12 Mar

The Niche Site Challenge Part Four: 5 Lessons You Can Learn From My Catastrophic Failure

I’m not too proud to admit when I messed up.

And, around October last year, I really messed up.

I promised to bring you a new niche site update every month. And did I?

And did I?

Nope.

In fact, right now, One Day Guides lies untouched.

Not a word has been written in months.

In this article, I’ll explain why.

But in every niche marketing failure, there are lessons to be learned.

And today I’m here to share them with you.

Along with my plans for the future and what you can expect.

 


What You’ll Learn

Here’s what we’ll cover in today’s article:

  • How Long You Need To Wait To Rank In Google
  • Why Email Sign Up Placement Is Paramount
  • How I Get As Low As 30% Bounce Rate
  • Why You’re Thinking Small Time About Interviews

If that sounds good to you, let’s get on with it, shall we?

 

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

 


First, What The Hell Happened?

Life got in the way.

If you follow me on the Nichehacks Mastermind you’ll know that I’m a freelance writer.

That makes up 100% of my income right now.

And, I recently moved to Germany. (More on that at the end of the article).

That means that I took on a lot of Freelance Work to be able to move here.

 

 

There was also the whole learning a new language thing.

That meant there was zero time for traveling or trying to grow a niche site.

These aren’t excuses, just facts.

You can leave me all the hate-mail you want in the comments, but I can’t change what happened.

But, before you do, let me show you what you can learn from my failure.

 


5 Lessons You Can Learn From My Catastrophic Failure

I’m trying to keep this section as data-driven as possible. Because the data doesn’t lie.

But I’ve also included my thoughts based on the experience.

The brain farts, stupid decisions, and wrong turns that you can learn something from.

I hope you find it as informative to read as I found it to live…



1. Give Google About 5 Months To Catch Up

One of the reasons many new Niche Marketers give up is because they can’t get traffic from Google in a short space of time.

I mean, how often have you felt like writing (or seen a comment) like this from the Warrior Forum?

 

warrior forum image

 

It’s easy to think that, once you get all green lights on your Yoast SEO plugin, you should end up at least somewhere on Google.

But that’s not always the case.

Especially when your site is brand new and you’re in a competitive niche.

Google needs time to know you’re not a spammy awful site users will hate.

In fact according to Google’s own product forum there is no maximum time limit!

Take a look at my Analytics data below.

My site started in April of 2016 but it wasn’t until September that I really started to see any consistent search traffic.

(I should have paid closer attention to Stuart’s 101 traffic hacks)

 

analytics search data

 

I didn’t really do anything special to get this either.

It just, well…kinda happened.

And my site started ranking for lots of long-tail keywords that I’d never thought of in lots of different places:

 

long tail keywords nichehacks

 

Now imagine those results if I’d put a lot of effort into my SEO and tried to rank for them.

 



2. Email Sign Up Placement Is Paramount

I’m writing this in February 2017 so my site has been dormant for around six months now.

But, yet, every month people keep signing up to my site.

Despite no new content, no updates and no effort from my part.

It only averages around one or two every few days, but still.

Check out my Aweber stats here…

 

weekly subscribes odg

 

Why is that, though?

Well the email sign up option on my site is SO easy to see.

It’s the first thing you’re greeted with:

 

one day guides home page

 

So before they’ve even seen if my site is active, or if my content is really good, they’re able to sign up and join ‘other smart travelers’ on my list.

The social media blog Buffer, for example, managed to double their subscribers in just 30 days by making the placement of their email opt-in forms more prominent.

In fact. over 33% of those sign-ups came from having a hello bar that was the first thing new users saw on the page:

 

buffer table

 

For your niche site then, what I can honestly recommend is placing your email sign up box in a place where people must see it.

Even if that is to just scroll past it or that they have to interact with it as a pop-up or light box.

The more prevalent it is, the better.

 

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

 


3. Make Your Introductions and Internal Links Count

The bounce rate across my site sits at just 52%.

 

low bounce rate

 

That means more than 50% visit more than one page, as per the definition on Search Engine Watch, on my site.

That is higher on social (where intent if often just to check out your latest article) and lower on Google (between 30 and 50%) where people have a more focused and driven search intent.

Anyway, why is this important?

Because when more people visit your site – and for longer – your chance of:

  • Sales
  • Email sign ups

Goes up a lot.

Which is really important for your bottom line.

Don’t think about whether it’s a ranking factor. Don’t think about the average for a site.

(The average for a blog and the average for an Amazon site would be completely different).

And how can you make people read more of your site?

Well, firstly, having interesting content makes a huge difference.

But, there are two main factors for me:

  • Good Introductions: You can read [names] awesome guide on that here [link]
  • Internal Links: Giving people the opportunity to see more of your site

In fact, when Matthew Woodward did a critical analysis of Stuart’s bounce rates here on Nichehacks, he came to similar conclusions.

