28 Feb

17 Things You Should Think About Before Starting a Niche Site But Probably Won’t

A niche site that makes thousands of dollars for me while I sleep and eat fresh coconuts on beaches in Thailand?

Um, yes. That’s my dream.

And I’m pretty sure you’d be able to describe your passive income dream with just as much or even more detail.

While sitting around and daydreaming about the end result is certainly fun, it doesn’t actually do anything to make those dreams a reality.

No, we actually need to get behind a computer, buy a domain, and publish some pages of niche-based content.

It takes serious thought, planning, and elbow grease to get the passive income ball to budge an inch, let alone get it rolling for the long haul.

(Learn how to create a review website here)

That’s not to say it isn’t possible, but if you’re new to the idea of launching a niche site, just know that you’ll be far more successful if you take the time to at least consider the following questions:

 


What You’ll Learn

  • How to define who you target audience is and where to find them on the internet.
  • What money-related issues you should consider.
  • What you should take time to plan in regards to getting traffic.
  • How to stop wasting time later and get everything right from the start.
  • 17 things I guarantee you never thought about and no one else will tell you before you get started.

 

(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)

 


1. Who is your target audience?

Just because you’re the most passionate person in the world when it comes to scuba diving gear doesn’t mean the rest of the internet shares your enthusiasm for that particular sport.

Or that enough people are looking to buy wetsuits and tanks to sustain yourself on Amazon affiliate sales.

(Check out how to make your own coupon website)

So think creatively beyond “people who are passionate about scuba diving every weekend” and think more in terms of people who have broader interests that might include scuba diving as well.

People who are passionate about marine life, for example. Or tourists visiting the coast. Or beach bums who like to explore the ocean’s depths every once in a while.

Decide the range of who you will target so you know who to write your blog posts and on-site content for, and where to focus your marketing efforts.

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2. Where will your traffic come from?

Because honestly, you can optimize your pages for keyword-based SEO all day long and twice on Sunday and still not get the kind of traffic you need to make your niche site sustainable.

No, you’ll need another strategy beyond writing keyword-based content to get interested readers on your site.

To give yourself a boost, go ahead and stand on someone else’s shoulders for a while… there’s bound to be groups of people that avidly share their interest in your niche on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. Why not interact with them and find ways to benefit them within the space they’re already hanging out in so they’ll be naturally interested in coming to your site?

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3. What are some other popular niche sites adjacent to yours?

A big part of online success—especially in getting your first swarms of traffic—comes from networking and recommendations from other influential people online.

We’re not talking about your competitors here, but people who do still share some of your same target audience that would happily visit your site.

For example, if you run a blog that’s all about cooking and sharing your at-home gourmet recipes, you might want to check out some family life and parenting blogs.

Brainstorm a handful of these sites and start commenting on the posts there and interacting with the blogger herself on social media.

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4. How will you make money?

Though your number one purpose in setting up this site is to make money, a little thought into exactly how that money will be generated and added to your bank account will be helpful… especially in constructing an impromptu business plan that changes as your business grows.

For the time being, you might simply want to rely on the easiest-to-implement methods like AdSense and Amazon affiliate links.

These are very easy ways to get started and you’ll notice your income growing as your traffic does.

But think a little further down the line too… particularly about some sort of monthly recurring income model (like a subscription or membership site), as that’s some of the easiest passive income to make, even though it does take a while to get the setup running.

The sooner you start working on that kind of model, the sooner you’ll start profiting.

Tweet this tip to your followers.

 


5. What’s a realistic income goal?

The big picture goal is usually pretty clear for most of us: make enough money so we can replace our incomes and quit our jobs.

It’s a great goal, but it isn’t tangible.

Realize that you may only be making $20 per month from Amazon three months in and have a plan with real, specific numbers on how you’ll grow that from $20 to $200, then from $200 to $2,000.

You might not meet each milestone perfectly, but when there’s a clear number goal in mind, you’ll be much more likely to achieve it.

 

mind tools setting goals“[Setting goals] focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life,” said Mind Tools. “By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals, and you’ll see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind.”

 

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6. How many hours per week will you commit to your new niche site?

If you work a full-time job that has a 30 minute commute both ways, that’s at least 9-10 hours of time out of your day.

Add in sleeping, meal prep, and getting ready for work and for bed, and you’re up to at least 20 hours, leaving you only 4 hours to have a social life, relax, and work on your niche site.

Because burn out and discouragement from burn out is a very real thing when working for yourself, make sure you’re realistic about how much time you have to commit to your site and the things you’ll be able to accomplish in that time.

Tweet this tip to your followers.

 


7. Do you have an exit plan from your current job?

This might be big dreaming, especially if you’re making less than $100 per month from your niche site at first, but you’ll want to know how you’ll plan to leave your current job when the time comes.

I’m not suggesting you plan some epic quitting notice that burns bridges, but maybe you could write out the two-week notice email you’ll send to your boss. (Just don’t send it yet!)

This is more of a psychological trick to motivate and propel you forward than it is anything else, but it’s very powerful… similar to the way vision boards help people.

 

oprah“You have to have a vision and a plan to execute so every step moves you in the direction [of your dreams].” –Oprah Winfrey

 

 

Tweet this tip to your followers.

 

(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)

 


8. What will you do with your first earnings?

Let’s say you hit a huge stroke of luck and profit $200 in your first month.

Will you put it in your pocket and treat your family?

Or will you invest it back into your site to grow it even further by buying a popup plugin and some ads?

Neither answer is wrong, it’s all about your own priorities.

But knowing why you want that extra money and what you’ll do with it will make sure you keep your site-based priorities straight.

Tweet this tip to your followers.

 


9. How much will this site cost you? And what’s your monthly budget?

After you pay for hosting, a domain name, and web site templates, your budget may very well be $0 if you can’t afford much.

But you really do need to face the reality that running a website is not free, and even if you bootstrap everything else, you will have to pay for your domain name and hosting on a yearly basis.

But, you may be able to spend an extra $100 per month showing ads of your content to relevant people on Facebook or Pinterest via sponsored posts.

