Sarah Russell – 3/12 CMC Update

Sarah Russell – 3/12 CMC Update

To learn more about the process I used to find my target keyword and domain name for the Challenge, either watch the following video or read the text below:


Okay, so I know you’re probably all going to be hugely disappointed, but when choosing my niche for the Community Marketing Challenge, I didn’t stray too far from the first Case Study…

Near the end of the first Case Study, I was sharing my results with my Common Sense Marketing chat show participants, when one of the viewers sent me a message that we should talk more after the show. It turns out his wife is involved in scrapbooking, and while he didn’t have any interest in jumping into the niche, he had some great ideas for ways to monetize it.

So I decided to stick with the scrapbooking niche – and my first question was whether to simply expand the site I was working on in the first Case Study or start fresh. After doing some substantial keyword research, I decided to leave my product review site as is and start a new site that could have a broader appeal to people in the niche.


The following are some of the keywords I found that meet the criteria I like to see:

Once I had some potential keywords, I poked around Google a bit to see what kinds of sites were ranking for each of these terms. This helped me to immediately rule out a few options:

*Keywords that included “digital” or “online” – Initially, I thought these might refer to simply finding scrapbooking resources and info online, but it turns out that most of these keywords relate to putting together picture books online and having them bound together by a commercial printer. Not what I’m interested in at the moment!

*Anything with the word “free” – Obviously, I’m going to want to have some commercial products on my site, so the last thing I want to do is build a site that attracts people who are looking for free info.

*Keywords that relate to offline “stores” – While it might be cool to eventually incorporate a directory of local, offline scrapbooking stores, there are clearly better candidates to target in this group.


That said, I eventually decided to focus on the following keyword and domain name:

The sites that come up in Google’s Top 10 for this search term look like the kind of site I want to build. They’re community-based, with plenty of opportunity for customer interaction. They also offer a number of different monetization opportunities, including Clickbank products, Amazon affiliates products, products that I create, or even drop-shipped physical products.

I’ll probably stay away from Adsense, though, as ad costs aren’t high for these keywords, and because there’s some speculation after the Farmer’s Update that using Adsense opens your site up to additional scrutiny by Google.


Now, I’m well aware that the keyword I’ve chosen is more competitive than those I usually target. Google’s Top 10 results for the keyword include some high PR sites (and some low PR sites as well), and they’re strong competitors.

But two things make it worth it for me –

1. The significant search volume compared to the competition results, and

2. The fact that this is a niche I want to be in for awhile.

Because I was able to test the niche with the minisite in my first Case Study, I’m confident that this is a space I want to be more active with. In a sense, this new site is the scaling up of my original minisite.

Any questions on how I approached my keyword research, or how I plan to move forward with this project? Ask them in the comments!

One Response to Sarah Russell – 3/12 CMC Update

  1. […] being out of commission for much of the past week, I’ve still made a few changes to my affiliate marketing minisite and started my blog and forum commenting […]

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