By removing opt-ins, improving introductions and letting people get to more content, more quickly, our bounce rates plummeted.

And it’s a simple as doing this:

 

internal links nh

 

And be sure to do it at specific drop off points in your content.

By employing this tactic of adding links in prime position and improving my introductions, I’ve been able to get at high as five pages per session at the height of my traffic:

 

pages per session

 

Not bad results for a small site with not a lot of followers!



4: Be Clear On Your Products Before You Start

I can’t stress this enough.

My biggest failure with One Day Guides was that I wasn’t clear on what I was trying to sell or the problem I was trying to solve.

Don’t get me wrong I started with an idea of what I wanted to do.

And, well, I just never got round to actually doing it.

I tried a couple of Amazon Affiliate recommendations.

Threw in an affiliate link here and there. But nothing you could really consider money focused.

Now, I previously said you don’t need to focus on making money from the off.

Especially for a blog.

And I think that’s true to this day.

But you need to know how you want to make money in the long run.

If you don’t, you’re really just pissing in the wind.

 



5: Change Your Focus On Interviews

Getting influencers to appear on your site is really easy.

You send out an email. They let you know if they’re available for an interview.

And, the end up on your blog.

Like when Nomadic Matt did an interview with me here:

 

interview with nomadic matt

 

 

It’s easy to create content. It’s easy to generate traffic.

And, heck, you might just even rank for some of their brand-specific keywords:

 

nomadic matt search results

 

In fact, Noah Kagan (and his prodigy) were able to get 10,000 views on a brand new site using Interviews as a cornerstone technique.

Which is no small feat.

But this is small time, short term thinking.

And, it’s only in hindsight I see that now.

Why?

Because if you interview someone you get a:

  • Spike in traffic for a day (when they share it)
  • Small association with a big name
  • Free content for your blog

Which is great and everything.

But if you’re the person who gets interviewed for a blog you:

  • Receive a backlink for the life of that site
  • You’re framed as the authority on that topic
  • Consistent referrals from that site
  • A spike in traffic whenever they reshare it

Now which of those sounds more appealing?

If I went back to One Day Guides again I’d take the hit the traffic in not having these interviews and work with smaller sites to get interviewed and grow my brand.

If you’re thinking of employing interviews as a strategy, I highly recommend you do the same.

 

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

 


The Niche Site Challenge Isn’t Over…

At the start of the article I explained that I’d tell you a little more about my move to Germany.

And, here’s why…

My new niche site – the one to replace One Day Guides – is my new niche site about life in Germany.

In fact, at the time of writing this, it’s already growing by one to two subscribers every single day.

I’m purposely not linking to it (you’ll see why next month) but here is a screenshot of it to whet your whistle (and if you find it all by yourself, then so be it) 😉

Okay, that’s it for this month!

Have any questions, comments or suggestions?

Please let me know in the comments below…

 

CLICK HERE TO GET ACCESS TO 150+ NICHE REPORTS

The post The Niche Site Challenge Part Four: 5 Lessons You Can Learn From My Catastrophic Failure appeared first on NicheHacks.

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28 Aug

4 Important Lessons Niche Marketers Can Learn From Marketing Giant Agoda.com

Take it from a career traveller:

Booking a hotel is one of the most important parts of travel.

Knowing you’re going to turn up to somewhere: clean, with a good location, good price and a piping hot breakfast is peace of mind you can’t put a price on.

(But, probably about $80 a night if you could).

Which is why online travel agencies, like Agoda, are so effective.

They take the sting out of looking for a hotel, and give you all of the best prices, and locations, on one beautiful page.

 

agoda home page

 

But, Agoda is also a site you can learn a lot from.

And, not just on how to find a cheap hotel.

Their site – essentially a huge niche site – has all of the recipes for improving your site and making a lot more money.

Agoda is an excellent example of great online marketing in action.

In this article I’m going to show you a complete break down of the Agoda site.

And the strategies you can replicate yourself to create an incredible user experiences for your site.

All while putting more cash in your back pocket.

 

 


What You’ll Learn

  • How To Use Social Proof To Drive More Sales
  • The Right Way To Use Scarcity And Urgency To Convert More Customers
  • Why Reassuring Your Users Can Create Repeat Business
  • How To Up Sell So Well Even The Most Tight Fisted Person Can’t Help But Buy

A word of warning, though – you may not be able to look at your niche site the same way again after reading this.

 

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



1. How To Use Social Proof To Drive More Sales

Social Proof, again, is a pillar of the sales community.

Knowing that other people have used a service, or bought a product, makes you more comfortable buying it, too.

For example, which soccer game would you rather go to, the one with the crowd at the top or the bottom?

