Living Off Grid Guide

Creating a Successful Niche Site in 9 Steps

When I first found Smart Passive Income.com I was looking for ways to increase my income, so my wife could stay home with my two daughters which were 1 and 3 at the time.  I was having a hard time, because most traditional passive income streams came from large financial investments like stocks, bonds, and real estate and I did not have a large saving account ready to invest with.

I got really excited about the concept that I could create something on my free time that would create passive income for me.  Instead of investing money, I could invest time.
I read and read Pat’s blog and followed the many related links he gave.

I decided that I could do that and I started my own niche site, Living Off Grid Guide.  While I made it, I took notes of the steps that I followed.  Since a comprehensive step-by-step list was not available, I thought I would share this checklist with you.
How to use this checklist:  At the end of most items you will see a link or links to content that should help you if you need more insight on how to complete that item.

Step 1 – Find Your Niche And Create Your Brand

Step 1a: Sign up for a Google Adwords Account

Step 1b: Do your keyword research – if paid method you’ll need to purchase Market Samurai or Long Tail Pro and install them before you start your research.  Niche Site Duel 2.0.1 – How to Conduct Keyword Research and SEO Analysis (Free and Paid Methods)

Step 1c: Choose the right niche.  Niche Site Duel 2.0 – Criteria and Thoughts for Keyword and Niche Selection, REALITY CHECK – 24 Questions That Will Challenge You and Your Brand (+NSD2.0 Update)

Step 2 – Create Your Site

Step 2a: Sign up at BlueHost and purchase a domain name.  Niche Site Duel 2.1.1 – Branding, Domain Names and The NSD Leaderboard!

Step 2b: Install WordPress or a different content management system

Step 2c: Choose your WordPress Theme

Step 2d: Install some important plugins.  19 WordPress Plugins – Some You Probably Didn’t Know About

Step 2e: Sign up for Google Analytics and integrate it into your website.  I used a plug-in called Header and Footer Scripts by BlogSynthesis.com/

Step 3 – Make A Launch Plan

Step 3a: Create a Pre-Launch Plan.  How to Launch a Brand New Website (with a Bang!) – The Ultimate Guide

Step 3b: Create your Coming Soon Landing Page and a solid About Me page.  SPI 078 : Rapid Audience Building For Accelerated Hypergrowth (From Scratch) – Landing Pages and Conversion Optimization, Niche Site Duel 2.3.0 (UPDATE) – We’re LIVE! Landing Pages and Pre-Launch Goals, Ask Pat Episode 001 – How do you craft the perfect About Page

Step 4 – Start Collecting Email Addresses

Sign up for AWeber, start your first newsletter and create a sign up form. Place the sign up from on your Coming Soon page and your About Page.  The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a NewsletterHow to Land Your Emails in the Gmail “Primary” Tab Every TimeHow One SPI Reader Built an Email List of 1,357 Subscribers Even Before She Launched Her Blog, and A Ninja Email Autoresponder Trick You Can Use to Save Time and Make More Money

Step 5 – Create Content

Create a content hierarchy and brainstorm with using tools like Coggle.it.  You can also do an Amazon book search for books related to your niche and look inside the covers at the table of contents as a helpful brainstorming tool.  You’ll probably need at least 10 articles to start with.  The Content Pyramid: Healthy Portions of Posts for Your BlogHow to Launch a Brand New Website (with a Bang!) – The Ultimate Guide

Step 6 – Market Your Site

Now that you have your foundation you need to promote your website and gain more exposure by doing the 200 Outreach Program and doing guest posts.  You can also seek out reporters and suggest they write an article about your niche site.  How to Get Explosive & Targeted Traffic – An Alternative to Guest Posting

Step 7 – Launch

Post your grand opening material and replace your Coming Soon page with a Welcome/Get Started page.  Make sure your email sign up form is available in your side bar and on your Welcome Page.  If you are using WordPress, you can install the Authenticator plugin so you can work on your site without the world seeing it.  If you do this, make sure to disable it on launch day.

