Niche Site Case Study 008: Monetization & Domain Dilemmas

by Benji Walklet on July 25, 2013 · 4 comments

Niche Site Case Study 008: Monetization & Domain Dilemmas

I’ve been trucking along with content generation and still haven’t written one article, myself. This is the complete opposite approach I took when compared with my last niche site, TopRatedCoffeeMakers.com.

While I did outsource about 5-10 articles and reviews with that site, the first ones were almost exclusively written by yours truly. While this was great for me and my site in many ways, it cost me a lot of time.

With my latest niche site, although I’m very passionate about the topic, I’d like to buy as much time as possible when building this site. Sure, content creation is really important…but what if you could find somebody who could create the content for you twice as fast and twice as good? Would you pay for his/her services?

Content count and other information

You may be wondering how many articles I’ve put up on my site so far…so here’s the short answer: 6.

Some other things you might be wondering:

  • The first post was added on 6/26/13
  • 5 of the 6 posts are merely informational and not actual product reviews (my site will be a review site)
  • 4 of the 6 posts were posted between 7/16 and 7/19

I’m going to elaborate on a few of these points…as I certainly have an opinion about the approach I’ve taken here.

First post came a month after I selected a keyword

I chose my target keyword on 5/28/13 and didn’t add my first post to the site until about a month later. I strongly urge you not to do this. In other words, get your first post up as soon as possible. The earlier Google has something to index, the quicker you will start climbing in the rankings.

Since I waited a month to get my first post up, I consider myself a month behind in potential rankings for my target keywords.

Bottom line: have a post ready to copy and past into your content management system (hopefully WordPress) as soon as you get your site setup with its foundation.

The thinking behind the informational posts…

Is two-fold:

1) I may only monetize with Adsense…so informational posts suit this more (more on this later)

2) These informational posts are “naturally” dense with secondary keywords

I love “long tail” traffic. I mean, who doesn’t? And this was and is the exact thinking behind creating content around these secondary keywords, which in effect are farther down the long tail.

How did I choose these secondary keywords? Well, I basically typed my primary keyword (or a broader version of it) into Long Tail Pro and sorted the results by Local Exact Searches (most at the top). Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the theory and give you a concrete example right now:

Primary Hypothetical Keyword: Bacon Recipes

Enter Bacon into Long Tail Pro

Bacon Long Tail Pro

Sort results by Local Exact Match

Sort by Local Exact Match

So we see Bacon Recipes in there, now let’s look at what we find below it. Bacon Sundae, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, Candied Bacon, Baked Bacon, etc. In other words, we have a wealth of topics that we could potentially create content around:

-How to Make a Delicious Bacon Sundae
-5 Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Recipes That Are Perfect for a Party
-What Is Candied Bacon…and How Do You Make It?

You get the idea, right? Well, this is exactly what I did to come up with these “informational posts” I was talking about above.

Spacing out content

While I may not have data to back this up, I feel like Google prefers spaced out (and consistent) content over sporadic content added in bulk. What I mean is that I posted 2 posts on one day, twice. I don’t think this was an ideal way of introducing my content, so I don’t plan to add two pieces of new content on the same day in the future, unless I’m doing it on a consistent basis.

I’m in love with a new content creation platform…

textbroker

In my last few posts I talked about a writer I’ve been working with that I hired through Elance. While I thought he was great for the first few things I had him write, I found myself spending too much time editing the articles he delivered. This doesn’t mean I won’t use him again in the future, but ever since I gave Textbroker a try I don’t see how I’m going to ever go back to Elance.

Textbroker completely exceeded my expectations

I first heard about Textbroker through Spencer Haws’ niche site case study. So I finally decided to give it a try and was blown away.

What’s unique about Textbroker is that you get to see an exact quote for the maximum amount you will spend on an article within the length range you select.

So say you want an article that is at least 500 words and at most 750 words, Textbroker will come back with the maximum amount you will pay (if the article happens to be 750 words).

Another really cool aspect is that you can choose the writing quality level from 1-5. The higher the quality, the higher the cost. However, I found that a 750-1000 word article cost me under $25 for writing level 4. I was more than pleased with the quality of the writing.

Finally, you have the option of choosing to send the article out to the entire community of writers, a specific writer, a team of writers, or a team of expert writers for a specific industry that Textbroker will choose for you. Love all of the options, but so far have only tried the entire community option.

