Niche Site Challenge: Building Traffic, Growing Your List and Getting Your First Sale [Part 5]

Filed in Affiliate Marketing, Blogging, Case Studies by on April 21, 2017

You can see all updates from the Niche Site Challenge here.

In my last update you read about my catastrophic failure with my last niche site.

But this month the phoenix is rising from the ashes.

There’s a new site with a new angle.

And it’s already making money.

In this article I’m going to talk you through the new site, how I’m going to monetise it and the tricks I’ve been using to get it off the ground.

Let’s dig into the first month’s results…

This Month’s Results

Launch Date: 13th January
Income: £1.56
Email Subscribers: +26
Traffic: 1242 sessions

My traffic has increased steadily week on week. I’m happy with how this graph is looking so far, and the fact it is consistently growing.

 

 

I was also surprised to see I’d made my first affiliate sale, which I wrote about over on the Nichehacks Mastermind Group, after just a few days.

 

 

This is also the only sale that I've made. But I've not really pushed any products yet!

All in all this has been a good month.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)

 

What Is Deutschified?

Deutschified helps English speaking people move to Germany.

With a primary focus on people from the UK.
The site covers:

  • Moving to Germany
  • Learning German
  • Expat life
  • Culture hacking

Which are all topics close to my heart because, well...I’m living it right now.

I’ve just moved to Cologne and I’m loving every minute of it.

Now I’m not going to link to the site through Nichehacks. Why?

Well with One Day Guides I learned that it was hard to monitor my true traffic because I’d get a lot of ‘trickle’ traffic from Nichehacks every month.

If you find my site through Google, feel free.

But I know most of you won’t work through that extra level 😉

 

How Am I Going To Monetise It?

This was a question that came in on my last installment of the Niche Site Challenge.

And a few people have also asked about it on the Facebook Mastermind Group too.

 

 

 

Well to begin with I’m only going to focus on two types of monetisation:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Advertising
  • My digital products

Although I’m not sure what my own digital products are going to be.

Language Learning is the biggest part of my life right now, so I’ll start there and build out.

I’ll talk about each of these methods more in depth over the next few months as I explore each one of them.

But I do talk about affiliate marketing at the end of the article.

But let’s get onto the strategies I’ve been using so far..

 

How To Create Content And Drive Traffic At The Same Time

As well as using Stuart’s 101 Traffic Hacks, I’ve been looking for other unique traffic opportunities.

I’ve written about Quora previously on the Nichehacks blog.

And, it’s one of the tools Stuart always recommends for me to use.

And for my niche it’s a perfect fit because people are always asking questions about Germany and language learning.

So, over the last few weeks, I aimed to answer as many questions as I could.

And throw in a few links back to my site in the process.

In fact I answered so many questions I’m a Top Writer in two niches on the site now:

 

 

Quora traffic has a no referral tag on it so it shows up as direct, which makes it a little hard to determine how much traffic comes from the site.

But considering I’m a new site and I’ve posted mostly on Quora, I’d bet around 80% of this direct traffic comes from there:

 

 

Now I know that’s not groundbreaking traffic.

But considering many niche sites don’t get that in the first few months, I’m quite happy for 30 days.

So how do you go about getting traffic from Quora? Simple.

First, set up your profile to reflect your niche site and what you do.

These ‘credentials’ will come in really handy when you’re answering questions:

 

 

 

Then go out and find the niches that you want, or need, to comment in on the top search bar:

Then proceed to answer questions to everything you can find.

It doesn’t matter how old the question is, or how few answers it has, get your answers in there.

But I need to make this really, really, clear…

Don’t just write comments like,

“You can learn German by speaking to other people and studying from textbooks.

Hope that helps, here’s my blog…”

Because, much like Reddit, you’ll get eaten alive.

Instead be sure to post long, blog-post style that really answers question. (You can even use it
as content on your blog at a later date).

Like this answer:

 

 

 

Which got over 16.2k views and 152 upvotes.

Again, not groundbreaking, but it means 16.2k people have seen the Deutschified name and maybe converted back to my site.

It also later became a blog post on my site right here:

blog post example

So the benefits of Quora for you are:

  • Creating content people are actually asking for
  • Drive traffic from that content back to your blog
  • Expose your brand (naturally) to thousands of people
  • Reuse the content on your blog without duplicate penalties
  • I mean if they aren’t great reasons to start using the site, I don’t know what are.

 

The High Converting Trick To Getting More Email Subscribers

When I started Deutschified I was in a position a lot of you are:

You have a new niche site and you have nothing to give away for an email.

You don’t have a buy in; you don’t have a freebie; you’re not running any competitions and there’s nothing to trade.

And you’re stuck with the problem of what you can do to get more email subscribers.

Well, I thought I’d be bold and try something I saw over on the Drift blog when I was researching an article.

I decided to go ahead and ask people to sign up to my email list at the end of an article. Like so:

All they have to do is click on the ‘right here’ button and they're met with a SumoMe pop up asking them to input their data:

 

 

And you know what?

This particular click trigger converts at 62.5% right now.

 

 

 

Which I'd consider to be really high.

But why does it convert so highly?

Well if people make it to the end of your blog post they’ve enjoyed your content.

