The Secret To Finding Proven Money Making Niches

PLEASE SHARE
The Secret To Finding Proven Money Making Niches

A couple of months ago I published the very first guest post on the blog.

It got a great reception so today I bring you the blogs second guest post covering a topic many of you have asked me about.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to produce awesome content like this and want me to publish your post, get in touch!

What You Will Learn

  • How to find niches and keyword using an ‘outside of the box’ method
  • The EXACT tactics used to spot the golden niches
  • How to dissect a site and decide on a winner
  • The exact methods I would use to build a site in 3 different niches

Introducing Lewis Ogden

I recently started my blog Cloud Income, after spending a good few years behind the scenes. I have created hundreds of websites and made some great money doing so.

I was becoming tired of the same old regurgitated content, lack of imagination and flare. That combined with being inspired by this very blog, I decided to do something about it :)

A Quick Explainer

In my last post “Niche Site making $1,000/Month“, I explained how I discovered a website that was making a very nice income, in a niche I had never heard of.

Long story short, I created my own site to compete in that niche and 4 months later, that site is bringing in over $1,000 per month.

After receiving a number of questions on this tactic, I wanted to show you exactly how I go about finding proven niches, using a tactic that 99% of the competition doesn’t use.

How I Find Proven Niches

My Secret weapon in finding niche sites, that are proven to make money is – Flippa.com.

In this article I take 3 sites, pick them apart, and explain how I would go about building my own website in that niche.

There can be a lot of BS in a Flippa auction, spotting a legit website can prove difficult. However there are steps you can take to filter out much of the rubbish and find niches with real potential.

Advanced Search

This is the easy part, as Flippa provides the tools we need to search for specific attributes. For this analysis I have used the following-

Flippa Advanced Search

(This search returns 1,149 results)

Essentially I am looking for websites at auction, that are over 12 months old and have a NET profit of $2,000+…THAT HAD A SUCCESSFUL SALE ON FLIPPA.

The last part is essential as this cuts out a lot of the rubbish I mentioned above.

If a site has sold, chances are the buyer did their own due diligence. It doesn’t mean that every result returned will be a gem, but it does give us a great base to work from.

Scanning the Results

What we do here is scan through the results and ignore any of the following;

  • URL HIDDEN (most often requires an NDA, which won’t happen as the auction has closed!).
  • Any site selling Social Media Follower, Tweets, +1’s etc (there are lots of these sites and I am simply not interested in reselling Fiverr Gigs!).
  • Any Brand URLs (sometimes you could enter the niche with a non Trade Mark Domain, but for now we will ignore them
  • Anything the require building software , website themes etc. (If you have the technical knowledge great, however I’m looking for easier pickings here, something that you could replicate with ease).

Summary Listings

Using the example below, here is what I look for in the summary listing;

Flippa Search Results

  1. Does the domain contain the keyword(s) OR does it tell me what niche the site is in?
  2. Are there any comments on the auction? It’s rare to find a sale without comments, unless the seller has covered every angle. The comments section usually throws up even more information that is useful to us when conducting our research.
  3. The sale price – a big number like this may attract my attention first!
  4. The number of visitors and average monthly revenue (note that the revenue is different to our criteria of NET profit)
  5. The established date. As we have our criteria set to 12 months or older you can overlook this, however the older the better in my opinion. If a site has been a consistent earner for 6 years….I am interested in how!

The results that I like the look of and fall outside of the above ignore list, I add the domain name, auction URL, niche and net profit into a spreadsheet.

I can then come back at anytime, when I am ready to build another niche site.

This saves so much time, as I have a readily available source of proven niches at my disposal and I only need to search through Flippa once :)

So let’s look at 3 of these sites in detail shall we?

Example #1 – MilitaryBases.com

US Military Bases

URLMilitaryBases.com
Selling price – $125,000
Bids – 8
Net Profit – $5,499

Description

The first site that caught my eye was the auction for MilitaryBases.com, which ended in October 2012.

The sale price of $125,000 certainly peaked my spider senses, which is around 23x monthly net profit. This is above average for a Flippa site, as I usually find sites sell within the 9-15 times net profit mark.

The site is a in an evergreen niche and provides a great source of information on the US Military Bases, covering the Air Force, Coast Guard, Army and Navy. The Flippa auction states;

MilitaryBases.com is a relocation resource. To understand this website, you need to know that:

1. The United States has ~800 military bases worldwide.

2. Military soldiers get PCS orders every 2-3 years which relocates them and their family.

Before moving to a new military base, families want to know about school options, housing availability, hotel rates, local banks, the cost of living, basically, what kind of lifestyle should they expect. That’s where MilitaryBases.com comes in handy. MilitaryBases.com helps these military families transition.

I love how the seller jumps straight in with these facts. This, combined with the easy breakdown of the description into sections, is a very good sign the seller knows what he/she is doing…and this may not be their first time selling a site

(Quick Tip – check out the sellers profile for even more proven niches!)

Site Analysis

Even though this auction has just 8 bids (I think the price tag was out of reach for 90% of the Flippa community), it has everything I would look for in a potential niche to enter.

A proven 2 year history in the SERPS, and an average of 120k unique visitors per month and 361k page views. What’s not to like!

How it’s Monetized

The primary revenue source for militarybases.com is AdSense. There are a few other affiliate resources that generate some income, but on the whole Google AdSense is the bread and butter, bringing in over 85% of total revenues.

Ad slots appear in the sidebar as skyscrapers and under the navigation menu as banners. They do blend in with the site very well as image ads are enabled, I think text ads would look out of place on this particular site.

One Year after the Sale

One year on from the sale of Military Bases, the site is sitting at #3 for its main keyword in Google US;

Military Bases Search Results

However I am certain their long tail traffic will be driving upwards of 80% of their total traffic (from my own findings).