The best part about Textbroker?

It’s incredibly fast. I got each of the articles I ordered delivered in under 3 hours. Incredible.

Ordering content with Textbroker

My monetization dilemma

As some of you may know, my previous niche site’s reviews were mostly collated. Meaning, I found as much information as I could find from reviews on a particular coffee maker around the web, and summarized it into one review. While I initially grappled with the ethics of doing something like this (considering I had no actual experience with many of the coffee makers I reviewed), I justified it with 2 things:

1) The opinions of a large group of people are more valuable than the opinion of an individual

2) If you disclose that you don’t have experience with something, but outlined the aforementioned benefit, it should be OK

and while I still believe this, I’m not sure if my new niche is a product that can fit within these 2 justifications. Also, there isn’t one unified site where I can send my visitors to purchase the products that are being reviewed. The products my niche relates to are sold on multiple sites…which means multiple affiliate programs.

The bottom line is that I’m still not sure if I’m going to monetize via affiliate marketing for this niche site. It seems messy.

To start, I think I will stick with Adsense until I can think this through a bit more.

My domain dilemma

To be honest, I’m not even sure if this is a dilemma yet. You see, I bought a Partial-Match-Domain (meaning, my primary keyword is at least partially in the domain).

But I also bought a branded domain…which is what my site is actually called. So let me give an example:

If my primary keyword was still Bacon Recipes, my situation can be described as this:

  1. My WordPress site is hosted on the partially-matched-domain: www.bestbaconrecipes.com
  2. But my site is actually called Bacon Lova, and I have www.baconlova.com forwarding to www.bestbaconrecipes.com
  3. www.bestbaconrecipes.com is actually where all my site’s files are stored, and XML sitemap is submitted through

I hope you follow. Basically point #2 describes my dilemma.

I suspect that my PMD, www.bestbaconrecipes.com would be the one that Google indexes…but this is not necessarily what I want. Does anybody know how this works exactly? I think I may have shot myself in the foot by setting my site up on the PMD instead of the branded domain.

Wrapping it up

I think that’s more than enough info right now. Please share your comments and questions. My next update will include costs and more information on my Adsense configurations. Maybe I’ll have a bit of traffic to show (and hopefully rankings) too.

 

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About Benji Walklet
Benji Walklet is the owner, founder, and main writer of Search and Perch, a holistic internet marketing blog for entrepreneurs. When he's not on his computer he's either playing some hoops (basketball, duh), reading a book, or hanging out with friends and family.

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  • Jamie Charlery

    Hey Benji, Nice post and I like the mini review on text broker probably going to use it soon. With your domain situation google will index the PMD not the redirections brand url. But this is not really a big deal if you want to switch it around now:

    1. You can simply set up the brand domain as a stand alone domain by pointing your DNS at your hosting and adding that domain to your hosting if its on a separate registrar

    2. You then change the general setting for WordPress Address (URL) & Site Address (URL) in word press to point at then the brand domain.

    3. Move all the word press files into the branded domains folder

    4. Point the PMD to the Branded Domain.

    If this is all new to you it best to search for a full complete guide because a wrong step could leave you in a little mess. Also if you are plaining to do this its best to do it now before you start link building.

    Jamie

    • http://www.searchandperch.com Benji Walklet

      Thanks Jamie; great advice!

      I may have to do this. Still, I can’t help but feel that PMDs may still have a bit of value in Google’s algorithm.

      I’ll have to think about this one a bit more.

      Thanks again for the great step-by-step…I’m sure it will be useful to other readers who may have the same predicament.

  • http://www.livinginthailand.net/ Neale

    Hi Benji I don’t see a problem with your 301 redirects. In the past I had “my-blue-widget” & “mybluewidget” when Hyphens were the rage I used the hyphenated version then switched to the non hyphenated version after. I think that doing it the way you plan is actually quite natural in a global sense. “company builds site about bacon recipes using pmd then forwards all the juice to branded domain.” adsenseflippers / empireflippers would be a perfect example. A couple of things I would / not do: 1) Would not Build links to the branded domain “thats just not natural” 2) Would build links to the pmd bearing in mind the future..

    • http://www.searchandperch.com Benji Walklet

      Thanks for the solid advice, Neale. I believe I will go this route…just gotta take the time to sit down and do it :)

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