Niche site first, then build social accounts?
Or social accounts first, then build a niche site?
How about doing both at the same time?
Below I share examples of niche sites that cover all three of these approaches.
Spoiler alert – all of them are WINNING.
Software engineer turned baker, Maurizio Leo, started his blog theperfectloaf.com back in 2013.
He simply had a passion for baking his own sourdough bread, and wanted to share that passion with others.
- 200+ posts published
- 120,000 pageviews a month
- 1,400 person paid membership program
- New York Time Best Selling cook book
- 95,000 newsletter subscribers (76% open rate!) – he says this is his MOST valuable asset
- Instagram: 274k
- YouTube: 24.6k
- Facebook: 15k
- Pinterest: 13.2k
Maruizio said it took OVER 5 YEARS of consistently writing recipes and guides online before he got any real traffic to his website.
Remind me, how long was it until you gave up?
3 months in? 6 months? A year? Come on!
Maruizio is all about quality over quantity – he’s published 1 post a month on average, for the last 10 years straight.
I was floored when I first heard him say this.
It sounds so achievable, doesn’t it?
Just 1 post every 30 days. Consistency wins.
But what impresses me most is just how well rounded of a brand Maruizio has built in a seemingly small niche.
Revenue sources include: display ads, affiliates, sponsorships, membership program, book sales, and now he’s adding video courses.
It’s been a 10 year journey, but Maruizio evolved his once simple niche site into an incredibly resilient business.
(I heard about this site from a great interview with Jay Clouse)
Max Juric was a working full time as a freelancer before starting Lettering-Daily towards the end of 2017.
He used to create logos, design t-shits, and crafted custom lettering for clients all around the world.
Eventually he decided to start sharing all his work on Instagram.
It wasn’t long before several HUNDRED THOUSAND followers joined him.
After receiving countless questions and requests on how to get started in the world of lettering and calligraphy, Max decided to finally share all his knowledge in one place.
And so, Lettering-Daily the niche site was born.
- ~170 posts posts
- 140,000 pageviews a month
- Has a newsletter called “The Lettering Crate”
- Instagram: 302k
- Pinterest: 183.3k
- YouTube: 14.5k
- Facebook: 10k
- Twitter 3.37k
Yet another niche that, to me at least, seems like it would be pretty small.
But Max has proven there is a big appetite out there for learning lettering and calligraphy.
He has a well rounded site, with a good portion of his traffic coming from outside of Google.
And I love the way he’s collecting emails.
You give your email in exchange for access to the “The Lettering Crate”. It’s full of free goodies – printable, practice sheets, planners and more.
Kind of genius.
But Max, if you’re listening, sell a course and your own products!!!
(I learned about this site from a recent Authority Hacker podcast)
Sarah Maker is a craft and DIY blog that features lots of creative project ideas, ranging from crochet, knitting, quilting, tie-dye, and more.
This is Sarah’s second blog.
She also runs a food blog that she started back in 2018.
Talk about prolific!
And she’s doing it all with three kids all under the age of 8.
- Pinterest: 34.6k
- Instagram: 8.6k
- Facebook: 5.2k
- 265 posts
- 2.1 million pageviews a month
- Sarah has a newsletter she uses to share free craft patterns with her audience
This site is currently on a damn rocket ship.
No other way to put it.
Under 4 years old. 2.1 million pageviews a month!
Sarah’s site is a bit different from the previous two in that hers is mostly an SEO play, and has been from the start.
Just about 100% of her site’s traffic is coming from Google.
But it goes to show that targeting long tail, low comp keywords can still work wonderfully.
That said, I do think focusing on growing her social accounts will help stabilize things when this rocket ship inevitably slows down.
In my experience, growth like this simply doesn’t last.
So having diversified traffic streams will go a long way to soften the blow when things turn around.
I’d also strongly consider starting a YouTube channel.
YouTube seems like a match made in heaven for Sarah’s DIY project lessons (which are amazing by the way).
One of my favorite things Sarah does is include a “recipe-like” roundup at the bottom of all her DIY project based posts – a format she most definitely stole from her food blog!
(I learned about this site from an interview on Mediavine)
BONUS: #4. CookingwithChris.com?
This actually isn’t a niche site, but it SHOULD be.
Chris started writing threads on Twitter sharing his personal recipes back in Jan 2021.
A little over 2 years later and his account is ~90,000 followers strong.
- Twitter: 89.5k (@coookwithchris)
- Earning between $20,000-$30,000 a month
- Sells 2 digital cook books (one is a budget cook book and the other is his “essentials” cook book)
- Makes customized meal plans for paying customers
- Does 1:1 and group coaching
It’s incredible that a Twitter account can actually change someone’s life.
Chris was making $17/hr at his 9-5 job, but he was able to quit that job just 6 months into his Twitter experiment.
Now he makes $20-$30k a month – with Twitter as his only marketing channel!
But it didn’t come “easy”.
Early on, like many of our online journeys, Chris was writing and sharing content into the void.
No one was reading it.
But he never gave up.
He kept posting every single day.
No matter what.
Chris has a great thing going, and what he’s built is really impressive.
But now is the time to think about diversifying.
If Twitter goes away, he gets banned etc. his entire business disappears over night.
He should start a blog.
Write content, and get organic traffic.
Build a course.
Sell his digital products himself, instead of giving away money to Gumroad.
And so on.
(I learned about Chris’s story on Starter Story’s first YouTube episode!)
That’s a wrap.
Now stop making excuses.
You can find the time.
No, you don’t have to hit publish 50 times a month.
Yes, you can take things slowly if you want.
Just get started.
But first, enjoy the weekend.
Until next week,
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