How often do you find yourself wishing for more time?
If you run a niche site, I’m going to guess that it’s probably…
Every. Single. Day.
There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Days in the week. Or months in the year, are there?
And if you’ve got a full time job, a family, or any other big commitments, finding free time is near impossible.
Which means your to do list gets bigger.
Which means the pressure gets stronger.
Which means you start to panic.
Which means you’re more likely to just go, “Oh, screw it, I’m just not doing it.”
And your niche site joins the legion of other sites rotting away on the 68th page of Google. (See 3 ways to replace black hat rankings with white hat strategies)
But, today, I have some good news for you.
Finding free time isn’t that hard.
Because you don’t need anywhere near as much as you think. You just need to be smart with your time.
In fact, you can run a profitable niche site in just 10 hours a week. Once you know what to do with your time.
And that, my friends, is what you’re going to learn how to do in this article.
What You’ll Learn
I’m going to break down what you need to do, by the hour, to run a money making niche site (check 7 easy niche upgrades to increase your passive income overnight). So that no matter how busy you are, you always know what you should be doing at any given time.
Here’s what you’re going to cover:
- How to run a profitable niche site on even the tightest time frame
- The amount of time you should really be spending on your content
- The (un)importance of Admin and how it's costing you money
- Why you need to start your network right now
Ready? Let's go…
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Use Your Noggin’, Buster…
The main purpose of this article is to help you manage your time. And, it’s a tried and tested method used by site owners.
But, I want you to do something for me:
Use your head.
There is no cookie-cutter solution for this. If you think you need to reshuffle the schedule to make it fit your site, then, you know…do it.
And, when you’re mid-launch, you’ll need a completely different approach. So please consider this how to run your site week to week, and it’s subject to change. (If you need to get inspired, check out the success stories here)
All I really care about is you actually working on your site.
"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing" – Walt Disney
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Hour 1: Set Up For Success
The first hour of your week really does dictate how well it’s going to go.
So use the first hour of your week and look at what you’re going to do. Write it down as a to-do list, or create a Trello board, like the one below, to outline it all:
There’s nothing special here, but the more prepared you are, the better the end result you’re going to get. Plus, the more of these items you start to tick off – no matter how big or small – will start to build momentum for the rest of the week.
I’d recommend trying Brian Tracy’s Eat The Frog method here, and put the least favourite task first.
Hour 2: Social Media
You don’t have a lot of time in the week. And, while social media is important, it’s easy to let it soak up a lot of the hours in your week. (See 31 ways to boost social shares)
This hour, then, is dedicated to getting all your social media ducks in a row, so that you don’t have to keep thinking of what to update.
Try using an application like Buffer or Edgar to create your updates a week in advance.
It’s easy to fill these updates with:
- Your own content (old and new)
- Niche relevant content (like stats, images and quotes)
This shouldn’t really take you any longer than 30 minutes. But that leaves you the other half hour to respond to any comments, tweets or favourites that come your way.
You can also get some simple ideas for boosting your social media presence right here.
Hour 3: Content Generation
If traffic is the blood of your niche site content is it’s beating heart.
Because, without it, you don’t have, well…anything.
If you aren’t putting new content as a priority then you’re setting yourself up to fail. Why?
Well, two reasons:
#1: You Begin To Look Inactive To Google
If you just create a base of content – landing page, about us and a sales page – and leave them the way they are for a long time, Google (see the best backlinks and how to avoid the worst) starts to see you as an inactive site. Which doesn’t bode well for you.
Instead adding fresh, engaging content (and more pages to index for your site) is a great way of showing you’re an active, important site it should care about.
#2: It’s The Simple, Easy, No-Duh, Way To Get New Traffic
The more content you have the more traffic will start to flow your way.
Because you have fresh, new, interesting ideas to share with people. And for them to link back to (either now, or over time).
That applies to everything from blog posts to extra pages on your site. So, don’t take this point too lightly, or think “Oh, new content isn’t for me, I don’t blog”.
New content is always for you. (Learn how to get the Buzzfeed formula going so you can get 1 million shares per post)
Okay, you get the picture.
This hour of the week should be split into two parts:
- Discovery: Finding new content ideas, or ways to update old content. Whether that’s original or Skyscraper’d ideas is up to you.
- Planning: Creating an outline of what you’re going to write. No matter how big or small it is, it’s important to have a plan for what you’ll write. It’ll make the next few hours much quicker.
If you’re really stuck for ideas, you can check out this post on 20 no-fail types of blog posts you can write.
"It turns out that the most productive thing we can do is to stop working on someone else’s task list and figure out a more useful contribution instead. This is what separates great organisations from good ones, and extraordinary careers from frustrated ones."
– Seth Godin
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Hours 4, 5 & 6: Writing And SEO
This is a big chunk of your week, I know.
But that’s because these two points are time consuming and they need dedicated care and attention.
Now, you’re probably thinking “But, what the hell is he going to write here?” because, well, writing and SEO are pretty unique to you. And you know I’m not going to teach you to suck eggs.
But there are some things you need to know for this process to help you absolutely dominate in your niche. (See how to measure niche success in one place)
These are simple tips, tricks and battle-tested pieces of advice you can pick and choose from:
Link Out To Trustworthy Sites
Trust is really important to Google.
But building it, just like in life, takes a lot of hard work and proving yourself.
Getting trustworthy sites to link to you is the best way of building your trust. But you can also, gradually, do it by linking out to other trustworthy sites too.
