We’ve all been there : hours spent dreaming of creating an internet property on some obscure idea; reading countless success stories by those who’ve figured out the formula to generate thousands of dollars in passive income a month, all while enjoying their retirement… and a new career selling e-books disguised as master courses. In this article, I will show you how I earn $21,000 a month through Google AdSense, by pressing just three buttons… Just kidding.
Even the best of us may not hit a home run niche business on the first try, but I am here to tell you that there is still money to be made online in 2019. Other niche websites tell you that their unique paid course or e-book will show you “secrets” of the process, some proprietary formula to rank well on Google, or 1990’s era techniques that are outdated in 2019. This article hopes to cut through the spam, and to teach you to go from zero to a niche website business in sixty minutes.
Briefly on niche websites: when people discuss creating niche websites, generally the idea is to create online content in which passive income is created through contextual advertisements (such as Google AdSense, Media.net, or infolinks) or affiliate networks (such as Amazon Affiliates, commission,,,,.s.), writing content for which the main purpose is for the reader to click an outside link to make a purchase. The website owner then earns income either through a pay-per-click scheme, counting advertisement reads or impressions, or a commission from direct affiliate sales. Additionally, the owner can pass along qualified leads, offer private advertising space, or sell their own products and services (typically a course or an e-book).
Here is a previous article on the subject: A Beginner’s Guide to Niche Websites, where I go more in depth about the basics of niche websites. Key advice on choosing a niche: find something you enjoy and can write about, and make high quality efforts to attract readers and search engine rankings. Additionally, there are free resources to find keywords and create ideas, such as (FREE RESOURCES). Just remember: doing well in any endeavor, a good effort is the #1 indicator of success.
Briefly on the internet of 2019:
Contemporary websites that rank well on search engines often share the same features:
- Good domain name & brand
- Organized structure
- Responsive design & navigation
- Outstanding user experience
- Search engine optimized
- Clean and validated code
- Fast loading speed
- Link building
- Information that adds value.
For the lay man, this begins to look like an intimidating set of tasks, not knowing where to begin. Go look at your favorite website on the computer, and then compare it to a smaller screen like a phone. Somehow, deep within this code, a cascading style sheet media query determines the size of the viewport.. and somehow that same website looks perfect on every device. Starting to sound difficult: responsive design is but one trick to learn to create a website from scratch. Thankfully, learning all the coding skills is not necessary in 2019 to create a professional website that just works.
Three choices to create a modern website:
- Hand-coded HTML5 – Not recommended for the faint of heart or computer illiterate. But honestly, completely manageable with some targeted Google learning. Though completely out of the scope of this article, even this could be done in one hour. Just a few extra steps working through the C-Panel. These days, there is a jQuery plugin for everything, ample HTML5 and CSS3 free templates, and large communities dedicated to sharing code and best practices. It is not impossible to hack together some code for responsive design and navigation, insert a few amazing jQuery plugins, and merge with a basic website template, a few tweaks for customization later, …done in a few hours! While this method can prove very expensive to hire out, the one “pro” in this method is getting exactly what you want.
- A website builder that offers hosting services – Often, the advertisements seen on T.V. or around the web to create a website is this one. Certainly, this is the easiest, non-technical solution to quickly create a website and publish on the internet. Sites like Wix, WordPress.com, or BlogSpot offer the user a free website, as well as a user-prompted visual editor to offer a no hassle way to upload content. If your goal is something other than generating income, this may be a good option! However, for the niche entrepreneur who wants to generate income, I’d advise against this avenue. For starters, free domains on these sites are actually subdomains, so yoursite.com would be yoursite.wordpress.com, or yoursite.wix.com, or yoursite.blogspot.com – not very professional or enticing. Even if you do pay the fee and purchase a unique domain name: the user is stuck to a proprietary system, limited themes and options, and potential difficulties placing advertisements. This may be a good option for niche entrepreneurs to just get online for free, and decide whether to continue with a more professional offering.
- WordPress theme and purchased hosting services – the choice for the modern professional. Here, we are using the open source, WordPress.org, a purchased domain name & hosting plan, a free or purchased WordPress theme, and a few WordPress plugins. I wanted to write a lengthy article on doing something quickly, before I actually discuss building a website, because this method is just that easy. Quickly: most WordPress themes have responsive design built-in, fast clean code & search engine friendly, is user-intuitive so a layman can edit the blog, and has a plugin or out of the box functionality for just about everything (email lists, login and logout, storefronts, comment sections, breadcrumbs, etc). There are thousands of free themes, and nearly 60% of the internet runs on WordPress. Why not? For the remainder of this article, we will break down the process to quickly create a niche WordPress Website.
Choosing a Niche –
Still having trouble deciding on a good niche? While I say write with your gut instinct, many others would suggest keyword mining to drill down on topics. A good way to accomplish this is to check out Google Trends, a free resource to see what is trending on Google search. Additionally, another great free resource is the Google Keyword Planner, which you may find is difficult to access, being prompted to start a campaign – you must switch to expert mode, and view the tools. Here is a good article on that process.
