One of the easiest green businesses to start from home is a green niche website. As more and more people become interested in green living, there is a growing number of lucrative green niches available online for forward-thinking webmasters.
By starting a green niche site, you can not only have a successful home business, you can also feel good about helping people make informed and eco-friendly choices!
When creating any green niche website, your first step should be to do keyword research. For beginners, the best tool to use is the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, which is reputable yet free. When you have more experience in niche site development, you may decide to purchase a more professional keyword research tool, but in most cases, this will not be necessary for beginners.
Find a few keywords that interest you (aim for keywords with EPC higher than $1 and global monthly searches of at least a few thousand) and type them into Google to check out the competition.
When you’ve decided on the main keyword you intend to pursue on your site, purchase a domain name. Ideally, your domain name should contain the keyword that you are hoping to dominate. You should also purchase web hosting at this time. As a green niche website, your green “cred” will be improved if you choose one of the growing number of eco-friendly web hosts.
Once your domain is established, the most important thing to do is start creating high quality content. Although it is possible to game the system and create very lucrative sites full of low quality content, Google and other search engines are always striving to improve their algorithms in ways that reward genuine webmasters with good content, rather than spammers with websites slapped together with content that has been spun (and sometimes stolen). Contrary to what some spam gurus may suggest, it is possible to produce high quality, well written, and useful content that is keyword-rich and SEO-friendly without being spammy.
Monetizing Your Green Niche Site
There are three main ways to monetize a green niche website:
- The first is by serving ads. Google Adsense is the most popular ad program, but far from the only one. Once your site is established, you may even be able to contact relevant companies directly to offer them advertising spots on your site!
- A second group of webmasters runs their websites as a virtual storefront for a business they run from their home or office. In this case, you will need to set up a virtual shopping cart to allow you to take orders online. You will then ship the product yourself.
- The third group of webmasters makes money through affiliate programs, which pay a commission on every product you sell for the company. There are hundreds of affiliate programs around the web, including both individual retailers such as ebay and Amazon and large affiliate programs working with many different companies such as Commission Junction or ShareaSale. Be cautious when choosing an affiliate program to join, as some are scams or Ponzi schemes.
The monetization strategy that is best for your green niche site depends a lot on your niche. Some niches, such as eco-friendly cleaning products or eco fashion, are better suited to selling green products, while others do better with ads. Some experimentation may be necessary to discover what works best for your site.
Marketing Your Green Niche Site
Once you’ve decided how you plan to monetize your site and have a few high quality articles posted, you can start marketing your site. The best way to improve your Page Rank and start getting traffic is through backlinks. Getting low quality backlinks with social bookmarking and link exchanges is a fast, easy way to start, but your ultimate goal should be to create a site so good that other people link to it! These natural, in text, anchored backlinks are given the most value by Google’s algorithm.
Earning a real income online takes hard work and dedication. However, for those willing to put in the time and effort to make a green niche site successful, they offer a great opportunity for anyone interested in a green home business.
Three Neat Green Niche Sites
Everybody loves free stuff and great deals, right? Ecobunga! is an online guide to green giveaways and deals.
DIY Gadgets is a website dedicated to awesome ways to recycle old junk, from handbags made out of film negatives to chandeliers made from old crystal decanters.
My Green Nappy is an Australian niche site dedicated to eco-friendly diapers!
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