 

soccer game crowd

 

The second one, yeah? Not only is it more exciting, but more people suggests a better quality of soccer.

They wouldn’t all turn out like this to watch bad soccer would they.

Adoga has managed to get this down to a fine art.

Everywhere you look on their site there is social proof of the quality of their hotels and the deals.

Take a look at this page, which you see straight after you’ve searched for your location and dates:

 

agoda hotel social proof search

 

You can see that high numbers of travellers have stayed here

there’s nearly 10,000 reviews on the bottom one – and between 50 and 170 travelers want to stay in these two hotels alone.

This makes choosing your hotel a lot easier, because you can mentally start to weed out the good from the bad.

But the social proof doesn’t stop there.

Once you click through, you get statistics of when the last booking of the room was, and how many people are thinking about booking it right now:

 

social proof two

 

Not only does this create urgency – more on that later – this makes you feel comfortable because you’re not the first person to book this place.

You know there are other travelers staying there, and making this reservation feels like less of a gamble.

 

 

“People tend to do what other people are doing.andycrest Psychologists call this conformity, herd behavior, or the bandwagon effect. Marketers call it social proof”

–  Andy Crestodina

Click Here To Tweet This!

 

 

And, when you look at selecting your deal, you can also see which are the most popular, which can help you make a better, more informed decision:

 

agoda booking

Great reviews. Lots of travellers. Limited rooms available.

They’re making it really hard to not want to book this hotel.

 


How You Can Use This

Social Proof comes in lots of different forms to fit any niche site:

  1. Testimonials
  2. Reviews and Ratings
  3. Social Shares
  4. (Niche) Celebrity Endorsements
  5. Subscriber Counts
  6. Media/Niche Site Logos
  7. Badges
  8. Social Connections (Facebook likes etc.)

Think of all of the examples on this list that apply to your site.

Have you guest posted somewhere notable?

Have you been endorsed by someone?

Do you have a client or user testimonial?

Could people rate your product (or can you use amazon reviews)?

Can you display a share count for your best post?

List them and apply them to your page.

For example, Stuart makes great use of badges on all of his pages, so first time visitors know this site is completely legit:

 

nichehacks social proof examples

 

You may not even notice them at first, but subconsciously your brain is processing them and painting a picture of the site.

 


2. The Right Way To Use Scarcity And Urgency To Convert More Customers

Urgency is a great way to get people to buy something they want.

If they’re struggling to make a decision, but the product they want is going to be gone by tomorrow, they’ll be more inclined to buy.

I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on: T-shirts, cameras, accessories, Whiskey and flights because it was in a flash sale or because it was one of the few products left. And, you probably have too.

Combine this with the fear that your hotel deal might be $50-$100 more if you don’t buy right now, or even worse, there’ll be none left, and you have a cocktail for sales success right here.

Take a look at this hotel in Manchester.

Agoda combines social proof and the amount of deals they have left to create a real sense of urgency.

 

gotham manchester hotel urgency

 

The fact there are two people looking at it – who might book the room – and there is only one room left, adds urgency that makes someone who really wants to stay at Gotham try and beat the other two people to the booking.

Whether it’s factual or not remains to be seen, but it’s a remarkable strategy.

Even if I change the dates to a little further away, their entire booking page is filled with urgency and scarcity comments that fill you with a rush, and desire, to book.

 

gotham limited rooms

 

Limited Rooms available tells you that there’s not a high quantity, so if you want to get a room, you better get your card out and book.

Best Seller – Limited Supply! tells you that these sell, and they sell quickly – almost as well as Stuart’s Niche Products – so there is a real chance you’re going to miss out on the hotel you want.

Best Deals for Your Dates tells you that you’re not going to be able find these prices anywhere else.

If you don’t buy it here, you’re going to pay more, and when you come back they just might be gone.

I’ve experienced this when I was trekking across Spain, trying to book a hotel for that particular night and the numbers were seemingly going down – with lots of travelers looking at the page – you felt more inclined to buy in that moment.

 

How You Can Use This

Scarcity and Urgency doesn’t just apply to quantity; it applies to time and price, too.

So don’t worry if you’re not in the hotel industry.

For example, Marcus Taylor over at ConversionXL, used scarcity to improve his product sales by 332%.

 

musicians guide scarcity example

 

By combining time and price, he was able to create a sense of urgency that made people want to buy his product there and then.

Because, for a limited time only, they could save £200 on his product.

Once the timer hit zero, it’s back to full price.

Who want’s to pay more when they can pay less?

Look for opportunities where you can manipulate price, time or quantity, like:

  • This Weekend Only…
  • The Next 100 Email Subscribers Get My eBook Completely Free
  • Flash Sale: All T-Shirts $5
  • Only 10 Spaces Left: Get Access To The Membership Site Now!

On that that note, have you heard about the Nichehacks Membership site yet?

