Building niche sites is all the rage these days.
The basic strategy is very simple. Find a niche market that isn't oversaturated. Develop a list of related keywords people are searching on. Then write an article optimized for each one of your keywords. Once you have your articles, upload them to your site. Monitize your site with affiliate links and Adsense.
For this kind of niche site to be effective and make money, it is imperative that you get free traffic, and a lot of it. And that's exactly where a blog can be your best friend.
At its very simplest, a blog is just a structure. It's the bones of a web site. A blog is a simple way to publish and display your content online. Most of us think of blogs as a chronicle of news events, or commentary on news and items of interest. Or personal diaries.
Few people stop to think that you can build any kind of website with a blog. In reality, a blog can be used very effectively to build a niche site. The fact of the matter is, a blog is the easiest way to publish your niche site content. But the biggest reason to use a blog is that it can drive traffic to your site a lot faster than a statically-built site. A niche site built with a blog is a very powerful strategy.
First, choose your niche and research your keywords. Write your first article based on one of those keywords, just as you would when building a regular site. Then set up your blog and publish that article. Your niche site is now live.
To make your site structure the most effective, be sure to choose a blog that allows the use of Categories, such as Word Press or Moveable Type. Use your 10 most important keywords as the name of your Categories. Then file all your secondary keyword articles under those Categories.
Why is this so important? If you keep building your site with keyword-rich articles, eventually you could have hundreds of pages. Each of those pages will have a link to your 10 Categories. And each of those links will use the anchor text of your most important keywords. As a result of all those internal keyword-rich links, your site will end up ranking very well in the search engines for your Category names.
Now it's time to set up your traffic strategy. This is where a blog can really shine. There are many special RSS/blog directories that are hungry for feeds. By submitting your new blog to these directories, you can start getting traffic almost immediately. Quite often these feeds will result in a lot more traffic than all the major search engines combined. This is why it makes so much sense to build your niche site as a blog. You can have twice the traffic, and get it much faster than with a static site.
Here is a list of some of the top RSS/blog directories you should submit your site to: http://www.masternewmedia.org/rss/top55/
Once you've submitted your site to the directories, you can get it indexed by Yahoo almost immediately by adding your RSS feed to your MyYahoo page. If you don't have a MyYahoo page, just go to http://www.yahoo.com. Now click on the MyYahoo link at the top and set up your free account. Once you have your account set up, click on Add Content, then add the URL of your blog RSS feed into the Find Content box.
When you go back to your MyYahoo page, your blog plus your first post should be shown. If you go look at your web stats for your site, you'll find that the Yahoo spider has already made a visit! Your new site should be indexed in Yahoo in just a couple of days. This is a strategy that some marketers were selling for $50 just a few months ago. And it works like a charm.
Every time you add a post, you can alert the RSS/blog directories by "pinging" them. There is a wonderful site at http://www.pingomatic.com that makes this very easy. You just have to type in your blog URL and Pingomatic will send your ping to Yahoo and about 15 other large directories. That will bring the spiders back to your site almost immediately!
During the first month, I would suggest that you write and add a new article every day. Blogs that are frequently updated get the most traffic. And you'll find that the major search engines will spider your site every day. At the end of a month, you'll have a 30-article niche site that is already getting a lot of traffic. If you've monetized your site with Adsense and related affiliate programs, you should also be making money already.
Once you've started building your niche sites with a blog, you'll never go back to doing it the old way again!
For more tips and ideas on how to make money blogging, be sure to visit my "Why Marketers Should Blog" weblog at (what else) www.WhyMarketersShouldBlog.com