Here are some other keywords they rank in the top 10 for;

Military Bases in Florida – #1
Military Bases in Texas – #2
Military bases in the US – #8
US Military Bases – #10
Military Bases in Germany – #2
Military Bases in Utah – #4

As you can see, the site is doing well for many different state and country searches, if the site has continued to earn at the same rate, the new owner could expect a full return on investment over the coming 12 months.

Content

The site also has some great content, user comments (active service men and women and their families) and back links pointing to the site.

As you can see from the current stats below, the various tools (Ahrefs, OpenSiteExplorer, MajesticSEO) offer differing volumes of back links;

Military Bases Open Site Explorer

Military Bases Ahrefs

Following the in-depth study ahrefs vs. MajesticSEO here on MatthewWoodward.co.uk, I actually favour the Ahrefs data over MajesticSEO and OpenSiteExplorer.

However by using a combination of all three tools, here are some of the relevant and high authority links I came across;

US Military Bases Wikipedia Page (DA 100)
Blinded Veterans Association (DA 67)
LifeAfterExit.com (DA 29)

What’s interesting in this case however is the number of both foreign back links and anchor text.

What’s even more interest is the adult related links in profile. Perhaps victim of a negative SEO attack….looks like it to me.

MilitaryBases.com - Foreign Links

Income

AdWords still have the majority share of advertising space; however there is also another method being used to monetise the site. This is the banner you are presented with when you visit the root URL.

MilitaryBases.com - Clearance Jobs

This appears to be an affiliate/referral method to direct security cleared personal who are transitioning back into civilian life.

It’s a great way to eek more money out of the site whilst keeping it relevant to the visitors, and whilst the popup is fairly obtrusive, I think it works for this niche.

They also have a banner in the header of the site for the same referral method.

My Approach to This Niche

Whilst you could build a site around military bases in general, I would look at creating a site for say “Air force Bases” and see how that site went. There will be plenty of content even though you would have ‘niched down’.

Available Domain names

  • USMilitaryBases.net
  • MilitaryBasesGuide.com / .net / .org
  • MilitaryBaseGuide.net / .org

Or if you want to “Niche Down”

  • NavyBases.org
  • USAirforceBases.net / .org
  • USArmyBases.net / .org
  • USNavyBases.net / .org

Any of the above domain names would be fine.

SEO and Back links

A quick look for some free to register domain names over at ExpiredDomains.net finds the following;

Military FTR Domain #2

Whilst a little low on the DA side with 22, we have 165 back links from 84 domains and it’s a relevant domain name, with part of our keyword in the name. It wouldn’t take much to rebrand this into a highly relevant linking site.

Military FTR Domain

Not an awesome back link profile, BUT with a DA of 29 and 127 links from lots of different domains, there is little chance of losing all those links overnight.

I would pick up both of these domain names and make these the beginning of a blog network to link back to our new niche site.

Top them up with some targeted, relevant bank links using GSA SER and you can increase the power of these sites.

Content Ideas

To be honest, we couldn’t go far wrong that to use the content ideas from this site and replicate. I’ don’t mean straight copy, but use the article titles, layout and formatting to your advantage.

I love the map that is used on MilitaryBases.com, so I would HAVE to have this on my site.

MilitaryBases Map

UberSuggest

Heading over to UberSuggest, we enter our keyword “Military Bases” and we have hundreds of content ideas in an instant. Here’s a small snippet-

UberSuggest Results

What UberSuggest does is it takes your keyword and appends either a letter or a number to the end. It’s a very clever tool and one I use frequently.

It doesn’t provide search volume, but on this site, we would be writing for the visitor and this tool tells us what they will be searching for.

Here’s what they say on their site-

With this free keyword tool you can instantly get thousands of keyword ideas from real user queries! Use the keywords to get inspiration for your next blog post, or to optimize your PPC campaigns.

Site Structure

Following the MilitaryBases.com site as an example, having a clean navigation bar, fairly unobtrusive ad slots and helpful info, I think we could build a great site.

I would be very tempted to avoid AdSense for my own site, concentrating on the quality of content and building a place servicemen and women trust.

Once established I would then look to sponsor various charities (you can make small donations in exchange for your image or link to be placed on their sponsors page = quality back link).

This will enhance your credibility and also provide some great back links, even if they are brand/URL anchor text.

Example #2 – GuideGator.com

GuideGator

URL – GuideGator.com
Selling price – $31,100
Bids – 8
Net Profit – $14,000

Description

Unfortunately the Flippa auction details for GuideGator are no longer available, it must have been removed by either the seller or buyer (you can purchase auction privacy after a successful sale).

However this is one site I had my eye on back in August this year.

Luckily, whilst the auction was running, I created a folder (using Google Drive) to store all of the auction details :)

This info went into my ideas folder for review when I had time, however because I couldn’t decide on the legitimacy of the site and seller I just left it alone. Until now.

Site Analysis

n.b – the figures quoted are direct from the Flippa auction itself, which I gathered whilst the data was still available.

As the auction is no longer available you will have to take my word for it! – I have added a screenshot below of my Google Drive folder (when I say I captured everything…I mean everything!!)

GuideGator - Save Docs

The first item I want to address is the claimed profits of $14,000 per month.

The auction description stated-

The site for sale is a guide and review web site with over 1,150 unique professionally written articles and a clean sharp design

The site has grown ethically and organically with strong natural back links and is continuing to increase revenues month on month.

All of the revenue comes from Adsense which is minimally placed as not to be overly intrusive. Thus increased revenues may be gained from more aggressive forms of advertising.

Current revenues are stable and producing $14,000+ per month with existing traffic which is growing as new content is added to the site.

The trouble had with this site is the content quality. It’s appalling.

