Why Niche Sites Fail

why-niche-site-failThere are thousands of niche sites started every month…

Most of the Amazon Affiliate Niche Sites won’t get more than a trickle of traffic each month. By most definitions, these niche sites are failures. It’s a harsh reality to deal with, but it’s true.

In that group of niche site owners, I’m guessing there is someone just like you…

  • Someone who read the ALL the case study blogs and listened to ALL the Podcasts.
  • Someone who did great keyword research and wrote excellent, valuable content.
  • Someone who actually DID the HARD WORK, and it just didn’t pay off.

The question is “WHY?”

And, how you can beat the odds.

Why Do Niche Sites (and Niche Site Owners Fail)?

The more importantly, why do some people find success…

And build big, successful, PROFITABLE Amazon Affiliate Niche Sites?

The answer lies in the process…

You may read income reports for niche sites (like from Smart Passive Income or Niche Pursuits), and dream about creating your OWN SITE making $5,000 per month.

(Who doesn’t want to make a side hustle or full-time income from a simple website.)

You’re willing to do the work. You’re not looking for a get-rich-quick scheme. You want to create a long term asset that actually provides value to the world.

You want to earn your success. (Does this sound familiar?)

So, what happens?

It turns out that most people who start niche sites quit within the first three months.


It’s simple. When people start niche sites, they do the wrong things.

And the problem is, when they spend time on all those things they find something happens:

They’ll waste their first three months, and they’ll have NOTHING to show for it other than a bunch of logins, passwords, some great content, and the belief that “I just need to finish this one last thing…”

But they’ll have NO TRAFFIC and NO SALES on Amazon.

And that lack of results will demotivate the MOST AMBITIOUS individual.

(And believe me. I know because I’ve been there…)

It’s human nature.

If you work on something without getting positive rewards, then you won’t want to keep working on it. In fact, it gets harder and harder to work on.

And that’s why, I believe, most niche site owners fail.

They start niche sites with good intentions, but slowly trail off and stop working on their sites because they waste time on pointless tasks that don’t have an impact on what they really want:

  • more traffic
  • more sales

It’s sad, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

I have a question:

Are you worried that the same thing will happen to you?

Are you scared that you’ll waste your time on the pointless things that won’t help you grow your niche site?

Or worse, maybe the same has already happened to you… and you’re ready to do something about it?

If you said “YES!” you’re in luck. I’m going to tell you about the most common mistakes with niche sites. I’ve created a bunch of sites myself, but more importantly, I’ve talked to dozen of niche site owners and coached many others.

Mistake #1: Not Knowing What To Work On

So one if the most frustrating things is to sit down at you computer, ready to work on your website and NOT know what you should be doing.

You have to go look up another blog post or a podcast just so you know what to work on. You have a limited amount of time anyway with a job and all the other things you need to be doing, plus your family time.

The last thing you want to do is waste time trying to figure out the next step in the process. There are 2 main issues with this:

  1. It’s frustrating and annoying.
  2. You work less effectively.

When you look up what you need to work on next, you don’t have a good continuity with what you have been working on.

Think about a time when you sat down, knew what to work on, and got it done. 

How did you feel while you were working?

How did you feel afterwards?

It’s great when you feel like you accomplished something and made progress.

Solution: Know the process for creating a niche site. Know what you need to work on before you sit down to work. Use a process that is PROVEN and KNOWN to work.

Let’s look at a couple specific time-wasters while we’re at it.

Finding the PERFECT:

  • WordPress Theme
  • Domain Name
  • Logo or Header
  • Colors and Design

Trying to find the perfect “anything” is simply a fool’s errand, and it’s a form of procrastination. The success stories that we hear about never have a part where “everything came together when I found the right theme,” or “traffic went through the roof after we changed the header.”

The success stories start with someone taking action and making progress each day. Each week.

Solution: Don’t get hung up with the small things that don’t actually move the needle. Take action and adjust along the way. If you pick a bad domain name, no problem – change it later. If you decide your WordPress theme is lame, no sweat  – you can change that, too. Being successful is about being adaptable, being flexible.

Mistake #2: Picking A POOR Niche

You’ve probably heard it before from any number of sources:

Getting the right niche and picking the right keywords are CRITICAL. You have to get that right or you’ll never have a profitable niche site.

The advice is right.

You do need to have a great set of keywords if you want to have a successful niche site valued in the 5 to 6 figure range. (Note: Most niche sites have a valuation of 20 – 25 times the average monthly profits. So if you have a site making $500 per month, you can sell it for about $10,000+.)