If you have a monthly investment budget to start out with, know what it is so you can plan how to spend it to get the most bang for your buck.

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10. What are your year one traffic and income goals?

Remember, “enough money to quit my job” is not a specific enough goal to create milestones based on.

If you have a target date for when you want to quit your job, say, a year and a half from now, figure out how much money you’ll need to make per month for that to happen.

Remember to cover your current take-home income, taxes, health insurance, and any other benefits currently covered by your employer. And factor in a cushion of at least 10%.

Then, based on realistic numbers you see around the internet, figure out how much traffic that means you’ll need and do backwards math from there for how much you’ll need to increase your traffic and your income quarter by quarter and month by month.

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t meet your goals one month, but it does give you something to drive you forward.

 

Stuart Walker Referee“Work out the end goal; i.e. what you want your business to look like and achieve further down the line when it’s at it’s peak, said Stuart in his post on running NicheHacks for 18 months. “A stand alone blog doesn’t make much if any money, it’s just a collection of blog posts on the internet.”

 

You need to know specifically what you want to achieve beyond “making money online” and plan backwards to make sure it happens.

Because when you have something specific to reach towards, you’re much more likely to take the strategic, pin-pointed steps you need than if you have a generic goal that’s easy to get lost in.

Tweet this tip to your followers.

 


11. From where & how will you earn your backlinks?

Backlinks are a powerful way to grow a website… so much so that Brian Dean created an entire website around that concept.

They help contribute SEO “juice” to your site, boosting your search engine rankings, and they almost always send a solid portion of the host site’s audience over to your site.

I’d suggest creating guest blog posts for those adjacent blogs you listed out in question #3, as I’ve found them to be super helpful.

But maybe blogging’s not your thing, and that’s fine.

But it is really important to consider how you’ll start obtaining back links after your site is live—and equally important to consider and write down what you won’t do, so you don’t cross your own moral standards and get into black hat SEO territory.

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12. How much time do you have to spend on content?

Similar to knowing how much time you have to spend on your site in general, it’s important to know how much time you have to spend on writing the actual home page, blog posts, and product pages you’ll host on your site.

Why?

Because content is the thing that drives the life of a niche site.

If you want to attract people who are interested in buying products related to your niche to your site, you’ve simply got to create content that’s interesting to them and place it on your site to lure them there.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to spend any time writing, you’ll need to set a content budget and decide on the level of quality you’re going after with your content.

(Hint: the better it is, the more expensive it gets.)

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13. And what type of content will you create?

Even if you’re basing the vast majority of your content strategy around a blog (nothing wrong with that), what kind of blog posts will you produce?

Will they be short, quick product reviews? Long, in-depth tutorials with loads of screenshots? Q & A interviews with experts more famous than you are?

It’s important to think about.

Especially if you want to get the most out of the time you spend on your content, like you figured out with the last question.

Simply sitting down to write “a blog post for the survival niche” for example, probably isn’t going to yield the best results.

You might have some interesting stats and figures, but it probably won’t be that stand-out content that visitors will want to keep coming back for.

Fortunately, taking the time to think out what type of content you’ll create (and your deadlines for creating it) will make the time and money you put into your content efforts much more effective.

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14. Will you be a high price & low volume site, or a low price & high volume site?

Lots of people buy books about running an online business from Amazon, for example. But very few people fork out hundreds of dollars per month for high-level business website hosting.

The money you make as an Amazon affiliate from selling one book might be $0.50, but the money you make as sn affiliate from selling one high-end, expensive website hosting could be a few hundred dollars.

(Make a price comparison site with this guide)

The books are much easier to sell, sure, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more profitable.

And even though both products serve the same niche, the way you go about selling each one is completely different.

Being profitable selling books means you’ll need to put in a lot more work when it comes to traffic generation, but being profitable selling higher-ticket items means it’ll take a lot more work in setting up on-site content funnels to educate the visitors you do have so they make smart buying decisions in their business.

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15. How will you convert visitors once they land on your site?

It would be wonderful if someone bought something from you every time they visited and bookmarked your site to come back to every week.

But I think we all know that’s not how the internet works.

People come to your site.

Maybe they read something, maybe they don’t. And then they’re gone, most likely forever.

But if you’re able to convert them into newsletter subscribers, then there’s a way that you can keep them interested in your site… by sending them emails every once in a while to remind them how great your content and deals are.

NicheHacks, for example, uses plenty of popups to make this happen.

But beyond that, once you have people as subscribers, you definitely want them to buy from you or off of one of your affiliate links.

Crafting in-depth tutorials with affiliate links to paid resources works really well if you don’t have your own product yet. (Create your own coupon website here)

But so does an email sequence building up to a launch of your own digital product: either a single-purchase ebook or something more long-term like a subscription software or membership area.

Hint: Popups work well for turning visitors into subscribers, and email sequences work well for turning subscribers into buyers. Easiest (& most effective) formula I know. 

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16. What affiliate programs will you sign up for?

Amazon is pretty much a given—even if you are selling those higher-ticket items, it never hurts to add in some hypertext here and there to point people to interesting resources and products that Amazon sells.

But even though Amazon features so many products, they don’t exactly have the highest commission rates for their affiliates.

For example, here’s a few affiliate programs and their commission rates:

  • Amazon: 4% to 8.5%, depending on volume of products sold
  • ClickBank: up to 75%, depending on seller policies
  • ShareASale: 4.5% to 40% depending on seller policies

Tweet this tip to your followers.

 

 


17. How will you make sure you optimize for SEO like you should?

If you’re like most new niche marketers, you do not have a heavy background in internet marketing.

That doesn’t mean success it isn’t possible, but it does mean that you need to make sure you cover yourself where you can… especially when it comes to your SEO setup, which will help you with getting free search engine traffic.

An easy (and free) way to do this is to add the Yoast SEO plugin to your WordPress site and fill in the fields every time you create a new page or blog post.

 

yoast seo plugin

This is how the Yoast plugin works—it lets you put in your focus keyword and shows you ways to improve your on-page SEO for that particular phrase. Very handy.