 


3. Why Reassuring Your Users Can Create Repeat Business

Reassurance – the act of removing people’s doubts or fears – can create loyal, repeat customers for you.

And as HelpScout point out, this is really important:

 

loyal customers

 

This is because if people know they’re getting the best value for their money, from someone they can trust, and cares about them, they’ll be more likely to return.

Agoda do this perfectly throughout the buying process.

They constantly reassure and show you that you’re making the right decision.

Let’s say you’re looking at this hotel in Bangkok.

This combination of social proof and reassuring copywriting – “Great choice in property!” – pulls you towards this hotel. (You can read Chelsea’s Beginners guide to copywriting for free right here).

 

first image

 

Once you’ve selected your property, after using the urgency tactics in the last section, they reassure you and talk to you in the same way a real sales person would if you were in a travel agency:

 

reassuring words

 

Then, once you’ve parted with your cash – the point of no return – they reassure that you’ve made the best possible decision with your money.

Making you feel safe in your decision and more likely to return, because your parting experience with the site is that you got real value for your money.

 

final stage reassurance

 

Where the internet can be a cold, harsh, distant place, creating this real warming connection between you and your customer can be the difference between keeping them, and them leaving the page to look somewhere else.

 


How You Can Use This

There are a lot of different ways you can use reassurance, both directly and indirectly.

Taking the social proof elements out that you read about before – which can also add reassurance – here are some of the ways you can give it to your audience:

  • Payment Protection
  • Return, Exchange and Warranty Policies
  • Privacy Policies
  • Control Certificates (Industry Certifications, like HubSpot content marketing certificate)
  • Thank you emails
  • Customer service offers
  • Feedback sheets

For example, Nabru found one of the problems with buying furniture online is the fear of it getting into your property. So, they created this section on all of their to combat it:

 

nabru reassurance example

 

It’s a simple message, but it really does add an extra level of comfort to your decision, doesn’t it?

You really need to look at all of the points of contact on your site where people are dropping off – checkouts, sales pages, blog posts – and add reassurance to them.

It could make a world of difference to your conversion rates.



4. How To Up Sell So Well Even The Most Tight Fisted Person Can’t Help But Buy

Have you ever been into a shop where they have lots of shiny, little, must-have items dotted around the cashier?

It could be chocolate bars at the Supermarket, or it could be socks in a sports apparel store, or cups and mugs in a housewares shop; you’ve definitely seen it.

This is called upselling and it’s where you can make a lot of money, selling products in addition to the product they’re there to buy.

The upsells on Agoda are subtle, but my gosh are they effective. And they use it not only with their own original offers, but with affiliate offers, too.

When you’re booking a room, where possible, they slip in an upsell where you can get more for just a little more money.

 

agoda upsell

 

Not only is the page filled with benefits of why you should buy, they combine all of the elements you’ve seen in this article to drive home their extra product sales.

There’s a: limited time offer, reassurance of saving money, social proof and urgency on the amount of rooms there are. Making buying more from them a much more appealing offer.

 

“When used properly, upselling can actually lenmarkidanbring you closer to your customers, while bringing you more revenue, better retention and lower churn.”

– Len Markidan, Groove HQ

Click Here To Tweet This!

 

They also continue the upsells – especially their affiliate ones – depending on where the attention of the customer is, too.

For example, after you’ve booked your hotel, they focus on the next decisions you’ll be making.

You probably already have a flight if you’ve booked a hotel, so they offer out for the next logical step – renting a car.

 

affiliate upgrade agoda

 

This is really subtle, there’s no hard-sell here, but it’s a benefit drive affiliate offer that’s perfectly in line with their core business – providing quality vacation services at value.

 

 


How You Can Use This

Look at where the attention is on your site, and think about the process people are going through.

If they’ve just bought a product, for example, they’re already in a buying mode and are open to being sold to. So, what are they looking for next?

Alternatively, look at specifics on your site, like the type of blog posts they’re reading.

If it’s a how to, you could upsell your practical courses . If they’re on a more thought-leader style post, you can sell them on your personal eBooks.

This doesn’t just apply to sales products, either.

You can also upsell to a content upgrade, or getting people on your mailing list.

On the Roman Fitness Systems site, you have two options when you start:

 

roman homepage

 

If you choose the Make People Hot option, you can expect to see this eBook:

 

fat loss ebook

 

And if you select the Make People Huge option, you get this eBook:

 

roman mucle gain upsell

 

This is tailored, targeted upselling that gets someone onto their mailing list.

Then you can continue to upsell through your mailing list, and cross your site, if it’s not what people are looking for.

 

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

 


Wrapping It Up…

Agoda clearly have their Niche Marketing on point. Heck, I wish I’d come up with the ideas they have.

They are great online marketers and an excellent example.

