NicheHacks.com is 6 months old!
NOTE: I was supposed to publish this about 2 weeks ago but had no time so some of the stats / info are a couple of weeks behind but still relevant.
I started this blog with the aim of revealing hot, untapped, niches and showing you how to dominate them...how am I doing?
Leave a comment below the post to tell me...
I like to think I've done a good job but I'll leave that for you to decide.
I've been meaning to do some sort of progress report since the blog started but never got round to it.
Now seems like a good time to post one but whether it remains a monthly feature or not we will see.
So what's been going on recently...
It's been both fun and a challenge running the blog.
The past 2 months have been particularly frustrating.
I've had so many problems with hosting and with my theme.
The theme suddenly started causing extreme loading times which no one can explain which caused my host to take me offline.
According the theme developers it's something that's never happened before.
I've switched hosting 3 times and spent money on consultants and theme developers and so far I still haven't got the issue fixed.
Even though the problem isn't fixed the site is running slightly quicker and I'm probably going to switch themes soon if it's not completely sorted.
However that comes with it's own set of problems as I found out when I tried to switch to Genesis Generate.
It's taken up so much time that I barely found the energy to work on content or anything else.
I'm really lucky that a few weeks back I went on a content blitz and knocked out 5 weeks worth of posts or the blog might have been a bit empty recently.
In fact it still has been a bit empty. I just noticed that until I posted the World Cup post there hadn't been any new content for 3 weeks.
Time flies when you are having fun I guess. I hadn't realized it had been so long.
So let's crunch some numbers.
NicheHacks.com officially launched on the 12th of December.
So lets look at traffic numbers since then...
Total visitors: 48,272
Unique visitors: 27,703.
Page views: 107,294.
48,000 visitors isn't bad but in all honest it could have been better.
I've been lazy lately and haven't promoted the blog much but traffic still keeps coming and growing too.
If I'd continue to be aggressive with my promotion the numbers could be much higher.
My main strategy has been to constantly put out top notch content that people want to share and link to.
As well as networking with influential bloggers and twitter users to get links and shares from them.
And syndicate my content where possible (Reddit, Kingged, Inbound, Scoop It etc). This is such a quick and easy thing to do for passive traffic - takes 2 minutes to submit.
I regularly post on Warrior Forum and get signature clicks plus I post links to my content where helpful and publish freebies into the War Room which in turn brings in new visitors.
Though I've slacked off with posting content to the War Room recently which I need to fix.
You can see the Google has sent me more traffic than any other source even though I haven't built a single 'forced' backlink to the site.
And by that I mean the only time I've linked to the site is when it can drive traffic, i.e. from a forum, blog comment, or social media profile to the site.
The site in total doesn't have that many links – just from a few bloggers who have supported the site and featured me because they like the content.
Yet still I rank well in Google for lots of different keywords.
Let's hope after including an image of Matt Cutts as a half naked Carnival girl in my World Cup link bait post he doesn't deindex me or something! :p
You'll also see that 'direct traffic' is a huge traffic source. Direct traffic is from people who visit the site without clicking on any links or didn't come through Google.
So that's people that know your URL already, have you bookmarked or in my case most of that comes from my email list – around 1/3rd of my monthly traffic comes from my follow up emails.
Warrior Forum, other blogs & Twitter have also sent a good bit of traffic.
A BIG thank you to all the bloggers who have shared my content or linked to me.
Some of those include (apologies to anyone I've forgot)...
- Marc at Profitblitz.com
- MattW at Matthewwoodward.co.uk
- Dave at Self Made Businessman
- Jason at DoSEOYourself
- David at Top5SEO
- Emily at Freelancelady
- Ana at TrafficGenerationCafe
- Charles at GodofSEO
- Tung at CloudLiving
- Brian at Backlinko
- Lewis at CloudIncome
- Steve at TheWorldIsMyOffice
- Efoghor at BizSuccessGuide
- The guys at Unbounce
- Jeremy at Shoemoney.com
- Ramsay at BlogTyrant
- The DigitalGYD team
One of the most important thing every blogger can do is to build their email list .
It's 100% essential because it allows you to drive traffic back to new posts, build a relationship with your audience, and market to them.
