Micro Niche Sites are Untenable: Authority Niche Sites are the Future!
Ten years ago, setting up a niche site and earning money off it from AdSense was easy. Today, Google places a lot of emphasis on content creation to educate an audience and frowns upon sites that are built simply to game AdSense. Google’s major shake up of the web, via its Penguin, Panda and other algorithms simply means that setting up a micro niche site and earning easy passive income on it is no longer a viable option.
However, that does not mean that the niche sites have reached their expiry date. It only means that they have to be realigned to meet the current demands and requirements of search engines. And that in effect has given birth to what is known as Authority Niches.
So how does one build an authority niche in the light of the changed ecosystem and is it still possible to make money from AdSense from it?
Many pundits would say that AdSense monetization is flogging a dead horse. Chris Lee begs to differ. In fact he makes over $10,000 a month on his niche websites just using AdSense.
A Little More About Chris
Just like every person who dreams of making passive income online, Chris started his blogging journey in 2009, got swept off his feet when he earned his first AdSense check, experimented with a lot of niche sites and got tangled in Google’s Penguin & Panda nightmare before realizing that he had missed a great earning opportunity by slacking off on things he should have focused on: SEO and ranking niche websites.
Chris went back to the basics, focused on the right elements and got a breakthrough in 2013 when he was started to make $1000 a month off AdSense – a hard to accomplish feat for most bloggers today. His income has steadily increased since, to almost $100 a day, leading him to eventually quit his full time job and start working full-time on his niche sites.
Chris has put together his experiences on how to build and niche site and make money off AdSense into a course called “ RankXL Niche Site Course.” In this course, Chris lays out the exact strategies that he follows to build his sites – from keyword research to content creation, SEO and link building, AdSense setup and continued growth.
Chris claims that his business model is PROVEN and VIABLE and he believes that if he is making money off it, you could as well. I had the opportunity to take up this course and learn if Chris did indeed have something up his sleeve that would help others. Here is my review of the RankXL Niche Site Course.
What’s Inside RankXL Niche Site Course?
Chris Lee’s Niche Site Course Covers 5 Main Topics:
- Niche & Keyword Research
- On-Site SEO & Site Structure
- Link Building, Increasing Rankings for Search Traffic
- Making Money With AdSense
- Growth & Putting Everything Together
Does RankXL Niche Site Course offer actionable strategies that are implementable in 2015?
In my opinion it DOES.
If you quickly run through the topic titles in the above, you’ll find that these are topics often discussed by many experts on the subject. What makes this course stand out is that there are no two ways about following Chris’ strategies.
Here are some of the key focus areas of the course:
In the introduction to the course, you get a clear understanding of how niche sites were built in the past, why that is not feasible anymore and how you need to build niche courses today. Chris explains the step by step process of his niche building strategy works and lists the benefits the strategy will bring in the long run.
Finding Your Niche
Selecting your niche is like laying the foundation of your house. Get this wrong and your house will come crumbling down. In this course, Chris gives you the exact pointers you need to be following to pick your niche….
- where you can get topic ideas
- how you can find big keywords
- what to look for when searching for keywords
- the sort of keywords you should avoid
- how to analyze your competitors the right way
- what tools you must use to look for search metrics; and
- what are the exact metrics you need to look for.
The course gives you a step by step walkthrough of how Chris does a competitive analysis for his sites with screenshots so you can follow along and narrow down the right niche you must target. Chris talks about Pillar Keywords and Pillar Posts and how they play a pivotal role in building the authority structure for a niche site.
My thoughts: Chris’ approach to each topic in this section is unique and dependable. Its easy to understand and implement and there is no ambiguity in any of the approaches he discusses.
On-Site SEO & Site Structure
In the second module of Part I of the course, Chris provides step by step directions on how to structure your authority site and spread your link juice throughout. He also talks about the essential plugins you need and offers a detailed configuration setup for Yoast SEO. He closes the topic with a few smart tips that should make your titles more clickable and help you grow additional traffic.
My thoughts: This particular segment seemed to be the course’s weakest structure, not as rich and informative as the first module. The SEO section is something most bloggers will be familiar with, so it makes for quick reading. Nevertheless, Chris does throw up some interesting angles on site structuring and content creation for inner pages that many of us would have never tried before.
The second part of the course is about the all important subject of link building.
The widespread damage that Google Penguin caused on the Internet may never be fixed. It has brought individual bloggers and giant SEO firms to their knees and has left even the best pundits unnerved and shaky.
With web directories taking a hit, PBNs taking a hit, guest blogging taking a hit, how does one build links? In fact is that even possible now?
The RankXL course answers all those questions plus more such as:
- How many links should you be building?
- Which methods should you be using the most?
- When should you start link building?
- How many links you need to rank #1?
- Can you beat sites with over 100 backlinks (surprisingly you can!)