Here are my notes I took at the time of auction in a WordPress doc-

My Auction Comments

Ok so I’m a little critical here, but this is how I perform my research and I like to keep it real!

Poor Content

Clearly non English speaking writers have produced this content, which can be fine IF their grasp of the English language is good enough.

However here we can clearly see very low quality content, targeting a whole host of niches ranging from Jobs & Careers, Banking, and Online Services such as Netflix and Lovefilm etc.

Below is a snippet of text from one of their articles titled “Apply For Chase Amazon Rewards Visa Card Online”

GuideGator - Snippet

As you can see, it literally is a guide on how to sign up for this credit card. Go here –> Click This –> Enter Details –> Click Go

How it’s Monetized

Such a simple business model and if the earnings are true, then this is something anyone with a team of Odesk writers can achieve. Just churn out financial related content, day after day.

The auction contained a snapshot of the WordPress backend showing the number of posts on the site, which I also captured :)

WP Article Count

So 1,197 posts have been published, and each article contains a Google AdSense block wrapped inside of the text. It’s AdSense 101 really, nothing complicated and probably the quickest and easiest way to make money with a website.

How it Looks Now

Almost 3 months on from the sale of Guide Gator, the site is still active and looks exactly the same as it did. However with the majority of it’s traffic claimed to come from Organic sources, I struggle to find which keywords are bringing visitors to the site.

With such a mishmash of content, topics and articles, it seems highly unlikely that this site is making as much as was claimed by the seller.

My Approach

In today’s market, I would actually steer clear of the mass content method. My focus nowadays is primarily on user experience and quality content that I would be happy to share with anyone.

With the SERP marketplace as it is, algorithm updates and stiff competition, I really cannot see this kind of site producing a decent income. (If you have evidence to the contrary I am all ears!)

Example #3 – BorderCollieAdvice.com

BorderCollieAdvice.com

URLBorderCollieAdvice.com
Selling price – $15,100
Bids – 7
Net Profit – $2,000

Description

As a dog lover (I have a Cocker Spaniel) I have always thought about creating a niche site around dogs. This site is exactly what I have always had in mind.

I love that they have chosen a niche within a niche and selected a type of dog breed to target. Border Collies are a very popular dog in both the UK and US.

Analysis

With 8k unique visitors per month and 25k page views, we can see that there is definitely a market for this niche. People love their dogs, and if you need a piece of information that will help you and your dog, you will spend time looking for it.

This site has a net profit of $2,000 per month, which comes solely from eBook sales. So not only is the target audience engaged, they are willing to spend money. This is one niche I would seriously consider getting into.

How it’s Monetized

As mentioned above, eBook sales make up 100% of the $2,000 profits each month.

The eBook is selling at $27.97, which puts them at around 71 sales per month. With 8k visitors, that’s a conversion rate of less than 0.88%, now if you’re anything like me, I bet your thinking…

Geeze, I think could increase than conversion rate to around 3% quite easily.

Let’s say we did just that, which I think is very possible given the niche and target audience. We would be selling 240 eBooks per month which would equate to $6,712 gross profit per month.

(the Flippa auction states both the gross and net profit to be the same; however I do believe the seller will incur charges for the hosting and distribution of the eBook)

10 Months after the Sale

Reviewing the site 10 months after the sale for $15,100, we can see it is no longer ranking #1 for “Border Collie Training”, it now lies in position 7 (Google.com).

BorderCollieAdvice.com - #7

What is interesting from the SERP results is the 3 YouTube videos ranking just above this site.

My Approach

I really like the dog niche, it’s the old cliché, people use “dog training” as an example of a keyword you shouldn’t target. In this case, a niche within a niche, it definitely seems do-able.

Here’s how I would tackle it.

Available Domain names

  • BorderCollieAdvice.net / .org
  • BorderCollieGuide.net / .org

Either of these domain names are a great fit for this niche.

SEO and Back links

I spent 5 minutes looking at recently expired domains over at expireddomains.net. One domain I did come across is this;

nards - Available

With the following Moz OSE details.

nards - Moz Details

With a Domain Authority of 27 and 80 inbound links, mostly from other dog related sites, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up this domain for the reg fee and it would form the beginning of a private blog network.

Content Ideas

In this example, I will use LongTailPro for my keyword and competition research.

Create a new campaign-

New LTP Campaign

I have entered “Border Collie” as the only keyword, and filter only keywords with an exact match search volume over 50.

Let’s take a look at the results. (I have asked LTP to calculate the Keyword Competitiveness (KC) for some of the keywords I am interested in)

Border Collie LTP Results

As you can see, we’ve got plenty to go at and if you spend longer than the 5 minutes that I did in LTP, you will find that there are plenty of other keywords to target.

I will save this campaign and refer back to it frequently when I need content ideas for my site. I aim for at least 50 article ideas, but it does depend on the size of the niche.

Quick Tip – Head over to Yahoo Answers and type in your main keyword if you are struggling for article ideas. There will be hundreds of related questions that dog owners want to know the answer too.

Some of the standout keywords for me are-

Border collie gifts – 170 US Exacts – Perfect buyer keyword, low search volume but a low KC of just 26

Border collie breeders – 2,400 US Exacts – I would create THE ULTIMATE guide to breeders and reach out to all the websites who make the list. I would use this as link bait in order to get some relevant/authority back links. (KC 31)

Border collie colors – I know from having my own pedigree dog that they come in a variety of colours. With 720 US searches per month and a KC of 30, it’s definitely something a user would expect to find on our site.

WordPress Theme

I really like the – White & Grey Dog WordPress Theme by Mercury, which costs $63 for a single site licence. However you could go with any clean theme, free or paid to begin with.

Structure

Our main keyword “Border Collie Training” would form the bulk of our homepage.

The inner pages or posts would be other related terms such as “Border Collie Temperament”, “Border Collie Size”, “Border Collie Shedding” etc.

