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Is the niche website dead?

I launched a website, Remotely Spanish, with the idea that I could merge my expertise in different fields into a constructive side project. I know a shitload about Spain from my time studying the country, living there, and visiting frequently. I’ve also picked up extensive knowledge in search engine optimization and had been kicking around website ideas that’d capitalize on those skills for a few years. And with all the advancements in artificial intelligence in the last two years, I wanted to find new ways to experiment with AI.

To that end, I did a bunch of keyword research, bought a domain, and started writing. I launched the website on May 5, 2024 with my first blog post. It’s a funny time to launch a website, given the “relentless discontent” in SEO right now. People fear change, for sure, but I also think Google’s AI Overviews suck.

But that’s beside the point. I launched this website to see if it’s possible to build a niche website in 2024. My plan was this:

  • Launch the site with roughly 10 articles
  • Optimize for search as much as possible
  • Continuing publishing roughly one article per week
  • Build more robust internal links as areas of knowledge get fleshed out
  • Update and compare with competitors
  • Analyze what’s working and iterate off of that

It’s not rocket science, really, but it takes knowledge and dedication. I’m also not making any money off the site at this point, so it’s a non-lucrative labor of love. I won’t divulge too much else on my strategy, but this outline is replicable for virtually anyone.

With that, I plan to post a month-end update to assess how the site is performing. This is a meta post on my personal website, but I think a fruitful exercise.

Remotely Spanish June 2024 update

Here’s the top-level overview of the site this month.

My analysis

It doesn’t surprise me whatsoever that my best-performing post involves sex. There was clear search opportunity with movies in Spanish, and honestly, I was toying with the idea of launching a site dedicated to the subject. My main concern, however, was that the scope seemed limited, and as much of a cinephile as I am—particularly for movies in Spanish—I didn’t love the idea of having to write about movies in Spanish all the time.

I already did the research on a few keywords, and choosing the path I have allows me to add movies in Spanish as a subsection of a larger site. That feels right.

Observing the rise in search terms over the last month has been fun, too.

Organic keyword growth on Remotely Spanish from January through June 2024.

TLDR: On May 1, the website ranked for zero keywords, and as of July 1, it ranks for 100—and that’s with only 12 live blog posts on the site and zero outreach. No tweets, no social media—nothing. Here’s the one-month view:

It’s rewarding to see the experiment start to develop fruit. I don’t expect the site to become a traffic juggernaut anytime soon, but there are other keywords more squarely in the site’s purview with huge potential that I haven’t touched yet. I want to work out more kinks before I attack those, but my early efforts are at least gaining traction without being pushed in other ways.

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