Joseph Magnotti

July 11, 2011

Hi there!  I’m Joe Magnotti, the other half of this business.  Justin handles most of the marketing and customer communication, while I handle more of the technical aspects.  However, I decided it was time to finally do a post of my own!

I’m a bit of a history buff, so the thought occurred to me of a great analogy for niche marketing.  Both the ancient Greeks and Romans built huge empires that dominated the world.  They did this mainly through use of large, well organized armies.  The primary tactic, invented by the Greeks, was the phalanx formation.  For those of you who don’t know, the phalanx formation allowed armies to easily replace fallen front line troops and maneuver units quickly to outflank opposing armies.

Now some of you may be asking, what the heck does this have to do with internet marketing?  Well most of you visiting this blog are looking to generate passive income, through building an empire of AdSense sites.  But before you get an empire you need an army!  You can build it yourself or buy it, but make no mistake you will need one.

Your AdSense army in phalanx formation allows you to do two things just like the ancient Greeks and Romans: be defensive when losing a niche and be offensive when a niche is working.

If you a have created AdSense sites before you know the feeling — you research a niche, find a keyword with an exact match domain (EMD) available and an easy to beat front page.  You build a nice site with original content, get ranked, only to see the site drop or be completely removed from the search results.   Sometimes temporarily and sometimes, unfortunately, permanently.  This is where your mirco niche site army can really become an asset — just because you have lost the one site, you still have others perhaps even in the same niche (although using different keywords) to step up and replace your fallen site.

Perhaps you’ve built a few sites in one niche, but your army is still diverse.   If that niche become particularly competitive requiring too much time and energy (which both cost money) to rank well in, you can focus on your other sites to effectively make up lost ground.  I really believe diversification is the power of micro niche marketing, something that can be used wisely.

For example motorcyclebootsforwomen.com (we do not own this site and are not affiliated with it in anyway) , ranks number one for it’s primary keyword “motorcycle for boots women”.  It’s a good site, has a strong number of inlinks, a page rank of 2 for the primary page, and a large amount of pages.  However, the site owner would be smart to create other niche sites in completely different categories.  Subjects like food, medical, and electronics come to mind.  In this way he is not so reliant on one site for the success of his network and other sites can step up in the phalanx formation if this site loses ranking ro the niche changes.  This can happen in a few ways:

  1. If there is a large spike in the number of pages for that particular keyword.   Think what would happen if Sarah Palin started a line of motorcycle boots for women.
  2. If the niche suddenly becomes more competitive because of added retailers or publishers with high quality optimized content.
  3. If there is a large drop in search traffic.  In the future women might not wear motorcycle boots or drive motorcycles as much (maybe they have moved on to flying cars!).  Unlikely, but you get my point.

Offensively, you can expand on niches where sites seem to be working well for you.  You may find some niches more interesting to you than others or simple that a particular niche has many keywords with EMDs available and low competition first pages where it is easy to out maneuver the competition.   Just by adding content to these sites, you will rank for other keywords and, hopefully, come to dominate the niche.  Besides the added revenue bonus, these “super niche” sites can become elite unites in your army.  Something you can use to boost your SEO efforts as well.

As an example, the site moderndiningchairs.info (again not a site we own or are affiliated with), ranks number one for “modern dining chairs”.   The first entry was made way back in October of 2009, but the owner has since decided to update the site with several new articles this month.   Smart move.  Looks like the owner also has monetized the site using Amazon affiliate links along with AdSense.  Not something I would recommend, but hopefully it has been tested to generate more revenue then just using one or the other.

With almost 1,200 back links (using Yahoo! Site Explorer) the site is a behemoth in it’s very specific niche, but  the owner could expand to many more topics in the modern furniture or dining chairs categories and have a good chance to rank.  A good internal linking structure combined with strong on page SEO should make this fairly easy.

So let’s get out there and raise an army.  Use the phalanx formation for defense and to outflank the competition.  Let me know how your empire building is going.


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  1. […] an army of niche sites can be quite a daunting task, even for those who are tech savvy.   In this post, I’ll cover […]

  2. ericpinola says:

    Great information! I am still i the infant stages of all of this. I am doing some article marketing and just wrote my first squidoo lens. Nylon Air Brake Tubing It is doing good I think. No $$ yet, but it has only been 2 days and is only one lens so far.

    Great info great website; THANK YOU!

    • The keyword “Nylon Air Brake Tubing” only gets 46 exact match searches per month. Even if you ranked number one you wouldn’t get enough get enough traffic, and therefore enough clicks, for this keyword to be worth it. Look for keywords with more than 1000 exact match searches per month and with a CPC of $1 or more.

  3. […] an army of niche sites can be quite a daunting task, even for those who are tech savvy.   In this post, I’ll cover […]

  4. Halfdan says:

    Hi! :)

    I’ve been following you guys for quite a while, and I’m currently building my first 11 sites. However, I have a few questions, if you don’t mind answering. :-)

    1) Do you use WordPress Multi Site, or a new installation every time? I’m currently tryinh Multi-site, however, it doesn’t want to do what I do, and it’s taking way to much time I could use a lot better.

    2) Once you’ve prepared your site, do you wait or instantly use SubmitYourArticle to create backlinks?

    Allow me to say thanks, once again, for putting all this information online! You’re doing a great job, and I hope to follow your footsteps.

