How To Create A Local Event Site For Passive Profit

HomeNiche Business IdeasHow To Create A Local Event Site For Passive Profit

Please note that affiliate links may be included in some posts.

This next niche idea can be a really fun and lucrative one especially if you live in a big city.

The idea here is to create a local event site with a focused specialty or theme (music, tech, luxury, etc.) and monetize with sponsored content.

This post will examine the opportunity and discuss how best to approach it.  

Living in NYC, there's a lot to do. One way I figure out which events are worth going to is by relying on several NYC-themed event sites.

Some of my favorites include:

2023 Niche 'Viability' Update: 👍

I'm revisiting and refreshing my previous Niche Reports with fresh insights and perspectives to provide you with the most current and relevant analysis on their viability in today's market:

  • In light of the recent Google search algorithm updates, I believe that building a brandable local event site and targeting alternative traffic sources is a smarter strategy than ever due to Google's volatility.
  • Visitors are increasingly turning to local event sites to discover events in their area, offering a promising path to better monetization than relying solely on Amazon affiliate programs or ad revenue from platforms like Mediavine.
  • The availability of low-competition keywords related to local destinations in your area still presents excellent opportunities for niche content.
  • Profiling specific event venues is a valuable approach, as many ticketing websites have successfully garnered significant traffic by doing so.
  • One of the unique advantages of this niche is the ease of acquiring natural backlinks. People frequently link to websites providing event information, making it a straightforward way to build your site's authority.
  • All these factors make building a brandable local event site a safer and potentially highly rewarding endeavor, offering alternative traffic sources, diverse monetization methods, and a straightforward path to earning backlinks.

Keyword Research Example

To get a sense of the crazy traffic opportunity, check out some keyword research I did using

Things like "old sacramento" get 11,000 searches a month and "sacramento breweries" 1,500 a month.

There's clearly a lot of traffic opportunities- people looking for things to do in Sacramento.

Any city, really.

Video Walk-Through of This Niche

I shot a video examining this niche- including a site review of the 5 event sites above using Ahrefs. You can watch it below.

Audio Transcript

Indeed, these sites curate NYC-area events in different ways.

For example, Gary's Guide focuses on startup, entrepreneurship, business, venture capital, digital-media events.

The Printup List focuses on underground, cultural and musical events.

The Skint focuses on free and inexpensive events.

Guest of a Guest, by contrast, focuses on ultra-high-end events like invite-only parties and celebrity happenings.

Brooklyn Based caters to the Brooklyn hipster- not as high-end as Guest of a Guest.

In this way, these sites have discovered interesting ways of curating local area events that the big players like Meetup and Eventbrite just can't.

In the process, they develop a core following- an audience who routinely visit for updates and trust the resources the sites market to them.

Why Choose This Niche?

  • Fun opportunity to build a trusted, local community resource
  • Cheap to produce event guides
  • Easy to outsource research responsibilities
  • Unique monetization opportunities (recurring payments from businesses that want to access to your audience)
  • Returning visitors- once you're discovered, people come back over and over
  • Immunity to Google algorithm updates (SEO penalties, etc.)
  • Easy to create unique content for a dedicated audience
  • You can build an email list with this audience

Not Just Events

Guest of a Guest and Brooklyn Based are also interesting because they are not just event-based. They also editorialize on culture, food and fashion.

This is another interesting consideration- your event site could be a pure event list like Gary's Guide or, in addition, explore broader community affairs.

If you're going it alone, this might be a lot to take on- so perhaps curating events can be a good starting point.

It's important to understand that while these sites will often link to popular event ticketing platforms, it's to book the event- not to discover it.

So, don't be overwhelmed by a site like While an excellent site and app, your human touch is a powerful competitive advantage. 

Word Of Mouth Power

And, think about this: whenever I go to an event from Gary's Guide, I often end up telling the host and other people at the event that I discovered the event on Gary's Guide- this word of mouth confers huge authority on his site.

This is an unorthodox, old-school way of getting traffic and building brand awareness. I've come to rely on these sites- Gary's Guide in particular.

It filters out all the noise from event platforms like Eventbrite, which is often plagued by spammy webinars and lacks effective filtering and discoverability options.

Gary's Guide, for example, succeeds despite not being mobile friendly and despite a somewhat cluttered interface because it organizes real-time event information in a clear and dependable way.

