A rough blueprint for growing a successful niche site, whether you're going solo in your spare time or if you're an agency looking for a new revenue stream.
Presented at DRINK :// Digital on 26 May 2022
with Side Projects
something something niche sites
and other useful tidbits
new speaker, who dis?
The crazy world of casinos
Advantage play means you have a
To know whether you have a long-term edge,
you need to understand Expected Value (EV).
I used to have a casino slot simulation tool to
calculate EV of specific bonuses.
Spin size: £5
Bust Rate: 93%
Short-term, we have a very high (93%)
chance of losing.
Long-term, we should be in profit.
If I bet you £10 that I land a coin on heads,
but you only pay me £5 if it lands on tails, do
you take that bet?
If we flip the coin 100 times, you should be up
The EV of each coin flip is therefore +£2.50
for you (and -£2.50 for me).
On my casino example, I had a high chance
of losing £200, but if I could do the same offer
100 times, I should be up 100 x £52 EV =
Why have I just wasted 2 minutes of your life
talking like a degenerate gambler?
To build a successful niche site, you have to
invest time at a minimum.
For 99% of people, that time isn’t going to
pay-off in the first 12 months.
…but if you find a good niche, the EV of
building a niche site is highly positive.
In the world of advantage play, I used to
speak a lot about “taking EV”.
Taking EV is like delayed gratification. The
more EV you take now, the greater your long-
term pay-off will be.
You could put your time into work and get a
promotion, paying £10k/y extra.
In a year, you’re up £10k.
On a niche site, you might have earned next
to nothing in your first year.
But after 2 years, you might be earning £2k
p/m from your niche site.
A site making this amount consistently would
be worth ~£90k in the current market.
The EV of publishing a single article might be
very low, but it adds up once you’ve reached
100 articles published.
EV applies in life too.
How many extra days will you live if you do a
The EV of a single workout is very small.
I might bust my casino offer, you might fail in
your niche site, and we might get ran over by
a lorry on the way home from the gym.
But all of our decisions were +EV and should
pay off long-term.
A blueprint for building
a successful niche site
A niche site is a website of close-to-100%
informational content (in my opinion) and you
make money from the content itself.
They’re typically monetised with affiliate links
and display advertising, but you have other
What is an example of a good niche?
A good niche is something that:
- Allows you to write at least 50 articles
about a single topic (preferably more)
- Gives you similar related topics to write
about in future
- Has an audience of people with money;
US-based adults is the go-to target
- Will be unlikely to be the target of future
- Is not competitive
A low competition niche is a potential
goldmine - keep it secret if you find one.
I’ll gladly teach you how to mine gold.
I’ll occasionally share how much gold my
But I don’t want to hand you the keys to my
mine because finders keepers.
The truth about niche site Twitter…
This game is 50% niche selection and 50%
It’s not enough to write 5 articles, give up for
18 months and cash in your profits afterwards.
You (likely) won’t rank.
Most people start by writing 1-2 posts per
The most successful people in this space do
this every week, every month, and have 50-
100 articles live at the end of their first year.
Every article focuses on extremely low
difficulty keywords (usually no competition).
I used to have keyword research all wrong.
All you need (as a minimum) for a successful niche site is:
- A good niche with lots of low competition keywords
- A fast website
- High quality, optimised content
My friend’s site is up for sale for $800,000.
He targets keywords with a maximum Ahrefs
KD score of THREE!
(but does have over 1,000 articles)
To get the best long-term results, I believe
you need to aim for more.
There are levels to this game.
But there are also levels within levels.
Some sites publish 50 posts per year.
Some publish 5,000.
My one site currently has around 15 writers,
mostly part-time, and 2 video content
Most sites don’t need 15 writers.
Our current aim is to have 125 posts going
live per month.
For most niche site operators, 125 posts
going live per month would happen across a
portfolio of 4-5 websites.
The difficulty of publishing 125 posts across 1
site vs 4-5 sites is pretty similar.
Having 4-5 sites is also lower risk and you
sound cooler when you say you own a
But the difficulty in scaling and turning 4-5
sites into real brands compared to 1 is night
and day. And day is still hard.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket…
…but the first step is to get eggs.
It’s totally fine to work on one website and to
only publish once per week.
To get started with a niche site, you need to:
- Research to find a niche with a lot of potential
- Look at other niche sites - go to sites like Investors Club to find real sites for
sale and see what they did
- Buy a domain name that doesn’t limit your potential
- Get a basic site live and start writing and publishing articles consistently
The EV of an article
On a new site? No idea.
If you have an existing site, you can roughly
calculate the EV of writing an article - or
paying for articles to be written.
50 articles on subject X, <5 KD, 150,000
views per month, $3,000 at $20 RPM.
50 more similar articles.
Cost $150 per article = $7,500.
12 months to rank
2 year profit = $28,500 ($570 per article)
$3,000 per month extra =
+$120,000 on site valuation
$120,000 / 50 articles =
$2,400 per article
EV per article = ???lots???