I would ensure I linked to these inner pages from the homepage, or at least to the category the post belonged too.

A quick note on Posts and Pages in WordPress.

I go with the thought that if something is going to be written once and is evergreen, I create a page.

If however it’s a piece of news or you are building a blog – then add a post.

WARNING: Steal Your Competitors Search Rankings, Traffic & Income

Conclusion

Let’s face it, 99% of the competition use the Google Keyword Planner or some variation thereof.

However by thinking outside the box and taking a slightly different approach, we are able to find a much broader range of niches and keywords.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it has made you think about niche research. You should check out my post where I reveal My Exact Strategy for a $1,000/month Niche Site and also How to Build a Blog Network – The Right Way.

I really enjoyed dissecting these websites and if you decide to follow my advice and tackle them head on, let me know in the comments.

Learn How To Steal  Your Competitors Rankings With My #1 Personal SEO Strategy!
Get instant access to my personal SEO strategy that I use on every single site that I launch time & time again.

143 Responses

  1. 11.7.2013

    Hey Matt, thanks for posting this!

    If anyone has any questions please ask away in the comments! :)

    • October 27th, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      You’re crazy maaaaan, it was a long but very interesting and gainful read. Thanks for sharing. Definitely following you!

  2. 11.7.2013

    Very nice article!
    Thank you!
    That’s a pretty clever way of finding niches :)

    • November 11th, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Thanks Philip much appreciated :)

  3. 11.7.2013

    Hi Lewis

    Fantastic read here the amount of detail you went into was very thorough.

    I myself have been trying to get my head around building niche websites but had no luck getting my head around I looked around BHW and a number of forums but lots of people do not share information.

    This is a gem of a post! Bookmarked your site and hope to learn more.

    Thanks,
    Ram

  4. 11.7.2013

    When I started reading this, all I could think of was “Is this me”? I got my start in internet marketing by making a site based off one I saw on flippa and making it better.

    Great post, cheers!

  5. 11.7.2013

    I am following this blog from last 15 days and already gone through at least 25-30 posts. This is my first comment here. This post is really awesome. Few days ago, I was researching on flippa to find what sells good. But this article makes it clear what type of website to build to reap maximum profit.

    • November 11th, 2013 at 9:38 am

      What other types of posts would you like to see?

      • November 11th, 2013 at 6:28 pm

        Hi Matt

        All your posts are very engaging. I even can not differenitate which is better than which. I want more post on how to get ideas to write something new. There are many blogs which tells how to blog but you have unique idea to express the same thing. I also want to listen about more copy writing tips. Not writing more than 3 lines in a paragraph is what I have learned from you.

        Thanks matt

  6. 11.7.2013

    Great Post Lewis. Subscribed to cloudincome.com, followed you on Twitter and added you to my G+ circle.

    • November 11th, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Much appreciated, glad you enjoyed it and its great to have you!

  7. 11.7.2013

    Great info I always use Yahoo answers for traffic generation and aticle Ideas, but I usually find little success with outreach for links for PMD/EMD niche sites

  8. 11.7.2013

    Killer content Lewis, very very good. I’m a subscriber!

    • November 11th, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Thanks Steve much appreciated!

  9. 11.7.2013

    Excellent article, I’ve spent a long time pawing over Flippa and have become quite adept at identifying scamers and reverse engineering people’s business models as well as picking up on the kinds of things identified above, but I’ve struggled to put all of these abilities together to do something useful!

    This provides a great blueprint to work from, I’ll be giving it a go myself soon.

    Lewis, your blog has a new subscriber!

    Now wait for the border collie niche to be flooded with copycat sites from unimaginative readers of this article!

    Thanks,

    Martin

    • November 11th, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Thanks Martin, hopefully people will try to think outside of the box for themselves!!

      Good luck and let us know how you get on!

  10. 11.7.2013

    Excellent post!

    Thanks for sharing your tactics, from now on, I’ll be watching you! :)

  11. 11.7.2013

    Hey Lewis,

    This is really a great method to find niches. But how do you deal with sellers that inflate their income claims?

    • November 11th, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Hi Don – this is always an issue with websites. You can get a good idea by how much info the seller is sharing (look at the auction attachments) and also how responsive they are to questions made in the coments section.

      You can of course conduct your own keyword research and decide if you think the results they show are accurate.

      Many sellers dont show costs so the income they report is gross, chances are they are buying traffic and the true net profit will be much smaller.

  12. 11.7.2013

    Hi Lewis

    Very nice post. You analyze all three sites very good, you got the points out and you presented that very nice.

    Clearly, if I should choose from these three sites I would definitely go for the third one. From only 8,000+ visitors a month, it is making $2000+.

    It proves that traffic is overrated.

    Thanks for this post Lewis

    • November 11th, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Very true, its all about targeted traffic that converts

  13. 11.7.2013

    Lewis Ogden, thank you for your indepth insight!
    I have been working on a method to find niches that is almost parallel to your own method. Thanks to you and your article I am able to incorporate a few aspects into my own style of niche research. Again Thank you!

    I would like to ask if you have alternatives to ExpiredDomains.net?

    Also, why LTP? why not SEO Power Suite or Market Samurai, or any others? What is about that program that makes you use it?
    I ask because I am looking for the best here. (BTW: Matthew W. this might be a topic ;) )

    Thanks!

    -Kenneth

    • November 11th, 2013 at 11:08 am

      Hi Kenneth, I prefer LTP for its speed and the fact that it does what its supposed to do very well.

      I never did like MS but have used SEO powersuit and that is a good tool. I just think for building niche sites and finding golden keywords LTP gives me the best roi in my time.

      • November 11th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

        Agree 100% Lewis. I used to love MS, but it’s just too slow now. Love the KC score in LTP too for grabbing large amounts of target keywords. The export feature is a huge +.

