Do Micro Niche Sites Still Work?
Micro niche sites witnessed quite an increase in popularity in the mid and late-2000s. People quickly learned that they could make easy money from these sites, and a lot of them actually used the incompetence of the underdeveloped search engines’ algorithms, to get visits to their sites. That, in return, led to more views for the adverts, which raised more revenue for the creators of the websites.
It’s understandable that nowadays, search engines have developed algorithms that are able to tell the difference between legitimate websites, and websites that use keyword spamming to achieve a high ranking. Taking all this into account, people have to wonder: do micro niche sites still work?
Micro niche sites still work, but they aren’t making too much money. This is because modern search engines know how to differentiate legitimate websites and keyword spamming websites. Micro niche sites get fewer visits and make less profit. It’s now become difficult to make money off of these sites.
“How is that possible?” you may be wondering. We all heard the stories about micro niche sites making upwards of $1500 a month. “Easy money.” some commented – how is it possible that all of this has become just a dream long gone?
These are the exact questions we’ll be answering in this article. What is a micro niche website? Do micro niche websites still work (and why don’t they)? How do micro niche sites make money? And where can you find micro niche ideas? Let’s get started.
What Is a Micro Niche Website?
A micro niche website is a site that’s typically less than 10 pages long, and it targets exclusively a single keyword. It’s called ‘micro’ because it has only a few pages of content, and it’s called a ‘niche’ site since it targets only a single keyword (it revolves around a single topic).
The largest, most gaping difference between a niche site and any other site is that niche sites target a single topic, while regular websites often have content spread over various pages, and that content is most often varying from page to page: they have more diversity than niche websites.
Micro niche sites are often an exact match for the domain. This means that if your niche site is covering the topic “How to make your own soap?”, then the domain is likely howtomakeyourownsoap.com.
These sites actually work best in numbers, meaning that the more you build – the more money you’ll be making. This is because you need to get as many clicks as possible. People who make micro niche websites (or the people who used to make them, I am once again reminding you that these sites aren’t as popular today) usually spend a lot of time on research. In this research, they aim to find the most popular keyword by the search.
These niche sites are then built around this keyword, basically breaking the rule of keyword spamming. They are manipulating SEO in a way that has since been rendered fairly useless. The only reason this ever worked was that, on a historic scale, the internet is still a brand-new invention. Search engines were yet to develop an effective way to weed out the fake sites that are just trying to get clicks and effectively separate them from actual websites.
These sites would, rather effectively, spam their articles with a single keyword. When a user would search for that keyword – you guessed it, that particular site would pop up. The user would then click on the site, visit an ad they had seen on the site, and the owner of the site would get paid.
This was actually so incredibly effective that people who have started making these sites in 2008, were able to quit their day jobs in 2011, since they were making more money from creating niche sites, than their actual jobs. Admittedly, these same people likely aren’t doing so well today, given that micro niche sites are mostly ignored by search engines.
The primary tool these sites used to gain so much traction is the fact that they targeted such specific keywords, and those keywords most often matched with the domain that hosted the site. By targeting such specific terms, you’re often able to write articles about exactly what the searchers are looking for whereas sometimes the competition only generally discusses the topic.
It’s obvious to everyone why this idea was so beloved back in the day. All you had to do was use Google’s Keyword Tool to find a keyword that’s going to rank highly when searched for. Then, you would purchase a domain registered in that same name, and set up a WordPress blog. You would then fill the site with content about that very specific keyword to the point of overflow.
The best part is you could make numerous sites in a single day, which would according to some mean that you could multiply the amount of money you’d make.
However, this is mostly a thing of the past, since micro niche sites don’t work anymore. Let’s find out why.
Do Micro Niche Sites Still Work?
Micro niche sites don’t work anymore
People usually wonder whether micro niche sites had ever worked? This question is completely natural when we wonder why something has stopped working. And it’s true – micro niche sites used to be a good way to make money, but this all stopped being a reality in 2011, thanks to none other than Google.
The reason micro niche sites don’t work anymore is because of Google’s Panda update, and all the earnings (which would sometimes top $1000 a month), literally vanished. You couldn’t make hundreds of niche sites and make ten bucks from each one and earn $1000.
Later on, the Penguin update arrived and crushed everyone’s hopes of making money via this route ever again. Google started favoring authority sites (I’ll explain the meaning of this later on.
This income that the creators behind these sites were so proud of, was in its core very dependent on Google’s algorithms – and those algorithms were now changed. Google adjusted them and made necessary changes to properly identify these sites and ignore them. Niche sites couldn’t rank anymore. Google even took it so far as to find AdSense accounts associated with micro niche sites and block them. If you were to attempt this now – you would just get your site blocked.
You might be wondering “Why did Google do this?”
Google was always pretty straight forward about trying to ensure that their users are provided with the most accurate information when it comes to their searches. This way, Google has built a very loyal user base. If Google’s users had continued to use their search engine and kept bumping into micro niche sites (which are, in all honesty, useless when it comes to finding actual information) – they would probably change search engines.
Men and women working at Google listened to their users and what bothered them, and then they acted upon it. They fixed the problem, and other search engines followed.
Google kept updating its algorithms and put more focus on authority sites. These are actual sites that provide their users with real information and quality content. Micro niche sites are often senseless and their content focuses exclusively on spamming keywords in order to rank higher, all by using SEO.
