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Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just put everything in our daily lives aside for a few months to focus on building an online business? This would clearly provide the quickest and easiest path to success.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. At least not for most of us. In my case, I have a wife, three kids, two large dogs, and a full-time job. Some of you likely have two jobs or something else going on that significantly limits your free time even further.
While your day-to-day obligations might slow your progress, don’t let it be an excuse to not follow your passion or to chase your goals. There are ways to build a business without investing too much time, especially when it comes to building niche sites.
In this post, I’ll lay out some of the strategies that I’ve used to grow my business to over $40,000/month, without neglecting my day-to-day obligations. While it might take longer to get there, the reward waiting for you at the end of the day is well worth the effort.
1 – Use Every Opportunity That’s Available
The first tip isn’t a fun one, but if you’re trying to build a niche site with limited time, you need to be willing to take advantage of every opportunity you have to work on your site.
This can mean waking up an hour early, staying up an hour late, working during your lunch break (even from a phone), etc. Any bit of time, no matter how small, that you can free yourself from your daily duties, you should spend working on some aspect of your business.
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While you might not feel like you can get much done in 15 minutes, if you spend 15 minutes per day on something Monday through Friday, you’ll put in an hour and 15 minutes by the end of the week. That’s enough time to write the bulk of a good 1,000 word post.
Before I move on, I just want to point out that it’s important to take breaks as well. Don’t push yourself past your breaking point. Always allot at least some time each day or week for putting everything aside, including growing your business.
2 – Create a Task List
My next tip is an important one and that is to break everything down into smaller tasks. Instead of looking at growing your business as a whole, make a list of all the various tasks you need to accomplish to make progress.
You might even end up with multiple lists. I use task lists for various time frames. I have some tasks that I want to accomplish daily, others that I need to do once a week, and even some that just need to be done once.
Break things down as much as possible. That way, you can make progress on some aspect of your business, even when you only have 10 minutes to work on it.
For example, instead of having a task like “create articles,” break it down into the following:
- Create an outline
- Create a title
- Research the topic
- Write the content for each subsection
- Add images
- Add internal links (use the Link Whisper plugin to really save time with this)
- Add external links
- Proofread the article
When you break down something like writing an article into smaller tasks like this, it becomes more manageable, instead of being overwhelming. This makes it significantly easier to make progress with even the smallest of time windows.
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3 – Focus on Content
A trap that many people fall into, myself included, is that you spend more time researching than you do taking action. Instead of working on your site, you read blogs or watch videos about how others build niche sites.
Research has its place and is important to an extent. However, if you don’t take action at some point, you’ll fail before you even get started.
That’s why it’s important to put the vast majority of your time toward creating content for your site. That means writing the actual articles (not tweaking your logo, adjusting your theme’s colors and navigation, etc.).
Don’t worry about making too many mistakes because you don’t feel like you’re prepared. Mistakes are actually a good thing and will help you to improve your skills as you learn from them.
Many people fail because they’re simply afraid of failing. Instead of jumping in knowing that they might make mistakes, they simply spend all of their time researching in hopes that they’ll get everything right from day 1.
To recap, spend the majority of your time creating content on your site. That will help your site grow more than anything else.
Yes, you’ll make mistakes. But as you learn from those mistakes and improve your skills, you can update your old posts to bring them up to par with your newer ones.
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4 – Set Aside Time for Research
I just told you not to waste all your time researching, so why am I now telling you to set aside time for research? That’s because research is still important and is something you need to spend at least a little bit of time focusing on.
If I had to break this down as a percentage, I would say to set aside 5-10% of your time for researching building niche sites, while spending the remaining 90-95% on creating content.
That 5-10% will give you just enough research time to get you on the right track and keep you there as you grow. The key is to not do all that research at once up front, but instead do it consistently, ever week or every month.
If you do all the research before you start building your site, you won’t have a good enough understanding of the methods being taught. If you instead research just a little bit each week or each month, everything that you learn will make much more sense to you, and you will be able to apply the techniques for better results.
5 – Don’t Aim for Perfection
If your time is limited, the last thing you want to be is a perfectionist. Do the best job you can when creating a post in a limited amount of time, but don’t sweat the details.
In our case, we currently publish almost 100 articles every month, most of which are outsourced (see our tools and resources page for who we use). We simply don’t have time between the four of us to proofread and edit all of these posts as we get them.
We don’t even add images (aside from a featured image) or links to most of these posts. We simply publish them as is and log them on a spreadsheet.
Later on, as the posts have had time to rank a bit in the search results, we go back and improve the articles that are getting some traction. We add images, internal links, external links, etc.
With this approach, we’re able to produce a lot of content quickly and still make sure that the content that’s getting visited is in good shape. Why spend your time perfecting articles that no one will ever read?
6 – Find a Business Partner
I truly believe that one of the biggest keys to my success is that I teamed up with a few others. While you can build a successful business by yourself, it’s so much easier to work as a team.
When you have a team or business partner, you can each specialize in certain areas, which means you can streamline your processes and get things done in less time. This is huge when you’re on a daily time crunch.
On top of that, you can bounce ideas off of each other and collaborate on various tasks, which will likely lead to your niche site growing much more quickly.
7 – Outsource if You Can
While not all of us can afford to pay someone else to do something for us, if you’re able to, this will help you grow more quickly than anything else when your time is limited.
The task that takes the most amount of time when growing a niche website is creating content. This is the task that you’d want to outsource, if outsourcing is an option for you.
While outsourcing is great, I still highly recommend writing most of your own articles early on. As I mentioned earlier in this post, you’re going to make mistakes, and those mistakes will help you to figure out how to do things right.
The last thing you want to do is to outsource content early on when you don’t know how to find good keywords to target, or you don’t know what to ask of your writers to ensure that their articles will help your site grow.
Once you’re confident that you know what you’re doing and have started to see some initial success, outsourcing your content can work well and free up a lot of your time.
8 – Be Patient
Lastly, know that no matter how much time you put into growing your niche site, it will still take a long time to gain momentum. If you know this up front, it’s much easier to stay focused and on track so your site continues to grow.
Expect new posts to take anywhere from 6-12 months before they start bringing in traffic from Google Search. If this is your first site, it might take even longer.
Even if you publish 100 posts on day 1, you’re still going to have to wait for Google to test and judge your site. This process is slow and takes many months, so just be patient and focus on the tasks on your task list that you created in an earlier step.
The thought of creating a website and making money while you sleep is appealing to most of us, and for good reason. However, growing a niche site to the point that it’s relatively passive still requires quite a bit of work up front.
That initial work can seem overwhelming if you already have a lot on your plate, and it’s likely the reason why many people give up or don’t even get started in the first place.
However, by using the tips above, you can maximize the time you have so you can grow your site, without neglecting your daily obligations.