06 Aug

41 Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online Without Being Scammed

I’ll be honest with you.

Until I actually started making money online myself, I believed it was just a myth.

A dream that’s just too good to be true. A big scam that lures people into wasting their hard earned money.

But here I am, like thousands of others around the world, actually making a full-time living from my laptop for the last 5 years now.

The scams I feared are real, and they’re really tempting.

But there are many clean and legitimate ways to make money online as well.

From the outside, it can be really confusing how ordinary people can build four, five, six and even seven figure businesses without even having an office building or a permanent workspace.

But it becomes clearer once you dig deeper and study the different business models individually.

In this post, I’ll give you a brief introduction to several ways you can make a full-time living on the web even if you’re a total beginner.

However, unlike many other posts on this topic, I’ll focus ONLY on real business models that are sustainable in the long run and have the potential to replace your day-job.

So don’t expect to see methods like “filling surveys” or “selling your organs” on this list.

 


What You’ll Learn In This Post

  • An introduction to more than 40 legitimate and long term online business models
  • How to monetize your existing skills to make money
  • How to generate a full-time income without even having your own product
  • Why you don’t need a product to start an eCommerce business
  • How to build a thriving business without an email list

 

 


Things To Remember If You Want To Make Money Online

Before we go into the details, I want you to remember a few things.

 

An Online Business is a Real Business

Which means you need to give it the respect it deserves. There’s no mystery in it.

Just like real businesses, you need to identify a need or a gap in the market and provide a solution to make money.

 

It Requires Hard Work

An online business has the potential to work on auto-pilot, but that only happens after you invest hours of hard work into creating a self-sustaining system.

 

You Won’t Become a Millionaire Overnight

“But Jawad, I just heard from Guru XYZ how he went from being a broke farmer with zero computer knowledge to becoming a seven-figure internet marketer in a matter of hours”

You’ll find exceptional success stories in every business

But business plans based on flukes and exceptions rarely succeed. So only bother reading this post if you’re in this for the long-run.

 

You Don’t Need to Know Everything to Make Money

Nobody knows everything, even the wildly successful marketers that you want to emulate.

 

 


Long-Term and Legitimate Online Earning Methods

With that mandatory disclaimer out of the way, let’s jump right into the business end of this post.

 


1. Make a Living as a Freelancer

If you have a skill that can add value to other people’s businesses, you can become a freelancer right now. Freelancing is simply trading your time for money.

It’s not a passive income source (unless you have people working for you). But it’s the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to making money online.

Which is why more than 35% of the total U.S workforce is freelance (a number that’s expected to reach 50% by 2020)

 

Source: Upwork

 

If you haven’t made a penny on the web yet, freelancing is the best place to start.

But don’t underestimate its earning potential.

According to a survey by Contently, the majority of the full-time freelancers made at least $30,000 in 2016.

 

 

That’s not a big deal, I know

But when you look close, you’ll find that these results are slightly skewed since there’s no income breakdown according to skills.

As a freelancer for several years myself, I can tell you that your income mainly depends on your skillset and your brand image.

For example, the monthly income of a freelance graphic designer or a programmer or a high-quality copywriter is usually 4-5x higher than a freelancer offering translation or data entry services.

 


Services You Can Offer as a Freelancer

How about becoming a professional prankster?

 

 

People offer all sorts of crazy services.

But since we’re talking about long-term earning methods only, here are a few services you can offer as a freelancer and make a career out of them.

1.1 Freelance Blogger – Writing blog posts for other blogs like I do

1.2 Freelance Guest Blogger – Writing guest posts for your clients on other blogs

1.3 Freelance Ghostwriter – Writing articles, blog posts, books etc. without putting your name on it

1.4 Freelance Writer – General writing projects like press releases, eBooks, articles, manuals, magazine articles, technical writing etc.

1.5 Freelance Copywriter – Marketing copy for websites, landing pages, emails etc.

1.6 Freelance Web/Graphic Designer – Designing websites, logos, banners, social media images etc.

1.7 Freelance Programmer – Creating software

1.8 Freelance App Developer – Mobile apps for Android, iOS, Windows phones

1.9 Freelance Virtual Assistant – Assist your client in daily activities like responding to emails, prioritizing tasks, doing other non-business tasks.

