Mastering Your Niche

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 😉 )Eric Donald Gray

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!

3. Planning

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

4. Commitment

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?

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How to Monetize a Niche without a Product or Offer

Jason posted a comment asking, "What if your niche doesnt have any relevant offers available that are related? What if the offers that are available suck?" Well Jason, I have two tips for you. One I don't think you're going to like, and the other might help you generate some revenue for your niche.

1. Pick the right niche. I realize that if you've already invested time and money into ranking in the top 3 for your keywords, it's hard to abandon ship and move to a more profitable niche. If this is you, you need to learn how to pick a niche before jumping in with both feet. This problem can easily be avoided by doing your niche research before starting to build your site.

There are many tools that show you how much you can expect per click, but the most important thing is to search for your keyword (or key phrase) and look for Adwords advertisers. Do you see 5 or more? If not, this might not be a niche with a product or market. If your search reveals 3 or less advertisers, you need to strongly consider a new niche. This particular market might not have the products to support it as a profitable market. If this is the case, ranking #1 might bring you a lot of traffic (3k uniques per month in Jason's case), but if you can't get them to buy anything, that's just junk traffic.

2. Swing to other trees. Imagine you're a monkey, you get hungry and eat all of the bananas in your tree. After the bananas are all gone from your tree, is it easier to get down on the ground and walk a mile to find a new tree, or is it easier to swing to the tree right next to you? Of course, jumping to the tree next door is much quicker and easier. I admit, my analogy skills are sub-par.

So in the case of the monkey, it's easier for you to move into a related niche since some of the work you've done can still relate. Blogs and parasite pages (wordpress.com, blogger, WPMU sites, etc) can still be used for your new niche. Relationships with other webmasters can still be utilized and the content you've written can be repurposed.

How do I pick a related niche?

If you don't know how to pick a related niche, there are generally two ways.

1. Keyword (contextual) based related niche. This method will have you finding other keywords that use your existing keyword. Here's an example.

Current key phrase with no product: Lawn Mowing Service in Arkansas
Other possible niches to break into: Lawn mower reviews, Arkansas Lawn Mowers, Yard Service

This are strong related possibilities because they are using one or more of your existing keywords.

2. Latent Semantic Indexing. This method will have you finding your keywords based on related words that people would normally associate together, for example, bird/parrot/Cockatiel/cage/seed.

Current key phrase with no product: Lawn Mowing Service in Arkansas
Other possible niches to break into: Bermuda grass seed, Arkansas sod companies, gardening gloves, wheelbarrow wheels

Now What?

So you found a related (either contextual or LSI) niche that you're ready to jump into? Here is a quick rundown of what you should do next.

1. Domain. Unless your domain is an exact keyword match, I would suggest trying to adapt it to fit your new niche.

2. Links. If possible, change your best links to use a new anchor text. Once you've done that, start grabbing some new links on strong domains that are indexed well. Web directories are great for this.

3. Content. Keep all of your old content on the site and start adding new content related to your new niche.

4. On site SEO. Make sure you change your meta tags, alt tags, title tags, etc. You don't want to confuse the Google bot that comes to check out your new site.

So if you find yourself where Jason is currently, I hope these ideas can help you make some money!

Brandon Hopkins offers Fresno website design as well as many SEO services including high performance linkbuilding. You can contact him at [email protected]

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How NOT to get Scammed on Rebills

You've seen the sensationalized news stories on re-bills and how these companies are out to get you, bad to the core, evil, etc. What you might not know is that companies have been doing this for DECADES but only now is the shit hitting that oh-so-proverbial fan.

Well, instead of complaining like some whiny girl, why don't you just NOT get scammed?

"Gosh .. how do I do that, Scott?"

It's easy. Let me tell you.

1. Single-use (AKA Disposable) Credit Card Numbers

Yeah, hear that? That was the sound of your brain exploding.

They exist, they're easy to use and banks are beginning to offer them. What you do is have your bank (or PayPal) generate a one-time-use credit card number for you, and you can go out and use that credit card -- wait for it -- ONE time.

What this means is that no one could re-bill you even if they begged and pleaded. The only way you can have a second charge made to your account is if you purposely contact them and request billing be made to your REAL credit card number.

2. READ, READ, READ and READ some more

As an affiliate marketer, I can tell you that if I can hide something in the fine print, I will. That asterisk? Yeah, it's my best friend. I can say something like, oh I don't know:

FREE* AFTER $1.95 SHIPPING & HANDLING!

So not only have I duped you into thinking you're getting a product for free, but I've also left out the most important part of the deal (which of course is hidden at the bottom of the page or on a completely separate page):

* This product is free for 30 days, after which I will bill you for $1,000/month until you cancel the subscription. Also, you must dance like a chicken for 30 minutes every first and third Tuesday of every month at 4:00pm.

Not so appealing NOW, is it? Well, it is to me but not so much for you. If only you had read the fine print, you wouldn't be getting billed $1,000 a month and dancing like a chicken on every odd Tuesday. Well, luckily you can cancel at any time, right? RIGHT?

3. Canceling Re-Bills Is NOT EASY

Companies that offer products rely solely on the fact that you'll forget to cancel your subscription (as most people who sign up do forget) and it will continue for at LEAST a few months. This is why they are notoriously difficult to contact for cancellations.

Not only can you not get through to them in the first place, but once you do, you'll be on the line with someone who will be penalized for losing your business. They might be called "customer service," but they are really just unlucky salesmen who got stuck answering phones for unhappy customers.

What this means for you is that not only are they going to try their hardest to get you not to cancel, they're going to try and get you to spend MORE money (the audacity!).

The system is set up this way to make the owners of these companies butt loads of cash that they most likely won't have to return. There are hundreds of these products active on the internet for this very reason.

So yes, they may be investigated by the media, government organizations and even joe-blow reporter, but that doesn't mean they'll stop. They'll make minor adjustments here and there to fit through the loop-holes in the system and they'll continue. The only way to make them stop is to educate yourself and STOP being such an idiot! People will take advantage of you if it means a few extra bucks in their pockets.

Trust me.

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