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Long Tail Crumbs are Yummy

While the goal is to eat at the “big person’s table,” if you’re starting with no or very little money, eating the crumbs that come off that table can make you strong enough to stand up and take your seat at the table where the “real value meals” exist. It takes money to make money, but you must remember that time is money if you have skills.

Here’s a real simple skill that will have you gathering enough crumbs to fill a small bowl. It has to do with the long tail. While it would be nice if you had a one word .com domain with type-in traffic, it’s not likely if you’re here reading this. So, there may be more money at the top of all the niches, and some niches are more profitable than others, but if you start by going after the competitive stuff, you’re most likely going to be disappointed.



There’s hope, though. This is where the long tail comes in. Basically, in any  niche there are a few keywords that get tons of traffic, but there are many more that get varying degrees of less traffic. This is the long tail – the keyword phrases are usually three to seven words long, but some of them get good traffic. And since they’re so laser focused (albeit in smaller amounts), it’s somewhat easier to monetize the traffic.

Sure, these are crumbs, but like I said, you have to start somewhere, right? Eating crumbs of online money is better than most service based jobs out there, imho. That’s just me, though. Anyway, here’s a little of what I’ve learned about chasing the long tail crumbs while building up to bigger and better things.

  • Pick a Niche – If it’s something you’re interested in, it’s going to be easier. Other than that, the crumbs for some of the bigger niches are going to be bigger, but there’s more competition for them as well.
  • Find a Phrase - Once you have the niche, find a two or three word phrase that is still available as a .com. You’ll want to try to make it somewhat generic and specific at the same time. You have your niche, right, so maybe your mid-tier domain idea is “cheap digital picture frames” or something similar. There’s still room to grow at this mid-level in the niche while not having as much competition as the top of the niche.
  • Set-up the Site – Get the site installed on a server (this is up to you) and throw WordPress or another CMS on there (Drupal has a higher learning curve, but it can do more – content types, userpoints, etc.) Once you have the site, don’t forget analytics. I use Google Analytics, which some will warn you against, but it’s really up to you. As long as you can see what kind of traffic is coming in.
  • Add Content – Based on the keyword in the domain, start creating good content around that. Maybe reviews. Or articles on how to do this or that when it comes to your keyword. Quality over quantity.
  • Get Links – The goal is to have good enough content to get a decent link or two. This does not mean go out and go crazy with comment links, etc. There are good links and bad links. You want some links, though, so you can start getting traffic.
  • Analyze that Traffic

    Analyze that Traffic

    Analyze the Traffic – Once the site has been up a while (3 to 6  months simmering time depending on the quality of your network – hiding Whois information is gonna be another long ass post – stay tuned…) Once it’s been up a while, you can start to look at what people are actually typing into the search engines to find you. This is a gold mine. For $7 (domain), a few bucks for hosting, and time or money for content, you have a real look at data that is useful. So, you look at the top keyword phrases that are bringing traffic and create new content based around what people are searching for in Google, Yahoo, or Bing.

  • Rinse / Repeat – As you can see, this can be a long, ongoing cycle, but this is a good thing. The more content you have, the more links you’ll get, the more traffic you’ll get, the more data you’ll have on long tail phrases in this niche and the more content you can create that is laser targeted for what people are wanting…

Oh, there are many details that should be here, but these are the basics. It’s simple, right? The trick is in taking this knowledge and applying it – actually going out and doing it, not rushing off to the next blog to dream about another idea or model.

Like I said, these are crumbs usually, but the sites can make enough (even with Adsense) to “pay their rent” (as Eli at BlueHat SEO would say), which means they’re not losing you money. They may not be making a ton of money, but they’re not costing you and they’re pulling in valuable data on a niche – what keywords people are typing in. And that’s a good thing. Crumbs or not, it’s a way to take it to the next level. Everyone has to start somewhere.

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This post was written by:

kpaul - who has written 138 posts on Webmaster Chronic Blog.

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2 Responses to “Long Tail Crumbs are Yummy”

  1. jimh says:

    How do you pick your keywords or key phrases? Thanks!

  2. kpaul says:

    It depends. There are a lot of great tools out there. I could give you a list, but it might be better to just go try some of the free ones before deciding whether you want to sign-up with a monthly service for keywords. Once you do that, come back and check with me.


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