1.10 Freelance Social Media Marketer – Managing social media accounts for your clients

1.11 Freelance Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) – Optimizing content and webpages for Google Search

1.12 Freelance Search Marketer (Google AdWords/Bing etc.) – Running and managing paid ad campaigns.

 


Ways to Find Freelance Projects

According to a survey by Payoneer, here’s how most freelancers find work on the web.

 

 

Online marketplaces and direct clients are two of the biggest job sources for freelancers, which is not surprising.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of freelance marketplaces since there’s a lot of cheap competition on these platforms. I get all my clients from my own website, referrals, and through guest posts that I’ve published on other leading industry blogs

I prefer direct clients because in that case the business is chasing me and I get to choose my own rates. You can learn more about this strategy in this epic post by James

If you’re looking to get clients directly, having a strong brand image and a well-populated portfolio is also important.

 

Source: Due

 

As for the different freelance portals, they do offer a steady inflow of projects if you can establish yourself as a reliable freelancer. The rates also improve once you start getting more positive client feedback.

But it takes time.

However, for most beginners, it’s a good place to start.

Here are some of the top freelance job websites you can sign up for

 

General Freelance Jobs

Blogging/Writing/Editing and Content Marketing Jobs

Web and Graphic Design Specific Portals

Programming Specific Jobs

SEO/SEM Jobs

 

There must be hundreds of other freelance job portals, but I’ve listed the ones I personally know.

Freelancing is a real and legitimate way to build your career online. But it does require patience dedication and a lot of hard work.

If you’re willing to do that, there’s a lot of money waiting for you on the other side.

 


The Pros and Cons of Freelancing


Pros


Cons

Low entry barrier, anyone can start freelancingHigh competition on all freelance marketplace websites
You can start making money from day oneNot a passive source of income.
You can work on your own termsScaling a freelance business is hard work
You can choose your clients and set your own ratesYou get paid only when you work, which increases the chances of burnout
You can work from anywhereWork revisions, delayed payments and bossy clients are common problems for freelancers

 

 


2. Live Your Passive Income Dream With Affiliate Marketing

When most people talk about making money online, they’re not referring to freelancing or trading time for money.

They’re talking about passive income – money that keeps coming in even when you’re not working.

Affiliate marketing fits that criteria perfectly which is why it’s one of the most popular ways to make money online.

Most of the NicheHacks tribe is also more interested in affiliate marketing than any other online earning method.

If you’re a complete newbie to affiliate marketing, this infographic explains the how it works.

 

Source: Visual.ly

 

An affiliate is someone who promotes products or services of other businesses and earns a commission when a sale is made as a result of his marketing activities.

But affiliate marketing is much more than simply spamming people with your affiliate link and expecting them to buy from you.

You might get an occasional sale here and there using this method, but if you want to turn affiliate marketing into a long-term and sustainable income source, you’ll need to develop a group of people who trust you and consider you an expert in your niche.

You can do that by creating high-quality blog content, YouTube videos and other forms of content, and by building your email subscriber base so that you can send them more offers in future.

You can promote both physical and digital products and services as an affiliate marketer. However, the strategies for both may slightly differ.

 


2.1 Marketing Physical Products as an Affiliate

There are hundreds of thousands of eCommerce stores that offer affiliate commissions to anyone who promotes and sells their products.

As the biggest eCommerce site in the world, Amazon has the biggest affiliate program as well. It’s popular not only because people prefer buying through Amazon, which makes it easier for the affiliates to sell more, but also because Amazon offers a seemingly unlimited range of products that affiliates from any niche can promote.

Just in case you’re wondering about the earning potential of affiliate marketing, here’s a snapshot from Michelle’s blog, a leading personal finance blogger and affiliate marketer.

 

Here are some strategies affiliate marketers commonly use to promote physical products.

 

2.1.1 Blogging/Vlogging

Just like Michelle, if you blog regularly on a certain topic and have a loyal readership, you can monetize it by sending them relevant product promotions. This is one of the most common ways marketers make money online.

You can either find products to promote on Amazon or look for affiliate programs that are specific to your industry.

For example, if you’re a fitness blogger, you could search for fitness related affiliate programs on Google.

Here’s what I found.

 

 

This is just one example. You can find such offers in every industry.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to naturally promote affiliate offers as a blogger without being too pushy.