Basically Google wants to know you aren’t putting any old shit online. It want’s to know this is researched, brilliant, sexy content that’s valuable to the people looking for your keywords.
So try linking out to reputable sites when you mention a study or a statistic, like here:
Or, take a page from the Fitness world and use citations with links at the bottom, to prove you’ve gone to extra depth to find from credible sources.
This is a great resource from HubSpot on how to cite and reference, if you need it.
Don’t Worry About Length
The best copywriting advice I was ever given was, “Content should only be as long as it is interesting”. That is, if you’re rambling just to meet a word count, your content – no matter what it is – is going to suck.
So whether it’s a sales page or a blog post or a tweet, don’t write any more than you need to. But be sure to not leave anything important out, either.
Stop Being A Little Bitch
Yeah, you read that right.
When you write content, you think about things like:
- “Oh no, will this offend someone?”
- “No, I can’t say that…someone might not like it”
- “What if my Mom read this?”
And, that a sure sign of I’m-being-a-little-bitch-itis. Don’t worry, it affects lots of niche site owners.
You want content that grabs attention, causes discussion and puts your niche site on the map?
Get offensive. Speak your mind. Say the shit you always wished you could say.
That’s not only how you build an income, but how you build a tribe.
Stop holding back, okay?
Pay Attention To The Immeasurable Metrics
You know what you can’t monitor with any metric?
Anything that happens outside of the computer and within the parameters of someone’s life. Just because your content doesn’t get a lot of shares and isn’t seen by thousands of people, doesn’t mean it’s failed.
I read from WebMD every single time someone I know get ill, I get injured, or I just want to know something cool about the human body.
I’ve never shared a page. Bought a product. Or, commented on their piece. But they’re my go-to resource for everything medical.
You don’t need to be viral to be a success. You just need to help someone.
Make SEO Easy For Yourself
If you’re not already, I highly recommend using Yoast SEO! to manage the SEO for any of your pieces of content.
It just makes the arduous process of SEO much, much easier:
And, if you want keyword research, I’d suggest either using Google Keyword Planner for a quick look. Or use a program like SERPed to go deeper and find the keywords that are really going to give you a traffic boost.
(Note: None of these links are affiliate links. I just really like these products).
Hours 7 & 8: Distribution
Two hours on distribution?
Distribution is really important. Because, if you write content and nobody sees it, does it really exist?
It might as well not. (Learn the myths and lies behind content marketing)
Don’t fret, though, because this is something even the most well intentioned site owners don’t always get right:
You really do need to put a priority on this. And, if you’re not, you need to see this as a real wake up call for you.
Here’s an awesome slideshare to show you how to get your content out there for people to see:
The Ultimate Guide to Content Distribution from Visage
Hour 9: Networking With Influencers
There are people in your niche that you need to know.
They run the sites that will link back to you. They create the products you can sell as an affiliate.
They have the space for your guest posts (Learn how to dominate Google with guest posting). And they create the product reviews that are going to put you on the map.
But, if you don’t know them, you can’t get any of these benefits.
An hour a week to reach out to people is nothing. In fact, this doesn’t even come close to the amount of time you could spend on this. But if you’re strapped for time, this is a decent amount to start seeing some results.
Find the sites you want to connect with by doing a lot of research.
Try searching your keywords (Watch over our shoulder as we find keywords for the survival niche). Your niche. Broad topics you can cover. And, think a little outside the box of where people who might be interested in your niche will spend their time.
For example, photographers can also be:
- Into lifestyle, high end technology
- Models and fashion designers
So you need to jump right outside the box of relevancy and see where you fit in there, too.
Not sure what to send these influencer when you find them? Check out this article for an awesome template on how to contact any influencer.
"Networking is an essential part of building wealth." – Armstrong Williams
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Hour 10: The Boring, Mundane Stuff
You’ll see I left the stuff that takes up most of your time to this final hour. Why?
Because there are so many better things you can be doing than admin. You can even outsource a lot of your admin, like e-mails, to other people too.
Now I know Admin feels important, but it’s not really that important in the long run. It’s just the busy work that seems productive, that doesn’t really achieve much.
Want to know how to cut your admin down to just this hour a week? Here’s some cool tips:
The 5 Sentence Email
Commit to making all your emails 5 sentences or less.
You can communicate a lot by doing this. And, you can even throw in some emoticons to make sure they don’t sound curt or pissy.
Outsource, Outsource and Outsource
You can pick up a good Virtual Assistant on UpWork for $10-$15 an hour, if not less. And you don’t need them for a lot of time.
If you spend $30 a week to get them to handle complaints, boring emails and the stuff you just don’t like to do, then it’s worth it.
I hate editing. It’s my least favorite thing.
But, I also don’t trust other people to do it. Because I’m a picky-as-hell writer. And, well, editors are also a bit pricey.
That’s why tools like Hemingway that are free (or $10 for a lifetime membership) can save you hours on editing. Because you copy in your writing, it highlights all the bad bits, so you can focus on the important bits that need changing.
This tool genuinely saves me about three to four hours a week. And I write about eight articles a week. So just imagine what it can do for you.
For more tools that can save you time, check out Stuart's resource page.
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Time To Work Smart, Champ
There you have it, how to run a niche site in just 10 hours a week.
You don't need to drive yourself crazy looking for free time. You just need structure, discipline and the drive to turn a profit. (Learn what Stuart has learned while building up his site)
The rest is here for you.
But, I'm interested..
How have you been managing your time so far? Do you have a better, or a worse, way? I'd love to hear it in the comments…