Thursday, August 25, 2005

Niche Site Confessions Review

I've been going through my folders and reading all the ebooks that I've bought and only skimmed or just saved for when I had more time. Tonight I re-read Niche Site Confessions by Codrut Turcanu. Like my other ebook reviews, this one does not include an affiliate link. But if you decide you'd like to visit the site, you can do so at Niche Site Confessions.


Niche Site Confessions is a 73 page ebook that sells for $67 or so per copy, and it comes with the usual array of free bonuses that ebook sellers offer. This review does not cover any of the bonus materials; it only covers the actual ebook. The theme of the book is how to make passive income with niche websites using affiliate programs and Google Adsense. So this ebook is the perfect subject for this blog, since this blog has essentially the same theme.

Unlike many ebooks about how to make money on the internet, Niche Site Confessions does not overpromise or oversell. It's a simple, straightforward book that consists of interviews with three affiliate webmasters about how they make money. The interviews are all sincere, they seem very honest and down-to-earth, and they're full of practical advice. I found myself wanting to jot a few things down from a couple of the interviews.

The webmasters interviewed, and the websites they discuss, are:

I'm going to cover briefly some of the best advice I got from each interview.

Dan S. Ho Interview

Dan S. Ho used Site Build It to build his website, and he makes 5 figures a month from his nutritional supplement site. His main advice is to target lots of narrowly-focused keywords rather than a few general keywords. It's easier to rank well for a narrowly-focused keyword in the search engines, and the traffic will convert better. Instead of targeting a phrase like "gingko biloba", Ho suggests targeting something like "benefits of gingko biloba".

John Gibb Interview

The John Gibb interview was also excellent. He's also a Site Build It user, and he described in detail his philosophy and timeframe for working niche sites. One strategy that he takes is to not start a new project until he has at least 300 pages of content live on his current project. He also generally doesn't launch a website until he has at least 200 pages of content built either.

During the first 4 weeks of a project, Gibb suggests writing 10 pages of content per day and adding it to the site, and try to gain 1 link per day to the site. This seems like reasonable and sound advice to me, and I think one area I could improve on as I work on my websites is setting goals and working through them. I need solid benchmarks to hit.

After the first 4 weeks, Gibbs suggests that you sprinkly affiliate links throughout your content, and that you add links a little more quickly and more aggressively.

Phil Wiley Interview

One of the more interesting things about the Phil Wiley interview in Niche Site Confessions was his inital list of some of the products that he's selling on his affiliate sites. He says he's selling hemorrhoid cream, treadmills, books on asthma, mail-order lobsters, engagements rings, and a whole lot more.

Wiley focuses on lots of mini-sites (over 100 of them), so his approach is significantly different from the previous two webmasters'. (I find this approach fascinating, and the only mini-site project I've ever launched turned out to be profitable without exception and very easy to manage.) He gives an example of a minisite he produced on a free website host at

His minisites normally run about 5 pages each and take a day or so each to create. Rather than build one big site about fishing, Wiley would build a site about fishing rods, then another site about fishing tackle, then another site about fishing charters or vacations. He uses Michael Campbell's Revenge of the Mininet strategy for his SEO purposes.

I have a copy of Revenge of the Mininet, and I've read it twice, but I haven't yet tried to use the strategies. I'll eventually review that ebook here, and provide a case study of it too, but it's not ready yet.

There were quite a few product recommendations in the Phil Wiley interview section, and I'm unfamiliar with most of them, so I can't comment on the worth of those recommendations.

What I liked most about Niche Site Confessions

  • I didn't feel like I was getting sold the moon.
  • The information was practical and gave solid examples I could actually look at.
  • No one told me I could make a bunch of money without effort. In fact, one thing was consistent in all 3 interviews: you have to work hard to make the money in this biz.
  • The book was easy to read, both in terms of layout and in terms of language.

What I thought could have been improved about Niche Site Confessions

  • I thought the ebook would have been better if it had a table of contents.
  • 2 of the 3 interviews were Site Build It webmasters. 1 of the interviews was a minisite specialist so to speak. I would have enjoyed a 3rd perspective from a James Martell webmaster.
  • I would have enjoyed seeing more than just 3 interviews. The interviews were good, but I finished the book wanting more.
  • The book really could have used an introduction and a conclusion section. These would provide context for the reader in terms of understanding what was being taught in the interviews.


I recommend Niche Site Confessions. I think it's one of the better and least-pie-in-the-sky ebooks in this market, and I think the messsage of focusing on a narrow niche that isn't competitive is one worth hearing again and again.


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