    Halfdan

    • Joe says:

      Thanks for stopping by Halfdan. Sure we can answer your questions:

      1) We use a new WP installation every time. It’s a bit of a pain to manage, but the functionality, plugin performance, and site security is much better with individual installations.

      2) We wait. We have a team that comes through and manually builds the links a few weeks after the sites are setup.

      • Halfdan says:

        Thank you very much, that was exactly what I wanted to know. Good luck on future sites – I’ll be sure to keep checking! :-)

      • Steve says:

        Hi

        Just if youve not seen it Im using https://managewp.com/ its in beta (final stages i hope) still has a few bugs but is really usefull to manage a small army or even an empire :-)

        Its currently free there is no affiliate program yet so just giving out info. And i dont know what the cost wil be after october but its really helped me and makes doing upgrades on WP, themes and plugins very quick and easy a paid when you have many sites

        regards

  5. Tyler says:

    Thanks for the reply guys..

    Have you guys hear of mikeiser.com?

    He did basically the exact same thing you guys are doing without the flips and got up to a nice monthly income with his Adsense.

    And I agree about GKT, that’s just a mistake waiting to happen..but im still amazed at how many open niches there are STILL out there.. I think it’s truly endless.

    • Justin says:

      Hmmm…interesting! I just took a look at his site, but it looks like he stopped posting in 2010? The unrelated videos on each post are a little off-putting (wonder why he did that?) but it looks like he has an interesting story if you open up each post…going to check it out tomorrow, it’s pretty late here. Thanks for the info.

  6. Tyler says:

    You guys are so inspiring, wanted to thank you for that.

    I currently work for T-Mobile, who is being purchased by AT&T in early to mid 2012… we’ve already received severance package information if that tells you anything about the future of the employee’s…

    anyways..knowing I only have 6-8 months left of a job i’ve decided this is the business model for me. After seeing your guys’ success on Flippa i’m motivated to start something up like this on my own.

    I’m gonna start the outsourcing as soon as possible and just start pumping out sites and see if I can create something of value before I lose my job for good!

    Just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration and giving me some confidence that this can actually be done… i’ve always loved this type of business model and now you guys have provided the information to do it properly.

    I look forward to your future posts!

    • Justin says:

      Tyler,

      That sucks about your job…but pretty nice of them to give you 6-8 months of advance notice at least, right? I know many people in the US have found themselves unemployed over the last few years. I do know a few people that were pushed into furthering their online IM business due to losing their job and are doing quite well, so maybe it’s a blessing in disguise?

      I think our real advantage is owning the outsourcing company ourselves and having gone through all the ups/downs and challenges that come with that. We’ve built a strong team of people over the years and have worked out the problems that can come with outsourcing and are good at building “machines” now, if that makes sense. This is probably the part you’re going to want to really work through. It would help to document the process, have screencasts for training, etc.

      Also, I’d just caution you or anyone else…be careful blowing a nest egg right off the bat. The first 20-30 sites I built were terrible as I was looking at broad instead of exact match on the GKT (Oops!)…a common mistake from what I hear. Also know that you won’t see much money at all the first couple of months…it takes time to build up. Best of luck and let us know if you have any questions!

  7. peter says:

    Nice post Joe, but why do you not recommend amazon affiliate links with adsense? It would be a good way for a second stream of income…

    • Justin says:

      Hey Peter,

      (I think) what Joe is saying, here, is that you shouldn’t mix AdSense/Affiliates unless you’ve tested it out. For example, let’s say with AdSense, the site has a CPM of $43.00. That means, you get $43 for every 1,000 visitors. Then…you SCRAP AdSense and add affiliate offers, tweaking it as best you can. Let’s say it only gives you a CPM of $25.00. Bad idea, right? Should stick with AdSense.

      From what we’ve seen, blending usually makes the overall CPM go down. And, usually, one CPM will be higher than another…so you should go with that ONLY. In rare cases, having AdSense and Affiliate income on the same site actually boosts CPM overall, but that’s not what we’ve seen from all the sites/people we’ve spoken to about this.

      • Joe says:

        Thanks for your comment Peter and Justin is right, I was merely pointing out using both monetization methods on the same page or site. Are you currently using both methods on your sites? Would you mind sharing any stats?

  8. aldo says:

    Diversify is the key for Adsense success.

    Google its like a land with lots of tectonic faults, you never now when you will have an earthquake so you need to be ready by diversifying on different “Lands”.

    I think that after building a nice income from Adsense will be very healthy to monetize sites with other affiliate programs and also diversify traffic source.

    This way you will cover most of you points and playing safer.

    • Joe says:

      Hey Aldo, I like your analogy as well. and, yes, using different monetization methods is a good idea, I’m just not sure mixing them on one site is.

  9. Rahul says:

    Nice post and welcome. I do visit your blog regularly. I do love you peoples. I learned lot of thing from internet marketers like you. the example you gave ‘motorcycle boot for women’ is really authority site.

    I am trying yo create army of my blogs. They are making pennies now. But i can feel the success. 50 blogs with 50 posts = 2500 keywords. and many of them are long tail and exact match. So, we can make some decent income online in coming months.

    • Joe says:

      Thanks for stopping by Raul, we appreciate the praise. Yes, the example of gave is more of an authority site, but it probably started out as micro niche. Either way, the owner would be smart to back it up with several other sites on different subjects. Nothing is worse than having all your eggs in one basket.

      The pennies do ad up! Patience and persistence are the keys to niche marketing success. Best of luck!

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