There are currently 1,232 subscribers on my list and growing every day by around 30 new subscribers.
Since I started using the Hybrid Connect plugin email subscribers have increased by 185% which has been a huge help.
Part of that is also through giving away custom incentives via my in-content opt ins too.
So if you're viewing a post about 'niche ideas' you'll be offered more niches if you join the list where as if it's a post about blogging you'll get a blogging incentive and so on.
Oh and I also added the PopUp Ally exit pop up (it's free!) and that's working well too.
If you're not on the list you're [OptinLink id=1]missing out on hot niche ideas[/OptinLink], email exclusives, awesome content from around the web and little snippets of my life.
I mentioned above that emails drive around 1/3rd of my total site traffic, 5382 visitors in the past 30 days in fact.
I do this by continually linking back to my content making sure my subscribers don't miss anything hidden away in the archives – this is something I don't see many bloggers doing and it's a HUGE mistake.
People think that their audience don't want to see 'old' posts but if your content is evergreen, relevant, and top notch then of course people want to see it.
You can't let it go to waste by rotting away in your blog archives where no one can see it – make sure it's continually getting fresh eyes on it.
There's currently 44 pieces of content on the blog which seems quite low to me for 6 months BUT it works out at an average of 7.33 posts per month which isn't too shabby.
I'd like to have a consistent schedule of a minimum 2 posts per week going forward but I'll have to go on a content blitz and get ahead for that to happen as currently I'm all over the place with when I write.
The most 5 most popular posts in terms of traffic are:
- The Ultimate Guide To Blogging
- Profitable Affiliate Marketing Niches
- Ultimate Guide To Finding A Profitable Niche
- 1109 Profitable Niches
- The TIWIB case study.
It's hard to track which of my posts are the most popular in terms of social shares because all of my Twitter shares were wiped out when I switched plugins – be careful when doing that!
Funnily enough the posts which are the most trafficked and shared are not necessarily the most loved by the bulk of my audience.
You guys love the niche idea posts like the $40Billion Niche, Hot Diet Niche, $11.5 Billion Niche Hacked.
I know that because of all the comments and emails I get from you about them but they aren't posts that get much outside interest, links from other bloggers or mass shares across social media.
Expenses & Earnings
You might not realize this but running this blog costs money.
And not only that it's basically a full time job creating all the content, managing the email list, working on conversions and so on.
Simply replying to everyone's emails is taking around 2hrs every day but I don't mind doing it.
So many of you tell me no other marketers or bloggers you email ever reply or if they do they just try and sell something.
I have monthly costs for hosting, my autoresponder, Gmail business account, Buffer, Odesk (for research, data entry and other mind numbing tasks I can't stand to do), stock images, products I buy to review or advise if you should buy / not buy.
That can easily be anywhere from $150 to $300 per month in expenses.
Most of my content isn't monetized or promoting anything.
Until last month NicheHacks.com was operating at a loss and has only just broken even.
So basically I've worked for the past 6 months, often 16 hours a day, for free!
The idea was always for this to be a long term project that builds up trust with you and a reputation for being full of solid content without pushing too many products or offers on you so I expected that.
It takes time to build up a blog filled with content and when only a small percentage of that content is monetized even longer to make any money from it.
From here on in I should see the blog earnings increase month on month.
In the near future I plan to create a membership site and other premium products.
Plans For Going Forward
Going forward I'm going to continue revealing and hacking apart hot niche markets for you.
I also plan to post more case studies based on things I've done or learnt through running this blog, i.e. 'how I increased my email subscribers by XXX%' or 'how I received XXXX visitors from Google without building a single backlink'.
I've got a series of interviews with successful online entrepreneur and bloggers to post too - including some HUGE news so look out for those!
The main goal as always is to build the blogs subscriber list as this drives a ton of traffic back to the site, allows me to update you of new posts, build my relationship with you and occasionally recommend products.
I also want to ramp up the traffic generation and finally get round to doing a guest blogging blitz.
So there won't be anything too drastic basically more of the good stuff that you enjoy!
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In my personal life I've been living under a military coup and curfew in Bangkok.
Sounds scarier than it really is. I rarely see any soldiers, and there's not much trouble, aside from some protests.
