Most methods of making money in the internet marketing world are fragile. They depend on different factors, mainly traffic but legal as well, that can change in a heartbeat.
Micro niche sites were one of the big things just a few years ago, but have now fallen out of favor.
The question is though, are micro niche sites still profitable?
What is a Micro Niche Site?
A micro niche site is usually a very small site that focuses on a single subsection of a niche, say dog collars, rather than a broader niche. They can also focus purely on a single product that resolves a problem someone could have, such as losing weight quickly.
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The content on micro niche sites is usually quite thin, sometimes just a single long page, at other times a few pages, but rarely more.
It was quite common to point thousands of backlinks at the site in the hopes of pushing up the rankings, regardless of the quality of the links or whether they were even related (such as pointing a finance site at a dog collar site).
Profit was made by slapping on some AdSense adverts or promoting a ClickBank product.
As well as that, this site type also tended to rely on Exact Match Domains (EMD); domains that are themselves a keyword such as dogcollars.com.
In general micro niche sites used to do really well, and people in the know had hundreds of these little sites in their portfolio.
Are Micro Niche Sites Dead?
In a word, yes.
You see, after Google’s animal themed updates, the ranking algorithms changed and demanded higher quality content, and placed much lower emphasis on exact match domains.
For all intents and purposes, micro niche sites died a quick but probably painful death (at least from their owner’s point of view).
Why then am I talking about micro niche sites?
Change Your Mentality
Micro niche sites have not actually died, they have instead changed.
No longer can you simply throw up a WordPress site with an EMD and a few pages of content bought from Fiverr.com.
That sort of site will not rank, it’s as simple as that. Even if your marketing prowess manages to convince a few people to visit your site, they won’t stay and won’t take action. This is because visitors are now savvier than ever and recognize poor quality content when they see it.
However, just because the “traditional” micro niche sites are dead, doesn’t mean that you can’t still profit from focusing on a specific sub-niche or product.
It’s all in a Name Change
These days, everyone is saying that you should make “Authority Sites”, instead of any other type of affiliate or AdSense site.
This is all well and good, but the term authority site is very generic and actually covers a lot of different websites, from sites covering a broad spectrum of a niche, down to micro niche sites.
The key difference between micro niche sites of old and modern day authority micro niche sites is one thing: quality.
Well Written Articles
500 words or poorly written content insults your visitors, and Google knows it. Instead you need to be creating content that has value.
There’s nothing to say that a site focused on a narrow niche has to be bad, quite the opposite in fact. A micro niche site can provide a vast amount of information about it topic, if the niche is chosen carefully.
The other key element that old style sites failed at was providing regular content. They used to simply dump the small amount of articles they had and leave it at that.
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Google et al want fresh content, and this means posting articles on a regular basis.
Luckily, Content Management System’s like WordPress allow you to schedule content, meaning you can have it all written and drip feed it out over time with little effort.
There’s been a large amount of discussion recently about backlinks, but in terms of micro niche sites you need to keep focused on the idea of quality. Obtain backlinks from related niche sites and sites with a good reputation. Buying backlinks is discouraged as you never know where the links will come from!
Domain wise, I’m not convinced that an exact match domain will penalise you as such, they just don’t carry as much weight. Therefore there’s little difference between dogcollars.com and collarsandruffs.com, so you can easily brand your micro niche site in a way that will let it grow in the future if you want to expand the niche.
Sites such as Empire Flippers can confirm that micro niche sites are still alive, though it’s often difficult to tell that from their listings.
(Disclaimer, I work alongside Dom and Human Proof Designs).
The key reason why these sites are still kicking is that the creators of the sites follow an authority model for micro niche sites, one that can allow the site to grow.
Profiting from an Authority Micro Niche Site
Nothings really changed here, you can still make money with affiliate marketing or adverts. Really though, affiliate marketing via ClickBank or Amazon makes more sense as you will rarely get the necessary traffic to a micro niche site to make adverts a viable option.
The Bottom Line
Micro Niche Sites are still alive and kicking, they have just had to grow up in the modern era of Google penalties and savvy consumers.
There’s nothing wrong with creating or buying a micro niche site or two as long as you treat it as a business and a website and not just as an opportunity to make a quick buck.
A micro niche site can be kept as a low earner or with time and hard work grown to a larger authority site within the niche. The choice is yours.