How To Start A Niche Site For Less Than $32 [Updated]

Stop putting it off, will you?

You keep telling yourself that it just costs so much to start a niche site.

That you’re going to invest all this money and never make anything back.

But starting a niche site doesn’t have to break the bank.

In fact, you can start one for less than you’d spend on a meal in a restaurant. Heck, you can start one for less than a round of drinks with your friends.

In this article I’ve created my own niche site for less than $32 and I’m going to show how to start a niche site step-by-step, too.

 

 

What You’ll Learn

  • How To Start A Niche Site For Under $32
  • 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]

 

The Site You’ll Be Following…

I’m going to take you through the step-by-step process of how I’ve started my site, One Day In .

In fact, I was going to wait to get it all online, but instead I’ve decided to use it to show you how to do it yourself.

I’m not a big believer in people that say, “You have to spend money to make money”, either.

So I’m going to try and do this as cheaply as possible, but to a level that I’m happy with. Because I have other things to spend my money on, like you probably do to.

 

Buying A Domain Name ($10.30)

I’m not going to preach to you about choosing your actual brand name. Because, well...that’s down to you and the niche research you’ve done (you have done research, right?).

Instead, let’s focus on buying a domain name and getting you a reserved space on the Internet…

 

Your Domain Doesn’t Need To Be Your Brand Name

When you’re starting a niche site you’re going to be forced to make some decisions out of necessity.

For example, my brand name is One Day In. But, all of the domains under that name are already reserved:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.47.45

 

So I needed to choose a different option that still fits my brand, and I opted for this one: www.onedayguides.co.uk 

What I’m saying here is that you need to prepare to be flexible.

Because, unless you want to get into a big bidding match for other domains, be open to choosing a different domain name. It won’t kill you, I promise.

 

Where To Buy

For me, I use ZEN Internet from the UK. Because they’re based in my city, they have great support and I just like them (I’m in no way affiliated with them).

But I know Stuart recommends Name Cheap, so if you’re outside of the UK, I’d suggest going for them:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.48.51

 

Okay, so, you’ve bought your domain, now it's time to get it hosted...

 

Hosting ($5.72)

I also get my Linux Hosting through ZEN Internet.

Because, it's only $5.72 a month. So if you're UK based I'd highly recommend them.

But, after that, my first choice would be Host Gator.

They've got packages as low as $3.95 a month, and even for a mid-level plan you're not going to go above $9:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.59.02

 

If I go completely full disclosure, I get my hosting with the same company I get my domain from because I'm no good at getting everything to link up properly from different companies.

If you have the same issue, it might be worth looking at where you can get a package deal.

 

Logos ($15.75)

I’ve gone the really cliche route here and opted for a Fiverr designer to make me a logo.

But, you know what, I’ve always had great results from it, so why not?

If you’ve never used Fiverr, simply click this link and it’ll take you directly to the logo design page.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 08.56.47

 

Now when most people say, “Oh, you should get a logo on Fiverr” they think it’s actually only going to cost you five bucks.

But, it’s probably not.

While there will normally be a five dollar option, there are little add-ons that will cost you more like:

  • Design revisions
  • Delivery times
  • Image resolutions
  • File types

I’ve looked across a lot of different designers, and the most you’ll really need to pay though is around the $15 mark, like I’ve paid here. In the end I went for this designer:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 08.50.16

 

Because I’m a damn sucker for these sexy little badge logos. But, here are those add-ons I was talking about:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 08.51.17

 

You’ll need to do a little shopping around to find a design that you like and fits your brand.

But, there are tonnes of different designers on there for you to look through.

And, let’s be honest, at the absolute worst you’re going to spend $20 in total to get it re made if you don’t like it.

Here’s my end product…

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 11.43.49

 

Theme (Free)

Wh...what? 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 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

 

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.

 

Mailing List (Free)

Recently I reviewed all of the big-players in Email Marketing for Matt Woodward and 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.

That means you can start your mailing list now for absolutely nothing, then move to a software like Aweber for less than $20 a month when you’re ready to become a fully fledged business.

And, once you hit 2000, you’re already there.

Simply head over to MailChimp and sign up. And, the rest is so easy even your elderly grandmother could do it.

 

Marketing Channels & Outreach (Free)

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:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.13.57

 

After doing some research with CoSchedule, I’d only recommend using one channel for now.

Pick the one you feel represents your brand best, and run with it.

Because choosing one platform can give you a lot more traction than spreading yourself too thin:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.19.22

 

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

 

Free Social Media Marketing Tools

For this I’d recommend you set up a Buffer account.

It allows you to schedule updates for your social media profiles days in advance, and can save you a tonne of time, even on the free version.

It’s also the go-to choice of Nichehacks’ Stuart Walker for his updates, so, it’s battle tested for you too:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.21.13

 

Free SEO Tools

You don’t need to be an SEO Genius to master it for your site.

You just need to understand some of the basics that can help you get off the ground. Jawad wrote an awesome guide on this if you want to take a deeper look.

But, as far as free tools go, the Yoast SEO tool is the best you're going to get.

It gives a lovely analysis of your on page, and tells you simply whether you're going to need to improve or not:

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.51.14

 

There You Have It, Folks...

I've just shown you how to start a profitable niche website for less than $32.

That can't be bad, can it?

You've learned how to buy a cheap domain.

Get yourself some hosting.

Get a working logo made for next to nothing.

Why a free theme really isn't that bad to begin with.

How to set up a free mailing list.

And get traffic using free SEO and social media tools.

If you can get started for $32 there's really no excuse for not having the budget.

It's time for you to take action now.

 

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.