 

2.1.2 Niche Sites

Niche site is just a fancy name for blogs that are super focused on a very narrow niche. For example, instead of writing about health & fitness in general, a niche site would focus on narrow sub-niches like “weight-loss for diabetics” or “fitness for entrepreneurs”

SmartMonkeyFitness is a good example of a niche site that’s focused on a very narrow topic.

 

 

Most niche sites make money by promoting related Amazon products in their content body and side bar.

For example, the post in the snapshot above links to 15 different fitness related products on Amazon. The site owner earns a commission every time a reader makes a purchase through his post.

 

 

If you’re wondering what niche to target for your site, we have already done the hard work for you.

Here’s a free research report with more than 1781 niches that you can target.

 

2.1.3 Product Review Sites

As the name suggests, product review sites mainly publish reviews of different products and help readers choose the product that fits their needs.

Again, most product review sites use physical products from Amazon. But you can use other affiliate networks as well.

Here’s a good example of a review site

 

 

Luqman Khan, a member of NicheHacks Facebook Mastermind, managed to reach $40,000/month in just 8 months with his product review site.

Almost all of his income was generated through Amazon’s affiliate program. You can read his success story here.

You can learn more about the right strategies to create product review sites by reading our detailed guide.

 

2.1.4 Price Comparison Sites

Price comparison sites help users find the best deals on the web and earn a commission every time a sale is made through them.

Creating comparison sites is a huge business, especially in the travel, insurance and banking industries.

To give you an idea, nearly 43% of all online retailers get around 10% of their annual sales through comparison sites. Around 40% of all car insurance policies purchased online are through price comparison sites.

However, there’s no reason why they won’t work in a narrow niche.

Shoesniper and Parcel2Go are great examples of niche price comparison sites that are making a lot of money through affiliate commissions

 

Glen Allsop recently published a mamoth post with several recent examples of highly successful comparison and deals websites. You can read it here

You can learn much more about creating price comparison sites in this detailed guide.

 


2.2 Selling Digital Products as an Affiliate

Marketing digital products as an affiliate is usually a more challenging prospect as compared to physical products.

I say this because most affiliates promote digital products like online training programs, web based software, web hosting services and different automation tools.

To sell these products you need to earn the trust of your buyers before you can pitch them an offer and convince them of its usefulness since there are so many scams out there on the web.

But that’s just my opinion.

If you want to market digital products as an affiliate, make sure that you

  • Only promote products that you genuinely believe can be useful to your buyers.
  • Only promote products from reliable sellers/networks so that they deliver real value to the buyers.

If you can build your reputation as a trustworthy marketer, people would be more than happy to buy the products you promote.

You can use product review and price comparison sites for selling digital products as well. But the more sustainable and long-term approach is to first route your target audience to an email list.

From there, you can send them emails to increase awareness about the products you’re offering and offer exclusive discounts to drive more sales.

Your best chance of doing that is by starting a blog, creating high-quality content and building a pool of loyal email subscribers.

Matthew Woodward’s blog is a great example of this approach.

He started blogging in 2012 and over the years he has amassed a huge following that drives his business.

Here’s a snapshot from income reports from 2017

 

 

To give you an idea of what he promotes, here’s a snapshot from his June income.

 

 

NicheHacks is another example you can follow.

Stuart started this blog with zero subscribers.

But today, NicheHacks is a thriving community of thousands of emails subscribers, Facebook Mastermind members, and followers on other social networks.

Note: Stuart shared exactly how he grew NicheHacks to 1 million readers in this post

From time to time, he promotes relevant and high-quality products to his email list subscribers and makes a lot of money from affiliate commissions.

Here are a couple of posts that describe his strategy in more detail

There’s no substitute for high-quality content.

If you want to generate regular and sustainable income from affiliate marketing, you need to build a blog, publish lots of great content, turn readers into subscribers and then promote relevant offers to them.

 


Where to Find Affiliate Offers

Almost every SaaS company, web hosting service, or marketing automation tool I know of, invites affiliates to sign up, promote their products and make commissions.

You just need to search for them.

But you can also join an affiliate network and choose relevant products to promote. An affiliate network is a platform where product creators and affiliate marketers like you interact.