But, here’s what you really should have learned from them:

  • Social Proof: Put your social proof where people’s attention is focused to convert more highly and influence their image of your site.
  • Scarcity and Urgency: Let people know that what you’re offering isn’t going to be here forever. They need to act now, or forever live in regret.
  • Reassurance: Buying on the internet is scary. Give them a hand and let them know they’re making the right decisions and their hard-earned cash is safe.
  • Upselling: Find where your audience attention is when they’re looking to buy – or upgrade, like to your mailing list – and strategically place your next level products there.

Are there any niche sites where you love the way they sell? Let me know in the comments!

 

CLICK HERE TO GET ACCESS TO 150+ NICHE REPORTS

The post 4 Important Lessons Niche Marketers Can Learn From Marketing Giant Agoda.com appeared first on NicheHacks.

Source: affiliate9

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15 May

How To Start A Niche Site For Less Than $32 [Updated]

Stop putting it off, will you?

You keep telling yourself that it just costs so much to start a niche site.

That you’re going to invest all this money and never make anything back.

But starting a niche site doesn’t have to break the bank.

In fact, you can start one for less than you’d spend on a meal in a restaurant. Heck, you can start one for less than a round of drinks with your friends.

In this article I’ve created my own niche site for less than $32 and I’m going to show how to start a niche site step-by-step, too.

 

 


What You’ll Learn

  • How To Start A Niche Site For Under $32
  • Where To Find The Best Logo For The Cheapest Price
  • The Truth About WordPress Premium Themes
  • Simple Ways To Market Your Site For Free

 

(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]

 


The Site You’ll Be Following…

I’m going to take you through the step-by-step process of how I’ve started my site, One Day In .

In fact, I was going to wait to get it all online, but instead I’ve decided to use it to show you how to do it yourself.

I’m not a big believer in people that say, “You have to spend money to make money”, either.

So I’m going to try and do this as cheaply as possible, but to a level that I’m happy with. Because I have other things to spend my money on, like you probably do to.

 


Buying A Domain Name ($10.30)

I’m not going to preach to you about choosing your actual brand name. Because, well…that’s down to you and the niche research you’ve done (you have done research, right?).

Instead, let’s focus on buying a domain name and getting you a reserved space on the Internet…

 


Your Domain Doesn’t Need To Be Your Brand Name

When you’re starting a niche site you’re going to be forced to make some decisions out of necessity.

For example, my brand name is One Day In. But, all of the domains under that name are already reserved:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.47.45

 

So I needed to choose a different option that still fits my brand, and I opted for this one: www.onedayguides.co.uk 

What I’m saying here is that you need to prepare to be flexible.

Because, unless you want to get into a big bidding match for other domains, be open to choosing a different domain name. It won’t kill you, I promise.

 


Where To Buy

For me, I use ZEN Internet from the UK. Because they’re based in my city, they have great support and I just like them (I’m in no way affiliated with them).

But I know Stuart recommends Name Cheap, so if you’re outside of the UK, I’d suggest going for them:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.48.51

 

Okay, so, you’ve bought your domain, now it’s time to get it hosted…

 


Hosting ($5.72)

I also get my Linux Hosting through ZEN Internet.

Because, it’s only $5.72 a month. So if you’re UK based I’d highly recommend them.

But, after that, my first choice would be Host Gator.

They’ve got packages as low as $3.95 a month, and even for a mid-level plan you’re not going to go above $9:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.59.02

 

If I go completely full disclosure, I get my hosting with the same company I get my domain from because I’m no good at getting everything to link up properly from different companies.

If you have the same issue, it might be worth looking at where you can get a package deal.

 


Logos ($15.75)

I’ve gone the really cliche route here and opted for a Fiverr designer to make me a logo.

But, you know what, I’ve always had great results from it, so why not?

If you’ve never used Fiverr, simply click this link and it’ll take you directly to the logo design page.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 08.56.47

 

Now when most people say, “Oh, you should get a logo on Fiverr” they think it’s actually only going to cost you five bucks.

But, it’s probably not.

While there will normally be a five dollar option, there are little add-ons that will cost you more like:

  • Design revisions
  • Delivery times
  • Image resolutions
  • File types

I’ve looked across a lot of different designers, and the most you’ll really need to pay though is around the $15 mark, like I’ve paid here. In the end I went for this designer:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 08.50.16

 

Because I’m a damn sucker for these sexy little badge logos. But, here are those add-ons I was talking about:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 08.51.17

 

You’ll need to do a little shopping around to find a design that you like and fits your brand.

But, there are tonnes of different designers on there for you to look through.

And, let’s be honest, at the absolute worst you’re going to spend $20 in total to get it re made if you don’t like it.

Here’s my end product…

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 11.43.49

 


Theme (Free)

Wh…what? Did he just say free theme?

