Case Study: Niche Site With NO Research?

Over the weekend, while hanging out at the beach, I was inspired to start a new niche blog. The minute I had some free time to hop online (thanks to a delayed flight!), I sat down and registered the domain name.

I didn't even so much as research the niche first. A double-niche actually. No keyword research. No market research. Nada.

Sometimes you just have to go for it! πŸ˜‰

Today I'm going to reveal that domain name, and the niche, and give you some insight into my decision to skip any research upfront.

I'll also walk you through the initial set-up so you can see firsthand just how cheap & easy it is to get your own niche site or blog up and running - fast...

The Niche I Chose, And Why...

You may or may not have noticed that I put on 20 pounds in the last couple of years. 😯 Blame age, blame the rough spell I went through, or whatever, but I finally reached my breaking point around March 1st.

Exercise alone wasn't cutting it. I continued to gain weight. Finally, around mid-April, I changed my eating habits dramatically. I cut down to less than 20 net carbs a day. I immediately lost 15 pounds in the first month or so!

While I was having lunch at the beach on Saturday, my friend Tracy commented how impressed she was I was sticking to my "diet" - and how most people would skip it while on vacation. I laughed and said, "Yeah, but I'm on perpetual vacation! That would never work." πŸ˜€

And that's when the idea for the domain came to me:

A place to share all the things I've figured out for eating low-carb on the go, through airports and at restaurants, while camping, and even my fun & easy meals at home.

My vision was a simple blog with mostly photos and quick tips. A place where people can follow my travels, my progress, and my weird eating habits (lol)...

Getting The Niche Blog Online - Fast!

As I mentioned, the first thing I did was register the domain name. I am quite good at choosing domain names out of thin air, if I do say so myself πŸ™‚ .

Luckily the first one that came to mind was available at GoDaddy. It only took a few seconds to add it to my account, which I did between flights at the Atlanta airport.

From there, I followed the steps outlined at How To Start A WordPress Blog. Since I already have hosting set up, I simply created an add-on domain in my current hosting account (there's no charge for additional domains/sites with HostGator!).

When you log in to cPanel, scroll down to the domains section and click on Addon Domains (see screenshot above). That will take you to a simple form where you add the domain and other details:

Next, I logged in to GoDaddy and updated my nameservers. You'll get those when you sign up for a hosting account, or you can log in to your current hosting account and get the Nameservers if you are doing an add-on domain.

After that I installed WordPress through my cPanel (easy peasy!), I went to Google to hunt for a free WordPress theme to use. I found a really cool, brand new travel-related theme that was just released on June 11th. That just happened to be the exact day I thought up the domain & blog idea... so it seemed like a perfect fit!

I downloaded the theme, uploaded it to my server, and activated it.

All said and done, here's what I have online so far:

Obviously I still have a few simple customizations to do, and a few basic tweaks, then it's on with the content & marketing!

I registered the domain name on Sunday, between flights. I sat down on Tuesday night and set up the add-on domain with my host and installed WordPress. Then I grabbed a free theme. This all happened in less than 90 minutes - and that's only because I browsed through themes for awhile! πŸ˜‰

It didn't take me days, or weeks, or months. It took MINUTES...

No Research?! Are You Crazy??

I think this may be the most shocking part of this Case Study - the fact that I put absolutely no research into it upfront. But honestly, it just wasn't necessary.

I know that both travel and diet/weight loss are huge markets. The "low carb" topic is very trendy right now too. Obviously there is no concern about whether there is a market, or whether it is a buying market.

When it comes to optimization, I'll be targeting long-tail (very specific) keyword phrases on individual pages and blog posts. THAT is when I'll do my keyword research - on the micro level.

There was really no sense drudging over details when I could just dig in and get started. I know it's a hot topic, a buying market, and broad enough to give me plenty of market depth.

The Total Cost

Another reason I didn't stress over research upfront is the insanely low investment of setting up this site. The only thing it cost me was around $10 for a domain name.

If I didn't already have a hosting account, I would have used a coupon code to get my first month free anyway - so no additional cost there for setup.