I know that every Monday its event list will be updated and that the wheat will be sorted from the chafe, so to speak.

While most of the events he lists can be found on EventBrite, it would take me hours to discover them as I sort through spammy nightclub promotions and 'financial freedom' webinars.

Is This Niche For you?

Think about where you live.

You might not be in a cultural hub like NYC, but could you provide value by becoming a one-stop resource for local area events? Could you niche down and curate tech events, cheap events, luxury events, cultural events?

Maybe you live in a remote location- you can still profile the activities of a nearby big city.

Cheap Content: The Holy Grail

Plus, since you're merely aggregating content (the events), it's really cheap to produce these event guides.

Once you figure out a process, you can even outsource a lot of it.

If you haven't read my other niche reports, one of my favorite recipes for building a successful online business is leveraging cheap content.

When I first started building sites, I was recently unemployed after the startup I was part of failed. So I was extremely cost-conscious. If you're on a budget, this could be a smart opportunity to pursue- this curated event lists won't take that long to do.

And you can even use a Virtual Asssistant to help compile them on a weekly basis once you figure out which resources you want to pull event info from. 

Become A VIP

And, think about this...

Once you get big enough, you'll start getting invited to ticketed events and even get VIP treatment.

This could become a really fun and lucrative niche with an added social benefit. 


With some diligence you can get traction with local users who want a Gary's Guide for their home town- a destination site that is a one-stop resource for the week's best events.

Once you get some traction and build up an email list- your audience will become extremely valuable to anyone who wants to regionally target their advertising. Say a new sushi restaurant is opening up in downtown Ohio- you can tacfully promote it to your audience in exchange for sponsorship.

Perhaps a musical act you love is coming to town- you might get free tickets for yourself and giveaway tickets for your audience just for promoting it in your newsletter and on your site.

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An Alternative Approach

An alternative way of conceptualizing this site is to create a national resource for particular events.

For example, you could become the resource for legal seminars, the resource for veterinary events, the resource for event marketing professionals. It's definitely another method to consider.

Event Keyword Research

Below, I used to examine some of the U.S. event-related keyword volume.

This really isn't an SEO play, but it's interesting to see the searches that are being conducted- it might help prime your imagination.

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How To Build An Event Site

First, I'd compile some examples of local event sites I like and research them scrupulously.

Then I'd examine WordPress themes and plugins to see what sort of event-specific technology there is to build this style of site.

Too often the local event sites I see don't invest in building a user interface specifically designed for event-style content.

This makes it cumbersome for users to navigate. If your event site is music-themed, you'd want to make it easy for readers to jump between categories like metal, punk, rock and roll, etc.

You could use WordPress Tags and Categories to help organize this content.

Another consideration- you don't want to copy event information and paste it on your site. Google frowns on this "duplicate content". I would consider either direct linking to the event page or including your own blurb.

Though, writing custom content for the hundreds of events you end up profiling is likely a tall and ultimately unnecessary order.

Since this isn't an SEO play right off the bat, my recommendation would be publishing event lists that direct-link to the event page every Monday morning and do this for a couple months.

You'll eventually discover what the best process is for you as you dive into the work.  

Niche Market Research

The Opportunity

The idea is to create a local (or even national) event guide site. With some hustle and creativity the opportunity is there to become a trusted resource for event-goers, whether you specialize in Kentucky-area concerts or national legal training seminars.

I really like this idea because over time you can become a trusted resource plus it uniquely lends itself to 'worth of mouth' marketing. I'd caution you to think through your niche before you start- it's important that you don't go too broad or too small.

For example, a site that focuses on metal music in Kansas- it feels a bit too small. You might want to expand up a category to rock and roll in general and treat metal as a sub niche.

On the other hand, a general Kansas event site might be too broad. It could be difficult to cover everything and you lose the opportunity to provide high-value to a focused segment of Kansas citizenry.

Overall- this is a fun niche, especially if you choose to cover something close to your heart. If you love the startup community, becoming a resource for Kansas entrepreneurs could be a really fun way of getting involved with that crowd.

Niche Marketing Traffic

How To Get Traffic

While organic traffic will come with time, a cool way of getting traffic in the beginning is alerting every event-owner that you list on your site that they've been included in your week-ahead roundup.

