12 Mar

The Niche Site Challenge: Five Lessons You Can Learn From My Catastrophic Failure [Part 4]

You can see all updates from the Niche Site Challenge here.

I’m not too proud to admit when I messed up.

And, around October last year, I really messed up.

I promised to bring you a new niche site update every month.

And did I?

Nope.

In fact, right now, One Day Guides lies untouched.

Not a word has been written in months.

In this article, I’ll explain why.

But in every niche marketing failure, there are lessons to be learned.

And today I’m here to share them with you.

Along with my plans for the future and what you can expect.

 


What You’ll Learn

Here’s what we’ll cover in today’s article:

  • How Long You Need To Wait To Rank In Google
  • Why Email Sign Up Placement Is Paramount
  • How I Get As Low As 30% Bounce Rate
  • Why You’re Thinking Small Time About Interviews

If that sounds good to you, let’s get on with it, shall we?

 

(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)

 


First, What The Hell Happened?

Life got in the way.

If you follow me on the Nichehacks Mastermind you’ll know that I’m a freelance writer.

That makes up 100% of my income right now.

And, I recently moved to Germany. (More on that at the end of the article).

That means that I took on a lot of Freelance Work to be able to move here.

 

 

There was also the whole learning a new language thing.

That meant there was zero time for traveling or trying to grow a niche site.

These aren’t excuses, just facts.

You can leave me all the hate-mail you want in the comments, but I can’t change what happened.

But, before you do, let me show you what you can learn from my failure.

 


5 Lessons You Can Learn From My Catastrophic Failure

I’m trying to keep this section as data-driven as possible. Because the data doesn’t lie.

But I’ve also included my thoughts based on the experience.

The brain farts, stupid decisions, and wrong turns that you can learn something from.

I hope you find it as informative to read as I found it to live…



1. Give Google About 5 Months To Catch Up

One of the reasons many new Niche Marketers give up is because they can’t get traffic from Google in a short space of time.

I mean, how often have you felt like writing (or seen a comment) like this from the Warrior Forum?

 

warrior forum image

 

It’s easy to think that, once you get all green lights on your Yoast SEO plugin, you should end up at least somewhere on Google.

But that’s not always the case.

Especially when your site is brand new and you’re in a competitive niche.

Google needs time to know you’re not a spammy awful site users will hate.

In fact according to Google’s own product forum there is no maximum time limit!

Take a look at my Analytics data below.

My site started in April of 2016 but it wasn’t until September that I really started to see any consistent search traffic.

(I should have paid closer attention to Stuart’s 101 traffic hacks)

 

analytics search data

 

I didn’t really do anything special to get this either.

It just, well…kinda happened.

And my site started ranking for lots of long-tail keywords that I’d never thought of in lots of different places:

 

long tail keywords nichehacks

 

Now imagine those results if I’d put a lot of effort into my SEO and tried to rank for them.

 



2. Email Sign Up Placement Is Paramount

I’m writing this in February 2017 so my site has been dormant for around six months now.

But, yet, every month people keep signing up to my site.

Despite no new content, no updates and no effort from my part.

It only averages around one or two every few days, but still.

Check out my Aweber stats here…

 

weekly subscribes odg

 

Why is that, though?

Well the email sign up option on my site is SO easy to see.

It’s the first thing you’re greeted with:

 

one day guides home page

 

So before they’ve even seen if my site is active, or if my content is really good, they’re able to sign up and join ‘other smart travelers’ on my list.

The social media blog Buffer, for example, managed to double their subscribers in just 30 days by making the placement of their email opt-in forms more prominent.

In fact. over 33% of those sign-ups came from having a hello bar that was the first thing new users saw on the page:

 

buffer table

 

For your niche site then, what I can honestly recommend is placing your email sign up box in a place where people must see it.

Even if that is to just scroll past it or that they have to interact with it as a pop-up or light box.

The more prevalent it is, the better.

