How To Start A Niche Site in 2017 In 6 Simple Steps For Under $100

Stop putting it off, will you?

You keep telling yourself that you're going to start a niche site this year.

That you're finally going to take control of your income.

But you never do it, do you?

Well, today is the day, my friend.

It's time to step beyond that crippling fear of failure. To say goodbye to the "One day.." and "When I get the time..." excuses and you

To say goodbye to the "One day.." and "When I get the time..." excuses and you actually do what you said you were going to do.

In this article, I'm going to show you how to set up a profitable niche site in 2017.

All for less than a round of drinks with your friends or a meal at a restaurant.

 

 

What You’ll Learn

  • How To Start A Niche Site In 2017
  • Where To Find The Best Logo For The Cheapest Price
  • The Truth About WordPress Premium Themes
  • Simple Ways To Market Your Site For Free

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 1,781 profitable niches click here or the image below)

1781 niches [new]

 

1. Choosing Your Niche

Your niche should be something you're interested in.

You're going to have to invest lots of time and energy and money into this site over the next few years.

So, it's important you're at least vaguely interested in the subject.

For example, Jawad writes over on his niche site, Writing My Destiny, because he's passionate about it.

That's why he's been able to keep the site going for 3+ years.

My new site, Deutschified, is easy for me to work on because I'm learning German and have moved to German.

It's important not to chase money.

For example, so many new niche marketers hear about a site like Pinch of Yum that make over $30,000 per month, and decide they want to start a food blog...

 

pinch of yum june

 

...despite the fact the last time they actually cooked anything was back in the summer of 2006.

I find choosing a niche becomes really easy when you go back through your recent purchases online. For example, my Amazon right now looks a lot like this:

 

delivered amazon

 

And that's just one of many books, podcasts and online courses I've purchased.

Just think of all the product reviews and recommendations I can create!

But if you're really stuck for a niche site idea, you can always download Stuart's 1781 Profitable Niche Site Ideas right here.

Or why not pick up a copy of Stuart's 7 step formula for finding profitable niches that you can dominate?

 

2. Setting Up Your Domain and Hosting

The go-to hosting for Niche site owners (and our mastermind members) is Bluehost.

Why?

Well, firstly their service is tailor made for niche marketers.

But, secondly, they let you choose your domain name and hosting in one go.

Meaning you're able to get your niche site online in just a few minutes.

It was the favourite of Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income for many years (until his site got too big!) and it's still who he recommends to all of his new recruits.

In this section I'll walk you through exactly how to set it up.

Head over to the Bluehost website and click the Get started now button:

 

bluehost 2017

 

This will take you to a page where it asks you to sign up by choosing an existing domain, or by selecting a new domain.

 

choose domain
If you don't have a domain in mind this is a really fun process.

You can choose a name based on the keywords that you want to focus on.

Or, you can be creative and come up with a brand name that's easy to remember.

It's best to come up with about 10 to 15 domain names before you choose this.

Here is my exact list for coming up with Deutschified:

  1. ExpatsaroundGermany
  2. AnEnglishmansguidetoGermany
  3. TheUKgermanconnection
  4. Englishbytherhine
  5. learngermanwithjames
  6. howtomovetogermany
  7. Deutschified
  8. leichtdeutschleben
  9. movingtogermany
  10. britisharoundgermany

From there I chose the one that most stood out to me and provided me with the most flexibility.

I'd also recommend going for a .com suffix, but if you're targeting a local audience, feel free to go for their .com equivalent.

Once you've entered your domain name, you'll be asked to choose your package.

For a beginner the basic package is more than enough to get you started:

 

bluehost package

 

Then go ahead and choose your package on the next page and any extras that you might be looking for.

For example, as Search Engine Land writes here,

Google has been known to give Search Engine ranking boosts to websites with an SSL certificate.

 

choose extras

 

Finish off the process and...you're done!

Yeah, that's right. It was so damn simple.

Why had you even been putting it off?

And if you want to go the (recommended) route of adding WordPress to your site, you can follow this simple video:

 

####WHERE IS THE VIDEO####

 

In the next section I'll show you how to get a super cheap logo made for your site to make it look professional.

 

3. Creating A Logo For Your Site

Fiverr is a great place to get your logos made.

They're always made professionally and cost between $5 and $20 depending on what package you get.

You can have your logo in just a few hours, or a maximum of three days, depending on who you go with:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 08.56.47

 

But it can be quite hard to choose; after all, there are so many options!

It pays to do a little shopping around and find a style that you like.

My strategy is to look at some competitor websites, or your favourite sites, and see what style they're using.

If multiple sites in your niche are using a similar style then it's a safe bet to assume that's what people in your niche are used to.

Or you can hover over a specific designer and see how many good reviews they have.

