt to profit, being categorical to add value, research and reporting with guides on unknown topics. The next few days will be full of research and minor edits infinitum, and I am hoping to pump out an article a day.
Which brings me to my next anxiety: I am investing a lot of time producing low quality articles. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can produce about 300 finished words an hour, especially considering all previous articles, and even this one, will require future edits. Writing to provide value for profit, is not the same as writing a blog post with words that pop in my head. I find myself procrastinating, taking long breaks between paragraphs. And I am not yet satisfied with the website visuals, not certain if I can even fix it completely.
I am still questioning value of time spent. I pretty much spend all day working on one article. Tweaking, thinking, and hoping it sounds alright. If I spend 6 hours writing an article, what is my time worth? Even if we estimate $5 an hour, I am unsure if even my best article will award me with $30 net income. An argument could be made that my time is worth a multiple of five, further causing some doubt for a return on investments. Opportunity costs are a real thing!
On a lighter note, I discovered that this URL, thenicheblog.com , was previously in use by another individual. I discovered the evidence on Twitter. It seems like perhaps I should have done more research on the URL before purchase!
So, it seems thenicheblog.com has failed once already, and was last active around 2012. I am not sure if that is favorable for my rankings in Google, or signs of impending doom 🙁 . There are also a few other doppelgängers out there, thenicheblog.blogspot.com , one that has a famous last entry, “I am taking a break from this blog nonsense. I will continue to work on the idea of making money online, but I think I will not be blogging about it for awhile.”. This seems eerily familiar, a low quality budget website entry.
Another, the-niche.blog , I still haven’t quite figured it out, with a tagline of “a website for five people”, and article names like “Did Cat Person Deserve the Hype” , it is a pretty eclectic and diverse group of articles. However, they are frequently updating, even today, so there is confusion. They do have good engagement on their posts, also. Here is the screenshot today:
Finally, there is another website as near similar, thenicheblogger.com , covering the same space although a little differently. Here, I counted about 14 articles, a few with good engagement (150 comments), a good writing style, and it seems the last article was posted recently. This person seems more geared towards selling professional courses. I’ll have to keep an eye on this one.
No, I don’t have an email list. I haven’t created a course to sell yet, haha. I am not sure that an email list would add value to this particular website. Obviously, this website is meant as a primer for learning, so I can create an actual niche website and blog about it here. Maybe in the future!
Another issue that I have, is that I am not positive that the Classic WordPress editor is the right choice to create modern content. While it does work well, there does not seem to be many options and the Gutenberg editor. Here is a good article discussing Classic vs. Gutenberg WordPress editors. As discussed in the article, the Pros of Gutenberg include: cohesive content creation through blocks, and, integration of complex features without plugins. I do think, perhaps I am limiting myself by sticking to the Classic Editor, though it works well enough. Perhaps plugins can mitigate this issue.
Gutenberg Editor (left) vs. Classic Editor (right)
In the coming days, the most important goal is to create the main content that is likely to capture keywords in search results. This part is surely the hardest grind, to produce enough content to flesh out the basic site. I have decided to write at least 10 articles before fiddling with Google AdSense or Amazon Affiliates, so at least a week away. I still have a lot to learn, but already the to-do list is starting to seem manageable.
Here is a short list of things necessary to “finish” this website:
- Create an icon to be seen in the browser and search results. A quick Google supplies this answer: “It is called favicon.ico and you can generate it from this site: http://www.favicon.cc/ .” Upload this to WordPress.
- I am starting to question whether using too many free pictures from Unsplash , will lower Google rankings or fail to be interesting to the reader. Creating original imagery and content seems necessary.
- Decide to change to another WordPress Theme, or to correct issues that I see with the theme navigation menus and some formatting that does not translate well to the phone. It might be necessary to tweak some CSS of the theme.
- Write a dozen real articles, and update the landing pages to give the new visitor a few places to see.
- Investigate WordPress plugins to see if there is a feature to incorporate into the website, such as an email list, or perhaps change the default commenting system, or cosmetic upgrades.
- Sign up for Google AdSense and Amazon Affiliates, learn those policies and incorporate the code snippets into each article.
- Learn about C-Panel settings for the web hosting, to see if anything should be tweaked for security or efficiency.
- Begin to advertise this site, via other blogs and social media.
- Edit every article a dozen times, probably.
- Learn how to track visitors and other statistics.
It’s almost complete!
In the future, the over riding goal is to use this knowledge to create more niche websites, and report on that process, investigate details like a case study, and discuss any earnings from Google AdSense or Amazon Affiliates. For now, it seems I have a lot on my plate. Every niche entrepreneur will encounter this stage where a large amount of content is needed to create a destination rather than just a page. After this initial crunch, I expect to deliver one article a week, and focus attention on other projects. It only becomes easier if you put the work in!
Happy 4th niche entrepreneur day!