Niche Site Challenge

This is my 1st month’s report of the Niche Site Challenge I’ve started on 11 March. The aim of this challenge was to build a website that brings in $5,000 per month and that would bring the value of the website to $100,000 (20x earnings). I had high hopes for March but sadly I did not accomplish as much as I hope to.

The founding father of my nation passed away on 23 March and the nation mourned for him. I could not really work and I did not touch my sites at all for a week. However, I did make some progress as I will be reporting. I learnt some valuable lessons too with regard to hiring VAs on oDesk that I’ll be sharing with you.

Updates on Tasks

Sadly I was not able to accomplish most of the tasks I’ve set out to do but I’ll go through them.

1) Have my site up and running – post 1 review/post every 5 days – The site that I commissioned the niche builder (T niche) is still undergoing construction.

2) Buy EasyAzon 4 and install it since my site is going to be an Amazon related one. – have not bought it. I’m waiting for my T site to be up before buying.

3) Set up my social media accounts – done for niche T! Facebook page, twitter and pinterest set up completed!

4) Follow the influencers in my niche – done for niche T! Followed more than 100 people in related niches.

5) Write a post that is suitable for social media sharing – I have the data on hand for T but I do not have the time to write it up yet.

6) Help out with wikipedia’s backlog – no time to do so yet

I have been distracted with a couple of things in March. I was doing quite a bit of research on other Amazon products and I found 2 new niches (A and S). Of course, that ended up buying 2 new domain names.

I have to confess that I spent more money this month on training too. I had the opportunity to talk to Brian Dean and invested in his training program SEO That Works. It has been pretty interesting so far and I will be doing a full review of the program.

Also, I have been actively reading the materials posted in the private mastermind group by Stuart Walker. The good news is I found a writer for the 2 new niche sites from the group (yet to be tested though).

I intend to start on S niche first and will try to structure it in silos that Dom from Human Proof Designs and Doug from Niche Site Project taught. I drew the structure out on a flowchart and it seems really possible. I hope to build S into an authority site using the strategies in SEO That Works (which is the main reason for starting this site). I want to see if the new world of SEO really works better than the old. This site will be purely whitehat and I’m excited to see how this will turn out.

My Milestones for March

End Feb -3 March – Researched and found my niche! 🙂

5 March – Bought SEO That Works (Enjoying the course so far!)

6 March – Commissioned a niche site builder to build up niche site T with a Thrive theme, Thrive content builder plugin and articles

11 March – Bought my domain and hired my very first VA from oDesk to do some web research

16 March – Bought a domain name for A niche

20 March – Asked the VA to create social media accounts and follow related linkreators.

26 March – Bought a domain name for S niche

30 March – Designed the silo structure for S niche

Thinking of building your VA team? Learn from my newbie mistakes:

3 Lessons I Have Learnt So Far

1) oDesk VAs – If VAs Don’t Do It Right, It Could Be My FAULT!

This is the first time I am hiring something to work for me. Sometimes I forget that they may not be as tech savvy and don’t have experience with the products I’m asking them to research on.

When you trial new VAs, get them to do really minute tasks like finding 10 blogs, recipes or equipment. What you think might take you 1 hour might take them 5 to do so!

Instructions need to be explicitly stated. I find that step 1, step 2 and etc type of instructions work best. If you know a faster way of checking that you want them to use, tell them!

2) oDesk VAs Job Scope – Plan Before You Assign (Don’t Be Pressured)

After they complete a task, they will ask you if you have anything else for them. I cracked my brains and gave them a task the next day.

After they completed it, I realised some of the fields were redundant and I might not need that information.*more wasted money down the drain*

Take the time to plan and if you can, try out a couple before letting them do it. You will get an estimation of how long it would take and the unnecessary information you can leave out.

3) oDesk VAs – Do NOT Assume That They Know

Do not assume that your VAs know how to use the search functions from Google and site search functions. They might not know and you will end up having to pay for their ignorance and your assumptions. Yes, even when they tell you they are superstars at Amazon product searches. Don’t assume.

I told them to find 50 blogs for me and horror of horrors, it took them such a long time. It will take me about 2 hours but it took them much much longer. If only, I told them exactly how to search for them.