        -Matt

  14. Matt
    11.7.2013

    A very detailed and highly informative read!

    I’ve been doing something similar to this for about a year now, but you’ve shared a few tricks that I hadn’t been using.

    Lewis – I had picked up a couple of sites that are PR1s that I intended on using as money sites, but after using Matt’s backlink excel sheet I found that they likely were slapped at some point by an over-optimization penalty that did not show up in majestic (I know shame on me).

    I’ve since created a new site that is ranking well within the niche, but often wonder about the potential of using the two sites as part of a PBN. They were at one time PR3s and have many quality edu links.

    Thanks a bunch for sharing!

  15. 11.7.2013

    Great Article… One question for Matt… I understand why you allow people to guest post on your great blog… But are you not worried that you could lose readers to other blogs like cloudincome from articles like this??

  16. 11.7.2013

    Awesome article Lewis. It’s a very similar process that I used to find a niche for a site I created awhile back (that’s made around $2500/month). There is so much garbage on Flippa, but the more you look through the listings, the easier it is to weed out the c***.

    I’m just getting into building up private blog networks and notice you mention these in your listings above. Do you turn each of these domains into full sites? Thanks and great post.

    • November 11th, 2013 at 11:13 am

      Hi Logan – yeah the more you can make your PBN sites look like a normal website the better.

      I always ask myself “would this site pass a manual review”. If not I make it better.

  17. 11.7.2013

    Awesome post – I will definitely incorporate this into my process the next time I tackle a new niche site. I like how this adds a different dimension for finding a target niche above and beyond just stats from Google’s keyword planner.

    • November 11th, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Well keyword research is a part of market research, but people have forgotten all about market research it would seem ^^

  18. hydride
    11.7.2013

    Matthew! Great post and great resources to use. I’m assuming use GSA SER for tiered 2 linking correct?

  19. 11.7.2013

    I came across this niche finding method before but it was not as well explained nor did it provide the real actionable tips you did.

    Great post

    James

    • November 11th, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Thanks James glad you liked the post!

  20. 11.8.2013

    Hi Lewis,

    I would like to say thanks for sharing your tips, this is one area that I kind of stood away for a while, but seeing what you explain and showing the steps its pushing me too, develop a site build it and flip it.

    So Lewis thanks again and have a nice day.

    Tony

  21. 11.8.2013

    Hey Lewis,

    Just started following your blog. Your blog post making $1000/month was definitely interesting. Also read your Private Blog Network post. Great Stuff as well as this post. I like how you think outside the box and will take into mind on the next test site I do and using Long Tail Pro. Is the $17/month really worth it just for the Calculated Keyword Competitiveness ?

    • November 11th, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Hi David – I would say its definately worth it but it also depends on your budget. You dont NEED it, however it save me a lot of time conducting research which as you know can take days even weeks in some cases.

  22. Abdi
    11.7.2013

    Real, real quality post! I for one have been waiting for this type of post from you Matthew and Mr Ogden did not disappoint. I did have a few questions but then got lost on cloudincome.com which I have just bookmarked. I miss the excitement of setting up niche sites – need to forget SEO clients and get back in the game :)

    Cheers guys

  23. Angel Dimitrov
    11.8.2013

    Hello Matthew,

    I have been following your blog for a while and have to say you’re doing a really really great job on here! Every single post you share with us is full with practical advice and information ready to use in the digital playground. I appreciate your help, keep it up!

    Could you please give me some tips about where to find more information related to a keyword searches value? You mentioned it in this post when talking about possible border collie keywords.

    Thanks in advance,
    Angel

    • November 11th, 2013 at 9:33 am

      Will leave that one for Lewis ^^

      • November 11th, 2013 at 11:26 am

        Hi Angel – You have the obvious CPC and search vol from the Google Keyword Planner. What you also need to think about is the visitors intent.

        Are they looking for info, a product, a solution etc

        I wrote a post on Google Keyword Alternatives – http://www.cloudincome.com/google-keyword-tool-alternatives/

        • November 19th, 2013 at 1:40 pm

          Thank you Lewis! Already bought LongTailPro (hope I did it through one of your affiliate links) which works a great job for me and my research!

          All the best,
          Angel

  24. 11.8.2013

    Great post! Such a simple but effective idea. Will have to give it a go.

    Thanks.

  25. 11.8.2013

    Hey Lewis, excellent write up. I’ve heard of looking through Flippa before to get niche ideas, but you took that a step further and actually outlined how you would tackle those niches, a real boon to people who don’t know what they are doing such as myself. :)

    So a few questions, and I’m going to break this up into a couple of comments.

    One, you mention going on expireddomains.net to purchase domains for your PR blog. I haven’t heard of this site before, is there a trick to buying the domains on there? I’ve only recently begun purchasing domains for a PR network and so far they’ve been crazy expensive.

    • November 8th, 2013 at 6:54 am

      Second, does the relevance of inbound links to your PR network matter? I only thought that the context of the site itself is what mattered.

      Lasly, I found an amazing niche that I’m going to tackle, and it is very similar to the niche idea behind collies. You decided that tackling a subcategory was the best course of action, but I decided to make a site for the entire niche, and silo up the site so that I can boost up the subcategories, which are gold. Was this a mistake?

      Thanks for the information, love this site

      • November 11th, 2013 at 10:30 am

        Without knowing the niche I have no idea. However as long as you have done your research then I say go for it.

        I would suggest targeting some of the longer tail keywords first to gain some traction and prove the niche before investing time and money into the big keywords.

        Good luck!

    • November 11th, 2013 at 10:26 am

      Yes – make sure the PA/DA Moz metrics are solid (above 25 at least). Also check the backlinks going the the expired domain, we dont want spam or hundreds of blog comment links.