This doesn’t mean that niche sites can’t be authority sites. Just because you’re focusing on something intensely specific, that doesn’t mean that your site can have actual authority over the topic. This way, we’re seeing that there’s a shift from micro niche sites to authority sites.
The great advantage of authority sites is that you aren’t dependent on a single source of traffic. You can tap into social media and build a fan following and you can create email lists and harness the power of email marketing. Building your own assets protects you against sudden changes from Google.
You can also spread your earnings to other areas. It may start with AdSense and making money from ads, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start developing books, online courses, tools, start consultations, etc.
This definitely isn’t quick earning like it used to be with micro niche sites, but in the long run, it’s definitely more profitable. Another large advantage that authority sites have over micro niche sites is the fact that you don’t have to worry about being blocked by Google. Google has found a way to recognize sites that spam keywords – and then they block them. It’s borderline impossible not to get caught doing this, and if you have an authority site this won’t be an issue.
My advice? Forget about making micro niche sites. Algorithms developed by search engines have become so advanced that it’s impossible to make money off micro niche sites the way it was possible a decade ago. Invest your time and money into creating a real, authoritative site. You can’t expect quick returns and easy money, but you can expect large returns with time.
How Do Micro Niche Sites Make Money?
Micro niche sites don’t make money anymore, but you aren’t wrong to wonder how they used to make money.
When Mark Zuckerberg was famously asked by a member of the US Senate “How does Facebook make money?”, Zuckerberg answered “We run ads, sir.” – this is exactly how micro niche sites make money. Or at least – used to make money.
There are many talks about creators of micro niche sites starting out by making just a few cents per site, to making more than ten, or sometimes even more than twenty per site. When you take into account that these creators had more than a hundred sites, that means that they really were making thousands of dollars a month.
Probably the most intriguing part of this whole story is just how easy it was for anyone to create these sites – they could create over a dozen sites every day.
Today, micro niche sites don’t make money for the very reason I’ve already explained.
Where Can I Find Micro Niche Ideas?
However, despite all evidence pointing in the opposite direction, there are actually a few benefits to micro niches. Especially the idea that developing a micro niche for your brand helps to increase your client numbers because you are targeting those who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
Micro niches have easier marketability: these sites definitely stand out from the crowd and that can be key for your brand growth and sale increase. Micro niche websites can make this possible and lead to business growth.
Micro niches can have increased profitability. This is because of the noticeable decrease in popularity that these sites have faced in the past decade. However, there’s a way you can use this to your advantage. There won’t be much competition and because of this you’ll naturally experience greater profits. You have more access to clients who share your passions and interests, and they may naturally flock to your site because it’s rare.
It’s also easier to gain traction with micro niche sites. If you’ve ever started a business, then you know how difficult it is to gain momentum to start growing and to continue to make progress.
When it comes to choosing the topic of your micro niche site (or authoritative niche, whatever you’ve decided upon) – you can choose literally anything you’re interested in.
I’ll list some of the most popular micro-niche topics
Arts and Crafts: this category of niches is immensely popular, and it has everything a creator of a niche site would be looking for: passionate individuals, tons of products, and topics that are blog, social media, and YouTube friendly.
Beading and Jewelry Making
This category gains attention in middle school, for most people. Beading is, after all, one of the easiest hobbies to get into and it’s one of the first hobbies many hobbyists get started with. Creating trinkets becomes a lifetime practice.
I like that this niche is an example of a great niche. It’s something that a lot of people do in their spare time (feel free to try it out), and to run a niche site about it, all you have to do is document your hobby. With this niche, your target audience is pretty clear, and you actually have the opportunity to make money off this by creating video courses, selling your own products, etc.
PC Gaming Equipment
We all knew that this one had to make it to the list. Gaming has become one of the world’s foremost industries and also one of the most popular (if not the most popular) forms of recreation. It may have started with PewDiePie, but there’s a whole list of millionaires who made their money by recording their playthroughs and entertaining people like that.
You can spend endless hours talking about the qualities of headsets, recording equipment, mice, keyboards, recording software, etc.
There are over 164 million gamers in the US alone, so the targeted audience for this niche has more than enough room for you. And the audience loves reviews. Blogs that have a devoted audience are often offered early access to new video games or are even paid to play the games.
Quite impossible to just blow over, the fitness niche blog can never be wrong. Being healthy isn’t just a matter of going to the gym and lifting a random weight, there’s a whole science behind this and these blogs don’t shy away from that. This niche is completely evergreen, meaning that it will never grow old and people will never lose interest in it. This is one of the most competitive niches.
Closely related to fitness, running is by some considered to be the oldest sport. Naturally, with millions of runners around the world, there’s a huge audience for this kind of blog. You can discuss whatever you want, from training regimes and differences between various distances to shoes, headbands, headphones, and other gear. There are over 60 million runners in the US, so there’s definitely no shortage of audience. And runners are an especially devoted group, so you can count on an interactive fanbase that gives you feedback.
You can find inspiration for your niche site anywhere around you. The most important thing is to focus on something you love, and something that you actively do. The days when you could start a micro-niche site and make a lot of money quickly are gone. However, you can use micro niche sites to promote your actual site and target it to the right audience.