Many people see niche sites as a complete business model. I don’t.
Niche sites are a stepping stone – whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned veteran.
They are a stepping stone for beginners trying to get a feel for online business and trying to make their first dollars. They teach you the very basics of ops (outsourcing), marketing (analytics and SEO) and tech (hosting, html/css/php/wordpress). But most importantly they give you the confidence to go to the next level.
They are a stepping stone for the intermediate guys that are interested in learning how to scale. Managing workflow of several VAs levels you up in ops and creating the systems to maintain it certainly levels you up in tech.
Finally, they are also a stepping stone for advanced entrepreneurs who want to test out good markets to build businesses in. For years, SEO experts have been using black hat techniques to throw mud at the wall and see what sticks. Niche sites are similar. I would like to use them to establish markets with potentially high visitor values and low competition – create a SaaS, lead gen business or info product that can monetize their traffic well, and throw the niche site traffic at it to see how it performs. If the visitor values are strong enough to support paid traffic, we have a real online business, and the SEO traffic is gravy.
I have identified a couple of sites with high traffic and low Adsense RPMs, and have researched a couple business models that I think could work. I will be case studying these with Greg and Scott D in the coming weeks. I think this is the natural evolution of niche sites, and if we are successful it would completely transform the concept of site flipping. What do you guys think? What would like to see in the case study?