I told you it was cheap & easy! πŸ˜‰

Next Steps For A Brand New Niche Blog

My next steps will be to: flesh out the About page, choose and create my Categories, and start creating content based on my keyword research. I'm basically just following the exact steps on my WordPress Checklist.

I'll also burn my feed through (so I have RSS stats), redirect my default feed to the new one, and set up a mailing list in my Aweber account so that readers can subscribe for email updates via the Blog Broadcast feature.

I'll be continuing this Case Study in the Private Brainstorming Forum. You've seen how quickly and easily I set it up, now you can follow along & watch to learn how I market & monetize it. πŸ˜€ All you have to do is register on the ClickNewz Forum, then upgrade to Elite Member to access the private forum areas.

➑ Note to Elite Members: the live case study thread is now live in the private forum at:


p.s. I'm traveling again at the end of the week, through the end of next week - this time on a personal trip! While I'm away, I have success stories lined up for you about other niche sites and blogs. Be sure to stop by and check those out...

I'm sure you'll enjoy them!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»


  1. I'm glad to hear that it's possible to enter a niche without always doing a ton of research first! You don't seem too worried about competition either!

    Congrats on your lifestyle change, Lynn! When you talk about 20, do you mean you get 20 percent of your calories from carbs?

    I'm eagerly awaiting for the success stories!

    • Worried about competition?! Ha πŸ˜€

      That word rarely ever enters my mind. When I look around I see ideas, things to research, ways to leverage the work of others in my niche, etc.

      I suppose if I were concerned about competition, I wouldn't be blogging about online business & affiliate marketing here on ClickNewz. πŸ˜‰

      And thank you - I am LOVING my new life!!

      I don't count or even look at calories, so it's simply 20 net grams of carbs. During the first week or so I actually counted every single gram I consumed, and documented it, but now that I have a feel for what's what it just comes natural. Of course, I'll talk about that in more detail on the other blog. πŸ˜‰

  2. Hey Lynn!

    Great idea. I test tons of niches this way...;)

    Like yourself, I have found that this is a great way to learn how to drive traffic for which testing the waters is very important because not all niches are created equal.

    Setting up a personal blog like that and documenting your progress will work very well.

    Additionally, I am a chemist (professionally since 99') and I work with bio-chemists and synthetic medicinal chemists and you are 100% correct...the key to losing weight is ALL diet...exercise is for getting in shape. Exercise helps, but a healthy diet HAS to be in place FIRST.

    Stick with it and make it a lifestyle and you will love the results...;)

    Keep up the work and great post.


    • Thank you Mark. Totally loving the results already! Consider what 15 pounds feels like if you're holding it in your hands. Ack! In addition to feeling better physically, it has improved my mindset and mood dramatically. Making positive change feels awesome!

  3. I've been waiting for someone to do this kind of case study, and here you are. It's really good to show people a real live example of how a blog progresses until it starts making money. Thanks for sharing

  4. james samy says

    Thank you Lynn for sharing a fast method to start of a niche. The simple steps is easy to start-off and implement.

  5. Tracy Roberts says

    Lynn, You are my diet HERO!

    Any diet that starts the day with a pound of bacon, cream cheese & sugar free jelly....well, that's the diet for me! πŸ˜‰

    I can't wait to see all your tips on the new site! I'll be following along for your inspired recipes (apparently cream cheese & sugar free jelly tastes like cheese cake - yum!)

    You look marvelous!

    • Thank you, Tracy πŸ˜€ You look fabulous yourself!! It was great to hang out with you at the beach. We MUST do that again soon.

      Cheesecake & Bacon. YUM. lol

      Wait till you see my homemade "ice cream" - including a brand new chocolate coffee ice cream, which I'm having tonight. πŸ™‚ Super low carb, of course...

  6. Graham Lutz says

    Low carb is not only all the rage right now, but its a biochemically and physiologically more sound science than "eat less exercise more."

    I don't think it will be long before the medical community wakes up to the fact that they have been contributing to the obesity/diabetes/heart disease epidemic with their recommendation to eat less fat (to be replaced by carbs.)

    The world is full of high carb foods because they are easy to store, rarely go bad, and cost next to nothing to produce. That's why it's so hard to eat low carb when you're out of the house.

    Really good idea here.