When a product creator wants to launch his product, he lists it on an affiliate network where affiliate marketers from relevant industries and niches sign up for it and promote it to their respective audiences.

Here are a few affiliate networks you can join to find relevant offers to promote.

You can find dozens of other affiliate networks in this post

 


The Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing

Pros

Cons

It’s a passive income source that’ll keep earning you money even when you’re asleepYou’re risking your reputation by asking your audience to buy from a third-party merchant, since you have zero control on the product quality
It’s easy to start and doesn’t require any big investmentsAffiliate networks can suspend your account or hold your commissions sometimes even on minor mistakes or misunderstandings.
You don’t need to create your own productYou can’t start making money from day one. It requires a lot of time and effort
You don’t need to worry about after sales, customer service or any other logistical supportIf you want to make it a completely passive source of income you need to rank for the right keywords in Google search and build a huge email list
Thousands of affiliate programs to choose from, many of which pay as much as 80% commissionsThere are lots of scams in affiliate marketing so you need to be very careful before choosing a product to promote

 

 


3. Earn Life-Changing Money With Blogging

I’ve already mentioned blogging and content creation a number of times, since most online earning methods revolve around great content.

However, blogging still merits a whole section because it helps you build an audience around your business and a platform that can be used in countless ways to make money online.

The whole idea behind blogging is to create well-researched, actionable and in-depth content that solves the problems of your audience and helps them take action.

When you do that on a consistent basis, people start considering you an expert and trust your advice and recommendations.

This is when you can make money with blogging.

Here are a few ways to do it.

 


3.1 Sell Your Own Digital Products

If you can identify the biggest pain points of your target audience and create a product that solves them step by step, people would willingly buy from you.

Creating a product is a one-time investment that keeps earning you money for years. You can keep updating your product with new modules to stay relevant to the current problems of your audience.

Here’s a quick look at the type of digital products you can sell.

 

3.1.1 An Online Course

Target one major problem that’s bothering your audience and create an online course that solves it. Your course could contain a series of video lectures, worksheets, PDF guidelines and additional reading material.

Online courses are high ticket products that can be easily sold in high-four figures as long as you can provide value.

For example, Ramit Sethi opens up registration for his premium course Zero to Launch only once a year and sells it for as much as $10,000 per course.

 

 

Brian Dean sells his SEO course for mid four-figures every year.

 

 

You can use tools like Gumroad, Teachable or Kajabi to host your course, manage students and process payments for you.

You can learn more about creating an online course in this detailed post.

 

3.1.2 An eBook

eBooks won’t immediately fill your bank account. But they’re easy to create, provide quick value to the readers and sell like hot cakes.

Plus, they help you turn your email subscribers into buyers that can be upsold to higher priced products.

For example, Stuart’s 101 Digital Affiliate Hacks and 101 Traffic Hacks are eBooks by definition, but they provide more actionable information on their respective topics than many full-fledged courses. And that too at a fraction of a video course.

So when Stuart does eventually launch his own video course, his buyers would happily buy from him because they know he over-delivers on value

Not bad for a few hours of work.

Because of these advantages, some of the biggest blogs on the web still actively sell eBooks on different topics.

 

 

Here’s a detailed post that outlines the process of creating and selling an eBook.

 

3.1.3 An Email Course

Instead of publishing everything in an eBook, you can break it down in a series of emails and offer it as a premium course.

This 30 day course by Brennan Dunn is an example.

 

 

Many bloggers and marketers use this strategy to make it easier for their buyers to digest all the information on offer.

 

3.1.4 A Membership Site

Instead of just offering an eBook or a course, you could create a membership site and offer all your exclusive premium content for a monthly fee.

Membership sites not only have greater perceived value among buyers, but they also give you the flexibility to keep adding new content to it whenever you have time.

The Platform University by Michael Hyatt is a good example

 

 

You could also add a premium members area to your existing blog instead of creating a completely new site for it.

NicheHacks has an exclusive members area where new niche research reports and other useful content is regularly added.

These are just some of the product ideas that you can sell on your blog. You can find several other ideas in this post.