Like this one that has 896 five star reviews.

It's safe to say they'll be a good designer to use:

 

reviews fiverr

 

To get the best logo for your site and to save money the best strategy is to order logos from 3 different sellers who's samples you like.

Give them all the EXACT same instructions on how you want your logo to look.

Be clear on what your site offers, whether you want just text or text and images, and what colours you want.

And send them example logos you like from other sites in your niche so they have a point of reference

And just order the absolute most basic $5 gig first no extras.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 08.51.17

 

 

Once you have all 3 of your finished logos back pick the one you like best.

Then go back to the designer and get any changes you'd like to get made (this may cost extra depending on their terms so check before you order.

I recommend placing it on your site to see how it looks and getting feedback from your friends, family and niche (Facebook groups are a great place for this) so you're 100% sure it works.

Then once you are 100% satisfied with the end product order the source files and any other essential extras you need from the Fiverr seller.

Don't order any of this stuff upfront as if you end up with a logo you don't want you've wasted extra money on it.

Here's the finished product of a logo for my newest niche site:

 

deutschified logo

 

Not bad for $15 all in, and it'll work for a long time to come.

 

4. Getting A WordPress Theme For Free

Did he just say free theme?

Yeah, I did.

Because you don’t need to pay for a WordPress theme to get your site off the ground.

You just don’t. It’s not necessary.

For example, when Jeff Goins launched his Coffee Snobber site in an attempt to make money from a hobby in just 48 hours, he used the standard WordPress theme to do it.

And, if you read the Gaps blog, Glen often points out that you can create a basic niche site using just a free WordPress theme.

And when you're looking at how to build a profitable niche site, you should too.

Right now, you don’t know what the future of your brand holds.

And, you’re probably not that good at coding a site and a theme, either.

So why spend $60 on a theme right now?

There are tonnes of free themes in the WordPress database that you can download that look super professional but don’t break the bank.

Like this one I was able to use and put together in under 10 minutes...

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 10.05.35

 

Once your WordPress site is set up, all you need to do is head to your Dashboard and look for the Themes option on the side of the screen:

 

customise wp

 

On the next screen select the Add New option from the top of the page:

 

add new theme

And then you'll find a whole database of new, free, themes you're able to add to your site and customise:

 

themes

 

If you’re adamant that you need a Premium theme, you can check out MyThemeShop where they have some free options of premium themes for you to work with.

But, if I’d recommend starting off like I’ve done above, and making a proper investment in a theme further down the line when you have some content to work with.

 

5. Mailing List (Free)

A good mailing list is the backbone of any niche site.

And, even in 2017, it continues to be one of the most valuable assets to your business.

But did you know that you can create your first list for absolutely free?

Well, with MailChimp, you can.

 

mailchimp home

 

When I reviewed all of the big players in Email Marketing for Matt Woodward, I found one epic thing:

You can start a mailing list for up to 2,000 people with MailChimp, and then when you’ve hit the 2000 limit, you can transfer the database for absolutely free to a different software.

Now MailChimp do not allow you to use affiliate links in your emails.

But, that's not a problem (yet).

The idea here is that you can start building a list and get into the habit of sending emails, adding sign up boxes and interacting with your audience.

Then when you get over the 100/200 person mark, you can swap to a bigger mailing list that does allow you to send affiliate links, like Aweber.

 

6. Getting Set Up On Social Media

Damn, your site itself is pretty much complete, right? You’ve got a:

  • Domain
  • Hosting package
  • Logo
  • Theme
  • Mailing List

All you need now is a way of getting it out there.

And, with these free tools, that’s going to be super easy.

Now I won’t teach you to suck eggs, you know you need to go and set up free social media profiles for your niche site, like this Facebook page:

 

deutschified facebook

 

After doing some research with CoSchedule, I'd recommend you just focus on one channel right now.

And, honestly, Facebook will probably bring you the best return on time investment.

For example, take a look at this data from Roman Fitness Systems:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.19.22

 

Or just head over to the Nichehacks Members Area and see how engaged that Facebook group is.

You can find help on how to set up pages through these links:

Recommended Reading For New Niche Marketers

This article is really just the basics of setting up a site and getting it off the ground.

But, you'll need to learn more if you want to go from just having a domain name to actually having an online business.

Here are some of the best Nichehacks articles to get you started based on different topics:

SEO

Traffic Generation

List Building

Content Creation and Copywriting

There You Have It, Folks...

I hope by now you're ready to start your new niche site.

You can see that it's not hard, expensive or time consuming. You can get it all done in a matter of minutes.

It makes you question what made you put it off for so long in the first place, doesn't it?

