The way I do my niche and keyword research is a lot different than it was a few years ago. In the past, I would look for any uncompetitive keyword that was getting 500-1000 searches a month and rank them within a month or two.
These days, it’s not so easy.
Google gives so much weight to domain authority now that it’s getting significantly more difficult to build sites to a quick $10/day. But this does, however, make it easier to get to $100/day.
Why? Because once you build up enough authority to rank for anything these days, your domain carries enough power to rank for smaller long-tail keywords with far less effort than you needed in the past. You just have to know how to find the right keywords.
This is exactly why I begin my keyword research at the very top of the food chain. Instead of going for low-hanging fruit, I’ll aim for the ones with the biggest search volumes.
Remember, keyword research is different for what you’re trying to achieve and how you’ll monetize the site. For instance, someone who’s going to push an affiliate product will have different criteria than someone like me who’s looking to monetize with Adsense. I’m looking for traffic, and lots of it. That’s my main criteria.
Every Niche is Profitable with Adsense
Too many people get caught up in the idea that some niches are just not profitable no matter what you try with it.
This is true if you’re an affiliate marketer trying to push products to your traffic. Some niches don’t attract buyers, and will just get annoyed with any sales tactics. Have you ever heard of million dollar launches in niches like sewing? Neither have I.
But with Adsense, niches aren’t profitable. Traffic is profitable. You don’t need to push sales for anything. You just need to get people to your site, and Adsense’s ad targeting will do the rest to encourage clicks.
Sure, some niches have a higher CPC, and encourage a higher CTR, but in the end, traffic converts into clicks no matter what your site is about.
Ads are rarely related to your niche these days
If you didn’t turn off Adsense’s default targeting settings, your traffic will see more ads about what they’re interested in than what your site is related to.
By default, all of these options are turned on, and I like to keep it that way. It opens the door to more bidding advertisers for each of your ad blocks.
If they spend most of their time looking at mortgage options online, they’re more likely to see an ad from a mortgage broker when they visit your site.
This means you can stop worrying about your niche not having enough advertisers to get a high CPC.
You might remember in the past, when you put up ads on a site where there weren’t a lot of Adwords advertisers, you would see a lot of blank or miscellaneous ads about Google or Adsense itself.
Not anymore. These days, every business is on Adwords. Companies are being introduced to re-targeting. And Google’s ad targeting system has gotten a lot smarter.
Finding Uncompetitive Niches
Now that’s out of the way, let me show you how I find $100/day keywords, and the way I find opportunities with little to no competition.
I like to stay away from competitive niches; by that I mean niches that are popular with internet marketers. The ones that come to mind are finance, education, make money online, and careers.
They’re popular for a reason. The monetization opportunities are endless. You have countless affiliate products to choose from, a bunch of CPA offers that are super targeted to your audience, and readers who are hungry for more information.
With Adsense, my main objective is traffic. I’m looking for ad impressions, not to push people on a particular product.
Do Adsense ads on an authority finance or insurance blog give much higher CPC’s? Of course. But you’ll also always have to work your tail off to maintain your rankings (if you ever get to the top 3). Profitable keywords like that will always have new competitors and there will always be affiliates working their butts off to bump you off the top spot.
That’s not really my idea of a passive income.
Therefore, I like to go after niches that aren’t very popular in the internet marketing space. These are things like crafts, hobbies, special interests, cities, etc.
If the search volume is large enough, I can build a big money-making site around it that pulls in passive income through Adsense. And, I WON’T have to worry about a bunch of affiliate trying to negative SEO my site.
What Keyword Volumes I Look For
I use Google Keyword Planner to discover big keywords with search volumes of 50,000+.
That might seem like a lot more than you’re used to, but it doesn’t mean my main keyword has to have a search volume of over 50,000. It means the keyword, PLUS all of its variable phrases have to add up to 50,000+.
What do I mean by variable phrase?
By variable phrase I mean all the different ways you can type the keyword. They all count. They would be all the different keywords that I can target with a single page, and they add up.
For instance, if the keyword was “blue blankets” then I would look for all the different phrases like:
- big blue blankets
- best blue blankets
- blue and red blankets
- new blue blankets
- get blue blankets
‘Blue blankets’ might only get 25,000 searches, but the combined total of all of them can be multiple times that.
Remember the days when you would create pages for every single one of those keywords, optimizing it different each time just to target a variation?
I can target all those search terms with just one page, and those search volumes would add up. These days, if you optimize your page properly, ranking for one phrase ranks you for all the variable phrases. It’s happened for me for all my new sites, and you may have noticed it too.
It’s really… really awesome.