      Those auction domains are going up in price as everyone is trying to build their own network :)

  26. 11.8.2013

    Fantastic post Matt and kudos to Lewis, I thoroughly enjoyed – it has ‘sparked’ a few ideas! :-)

    All the best!

    Andy

  27. MixerDJ
    11.8.2013

    Awesome one Matthew.Love ya man :D

  28. 11.8.2013

    Thanks Matt for such a nice post up there!

    I do agree with you that Flippa can be used as a nice tool for investigating niches and replicating some success stories along the way.

    Have you published more articles on Monetization? This article is directed towards niche finding. I would be interested to see your latest techniques on monetizing sites.

    Looking forward to read more of your stuff. All the Best!

    • November 11th, 2013 at 9:32 am

      All thanks to Lewis :)

      What sort of things would you like to see around monetisation?

      • November 15th, 2013 at 1:42 pm

        Hi Matt! Thanks for your reply.

        It would be great to read an article from you about “CPA monetization” and related decent techniques in the future.

        Quick Notice: I am following your answers manually as subscribing is floading my mails with countless posts about new comments. Please if you are finding me unsubscribing to your posts, its due to the vast number of comments i am receiving each day. That means your blog is pretty successfull to an annoying degree ; )

        Thanks a lot Matt! Great stuff as usual.

        • November 16th, 2013 at 4:13 pm

          Hi,

          To be honest my knowldge isn’t all that great in that area but I can certainly throw some campaigns together and share my learnings.

          Just taken a look at the plugin settings to see if theres a way to throttle that back – are you getting 1 email for every comment that gets published?

  29. 11.8.2013

    Hey lewis and matt

    I had for quite some time thinking of visiting flippa
    To get some ideas to promote my existing websites..well this has definitely helped and inspired me of a post for my own blog

    Cheers
    Jeff

  30. 11.8.2013

    Hey Lewis and Mat,

    Thanks for the Flippa research ideas.

    I’ve got a question that is connected with backlinks when building your niche sites.

    In your article “Niche site making $1000/mo” at http://www.cloudincome.com/niche-site-making-1000-month-my-strategy-revealed/ you said the following:
    “Web 2.0 with Spun Content – These took a hit with Penguin 2.1 and there is just no reason to go spamming the web with duplicated content on hundreds of sites.”

    So you, Lewis, and Mat both know what you do. But Mat recommends using different tools that automate content creation and backlinks building.

    Both of you are guys of practice, which means that you both preach what you have been practicing. But how can it be that you do NOT recommend spun content and Mat DOES recommend it?

    Mat and Lewis, can you please elaborate on your positions so that I and others could better understand your arguments regarding spun content and Penguin 2.1 that hits it?

    Thank you

    • November 11th, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Hi,

      Theres always more than 1 way to skin the cat. I also go beyond the average spinner when I spin content eg http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/advanced-article-spinning-techniques-with-the-best-spinner/

      • November 11th, 2013 at 11:24 am

        Thanks Matthew. Useful stuff.
        It would be interesting to hear Lewis’ position too regarding the best practices of spinning.

    • November 11th, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Agree with Matt ^^

      We both have our own styles and have tested different things, so we can share what has worked for us individually.

      I would suggest that everyone starts testing and come up with their own blueprints using both Matts and my own posts as a guide.

      • November 11th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

        Exactly, there is no single method that is right or wrong. The people that excel are the ones that take something that exists already and modify it based on their own experience/findings over time.

      • November 11th, 2013 at 7:11 pm

        Thanks Lewis.
        Is there I can read about why you did not succeed with semi-spam tiered link building?
        I know experience is individual thing but anyway it’s very interesting.

  31. 11.8.2013

    Posts like these are why I seriously, SERIOUSLY, keep on coming back for more. This is well researched stuff from Lewis and, Matt, I’m grateful for you bringing this guest post on board for this one.

    I’ve shared this and added this into my SEO Ninja Toolkit as one of the best Niche finding guides I’ve ever read.

    I appreciate the time spent in sharing this information as well as the fact that you guys are sharing real gems – diamonds – worth of information to elusive subjects inside SEO and IM practices.

    Keep on going, keep bringing me more. I’ll keep on following.

    • November 10th, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      Lewis did 99.9% of the work on this one :)

    • November 11th, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Thanks for sharing Matthew much appreciated :)

  32. 11.8.2013

    d***, this post is awesome! Way to go, Lewis!

  33. SEOScotland
    11.8.2013

    Great Post Lewis – love how its broken down in quick and simple steps.. Keep posts like this coming Matt!

  34. Andy
    11.8.2013

    f****** awesome post, thankyou.

  35. rod
    11.8.2013

    whoaa, this is amazing lewis, i was doing this a few months, and its kinda interesting your aproach, and the way you study the patterns, you gave 3 examples 2 goods and 1 bad, wich is awesome to have different angles of views, great i found you via mathew, let me ask you a question about the home page of wordpress everytime i make a post then the new content will appear at first and then the other go to second place, then how you keep your main keyword on the homepage if when you write a new content it will go to second place? or i nthis case to the innner page

    • November 10th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      rod – you can make any post a ‘sticky’ using ‘quick edit’ in the ‘all posts’ page of wordpress

  36. 11.8.2013

    Great post! I learned so much new stuff! This has never been posted anywhere before! You’re so smart to think of this!

  37. 11.9.2013

    Hi,

    How would you go about creating all this content to re-create these sites?

    The military bases site seems to have about 800 pages which is not an unobtainable number to create (although it would be a lot of work). But the allsmalldogbreeds.com site has more than 12,000 pages when carrying out a search in google for site:allsmalldogbreeds.com. This just seems too many to replicate.

    Would you somehow analyse the site to determine which were the best pages to re-create? Or do you have someway of easily producing all this content?