 

doug cunnington“It’s easy to be tantalized by the fact that Pat Flynn is making well over half a million dollars a year,” said Doug Cunnington, “but the reality is, it’s a grind—even for Pat Flynn.”

 

Tweet this tip to your followers.

 

(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)

 


Start Thinking & Work Smarter on Your Niche Site

A lot to think about, no?

(See this start here page if you’re just starting out)

It can seem like a lot, but don’t let it overwhelm you to the point of doing nothing.

Because doing nothing isn’t going to get you anywhere closer to your passive income goals.

Instead, look at these 17 questions as considerations that will help you work smarter towards your goals.

The thing is, getting niche sites to make money for you does take work, so the smarter you work, the better off you’ll be.

The post 17 Things You Should Think About Before Starting a Niche Site But Probably Won’t appeared first on NicheHacks.

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23 Feb

75 Ways To Drive More Traffic To Your Affiliate Site

Building an affiliate site is only half the battle. 

As an affiliate marketer, you know that the key to making a consistent income from your site is to generate traffic (and lots of it).

There are hundreds of different tactics internet marketers are using to drive traffic to their website. You may already be doing some of these (yay!) while others might be news to you. 

So without further ado, here are a 75 different ideas to help you give your affiliate site traffic a boost. All of these may not be applicable to your business so simply use the ones you think make sense. 

1. Facebook

Have you set up a Facebook page for your affiliate site? If not – do it right away.

Use Facebook to build a community around your affiliate brand. Instead of just focusing on the sell, think about the value you can provide in terms of information, knowledge, news or even just entertainment. The more engaged your audience is, the more likely they are to visit your website to make a purchase. 

For more tips and advice, check out our lesson How to Use Facebook for Affiliates

Facebook's Business centre also has some good information on how to increase website traffic from Facebook.

2. Twitter

Twitter too can be a huge source of traffic, but you have to invest time and energy to really build a community. The Twitter audience is very different to Facebook and you have to treat them accordingly. 

Twitter users love to retweet content they like and find interesting. So, well thought-out, timely content has the potential to go viral and supercharge your exposure. You have to tweet well and tweet often – making sure to have conversations with your followers while also being useful and relevant to them. 

For more on maximizing Twitter, check out our lesson on How to Use Twitter for Affiliates.

3. Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networks. In September 2015, Pinterest had 100 million users and that number is only going to keep growing. 

For many website and blog owners, Pinterest has become a primary source of traffic so it's definitely time for you to put into use for your business. Additionally, Pinterest users are known to be more likely to make a purchase. 

According to Pinterest, 93 percent of Pinners (male and female) shopped online in the past six months. Another look at Shopify’s study showed that people referred by Pinterest are 10 percent more likely to make purchase on e-commerce sites than users of other social networks, and they tend to spend twice as much as those referred by Facebook.

Check out more interesting Pinterest statistics and start planning your Pinterest plan of attack. 

4. Instagram

More than 75 million people are using Instagram daily. It is also the "king of social engagement" as a Forrester study found; beating other social networks when it comes to keeping followers interested and engaged.

As a unique and very visual social platform, Instagram has the potential to reach your audience in a brand new way. You can not only show off your products (and how they are used) but also create a visual presence for your brand online.

Check out more tips on How to Drive Website Traffic With Instagram on Social Media Examiner.

Real Life Example: LastMinute.com 

LastMinute.com is a great example of an affiliate site that does Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram very well. As a travel and experience deals company, their focus on social media seems to be on highlighting the beauty of travel and new experiences.

With good quality images, quotes, questions and lots of links to their site – they're doing an excellent job of building a brand identity. The next time their followers want to make a purchase, they're very likely to thank of LastMinute to make their bookings. 

5. Slideshare

Have you got slideshows or presentations for your website/ product? Don't let them languish away on your computer – upload them to Slideshare and use them to send traffic to your website. 

Slideshare has over 60 million unique visitors, so it only makes sense that you start using the platform as a way to drive leads to your website. 

Learn how to do it well with Neil Patel's Step-by-Step Guide to Driving Qualified Traffic From SlideShare Presentations

6. Search engine advertising 

Pay per click advertising on search engines is one of the most effective ways of driving traffic to a website. Google Adwords and Bing Ads are the two most well known (and important) platforms. 

Advertise your site by bidding on keywords. Depending on how competitive your niche is, you could be paying anything from a few cents to several dollars per click. Be sure to look into the advertising guidelines for each platform before jumping in. 

7. Social media advertising

Paid advertising isn't limited to search engines alone any more. Most social networks now offer opportunities for paid advertising. You can pay per click or by impressions – depending on your goals.

Social media advertising also has the added advantage of very refined targeting options so you can really hone in on your ideal customer. Advanced options also allow you to retarget customers who have already visited your website but haven't made a purchase yet.

Combine quality content with engagement and advertising and you could soon be generating a lot of great traffic from social media channels. 

Real Life Example: Flight Deals Websites

I'm keeping the travel theme going here. If you search for options to buy flights on Google, the top results you will see are from flight deals websites such as Skyscanner, Momondo and others; that make affiliate income every time a user buys a flight through their website.

I've also seen similar ads on Facebook for flight comparison sites. This is an example: 

8. Deal sites

Who doesn't love a good Groupon? Post your services or products on Groupon (or the equivalent coupon site in your part of the world) and use it to drive traffic to your website. 

9. PlentyofFish advertising

You probably known PlentyofFish as one of the largest dating sites. But did you also know you can purchase paid advertising space on the website to reach its 149 million visitors per month?

As a dating site, it has a lot of information about its users so your advertising can often be very highly targeted and more likely to reach your ideal audience. 

10. Social media groups

Social media groups are a great place to meet and interact with customers interested in your industry/ service/ product. 

Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Groups are usually the most popular places your customers might spend their time online. Remember, these groups are meant to be places to exchange information and help others so don't be salesy and try to promote your products from the get-go. Build relationships, be helpful and throw in links only where relevant. Once people know to trust you – the traffic will come automatically.

11. Online forums

Like social media groups, online forums are an excellent place to find a targeted audience interested in your business. You can find some very niche forums discussing all variety of topics.