They’ve not
bounced and gone straight back to Google.

They also must really want, or need, the content you’re putting out.

So you don’t need to exchange anything with them to get an email address.

Because they’ve already extracted a tonne of value from the post.

If my traffic was higher I’m sure I’d see that fall to 30-40% conversions.

And I intend to also create a test where it has a buy-in as part of the pop-up.

And I’m sure this technique works no matter how old your site is.

So I’d love if you tested it and let me know your results in the comments!

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)

 

Getting My First Affiliate Sale

Getting my first affiliate sale after just a few days was the first sign that this site had potential.

In the past I’ve listened to Jon Morrow’s advice where he talks about not being too niche and going broad.

Well, that advice didn’t work for me.

What I have seen work time, and time, and time again with the clients I write for is when they have a specific niche but give themselves width for lots of products and recommendations within that niche.

And when I’ve focused on this the opportunities have come in quicker than ever.

Basically I wanted to get my first ever affiliate sale under my belt and put a product on my site.

The amount it makes doesn’t bother me - it ended up just being £1.30 - but it was the act of getting the sale that was important.

So what I did was I created a product review and dropped a product review in there for people to buy from.

 

 

 

The system was super simple:

  • I took a book off my shelf in my office
  • I wrote a review about how it had helped me learn German
  • I shared it on forums where people were looking to learn German

At this point my traffic was around eight to ten people per day. So that conversion rate was pretty good considering.

Someone was willing to buy a £15 from someone they didn’t know, who just happened to post on a forum (or Quora) and recommend a product.

For your niche site you could probably do the same.

Find a product that you use every single day.

Find people who have the problem this product helped solve.

Find out where they are.

Speak to them about it.

That’s the backbone of business anyway, isn’t it?

 

Month Two Biggest Takeaways

What have I learned from this month, and what should you take from the article? Well, here it is in short:

  • When you're a new site, traffic doesn't find you. You need to find the simplest most effective ways of getting eyes on your site.
  • Asking people for a sign up or a sale can have a big positive impact on your conversion rates
  • Keep it really simple. Find a problem and try to solve it for your readers as soon as possible
  • Don't worry about perfect, take action and don't look back. Trying to make everything perfect will only slow you down

 

That's All For This Month...

Okay, if you have any hate mail for me changing the project, please feel free to let me know in the comments.

Otherwise I'd love to hear your thoughts on the new chapter in the challenge.

Over the next month I'm going to look at adding a buy-in to the site to get people to convert higher.

Reaching out to influencers to get more features and promoting affiliate products.

And if you want early updates on this challenge don’t forget to head over to the Facebook Mastermind Group!

See you next month!

James Johnson
James is the founder of the Freelance Writers School where he teaches normal people how to make money through freelance writing even if they failed English at school and have no idea about business.

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ravi says:

    Wow...great post James!

    I have a site that is 2 months old where I write about 'how to stay motivated and build up your willpower so you can diet and workout'.

    I was about to pull the plug on it as the only affiliate products I can promote on it is books (specifically books on motivation , willpower, goal setting etc) and maybe a few pieces of exercise stuff like pull up bars etc.

    But this post showed me that even if I promote books that I can still make some money! Would continue the blog!

    Thanks,

    Ravi

    But this article

  2. Josh Shogren says:

    Great post and I love what you are doing with quora. I think it's very underutilized by niche site owners. One tip, any time you link from quora create a google UTM for that link and you will be able to track quora as a separate traffic source of GA. You will also be able to see what answers have driven the most traffic, which is really useful.

    Good luck and I'm looking forward to the next update.

  3. Nice Tips James! Looking forward for more articles 🙂

  4. I have a nice niche that is building slowly but surely but had not thought of Quora for it! great tip :>

  5. Very nice article James! Love the focus on getting your first sale - no matter how small. That's exactly the right approach. Once you've got your first sale, you can get your second. Once you've got a couple, you can get a few more, and so on. But it all starts with that first sale...

  6. Troy says:

    Hi James,

    Thank you for sharing with us your experienced in building a niche site. Sometimes, all we need to to learn in our niche marketing are some practical examples that we can relate to and learn from it.

    Thank you so much!

  7. Rob says:

    Hello!

    So if you make a blogpost from your quora answers (exactly copy and pasting it) won't be a duplicate content issue? Please clarify thank you 🙂

    Rob

    • NicheHacks says:

      Duplicate content refers to the same content more than once on the SAME WEBSITE. Google have aknowledged in the past that 75% of the content on the web is basically "duplicate".

  8. Anil Agarwal says:

    This is a very wonderful post James,

    Your site making money in such a short period of time is indeed a good sign that you're off to a good start.

    Indeed, I know that a lot of people are having this language issues, especially for a country like Germany. Some years ago, a cousin of mine got admission in one of the German universities, one the process of doing his registration, he realized that one of their requirements is that you must understand German language; this according to them is because everything you’ll learn in your first year will be in German language.

    As a result of this, my cousin paid someone a huge sum of money to learn the language so, I’m sure you will do well with this niche.

    Coming to Quora, I’ve always known it to be a great source of traffic for every niche out there; you just need to position yourself as an authority in your niche to make it work.

    I’m keen to see how far you will go with this challenge James.

    Good luck.