Yeah, I did. Because you don’t need to pay for a WordPress theme to get your site off the ground. You just don’t. It’s not necessary.

For example, when Jeff Goins launched his Coffee Snobber site in an attempt to make money from a hobby in just 48 hours, he used the standard WordPress theme to do it.

And when you’re looking at how to build a profitable niche site, you should too.

Right now, you don’t know what the future of your brand holds.

And, you’re probably not that good at coding a site and a theme, either. So why spend $60 on a theme right now?

There are tonnes of free themes in the WordPress database that you can download that look super professional but don’t break the bank.

Like this one I was able to use and put together in under 10 minutes…

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 10.05.35

 

If you’re adamant that you need a Premium theme, you can check out MyThemeShop where they have some free options of premium themes for you to work with.

But, if I’d recommend starting off like I’ve done above, and making a proper investment in a theme further down the line.

 


Mailing List (Free)

Recently I reviewed all of the big-players in Email Marketing for Matt Woodward and I found one epic thing:

You can start a mailing list for up to 2,000 people with MailChimp, and then when you’ve hit the 2000 limit, you can transfer the database for absolutely free to a different software.

That means you can start your mailing list now for absolutely nothing, then move to a software like Aweber for less than $20 a month when you’re ready to become a fully fledged business.

And, once you hit 2000, you’re already there.

Simply head over to MailChimp and sign up. And, the rest is so easy even your elderly grandmother could do it.

 


Marketing Channels & Outreach (Free)

Damn, your site itself is pretty much complete, right? You’ve got a:

  • Domain
  • Hosting package
  • Logo
  • Theme
  • Mailing List

All you need now is a way of getting it out there.

And, with these free tools, that’s going to be super easy.

Now I won’t teach you to suck eggs, you know you need to go and set up free social media profiles for your niche site, like this Facebook page:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.13.57

 

After doing some research with CoSchedule, I’d only recommend using one channel for now.

Pick the one you feel represents your brand best, and run with it.

Because choosing one platform can give you a lot more traction than spreading yourself too thin:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.19.22

 

You can find help on how to set up pages through these links:

 


Free Social Media Marketing Tools

For this I’d recommend you set up a Buffer account.

It allows you to schedule updates for your social media profiles days in advance, and can save you a tonne of time, even on the free version.

It’s also the go-to choice of Nichehacks’ Stuart Walker for his updates, so, it’s battle tested for you too:

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.21.13

 


Free SEO Tools

You don’t need to be an SEO Genius to master it for your site.

You just need to understand some of the basics that can help you get off the ground. Jawad wrote an awesome guide on this if you want to take a deeper look.

But, as far as free tools go, the Yoast SEO tool is the best you’re going to get.

It gives a lovely analysis of your on page, and tells you simply whether you’re going to need to improve or not:

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.51.14

 


There You Have It, Folks…

I’ve just shown you how to start a profitable niche website for less than $32.

That can’t be bad, can it?

You’ve learned how to buy a cheap domain.

Get yourself some hosting.

Get a working logo made for next to nothing.

Why a free theme really isn’t that bad to begin with.

How to set up a free mailing list.

And get traffic using free SEO and social media tools.

If you can get started for $32 there’s really no excuse for not having the budget.

It’s time for you to take action now.

 

CLICK HERE TO GET ACCESS TO 150+ NICHE REPORTS

The post How To Start A Niche Site For Less Than $32 [Updated] appeared first on NicheHacks.

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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

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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.

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24 Nov

How To Write The Perfect Affiliate Product Review

What is it with affiliate product reviews?

They’re so good for your site.

But they’re just so damn hard to write.

And, it’s frustrating. Because they should be so straightforward, shouldn’t they?

You’re just giving your thoughts on a product.

But then your inner marketer climbs out of the woodwork.

Should you say this? Should you talk about that? What can you do to get the best return from it?

Which leaves you somewhere between writers block and fear. And you have no idea what to say.

Don’t worry, with this article, that’s about to stop.

 

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

 


What You’ll Learn

  • The simple formula you need to create a perfect affiliate review every time
  • How to use free graphics to create reviews your audience will devour
  • The real reason you should be writing product reviews
  • Why it’s more important to be honest than nice

 


Why Should You Write Product Reviews?

A lot has been written on the benefits of having your products reviewed. From the fact that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Through to the way that they can give you up to an 18% rise in sales.

But not a lot has been said on the benefits of writing a product review.

Let’s take a look at why you should be writing product reviews then:

  • Money: I’ll cover this a little more in depth next. But, you can make affiliate sales quite swiftly from product reviews.
  • SEO: You can target more long-tail keywords and drive more specific search traffic from people looking for the product. (If you’re a beginner at SEO, check out this guide)
  • Authority: By reviewing products, and having people engage with them, you can create more authority in your niche. Because you must know what you’re talking about if you have a platform to speak from.
  • Free stuff: A lot of people will give you free access to their tools and products too. Meaning that, even if you don’t get paid, you have a new toy to play with.