Make sure to add a link in your profile so people know where to find you. Beyond this, try to provide value to discussions and just participate actively. Don't be spammy and keep the sales pitch on the down low and you'll be fine. 

Read Shopify's guide to Forum Marketing as a starting point.

12. Your own forum  

Got a big enough audience already? Then why take the discussion elsewhere?

Create a forum on your own website to start stimulating conversation. At first it might only be existing customers, but if you can build up a reputation for interesting and helpful discussions, you're likely to drive an increased amount of traffic to the site.  

13. Reddit

Reddit is a unique social networking service that can be very useful for driving traffic to your site. Sign up to get a feel for what the community likes (and dislikes). 

Like other forums, participate first, promote later. There are some very niche threads on Reddit that might be helpful for you. Track discussions and contribute on a daily basis. Share links to your site when relevant but don't overdo it or the community may throw you out.  

14. Blog commenting

The general rule for interacting and networking online is to contribute not promote. The same goes for when you're commenting on someone else's blog. Add to the discussion, don't promote. Thoughtful, opinionated and helpful comments help to build your reputation. 

Always make sure you leave a link to your website when filling out the comment form or as part of your Disqus profile. This way people who like your comment, can click on your name and visit your website. 

15. Guest posting on other blogs

Guest posting on another person's blog is a great way to introduce yourself as an expert in your niche. Find blogs relevant to your site, and ask if they will accept a guest submission. Make sure to add a link to your website in the author bio so readers know where to find you. 

16. Q & A sites

Question and Answer sites like Quora or Yahoo! Answers are excellent for providing useful tips and advice. Keep your answers concise but helpful and as always, make sure there is a link back to your website from your profile. 

17. Industry partnerships

Network with others in your industry for potential partnership opportunities. Team up with them to promote each other's products/ services and reach a brand new audience. 

You can promote each other via blog post, display banners, email marketing and any other creative way you can think up. 

18. Email lists

An email list is an important part of every marketer's arsenal. If you haven't already got one, start building your email list today.

One of the easiest way to do this is by offering email subscriptions to your blog. But of course, there are PLENTY of other ways to do this as well. Every time your subscribers receive an update about a new blog post, they are likely to come back to your site to check it out. You can also send them other updates and information about new products and services to continuously drive traffic to your site. 

Learn more about email marketing in our Introduction to Email Marketing lesson. 

19. Email series

Get more strategic with your email marketing by setting up an email series. Say you're an affiliate for fitness products. You could offer a 7-day email series on Getting Started With Kettle Bells, for example. This will go a long way towards building trust and relationships with your subscribers and establishing your expertise in your subject area.

Throughout the course of the seven days of the series, make sure to add links back to your website and as your list of subscribers keeps growing, your traffic will also continue to expand. 

20. Blogging

Good quality blogging will always be important. As an affiliate marketer, setting up a blog is an opportunity to show off your expertise in a particular industry area. Additionally, it can also be hugely beneficial for driving traffic via organic results, social made shares, email marketing and more.

New and interesting content will not keep readers coming back. Fresh content also sends search engines really good signals and can be very helpful in improving search engine rankings for your website. 

21. Shareable content

When creating blog or any other type of content, always try to keep shareability in mind. Don't just regurgitate the same old content that every one else is putting out there – do something different.

Interesting, funny, relevant, knowledgeable and/or helpful content has the potential to be shared by thousands of people. When you create content like this, you expand your reach and also the potential for lots of new traffic to your site. 

22. Infographics

Our obsession with infographics is yet to die. We love statistics and information presented to us in a pretty layout. 

Have you got some interesting facts about your niche? Why not put it together in an infographic instead of writing a long text-based post on it. 

Infographics get shared so it's the perfect type of content to create – especially if you are in a unique niche. You could also add a sharing link on your blog encouraging others to post it on their blog. When they share it, you will get credit (and traffic) from it. 

23. Link roundups

Running out of content to post on your blog? Why not start a link roundup in your niche. Create a summary post of recommended links – linking to useful content by others. A series like this can become a very useful resource for your readers.

Additionally, every time you mention someone in a roundup, contact them via social media to let them know they have been featured. If they share your post, it could mean a boost for your traffic too. 

24. Ebooks

A popular way to generate traffic is by releasing an ebook. Create a book that will be useful to those in your industry and use it to drive traffic and collect email addresses.

The more useful the information, the more people you will get sharing it and recommending it – so focus on quality. 

25. Youtube videos

If you're not already creating video content, you're missing out. Make video marketing a part of your strategy.

From product reviews to how-to videos, internet users are heading to YouTube for everything so make sure you capitalize on it.

Also, make sure to optimise your videos with relevant, searchable keywords. The right keywords can play a huge role in surfacing your video on YouTube when users are searching. 

26. Directory listings

Adding your site to directories is a well-worn SEO tactic. There are hundreds of online directories for websites – make sure to add your website to the most relevant/ niche-specific ones.

Some examples include DMOZ and WorldSiteIndex. Vertical Response also has some good ideas here and Clambr has 49 free directory listing resources too. 

27. Press releases

Press releases have been around for a long time and they're still useful. An online press release can be very useful for sending traffic to your site, especially if you have something new or interesting to announce.

Use a service like PRWeb to submit your press release easily. 

28. The 404 page

Every now and then someone will end up on a page on your website that doesn't exist and that's when they'll see the 404 error page. Instead of losing them, redirect them to one of the core pages on your websites instead.

Make the most of all traffic! 

29. Internal linking

Have you been paying attention to the linking structure within your own website? Do the pages on your site link to each other? Do similar pages or posts link back and forth, helping users find more content on your site, faster?

If not, it's time you got organized. An organized internal linking structure is a great signal for Google and helps your site rank higher and hence, drive more traffic.

30. Optimize your title tags

The title tag is the title of your pages and is displayed on the top of the browser when someone visits your site. This is an important on-page SEO factor. Make sure each page has a unique title tag.

If you have a WordPress blog, you might find the Yoast SEO plugin useful when updating your title tags. 

31. Create a sitemap

A sitemap is basically a map for your website. It's usually a page on your website that links to all other pages on your site. This HTML sitemap helps search engines crawl and index your website – thus contributing to better search engine rankings. 