If you mess up on your keyword research, you’re facing an uphill battle.

The main problems are:

  1. Not enough people search for the terms in the niche so your site gets too little traffic.
  2. The competition in the niche is too tough.
  3. The products in the niche aren’t expensive enough so your affiliate commissions will be low.

The sad part is that there is so much information out there about keyword research and so much of it is old.

I started learning from the Smart Passive Income blog and learned about how to do keyword research – BUT it was written in 2011. Let’s just say it wasn’t very helpful but I didn’t know until it was too late.

Solution: Be sure the keywords in YOUR NICHE will support the revenue goal for your niche site. If you want a FIVE FIGURE niche site, then you need to look for the right metrics. Make sure the competition is approachable and make sure you can actually beat the other ranking sites in the search results.

Mistake #3 – Not Knowing HOW To Get Traffic

Traffic is the holy grail. If you can get traffic, then your site can make money.

And, if you’re reading this, then it’s even simpler. You’ll be able to review and recommend some product that sells on Amazon.

People buy things on Amazon because they trust Amazon and a ridiculous number of people have an Amazon Prime Account. I have one and I’d prefer buying something on Amazon over going to the crowded mall any day.

But, of course, you still have to get that traffic to your site. I didn’t get started with niche sites all that long ago.

It was actually almost 3 years ago – to the day – when I bought the domain for my very first Amazon Affiliate Site. 

Links are the backbone of the Google Algorithm. Yeah, there are 200+ other ranking factors, but they pale in comparison. The thing is that you NEED to have organic traffic from Google if you want to have a niche site that will make a profit.

Even when I first got started in 2013, some people were still teaching about “Link Pyramids” and “Link Wheels”. Nowadays, people talk about using IFTTT to syndicate their posts or using “High PR” Guest Posts on fiverr.

However, if you’re interested in building a long term asset (that’s actually going to last and NOT get penalized by Google), then you need to be smart about what you do. You’ll need to have a link building and promotional plan that’s scalable and effective.

Solution: Don’t buy links in any form and follow a White Hat approach. If you seek to network in your niche, then ask for guest posts, you’ll be on the right track. You’ll end up with plenty of valuable high authority backlinks that Google loves.

Keep an eye out for my course Five Figure Niche Site – It’ll be launching soon.

Here’s What You Need To Do Next…

I told you about the 3 biggest mistakes that niche site owners make, and it all comes down to not getting positive results with your efforts.

All 3 of the mistakes are rooted in good intentions, but we often fall short because we don’t know what we should do or how to do it.

Leave a comment and tell me a couple things:

  • Have you started YOUR niche site yet? (If not, why haven’t you started yet?)
  • If so, what’s your experience with any of the 3 mistakes?
 In a couple days, I’m going to tell you about my first Amazon Associate site from 2013 that made over $6,200 in a month and it was only 6 months old at the time… I’m telling you this because if you haven’t started your niche site yet, then you should. The retail season (around October to December) is CRAZY for Amazon Affiliate Sites. Some sites can make up to 50% of their annual income in the retail season. If you start your site soon, then YOU TOO can experience the retail season.


4 comments… add one
  • That’s right.Initially most of the times we will feel or thinking more about how the site looks or whether we have put everything required.

    Though our site doesn’t look great (as long as readable with plain look),it may not cause any damage as we might not even have many visitors coming in.

    Concentrating more on creating content and promotion during the initial days really helps.

  • Great post, Doug! I actually repurposed my site from a service based site to an affiliate site because I’m no longer able to offer services in my niche, but still wanted to blog about it and build a community (and an income). It took a bit of research and refocusing but I’m excited to say it seems to be working out. I’ll know for sure within the next few months if my plan was a good one 🙂

  • Great post with solutions in showing how the top three mistakes of most niche site owners and I am one of them. Number one in not knowing what to work on… is the top mistake that I think just makes the other two worse and with the right process that is proven and repeatable, everything becomes easier to do.

  • Hello Doug,

    I’m still learning in English, so sorry for my bad english before.

    My first Amazon niche blog started 2 week ago and i’m so proud and glad that I start it after I read bunch of articles here and other site like cloudincome, dumbpassive, marketever, and site like that.

    I read from the first step like how to research keywords, find a right niche, in one site to another site and I conclude the informations into one piece, so that I’m sure the information is valid and I’m glad that I read your great post here.

    Now I’m at the link building step and just start to build some web 2.0 site and do some guest post too.

    So, for the #1 mistake is what I really experienced it. I am a newbie at all, so that I read again for what should i do…. read again… see the niche site process that you created, make sure that what I do is right.

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