 


The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Own Product

Pros

Cons

Creating your product is a one-time effort that keeps paying you back for yearsRequires an initial investment of time and money
Creating a product is much easier now thanks to the different tools and platforms available onlineIt requires extensive market research to come up with a unique angle since there a lot of products on the same topics now
The earning potential is limitlessYou need to build an email list and an engaged audience pool before you can sell them a product
You can introduce different pricing models to cater to different sets of buyersYou need to keep adding new modules from time to time to stay relevant
You get to keep all the income from your product sales, unlike affiliate marketingThe marketing expenses eat up a significant portion of your earnings

 

 


3.2 Monetize Your Blog With Ad Networks

Perhaps the most popular way to make money online is to sell advertising space on your blog.

The concept is simple.

If your blog attracts a decent amount of traffic, you can either sell ad space on your site to relevant brands or place link/banner ads in your content body using an ad network.

 

 

The earning potential of this method is huge but it mainly depends on the number of visitors you can attract to your site on a regular basis.

How you get paid also depends on the nature of your ad since there are 3 different types of advertising models you can use.

 

3.2.1 Cost Per Click (CPC)

As the name suggests, when you place CPC ads on your site, you earn money when someone clicks on the ad.

You can learn more about CPC Ads in this case study by Glen

 

3.2.2 Cost Per Action/Acquisition (CPA)

In CPA, you’re paid when a reader on your blog not only clicks on your ad but also performs a certain action, for example, fill a form or answer a survey etc.

 

 

This awesome guide by Brian Dean tells you everything you need to know about CPA marketing

 

3.2.3 Cost Per Mille (CPM)

Cost Per Mille which is also known as Cost Per Thousand makes you money based on the number of impressions or views your ad gets. The rate is usually set based on 1000 impressions.

 

Source: CPM vs CPC [Infographic]

 

Here’s a meaty CPM case study to help you understand this model.

 


List of CPA, CPC and CPM Ad Networks

There are literally hundreds of such networks on the web. But not all of them are reliable. If you’re just starting out, it better to stick to well-known and mainstream networks.

Here’s a list of some of them

 


The Pros and Cons of Selling Ads on Your Site

Pros

Cons

A completely passive income sourceTo make this model work, you need to generate a LOT of traffic from search engines
An easy way to monetize your trafficYou have limited control over the ads
A huge variety of networks where you can choose the right ads to promoteScams are common
You don’t need an email list to make moneyAds have a negative impact on user-experience
Immediate earnings

 

 


3.3 Sponsored Posts

When your blog starts generating traffic and the size of your audience increases, it becomes attractive for different brands and marketers who’re looking to promote their content.

As a result, you start getting emails like this

 

 

Many leading blogs have a clearly marked section for sponsored posts

 

 

It’s up to you to decide whether you want to disclose sponsored content to your readers or not. Some bloggers do, some don’t.

For the sake of your brand image, though, be careful and selective in accepting sponsored posts.

 


The Pros and Cons of Accepting Sponsored Posts

Pros

Cons

Easy money that requires no money from your side, especially if the content is also provided by the brandIt’s hard to create a balanced sponsored content that doesn’t appear too salesy
You get high-quality content and get paid for itIf the product doesn’t perform well for your audience, it hurts your credibility
One sponsored post opens up doors for moreSponsored posts often have low quality, copied or spun content

 

 


3.4 Paid Links

Just like sponsored content, paid links are also a pretty big source of revenue for many bloggers.

You’ll start getting offers to include backlinks in your content, in return for money, as soon as the domain authority (DA) of your blog crosses 25-30.

Marketers are ready to pay big bucks for high DA backlinks and I’ve seen bloggers charge in excess of $500-1000 for a single link.

A word of caution though.

Buying and selling links is clearly against Google’s guidelines and can get you penalized or even completely wiped off from search results if Google finds out.

So even if you do opt for this revenue channel, limit yourself to reliable and well-known brands that are not involved in link spamming.

It’s still risky though.

 


The Pros and Cons of Paid Links

Pros

Cons

Easy money without much workDirect violation of Google’s guidelines which can get you penalized

 

 


4. Sell Online Courses on Third-Party Platforms

Selling online courses directly from your blog is a great way to create a passive income stream.

But even if you don’t have a blog or an email list, you can still sell courses on third party platforms.

There are dozens of websites where you can create and upload video courses on all sorts of topics ranging from Business, Marketing and SEO to Music, Arts and Science.