32. On page SEO

Work on your on page SEO to improve the overall search engine rankings for your website. On page SEO refers to optimizing individual pages on a website and includes both content and HTML code on your website. 

In the old days, this would just mean keyword placement but in 2016, it includes several other factors such as unique content, mobile responsiveness, page usability, easy accessibility by bots and many more.

Work on improving your on page SEO for additional opportunities for traffic. Moz's Visual Guide to Keyword Targeting and On-Page SEO is a great place to get started. 

33. Build authority links

Linkbuilding, as you know, is a big part of improving the rankings for any website. But don't get carried away building just any old links. Quality links matter much more than just mere quantity.

Focus your efforts on developing backlinks from authority sites.

34. Mobile-friendliness

A quality, mobile-friendly site is critical to doing business online. More and more people are visiting your website through their smartphones. If your website is not optimized for them, they are likely to get frustrated and leave.

Optimize your site so that it renders well on desktops and mobile devices and you will definitely see an increase in traffic. Also, mobile-friendly sites are also becoming a big part of Google's search algorithm. 

35. Linking deeper, higher quality pages rather than the homepage only

When linking to your site from other places, don't always link to your home page only. 

Instead, find ways to link deeper into your website – to pages that have more content and more likely to be relevant. 

Doing a guest post on another site? Link to a useful and relevant post on your blog instead of the home page. This will not only be useful for driving traffic but is also good for improving your SEO.

36. Image optimization

The images you use on your website should be optimized for search engines.

Google's image search can be very powerful for driving traffic to your site. Make the most of it by properly optimizing the name and Alt text of images with the relevant keywords. 

37. Social media share plugin/ buttons

When people come to your website, they want to be able easily share the content they find.

Make it easier for them by incorporating a social media plugin or share buttons on your website. This makes it easier for them to share to social media; which in turn means more exposure and traffic for your site. 

Check out this article on 30+ Best WordPress Social Media Plugins 2016

38. IFTTT

If you're not already using IFTTT, you need to start now! 

If This Then That (IFTTT) is an automation service designed to make your life much easier. While you can do several things with it, you can also use it to automate parts of your online marketing that can help with driving traffic.

Create/use IFTTT recipes that:

  • Auto-post on your social networks when you have a new blog post.
  • Search for keywords on Twitter/ Facebook or other social media and respond to relevant queries.
  • Create an updated spreadsheet with new topics in a particular Reddit or Sub-Reddit to contribute to. 
  • Post to Facebook/Twitter when you upload a video to YouTube.
  • …and many, many more. 

39. RSS feeds

An RSS feed for your blog is an easy way for your readers to stay up-to-date with your blog.

Every time you publish new content, your RSS feed is updated and your subscribers can come back to your blog to read the new content and continue to engage with you.   

40. A contest

Contests are a great way to engage current and new customers. Thanks to the ease of social media, you can run a variety of contests such as photo submissions, slogan writing, a sweepstake, retweet contest, Facebook likes contest, voting contest and so on. 

Make sure the prize is good enough so your contest is widely shared and you experience a bump in your traffic. 

41. A product giveaway

Like contests, giveaways are another great way to drive traffic to your website.

Host a giveaway of one of your products/services on your website. Give it away for free to one lucky person but require them to enter their email in order to qualify themselves. 

If you have a good product/service that people really want – this works very well. It also helps you build your email list. Win-win. 

42. Social proof

Using your social proof can be a powerful way to influence visitors. You can display your proof in terms of numbers ("1000s of products already sold"), positive customer testimonials, reviews and ratings, expert mentions and more.

You can then use this proof on your website, in advertising, on social media and anywhere else you are visible online. Social proof makes potential customers feel more secure about their choice so when you have lots of positive proof, show it off.

44. Short courses

Create a mini or short course to build your email list and to drive traffic to your website. 

 

45.Syndicate videos with TubeMogul

46.Website speed

47.Start a podcast

48.Host a webinar

49.Google Analytics

50.Keyword research

51.Blog directories

52.Ping your site

53.Create an app

54.Create a quiz

55.Network

56.Leverage holiday and seasonal events

57.Write a definitive guide or Top 100 list

58.Publish a funny image

59.A list of people or websites

60.Free WP theme

61.Free template

62.Create a screencast

63.Product/ service reviews

64.Translate your content

65.Ad swaps

66.Purchase sponsored reviews

67.Write better headlines

68.Add click to tweet widgets

69.Outsource your traffic building

70.Set up your own Tribe on Triberr

71.Become a source for journalists (HARO)

72.Interview influencers

73.Make the most of your email signature

74.Cover An Event (vaping)

75.Gamification

 

 

 

So there you go, a 101 different ways you could drive traffic to your affiliate site. Some are easier than others but there’s definitely something in there that you could implement right away!

 

The question is – when are you going to start?

 

How do you drive consistent traffic to your affiliate site? Do share your tips with the Affilorama community. 

Source: affilate6

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13 Feb

How To Run A Niche Site Without Neglecting Your Family

Have you ever had the itch?

The feeling that no matter what you’re doing, you’re always focused on the opposite.

If you’re working, you’re thinking about all the family and home tasks you should be doing, like what time soccer practice is, how you’re going to make up working so many hours to your partner, or if you’ve got enough food for dinner in the fridge.

If you’re with your family, you’re always thinking about that email you need to send, or that piece of work you’ve neglected, or that quick Skype call you need.

And it’s like an itch you can never quite scratch.

If you’re anything like the 30 work-from-home people I spoke to for this article, you’re probably feeling it right now as you’re reading this article.

You’re either neglecting your family, or your business. That’s how it feels at least.

But the truth is, it doesn’t need to be that way.

There is a way you can scratch that itch and work effectively (even with a three year old running around the kitchen), without that horrible feeling of letting your family life slip.

