How I do Keyword Research for My Niche Websites

Niche research means all the difference between making money and, well, wasting a lot of time. It is not something that you pick off the tips of your fingers. Whenever I am starting a new niche blog, I spend about 8-12 hours doing systematic niche research.

We will be using Chrome. You first need to install an extension called MozBar. You will also need to sign up for a trial of SemRush here www.semrush.com/sem/?ref=15077161.

Great. Now we are ready for work.  So, what do we look for in a niche?

  1. We want a niche that has traffic
  2. A niche that has little competition
  3. And a niche that has products that we can sell

Amazon Bestsellers Categories

The easiest way to tell whether a niche has both traffic and products to sell is to head over to Amazon.com’s bestselling products page. Kindly go here http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers/zgbs.

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After you get here, there is no magic formula to tell which niche you should pick. This is where I spend most of my time… browsing through the different categories (Menu on the Left). If I find a product that is in the bestselling categories and it spikes my curiosity, I mark it down for further analysis.

The further analysis involves verifying how many people are searching for information on that niche, and how many bloggers are writing about this niche. Generally, I want the niche to have traffic of about 5000+.

Use SEMRush to Get Overview of Google Search Volume

So, I go to SeMrush, and type a random keyword associated with the product

From the industrial and Scientific category, for instance, I can pick the keyword protective eyewear and go search it in SemRush. This will give me the organic search volumes for the keyword, which in this case is 880 (too low).

But SemRush also gives you related keywords. So, I will look at the suggested related keywords. In this case I can see ‘safety glasses’ is quite popular at 27,100 searches.

I click on it.

Now, I have a keyword with a decent search volume on Google…. but I am certainly not the only one who’s noticed the numbers. I need to see how many other bloggers have decided to build their businesses around the keyword.

Weighing and Analyzing Niche Competition

At this time, I’ll head over to Chrome and search for ‘safety glasses.’

With MozBar installed, I can get both the Page Authority (PA) and the Domain Authority (DA) of the guys who are ranking on the first page of Google. I can also see the of number links that the ranking pages are getting.

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The higher these metrics are, the harder it will be to compete with them. Any result that has a PA of 30 and above should dissuade me from entering into that niche. From the screen shot above, I can see that the the first result for ‘safety glasses’ has a PA of 68 and 908 total links. The second result has a PA of 48 and 3,504 backlinks.

At 78 and 40, the Domain Authorities (DA) for these websites is quite strong.

Those numbers are quite impressive and it will take a lot of grit and hard work to rank a niche blog using the keyword ‘safety glasses.’

So, from the results of ‘safety glasses’ on Google, I can see the competition is quite stiff. There is no way I will ever be able to dethrone these guys from the first spots on Google results… Although safety glasses are among the bestselling items on Amazon, and the search volume is awesome, it is not a niche that I will just get into. The competition is a Goliath!

But, if this is a niche that I really want to get into, I will go back to SeMrush and find a way to sneak myself into.

I will be trying to find other keywords related to ‘safety glasses’ that are not as competitive as ‘Safety glasses.”

I will actually be spying on my competitors to see which keywords are driving traffic to their website, but they have not optimized to rank for them. But of course, this will be another tutorial.

Rank & Bank: Week Two Niche Site Update

Today marks the end of the second week of my rank and bank blogging challenge. In case you are wondering what the rank and bank challenge is, kindly see more information about it on the first post I made.

I’ll also do a quick recap here as things have changed a little bit since I started the challenge. I also like to keep my goals in sight. So, I might be repeating the goals of the projects in every Ranks & Bank update that I make.

Goals and Timeline of the Project

Can you make money blogging in Kenya? It is a question that a lot of people ask me. But instead of giving a blanket yes or no answer, I like setting the example.

I have been making some of my income from blogging for the past two or three years, albeit in the service industry. But I understand that no everyone can start a blog in the service industry, especially if you are in high school or college.

But everyone can make a niche website that is monetized through affiliate programs and products and make it big. You could also create a niche website targeting a high CPC keyword and monetize it using Google Adsense (though I really wouldn’t recommend this especially if you don’t have a Google Adsense account already.)

So, for this particular project, I am building two brand new websites, and aiming to be making at least $500K from each one of them by the end of one and a half years. That’s about 1M Kenya shillings in total.

The blogs will be primarily monetized via the Amazon Associates program.

Here is what I have managed to do so far:

  1. In week one, I registered domain names for the two niche blogs
  2. I hired two writers to write content for the two websites. I initially hired 3 but one ended up bailing out as she was totally new to the writing industry
  3. One blog has 3 posts as of today. The only one has just one post.
  4. I have not done any SEO for the blogs. Although I did create a Twitter account for one of them.

Google Indexing

Should you or should you not submit your blog to Google Webmaster console?

It is a question that I have seen raised elsewhere by SEOs. So, I did an interesting quick case study. I submitted one of the blogs to the webmaster console, and didn’t submit the other. Guess what happened? The submitted blog was being indexed while the other one was nowhere to be found in Google using the ‘site:’ search parameter.

Rank and Bank Blogging Challenge

Lesson: Don’t believe every bit of information you read from internet marketers. Some of them want you to be an epic flop. Some of them have never started a successful niche blog in their entire IM careers. Always take everything you hear with a pinch of doubt.

Goals for Next Week

I am excited about next week.

  1. Create social media accounts for all the blogs (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I might also consider LinkedIn)
  2. Add 5 posts to each of the blogs (I am doing long posts 2000 words and above)
  3. Start creating backlinks for the projects.
Challenges

Chase Bank went down.

Seriously.

It was my only bank and I liked the fact that I could shuffle money back and forth from the bank account to Mpesa. It made hiring online so much easy.

What am I gonna do about it? Open a bank account with Cooperative bank. It is the first thing I’ll be doing tomorrow morning.

My $10K Challenge

If you are reading this post, you are one of the few persons that will witness my crazy blogging journey.

I have set a crazy challenge for myself.

Starting April 2016, I will be attempting to build a new blog from scratch and looking forward to selling it for more than 10 Million Kenya shillings in one and half years.

As of right now, I have bought a brandable domain name, and I have a vague idea of how I intend to grow the blog.

Content Creation

For the first few weeks, I have set $160 for content creation. With this amount, I intend to get about 20 articles, each one of them about 2000 words.

I expect the first phase of content creation to take about 2 weeks. Most of the content in the first phase will be product reviews for products on Amazon in my niche.

The fact that I am setting a budget for this project goes to show how serious I am about it. I could have chosen to write the articles by myself, but that would be self-defeating.

I know myself.

I am lazy AF.

And paying a writer $8.00 to write a 2000 words blog post is a jackpot. But isn’t that so damn cheap? No. It is not. But I am not getting into that debate right now.

Later on, I expect to create more content about the industry to drive traffic.

Content Promotion

I am expecting some major love from Google on this project. I expect a third of my traffic to come from Google… but I am not stopping there.

Only a fool believe that if he builds it they will come.

So, what’s my strategy?

Social media promotion will play a key role in driving traffic. I will also be doing a few guest posts on related websites. Reddit also have a very dedicated to this niche.

I will also be hunting the internet for niche forums.