The following is taken from a blog that I recently started. My intention is to earn $100 per day in (relatively) passive income by building niche blogs about topics that interest me. I know there are quicker ways to a fortune but I love writing and I've made plenty of money before. I just want to make stable money at this point. (Or as stable as can be.) I'll be posting a weekly update (once again, just grabbing it from the weekly posts I'll do on my blog) but feel free to ask questions, offer advice, or whatever in the mean time. I've only recently got into paying for link building etc so I'm sure I have a lot more to learn. I'm also keen to experiment with different services for different sites and report back on the results. Hope you enjoy. # Building a Niche Blog, Part 1 Getting Started: Choosing a Niche, Domains, Hosting Between the ages of fourteen and seventeen I made decent money building niche sites (mostly on WordPress) about topics that I found interesting. Then school ended, my income went through a rough patch, and I became swept up in ?having a personal brand? because that seemed more stable. And in some ways, it was, and I did make it work. I earned the most I ever earning while also reaching an audience of hundred?s of thousands of people a month. There were problems though: I?m an introvert and prefer to be out of the spotlight where possible. The business could not be made passive without sacrificing most profits. My passion suffered for many reasons (which I?ll cover in the future). I do still maintain the personal brand I?m referring to and I?m not exactly eager to give it up since I do care about the audience (the income isn?t what it used to be though). But I do need a change. I?m in a rut and I need to get out. Building niche blogs, I think, is the answer. To be clear, there?s no void inside of me that I?m filling with niche blogging. I travel, have people that I care very deeply about, and am working on projects completely disconnected from the Internet. Niche blogging isn?t everything. It might, however, allow me to replace my income with something simpler. I?m not afraid of hard work but my current work is more complicated than it needs to be. I want to start anew and, if that takes some time, then so be it. Choosing a Niche I don?t believe ?passion? is a prerequisite for choosing a niche. To me, passion is reserved for a few fine things in life that I don?t want to monetize. I just want to enjoy them. But I do believe in choosing a niche where: I?m the target audience. I?ve actively researched it before. There?s more for me to learn. So while I?m not going to yap about my niche with a mega-phone in a crowded area, I don?t mind the idea of writing about it for a while. I?d like to share what the niche is but, of course, that wouldn?t make much sense. But I can share that it?s in the health and fitness industry (it?s nothing to do with weight loss). Because this is my first niche blog in a while, I wasn?t looking for the perfect niche in terms of effectiveness. I just wanted something easy. That means I didn?t bother to check the CPC, but: The root keyword gets 4400 exact searches a month. There?s only one blog post ranking for the term (and nine forum threads). It?s not a fast-growing keyword but it also won?t become less popular. I?ve always profited mostly from SEO, so I?m confident I?ll be able to hit the top spot before the end of the year. If I don?t, then shame on me. Keyword Research I didn?t do extensive keyword research for this niche because, again, I could see that it was going to be easy and didn?t want to make it difficult for myself. But I did use both WordTracker (Free) and KeywordPlanner to check the numbers. I?ll share more of my (fairly simple) strategies in the future, but the ViperChill guide is pretty great. I?m never going to outdo that. To track the keyword rankings, Serpbook is the best option I?ve found. It?s not useful right now but I want a complete history of the rankings that I can share. Domain Names Domains that exactly match the keywords you?re targeting aren?t as useful for ranking in Google anymore, I hear, which is good because there was no way to get the exact match domain for this niche. But I did choose a domain that: Includes the root keyword. Exact matches a phrase with 590 searches per month. Sounds relatively good (but not super-brandable). For the past decade, I?ve been registering names with Namecheap.com and they haven?t caused me trouble so far. As long as you stay away from GoDaddy, you?re smart. There are new coupons available for Namecheap every month. Hosting I see a lot of people yapping on about HostGator and Blue Host for their niche sites, but I imagine that?s because they?re getting affiliate commissions. I think there?s a much better option: DigitalOcean. It helps to have an understanding of the command-line to use DigitalOcean (there?s no control panel like cPanel) but it?s super easy to launch a new $5 a month server with WordPress installed and there are a lot of advantages: They?re SSD-based servers. That means they?re fast. Every server is on a different C-Class IP (good for multiple sites). For $5 a month, you get quite a lot of space, bandwidth, etc. If you?re completely unfamiliar with the command-line, PeepCode has you covered. If you need a control panel, check out CleverKite. They?re SSD-based and served me well for the couple of years that I was with them. DigitalOcean is just more my style these days (the command-line can be quite fun). WordPress I wanted to use Jekyll to build my niche site because I like the simplicity of running a static website but I?ve been using WordPress since 2.0 and I?m not ready to jump ship just yet. It?s just too convenient (and change is scary). The first thing I installed in WordPress was the Thesis theme which I mainly installed for two reasons: I already owned a copy from ages ago. The design would at least be functional. But the newer version is actually quite nice and I?ll be using it for any future niche sites that I create. (And I?ll share my favourite things about Thesis in the future. You can also see it in action on this blog.) Plugin-wise, I have Yoast SEO and Amazon AutoLink installed. I like to keep my installs as light as possible though, only adding features when I need them. Since the blog?s only just begun there?s not a lot that I need just yet. I use Clicky for tracking stats. I don?t use Google Analytics anymore because tools exist to discover every site that someone owns based on their Analytics code, and that weirds me out. I also prefer the interface of Clicky. And next up? Backlinks. Content strategy. Money. There?s a lot to cover in the coming weeks and months and years. I?ll keep the updates coming on a weekly basis.