And, in this article, I’m going to show you how…

(See more niche research posts here)

 


What You’ll Learn

  • How To Take The Pain Out Of Working From Home
  • Why You Should Make Your Kids Work For Free (And They’ll Love It)
  • Some Sappy Stuff About Family Bonding
  • The Real Importance Of Getting Out Of The House

 

(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 1,781 profitable niches click here or the image below)

1781 niches [new]

 


But James, You Don’t Have A Family…

If you’ve read any of my articles before, you’re going to know that I’m free, single and 23.

I have a family, but not in the “Charlie, get down from the window ledge, I’m trying to write an article!” way. Which is why I’ve not decided to write this article on my lonesome.

I’ve used a focus group of 30 work-from-homers with families who have given me insights, and solutions, that they use.

As well as throwing it out there to the Nichehacks and Inbound.org communities…

So, let’s not focus on the fact that I’m not a family man just yet (sob), and the fact that I’ve come prepared with situations that are guaranteed to help you make more of your time, and without neglecting your family.

You can check out the replies to the Facebook thread here and the Inbound Thread here.

 


Solution #1: Take Airplane Days To Remove Distractions

One the biggest issues of working at home is getting the space to work.

That is, people not bugging you. Kids not pestering you. And, getting some peace and quiet to actually get some work done.

Because, for some reason, when people see you have a computer set up on a piece of furniture you own, that’s a free pass to ask you stupid inane questions that could wait until later.

Or, for your kid to start feeding the dog Lego bricks.

So, this solution is to give you a little bit of extra space and remove distractions for a couple of hours.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 09.40.00

 

Bryan Hassin, university professor and start up lover, came up with the idea of taking Airplane Days where you cut yourself off entirely from the world. No phone. No internet. No contact from people. It’s just like you’re sat in your airplane seat (and refuse to pay $20 for WiFi).

Pencilling these into your diary means you can allocate dedicated time to your work, a little like the pomodoro technique , and get more done.

It also takes away the worry of the usual home life stuff, because you can’t deal with that right now.

They don’t have to be full days, either.

You can do this for two or three hours at time if you’ve got a really hectic family life.

But this selfishness is important to the success of your Niche Site.

Because if you’re only ever getting to give work half your attention, you’re only going to produce half the results.

Some of my friends have incorporated this successfully by:

  • Taking your kids to a two or three hour activity (and making your partner the emergency contact)
  • Finding a new workplace, where nobody knows them, and settling in to work for a few hours
  • Assigning one or two evenings a week as ‘work time’, or a whole Saturday or Sunday morning

You’ll have to experiment with what works for you.

But by taking some time away from your family to do quality work, you can eventually give them more of your time.

 

src2

“Happen to things, don’t let things happen to you” – Stephen R. Covey 

Click Here To Tweet This!

 

 

 


Solution #2: Get Your Kids (Or Partner) Involved In Your Work

Yeah, you read that right. Don’t worry, it’s not as absurd as it sounds.

When I was a kid, my Dad was in the Navy and he could rarely get time off work.

So when I used to visit him, he’d take me onto the base. Let me take part in the courses he was running, let me go in the helicopters with him and play around with the computers in his office.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 09.35.09

 

Now, your Niche site probably doesn’t have such James Bond-esque features.

But, your family understand your work is a big part of your life, and they’ll want to see the world through your eyes too.

That doesn’t mean give them the boring, mundane stuff you don’t want to do. Give them some fun and engaging tasks that help you, and don’t feel like work.

Things like:

  • Getting your kids to choose the images for your blog posts
  • Test headlines (or in-article jokes) on your partner
  • Let them help you come up with silly, crazy ideas when you’re mind mapping ideas and solutions
  • Just straight up ask them for help

The ideas one is big for me in a creative niche.

I’ll often get my little cousins to suggest silly article titles, or ask them to write what they think a topic is about, just to give my imagination a kick start.

But, the main thing here, is that by incorporating your family into your work, they’ll better understand your situation and give you less crap for working.

And, if the tasks are fun enough, you might even get them coming back to ask for more.

 


Solution #3: Use Parkinson’s Law To Do More Work In Less Time

One of the most common issues I found with my work-at-homer’s was that they always felt like there was never enough time.

That, even without distractions for a couple of hours, they couldn’t finish all the work they need to. Which is where Parkinson’s law comes into play.

If you’re unfamiliar with Parkinson’s law , here’s a definition of it (that I wrote because I’m good at words and stuff):

The amount of time you give a task, is the amount of time it takes

Let me explain:

Parkinson’s law states* that a task will swell (or shrink) to fit the time allocated to it. So, whether you give your task six hours, or twelve, that’s how long it’s going to take. Within reason at least.

For example, your 10,000 word eBook won’t get done in one hour if you set that as your goal. But, you could realistically complete a chapter in that time.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 09.41.26

 

The problem with family (and home) based working is that you tend to just let activities carry on, without a defined end point.

Your article will be completed at ‘some point’. Your emails will be sent ‘before the end of the day’. You’ll make a start on that free download ‘this afternoon’.

But by giving this work a defined end point, you can get a lot more done.

Give yourself a specific time frame, or plan out your day. And you can do that to involve only work, or to involve just family, or both.

For example:

  • You will complete the first chapter of your eBook between 11am and 1pm
  • You will play with Jeremy (that’s a kid’s name right?) in the park between 2pm and 3pm
  • You will send Jeremy to his room and work on your second chapter between 3pm and 4pm

Joking aside, giving yourself these defined end times will push you to complete more work in a tighter period of time.

Meaning that while you might not be able to put more hours in the day, you can get more out of the ones you do have.

* There are lot of people who try to debunk Parkinson’s Law , or at least the way it’s treated in modern society. Now, I don’t claim for this method to be real science, I just claim that it works for me, for people who work at home with families, and it could work for you, too.

 

palin_sandison500_14479t_400x400“I enjoy writing, I enjoy my house, my family and, more than anything I enjoy the feeling of seeing each day used to the full to actually produce something. The end.”

Michael Palin

Click Here To Tweet This! 

 


Solution #4: Get Out Of The Goddamn House (For All Of Your Sakes)

The most common theme for all work at homers (family, or otherwise)? This…

Damn. Right. Everyone can understand this. And, it plays a big part in why people tend to neglect their families when they’re working.

