Lately I’ve been learning about Keyword Research and SEO. Wow, this is difficult stuff. I’ve so far sat through two hour-long YouTube videos, and read a few articles and I feel that I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible.
Keyword Research and SEO
About a year ago I stumbled upon the Smart Passive Income podcast with Pat Flynn. The podcast lays out the basics of building an online business that serves others and generates income. I was listening to the podcast the other day and I realized that over the course of the year, I’ve applied very little of what I’ve consumed. After hours and hours of listening, I’ve built 2 websites, with less than 20 articles each, and my passive income is probably negative at this point after hosting and email list fees. I know keyword research and SEO are an important part of building a site that gets traffic, but I never took the time to learn specific techniques.
About 6 months ago I had the privilege of being connected with a guy named Brendan Hufford who runs Hustle & Heart, a site dedicated to helping entrepreneur dads run their businesses and put their families first. Brendan is an awesome motivator and so I began taking action and created the site you’re reading right now (danscoolstuff) and also a dedicated “how-to” music blog called Musichacker.co
While I’m very happy that I took some action to get started, I’m now struggling to get traffic to my sites. I realized I might have missed some important knowledge in my haste to take action, so now I’m doubling back to try and get some in-depth knowledge on SEO, Keyword research, and driving traffic to my posts and articles. I wanted to clue you in on what I’ve been studying, and I’m hoping that you might have some tips or resources that you’ve found helpful in your own journey to conquer the web and build a following.
Some of my biggest fears approaching this online business stuff is that I’ll spend hours and hours and hours learning and consuming podcasts, blog posts, and emails from “the experts” and never actually have the time to apply what I’m learning on my own. I’m also afraid that in choosing my “niche” or the audience that I’d like to create a site to help and serve, I may choose a bad niche where no matter how hard I work, I’ll never get traffic or income going in a sufficient quantity to justify the hard work.
To address my fears, I decided that learning the process of creating a niche site is what I’m going to focus on. I started Musichacker.co to serve independent musicians, which I am still committed to and would like to improve, but to be honest, it is not a very profitable niche. To justify spending so much time on this internet marketing thing, I need to make some income for my family. I’ll still be posting at Musichacker, because it’s my passion, but I also need to make a site that has a good potential to make income. My time being stretched as it is, I want to encourage myself by focusing on a project that serves others, and has a good potential to generate some passive income, so learning to make a profitable niche site is the next step for me.
My current process has been pretty simple. I installed the Yoast SEO plugin on my site and I’ve been using it with every post. I watched the Niche Site 2.0 keyword research and analysis video from Pat Flynn, which provides a great overview on keyword research using both free and paid tools. As part of the video, I also this supplementary video on generating seed keywords which provides 7 tips to generating some seed keywords.
Another resource I’ll be tapping is the newsletter and blog at LongTailPro.com Spencer Hawes, the creator of the site, was a guest on a Pat Flynn episode. He’s created hundreds hundreds of niche sites and I’m hoping he will have some great updated content on niche sites and a good process to create one.
I have two important questions that I hope to answer as I tackle this process.
1. Is SEO and Keyword research still relevant today?
2. Are niche sites still profitable and worthwhile to develop? (I need to keep expenses under $500 per site)
From what I’ve read so far, it seems that SEO and Keyword Research still has its place in 2016, but things have changed dramatically from 2013 when many of the experts released articles and videos on niche sites, SEO, and keyword research. A few searches I’ve done so far indicate that niche sites can be timeless if they’re executed correctly. The fact that LongTail Pro still exists and appears to be running new projects is also encouraging to see. As far as cost goes, I’ve seen niche sites created for anywhere from $250-500, but that includes paying writers to create the content, which is something I might do myself to get the experience.
Most of my tools are all recommended by P-Flynn.
For the keyword research I’ll be using LongTailPro. I purchased a copy of LongTailPro back when it was a a one-time fee for the standalone desktop version. I haven’t investigated the latest pricing model that Spencer is using for the tool, but it looks like you can sign up for a yearly or monthly subscription ranging from $20-40. I might upgrade to LongTail Platinum if I think the LongTail Pro academy looks like it’s worth the money, but I haven’t researched that yet.
I’ll also be using a couple of the free options Pat mentioned like Google Trends and of course Google search.
For the on-page SEO for my site I’ll be using the Yoast SEO plug-in, which is 100% free and really easy to use.
I’m trying to keep my goals simple, but specific. Here they are:
- In the next 6 months I would like to create 2 niche sites that are thoroughly researched (keyword research, SEO research, article topics researched on relative user forums, etc.) and executed end-to-end (at least 20 articles on each site, good graphics, WordPress theme, and monetization techniques all in place)
- I would like each niche site to generate at least $100 a month the first month after launch, and at least $250 per month consistently in passive income.
- I would like each niche site to have organic traffic of at least 10,000 unique visitors per month.
I Could Use Some Help
Are you also learning about Keyword Research, SEO, and niche sites at the moment? I could use your help. Please leave a comment with a resource that you’ve found helpful to your learning process. If you’re already a niche site ninja and have some tips for me, I’d love to hear those too. I usually charge ahead with ideas without consulting experts and make some really obvious mistakes. That’s great for learning, but not great for speed, so if you see some pitfalls in my process let me know! Thanks for reading, please keep me posted on your niche site learning and projects. Let’s do this!