These platforms attract millions of visitors every month. If your course is good enough and makes it to the top of your category, there’s potential to bank big bucks.

 

 

For example, I recently came across this astonishing case study of Abdul Wali, a broke street seller from Pakistan, who never went to school but turned his life upside down by making more than $100,000 in 1 year just selling courses on online learning platforms like Udemy.

His story was so inspirational that Udemy flew him all the way to San Francisco to attend their annual conference.

 

 

The downside of selling courses on a marketplace is that you don’t get to keep all the money since you need to pay the platform fee as well as its share in every sale you make.

You can sell courses on Udemy, Skillshare, Eliademy, YouTube, and several other platforms.

 


The Pros and Cons of Selling Online Courses

Pros

Cons

No entry barrier, anyone can create a courseLots of competition in all categories
Your content is exposed to millions of potential buyersYou need to pay a major chunk of your earnings to the course platform
You get modern and state of the art course creation toolsYou can’t route the buyers to your email list directly
Your content is fully optimized for search enginesLimited potential for your personal branding
No payment disputes or delays

 

 


5. Become a Self-Published Author

If you’re a talented writer or consider writing as one of your passions, you don’t need to wait for an agent or a publisher to write your first book.

You can join hundreds of thousands of authors who’re making a full-time living by self-publishing books on Amazon.

 

 

You simply need to sign up, upload your book online and start selling.

Amazon also offers on-demand book publishing through its company CreateSpace. The service gives your readers the option to order hard copies of your book from Amazon.

Here’s a mammoth guide that’ll teach you everything required to become a self-published author on Amazon

 


The Pros and Cons of Publishing on Amazon

Pros

Cons

One-time effort, long term passive incomeAmazon books sell for low prices
Your work is exposed to millions of Amazon usersIt’s hard to stand out since there’s a lot of competition
Easy to publish a book and become a published authorYou don’t get to keep all the money, Amazon also charges a fee on every sale
Publishing a book opens up doors for more book ideas, partnerships, speaking opportunities andYou need to spend money on marketing to generate sales

 

 


6. Monetize Your Social Media Audience

There’s more to social media than cat videos and the Kardashians.

If you have a large and engaged following, brands would be happy to pay you to promote their products and content.

Sponsored social media posts pay so well that many marketers have made it a full-time career.

 

 

The amount of money you can earn grows with the growth of your audience. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to give you an idea of the earning potential

 

Source: Economist

 

When your network grows, brands usually reach out and make an offer themselves. But if they don’t, you can sign up on different networks that connect social media influencers with relevant brands.

 


The Pros and Cons of Monetizing Your Social Media Audience

Pros

Cons

Everyone uses social media, why not earn money while doing soSocial media is overcrowded and you need to spend significant time and money to grow and audience
Huge earning potential once you have a large followingSocial media is a double-edged sword. One wrong post and your popularity can come crashing down

 

 


7. Start an eCommerce Store To Sell Physical Products

If you’re already run a small brick and mortar business, and don’t have the resources to physically expand your business, eCommerce is just the right solution for you.

You can avoid all the unnecessary costs and establish a full-fledge business by setting up an eCommerce store and grow your business with time.

List as many products as you want and serve thousands of customers at the same time. There are just no limits.

There are a couple of ways you can start selling right away.

 


7.1 Sell on B2B/B2C Marketplace Platforms

List your products on different eCommerce platforms that attract millions of visitors every day. There are literally thousands of such platforms in every niche. You just need to search them on Google.

An easy way to start, though, is by listing your products on Amazon and eBay. If you’re selling in bulk, you can also find buyers on AliBaba.

 

 

Here are a few case studies to help you get started.

From Zero to $250K on eBay in Just 3 Months

How To Make Amazon Selling Work for Your Business

 


7.2 Sell on Your Own Store

The other strategy is to create your own eCommerce store and sell directly to your buyers.

You can set up an eCommerce store using a premium WordPress Theme with WooCommerce integration, or you could use a ready to use eCommerce solution like Shopify or SquareSpace.

 

 

Here’s a detailed guide that tells you everything about product selection, shipment and platforms setup.

