XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> How About Long Tail Sites?

How About Long Tail Sites?

Posted on 13. Aug, 2010 by .

I recently told you about all the web sites I created. The only reason why I created them in the first place was because I wanted to make money.

I started creating a site a few months ago just to find out whether it would be possible to easily get long tail traffic to a new website. That’s the experiment I am sharing with you here.

Mini Sites vs Long Tail Sites

I recently introduced you to the idea of mini sites. Basically what you do is to pick a very specific niche and try to rank for that certain keyword. A golf mini site for example could be centered around the perfect golf swing. You then purchase the domain theperfectgolfswing.com (which is probably already taken) and set up your mini site. Once your site is up and running you add a few, but highly relevant, pages to it. Once you have done that you simply wait for visitors to arrive on your mini site.

Long tail sites are quite similiar, yet completely different from mini sites. With a long tail site you are aiming at a lot broader keyword which is at least getting over 10,000 searches per month. Your goal is not to actually get the site to rank for that broad keyword but to get your individual posts to rank well. The articles of a long tail site are highly targeted and aim at keywords that have no competition.

The Theory

My theory was that the more specific the niche is that you are trying to rank for, the less the competition. That’s what has been mostly transforming the blogosphere, people are blogging about much smaller niches in order to be able to compete.

So here is what I did. I purchased a domain name and set up a blog. I focused the “WordPress Tutorials” niche trying to get some traffic. The site I created is called Downtown WordPress and is all about WordPress tutorials.

The reason why you are relying on search engine traffic, for both mini sites and long tail sites, is because it’s the most profitable. If you get tons of traffic from social media sites then you learn to appreciate traffic coming from search engines.

The Blog Posts

On the blog I started creating rather short posts with long titles. One post was called Speeding Up WordPress by Putting CSS Files in the Header. The post itself doesn’t contain lots of information it just basically talks about how you need to move your CSS files in the header.

After writing the post I optimized it for search engines. That means I added specific meta keywords to it, changed the title slightly and added a meta description.

That’s what I did with lots of posts. I created several of them and used SEO to get them to rank well.

The Issues

The problem with this technique is that it’s rather hit-or-miss method. For some articles you are getting a nice amount of traffic and with others you are getting nothing at all. Furthermore there is no way you can check whether the keywords you are targeting are actually getting traffic because they are way too specific. Even Google Keywords won’t help you in that case.

Traffic

Top Traffic Sources

As you can see I am at least getting some traffic. This is not anything near the figures I wanted it to be but I haven’t worked on the site so much and I think there are only 7 articles on it. So if I keep on writing and adding new articles to it then this could become a site that could earn me a decent passive income. But we will see, I will definitely keep you updated.

Have I Made Money?

It shouldn’t be too hard to make money through long tail websites. All I did in this case was to add some banners to it. But you can of course try out other things. I don’t think I have made money through the site yet but that’s probably because of the low traffic I am receiving at the moment.

Conclusion

I think that long tail sites have potential especially since the competition on the Internet is getting stronger and stronger. You could build long tail sites around some competitive niches and still get some decent traffic to it. Of course the technique highly depends on the number of articles you have on your site, the more you have the better you are off.

Remember that in order to save yourself some time you could actually buy sites that already have lots of content and save yourself time that way. One last thing I want to mention is the huge SEO potential of such websites. Let’s say you have a long tail site with around 500 pages. Now if you were to simply place a link in the sidebar of the blog you would get 500 backlinks to a site.

What do you think? Do you like the concept or do you think it’s useless?

15 Responses to “How About Long Tail Sites?”

  1. Eric

    20. Aug, 2010

    Personally I think it’s a good idea if it’s providing quality information and proves to be able to make money. I know the biggest thing about any of this Internet marketing and blogging crazyness if building traffic and getting more and more traffic to your sites/blogs.

    SEO seems to be the way of where the money is but then again, building relationships and having actual readers you have known for quite some time also provides useful because of connections so I think both matter – in a matter of time. :)

    Okay, that was cleaver! lol

    Take care. :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      20. Aug, 2010

      Thanks Eric. I agree with you. Ultimately blogging is about building relationships and building up a readership. I couldn’t agree with this more.

      I am not sure whether I am actually going to stick with these methods such as the long tail or mini sites. I haven’t really made money through them but the experience has been totally worth it.

      I have just read a post about how you should really focus on one thing. And that’s what I will do. I will focus on building up my blog because that’s what I have been doing for two years. How is everything going at your blog?

      Reply to this comment
  2. Kathy

    20. Aug, 2010

    I have built a number of both mini-sites and long tail keyword websites. In my experience it is easier to use a mini-site if you want to snipe one specific and lucrative keyword. People will label you as a spammer though. So it is not fun.

