This is a guest post from a friend of mine Eric D. Gray. Eric is a long time affiliate marketer that typically stays under the radar.
My business is building affiliate sites. I don't build your typical Amazon stores or throw up a bunch of products. I'm an expert, not just in one type of business, but about 25 different types of business. Let me give you an example. I currently have a website teaching people how to make money on Fiverr. The website has multiple links to Fiverr through an affiliate program that currently pays out $15.50 for anyone who signs up and makes a purchase (not sure if I get paid if they sell something).
To make this profitable I write about many different ways to make money buying and selling on Fiverr. I give people advice on what gigs are good to buy, I do gig reviews where I actually buy the gig, show the results and give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. This site alone isn't very profitable, yet. This site isn't the only one. I'm not just a "Fiverr Expert", I'm an expert in many things.
What Does it Take to Master Your Niche?
1. Expert Status
Typically when you know more than someone else, they consider you to be an expert. This can be leveraged to your advantage and you'll find there are a lot of people that know less than you about many topics. To be an expert you just need to know more than the next guy.
This isn't going to be a live question and answer where you'll be stumped by real experts, you're just giving out the knowledge you have. For me, my expertise on Fiverr is that I've bought and sold gigs.
You are the expert because you have a website that is devoted to this topic. If you don't know a lot about a topic, pick a new topic, or start reading. I have a site about carpet. Before starting the site, I knew nothing about carpet so I read a few articles and now I have "Donald Gray's Expert Carpet Website" (not the real name )
2. Monetizeable Topic
Is "monetizeable" a word?
This is important but not a deal breaker if you can't figure out a way right now. It will come later, in fact here is a link to a tutorial. If you can get people to come to your website, you can monetize it, that's a fact. I've never seen a website that has real visitors that couldn't be monetized in one way or another.
I don't sell carpet on my website, but I do sell "Eric D. Gray's $10 Guide to Save $4000". That's not the actual name of course, but it's in the same idea. Since I don't sell carpet, I needed another way to monetize the site and so I sell a guide that is jam packed with money saving carpet tips. The average person will save well more than $10 when they need to buy new carpet. For example, the most expensive carpet pad isn't always the best even though it's the thickest. The total weight of the pad usually indicates the quality more than the total thickness! That's what an expert sounds like!
When creating your website you need to start with "Pillar Content" these are the articles that will stand the test of time. They're not 'news' or anything that will be outdated. For the carpet site it could be pages such as, "10 Ways to Save Money On Carpet", "5 Sneaky Tricks They Won't Tell You", and "The Most Important Piece Of Advice I Can Give You".
After you get the pillar articles done, you can start with the lighter and easier blog posts. You always want to make sure that you're writing for the readers, not for search engines. People are what will ultimately make you money when you monetize the site.
As you're working on the site you'll have a lot more ideas that you can put into practice.
A few ideas that I can think of right now:
Paid membership directory broken down by city and state.
Sell leads for specific cities that you rank well for.
Premium advertisers for online carpet sellers.
Mailing list to promote the website and ebook
The main problem people have with affiliate sites is they aren't a get rich quick scheme. You won't make money in the first few months, but you'll need to devote a few months to the site in order for it to ever make money. I tell people that it needs to become a hobby, you think about it and spend at least a couple hours per week writing, answering comments, posting comments on related blogs, guest posting, etc. You want to be the expert, right? Experts live and breathe their industry. Stainmaster is on sale at Lowe's this month? Tell your mailing list and your blog readers!
After a few months you should have at least 30+ blog posts and pillar content. You should also have 50+ comments on other blogs and a few guest posts on industry related blogs. If you have engaging content and have devoted yourself to the industry you should be able to make money. You can realistically expect to earn $500+ per month with a single site. That would be through a couple different forms of advertising and maybe selling a couple of your own products or affiliate products if there are some in your industry.
After you have the game plan down, you start doing this in another industry. You can hire a writer to keep up with the first site or you can keep doing it yourself. Don't get overwhelmed thinking that if you can do one site, ten sites will make $5000. You're only one person and you spent a LOT of time devoted to this site. You don't have that same time to devote to 10 sites. Start small and scale your business.
I think that's it for now, that's Eric D. Gray's Business In A Box. Maybe I need an "How to make money online" website!
Have you ever tried something like this?