Long-time readers will remember that I created a couple of niche sites from scratch. One used my neglected niche site strategy (basically, create a typical MFA site, submit it to some directories, and forget it). Another used SBI, which is a more managed approach, focused on creating a quality niche site.
Both sites were started in November of last year, but my natural procrastination kept either from being much to look at until March (when I had enough of the SBI site up to monetize it).
The SBI site started receiving traffic almost immediately. Too soon, in fact, since I hadn’t had enough pages up to make it a site worth visiting when the first visitors started arriving. But that just gave me the motivation to get a minimum set of pages up quickly, instead of procrastinating. The SBI site currently gets about 70 unique visitors a day, on average. I’ve done no promotion with it beyond directory submissions.
The neglected niche site has had, on average 0 visitors a day until just recently. It takes sites like this a while to age before Google decides they’re okay to list. It’s now sitting on page 2 for its keyword in Google. Based on my experience with other sites like this, it’ll take another three or four months to get up to page 1 (and will drop off entirely several times in that period). The key here is to keep up with the directory submissions, so Google sees continued linking to the site. So going with just the recent activity, the site is getting about 5 visitors a day.
The SBI site started getting Adsense hits as soon as I monetized it, since traffic was already coming to the site (another reason for late monetization is the instant gratification you get by getting at least one Adsense hit). It’s made a grand total of $30 since March. Not great by any measure…the particular niche I chose might tend to discourage Adsense clicks.
The neglected niche site has made about $1.50 in that same time period. Based on other sites like this I’ve done, I expect it to eventually make about $1 a day. It’s in the same niche as the SBI site, but provides less useful information so the click through rate on Adsense will be higher.
Which Is Better?
It all depends on how you work.
I think the SBI site has more potential for income, but the key with a site like that is that it must be updated frequently, and the information must be quality. You’ll make less in Adsense in the short-term, but you’ll build trust with your regular visitors. That trust will let you recommend affiliate products or sell your own products later.
But the neglected niche site strategy is a fire-and-forget strategy. It’s the “build 50 of these sites to earn $1,500 a month” strategy. That’s appealing to a lot of people, because it doesn’t require creating quality content, and doesn’t require much in the way of promotion. It does, however, require patience, since sites like this take forever (in Internet terms) to rank well.
I’d recommend you try both and see how they work out for you, personally.