 

(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)

 


3. Make Your Introductions and Internal Links Count

The bounce rate across my site sits at just 52%.

 

low bounce rate

 

That means more than 50% visit more than one page, as per the definition on Search Engine Watch, on my site.

That is higher on social (where intent if often just to check out your latest article) and lower on Google (between 30 and 50%) where people have a more focused and driven search intent.

Anyway, why is this important?

Because when more people visit your site – and for longer – your chance of:

  • Sales
  • Email sign ups

Goes up a lot.

Which is really important for your bottom line.

Don’t think about whether it’s a ranking factor. Don’t think about the average for a site.

(The average for a blog and the average for an Amazon site would be completely different).

And how can you make people read more of your site?

Well, firstly, having interesting content makes a huge difference.

But, there are two main factors for me:

  • Good Introductions: You can read [names] awesome guide on that here [link]
  • Internal Links: Giving people the opportunity to see more of your site

In fact, when Matthew Woodward did a critical analysis of Stuart’s bounce rates here on Nichehacks, he came to similar conclusions.

By removing opt-ins, improving introductions and letting people get to more content, more quickly, our bounce rates plummeted.

And it’s a simple as doing this:

 

internal links nh

 

And be sure to do it at specific drop off points in your content.

By employing this tactic of adding links in prime position and improving my introductions, I’ve been able to get at high as five pages per session at the height of my traffic:

 

pages per session

 

Not bad results for a small site with not a lot of followers!



4: Be Clear On Your Products Before You Start

I can’t stress this enough.

My biggest failure with One Day Guides was that I wasn’t clear on what I was trying to sell or the problem I was trying to solve.

Don’t get me wrong I started with an idea of what I wanted to do.

And, well, I just never got round to actually doing it.

I tried a couple of Amazon Affiliate recommendations.

Threw in an affiliate link here and there. But nothing you could really consider money focused.

Now, I previously said you don’t need to focus on making money from the off.

Especially for a blog.

And I think that’s true to this day.

But you need to know how you want to make money in the long run.

If you don’t, you’re really just pissing in the wind.

 



5: Change Your Focus On Interviews

Getting influencers to appear on your site is really easy.

You send out an email. They let you know if they’re available for an interview.

And, the end up on your blog.

Like when Nomadic Matt did an interview with me here:

 

interview with nomadic matt

 

 

It’s easy to create content. It’s easy to generate traffic.

And, heck, you might just even rank for some of their brand-specific keywords:

 

nomadic matt search results

 

In fact, Noah Kagan (and his prodigy) were able to get 10,000 views on a brand new site using Interviews as a cornerstone technique.

Which is no small feat.

But this is small time, short term thinking.

And, it’s only in hindsight I see that now.

Why?

Because if you interview someone you get a:

  • Spike in traffic for a day (when they share it)
  • Small association with a big name
  • Free content for your blog

Which is great and everything.

But if you’re the person who gets interviewed for a blog you:

  • Receive a backlink for the life of that site
  • You’re framed as the authority on that topic
  • Consistent referrals from that site
  • A spike in traffic whenever they reshare it

Now which of those sounds more appealing?

If I went back to One Day Guides again I’d take the hit the traffic in not having these interviews and work with smaller sites to get interviewed and grow my brand.

If you’re thinking of employing interviews as a strategy, I highly recommend you do the same.

 

(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)

 


The Niche Site Challenge Isn’t Over…

At the start of the article I explained that I’d tell you a little more about my move to Germany.

And, here’s why…

My new niche site – the one to replace One Day Guides – is my new niche site about life in Germany.

In fact, at the time of writing this, it’s already growing by one to two subscribers every single day.

I’m purposely not linking to it (you’ll see why next month) but here is a screenshot of it to whet your whistle (and if you find it all by yourself, then so be it) 😉

Okay, that’s it for this month!

Have any questions, comments or suggestions?

Please let me know in the comments below…

 

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