Focus on High Traffic First
The most important part about finding a keyword that gets you to $100/day is traffic volume. CPC and CTR are important metrics, but not as much as traffic.
The majority of people starting out spend too much time thinking about CPC and increasing CTR, but their traffic is minimal. Even at a ridiculously high CTR or CPC their income wouldn’t be near $100/day with the level of traffic they get.
Keywords that bring in $100/day with Adsense need a lot of traffic, plain and simple.
Look for unconventional keywords in topics you never thought about before. Heck, even go run keywords related to sewing in a keyword tool and see what it brings back.
If you keep the things I listed above in mind, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to find great keywords that are capable of $100/day. You’re just not looking hard enough.
If you’re new at this, and thought keyword research was a complicating, technical skill, then I just showed you that it isn’t, and if you do it the way I do it, it’s even simpler.
If you’re having trouble finding a niche, let’s break this down into step-by-step format. I’ve tried to filter this down to make it as simple as possible.
STEP 1: CREATE A LIST OF SEED IDEAS.
Before any research can be done… we need some place to start. That’s pretty obvious, right?
So we need to start with some seed ideas. This is the first step.
What are seed ideas?
Any topics that you can think of. Base it off your personal interests and hobbies.
So mine might be…..
golfing, cycling, basketball, reading/books, technology, SEO, internet marketing, cooking, dieting, endurance training.
It shouldn’t take too long. I just wrote those off the top of my head and it took 30 seconds.
It’s just a list of things you are interested in.
What if I can’t think of anything?
Come on… you should be able to think of at least 5, and that’s plenty for now.
If you’re having trouble try these 9 things…
1. Look around you. What is in your house/office/workspace at the moment?
2. What do you like doing in your spare time?
3. What TV shows do you enjoy watching? What are they about?
4. What’s your favorite movie? What is it about?
5. When you go to the bookstore, what section do you head to first?
6. What magazines do you read?
7. If you have to spend a year working on a site, what would you want the topic of it to be?
8. What are you good at?
9. What do you know a lot about?
STEP 2: CREATE A LIST OF KEYWORDS FOR EACH SEED IDEA
This is often the most difficult part for most people. But it’s actually one of the easiest AND simplest to do.
Now that you have a number of seed ideas, you need to turn those into keywords where you can build content around.
This is just the research phase. We’re just seeing what the search volumes are.
How do you list off keywords for each niche?
Again this is the part where people have trouble with.
But it’s really simple when you apply this concept to every niche: instructional.
The type of site we’re creating, and the type of content we’re creating is going to be instructional.
These perform the best with Adsense, search, and is generally the most popular.
So this is how you would do it.
1.I use Google Keyword Planner. You can also use your preferred KW research tool if you like.
2. Enter in one of your seed ideas. (Go one by one. It’s easier.)
3. Then turn that keyword into an instructional keyword.
So for example… one of my seed ideas was cycling.
I would then do searches for:
cycling, how to cycle, how to cycle longer, how to improve cycling endurance, cycling training
And then I would analyze the search volumes, and take a look at the suggested keywords.
Do this for each seed idea you have listed.
It doesn’t take very long.
Adding in words like “how to” and “training” and anything else you can think of is the key in this step.
STEP 3: DO COMPETITION RESEARCH
The next part is filtering.
By now… you’ll have a good idea of what niches are good and what niches are just downright unpopular.
Focus on the ones with the most potential for now.
Open up Google and do searches for the highest search volume keywords that you find.
Analyze the competition.
Just quickly take a look through the sites that are currently ranking on the first page for those keywords.
If you do a run of 3-4 keywords for each niche, you’ll notice that a few sites show up at the top of the rankings for all of them.
They are your main competition.
Open up your preferred backlink checker (Moz, Majestic, or Ahrefs) and then run the ranking pages through the tools.
Check their links and how strong they are.
Do this for all your keywords
By now your list of seed ideas should be filtered down so this won’t take very long.
Go through the ones that are your top contenders so far… and then analyze the competition this way for all your niches.
If you do this for at least 5 niches, you’ll find a nice set of keywords with high search volume, and fairly easy competition.
That’s your niche right there.
You can dive further into keyword research to find even more opportunities, analyze the competition even further, and then plan your site.
But this is where we’ll stop for now. I think we went over plenty of information and I don’t want to give you information overload 🙂
Finding a niche is only difficult because it’s never been broken down into simple steps like we did just now.
There’s not that much to it. And once you do it a few times, you’ll get really good at it and it will be second-nature to you.
Go through the steps in this guide and you’ll find a profitable, money-making niche for yourself with just a little research.