As previously announced BankofHome is running a new test case study which involves building a new site with as much outsourced as possible (hence the “lazy plan” title) while still using just a very very small budget. Progress has been good so far, I’ve chosen a niche, bought a domain, got keywords researched and articles written.. read on for the exceedingly exciting details!
Choosing the Niche
First of all I chose a niche – this part involved me doing some actual work, although there are niche discovery gigs available I decided to do this one myself because it isn’t that hard really. How did I do it? I started with something which interests me somewhat, a passing interest but not a consuming passion, just something I’ve thought about getting into at some point when I have more time so researching it now didn’t bore me to death and that’s always a bonus.
Note though that I started with a broad interest area then I just started looking around for related subjects in more focused areas. For example I could start with widgets and then narrow down to blue widgets or blue metal widgets with bells on. To know if a niche is worth getting into there are a number of tools you can use which will give you a rough idea. Google Trends is one such tool – just paste in your niche idea, “blue widgets”, and you will see if interest in blue widgets is climbing, falling or holding steady over the last few years. Needless to say if interest is collapsing then this may not be a niche worth getting into. If it is skyrocketing then you know it’s hot and could be worth it.
You can also get some potentially useful demographic data from Alexa such as what country the visitors to related sites are coming from, what age, gender, education level etc. which can all help you to decide if there is potential in this niche. Ideally you would want people from affluent countries who are old enough to actually have some money to spend on whatever you will be selling or promoting.
Registering a Domain
So I chose myself a niche and then I needed a domain so I headed over here and started searching. I wanted something with a related keyword in the domain – not an exact match since I hadn’t chosen the actual keywords at that point and I wanted something that is a little bit brandable rather than something obviously created for SEO purposes like ‘bluemetalwidgetswithbellson.com’. You can also use something like Panabee to help create catchy sounding domain names. There are a few such domain generators around so take your pick or just use your own imagination, combined with a thesaurus it shouldn’t take too long and that is all I did – just a few searches at the registry and the one I liked turned up available.
*HOT TIP* When you find a domain that you kind of like, even if you’re not sure yet, snap that thing up pronto! Many is the time I’ve found a cool domain but wasn’t sure yet if it was right for the project, then when I finally decided I wanted it and went back to the registrar a week or so later I found it had just been registered by someone else the day before.. very annoying! Don’t let it happen to you – find a domain and register it immediately then if you decide you don’t need it for that project you can use for something else or even sell it (site flipping is a subject for a future article here!) or worst case do nothing and you waste the princely sum of $10.. it wont break the bank and can save you hours, days or even weeks of frustrating available domain searches!
So domain was selected and registered for $10.69 and the next step was getting some useful keywords. For that I headed over to Fiverr and searched for ‘keyword research’ (no surprise there!) which returns loads of people offering various types of keyword research service. They wont all be good so what I do is narrow down the field like so: look for gigs which have been around for a while – if it was setup yesterday you can’t really trust it. Look for those with hundreds of reviews and a 99%+ positive rating. Don’t just look at the stats though, scroll down and look at their actual reviews from other customers, see that they are recent and overwhelmingly positive. There are many good ones to choose from and you can easily try a few to find the one you prefer to work with – it costs just $5 for a gig so there is little risk. They mostly use the usual keyword research tools available to buy, although some claim to have their own custom research tools, so as long as they know how to use them the results should be comparable and reasonably good.
Once I had chosen a provider there I ordered my keyword research and three days later it was complete and a spreadsheet was sent to me containing over a hundred related keywords, rated from easy to difficult and coming with all sorts of other data such as backlinks, competition, searches/month etc. Not all the keywords were useful of course, some would be too hard to rank, some with too little traffic, some were just not something that would be easy to write about, but with a good long list to choose from there was no problem picking a few to start with.
Next step, having chosen the keywords I want to target first, is getting content created in the form of articles initially but Fiverr is also a great source of other forms of unique content such as video so I may go for some of that in the future as well. I posted my article requirements as explained here and within a matter of hours I had all my articles written and ready to post!
Total spent so far: $30.69
That’s as far as I’ve got so far with this case study, next steps will include setting up the domain on a host somewhere, creating social network accounts, uploading the freshly minted articles along with related media and then marketing the s*!# out of them! But all that is to come in the not too distant future so stay tuned for the next instalment..