How I Found Great Ideas On Dying Websites
Brett from Niche Laboratory here.
Today I want to give a bit of a history lesson as to how and why I started the Niche Laboratory. Read on and you’ll find out exactly how I had quite a bit of success from reinventing dying websites.
Like many business ideas, Niche Laboratory wasn’t invented directly. In fact I built two websites before it that were vaguely related, but then I had one of those eureka moments that ended up with me creating the website as it is today.
Dying Website #1 – Big-Boards.com
In 2013 I went to live in Thailand for a while. I didn’t have a job, it was too hot to go out during the day, so I suddenly found I had a lot of time on my hands.
I wanted to build a new money making website, and being a fan of the whole SEO/make money type niche I found out that a website called big-boards.com had apparently stopped working.
This website was quite old and to be honest totally out of date, but it was a really good place to find forums in specific niches. At the time, forum .signature marketing was quite a good thing. And with good reason – I’ve made a fortune from it!
So I decided to build a replacement for big-boards. And this is how FindAForum.net started life. Luckily I had enough time to be able to build the site and populate it with the details of around 1400 forums. I largely automated the process of adding forums. I also added in a few features I thought would be useful, like what type of advertising is on the forum, whether they ask for donations and also some information about some of the typical posts/keywords on the site.
The site gets quite a bit of traffic these days. But at the same time the Internet is a lot more competitive these days and it’s not become as well known as big-boards was.
Incidentally I think big-boards is now back at thebiggestboards.com but the site is still very out of date.
Dying Website #2 – Daily Niche
I remember that back in 2009 when I thought about creating some new niche websites that there was a website called Daily Niche or something. Actually I’m not sure it even was a website – maybe it was a mailing list.
Anyway, fast forward to 2013 and that site seemed to have long since gone. I assume the problem was the hassle of coming up with a new niche idea every single day.
So I launched a new version and put it up at nicheideaoftheday.com.
My version is a bit different in that I basically researched a list of niche ideas, then whittled them down to the final 365. The site then automatically shows one of these niches every day.
What people like about this site is that every niche comes supplied with a list of major keywords in the niche, which are ideal for making mind maps from, or even feeding into other keyword tools.
The main criticism is that you can only get a single niche idea every day. Well that was the whole point of the site but I get the point!
By the way, if you’re also disappointed by this then you can get exclusive access to the entire list of 365 different niche ideas when you subscribe to my Patreon feed.
One interesting spin-off from Niche Idea of the Day is that I used a lot of experimental computer code that processes natural language. And from this I had the idea that it should be possible for somebody to go to the site and get ideas based on ANY keyword. This idea eventually lead to Niche Laboratory being created.
Triple Success from Dead Websites!
So it’s now 4 years after I started a replacement for big-boards.
What success have I had?
- FindAForum gets quite a lot of traffic but it’s not made much money. The best success it has had to date is that I put the URL on my resume and it got me a job offer. Which in itself is quite a good return on investment.
Where FindAForum HAS been successful is in pointing out some interesting niches. But this is potential success – I’ve not really had time to exploit these ideas.
- NicheIdeaOfTheDay gets a few visitors but I think this site would have done much better had it been launched 5 years earlier. Then I could have tapped into the huge microniche website building frenzy that happened from 2009 – 2012. If I had more time and better marketing skills I would add a mailing list to the site. Then I could email people a new niche every day, along with some related marketing material to help monetize the site (i.e. adverts).
- Niche Laboratory has been fairly successful. It gets traffic and it also gets backlinks. The moral here is that if you build a USEFUL site then people will want to link to it.
So how can YOU make money from dead websites?
- You should look out for dying or dead forums. In another post I’ll show you why these are the best dying sites of all!
- Always be on the lookout for sites that look neglected but which still have visitors and backlinks. Sometimes you can buy them off the owners, and this is usually a way to get a great site for way less than you’d pay on a site like Flippa.
Good luck, and let me know if you’ve had any success from reviving dead sites.