Just to recap, here's what you need to have in place:

  • Choose your niche (or use Stuart's 7 step plan to find it)
  • Set up a domain and hosting with Bluehost
  • Install WordPress
  • Use Fiverr to create a logo
  • Install a free WordPress theme
  • Sign up with MailChimp
  • Create one social media channel for your site
  • Dive into the recommended reading

And if you need any help or support there is always the Nichehacks Mastermind group to help you find your way and answer your questions.

Or, you can just leave us a comment below...

CLICK HERE TO GET ACCESS TO 150+ NICHE REPORTS

James Johnson
James is a Freelance Blogger from Manchester, England.

He specializes in the topics of blogging, growth hacking and content marketing.

You can read more topics from James by clicking on his name.

Comments (46)

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  1. Sunday says:

    Hi Stuart/Johnson,
    Every newbie that stumbles upon this post should have a BIG takeaway from it. Yes, we don't have to break the bank to start a profitable niche site.

    With the steps revealed here it becomes easier to get motivated and use the minimal resources to start a site.

    Of course, the best part of this is that the blogger must have been definite about the niche he/she wants to follow!

    I have shared this comment in kingged.com where this post was shared.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Thanks for your comment Sunday. It definitely doesn't cost that much to get started in the niche marketing business.

    • Hey Sunday,

      Thanks for reading! It's really easy to get started, when you know how you can do it for the right price.

      Many people throw up the barrier of 'Man, I can't start a niche business, because I just can't spare the cash'.

      When, in actual fact, although it costs money, you stand to make more than you're going to spend.

      • NicheHacks says:

        If people aren't willing to invest in themselves, their business, and their future then they don't want nor deserve the lifestyle they dream about. Sure I get it some people are in worse financial situations than others and broke but you find ways to get the money to make this happen or you hustle like mad to get the cash.

  2. Kevin says:

    Stuart,

    This is a good article but unfortunately it misses s big piece of the puzzle, which is traffic.
    Without traffic, the best looking website and most valuable content will not make you any money.

    Cheers,
    Kevin

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Kevin, yes this is true. Without traffic (and conversions) you will not make money. But traffic doesn't need to cost anything and this article is just about how to get your site started. Not what you have to do afterwards.

      Keep in mind this is a guest submission not written by me.

    • Hey Kevin,

      Thanks for your feedback!

      Just to clear up that point a little; traffic is a topic worthy of its own article, which is why referenced Stuart traffic building articles in the content itself.

      This article is to help people get their site off the ground, without breaking the bank. Because, a big barrier for people is that they can't afford to actually start the website to begin with.

      Once the site is there, it's easy to start building traffic and driving people to your site. But, thats not the first barrier for most.

      However, I agree, every site needs traffic and it's a topic I'd love to discuss further in future articles.

      Cheers,

      James

  3. Russell says:

    Hey Stuart, Slightly off topic here, but I've read a bit of your info since opting in and your 'energy' comes across as quite trustworthy. I was initially drawn to IM about a month ago, through Anik Singal's Inbox Blueprint of which I'm a student. He's doing a Las Vegas conference this weekend as I type with great speakers. I wanted to know your opinion of his work and especially one of the his guests Mike Long of OMG Machines, if you're aware of then at all. Thanks man!

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Russell,

      I don't know either of them too well but I have been asked several times about Anik and his Inbox Blueprint course which led me to Googling his name and I didn't like what I found tbh. But still I don't know anything about him or his courses so I can't say for sure, you'd have to do your own research and see what you find.

      Enjoy the conference.

  4. jack says:

    you forgot to mention the expensive part: content.

  5. Great information on how to start a niche site on a budget. I'm starting two new niche sites using solid keyword research I'm learning from the Nohatdigital PTC course. I'm excited to see how goes and I'm busy writing 7,500 words of content this week.

    I setup all my sites on a budget except for hosting (Liquidweb dedicated server) and premium themes. I think they're both worth the speed and image boosts.

    The tips you've shared are really useful and I appreciate you sharing them.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Reid, thanks for commenting. Yeah the NoHat guys really know their stuff. Sounds like you're busy on the content course, that's a lot of words. I've just knocked out the first draft of a 5,000 word guest post in the past 2 days. Once you get into the groove it's easy enough in my experience assuming you are interested in the topic at hand.

      Glad you like the tips. Stick around plenty more where that came from.

    • Hey Reid,

      Thanks for the great feedback! I'm glad you found the article useful.

      There is a huge difference between spending a lot of money, and spending essential money. When you identify the difference, and what you actually need, you'll find yourself spending less overall.

      Good luck with your new sites! If you want to really master them, check out Stuarts ultimate guides, treasure trove of information there.

  6. Victor says:

    Awaesome Stuart !!!!

