It’s been awhile since I‘ve been able to continue reviewing SBI! for WP but today, I can start drafting this Action Guide Day 2 post. If you need to catch up on this review, you can read part 1, part 2, and part 3.
This is the day I was both dreading and looking forward to. Why? Because it’s all about evaluating potential site concepts and choosing your niche.
This is not going to happen in a day. At least, not for me. And as it turns out, there’s a whole big story to tell you about that left me with TWO theme-based content sites. Yep, you read that right.
But I’m jumping ahead. Let’s see what we’re doing in Day 2.
The 5 Steps of Evaluating and Selecting a Niche
I love it that each day is broken down into easy-to-digest steps that are laser-targeted on that particular day’s goals. Today, we’re going to learn about what a good niche really is, then we’ll evaluate 3 potential niches. We’ll end the “day” by choosing a preliminary site concept.
Why preliminary? Because we still have some research to do in the coming days and this niche may not be ideal. We still need to stay open and flexible at this point.
SIDE NOTE: You may be wondering why it’s so important to spend so much time planning, researching, and evaluating. After all, at this point, we’ve spent a LOT of time reading and preparing and now we’re going to do research? Using DATA??
I hear you and for someone like me who does not like data and numbers, this is torture. But it’s a whole lot better than jumping into a niche unprepared, which increases our chances of failure. You want your best chance at success, right? Then you gotta lay the groundwork.
Step 1. Learn what makes a niche potentially successful and choose 3 to evaluate.
Step 2. Evaluate your 3 site concepts using the tools provided by SBI! for WP.
Step 3. Choose your site concept.
Step 4. Check in with your network.
Step 5. Clean up your final list of keywords (your Master Keyword List or MKL) and move on to Day 3.
My Journey Through Day 2
Here’s where it got fun for me. I got through Day 2 of the Action Guide with a super-fun idea for a site in the travel niche.
I had the keywords.
I had the initial site structure planned out.
I even had an idea of how I would monetize because I’ve been in the travel niche before and know how I can monetize.
So I grabbed the best domain name ever, installed WordPress – actually, I had the amazing peeps at SiteGround do it for me (best hosting for WordPress EVER!) – got a pretty neato header image designed and uploaded, and began setting up my “back office” only to find that Google had flagged my site as unsafe. 😯
So I reached out to some people for help and did a little research online. All I could do was make some changes to the site to show good faith that I wasn’t a spammer and send in a report saying my site was a new installation and didn’t have malware…yada,
All I could do was make some changes to the site to show good faith that I wasn’t a spammer and send in a report saying my site was a new installation and didn’t have malware…yada, yada, yada.
Weeks went by and that darn warning was still there.
I cried. Then I got mad. Then offended.
How dare they? Who do they think they are? Oh, yeah, they’re Google and pretty much OWN search.
If they weren’t going to play fair, then I was going to have to start over. Which is exactly what I did.
I Repeated the Day 2 Process for a New Niche Site
This sucked. I had to do it all over again because I wasn’t going to give up and I wasn’t going to skimp and just pick any ol’ niche.
Well, as it turns out, I got some exciting news and this news changed everything. Suddenly, I had the idea for a theme-based content site that would focus on solving a major hot issue for a specific niche of readers and BONUS that I could create the content to help me as much as my readers.
No, I can’t reveal the niche because it’s pretty specific and would be sharing news with the world before we’re ready. 😉
But I’ll tell you, the numbers match with the guidelines given in the Action Guide and the “depth” of the niche is encouraging. The monetization potential is there, too, though this is a very small, specific niche so only time will tell if I’m on the mark with this.
The Online Universe Works in Mysterious Ways
What’s really funny is that, once I’d moved on from the travel site, I tried one more time to clear my site’s name and…
Google took off the warning!
So now I have TWO potentially wonderful niche sites.
I’m going to stick with my second choice because I like that it’s smaller, is directly related to something I’m going through right now and is an evergreen niche, seems easier to “win” with way less competition, and is laser-focused on helping my readers with a specific topic. I really like that.
I really like that.
However, I’m going to keep my travel site on the back burner. I love my domain, I love the niche, and I think it can be a great site – but later on. It’s a broader niche and will take time to build and grow so I can build when I have the time. But my travel site won’t be the focus of this case study.
Evaluating Your Three Site Concepts
As Day 2 wraps up, you start to evaluate your three site concepts. You’ll look at 7 factors of a profitable and successful niche and will “score” each one. This will help you choose.
You’ll evaluate your keywords and profitability potential, your current knowledge and passion for the topic, how much time you have, how you can monetize, and more.
At this point, you can get help from your personal network and the SBI! forums to check out your thinking. It really helps to get some perspective at this point because it’s such an important part of the site-building process.
Finally, you make your decision and move on to Day 3 in the Action Guide.
I’ve given the shorthand version of this day but I want you to know that this “day” of the Action Guide took me several. I want to say a couple of weeks (with the Google fiasco, I don’t remember exactly how many days I spent on each site.)
I also want you to know that this selection process – while thorough – is still just a guideline. You must also consider how you feel, what you know, what you want to know, what your vision is…
But getting a thorough idea of the numbers will help you get the best start possible.
Now I’m off to get started on Day 3, where I’ll be researching my topics and site structure!