How to Start an eCommerce Business Using Shopify

 


The Pros and Cons of Starting an eCommerce Store


Pros


Cons

It’s very easy to setup a fully functional ecommerce storeThis is not a completely online business model.
It’s a highly scalable business model that has turned small time vendors into millionairesYou need to invest in product development/procurement, warehousing, and supply chain
The trend of buying online is increasing exponentiallyManaging shipments, customer care, and product returns is hectic work
There’s still a huge business opportunity for this model in niche marketsYou need to invest a LOT of money in marketing your products online

 

 


8. Start a Dropshipping Business With Shopify and AliExpress

You’re completely broke and don’t have the resources to invest in an eCommerce business.

Can you still sell online?

Definitely yes!

Dropshipping is an ideal business model for anyone who’s low on budget or just wants to test new products without investing too much time and money.

The business model is simple.

Instead of manufacturing the products yourself, handling storage, warehousing, shipping etc. you simply promote other people’s products as your own at a higher rate.

When you get orders, you route them to the original product owner and get it shipped directly to the buyer. You make money by selling the product at a higher rate than the original supplier.

 

Source: Oberlo Blog

 

You can use Ali Express to find cheap products to sell at a higher rate on your Shopify store.

I prefer Shopify since it helps you automate the whole dropshipping process with plugins and apps like Oberlo.

When you automate the whole system, your only job is to market your products using Facebook Ads and Google Adwords.

This step by step dropshipping guide by Shopify will teach you everything you need to know

 


The Pros and Cons of Dropshipping With Shopify

Pros

Cons

No set up cost in terms of product inventory or supply chainYou have zero control over product quality, supply chain and after sales
An online store can be set up with Shopify in a very little costYou need a significant marketing budget to promote products and make sales
You can start making money immediately
The whole process can be automated and turned into passive income

 

 


9. Launch Your Own Private Label Products With Amazon FBA

Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) is a service by Amazon that takes care of the shipping, after sales, and customer service of your products in your target country.

You only need to manufacture your products (or purchase from a whole seller) and ship them to Amazon.

They’ll take care of the rest.

 

Source: JackB2B

 

The advantage with Amazon FBA is that you can source products or get them manufactured from China, India or any other country, add your brand name, and ship the products directly to Amazon’s warehouses.

The rest is their responsibility.

You just need to focus on listing your products on Amazon and marketing them to attract buyers.

Because of Amazon FBA, small time sellers have transformed into global brands with thousands of satisfied customers and millions of dollars in revenue.

Spencer Haws, the creator of LongTail Pro, started his Amazon FBA business a few years ago and it has now turned into one of his main income sources.

 

 

He has dedicated a complete section on his blog for FBA related articles.

You can find all of it here.

 


The Pros and Cons of Amazon FBA

Pros

Cons

Amazon is the world’s largest ecommerce storeRequires a significant initial investment in product development
FBA allows you to utilize Amazon’s supply chain, inventory and after sales services. This helps reduce your costs significantlyFinding a reliable supplier is easier said than done
Once you have a trusted supplier and a winning product, the whole process can be automated.You need to invest in product marketing

 

 


10. Earn Huge Money by Flipping Websites

If you’re good at building high traffic websites from scratch, you can find lots of buyers willing to pay huge sums of money to acquire your site.

Website flipping is a big business in the online marketing world. The value of a site is determined by its monthly traffic volume, the quality of its content and its existing revenue.

Yaro is a great example who made six-figures with website flipping

 

 

If you’re not willing to start a website from scratch, you can buy a website from someone else, work on it for a few months and sell it for a profit.

Here are a few platforms where you can flip websites.

 


The Pros and Cons of Flipping Websites

Pros

Cons

Huge earning potentialFlipping platforms keep a major portion of the sales price
Once you understand how the process works, you can buy ready to use websites, polishthem with better content and earn a lot of money for very little effortGrowing a website from scratch is hard work and requires a lot of work.

 


Which Online Earning Method is Right for You?

That’s a tough question.

But if you ask me, the answer to this depends on your current objectives, financial status, and knowledge.

So let me break this down into three scenarios

 


1) You’re Broke, and Looking for Quick Money

If you’re looking to make money quickly, but don’t have any money to invest, freelancing is the best place to start.

As I said at the start, it’s the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to making money online.

But since it’s never wise to keep all your eggs in one basket, I’d recommend you to start selling online courses on Udemy and eBooks on Amazon as well. Both require very little money but have the potential to pay back big time.