Because your home environment is your work environment, the itch get’s stronger and stronger. Sadly, work tends to win this tug of war, too.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 09.44.30

 

Now you might be thinking, “James, I’m always out of the house. I have kids activities, people, family, friends and everyone tugging at me all the time to get out”.

But that doesn’t count as being out of the house.

After all, you never actually switch off from work doing these.

Instead find times, ways and means to bond as a family in places that are away from work.

Okay, that was all lovey-dovey and mushy. So let me give you some theory behind it.

Firstly, it’ll help you work.

Because as researchers have found , new sights, sounds and experiences spark new synapses in the brain. Giving you a new, more creative edge in your work.

Secondly, family bonding time teaches your family how to work better together , giving you a better dynamic as the team that you are. Meaning everyone becomes more understanding of each other.

You’ll get argued with less for working, but you’ll also feel more compelled to put the laptop down and meet other family member’s needs, too.

(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 1,781 profitable niches click here or the image below)

1781 niches [new]

 


We Are Family…

I got all my sisters with me! 

Okay, nostalgic sister-sledge based comedy aside, let’s recap how you can run a niche site without neglecting your family:

  • Block Out Airplane Days: Take a day (or couple of hours) where you have no phone, email, internet, or any connection to the outside world. By removing all of your distractions you can focus on getting more work done in less time, and have more time for your family outside of it.
  • Get Them Involved: Get your kids, or partner, involved in your work by giving them fun tasks to do. They’ll have more understanding for how much you work when they see what it is that you’re actually doing.
  • Take Advantage Of Parkinson’s Law: Set yourself tight and specific deadlines to mentally focus on getting more work done in less time. Don’t let tasks run on, give yourself a set time you need to finish, and you’ll find you’ll end up getting more done at a higher quality.
  • Get Out Of The House: Partly, because cabin fever can be a killer. But mostly because having family bonding time can increase compassion and understanding, giving you more space to work in the long run.

Do you have any work from home (with out without family) problems?

Let me know in the comments, I just might have a solution for you…

The post How To Run A Niche Site Without Neglecting Your Family appeared first on NicheHacks.

Source: affiliate7

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06 Feb

How To Turn Your Hobby into a Profitable Online Business

Sounds like a dream, right?

After all, who’s going to pay you for collecting postal stamps or gardening or playing with your dogs or decorating party cakes?

Hobbies are for free time, you can’t make money from them.

At least that’s what most of us have been taught by the society and our parents.

Not because they don’t like our hobbies, but because they grew up in an era where getting a college degree, learning a skill and going to work every morning was the only way to make a living.

Turning a hobby into a full-time business was never an option simply because of the costs involved in setting up a business and, more importantly, the industrial age mindset.

And that’s precisely why we are so fortunate to live in the information age, the age of the internet. (See the guide to starting an epic blog)

We don’t have any of those problems. We don’t need millions to set up a business, and entrepreneurship is not the taboo it was a decade or two ago.

Just look at the increase in the number of self-employed people across all industries in the U.S. The internet is one of the major reasons why people have started their own companies.

 

chartoftheday_3920_the_industries_with_the_most_self_employed_workers_n

Source: Statista

Another research, published on Forbes, revealed that almost 53% of all small business in the U.S are home-based, with the majority using different online marketing methods to generate sales and leads.

We live in an era where the common man is much more empowered as compared to the previous decades.

So your hobbies don’t just have to be free time activities anymore.

You can create a fully functional online business, which generates multiple forms of income for you, based on your hobbies.

It has never been easier and there are hundreds and thousands of examples to prove that.

So how exactly do you turn a hobby into an online business?

While there are tons of ways to do it, I’ll focus on the fundamentals that are common in most online businesses. (Check out our guide to affiliate marketing with 50 examples to copy from)

So let’s get started.

 

(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 1,781 profitable niches click here or the image below)

1781 niches [new]

 


1. Evaluate Yourself and Your Passion Before Starting

Before investing your time, effort and money into a business idea, you should do a quick self-evaluation to see where you stand in terms of knowledge and expertise in your target industry.

How passionate are you about this hobby? Is it just a pass-time activity or something that you’ve really been involved in for some time?

We all dream of turning our hobbies into functional businesses because making money while doing something you love sounds much better than a business where your only motivation is money.

But will you get the same joy from your hobby when you turn it into a full-time business?

Will you be able to enjoy it even with deadlines and work pressures? Are you that passionate about it?

These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before taking the first step. Having passion for something is great, but when you’re doing business you need to realistically evaluate all the factors.

Stuart has broken down this process really well in his eBook “Find Your Perfect Niche in 7 Steps”. He has mentioned several ways you can analyze your hobby and evaluate if its the right niche to choose.

 


2. Find Out if There’s a Market for Your Hobby

You want your hobby-turned-online-business to make money (lots of it). After all, that’s one of the main objectives of starting a business.

Look around and research if there’s commercial demand for your hobby. Are people buying products related to it, or purchasing training sessions and info products? Are there real world markets selling physical products?

 


Here are a few places you can start your research from:

 


Reddit

Reddit is one of the largest and among the most vibrant communities on the web.

It has threads and discussions about every topic imaginable.

Search your hobby on Reddit to see what of discussions are going on.

You’re likely to see discussions about different products, services, funny pictures etc.

 

redditlist1

 

You’ll be surprised to find so many enthusiastic discussion on your hobby.

It will get your creative juices flowing and give you ideas for your new business.

 

pet rat

 

You’ll even find some strange hobbies, like petting rats!

For example, when I searched “what is your hobby” here’s one of the threads I found

 

reddit2

 

So if your hobby is gardening, look for related discussions to get an idea of the market.

Other than Reddit, which is the most useful when it comes to research, you can visit Quora, LinkedIn groups, Google Communities and Facebook groups where you can research the depth of your idea and see what kind of businesses related to your hobby are flourishing.

 


Amazon

Amazon and Kindle Store are both great places to find out exactly how your hobby can be converted into a business. Search Amazon for products related to your niche, read customer reviews and get an idea about the market.

 

amazonpets

 

Similarly, you can look for the most popular eBooks on Kindle Store related to your hobby.