People who run events are desperate to fill them and are usually the ones reaching out to promote them.

By providing them free exposure, they'll doubtless be thankful and might do you a solid in return. Whether that's a backlink or free tickets- who knows.

The really beautiful thing about this niche is that people looking for events do so every week, even every day, so if your event lists are good, you'll get returning traffic.

Much of the early work will be promoting your site wherever it makes sense- telling your friends, posting on relevant Facebook Pages, community forums, writing local newspaper editors.

Wherever your potential audience is- be there. A good exercise would be to list out every potential community resource and figure out how you can best let them know about your site. I would caution not to do this too soon- you'll want to have a somewhat substantial amount of content on the site so that people will be comfortable linking to you.

They don't want to promote a flimsy site that they're unsure will continue to be updated. Once you begin hooking people, you'll be able to capture emails, and you'll see that people will continue returning to your site whenever they need an event update.

How To Make Money With Your Niche

How To Make Money

To understand how these types of sites make money, let's use Gary's Guide as an example.

Gary's Guide has a Classes section where he links to schools providing tech instruction- a natural fit for his audience.

The schools are probably paying him to be promoted. He also has a Deals section with various promotional offers.

Besides that, there's a Jobs section where he publicizes job opportunities with NYC startups. 

Recruitment firms doubtless firms see it as a worthwhile investment to sponsor job posts on Gary's Guide because it gets in front of tech professionals. All of these promotions are likely getting him money- people are happy to pay him because they want to be in front of his tech-enthusiast audience.

Members of this audience might be interested in signing up to learn web development, buying tickets to an upcoming new media panel discussion, or applying to be a CTO with a Manhattan startup.

When you think about monetizing, realize that the theme of your site attracts a target audience who third-party marketers might want to reach.

If you start a site curating beachcombing activities in Akron Ohio- you're not going to find many interested sponsors. But, if your site is a Gary's Guide for Los Angeles- that could be really big.

You won't make money as fast as if you followed some of my other guides that focus on affiliate marketing, but this style of site has its own unique advantages.

If you're consistent with quality content and guides, you'll get flocks of visitors who eagerly return to your site day after day to see what's happening around town.

This makes you immune to Google algorithm updates, affiliates dropping you from their program, or other common hazards of online marketing.


  • Opportunity to build a fun, local event resource that engages you with a community you're passionate about
  • Returning visitors means that a consistent traffic source
  • You aggregate content (events), so it's pretty cheap to produce and outsource
  • Good potential for an email list
  • Diverse monetization opportunities


  • Generally not a super-fast path to monetization
  • SEO could be boom or bust- but there are high volume/low keyword difficulty opportunities ranking for venues and shows

Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Ryan Nelson

Ryan Nelson
Ryan Nelson
​Ryan Nelson is a NYC-based Industrial-Organizational Psychologist and a full-stack online marketer. He created to help people discover and build profitable, content-focused online businesses.



  1. Great post! I wonder if you have any idea how event listings could be scraped/collected efficiently? It seems like it would take a lot of time/money to input everything manually?

    • I looked into this somewhat…I talked to a couple data scraping Saas providers, including:

      I asked them:

      “I’m interested in creating an event site, sort of like Gary’s Guide:

      with an event list like:

      Does your tool let me produce lists like this, perhaps from, Google, or Facebook Events, that are automatically updated?

      I.e. if I wanted to produce a list of events, with links to where people could register, could I scrape a page like this:

      and publish a list of events happening in that location for the upcoming week and have it be automatically refreshed like once a week?”

      They responded

      “Hello Ryan,

      As we see Google, Facebook Events, and is using javascript for their content therefore thay may not be suitable for Scrapes

      In detail, we see web pages in our browsers and they use javascript natively, but php scripts (and wordpress plugins too) can not run javascript like browsers, that’s a technical limitation as we explained in details in our both F.A.Q section and blog / tutorials section

      Can it extract content from any source site?

      Check if target is suitable for Scrapes

      But if you find a website and try in our online demo from and see the data (not empty pages or javascript alerts) then yes you can scrape those information and set your task to once a week.”

      I kind of dropped it after that point. If I were to do it, I’d probably choose one of these scraping providers, see how far I can take it on my own, and then either pay them to create what I need or use UpWork to find someone to do it.


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