    • Don't get me started. πŸ˜›

      It IS hard to eat out, or eat on the go, low carb. That's the reason I thought this would be such a great idea - because I have mastered it out of have-to. LOL.

      Any menu you look at has all carb sides - and maybe one or two low carb options. Usually steamed broccoli and caesar salad. Which gets boring after awhile!

      When I'm not traveling, I enjoy a lot of take-out. And when I do cook, it's super fast & easy stuff. This blog is going to be fun - and hopefully help others who found it difficult to eat healthy before...

      • Graham Lutz says

        I'm sure it will be a learning process for you too! I feel like I am always learning some new cool trick of how to do this better.

        For instance - Chipotle is a gold mine of low carb deliciousness! I get the burrito bowl (no rice) with peppers and onions, double chicken, corn salsa, sour cream, cheese, and extra guac.

        It feels like a "cheat" meal but its super low carb and the carbs it does have are the good ones!

        They have an iPhone app to find locations - great for travelers!

        Do you have a goal weight or are you changing lifestyle and letting your body follow?

        • Sounds great, thanks for the tip! πŸ™‚

          I am making a long-term lifestyle change. My skin looks better, I have more energy, I'm happier than I've ever been - and of course the weight loss is a huge bonus!

          • Graham Lutz says

            Sleeping better, liking mirrors again, fitting into old clothes? There are so many benefits - you're clearly pretty passionate about it, so I bet your site will take off right away.

            I'm subscribed and looking forward to the first post!

  7. As always, Lynn, you rock!!

    You are a great mentor for me. I got the Affiliate Profit Plan thru your site and your reco (which I trust). It is just what I needed!

    Thank you for being on the lookout for quality people and products!

    My site (not up yet but shortly) is

    best, best, best regards!


    • Thank you Judy! Sounds like we'll be working on our new sites side by side. πŸ™‚ The guide was a steal while it was on special. Glad you grabbed a copy. Just follow it one page at a time and you'll be on a roll before you know it!

  8. And, that, my sweet friend, is why *you* make money and continue to in such a variety of niches.

    Idea + (Action x 100) = Profit

    Can't wait to sign up for your list on the new blog. I'll check back to see progress. πŸ™‚ Excited to see it develop.

    Congrats on the weight loss. Hope to be celebrating more of it (for both of us) at NAMS.

    Hugs. N

    • The mailing list should be up by the end of the day. Just got my feed "burned" and set up earlier this morning. Making FAST progress and having SO much fun with this site!!

      Thank you for brainstorming it with me at the beach. πŸ˜€ No better place to get creative inspiration! I was serious about the 6 of us getting together soon for a personal trip. Will keep you posted. πŸ˜‰

      Can't wait to see you in August - minus a few more pounds between us!

  9. Wow lynn! I'm actually shocked you're sharing your new niche site, but there's no doubt in my mind that your audience is hungry for it as well as success stories. You surely know how to keep in touch with your market and now we can literally watch you go from start to profit. By the way, celebs will fit in your niche perfectly, they're always traveling and they rarely eat carbs lol

    • Ahh good idea, Kimmoy - noted! πŸ˜‰ And thank you. It's very rare I share any of my projects, but since this one fits with my public lifestyle (particularly with all my biz traveling) I thought it would be fun to do one in my own name - for a change. LOL

      • Hi, Lynn - I actually have a question regarding pen names or being anonymous on a niche site. I am happy that my separate niche ideas all fall under one umbrella for me -- but curious as to how one would remain anonymous if you wanted to 'try' a niche to see how it responds (i.e., fills needs in the marketplace and helps people).

        I'll try to locate this independently on your site, but if you have any answers or links, that would be great : )

  10. Gail J Richadson says

    Lynn you are the best. You amaze me with you thought process and great ideas.

    Nicole said it all ...Idea + (Action x 100) = Profit

    I wish my brain worked half as good as yours does..LOL

    I could stand to drop several pounds so I will be signing up.

    • You look fabulous, Gail πŸ˜‰ But it will be fun to have friends joining in! I wish I had gotten more time with you at the beach on Saturday. I don't know how that happened! So glad I at least got to hug your neck though. πŸ™‚

      I am *always* looking at niches. Remember the old tootsie roll commercial... "everything I think I see, becomes a tootsie roll to me!" - That's me and niches. LOL.

