What is a Micro Niche Site, And do They Still Work?

I’ve had a great deal of experience with micro niche sites over my course of doing online marketing. In fact, some of my best profit experiences came from them, we’re talking 6 figures, but that was a long time ago and if people were to ask me if these types of pages still work, I’d tell them maybe, and that maybe varies if there’s 3 situations going on.

Do you know what a micro niche site is? Let’s make it clear:

There was a time back in the “lazy days” of internet marketing as I like to call it where people could make high ranking websites with little effort. They just needed a few pages and special “SEO” tricks to make this work. 

In fact, here was (and still is) the formula on…

How to build a micro niche site (MNS):

  • Target an extremely low competition keyword.
  • Then buy a domain for it.
  • Over optimize their websites with a very low competition keyword (The SEO tricks I talked about).
  • Add meta tags with said keywords.
  • Add a little bit of content and…

Bam… you’d have a high ranking result, within a week in many cases. And this was so easy to do that many programs released guides that basically repeated that formula and offered automation services to build them. 

But this lazy period was short lived…

People used these tactics so often because it was such an easy way to make money that eventually, you had a lot of these things occupying Google, especially in the top results and many of them were extremely bad looking pages.

Pages which instead of providing good information only sought to sell things. And that is what ALWAYS happens each time there is a “loophole” in the system.

In the case of MNS, the loophole was that you really needed just a little bit of work to create high ranking websites to bring in traffic and that would also make it easy to sell whatever people were aiming to sell, which typically was make money programs and other, lower tiered products that often didn’t get too many positive reviews.

Unfortunately for these people, whether it was people who used this loophole to sell good things or those who just abused it and sold scams, because this literally became an abusive tactic to game search engines, Google, like it always does changed things around and made it necessary for these types of sites to have a TON more content before they could reach those top positions again and when that change happened…

99%+ of all MNS slowly started to fall off the face of the 1st page rankings and to this day, this gap has increased, meaning the criteria to reaching the 1st page has become longer and harder to attain for them and as time went on, the gap and criteria has continued to get bigger and bigger for these types of pages. Basically as time goes on, any kind of MNS has less and less chances of working and I’ll point to one scenario below where you absolutely shouldn’t be trying to make them anymore…

MNS examples:

I’ll start from a broad topic (1), work it into a niche topic (2), and then a micro one (3):

  • Weight loss (1), diets for athletes (2), a specific diet pill (3).
  • Make money (1), make money online (2), Wealthy Affiliate (3).
  • Books (1), horror books (2), Stephen King novel (3).
  • Fitness (1), lifting exercises (2), P90X (3).
  • Technology (1), cell phones (2), latest iPhone (3).

Ok, so is there anyway to make them work nowadays? Enter the 3 scenarios:

Scenario 1: SEO. The one I would absolutely avoid! 

In this particular case, I would say no. There is almost no way to rank an MNS very high nowadays, no matter how low the competition for it is.

Imagine the following: You have a keyword with extremely low competition. In most cases, even if you just made 1 page, it would not rank in the top 10 of that said keyword. You just would need more content to do this. 

Ever since the new rule of more content came into play, I have only ranked a 1 page site at the top, only once, but it was for a term that nobody else was competing for or really typing in either.

The fact is: If you’re chasing a search term to rank for and you aren’t the only one trying it, and furthermore, your competitors that are also chasing it have a better/bigger site than yours, there’s no way yours will outrank theirs.

And if you do rank like I did for that one situation, like I said, it’s most likely going to be for a term that either no body types or no body is interested in so either way I wouldn’t have been able to monetize of it.

Long story short: MNS aren’t workable with SEO these days. 

Wait a second…

Isn’t the key to getting traffic and making money done by targeting low competition keywords and specific audiences?

You are correct and from a basic point of view, these pages do this, but like I said, Google has changed the rules and made it much more mandatory for websites to hit the first page rankings because remember, if they didn’t do that, you’d have garbage results ranked high and selling you bad things. 

If you have an issue with this, I’m going to explain further down why this is actually very good for bloggers and content creators.

Scenario 2: This is the one where I made the 6 figures.

The only situation in online marketing today where an MNS can still work is if you bring traffic to them is not through SEO, but PPC.

This is exactly what I did with the following case study which ended up making me so much money. I only had 1 page here and it was indeed targeted to a micro niche audience, a gigantic one mind you, but still, it met all the criteria to be classified as that. 

But that page NEVER ranked high in SEO. So the point of scenario #2 is to demonstrate that this can work, but for a particular form of marketing: PPC.

Do I recommend you find the biggest micro niches and started doing PPC for them? Absolutely not. In my case study, I had a good sales angle and a great review page, but in most cases, that same strategy didn’t work for other promotions I did and it was money lost on my part.

Scenario 3: The one you should be doing. 

Instead of focusing on 1 little MNS, focus instead on a more broader niche audience and within the site, and then target little micro niches, in fact, target as many of them as possible.

ns2

This strategy is what works best because it gives you the ability to write the necessary amount of content to attain high rankings in search engines and and then people will land on the actual micro niche page you made as a result and buy from there. 

