Some folks like to have it all figured out before starting anything.
IMO, this is not really possible with niche sites and business in general.
It’s good to have a plan, but plans can only get you so far down the road.
I’m working hard on a smaller niche site.
I’ve also been working pretty hard on Fat Stacks.
And of course I continue working on my biggest niche site.
As of this writing, I have no idea how all three sites will shape up in 2 years. I really don’t. My aim is they will have more traffic and earn more revenue, but I really don’t know what’s going to happen.
Currently, I have about one to two months of content planned for my niche sites. Beyond that is anyone’s guess.
I have options.
Take my smaller fashion niche site for example.
I’m toying with turning it into a more personal site where I focus on men over 40. It wouldn’t be the first of such sites.
This approach would require a lot of my time. I’d write reviews, guides, build up an email newsletter etc. It would be like Fat Stacks but instead a style guide for men over 40.
On the flip side, I could turn Fat Stacks into a far more passive online business.
I could focus on ranking content and restrict emails to an automated sequence. No vids, podcasts, daily emails, etc. I’d keep courses current and leave it at that.
Or, I could just keep doing what I’m doing which is a hybrid of passive and active.
My biggest niche also offers new opportunities. I could hire a personality to make videos.
I recently launched a new email newsletter for that site. It’s a totally different approach to what I did initially. I have no idea whether it’ll be worth it but I’m giving it a shot.
The point is a growing niche site business can take many paths.
Each offers advantages and disadvantages.
Changing environments make planning more difficult.
Google changes its algo.
Facebook changes its algo.
Pinterest makes changes.
Everything is constantly changing.
My one constant with niche sites is to continue striving to publish great content targeting fairly easy-to-rank keywords within each site’s respective niches.
This is a proven strategy for me that I don’t see not working any time soon. Moreover, I like it.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t incorporate more personality or go after more competitive keywords in the future.
And so I don’t really spend much time on long-term planning.
I tend to restrict my plans to bite-sized chunks. More specifically, to stand-alone mini-projects that I can deploy in one to five days.
For example, recently I set up a test email newsletter for my biggest niche site. It took me 2 hours to set up. If it works, I’ll add more mini-newsletters… one at a time. Bite-sized chunks.
My entire working life is bite-sized chunks.
I try not to spend time figuring out all the details beyond each chunk.
This helps me get stuff done, one chunk at a time.
In fact, it’s highly motivating because I love getting stuff done.
If I dreamed up some project that would take 3 months, I’d probably not get it started.
But if it’s just a small chunk I can complete in a few hours, a day or even inside of one week, I’m all for it.
Maybe that’s why I love publishing articles. I can get them done and published in 2 hours to a day for the most part. Once in a while it takes a few days (this is rare).
Here’s the important part.
My chunks are usually part of a bigger whole.
For example, my new mini-email newsletter is just one segment of what could be multiple mini-email newsletters. I suspect in time I’ll get to the other mini-email newsletters, but I’m happy I got the first one up and running. If it works great, I’ll be motivated to do more. If it doesn’t work, I may try one or two other ideas and then shut it down if results are poor.
Each article I write and publish is one small chunk of a much larger whole (i.e. a website).
If in my mind I had to set up all the mini-newsletters up at once which would take weeks, I’d probably not do it. It’s too much.
While I have some rough ideas for additional email newsletters, I haven’t bothered putting much effort into planning them until I get results from the first concept.
Too much planning is a big waste of time
You could spend the next 6 months making detailed plans for a niche site.
That would be unfortunate because if you actually just got started, you could have 150 articles published during that time.
Once you have those 150 articles published, you’re in a much better position for next steps than trying to figure it all out without having started.
That’s must my 2 cents’ worth.
We never have it all figure out.
I’m one month out from having no idea what’s next.
All I know is I’ll just keep at it in some capacity.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.