In this module, Chris discusses his MOST POWERFUL WEAPON to solid link building and explains his reasoning for gaining links using his method. He also explains the right way to approach people and you’ll find his ready to use email templates handy when you start your own projects. He even has a link building strategy for the lazy blogger who just wants to build backlinks the easy (not so effective) way!
This module also discusses plenty of other link building methods including Chris’ FAVORITE method that can help you find the best sources to get links from and it takes all but 15-30 minutes to get done. If you thought link building was next to impossible in today’s scenario, Chris’ ideas will simply blow that thought away.
My thoughts: The link building strategies in this course certainly took me by surprise because I had almost given up on link building after the recent Google Armageddon. However, after going through this course, I am pretty confident that I can build valuable long-term links in a clean quick way! In fact, among all the units of this course, I found Chris’ most valuable teachings in this priceless module.
Making Money from AdSense
The final module of the course is about making money from AdSense. Most niche marketers will tell you that AdSense is their least successful monetization model. Sure, if you are an authority figure or someone who knows EXACTLY WHAT WORKS, you might be earning thousands of dollars in AdSense revenue DAILY. Otherwise, you’d just be making a measly sum of money. (Most of us would fall into the latter category!)
In RankXL, Chris gives you 5 solid reasons why AdSense works and goes on to explain how to optimize your layout for the best click through rates.
My thoughts: While most of these good practices are probably well known to everyone, I was surprised to learn a trick or two which I did not know before. A newbie blogger will definitely find great value in the tips available in this section.
Growing Your Niche Site
The thought of making thousands of dollars every month is alluring and a quick Google search will show you that many people are practically minting money by building niche sites.
But try following their strategies and you’ll soon realize that things are not panning out for you. There are just as many search results telling you why niche sites for AdSense don’t work anymore!
One of the reasons why at least 50% of websites fail in the first year of launch lies in the belief that the money comes easy. Building a niche site and making money off it is NOT AN AUTOMATED PROCESS. It TAKES TIME AND WORK and if you thought otherwise you’re setting yourself up for FAILURE.
In the concluding part of the course, Chris talks about timelines, what to expect from your website at each stage of the growth process, month-wise, and how it will eventually play out in the long run.
My thoughts: The course finishes on a strong note with rock solid advice for people who think passive income equals easy money! There’s work to do and if you have a plan that workable and you do what it takes, you can see your business grow month on month. And once your plan starts bearing fruit, then you can afford to slack off a little! (but that comes much later). What more can you ask for!
If you are keen on taking up the RankXL Niche Site Course, here are some points worth considering:
- RankXL Niche Site Course lays the foundation for anyone looking to build a niche course that works TODAY, TOMORROW, and in the FUTURE.
- It DOES NOT offer strategies that worked pre-Panda/Penguin times. In fact, it tells you EXACTLY why they don’t work anymore and what YOU SHOULD BE DOING instead.
- Anyone struggling with keyword research, link building, and content creation can learn a lot from this course.
- The course is well structured with instructions presented in clear simple easy to understand language.
- The strategies presented here are direct, efficient, and practical.
- There’s no fluff and no ambiguity in the content. There are step by step guidelines throughout the course that you can instantly replicate in your work.
- There are no spammy methods promoted here. All strategies have good solid reasoning behind them, one that will definitely not attract a penalty.
- While the techniques taught are not totally innovative or revolutionary, its comes with a solid plan. At the end of the course, its easy to get a whole picture of where you need to start and how you can grow and move forward. That’s something I have never been able to visualize before from reading various blogs.
- Chris shares the tools and resources he uses for his niche sites and makes a few recommendations, but most of them are free to use. There is no upselling here.
RankXL Niche Site Course is a great recommendation from me, but there is room for improvement. Here are some of the areas where I felt the course could have done better.
- The entire course is content driven. There are a few images to break the monotony but videos, quizzes and other interactive elements could have enhanced it.
- The SEO section appeared to be a bit lean and could have included more content.
- Navigating between the different modules and units involves a lot of going back and forth. A sidebar navigation here would have been handy.
- Open interactions between students or with tutor can be considered although I find that it can sometimes be distracting as off topics often come into the discussion threads.
Today, it takes just about 5 minutes to set up a blog! However turning it into a successful and profitable one is difficult, especially if you don’t have a big budget or a powerful growth strategy in place. Many people fail because they don’t know where to start, how to get going, and how to sustain in the future.
Chris Lee’s RankXL Niche Site Course lays out a clear competent strategy that can help any budding blogger plan and execute his strategy successfully in a step by step fashion, sustain that momentum every month and convert it into a profitable business in the near future.
If you have doubts about that, Chris Lee is living proof its possible!
RankXL Niche Site Course
If you have read tons of blog posts and books from top affiliate marketers on how to make money blogging via niche sites and found them to be confusing, complicated, ambiguous and a waste of time, I suggest you take up the RankXL Niche Site Course. At $97, it may be expensive, but it can clearly set you on the path to niche success. Even if you are not working on a niche site, you can still learn plenty of practical strategies for link building and content creation that can be applied to your current blogs as well.