Which, no matter where you are in you niche site journey, you can always benefit from. Even well established Pro’s like Matt Woodward still review affiliate products on their sites to reap these benefits:

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 13.48.19

 

But, before we get into it, I need to be really clear with you about the real reason you should be writing product reviews…

 

 

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“Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires” – Bo Bennett

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The (Secret) Reason You Should Be Writing Product Reviews

Hint:

It’s not about any of those benefits I just mentioned.

There’s nothing wrong with reviewing a product you’re an affiliate for. Don’t get me wrong at all. But if the main reason you’re writing the review is to make money, you’re not going to provide an impartial – or honest – opinion.

Just like a blog post, a sales page or any other piece of copy, it’s not about what you want to write. It’s about what your audience wants to read.

So, before you write a product review, think of this:

Why do you read product reviews?

Chances are, it’s one of the reasons from this list here:

  • To find out the pro’s and con’s of a product
  • To see if people would recommend you use it
  • To look for other people who have had success with it
  • To make sure you’re spending your cash wisely
  • To check for any alternatives
  • To make a decision about whether to buy or not

For example, for my recent trip to Peru, I was looking to choose a hostel in Lima. And, I finally made a decision based on the common themes in the TripAdvisor reviews:

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 11.40.29

 

Because it made it feel like a sound investment, and I knew that even if I got a boring hostel I’d still have a nice clean one that’s welcoming and friendly.

Here’s the best bit about product reviews, too:

They’re already looking for a reason to buy.

They’re engaged and interested and have the desire to buy the product. They’re just looking for a way to verify, or sway, their decision. You don’t need to sell to them.

You don’t even have to worry about writing a good review either. If you’re honest with people, they’ll pick up on it. And, overall, it’s been found that bad reviews can improve conversions by 67%.

That means you don’t need to give a five star review to every product you want to sell. Hell, you don’t even have to give a great review to a product you’re an affiliate for.

You just have to give a real one.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s look at what it takes to actually craft an epic product review…

 

 


Step #1: Write Better Reviews By Getting To Know The Product

This is by far the biggest mistake you can make in writing your review. Not actually ever using the product, seeing the product, or owning the product.

If you try and write your review from other people’s opinions, or what you think the product would be like, you end up creating a flimsy review that doesn’t really say anything.

What do I mean?

Let me give you a quick example. I’ll do a mini review of two SEO tools, Majestic and SERPed. One of them I’ve used, one of them I haven’t.

Guess which one is which:

 

Majestic:

“The Majestic SEO suite is great. It has an easy to use interface that even a beginner could get to grips with. And, with it’s unique trust flow and citation flow metrics, it’s a great addition to your arsenal for future SEO too”

 

SERPed:

“I love the SERPed interface. It’s simple and easy to navigate, while the simplistic and flat design makes it still beautiful to look at. And where other tools have one layer of depth, SERPed has at least 10. It shows you not only the results from their own database, but from those of all their competitors tools too. Making this a perfect all in one suite.”

 

So, which one of those products have I actually used? Yep, that’s right…

SERPed.

You can tell simply by the fact I was able to go to more depth about specific things. Instead of a general overview of what the product would be like.

So before you set out to review a product you either need to:

  • Request access from the product owner
  • Purchase the product yourself
  • Access a free trial or sample (if available)

And spend a day or two getting used to it. Try it in different situations, for different problems and even put it in the hands of your friends and family. The more you learn about the product at this stage, the better the review in the end.

 

800ead063e4e9fe425ae15d0c83ea4f4“If your goal is to provide value, then it’s absolutely crucial for you to have the product in your hands (or on your computer)”

Karol K 

Click Here To Tweet This! 

 


Step #2: Use Honesty To Make More Affiliate Sales

There’s going to be a little voice in the back of your head that says, “Be nice, they put a lot of hard work into this”.

This is a problem I face when I review local stage shows. Because I know what it’s like to be an artist and put your work out there, and for people to say bad things about it.

But that still doesn’t stop me from publishing two star reviews:

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 12.07.43

 

But you can’t give in to that voice and write a nice review just to stop hurting someone’s feelings.

Your service isn’t to the product creator, it’s to your audience. And they need to know the truth.

So don’t worry about writing something that might upset someone.

That’s part of creating content (see this post before creating your next blog post), and what the other person accepted when they put their work out into the world.

 


Step #3: How To Stack Information So You Don’t Lose Customers

There’s one truth about the internet you need to understand as a niche site owner:

People are always ready to stop reading.

At any point in your review they could just go, “Nope, I’ve had enough of this!” and move on to something else. So it’s important to make sure the start of your review contains all of the most important information.

