Welcome to my niche website case study. This will be an ongoing case study tutorial where I show you how I make a niche website from scratch and I will update this page on the performance as well.
If you are new to niche websites, they are small websites targeted for a very specific category, aka niche. If they are about a very specific niche they are often called micro niche sites.
The idea is to create a site around a very focused niche to receive organic search engine traffic.
The reason they perform so well is that one of the metrics Google looks for is relevancy. If the whole website is about a single topic, it must be relevant right?
Back in the day an exact match domain and few pages could get you first page rankings automatically. As could building a ton of low-quality backlinks.
These days the website generally has to have high quality, relevant content to rank to the first page. But there are still niches with virtually zero competition.
I’ve had a couple of ideas for a niche website for some time now, and I thought I’d see just how fast could I create a website around one of these ideas.
In this post, I will write the whole process as I go, so I apologize if it seems a bit unedited or hard to follow at times. I’m writing this as I go without a script and I’, focusing my efforts on the actual website.
Intial Setup May 3rd 2020
I’m starting this case study with a date so that you will know when this post and the site were initially created (and so that I can remember myself…). I will add dates to all the updates as well.
Choosing A Niche and Keyword Research
The whole process starts with keyword research. I’m going to start by saying that this whole post was inspired by the case study of Football Snack Helmets at Wealthy affiliate.
If you’re not familiar with that case study, it’s about creating a niche website with minimal effort by finding a low competition niche and a bunch of keywords.
As it turns out, sports memorabilia and accessories tend to have a ton of keywords to choose from and lots of sub-niches. More importantly, you can create content around all of the teams and leagues.
So I headed over to Jaaxy, the keyword research tool included in my Wealthy Affiliate premium subscription, and started looking for possible niches.
I figured that there must be other memorabilia items with the similar competition. After doing some research I actually found a ton but I knew I needed to keep my niche specific. So inspired by the football snack helmets, I settled with football tumblers.
I honestly had no idea what tumblers were before I found the niche. You probably already know this, but they are tall drinking glasses for beverages. I guess mostly beer.
But they seem to be a popular sports memorabilia and they are available for the vast majority of football teams. I also had the idea that why limit myself to American football. Soccer is called football everywhere else, so I can target soccer teams as well.
Initial Website Setup
The .com for football tumblers was taken, so I decided to go for the .net domain. Some people think that .com has improved SEO value but according to many credible sources that’s not actually true.
It’s true that .com is better for branding as people generally remember it better. But for a niche site like this, it really shouldn’t matter. I guess we’ll find out anyway.
I bought the domain through Site Domains at Wealthy Affiliate. I love how simple creating a WordPress website with WA is by the way. Just a couple of clicks after registering the domain and I have a website up and running:
Once I had WordPress installed, it was time to install all the required plugins. I’m trying to keep this site super simple, so I installed only what I deemed necessary.
- Thrive Architect (not necessary, I just like it for improving layout)
- All-in-one SEO (comes installed with WA)
- Kraken Image Optimizer (important for page load times)
- Classic editor, because I use Thrive Architect and I don’t like the Gutenberg editor.
Setting Up SEO and GSC
Next up is setting up the all-in-one SEO settings and website titles and setting up Google Search Console and Analytics for monitoring performance.
I’m using All-in-one SEO as my SEO plugin and it’s pretty straight forward to set up. I just add an SEO title and description for the site and activate the Use Keywords setting. I leave everything else on factory settings.
All-in-one SEO has a field for Google Search Console and Analytics verification codes, so it’s time to head over to GSC and claim the property.
Once that was done, it was time to look at the actual site.
Initial Layout and Content
Now that we have all the page setup done, it’s time to do the initial content. My strategy is to make a page or post for each NFL team and add other leagues as well.
I will include a short history of the team and the logo on each page alongside links to affiliate offers. The whole idea of this project is to see just how well can you get sales with minimal time investment, so I will not be adding any bells and whistles.
Amazon has recently capped their affiliate commissions, so I plan on using different affiliate networks when possible. If nothing else is available, Amazon will have to do.
So I decided my initial content strategy will be to publish a short about page and create categorized pages for all the teams. For SEO purposes I will use the combination “team”-tumbler as the slug.
You can check out how the website looks like at Footballtumblers.net. I’m not going to link to it, because I’m on the same server, and Google might see it as an attempt to manipulate links to the site.
I’m also interested to see how the site will do without any intentional link building. I will probably set up the basic social media pages for the site like Twitter, FB, and Pinterest.
So now that I have the website up and running, even though very bare bone, what’s the plan? Well, as I said, the whole idea of this case study is to see if you can set up a niche site in a few hours and get it to rank in 2020.
There are typically two strategies you can use to rank a new website these days. The first is to publish very high-quality content and promote the heck out of it. This includes social outreach, paid ads, link building, etc.
The other option is to create tons of relatively high-quality content and not really focus on outreach. You can create authority with the content alone if there’s enough of it and people actually read it.
Typically most blogs use a combination of those two extremes, depending on the creator, niche, and user behavior.
But the Football Snack Helmets case study showed that it’s, in fact, possible to still get organic traffic to a website with minimal effort if pick the right niche.
So I want to find out if I can duplicate those results. What’s not to like about a set and forget website, right?
So now that the site has been initially set up, I will populate all the pages with a bit of content. Then I will let the website marinate to see if it starts to pick up traffic organically in a couple of months.
If yes, I will include affiliate links to relevant offers. If not, I will add some additional content and maybe build some social links to see
The whole idea of this test is to keep as simple as possible, a sort of Jury-rigged website if you will. If it works, I will definitely make more of them.
If you got inspired by this post and by my research, I have only one thing to ask. If you aim to compete, please pick another niche, there are plenty in the sports space.
This way we can get more valuable data, since there is very little competition currently. I’m giving you so many ideas here that I hope you will respect my wish.
If you find the idea interesting, definitely bookmark this page for future reference so you don’t miss out on my results. Also consider sharing this post on social media, if you think someone you know might find this piece interesting!