  7. Francesco says:

    Great advices here! IMHO a big amount of resources (read: money and/or time) should be put in content creation, so every penny saved in other areas can be important

  8. red says:

    This is an excellent post - we do need to be prepared to spend money! One picky point: It is a bit unfair to quote Hostgator Hatchling plan as adding 3.96 a month- you will have to front 36 months or $142.56 right out of the gate. Readers should be alert to discounts that require long term commitment. It also means your running total is way off!

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Red,

      You can pay HostGator month by month. I used to anyway until earlier in the year so I'm sure you still can. I use WPEngine now and again I pay monthly.

      I agree with you getting into the habit of spending money on your business is the best thing you can ever do. Those who are afraid to spend money on it are unable to grow it and make it a success.

      Real businesses require money to be spent and if you aren't willing to do that then you don't REALLY want to have a business.

    • Hey Red,

      Thanks for your comments; investing money in your own business is vital for it's overall survival.

      And, as Stuart says, there are a bunch of different ways to pay and cope with internet hosting. HostGator is just my favourite of the bunch, and can be done pretty cheaply.

      Thanks again for reading.

  9. surdic says:

    Hi stuart/johnson i like this article i is one of the best article. Pls i want you to advice me about blogging about celebrity. If i can make money from it

    comment

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey, like a celebrity gossip style blog? People do but you've got some pretty big competition who do it well. So what will you offer differently from them?

    • Hey Surdic,

      I think, like Stuart says, you need to decide what it is that sets you apart.

      Are you going to take a Perez Hilton approach, or go the more traditional Tabloid Newspaper route? Either way, you need focus on the *story* behind your blog, and why people should listen to what you have to say.

  10. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for the informative post. It is helpful, especially to those of us on a budget. I have to wonder, how important is it to have a premium theme? I have spent some time looking at the themes on WordPress and they seem well put together. Everything from graphically appealing to themes more suited for actual blogging.

    • Hey Stephanie,

      I think it depends massively on the style of site you have, and what you look to do with it.

      It's hard to thoroughly brand a website with a 'stock' theme, because there are only so many variables you can change: colour, font size and banners being about the extent of it.

      If you're looking to build a blog though, you want to set yourself apart from other bloggers. And, if you're guest posting and someone comes back to your site, you have two options of what they see:

      1. Someone who looks professional, knowledgeable and understands their business.

      2. Someone who can't take the time to invest in their blog, and blends in with everyone else

      To answer your question, Stephanie, I think it's really important to at least have a premium theme. Because it gives you lots of customisation options, the ability to brand and sets you apart from the rest of the blogosphere (if done right).

    • NicheHacks says:

      Most free themes have limited features that don't allow you to take full control of your site. I'd always say go with a premium theme most aren't that expensive really considering the benefit you'll get from it.

      • Stephanie says:

        Thanks, Stuart. I have a premium theme on my personal site, but it came with so many options that I really didn't need. This was for a supposed "minimalist" type of theme. My hesitancy is just having to set one up again with all the bells and whistles included. Anyway, you and James have given me valuable info and I shall think on it.

        • NicheHacks says:

          What sort of options did it have?

          I always think it's better to have too many options than not enough. My current theme has a ton of cool features ideal for a blogger but it's also quite slow at times which is annoying.

          • Stephanie says:

            If I remember correctly, it was choosing the different skins/layout, header, and footer options. I ended up just reverting to the demo version, as I didn't wish to make any changes. Honestly, I only set up the site as a fallback to having a fanpage on fb for writing jobs.

            This is my first time making a niche blog, so I want to make a good impression whilst appealing to my demographic audience.

            Thanks for your suggestions, they are always helpful.

          • NicheHacks says:

            Hey Stephanie, don't spend too long messing about with those options. As long as you have a functional and reasonable looking blog (keep it simple) you're good.

  11. Tim says:

    Godaddy has a good deal right now where you can get a domain and hosting for $12 a year. Comes pre-loaded with WordPress so no messing around with installing and such.

  12. Brad says:

    Hello James, great article

    I just have a question, I have seen your site and I am wondering if you write your own articles in your site or you outsourced them.

    Thanks

  13. lusekelo says:

    That is a great post,i would go for domain name=10 at namecheap,hosting=10 at hostgator,logo 10 at fiverr and one month free trial at getresponse

  14. Hey Red,

    Thanks for your comments; investing cash in your own business is important for its overall survival.

    And, as Stuart says, there are a bunch of totally different ways in which to pay and deal with net hosting. Bluehost is just my favorite of the bunch, and can be done pretty cheaply.

    Thanks again for reading.

  15. Dannielle says:

    I'm so happy that I found this article. I've been wondering if I've been doing something wrong or missing any steps in my journey. But this article shows that I'm on the right track.