  11. Karen McGreevey says

    Lynn, Thank you once again for a fantastic "show and tell" case study. I also love your new blog theme and your domain name. Just perfect.

    Although I see "do this and do that to get this" mentioned a lot in various places around the Internet, the steps are most helpful when they are actually put together like you've done, and when they're said by someone of your caliber who's been through it.

    And congratulations with your new eating style.

  12. Kaye Swain says

    Thank you! I'm really excited to follow you as you do this and gain new insights and ideas. Plus looking forward to your book. Thanks for the other great resources you've shared in the last couple of weeks as well!

    • I'm excited about publishing the book this year. πŸ˜€ And thank you - I look forward to your thoughts, feedback, questions, etc. Should be a fun Case Study!

  13. Now you're talking my language...don't sweat the details until you've established an overview.

    I don't use the same services you do, but my process has been exactly as you described. And when you use WordPress to set up your blog/niche site, you don't wait "2 or more days for the site to propogate". You're up and running in minutes.

    It's really cool what things like "1 click install" and plugins can do for you.

    Now that you're tanned, rested, and ready Lynn...stop reading my nonsense and get back to work. πŸ™‚

  14. Update: Elite Members can now access the Live Case Study thread for this site in the private forum at:!

    You'll find additional posts there already with the next steps I've taken since setting up the blog yesterday. Questions welcomed! See you there πŸ˜‰

  15. Hi Lynn

    I'd be interested to know your thoughts on the domain name - obviously 'travelling' and 'low carb' are both big traffic phrases but the broad match for travellinglowcarb is negligable - so does the domain name feature in your SEO plans or will you do it all via the long tail keywords you mentioned?

    Good luck with the diet ( not that you need it!)

    • Thank you, David!

      The domain name carries very little weight in the overall ranking criteria. Unless you are going strictly for an exact match domain - which in my opinion is a trend subject to a slap/update. is a great example. Zero keywords, but each post ranks well for it's keyword phrase (when I want it to). It's all about the micro-targeting in my book. I'd rather have a catchy/easy domain name that's fun and interesting... than a keyword rich domain.

  16. Cindy Brock says

    Thanks for sharing, Lynn. Wouldn't you agree that some of the best ideas we have are directly related to how we live? I have always found taking that approach is far easier than trying to grab something out of thin air for which I know nothing or have any experience with.

    My question: how do you plan to make this blog profitable (and that may seem like a very basis question)? That's what always trips me up!Do you offer affiliate products exclusively, or will you create an ebook or something you can sell directly?

    Best as always,
    Cindy πŸ˜‰

    • Almost ALL of my niche affiliate sites are facets of my personality or habits. And yes, they are more fun AND easier.

      Monetization is going to be fun! I'll be detailing that out in the Case Study thread at the forum, but I plan to keep it simple: affiliate, advertising, Adsense, maybe even sponsors. If I create a product at all, it will be a free download as an opt-in incentive. I don't plan to get into product development heavily as I want to keep the site FUN and low-maintenance. πŸ˜‰

  17. Wow! You are the best! I purchased Affiliate Profit Plan on your recommendation and now I will be able to follow your case study in the private forum. It doesn't get any better than this.

    Congrats on your diet and new lifestyle!

  18. There must have been something magical about launching my new blog last night... because I woke up this morning weighing 2 pounds lighter. πŸ˜€

    Or it could've been the awesome super-low carb eating for the last couple of days, since returning from the beach. LOL...

  19. Fab.U.Lous! : ) So great to be getting up to speed on everything 'and' seeing it done, right now, real time, in a very simple way : )

    At least I honestly know the only things holding me back (identified!), and have a plan, and I'm working it every day : )

    Thanks again so much for all you do! : )

  20. Meredith Young says

    I can help you with ideas for the site. Read Gary Taubes' books -- Good Carbs, Bad Carbs and Why We Get Fat. He has completely researched this and explains how it's CARBS that make us gain weight -- not fat and not protein. And I'm not at all surprised that you've quickly lost weight eating low carb. It truly works. Good luck with your site! I'm on the same path only in my case, the website income will augment my rather small retirement. It pays the bills but I want to have Retirement Adventures and that takes money!