The curfew has been relaxed to midnight but in all honestly most bars and clubs are back to opening as normal now anyway so if you really wanted to go out you could.
If you're on my email list you'll have heard about this story already.....
Last week I was suffering from extreme insomnia and after a couple of days of no sleep I decided to go out for a “few drinks” to pass the time hoping it would help me get an early nights sleep.
Sleep deprivation and alcohol clearly isn't a good mix because I apparently ended up on a 15hr drinking session that I can't remember any of acting like a mad man.
I lost loads of cash and my bank card. Made a complete fool of myself and made my insomnia even worse.
Just don't do it!
Aside from that I've been enjoying Bangkok as always, checking out some things I've never seen or done before.
Like visiting an odd forensic museum that has preserved bodies of infamous Thai murders and serial killers among other things, that you have to take a nice boat journey to get to.
I also went for a day at the races at the Bangkok Sports Club which is a great day out.
Horse racing, beer, and the only place in Thailand you can legally gamble. It was great fun.
When you can't go out at night it forces you to make the most of the day.
Oh and of course I've been eating as well as ever.
That's one of the great things about Thailand there is delicious food available everywhere 24/7 for rock bottom prices.
I eat out every night and haven't cooked for around 1 year. Why would you when there's delicious food everywhere for so cheap?
Recently I visited Som Tam Nua in Siam, voted the best restaurant in Bangkok to eat Som Tum (Papaya salad – famous Thai dish), and two of us devoured all the food in the photo below with 3 litres of beers for 1000Baht ($30 / £18).
I've also had some tasty Mexican food and delicious frozen Margarita...
And 'jim jum' aka Thai hot pot where you cook up your own food at the table mixing in meat, veggies, herbs and noodles with delicious 'sukiyaki' sauce.
On top of not having cooked for 1 year I also haven't done any laundry or cleaning as it cost peanuts to pay someone to do it for you.
It's one of the reasons why I enjoy living in Thailand so much. Am I just lazy? 😀
And on that note, even after me talking about how much I love living in Thailand, I am going back home to the UK for the summer.
I haven't seen family and friends for around 1 year now.
I've got a return flight that is about to expire.
My travel insurance is about to expire.
And most importantly Thailand has changed the visa rules making it more difficult for someone like me who has no real reason to be here other than “I like it” to stay long term.
So I'll use this as an opportunity to go home for a bit and catch up with friends and family and work out my next move.
Maybe I'll go do some proper travelling again or relocate to a different country (Peru and Brazil are tempting me, I love those places!)
Or maybe I'll sort out a Thai education visa whilst I'm back home and come back on that and study Thai language more, it's valid for 1 year and can be extended for a further 2.
Who knows. The joys of being an online entrepreneur is the freedom it gives you.
The Takeaways For YOU...
- To avoid a ton of problems further down the line pick a DEDICATED (not shared) hosting company (like WPEngine or Traffic Planet Hosting for example) from day 1.
- And use a reliable theme (Genesis Generate or Thesis for example) that's tried and tested too as it can be a headache to change later.
- Draw up a regular content plan and stick to it ideally getting several weeks ahead so if something comes up and you don't find time to write the content continues to be published.
- Focus on top notch content that both your readers will love and that Google can show love towards too - it means a lot of social shares, some links, and Google traffic.
- Network like crazy with others in your niche - these people can send you traffic, give you links, help you out with joint projects and more.
- Syndicate your content where possible for easy and passive traffic.
- Niche forums can drive engaged traffic that converts - don't ignore them!
- Build your list NOW - it will skyrocket your traffic and sales and builds up a quick relationship with your audience. Look at the numbers email sends to NicheHacks.com!
- Use your follow up series to link back to your awesome content - people WANT to see it and they won't always find it hiding away in the archives.
- Hybrid Connect can help skyrocket your list and is easy to use.
- Running a blog is NOT a quick way to make money but it IS long term, sustainable, and allows you to build up a solid reputation for good content and a relationship with your audience.
- The internet lifestyle is a great one but it takes hard work and is NOT easy - so work hard, focus, and see things through until you find success.
OK I think that's enough from me for now.
Hope you enjoyed the post and have taken something from it.
Leave me a comment below to tell me your thoughts....
Tags: progress report