Step 8 – Grow Your Site

Step 8a: After your launch, you will need to continue to provide rock solid, amazing, and killer content in a consistent time frame.  How to Write Blog Posts That Go Viral5 “Five-Minute or Less” Blogging Tips That Yield Big Results. I’m Using Tip #1 in This Title.

Step 8b: Make sure to continue your newsletters on a consistent time frame as well.

Step 8c: Keep up the SEO using techniques shown here: SPI 176: Backlinking—What’s Working and Is It Even Still Important with Brian Dean from Backlinko.com and this : THE Backlinking Strategy That Works: 2014 and Beyond Edition

Step 8d: The steps I use for writing an article:

1. If you don’t have a subject; Go to OSE and put in a competitor’s page ie: http://www.motherearthnews.com/ and look at “Top Pages” Choose a subject with the most backlinks
1b. Save any urls that have a lot of backlinks

2. Go to Buzzsumo.com and find the most shared articles on your subject
2b. Save the urls that are most relivant and have the most shares

3. Go to Google and look at the top 20 search results on your subject
3b. Save the urls that are most relivant

5. Go to Udemy and look up classes on your subject. Use them to help structure your article

6. Go to Amazon and look at the table of contents in books on your subject to help you structure your article.

7. Write the article using the techniques listed in: backlinko.com’s Skyscraper Technique

8. Go to flickr.com and find open source pictures that accent your article.

9. Build article in Word Press

10. Add the pictures

11. Create a custom title and description

12. Add tags and categories

13. Post article,

14. Share it on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

15. Go through the urls that you saved from parts 1b, 2b, and 3b and put them into ahrefs.com/ or OSE to find the sites that backlink to those competitor’s articles.

16. Find the contact info for those sites and reach out to them using this template:

Hey {Name},

I was searching for some articles about {your topic} today and I came across your page: {their page with the link to the competitors article}.

I noticed that you linked to one of my favorite articles — {competitors article title}

Just wanted to give you a heads up that I created a similar article. It is like {competitors article title}, but has additional information: {Your article link}

Might be worth a mention on your page.

Either way, keep up the awesome work!

Your name
17. Other email promotion tips Socialtriggers.com’s Email People

step 1: establish some common ground between you and the influencer.
step 2: mention credibility “triggers” – size of readership, other influencers that have shared this content, mainstream magazines you’ve been featured in, or third party research or data
step 3: share your real motive


Step 9 – Make Money

Step 9a: Finally monetize your site.  You can use Google Adsense, affiliate programs, or sell a service, like an eBook.  SPI 062 : Marketing and Monetization with Mom Blogger, Meagan FrancisNiche Site Duel 008: My Monetization Strategy, Smart Passive Income.com Search affiliate links.

Step 9b: You can use Clickbank.com to find tons of products that you can be an affiliate for.



Well, there you have it.  As Pat says, it is a lot of work, but it is also very do-able. Just stay focused, follow the list and work on it each day.  I’ve used these techniques and over the last 2 years I’ve brought my site from 0 to 1,000 visitors a month with only 20 articles written.  If I was able to spend more time and have written more articles I would have a ton more.  I also have about 250 email subscribers.

I also wanted to let you know that a couple of the links above are affiliate links, so if you use them to start your AWeber or BlueHost accounts, then I will get some commission for that.  I really appreciate it if you do, but of course you don’t have to.

How about you guys.  Is there anything you would do different?  Is there something you would add?

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2 thoughts on “Creating a Successful Niche Site in 9 Steps

  1. Rich

    …great check list Stephen! I shall be going through this at my earliest opportunity and start planning my blog/niche site! I appreciate you taking the time to outline everything in such detail! Do you still think that this strategy holds true today as things may have changed slightly, since the original post? All the best! Rich

    1. Stephen Post author

      Hey Rich,

      Thank you, I’m glad you found this useful. This is the strategy I am currently using and it is working so far. It’s just a matter of “stick to it”-iveness. Good luck.

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