    Kind regards

    Andrew

    • November 10th, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Will leave this one for Lewis :)

    • November 10th, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      Andrew – You don’t necessarily have to produce the same volume of content, just make sure yours is just as good if not better.

      I would tackle the content creation like so;

      1 – Keyword search volume and cpc research using LTP to find the high volume searches

      2 – Forums and Yahoo Answers to find most frequently asked questions

      3 – Outsource a large Q&A page to my VA, I will provide the questions and he finds the answers (try to create the biggest single resource you can)

      4 – Either write myself of have my higher quality VA write a large home page followed by th einner pages – all targeting high search volume keywords.

      5 – Gather a list of Small Dog Breed and use each as an inner page covering EVERYTHING about that breed.

      6 – Throw together an awesome comparison table (using Tablepress) of all small dog breeds and their key stats – Energy, Aggressiveness, Max Height etc etc

      Hope that helps?

  38. 11.10.2013

    Hi matt
    I really enjoy your site and it gives great information. Youve answered most of the questions i needed answers too just by me going threw your site. I am new to internet marketing. I started a site on what i beleive is a niche that is untapped. I would very much love it if you can give an advice on what i should do to improve on my site.

  39. 11.10.2013

    Hi Lewis & Matt,

    Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts.
    After taking a wrong niche, this article really give me more ideas to check/go for.

    Leo

  40. gez
    11.10.2013

    Disappointing Matt, pretty much word for word of a WSO that was out 4 months ago. Nothing new here

    • November 10th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      How much was the WSO? ^^

      • November 10th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

        free mate, I don`t part with my money easily:)

        Can I suggest or should I say “request” an in-depth tutorial on keyword research with out paid tools, this is the area I struggle with the most.

        • November 11th, 2013 at 9:29 am

          Hahaha good to hear :)

          What more do you need than your web browser? Find out what people want, give it to them.

    • November 10th, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Post the link to the WSO.

  41. Awesome tutorial as usual Matt.I sometimes go to Flippa to hunt down on some new niche ideas.I also use forums for that ( sites for sell sections )

    I found out about Lewis blog before this post and i have to say he shares some amazing content.Keep up the good work Lewis :)

    BTW : Matt the forum section of your blog seems to have some problems.Sometimes i can’t access it cause it gives me an error.Just wanted to let you know ;)

    • November 11th, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Hi John,

      Working on the login issue, keep locking myself out as well ^^

    • November 11th, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Thanks for your kind words John!

  42. 11.11.2013

    Solid content Lewis! What I don’t get are marketers that want to get rid of sites that are making money. Especially if they’re netting a few thousands dollars per month. If someone has a site that makes them $5,000/month and then they want to turn around and sell it for $20,000 that already raises a red flag for me. I guess some people are desperate for money some times. Have a good one!

    • November 12th, 2013 at 9:05 am

      Well that wouldn’t happen – you would probably find it for sale in the region of $50-$70k

    • November 12th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      Of course it will raise some red flags if a site that is making $5k/month is sold for $20k.That is a major red flag :)

      As Matt said its usually between $50k to $70k mark sometimes even more.

  43. 11.11.2013

    Matt/Lewis – great post. Something else to distract me :)

    A lot of the sites on Flippa are fairly new and have loads of content (100’s of pages). Guessing these articles are low quality, spun, etc. Does this method still work? Thinking if its possible as a very short term (Adsense) site strategy.

    • November 12th, 2013 at 9:04 am

      Well as you browse the sites it will become apparent if thats the case :)

  44. 11.14.2013

    That’s one of the most awesome technique I have seen for finding money making niches and that too from Flippa.
    I normally spend a lot of time searching for various niches on different places but never thought Flippa could turn out to be a gold mine.
    Thanks for sharing this article with us. It was really worth the read :)

  45. 11.17.2013

    Hi,
    I love this post. Informative and inspirational. Guest post is one of my plan that I really want to do. your achievements are so impressive. You do so well. I have to confess that. Thanks for sharing this post. Great job! Hope to read more useful articles from you.

  46. 11.17.2013

    Thanks for your writing. I am a blogger and I always want to have good traffic for my blog. After reading your writing today, I realize that I will have to change some points for my blog in order not to create an attractive niche. I hope that after I created my onw niche, more readers will join it.

  47. 11.17.2013

    Matt, I just wanted to give you a sincere thanks. This article was awesome – as awesome as your own articles, and it really helped to expand my mind to new options. Thanks for being the quality guy out there in the internet, always providing such valuable content.

  48. 11.21.2013

    Hi Matt. Just to let you know the Like box for sharing to get the PDF isn’t working. It doesn’t reveal the PDF. The Google+ box works though.

  49. Zain Shah
    11.30.2013

    Great article! You have done an outstanding job of walking us through your logic. Keep up the good work!

  50. 12.15.2013

    Great article, thanks.
    Easy to follow breakdown.

    Vietnamrum

  51. 12.17.2013

    That is one of the very best articles I have ever read on the internet. I’ve bought WSOs that weren’t half as good!
    Thank you for the share! Got a few pointers off it and then printed it out to fully review later.
    Thanks again!
    Corky

  52. 3.19.2014

    Hi Matt,

    Great post. I have used the exact same method to create, monetize and sell few websites. Lately I bought a great domain name from expired domains (aged, lot of links etc. mint condition I thought…), in the niche that easily brings $1000/M (fanatics of a very popular global brand). This niche is known to me because I have worked on a website in that niche as a JV partner. Now, the little problem is that it has a brand name in it… I got so excited that overlooked that tiny problem completely lol. So it was seating there and waiting for me to do something. While reading your post I have decided to give it ago and bring it to live. Will keep it as long as possible, till they come and take it from me. Interesting thing is, some time ago that brand took 10+ domains from the other guy at one go. However, still I can see a LOT of other sites with their brand in domain name, that are ranking TOP10. As for f******* this domain, brand name is limiting serious buyers considerably, thus making a nice $ virtually impossible. For sure I won’t invest in domain like that any more.