How much do you think my ignorance caused me?

Expenses Report

I would love to say that it’s an income and expenses report but I’ve not earned a single cent out of the niche sites yet. My mistakes caused me big time too. I will be listing the expenses of both niches. I do not intend to spend more than $1,000 on each site in this 1 year experiment. Hosting is covered in my Wealthy Affiliate membership so I won’t be listing it down as a cost.

So here it goes:-

T Niche Site

Custom site with 18 articles: $399
VA work: $160.50
Total: $559.50

S Niche Site

Domain name: $9.84
VA work: $54
Total: $63.84

SEO That Works: $997

Total expenses: $1,620.34

“Ouch!”, exclaims my wallet.

Moving Forward

In April, I intend to do a couple of things.

1) Have my T site up and running – post 1 review/post every 5 days

2) Buy EasyAzon 4 and install it since T is going to be an Amazon related one.

3) Buy a theme for S and A sites. I found a smashing one that I like on My Theme Shop. (Psstt… check out the MyThemeShop 10% discount coupon code: INCOMEJANE)

4) Write a post for T that is suitable for social media sharing

5) Test out the new writer with 5 articles that are minimally 800 words long. Basically, 1 entire silo chain from parent to child. If he is good, I’ll continue to let him build on it until it’s complete.

6) For the new world of SEO for niche S, I will be trying out an infographic. I will try to research and compile the data as much as possible this month.

If you realise, there are no goals for IncomeJane. I don’t think I can work on 3 sites at the same time but I’ll try.

My goal for IncomeJane is simple:

7) Write a review for the new theme I will be using for my niche site.

So how’s your progress?

I love to read about other people’s stories about starting up or their processes/learning experiences along the way. Do you have a niche site? Are you just starting out or are you an experience affiliate marketer? Share your experiences with us so we can learn from you. If you have any tips for me, please share! I will love to hear from you. 🙂

If you are a newbie to affiliate marketing and find my niche site challenge interesting, you can check out my Wealthy Affiliate review. That’s where I first learnt about proper Internet Marketing and stuff like finding my niche. Or if you are interested to learn how to start a free website to try out affiliate marketing, you can check out my step-by-step guide to create a free website. Please remember to comment below or ask any questions you have about it.

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6 Responses to Niche Site Challenge #2: A Challenging Start

  1. Brandi says:

    This is a great project and I’d love to follow and learn from it. Is there a way to get updates on this without having to seek it out each month? Thank you!

    • Jane says:

      Thanks Brandi! I am putting in place an autoresponder soon. I’ll drop you an email once I’ve done so. 🙂


  2. Hey Jane – I love how you’re giving yourself ample amount of time to get this right. I would say that you budget is a little bit tight though on both the sites — especially given that you’re planning to have a lot of the writing outsourced. I had initially set myself a budget of $3,000 for my authority site and I’m finding that I’ve already gone through more than half of that.

    Curious to see how your infographic goes as well. I actually just posted one earlier this week and I’ll probably do an update on how that went in the near future sometime.

    • Jane says:

      Hey Tom
      I thought so too especially once I started hiring. I’ll see how much mileage I can get with $1000 or hopefully income will start coming in so I can reinvest it.

      Oh great! Guess I’ll get to learn from you experience with infographics again. I think my S niche site can only be up next month. I just spoke to my writer and he’s doing quite a bit of travelling.

      I’ll be looking forward to your updates!


  3. natalie holland says:

    Hey there! I just came across your site doing a search – I’m on WA as well. I was just really interested in your Niche site challenge – but realise this was last year. Did you continue with it? I’ve enjoyed looking around your site, it’s great and I like finding other women out there in the internet marketing world. Cheers, Nat

    • Jane says:

      Hey Natalie!

      My sincere apologies for the late reply. I was badly spammed by bot comments and missed your comment. I have been pretty much MIA-ed after I posted the niche site challenge. I was juggling my work, attachment and part-time studies and it proved too much for me to handle. I’ll be done with my studies very soon (end April yay!). You should see more updates after that. 🙂

      Thanks so much for visiting my site. I hope you are enjoying WA!


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