Another free method is to use the free version of keywordtool.io, which seems to be a derivative using Google Autocomplete to generate keyword phrases. For an idea generator, it works great. Many other sites may direct you into paid alternatives, such as longtailpro, moz, or ahrefs; that information would likely only benefit established niche entrepreneurs looking for the next idea. The basics sometimes are enough.
Obviously, choosing your website’s main idea is the most important decision the developer will make. Again, I stress that first-timers should choose a topic or main idea that is a natural extension for their life or interests. It hardly makes sense to start an idea off for the idea of making money selling niche alpaca fur products, if neither creating websites or businesses is in your skillset. My advice is to write content for which you are passionate, so you can tolerate re-edits and zero traffic, and newfound frustrations of creating something new. Whatever you do, choose well! Here are a few articles on how to “choose a niche business” :
Choosing a Domain Name
The name of your website helps determines your brand. It’s often the most nervous part of creating something new. What do I call this newborn baby? Of course, there are some conventions to adhere to maximize the potential. You don’t want an off-putting domain name like with a bunch of numbers and six words that no one can remember.
Good domain names share a few things in common:
- Easy to remember & short (less than 15 – 20 characters, less is more.)
- No numbers, hyphens, or misspelled words.
- Has a “.com” TLD. .org and .net are ok.
- The name is Descriptive or Brandable.
- Here is a good article by GoDaddy on the subject, one from The Site Wizard that frames it another way.
Before you commit to a purchase, I suggest taking some time to really think about your idea, think about it being your brand, would you be proud to tell someone about it? www.bestnichealpacafur4u.biz might not be the next hot idea after all! Whatever idea you decide, you must check to see if the domain is available, so head on over to your domain registrar of choice and spam that search button to be shown availability and domain ideas. I use GoDaddy, but many sites have this functionality including Bluehost and Namecheap.
Deciding where to buy a hosting plan can be intimidating when you have no idea what you are doing. Typically, a domain name costs around $12 a year, and hosting should cost less than $10 a month for a new website, though expect to be upsold with products like email addresses for your domain name (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), fees for not including your personal name and address on the registry (privacy ~ $10 a year), or other services and products.
If you are the type to look for deals, first time hosting packages can run as cheap as $1 a month for the first year. For this website, I searched for “GoDaddy coupon codes”, and found a great deal for the domain name + a year of hosting for $12, with each month after the first year at $7.99/month. I expect most big name companies have similar deals. Here are some of the most used companies : Godaddy, Bluehost, NameCheap. I’d recommend sticking to larger, more well known companies unless you know what you are doing. Finding technical support may be a lot easier. Additionally, you can host a website yourself with a dedicated computer and a persistent internet connection – but that is outside the scope of this article. Here is a good article on self-hosting a website.
Setting up WordPress
If you chose to purchase hosting from a well known vendor like GoDaddy or Bluehost, log into your account to find the hosting set up screen, and it will prompt you and ask whether this site will be a WordPress site. Most sites should pre-upload the necessary files to easily log into WordPress and get started uploading content. Here are some pictures of the process:
At this stage, everything is set up and ready to go, your website is live on the internet with a placeholder ready for quick adjustments. If however, there is a hiccup in installing WordPress automatically, you must log into the C-Panel and upload WordPress manually.
Once automatically or manually uploaded, it is time to log into WordPress. To log into your account, type “yourwebsite.com/wp-admin” into your browser and you should arrive at this screen:
Using the same password you created earlier, log into your account to view the WordPress Dashboard:
Working with the dashboard is very intuitive, from here we can create and format new posts, create the navigation menus, change themes on the fly, add plugins for increased functionality, and much more. I recommend starting with the most basic resource to learn about WordPress – WordPress Support. Here is another quick article on using the WordPress dashboard.
Choosing a Theme
Changing a theme is a one second operation in the WordPress Dashboard. Not only can you install themes discovered on the web, there is a large repository of free WordPress themes from the dashboard itself. A quick Google of “free WordPress themes” could generate enough results to keep you busy for a few weeks. I recommend trying a few free themes and seeing what works for you, and necessary desired features, before spending money on a paid theme.
Uploading Content to the WordPress Editor
Almost complete! Ready to upload a life’s work worth of content already written and formatted for success!? By far, this is the most critical and time consuming process of any website. Generating unique content and applying some typography skills for readability requires a deft hand or a hefty wallet. Either direction, once there is content to form a website, use these tips to master the WordPress editor.
Odds and Ends
From here, a page on the internet with links and content, is a website! There will always be more left to do, some things to tweak, and some content to upload. It takes time to master the process – such as writing for quality, social media promotion, backlinking, and editing in the html code necessary to produce advertisements. The key should be gradual improvement, each day combing through existing articles to add new hyperlinks, correct mistakes, and add value through innovation. The true time consuming process, is seeing it through to conclusion, not the beginning.
What are your experiences creating a niche website with WordPress? Let us know in the comments for a good community!