Someone who has this down to a perfect art is Robbie Richards.

Take a look at this recent review he did for Thrive Leads

Look at these snapshots:

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 12.17.37

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 12.17.50

 

All of the important information is in the first few seconds you’re on the page.

You can see what he thinks of the products. The features you need to know about.

The benefits to the potential customer. And, why you should carry on reading.

There’s enough information here to help you make a decision on whether to buy the product alone.

Never mind when you delve into the extensive review beneath it all.

You should look to include:

  • Your star rating of the product
  • The stand out features of the product
  • The people it will benefit most
  • Best places to buy/save money (if it’s relevant)
  • Picture of the product in action

Like this review for a Dyson Hoover:
Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 12.48.35

 

You can easily use a free tool like Canva to create these reviews as well. I made this spoof image to review Stuart in under 5 minutes:

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 13.07.43

 

Okay, I’m a writer not a designer. But you get my point. Even a dodgy image like that is easy to process and adds a lot of value to a reader before they’ve even got into the main content.

 

 


Step #4: The Simple Content Hack To Create Epic Reviews Every Time

This is a copywriting tool I learned from a great copywriter called Andy Maslen in his book Write To Sell. But I’ve adapted it slightly to make it fit product reviews a little better.

The original is a little acronym called AIDCA:

 

  • Attention: Grab your reader’s attention and hold it
  • Interest: Build their interest in buying the product
  • Desire: Make them want it
  • Conviction: Give social proof of why they need it right now
  • Action: Give them a simple, powerful, call to arms

And you can read more about that one in this post I wrote right here. But for Affiliate reviews, you’re going to alter it to AIDACA:

 

  • Attention: Grab their attention and hold it.
  • Interest: Explain what makes the product interesting.
  • Desire: Explain the interesting pro’s and con’s of the product.
  • Alternatives: What else is available out there.
  • Conclusion: Your final verdict of the product.
  • Action: If they want to buy it, here’s a powerful call to action.

 

This template is a little more flexible and suitable to different product reviews. Because this isn’t a sales piece, it’s a review.

Here’s a short examples of how this might look for a product to give you an idea of that in action:

 


Duolingo: Online Language Learning Software

 

Attention: Have you ever wished for free language software you could take anywhere in the world? Well, now you have it.

Interest: Duolingo brings together all the tools you need to not only learn, but remember, a language. Spaced repetition, speech, translation and context. And it does it all in one beautiful desktop, mobile and tablet compatible app.

Desire: The smart software constantly combines different aspects of the language, and pools them together, to give you a true real world feel of using the language.

But, like any online software, it has it’s bugs. There are occasionally inconsistencies and bugs that get in the way. Which can mean you learn the wrong word or spelling from time to time.

Thankfully there are community threads for each individual question or task on hand for those instances to help you along.

Alternatives: Other products in the market, like Memrise, do a better job of providing you with ways to to remember words – using mnemonics and images – but don’t have the same ‘game’ element that Duolingo has perfected. So if you’re looking for a mix of entertainment and education, I’d say Duolingo is your better option.

Conclusion: I’ve been using Duolingo to teach myself spanish for a number of weeks now. And, while I’m not as far along as I thought I’d be, I’ve made much better progress remembering the basics than I expected.

The game element is actually more addictive than I expected. And, wanting to continue my daily ‘streak’ made me study on the days I’d normally have slacked off.

The process has been frustrating at times, but like any game, it’s always fun in the end. And this is a great way for anyone on any budget to learn a language.

Action: Memberships have, and always will be, free for Duolingo. So you can sign up right here.

 

It’s a simple formula that you can check through and create perfect body copy for your reviews. And, you can expand it however you want by:

  • Including images
  • Case studies
  • Experiment results
  • Comments and feedback from people you shared it with

The list really is endless. But even if you wrote one sentence for each of those points you’d still have a product review people want to read.

 

 

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“The voice or style of your review should be honest and factual. You should not try to hype up the product.” – Loz James

Click Here To Tweet This! 

 

 

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

 


The Truth About Affiliate Marketing…

All it really takes is honesty.

It builds trust. It creates tribes. And it’s going to drive you more sales.

If you take nothing else from this article, let it be that.

But here’s the main lessons from this article to help you write epic affiliate reviews:

  • Don’t write for the money: Write to serve your audience.
  • Get to know your product: So you reviews are always believable and thorough.
  • Don’t be scared: To give an honest (or bad) review.
  • Put the important information first: And use graphics to drive your points home and keep customers.
  • Use the AIDACA formula: To create perfect body copy every time.

The rest, my friend, is up to you.

Agree, disagree? Let me know in the comments…

The post How To Write The Perfect Affiliate Product Review appeared first on NicheHacks.

Source: affiliate9

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