Niche Site Duel 1 – Introduction

by Harlan Yee on September 24th, 2010

Today, I’m joining the Niche Site Duel started by Pat Flynn and Tyrone Shum. I first heard about this challenge from Pat’s Smart Passive Income blog which I read on a regular basis. I’m hoping to learn a lot by following along with the challenge. One of my main goals is to learn how to get a website to the first page of Google. I’m definitely ready to get started but before I begin, here’s a little bit about myself.


I have a full-time job as a television commercial producer. I mainly create local commercials for a 12th market TV station as well as some national spots on a freelance basis. I work directly with clients writing copy, directing shoots, graphic design, hiring talent and editing. I’ve been in broadcast TV for 17 years. In recent years, I’ve narrowed my interest to Motion Graphic Design. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s the creation of video by animating mostly graphical elements and compositing. These days, I create lots of commercials without shooting a frame of video and my favorite tools for Motion Graphic Design are Adobe After Effects and Photoshop.

Canon 7D vs HD Cam

I started blogging in June of 2009 when I created my first site for my employer. I found that WordPress was very easy to use and I learned about the potential to make money online with blogs and affiliate marketing. From there, I created my first self-hosted WordPress site called The Render Q. The plan for that site was to blog about motion graphic design and eventually create and sell Adobe After Effects templates. To this day, I still haven’t gotten to the template selling part yet, even though I have about 5 templates already built. Shortly after I started The Render Q, I found that getting motivated to write posts on a regular basis was getting tougher. A fact that plagues many bloggers.


So while I was trying to keep up with The Render Q, I started another self-hosted WordPress blog in May 2010 called Digital Camera Producer. This is a site about shooting HD video with digital cameras… Both point and shoot and DSLR video. I believe this will be a growing topic. Besides, I have a lot of interest in digital cameras and I found it even easier to write on this topic. But again, I’ve found that the frequency of my blog posts on this site diminished as time passed.

I have finished 2 ebooks, one for each site but haven’t released them yet.

**UPDATE** Partly due to my pursuits in the Niche Site Duel, I have shut down my Digital Camera Producer website. The reason will be explained in a later niche site progress report.

I Have No Internet Marketing Experience

Unlike the others that are taking part in this challenge, I have no experience in internet marketing… zero! My experience consists of writing here and there on 3 blogs plus about a year of reading blogs about making blogs. I’ve never made an affiliate commission. I don’t have a Google AdSense account and I’ve never created a niche site before. I’m not even sure how to research good niche topics.

However, I hope to change all that by participating in the Niche Site Duel. I am an absolute beginner and I’ll be happy if the only thing I learn is the process of researching, SEO and building a niche site.

A few more tidbits about my online endeavors… As far as social media goes, I’ve never used Facebook. I must be the only person who doesn’t use Facebook! (And I consider myself a fairly tech savvy person). I do have a Twitter account that is rarely used and I recently created a YouTube channel.


I’m going to create my website as cheap as possible using as many free resources as possible. Virtual assistants are definitely not in the budget! I’m going to do all the work myself. However, I do have some ideas for videos where I might need to hire an actor or at least voice talent. In general, my website will attempt to create a relationship with visitors and I’ll use email marketing and an ebook to encourage newsletter sign-ups.

I have no idea what to expect or if I will be successful but the Niche Site Duel is the perfect jump start on a goal that could have potential. Like the others in this challenge, I will report everything I do, successes, mistakes and what I’ve learned from them. If you feel like I’ve left something out, let me know.

I hope you’ll follow along with me and see I how an average person like me with no internet marketing experience will fare against players who ARE experienced at internet marketing.

The First Step

Now I need to find a niche. So my first step is to identify an area of interest and then a product I want to promote. That’ll be the topic of my next Niche Site Duel post.

Niche Site Updates

To make it easy for you to follow my progress, here are all my posts for the Niche Site Duel in one place.

Niche Site Duel 9 – Year One Report and Earnings

Niche Site Duel 8 – Rankings and Earnings Report

Niche Site Duel 7 – My Site Is Now Generating Income

Niche Site Duel 6 – Building Backlinks

Niche Site Duel 5 – Getting My Website Online

Niche Site Duel 4 – Hosting Dilemma and Free Tools

Niche Site Duel 3 – Keyword Research

Niche Site Duel 2 – Choosing A Product To Promote

Niche Site Duel 1 – Introduction

  1. Hi,

    I’m in the same situation as you, just starting out and with not much experience (and no Facebook page either). I’ll be following your progress for tips. Good luck.

  2. Harlan Yee permalink

    Hi Parleo,

    I’m glad you joined the Niche Site Duel. As you know, I’m still learning the ropes of internet marketing and the progress on my niche site seems to be going slower than everyone else. I have some video components that I need to get in place and I’ll be set to move forward at full speed. Being a video producer, I want to make sure the videos will be high quality when I get around to producing them. I’ve checked out your Spanish language site and it looks like it’s a good niche, especially since it relates to a personal goal of yours! There are probably lots of products you can promote. I’ll be following your progress as well! Oh, and I may have a Facebook page by the end of the year… we’ll see. Best of luck!

  3. I’m actually going to be doing some video for my niche site as well, so I may be back to you for advice.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Niche Site Duel 2 – Choosing A Product To Promote | The Render Q
  2. Micro Niche Site Challenge – Part 2

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