Building Niche Sites is a Long-Term Strategy

niche site progress

I’ve been creating niche sites for a few months now.

My first niche site was launched around March following this blueprint.

The truth is, I haven’t invested that much time into these sites. Nonetheless, two of my sites – notably the ones I put the most effort into – are bringing in passive income every month.

It’s not a lot of money. However, it’s a little extra income that I don’t need to do any work for at this point.

And best of all, the sites are still growing in traffic!

I built them once and now I can collect money regularly. That’s a sweet deal if you ask me.

How Much Money Are My Sites Making?

I know this is the question on your minds.

Most guys who write openly online are still a little shy when it comes to publicly stating their site’s income.

I’m not calling anyone out…

In fact, I won’t tell you how much this website or any other venture of mine makes either.

It wouldn’t benefit anyone and quite frankly, it’s nobody else’s business.

Having said that, I want to give you guys a rough idea of how much you could easily make with niche sites.

That’s why I’m going to throw out some income numbers.

These numbers are far from impressive. To be honest, I’m a little ashamed that I haven’t put more work into building my niche sites.

Niche Site A

Total income: $67

June: $8.80

July: $24.80 (As of 24th)

Niche Site B

Total income: $137.20

June: $37

July: $26.20 (As of 24th)

Niche site A has 11 posts so far.

Niche Site B only has 6.

Consider the Long Run When Evaluating Niche Sites

I’ve probably spent around 20 hours building those two sites. It works out to around $10/hour which isn’t great when you consider how much I could make by freelance writing.

I think I could get a consistent stream of clients that would pay around $20 per hour for my work.

Opportunity costs are a crucial thing to think about in business.

But you need to keep a couple of things in mind…

  • Websites are an asset.
  • I made $26 without putting in any work on one of my sites this month.

Niche Sites Are An Asset

I don’t necessarily think selling niche sites is a good idea.

I might do it in the future just to gain experience. It would also allow me to write about the process which is a good incentive.

Whether I sell it or not, I believe the value of the site should be considered when working out the earnings per hour.

The problem is, you won’t know how much you can sell the site for until you have a buyer.

Personally – based on absolutely no experience – I think I’d be able to get roughly 10x monthly income.

So that would work out to $250-$300 per site at the moment.

Suddenly, we’re talking about an income of around $35 per hour.

Not too bad, is it?

Unfortunately, that’s an imaginary number unless you actually sell your site.

However, I think that’s how you should think about the opportunity cost of building niche sites vs freelancing.

Niche Sites Grow (Even If You Don’t Put in Any Work)

Everyone reading this understands the concept of “passive income” by this point.

It’s an over-used phrase in my opinion but it does describe an important concept…

Work done today leads to income in the future.

But the point I’m making isn’t about passive vs active income.

It’s about SEO taking time to work in your favour.

What Happens if You Don’t Publish Any New Posts?

I’m going to continually add content to these niche sites when I have time and something to write about.

I haven’t published anything on Niche Site B in July. Below, I’ll attach a screenshot of my Google traffic to that site.

niche site Google traffic

As you can see, search traffic is slowly increasing every month despite not adding any new content.

And here’s why…

It takes time to rise up in the Google rankings. Take a look at these graphs which show the position in Google for two of my keywords.

long-term SEO

SEO progress

Keep in mind, I didn’t do any magical SEO tricks to achieve this.

These results are nothing out of the ordinary. You can expect to see similar graphs with your own niche sites (as long as you’re going after the right keywords).

If you’re wondering, I use WhatsMySerp.com to track all of my search ranking positions. It’s a good free tool you can use but try not to waste too much time on the site.

Future Income from Niche Sites

I expect my income to increase slowly over the next couple of months.

As I add content and my sites get older, I’ll rank higher in Google for more competitive terms hopefully.

Going after very easy keywords vs keywords with medium competition and more search volume is a topic for another post.

That’s the type of thing I’ve been trying to figure out with this niche site experiment.

For now I’ll just say…

Niche Site A has a mixture of very easy and medium competition keywords.

Niche Site B are all easy keywords to rank for.

So far, Niche Site B has done better but that’s what you’d expect in the short-term. It will be interesting to see how this develops in the future.

Closing Thoughts

I hope I’ve given you some behind the scenes insight into building niche sites.

This is just a small part-time project but something I recommend everyone tries.

To end this post I’d like to leave you with a thought…

We know that new sites/content can take months to rank highly.

We also know that some niches have strong seasonal trends.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t figured out this “make money online” stuff yet last Christmas. However, it seems reasonable to expect a larger than normal demand for tons of products right before Christmas.

Then after Christmas, everyone will start searching for ways to lose weight or achieve their resolutions.

If you start building niche sites now, you’ll be ready to benefit from that Christmas/New Year’s phase.

Right now is the perfect time to start building websites. Don’t wait until next year because you’ll keep pushing the deadline further into the future.

That’s all for today.

Until next time,


P.S. This blog and most of my niche sites run on Thrive Themes. I highly recommend checking them out if you’re serious about building websites that make money.

  • Leo

    Another great post about niche websites. I agree with you, building niche websites is a long game. You see some results already, I am sure those websites will reach 100$/month.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    • James

      Hi Leo,

      Thanks for leaving another comment. I’m delighted to see that you’re finding these posts useful.

      I’d love to read about your experiences building niche sites sometime. If you don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to guest post on RPR.


      • Leo

        I hope I can write a guest post when I earn some money with my websites!
        I am looking for affiliate programs. I wanted to try Amazon but they pay with check. Do you use Amazon? I remember you were from Germany. What is your experience with USD Amazon checks?

        • James

          Hi Leo,
          I use Amazon’s program for some stuff on this site. However, I’ve never faced the “problem” of cashing a USD check.
          I’m sure it would work somehow though. My suggestion would be to contact your bank and ask them directly.

          Having said that, I don’t recommend using Amazon as your primary income source on a niche site.
          If you read between the lines, you’ll realise that I haven’t made enough to receive a check yet.

          There are simply far better options than Amazon’s affiliate program.

          Yes, it takes some searching. But you’ll be able to multiply your commission 2-15x.

          That’s worth spending a couple of hours researching in my opinion.

          Hope this helps!


          • Neil M White

            Leo, it seems to me that Amazon works ok if you’re selling high value items e.g. over £150 as the commissions are a percentage based game. Books on Amazon are poor – expect around 29 cents per copy (!).

            The best way is to find a product you like and use and ask if the seller/distributor has an affiliate scheme. Some pay 75% although 12-30% is more common.

          • James

            It’s worth listening to guys like Neil who have actually done what they are talking about.

            I’m just making assumptions based on my own experiences in this case.

            I might even try writing some sales letters for expensive products available through Amazon.

            Having said all of that, why not sell a $150 product that also has a higher percentage commission?