    • I look forward to checking out your site, Meredith - and thank you for the book recommendation. I'll check that out. πŸ™‚ Good luck with your site & goals!

  21. Johnathan says

    Great niche and broken down to travelers as well.
    Wonder how much it would be to get ads in those "in-flight" catalogs?

    Random Thought: Airlines should sell adverts on their airliners, like NASCAR.

  22. Lynn:

    Wow...congrats on your weight loss success - that's awesome! For what it's worth, I never noticed the weight gain - honestly. You've always looked good;) I have gained about 20 pounds myself and my biggest thing is saying good bye to fast food and junk food. I love the If I can just learn to say no, I'd drop the weight quickly too but walking away from bad eating habits has been a huge challenge for me.

    Now on to business...I love what you've done with this niche site (i.e. doing no research). I launch sites all the time without research and most are always successful. There are successful niche ideas all around - especially if you watch TV or listen to the radio (HINT HINT).

    I almost always launch my sites on a hunch first and then the only research I do is to find specific keywords for the niche I should target and to find things I might want to write about.

    Have a good one!

    Travis Van Slooten

    • The mainstream media is FULL of ideas if you listen in, I agree πŸ˜‰

      The reason low carb is working so well for me is I can still eat out, eat fast food, eat as much as I want even. It's probably the most liberating "way of eating" I've ever found. My favorite fast food is a Hardees thickburger (minus the bun of course). πŸ˜€

  23. Garry Woods (Call_2_Action) says

    Wow Lynn Who would think you were over weight, but a woman knows her own mind, and its great you are pioneering the way for other Ladies and Guys, as I too have had a lot of sickness, and gone through a bad relationship break up and gained a lot of weight but took action, and did something about it and also went on a diet called Eat Stop Eat 24 hour Fasts twice a week, and have lost 23 lbs in 6 weeks and I feel great more energy I get up at take my Greyhound for a Jog at the age of 67, no barrier, I'm feeling very fit now and one day at a time i'm not pushing it with heaps of weight lifting and strenous exercises, no just loving lifethat I have thanks for all the help on this blog and clicknewz loving it.

  24. Christina Lemmey says

    Love this post Lynn! My biggest problem is NOT taking action and I always seem to get stuck in the research part. Now I'm convinced that I need to just "bite the bullet" and test the waters with some of my niche ideas.

  25. Wow Lynn,
    You just gave me an idea. I am a stay at home mum and I know how I can have excuses and add on weight. But I also know how to get back on shape real quickly. Morning walks when the kids are sleeping ( yes you can do indoor cardio)making healthy cookies with the kids, making a great healthy dessert bread and more. Well, that is if only I can nail down my self-esteem blog and earn money from it first. I picked that from you. All the best in your blog.

  26. Elizabeth Nesbitt says

    Wow, some people just have it all!

    A hot bod, the frequent flier points and the guts to shoot first ask questions later!

    Newly converted fan and loving it! Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences, πŸ˜€

  27. Hi Lynn,

    I'm hoping the same holds true for the domain I acquired yesterday. LOL

    As for the "jump in, feet first" approach - I absolutely love it. I've done this with several of my own sites and more than not, they do survive the ordeal.

    I think it's because we're so passionate about the topic, it boils over into the content. People can't help but noticing and it draws them in. A website personality is always strongest when it's pushed by passion!

    And trust me, I know all too well about the "need to lose weight" problem. When you sit at the PC all day, it doesn't leave enough time for exercise and eating right.

    Kudos to you for taking the risk...

    All good things,

    • So true, Bonnie! πŸ˜‰ And yes, the passion definitely helps. I think it's important to start a business that is in line with your lifestyle - or takes you in the direction you want to go with your lifestyle - considering how much time and energy we invest into our business.

      Enjoying it is a requirement in my book! πŸ˜€

  28. Great post Lynn. I just visited the site and you've already got it to a Page rank 1 and it's made you money. Now I've got to get into that thread to see what you're doing over on your forum πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the inspiration and giving us an example to follow.