In other words, focus on ALL the micro niches you can possibly imagine within a broader topic to make a fully trusted site (for Google).

Will this take a lot more work on your part? Absolutely. But this is the mandatory work required to get those top rankings nowadays.

Furthermore, target every little page/product you write about with PPC campaigns as well. This is the best and most stable way to get a great, converting website and the kind of traffic from Google you always wanted. 

Here is an example of why this type of scenario could make you so much more than anything else:

And on a side note, that same 6 figure example could have been a 7 figure one if only I didn’t rely on my PPC version of it and by the time it was making me money, had a good SEO site as well. In other words, in addition to PPC traffic, I would have brought in even more traffic from SEO (organic traffic always gets more targeted views than paid traffic) and that would multiplied my profits easily.

There’s an example of why depending on just 1 MNS or just 1 way of making money can limit you so much. 

mns1

My final thoughts:

Overall, there is still a ton of tremendous opportunity available with these types of pages, but it’s a matter of how you target them and within WHICH strategy/scenario above that I showed you.

While it doesn’t work the traditional way it used to (for SEO specifically), you can still make them work through PPC and (much more important) making a much larger SEO page.

You can also combine both of these strategies like I do on most of my sites and frankly, I think that’s the best option for most people and this is the best idea in my opinion. It’s the one I personally use. 

Doing more work is not a bad thing and you shouldn’t let this extra requirement stop you from making profitable online businesses:

You have to understand that there is always evolution happening within Google and I personally agree with the changes they’ve made. While it does make it more difficult for people to make money online, it is necessary to filter out the lazy people from those who work hard on their pages. 

We’ve seen what happened when Google made it easy for everyone to rank high (garbage) so the opposite (make it harder) is what made the search engine better and forced people to become better at their efforts. Now when I rank high, it’s very rewarding and if anyone outranks me, at least I know it wasn’t done through laziness, but also hard work and it pushes me to work harder on my pages.

honest review

24 Comments

  1. Derek Marshall

    Hi there Vitaliy,

    You are absolutely right about micro niches and very small sites with less than 6 pages typically – those days are long gone.

    In fact I had a very interesting discussion with my mentor on that topic and came to the conclusion a mini site these days consist of approximately 40 articles written.

    The scenario spoken was focused on 6 product reviews + minimum of 6 informative articles each relating to each product reviewed. 6×6 = 36

    Even your image outlining how you would do micro niche now all housed on the one site looks very much like an authority site to me, with all the micro niches/sub niches.

    • Vitaliy

      Hi Derek, you mentor’s though process on the 40 or so articles isn’t bad at all and my personal studies have shown that it’s more like 50, but even if someone goes through and writes the 30-40 articles, they’ll already be closer to that point where the site starts to rank better.

      However, the focus should be to target the right keywords and make that content great, as a result, it may take people less time and articles to reach the trust point with Google.

      But the big picture in my opinion is to go way beyond 40, 50 or so articles and to keep reaching out, because my experiences, like the one here, indicate that sooner or later, your authority MAY fizzle out if other sites start to compete with you, so there always needs to be a new influx of content to maintain your position.

  2. Nathan

    Your right, the days where trash sites would appear frequently from google has gone completely. The ones that remain are the sites that put in an effort to engage their audience, not just to make a pretty penny. How does social marketing come into play when building out a site, I personally like twitter. Which one do you frequently use?

  3. Jason

    I have tried the internet marketing thing. I am still at it, but only doing the SEO and haven’t stepped up to PPC campaigns.

    I think you really need to know your niche and audience before you start one of these campaigns because you can really bury yourself if you don’t. Do you agree with this?

    What is a good way to start mastering PPC in your opinion?

    • Vitaliy

      Of course Jason. Regarding mastering PPC, it’s not difficult, and I have some case study tutorials like this where I’ve given the basic idea of setting them up so they cost little. That’s one of the keys, the other is being relevant, but that’s explained there too.

  4. Luis

    Very insightful. I’ve been wondering if I could do a mini niche (not in a lazy way). Lately, I’ve been learning more and more about SEO and it’s as you say, it has gotten way stricter than before, but in a good way.

    Do you think it’s possible to have a main niche, and also do a small one (maybe even for the fun of it) and create success for both? Or is it “too much to deal with”?

    Thanks

    Luis

    • Vitaliy

      If you’re aiming to really make an online business work, you should invest the time on a main niche site. Micro ones CAN work like they did in my case, but like I admitted, it’s very rare those circumstances work, and now with SEO no longer viable for them, only PPC and even then you have to really know your target audience, what they want and pitch to them in a way to make them buy, otherwise, you risk losing tons and tons of money.

  5. Adrian

    I agree it’s much harder than ever to get ranked on the first page with Google, the quality and quantity of your content has to be good as it’s forcing all website owners to put in a lot more effort than they ever did.

    This is not such a bad thing as those sites who do get ranked on the first page really deserve their ranking. I do like your advice in Scenario 3 in targeting micro niche topics within your niche as I think that does give you more content to write about.