Amazon is particularly useful because of the detailed customer reviews on its products.

For someone researching new ideas and trying to figure out the product gaps in the market, this is a goldmine full of product insights.

 

 


3. Develop the Right Buyer Personas

Researching the business potential of your hobby is just one part of the equation.

You also need to determine the exact profile of your target buyers so that you can focus on their needs and create a product that gives them value. (See the guide to digital product creation)

This is why smart marketers create buyer personas.

Persona is a sample profile of your ideal buyer.

It lists down his needs, interests, demographic details, occupation, average income, spending trends and any other information that you can find.

Every aspect of your business should be focused on meeting the needs of this persona, since it represents the needs of your prospects.

Research shows that targeted personas make websites and marketing campaigns 2-5 times more effective.

 

buyer persona1

Source: Single Grain

A well-researched persona will also help you narrow down you’re your focus and come up with a targeted solution to the problems of your potential buyers.

You can use this template by HubSpot to develop your buyer persona.

 


4. Determine Your Business Model and Monetization Options

You’ve done your research and you’ve identified the needs of your target market.

Now you need to decide how you’ll fulfill that need – your business model.

Since we’re talking about online businesses, there are dozens of business models you can adopt. In fact, you can go for multiple monetization modes at the same time depending on your audience.

 


Here are a few ways different hobbyists are making money online:


Selling Physical Products Online

You’re passionate about your hobby and you know exactly the kind of products that can help you and other like-minded hobbyists enjoy your passion even more.

So why don’t you start selling those products yourself?

Using the strength and reach of your website or blog, you can build a thriving business selling physical products.

You don’t even have to worry about the hassles of manufacturing, packaging, shipping etc.

There are startups out there just to help people like you.

 

Example Case Study:

 

shopifycasestudy

Here’s a very detailed and step by step case study of how this guy converted his love for dogs into a profitable t-shirt selling business completely on autopilot.

 


Create Your Own Digital Info Product

Info products are selling like crazy these days. In the U.S alone, the total sales of eBooks is expected to reach $8 billion by the end of 2016

You’re knowledgeable about your hobby and you have lots of stuff to share with your readers. You can monetize this knowledge by creating eBooks, video tutorials, training programs and other forms of digital info products. This is a huge market with a rapidly growing customer base.

James published a detailed guide here on NicheHacks with all the information you need on creating a profitable digital product (even if you don’t have a huge mailing list)

 

Example Case Study:

 

dgs

 

Darren Rowse, the founder of ProBlogger, is one of the most respected name in the blogging industry. As a side project, Darren turned his passion for photography into a hugely successful online business, Digital Photography School. He makes more than 6 figures annually from this website selling eBooks, trainings, and all kinds of digital products. In fact, DGS is a great example of how you can create multiple businesses from your hobby.

 


Promote Amazon Products as an Affiliate

Is there anything more appealing than an affiliate marketing business running on autopilot? Anyone can become an affiliate marketer. But if you’re passionate and knowledgeable about your niche, your chances of success are a lot higher.

That’s why turning your hobby into an affiliate marketing business is a win-win. There are tons of highly actionable resources here on NicheHacks that’ll teach you everything about affiliate marketing.

 

Example Case Study:

 

amazon affiliate

 

This is one of the finest examples of turning your hobby into a strong brand and making money from it. 100DaysofRealFood is owned by Lisa Leake, and Amazon affiliate income is one of their primary sources of income from this site.

This started out mainly as an Amazon affiliate site, after they diversified their income sources by publishing eBooks and products of their own.

But it’s a great example for anyone looking to turn their hobby into a business.

There are many other business models you can consider as well, for example

  • Sell advertising space on your blog
  • Hold events and webinars
  • Add a buying/selling portal to your site
  • Become an author on Amazon Kindle Store

Or go for multiple monetization strategies like Digital Photography School. The possibilities are just endless.

 


5. Create In-depth Content About Your Niche

High quality, actionable and well-researched content is vital to the success of most online businesses.

But creating epic content is hard work, and most marketers struggle to do it consistently. And with increasing competition, creating content that gets noticed and drives results is going to become more difficult.

This Facebook post by Jon Morrow (BoostBlogTraffic) really hits the nails on its head.

 

content-marketing-challenges-jon-morrow-comment

 

But here’s your advantage.

When you turn a hobby into an online business, creating content is not just easy, it becomes a lot of fun. You can churn out post after post with epic content while others are grinding it out.

It’s a no-brainer really – start a blog and create epic content for your audience

When you become a trusted source of authentic and actionable advice, people will buy anything from you.

Research shows that high authority content drives more sales and generates more leads.

 

blogs1

Source: QuickSprout

 

Nerd Fitness, one of the world’s most popular fitness blogs, was started as a hobby. And it was the passion of its owner that allowed him to consistently create epic content and turn his hobby into a massive online business.

 

nerdfitness

 

Content marketing is all about giving value with useful and actionable information.

The more content you publish, the easier it will become to acquire leads and attract customers.

We have tons of resources on NicheHacks on content creation that you should definitely go through.

 


6. Build an Email List of Fellow Hobbyists

When you create content for your online business, you’ll start getting traffic from Google. To convert this traffic into leads and customers, you need to start building your email list from the first day.

Studies show that email marketing has the highest ROI among all the mainstream online marketing channels.

 

email

Source: Campaign Monitor

Is simple words, if you you’re not building an email list, you’re not building your online business.

And like always, there’s already some really useful content on building your email list here on NicheHacks

 

(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 1,781 profitable niches click here or the image below)

1781 niches [new]

 

 


Wrapping Up

Turning your hobby into a full-time online business is one of the best decisions you could make.

But it doesn’t come without consistent hard work. (See 31 lessons learned making $44,775.99 in affiliate commissions)

In this post I discussed some of the fundamentals of starting an online business, with different business models depending on your hobby.

Evaluate your passion research its market potential and start building your online assets. This will give you a solid foundation on which you can build a long term and sustainable online business.

 

The post How To Turn Your Hobby into a Profitable Online Business appeared first on NicheHacks.

Source: affiliate7

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