    Lee Ann

  29. SEO Services Sydney says

    Great post Lynn. Always interesting to see a real life niche example and I'd be interested to get an update on how its all going.

    I checkout out your site - not sure if you are making money with it but regardless, it looks great!

    • Thank you! It's not quite 90 days old yet, but yes it is already earning money. I'm still working on it steadily. So far it's getting around 2500 unique visitors a month and around 43,000 pageviews.

  30. How do you get those amazon products you have here:

    • Hi John. That's an Amazon aStore. You can create one within your Amazon affiliate account.

      • Ya, after I asked the question I went to my account and was able to figure that out. It's not very flexible though. The way you have it is no widgets on that product page so it fits. I can't remove the widgets for just one page so I have to figure a way to shrink it a little.

        • Every theme works different. In my theme I have the option to turn the sidebar off for a Page, so that's what I did - and it fit fine. See if that's an option on the right hand side when creating a page in your theme...

  31. Can I just say that the in depth case study thread you have going in the elite group is AMAZING? I have been following your entire case study as I build our new niche site and it's been so helpful. When you build something around a topic you are so passionate about it makes it so much fun.

  32. Loren Wood says

    Hi Lynn,

    Thank you for sharing the information about your TravelingLowCarb niche website. One question please - since liability insurance for health related websites can be expensive, how did you account for this insurance in your start-up costs. Any information about liability insurance for this type of website would be greatly appreciated. All of the best with your health program and LowCarb website!

    Best Wishes,
    Loren Wood

  33. john morris says

    I did the same thing with 2 of my blogs. Did no research. Just felt it was right niche and went after it. 1 is working better than the other. Both Blogs have been good though.

    John Morris
    Radii Shoes

  34. Starting a niche site without research, ummmmm no, maybe I'm not at that level to carry such projects.

  35. No, you're not crazy - just like you said, for 10$, come on... I think it will be a great challenge for you; I've been to many conferences by now and the conclusion is this one: don't give up! If you feel like doing something, do it, no matter what. People around you say it's not a good idea? Adapt! Keep on going, watch your competitors and adapt! Good luck!

  36. I will eagerly follow the developments in your new niche site, as I've tried to follow so much of what you've done over the years. I have 2 of the same questions as some posters above: What do you do about liability insurance, and how do you maintain anonymity with a new niche mini-site under an umbrella site? (I hope I worded that second right, I'm still learning all the lingo! πŸ˜‰

  37. hi Lynn this is my first time following you but what caught my eye was the fact you were hanging out with Rosalind Gardner , whom i have followed for a while, as I also am choosing niches I am interested in , and just getting a domain name and setting up by blogs just as you described above , domains from go daddy hosting with hostgator, and now have 4 sites at host then profits , GVO, the problem i seem to have is lots of visitors leaving comments loving my blogs but NO sales ! hum !

  38. I think you look great... I found your tutourial about the affiliate site really good, and you did what most internet marketers never do, you revealed your site, I will be subscribing to your newsletter,as I am sure this is one place that new marketers can learn a lot..THANKS

  39. Hello Lynn

    This has got my creative mind working. Niche blogs are almost unheard of here in The Netherlands.

    Im going to eat low carb while giving it some serious thought! πŸ˜‰

  40. Hi Lynn,

    I know it's been awhile since you posted this - I was looking around the blog here and couldn't find any updates on how the niche site is doing. How is it doing? I was thinking of starting a similar niche site (in the health/diet niche) but I know it's ULTRA competitive. What type of results are you seeing so far?



  41. Hi Lynn,

    I'll go with Eric and ask how your niche blog is doing. I'll have to refresh my memory on this, look up the domain, etc., but I want to know, too. I too want to start some smaller niche blogs/sites on topics related and unrelated to my fledgling flagship biz. So ... how's it doin'?

  42. Low carb is the only way I lose weight. It's hard to keep up with when you have kids, but it makes the body feel so much better.

    Great job on telling others how to make a blog and easy podcast.

  43. Jason Morgan says

    I launched 4 or 5 blogs in the past thinking they were Niche Blogs that I could rank easily for but it took me spending the money marketing wise to finally make myself work hard enough to make my niche blog work. Very good article.

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