  6. Linda

    Hello, and thank you for a very helpful blog. I follow your blogs and have learned many handy tips from you and they DO really work. In this post, I especially appreciate the diagram you have pictured of a niche site with little mini niche topics within. This is such a powerful diagram if content writers are paying attention.

    I am a constant believer in hard work and writing quality content for the reader! I think in the long run if we take care of Google, Google will take care of us. It is the most popular search engine and I think will stay that way for years to come. What are your best value descriptions of a good PPC campaign? I have not gotten involved in this side of marketing too much, is it worth my time to take away from my content writing to learn more about this?

    Wishing you much success!

    Linda

    • Vitaliy

      Hi Linda, a good PPC campaign is one which obviously provides a positive ROI. PPC campaigns do not have to interfere with your content writing. My general advice is to create a PPC campaign for every product review you do on your niche site. It takes a few minutes to set up (here is an example) and it adds extra traffic to your site within 24 hours, meaning you don’t have to wait and rely on only Google to eventually spot you and send you traffic.

  7. Benjamin

    I long for the day I find a low competition, and in demand micro niche that can tap into some serious income.

    Is it true that the make money online niche is over saturated? I find that it’s tremendously hard to rank organically and make any money at all.

    Would it be wise to find a nice fruitful micro niche that has a better chance of earning income?

    • Vitaliy

      Benjamin, I think you missed my entire point. Even if you do find a micro niche topic, such as maybe a newly released product and try to rank, say a review of it, without the proper amount of content on your site, that review will not rank high.

      Like I said above, forget about trying to rank micro niche sites on their own with SEO, no matter how low the competition is and instead have them be apart of your bigger, broader niche blog.

  8. Andy

    Hiya

    When I first started looking at how to make money online, micro niche sites came up a lot. You had people like George Brown of Google Sniper and that sort of thing trying to put to you that these really worked and for a time they did. I noticed that over time Google especially has leaned more towards relevance in search results and has kicked a lot of these little sites down the search engines.

    I think relevance and content is the best way to go. Your post definitely shows where micro niche sites fail and I like your case study that you have included as well as it shows a good starting point for people.

    • Vitaliy

      I’m familiar with Google Sniper, as of the last time I reviewed it, it was nothing more than a gateway to black hat techniques to do SEO and they all fail eventually.

  9. Marcus

    I have been conducting an experiment with my own mini niche sites. From the results I have had so far, it looks like a modified version of the mini niche approach could work for me. What I mean is, my domains target low competition keywords for products, but I am planning to fill the sites with more content than you would typically have had on a mini niche site.

    But I also like the approach you mentioned where you create lots of pages/posts about mini niches within a broader niche website. I might try that with a larger site I’ve got…

    • Vitaliy

      Well in your experiment, you’re already venturing outside what would be considered a micro niche anyway Marcus so you may as well keep going with this experiment. I have personally tried what you said on a weight loss blog and it worked pretty well for me.

  10. David

    The constantly changing momentum within the internet business arena is definitely driving more marketers to work even harder in order to reap the desired reward of first page ranking.

    In my opinion, regardless of the chosen niche, the key to success lies in the combination of both quality and quantity at the same time. Focusing and emphasizing on targeting low competition keywords and also producing lots of quality content that are helpful and informative to the very specific audience.

    Even though it’s still possible to generate profit based on different PPC campaign strategies, I personally think that this paid traffic is incomparable with organic traffic. Organic traffic is your targeted traffic, they come to your website for a reason, they are looking for solutions, information, guidance to solve their needs or rectify an issue, and you are there to give a helping hand. That way, you are actually building a relationship and bonding with them. That’s how you build your trustworthiness within your specific niche. In contrary, paid traffic may end up buying your products, but that could be a one off scenario. I think that providing genuine help and offering solutions to your audience is the way to build your personal authority online.

    Even if the monetization part does not meet your expectation, you are already a winner by making someone smile in solving their needs.

    • Vitaliy

      I agree with everything David, except about your position on paid advertising, it can work the same way as organic in the audiences you attract and help. It’s just another means to reach top positions, but with a con in having to pay for it, in the end, you can still provide the same value and attract the same audiences.

  11. jCamden

    I remember when micro niche sites were all over page one of Google and it really didn’t take much effort at all to get there. People could spin up dozens of micro niche websites like you said and make a whole lot of money. Now you really need to pick one or two subjects and focus on those because websites with a little content never rank very high in search engines.

    Now there’s a real sense of accomplishment when you rank on page one of Google and you can also take comfort in knowing nobody can knock you down without putting in just as much or more effort than you are. I too agree with the changes that Google made in this perspective.

    -Jessica

  12. Jason

    I am actually glad for this tough process. I don’t want to look up something I want online and the first website I arrive at be a crappy one.

    Filtering out the lazy people is what it takes to run a great search engine. That is why Google is the most trusted search engine on the planet. I really enjoyed the read.

    • Vitaliy

      You are more than 100% right Jason! Google has to remain at the top for people who want to do searches online and doing these things only improves their reputation in the users eyes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *