Choosing a Topic
The first thing you have to do is choose a topic for
your first site. You’ll need to be looking at a number
of different elements for topics that will ultimately
There are some topics that will just never be
profitable enough for you to make significant money
with. Sure, it’s possible to make some money with
almost any niche, but it’s not a productive way to
spend your time if a site will never make more than a
couple of dollars per day.
That time could be much better spent creating a site
that could make $10 per day, $25 per day, $100 per day,
or more. All sites have a limited earnings potential.
Even massive sites that earn seven figures per year are
somewhat limited. They’ll likely never earn billions.
It just isn’t possible.
But I’m sure you agree it’s far more profitable to
spend your time creating more profitable sites, because
the sites will take about the same amount of time to
create whether they made $2 per day or $20.
This is why it’s so important to choose good topics
right from the start. Of course, even if you choose a very profitable topic, there’s no way to guarantee the
site will do well. There are many factors that will
determine how well a site performs.
Some of the factors involved in a site’s success
• The keywords used.
• The quality of the content on the site.
• The number and quality of backlinks to the site.
• The amount of competition.
• The popularity of the topic.
• How eager the traffic is to buy something.
• Current search engine algorithms and how well your
site correlates to their current format.
Some factors you won’t be able to control. You may set
up a site for excellent SEO, and Google could
significantly change its algorithms tomorrow, leaving
you with no choice but to alter your site’s SEO setup.
This happens to everyone at some point, because the
search engines update their algorithms often.
Other factors definitely are in your control. You can
perform proper market research before you create a
site. You can research keywords carefully. You can
work to get more backlinks to your site. You can even determine how eager you believe the market is to buy
Finding a viable niche is no more difficult than
browsing around your local bookstore! In fact, that’s
exactly what I often do to find ideas for niches.
I will look around a book store (or Amazon.com) for
topics that look interesting, then I will see how many
books, magazines, and other products there are for sale
in that niche.
The more there are, the more profitable that niche is
likely to be. Book and magazine publishers don’t
usually publish anything unless their multi-million
dollar market research departments have determined it
to be potentially profitable.
Plus, you need to be sure there are affiliate products
available to promote, as well as AdWords advertisers
who could potentially make you money through AdSense.
One way to check this is to go to Google and search for
information about your topic. Let’s say you are
interested in making a site about knitting because you
noticed there were a lot of books and magazines about
the topic. Enter “knitting” into the search box on Google.com.
Look at the right of the results page to see how many
ads are present. The more ads there are, the more
potential there is for profit.
If there are at least 6, there is probably a decent
potential for profit. But what you really want to see
More Sponsored Links »
If you see this at the bottom of the sponsored links,
it usually means there is a lot of competition amongst
AdWords advertisers for this particular topic, which
means higher payouts for each click.
If you click the link, you will see something like
Results 1 – 12 of about 595 for office supplies_
This means there are almost 600 people currently trying
to advertise for the “office supplies” niche. That
means this niche is probably very profitable!
With “knitting”, I did not see the “More Sponsored
Links”, but there were a decent number of advertisers.
In this case, I would probably skip the niche unless I happened to know a lot about it or had a particular
interest in it.
If you know a lot about a niche, or have a lot of
interest in it, it’s easier to create the content for
it. You already know what people would be interested
in reading, what people buy, and what their general
behaviour might be. This saves time.
For topics you have no interest in, it’s best to look
for niches that have a large number of advertisers.
The example of “office supplies” has a large number of
advertisers competing, which would bring nice payouts
for each click.
There would also be many, many affiliate products you
could promote, from printer ink to office furniture and
even computers. This would probably be a good niche to
The next thing you should do when researching niches is
to check the traffic and competition. To do this, I
use Google, as well as their free keyword research
You can find their keyword tool here:
https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal Using this keyword tool, enter a phrase like “office
supplies” without the quotes. You will see a listing
of keywords related to your starter phrase, as well as
the approximate number of monthly searches for that
This tells you how much traffic is available overall,
but it’s only approximate. It could be quite a bit
more or less, and remember, you won’t get all of that
traffic, even if you are number one for each phrase.
Next, you need to find out how much competition there
is. While this doesn’t matter too much, you should
still get an idea of how many people you’ll be
To check out the competition, enter your main keyword
phrase, like “office supplies” IN quotes in Google.
The reason you use quotes is so that you are able to
generate relevant results and don’t get a bunch of
results like “her company supplies bottled water to my
A phrase like that clearly has nothing to do with
office supplies, but it would still be factored into
the results if you didn’t filter it out. You’ll probably have a LOT of competition for the most
popular phrases, but if you check some of the phrases
that have 300-1000 searches monthly, you should find
some with less competition. Ideally you’d want at
least 20 good phrases within a niche that had at least
300 monthly searches and less than 100,000 competing
pages when you search in quotes.
Finally, you’ll want to verify that there are affiliate
products you can promote that will make you an amount
of money you will be happy with. I prefer to make at
least $20 for each sale, unless of course I believe the
product will convert so well it will make up for the
There are only a few affiliate programs I use. I don’t
use a lot of smaller programs, because I prefer getting
most of my income from a few sources. Many affiliate
programs have large minimum payment requirements, which
means you won’t get paid until you meet that minimum.
By sticking with a few major programs, I can always
meet the minimums, which is helpful when they only pay
once per month!
I always check these programs to be sure I can find at
least a few products to promote. I don’t like to
depend solely on AdSense for a number of reasons. 1. AdSense is known for having a very itchy “ban
finger”. They are widely rumored to ban people
for practically no reason, without warning, and
without giving the person a chance to prove their
2. They don’t usually make me as much money overall
as affiliate products, but they do make a nice
3. I don’t like having all of my eggs in one basket
for any reason. I like to have other options.
Some people do prefer to stick solely to AdSense, and
they depend on it for their entire income. It CAN
work. I just prefer not to put my livelihood in their
hands, especially with all of the anecdotal evidence of
AdSense being so fickle.
You should also find a few different potential niches,
in case you find one isn’t working out well for you. I
like to research about ten at a time, because I find it
just seems to work out better for me. I work better
when I get one type of task out of the way at a time.
You may work differently. But it’s a good idea to have
backup niches available just in case.