Please note that affiliate links may be included in some posts.
In this niche report, I’m going to examine the weird and wild words of urbandictionary.com.
This site catalogs all sorts of new and old idiomatic expressions, frequently capitalizing on viral and trendy neologisms, i.e. ‘newly coined words’.
There are a lot of online dictionary sites out there, from old mainstays like the Encyclopedia Britannica to newer examples like Urban Dictionary itself.
But few of them are as effective at cataloging the internet’s bizarre and perverted lexicon.
Check out its staggering organic traffic rankings:
The Big Idea
The big idea here is that there are some out of the box ways you can get traffic to a site.
You don’t always need to rank for ‘best toilet seat’ or ‘fat burning diet pills’. You can rake in a ton of organic traffic passively in weird niches.
For example, by documenting internet culture keywords like these:
(Normally I publish an interactive AirTable of the keywords- but in this case, there were too many X-rated keywords and I didn’t want to end up violating an AirTable T.O.S. Use Ahrefs or SEMrush to download their keywords.)
Be forewarned, there are some pretty scandalous and sexual keywords here. But feast your eyes on the staggering search volume for words like covfefe (546,000), bts (1,250,000) and oof (193,000).
While Urban Dictionary has about 21 million ranking keywords, there are several similarly-sized sites like wiktionary.org and thefreedictionary.com.
You can see that Wikipedia.org, of course, crushes everybody with 370 million keywords.
These are all massive, massive websites. To get to a million ranking keywords is a significant achievement.
How They Make Money
A dictionary site like this is going to make money by running ads- you can see two ad (#1 & #2) placements on their “Dank” page below.
Additionally, they sell merchandise with the phrase/expression on them (#3):
Further down the page, they even have an affiliate link for NameCheap- promoting purchases of relevant domain names.
So, it’s a nice mixture of eCommerce, ads, and affiliate monetization.
The website is a lot of fun and packed with amusing content and imagery.
Like a post-modern Encyclopedia Britannica.
How Much Do They Make?
I used SimilarWeb to get a sense of their overall monthly traffic:
They estimate that the site gets an average of 62 million visits a month, with the average pages per visit at 1.81.
If you wanted to get a sense of their earning potential, you could divide 62 million by 1,000 (62,000) and multiply it by an estimated CPM.
Say, their CPM is $10, that would mean the site’s earning $620,000 a month.
Plus, they sell merchandise so there are additional earnings from those sales and perhaps other ad sales they might be doing.
How They Get Traffic
A big content site like Urban Dictionary is going to get a lot of organic traffic as well as direct, social and referral traffic:
That’s because it’s a big brand name at this point. If anyone is ever confused about the meaning of a new word trending on Twitter, for example, many of them are likely to head directly to the website to research its origins.
However, there’s a ton of organic traffic here. If you’re looking to start a site in a niche like this, obviously you’re going to be targeting organic traffic to start.
What I Would Do
If I were going to start a dictionary site, I would think long and hard about niching down into a particular vertical.
Maybe you cover gaming keywords.
A lot of these weird, modern expressions that emerge from social media, for example, often have to do with live streamers on Twitch or YouTubers.
Once I had selected a niche, I would do a lot of keyword research to pick off keywords to produce content for. I’d try to develop a consistent content template and then hire writers to produce loads of content.
I would also try to make the content fun and interesting. Rather than writing up a wall of text to appease a search algorithm, I would insert images, videos, tweets, etc. to make the content media-rich and interesting to scroll through.
Maybe you use the Stencil Chrome extension to create custom graphics for each post and optimize it so that it’s discoverable in Google Images.
Read More Of My Niche Reports
What I Like
Low competition / High search volume keywords
This is one of my favorite recipes. Whenever I think about entering into a niche and building out a content site, it’s great to see that there is a lot of keywords with big search volumes that are not that difficult to rank for.
Additionally, since these words are constantly being invented, there is an evergreen stream of new content opportunities to create.
As well, an often-overlooked consideration is the style and even the expense of a niche’s content.
The content here is cheap and easy to write. As well, it doesn’t have to be that long.
If you look at the length of some of the posts that rank for these keywords, you’ll see that many of them are only a couple of hundred words long, or even less.
What I don’t like
This is going to be a display advertising play.
If you’ve been following along with my case study, you can see the frustrations I’ve had getting my site to enough traffic that I can see some modest ad returns on it.
You are going to need sizable traffic- maybe a thousand sessions the day before you begin seeing decent money from the site.
This could be a really fun and niche. If you are struggling to think of a type of site you want to create, you can always experiment in a niche like this, confident that there is always going to be a lot of local competition / high search volume keywords to rank for.