Niche Site Launched
The site went live 4 days ago. It’s indexed well but not ranking yet. I’m not rushing anything, it’s at least a medium competition niche, if not on the more difficult side, and I have no expectations for fast ranking.
I knew I wanted really strong front page content. I also knew I would probably get anxious waiting to have a lot of content on the site, so I would be going live with just the front page. This article needed to stand on its own. I spent about two weeks writing it. I wrote a couple hundred words every day and I consulted a lot of sources. I’ll probably end up editing it later as the site evolves, but I’m quite happy with it now.
The main article is just about 1500 words, with a 1.5% keyword density. It’s broken up into different sections that will eventually link to the various other areas of the site. I made liberal use of headings, images, etc, so that the reader isn’t stuck with a wall of text that they won’t read.
I’m sticking with WordPress and I got a great theme setup with Elegant Themes(affiliate). I created a child theme to apply 2 simple modifications, but for the most part it is strictly out of the box, I’d rather not mess with things that are fine on their own.
For plugins, I am trying to keep it simple. One of the great things about Elegant Themes is that their themes come with shortcodes and page templates that replace a lot of the functionality that people usually use plugins for, like contact forms. I love the features of Jetpack, I think WordPress SEO is essential, and I prefer Shareaholic for social sharing. I ended up adding TinyMCE after having a few issues with spacing.
I will probably eventually add a caching plugin and security, but I don’t see the need for them just yet.
My overall monetization plan for this site will be a combination of Amazon affiliate and PPC revenue, but starting out, I’m keeping it lite. I’m still testing Adsense alternatives, so I will not be adding PPC to the site just yet.
All of the internal pages will have a sidebar with an ad or two but my main page will be full width. I want the main page of the site to be very light on advertising. This is the entryway to the site and I want to make a good impression. I have a few relevant Amazon links in the text, and at the bottom of the page I have some linked images to related products.
Since this will be an ever-expanding site and not a 5 page static micro niche site, I felt that some social accounts were in order. I’ve created accounts at Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest for the site. I don’t have a huge strategy here yet, I’ve never been very good at social.
I think that the niche lends itself very well to Pinterest so that is where most of the focus will go initially. I’ve been trying to log into every morning and pinning a few relevant things so that the account has some content. It’s important in social media to not just promote your own stuff. This has also had the added benefit of allowing me to explore what else is out there in the niche. I will probably end up using the links on my Pinterest account to help with future articles on the site.
The site was indexed almost instantly so I didn’t really have to worry about pinging it. I submitted it to SubmitStart to make sure the less popular search engines were notified.
I’m not much of a link builder. I know the strategies, I’ve done them before, but I’ve never seen much of a payoff from it. I’m not opposed to doing it, even dabbling in the gray/black hat side, but it would be a last resort for me. I’ll give the site a fighting chance to rank by itself first.
The link building I’ll do initially is some light blog commenting. I have started following a few relevant blogs and I will probably comment on related articles. I would do this in a completely non-spammy way, and they will probably be mostly nofollow links. It’s more about connecting and learning from other resources.
And that’s it for now. Next, I need to get started on the secondary content. I’m trying to add an article a week, but I need to plan it out a bit so that the site fills out evenly.
I plan on writing further if the site starts ranking or if something else pops up, but I won’t guarantee regular updates. I do really want to talk about the work I’ve done to find secondary keywords, but that deserves its own post. I’m really excited to see where this site goes, and I really hope the answer isn’t “nowhere.”
Image Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video