    If you build sites for long tail traffic and want to get your long tails ranked well, then you are going to want to build up a lot of authority for that website. You can use a brandable domain name instead of a keyword rich domain. By building up authority, it will be easier to get those long tail pages ranked well. You will need to find a source of good links that you can build deep links with also. Your going to need links for each one of those long tail posts.

    Once you get good, you could crank out a mini-site really quickly. In fact you could do one in under one day.

    The long tail site will take you weeks or more likely months to get to a point where you are happy with it.

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      21. Aug, 2010

      Thanks for your comment Kathy. I agree with you mini sites are easy to create and all you really need to do is snipe a specific keyword. Well the thing is that I don’t think my mini sites look too spammy. I am actually trying to present some useful information concerning the topic the site is about.
      What other people with mini sites are doing is recommending products that they don’t know. They talk about how great this product is etc. but they haven’t used it themselves. I have to admit that I have tried this strategy too but it just didn’t feel right, I didn’t like creating such sites.
      And yes long tail sites are usually authority sites. But what I tried to say with this post is that you can create long tail sites that aren’t authorities and still generate some traffic to it. That’s because the articles are so focused that the competition is almost non-existent. I hope this clarifies it a little bit.

      Reply to this comment
  3. zezebel

    23. Aug, 2010

    No wonder some friends have so many domain but some of them doing it wrongly, I guess. I am still learning about blogging and don’t have any domain yet. When I do, I will take this advice as a consideration to my blog works.
    Thanks friend.

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      23. Aug, 2010

      I am glad you find this useful. I own many domains myself but haven’t been able to make money through them. The thing is that with every time you fail you get one step closer to succeeding. I will definitely keep you up to date on my progress with my projects ;)

      Reply to this comment
  4. Alex@nichesitemarketing

    25. Aug, 2010

    Julius,

    Just came over to continue the conversation…
    Ummm, I would love to say that this is the idea behind it, and I guess in a way it is, but building the site and creating the content is the easy bit. Marketing, now that’s the killer. Without marketing there is no traffic whatsoever, like you showed. You need to submit those articles from your sites to articles directories, social bookmarking sites, web 2.0 properties, forums, the list goes on – but in each instance you need to optimise the keyphrase appropriately – and then you have to wait for Google to comply…

    And then you get paid! :)

    Just reading the comments, I agree that you need to focus on one thing at a time. The niche site system can work, but its not about the site – its about figuring out how to get them ranked.

    Reply to this comment
    • Mike

      29. Aug, 2010

      Yup, I also agree with Alex. You should give a try to some marketing to get more traffic and put some more ads to see how things going, Julius.

      Reply to this comment
      • Julius

        30. Aug, 2010

        Hmm yeah maybe you guys are right :P I probably should do some promotion in order to get some traffic. I never even considered that in the first place.

        Reply to this comment
    • Moon Hussain

      29. Aug, 2010

      Julius, Alex is right here. Backlinking is essentially what’ll help you in the long run. I’m in the midst of creating social bookmarking bl’s and mixing them with web 2.0 bl’s. I started off with article marketing but I was too focused on only that.

      I think within one month I will have created a nice mix of backlinks which should greatly help with my mini site ranking.

      G’luck!!

      Reply to this comment
      • Julius

        30. Aug, 2010

        Hey Alex,

        Yeah I agree. To be honest I haven’t built any backlinks to my site. And that is one of the mistakes I am making I guess. Within the next few weeks I will aim at building some backlinks to my mini sites in order to improve the traffic to them.

        Be sure to update me on your progress. It would be awesome to see whether your strategy works ;)

        Reply to this comment
  5. Bishwajeet

    02. Sep, 2010

    From my point of view its better to create a big website and then have those long tail keywords as your page,it would be easy to rank in search engines.

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      03. Sep, 2010

      Hey Bishwajeet,

      I agree but you also need to keep in mind that it takes a lot of work to build up sites like that. The great advantage of sites like these is that you can also use them to get other websites to rank better.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Stephan

    17. Sep, 2010

    Hi Julius, thanks for sharing with us. I think your approach is definitely the right one. You will always rank higher with keyword targeted pages – Google loves relevance and rewards query-relevant sites with higher rankings.

    However, Google also looks at how authoritative / important sites are when returning results. If your site was new and only had 7 pages on it, it’s likely that Google considered it less authoritative than others for your target keywords. This may be why your mini site didn’t live up to its full potential.

    Good effort though!

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      19. Sep, 2010

      Hey Stephan,

      thanks for the comment. Well the idea was just to have a website that tries to rank for long tail keywords related to one topic. It does work but it’s a lot of work to keep that up. Yeah in that post I was actually not talking about building authoritative sites.

      Well my mini sites are actually working fine at the moment. At least some of them. The most important part with mini sites is doing the research.

      Reply to this comment

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