    • March 20th, 2014 at 7:47 am

      Well you have learnt the lesson in the best way to learn lessons, the hard way :)

      There is a lot of risk with it though your right. I would perhaps put the site together make it look slick and relist it.

      • March 20th, 2014 at 11:47 am

        Yes, lesson learned :) There are always some positives even in the worst scenario. I’m considering to do what you said above, however, listing site without traffic isn’t that big of a deal.

        Second option, to use it as a T1 site and pass some good link juice through it (monetizing it with Adsense maybe, or other network). Initially I thought about aff program, but because it sells software that is in direct competition with the software of that brand, they could actually sue me for acting against their business :( So monetizing via Adsense or similar is probably better option.

        • March 21st, 2014 at 7:50 am

          Using it as a tier 1 isn’t a bad option, I probably wouldn’t monetise it though

  53. 3.22.2014

    Epic post Lewis. They say “The Riches are in the Niches!”, so very true. About to go check out your post on building Private Blog Networks. Defnitely want to set one up myself one of these days. Have a good one.

  54. tony
    4.11.2014

    Hi Matthew

    Do you think the method used by guidegator doesn’t work?

    I also was following that auction as the income report caught my attention! I was between £14,000 – £16,000 a month not $ dollars.

    If the root domain has got authority status, good DA etc etc. then surely the long tail, medium competition keywords can rank?

    maybe wishful thinking…

    • April 12th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      What is guide gator?

      • April 12th, 2014 at 2:15 pm

        GuideGator.com, example No 2 in the article above.

        I have just noticed that Lewis Ogden wrote the article. So the question goes out to both of you.

        Thanks

    • April 15th, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Hi Tony,

      I do think the model could and does work, however I don’t believe those numbers quoted in the auction were correct for that particular site.

      I mean I couldn’t find any keywords that they were ranking for, or any decent on page optimisation.

      Something didn’t look or feel right but I watched it all the same. In terms of replicating that model, I would say it can be done be going after long tail higher CPC keywords or CPA offers.

      – Lewis

  55. Alex
    6.12.2014

    First off, great article, thanks.

    On site #2 I am not sure why you wouldn’t just plug it into semrush to answer your question. Do you not trust this source or just didn’t think of it or did I miss something?

    Looks like the site could be doing quite well and especially for a site full of junk. I don’t have a paid semrush account but it looks like: SE Traffic price $9,196 and with a little clicking you can see some of the KWs it is ranking for. I double checked a few and found the results accurate.

  56. 7.23.2014

    Great, Lewis. You’re one generous guy who doesn’t seem to hide anything, though I’m sure he does rightfully. :)
    One question. Is it necessary to buy exact match keyword domains? Or even relevant for that matter? I don’t think Google gives any special importance to keywords in the domain names as most of my personal searches show.
    Anyways, thanks for the great guide. If I kept on reading you, I’m sure I’ll fall in love with you, to be straight! :p

  57. 8.15.2014

    For a while, I’m looking a proven method for my niche (keywords) research. I should try your method guys since I never do something like this before.
    I’m quite new to this business SO this post and others in this blog really help me out.
    Thanks for Lewis and Matt for their shares.

    MO

  58. iTSASO
    8.20.2014

    Thanks for this blog and sharing your experience.
    This article is great, and I’m sure it’ll help me finding my niche, so thank you both (:

  59. 8.27.2014

    Hey Matt,

    Great content, I was actually looking for some additional markets to get into and never even thought about checking out Flippa. Thanks for showing your methods on narrowing down to finding good niches to build a site around.

  60. 11.14.2014

    Very nice post. Thanks a lot you. That’s a pretty clever way of finding niches

  61. 11.20.2014

    You mentioned in your review notes for Guide Gator that they probably paid $4-5 dollars for their poorly written articles by non-U.S. based workers and that you could get good articles written for $5.

    Mind directing me to an article or help on how to get good content written for $5 per article? I’ve struggled to get decent content in that price range and could use a shove in the right direction.

    Thanks in advance.

  62. 2.6.2015

    Thanks for the great tip.

    With the border collie site, the original owner has obviously written an Ebook to sell. Although you have presented great ideas about how you would go about it, if someone replicates this idea how would anyone convert more Ebooks when they have not written an Ebook themselves.

    It doesn’t seem like this would work.

  63. 2.11.2015

    Woah !!! Amazing post just came to site after checking my email and the article is worth it :) Going to try these methods :D

    • February 11th, 2015 at 9:49 am

      No problem :) I’ll have more like this for you every week!

      • February 12th, 2015 at 7:11 am

        Whoa !! Very excited to check articles like these every week :)

  64. 11.10.2013

    Over to Lewis for this one :)

  65. 11.18.2013

    hey man – I did write up a response to this on my iphone but not sure if it posted or not.

    Essentially I was saying that this is a tough one. They seller seems to be very confident and is offering live team viewer sessions to allow potential buyers to look behind the scenes.

    He is also asking for payment by Escrow, which would put me even more at ease.

    One thing that does worry me however is fluctuations in the number of visitors. Potentially buying traffic?? I cannot see what this site ranks for so it is possible that there are hidden costs.

    June – 27,759 (visitors)
    July – 34,571 (visitors)
    August – 151,628 (visitors)
    September – 42,631 (visitors)
    October (till 27oct) – 211,903 (visitors)

    I would steer clear of this one…however if you can identify the traffic sources there is no reason you couldn’t build your own site in this niche, it can be very profitable.

    UPDATE – I see the auction ended unsold after reaching $50k!!

What are your thoughts?

* Name, Email, Comment are Required