June has been a crazy month with speaking in Brooklyn (post coming soon), taking a Book Yourself Solid Course, Full Figured Fashion Week in NYC, and bunch of other stuff. I’ve barely had time to blog.

I’m sure you noticed 😀

In addition, to all of this I also decided to jump in on Pat Flynn’s Niche Site Duel 2.0 challenge. Pat Flynn is the owner of the Smart Passive Income blog and podcast, a great resource for online marketing information. One of his specialties is niche sites which are sites that are built around a specified keyword that is under utilized, the goal of the site is to educate and provided a unified resource of information. As a result of being such a good source of content the site ranks very high even up to #1 in Google and sees a monetary benefit from the traffic.  In 2010 Pat accepted a challenge to build one of his infamous high ranking sites publicly, he found a keyword built a site and posted step by step of how to get the site to #1 and make a huge profit. He is still profiting from that site today.  In May he announced he was going to do it again and this time invited readers to join along either on a special website he’s developing or one of the 5 he’ll select to be in a mastermind group with him.

After reading all about this from Pat and other bloggers I decided to give it a try. As you know niche sites are not what I do; most of my work is client based and already has a niche. Most of the sites I work on have very different conversion goals and content strategies. So needless to say this is going to be a challenge; but I thought it would be fun so I’m in (not for the Mastermind group, but I didn’t sign up to get the invite to the site)

I know you are asking why is she doing all of this doesn’t she have enough work, LOL. Well I have a few reasons besides the obvious monetary.

  • I want to see if it really works even for a complete newbie to the space like me
  • It isn’t going to cost me a lot; since I already own hosting, I design sites, I have a virtual brief case of great tools and plugins, and I can do all of the design myself the cost of this experiment is going to be very small and will result in a great product.
  • I want to see if I can translate some of the techniques I’ll learn from the challenge to help my clients.  To get a completely new site ranked in just a few months is an incredible feet no matter what the topic, so if I can learn how to do this more efficiently then my clients are in for a BIG WIN!!! when I use the transferable strategies to help them.
  • I want to pass on this skill to my little brother ( break out the tissues, LOL) I have a 17 year old brother who will be interning here at AKZMe Designs this summer and he’ll be helping on the Niche Site Duel site and other things. He’s off to college next year so my hope if that I’ll send him off with a great new skill that maybe he can use to earn book money or something. YES!!! I’m trying to influence the next Mark Zuckerberg.

This duel is a little off my beaten path but I see a lot of win in giving it a try if I can make it work. I will be providing regular updates for my readers and other Niche Site Duelers to follow along but since I know it’s really off from the things I usually post about I won’t be including these post and updates in my regular newsletter. If you’d like to follow-me on my Niche Site journey sign up below for the Niche Site Report, a special mailing I’ll be doing just for this challenge. [ois skin=”Nich Duel REport”]

So here’s my first brief update on my Niche Site Duel 2.0 progress:

I’ve been working on it the last 3 weeks while I wait for Pat to launch the official site, so I”m actually pretty . Although I can do a lot of the task need myself due to time and juggling this project with client work  (who of course come first) , I’m using some outsourced resources to supplement this project. I’ll include cost where ever possible

Here’s what I’ve done so far

  • Listened to every Niche Site Duel 2.0 podcast plus half the original Niche Site post at least 2 times
  • I’ve completed my keyword research using the Long Tail Pro software Pat recommends, it really did save me a lot of time I got the advanced version after starting with the 7 day FREE Trial ($67 for Long Tail Pro, Pat has a coupon on his site)
  • I’ve purchased a domain, actually 3, and set up hosting (domain $25 1and1.com).  I’m not going to announce my key word or the new site just yet; I want to see how it’ll grow organically before link here and having it pick up some of the link juice from this site. But if you follow-me on social media I’m sure you’ll be able to figure it out soon. I’m so excited I’m finding it hard to say absolutely nothing about.
  • I set up an outline for 20 articles that will be on the site. I plan to write some and have odesk staff write some. So far I’ve had my odesk folks write 7 and of that I pretty much had to re-write 3 of them ($30 odesk writers)
  • Purchased Logo on Fiverr ($15)
  • Purchased a theme ($55) I quickly regretted this and I think I should have just built my own but due to time I need as plug and play as possible.  I’ll probably be changed very soon.
  • Researched a bunch of other Niche site duelers. I had a bit of research paralysis going on, you know when you spend so much time gathering data that you never actually move on it,. Thanks to reading Jason yesterday at www.nichesitejournal.com, yesterday (he had the same issue), I kicked the bug and loaded the site and some content.
  • Loaded the site and put in the first to pages of post that are done
  • Signed up for all of the Google and Bing tracking
  • And researched affiliates for my niche. This was actually a good task for my Odesker, part of my site has a directory so I assigned one person to research site to put in the directory and note who has affiliate programs. Today when my little brother intern comes in I’m going to have him apply to all of the programs that were identified.

Wow!!! after typing all of that I realize I’ve gotten pretty far in few short weeks. What I’ve learned so is just get something out there and it doesn’t have to be perfect to launch. Since this is not a client project and it’s attached to a project or existing business I realized it was perfectly OK to do a soft launch let Google and friends start indexing while I still work on other details like content and affiliates.  So I kicked the research paralysis and the failure to launch bug and I just did it. I’ll be posting updates over the next few weeks as I continue this journey so you can either check back here or sign up for the Niche Site report mailings. If you’re a fellow Dueler or interested in jumping in the game post a comment below I’d love to follow along with others taking the challenge. [ois skin=”Nich Duel REport”]