On this episode I talk with Dominic Wells from from Human Proof Designs about building niche sites (see this article on authority sites vs niche sites).
- Dom’s backstory from being an english teacher in Taiwan to reading the Four Hour Work Week and started out with affiliate marketing, building and ranking amazon sites and clickbank sites before starting HPD
- Dom still has income from his own niche site portfolio which he feels is important when selling sites and teaching to others.
- We talk about how we both started building sites after Google Penguin in 2012, after the adsense days – Dom’s first dollar came from Amazon and was selling Clickbank products
- Dom generally builds and holds sites but has sold a number of sites along the way, selling assets that he has maximised to someone with a bigger link building budget and to use that 26x up front to invest in other sites
- Bulk of Dom’s income is selling ready made sites on Human Proof Designs and has built a global team
- Dom’s niche site strategy is to focus on a main keyword that has at least 1000 searches a month and then build out the site into more of an authority site with info keywords and specific review keywords. They give people every keyword they can find in the niche and encourage people to build more content around more keywords as we’re past the point where you can put up an 8000 word website and it will rank, you really need 30-50 articles with 1000 on average per article.
- Decision on whether to double down on a site vs building a new niche site is when you get to $1-2/m and think it’s going to be really hard to get an extra $1-2k/m out of it – niche specific and person specific
- Dom really like to build, rank and repeat.
- Discussion on best domain name strategy, some customers come to them with their own domain or a domain in mind. Otherwise Dom’s team researches 5 suggestions and then registers one. There is no disadvantage to go broad in name vs exact match name. Moreso if you have a partial match domain it gets hard to build natural brand links and you may inadvertently build keyword links.
- HPD also offers aged sites that they create and nurture – they also sometimes buy back sites they have built from customers.
- Talk about benefits of targeting specific countries where competition is less, i.e. Amazon coming to Australia vs just targeting US as default
- Dom ranks the homepage on the majority of their niche sites for the main keyword with a 2500 word article (used to do it the other way round but then switched to a static homepage) as most of his audience are beginners and it’s easier for them to be able to just rank the homepage.
- Dom’s approach is to treat categories as mini silos. With their standard 8 article package they will have homepage reviewing top 10 products on amazon based on bestseller ranking then will build out 5 of those as individual reviews on their own pages (linked from homepage which is the money page), along with 2 info articles (that link back to the homepage). This internal linking helps create the authority of the homepage.
- These 5 review pages are one category, they then advise people to build out more categories. Much easier if people focus on just one category and branch out later, rather than starting with multiple categories.
- Talk about how link building is a very important and required skill. If a site is brand new Dom is not very aggressive with link building just building branding links (i.e. anchor text is naked or just the website name) from social media or maybe a press release.
- As the site gets older and get branding links to act as a buffer then gets more aggressive using more grey-hat techniques such as web2.0 or PBNs (dear google I choose not to do this on my sites) as it’s quite difficult to succeed with niche sites (rather than bigger and broader authority sites) without these techniques as people are less likely to want to link to a niche site with a 2000 word money article on the homepage plus there will be less blogs to reach out to. So strategy is to get people to link to the informational pages or use strategies such as ego baiting with expert roundups such as top 10 websites about X niche and then reach out to who you link to, may get a link back or a guest post.
- To get a niche site to $2k/m will likely need at least 30-50 pages (then take stock and decide if want to build more) and if building 10-15 links at a time, whether using a service or building yourself, will need 3 or 4 waves of that so close to 50 links before your site gets to the bottom of page one, then more to get to the top.
- Software tools can help as a filter for finding keywords but need to manually verify by looking at the SERPs and see that google is ranking at least a couple of affiliate sites for the keywords (although more would be too competitive) and make sure the sites domains are not too strong (DA<20).
- End talking about investing and another shout out to Invest Like A Boss Podcast and Johhny FD having recently retired at 35.
- Check out Dom’s podcast.
Dom has just launched his new Over The Shoulder Membership where he’s building a brand new site from $0 to $10,000 in front of a small private group of website building students.