If you have patience, you can also jump into niche marketing, since it has the potential to drastically change your financial condition.

It’s not quick money though.

The money you earn through freelancing can be invested in creating affiliate sites and other passive income methods.

 


2) You’re Financially OK, But Looking for More Ways To Earn

Start a blog and give yourself 6 months to build an email list and develop a pool of loyal followers.

Once you have a sizeable audience, you can monetize it through affiliate marketing, advertisements or by directly selling your own products.

You can also look to start a niche site, as a side project, to promote affiliate offers. To make it more manageable, consider hiring quality freelance writers to create a steady flow of high-quality content for your blog and niche sites.

On the eCommerce side, you can start a small dropshipping business using Shopify and AliExpress, since it does not require any investment and has the potential to pay back quickly. You’d only need to spend money on Facebook and Google Ads.

 


3) You’re Financially Stable and Looking to Diversify Income

eCommerce is an industry worth trillions of dollars.

And it’s just the beginning.

If you have money, create your own online store and market your own products.

Or, take advantage from Amazon FBA and consider launching your own private label products.

On the digital side of things, you can hire a team of content writers, SEO’s and social media marketers, and focus on developing your own affiliate marketing empire.

 

 


Are You Ready To Make Money Online?

No matter where you are in the world, if you have a computer and an internet connection there are ways you can make money online.

I could’ve added dozens of other earning methods to this list as well because they’re just so many of them.

But I wanted to focus on the methods that I consider long-term business models that’ll keep filling your pockets for years to come.

Just pick one of them and start taking action.

There’s really no excuse not to.

Tell me in the comments if you need more help.

The post 41 Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online Without Being Scammed appeared first on NicheHacks.

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11 Jan

7 Reasons Why You’ll Continue To Fail as a Niche Marketer in 2017

Can you believe 2017 is here already?

Last year went fast, right?

Like some of the previous years, niche marketing went through a number of developments in 2016.

More Google search algorithm changes again.

Increased focus on content.

And the ever changing SEO techniques.

These are just some of the things that kept niche marketers busy and guessing throughout the year.

Now that we’re in the new year you can already find posts by different niche bloggers on the lessons they learned in 2016 and how they plan to succeed in the coming year.

In short, things are moving, changing and evolving at a rapid pace.

One thing that will remain constant, however, is YOUR fate as a niche marketer.

Yes, you’ll continue to fail in 2017 as well.

How do I know?

Here are some of the reasons….

 

(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. You Still Depend on Google for Traffic

Ever since the first Google Panda update in 2010, Google has been making regular changes to its search engine algorithms. This has made search engines the least reliable source of traffic.

You never know when the next algorithm arrives and ruins all your hard work.

Most of the back links, created with keyword rich anchor texts in the pre-Panda era, backfired and damaged the rankings of millions of websites around the web.

Blogs, full of keyword rich articles written for Google, were the biggest casualty.

In short, almost everything, that was considered good for SEO, turned bad.

You, however, still depend heavily on search engine traffic and have not developed any meaningful alternate traffic sources.

You still invest heavily in SEO and back linking, and almost all of your content is based around keywords only.

You still take advice from SEO gurus who claim to have located loopholes in Google algorithms to open floodgates of traffic to their websites.

It doesn’t work anymore, but you won’t listen.

Here’s what your Google Analytics traffic source should look like…

 

A varied range of traffic sources

 

But none of that matters anyway because you’re not even close to getting point 2 right…

 


2. You Have No Connection With Your Readers

Perhaps the most important thing in the new era of niche marketing, is building a community of loyal readers and followers who trust your advice and consider you an expert.

The online sales cycle has evolved.

You can no longer just publish random affiliate links and expect complete strangers to buy from you.

You need to build trust and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.

This requires regular engagement with your community through high quality and actionable blog posts that address different key issues of your niche in extreme detail.

It also means you need to stick to a fixed blogging schedule and publish regularly.

Otherwise you won’t be able to build the momentum required for creating a community.

We’ve slowly built up the NicheHacks Facebook Group to 26,000 members over the past couple of years and it now sends about 10% of our traffic.

 

Over 26,000 members in our Facebook Group

 

Building a community takes time, effort and planning.

And it’s the only way you can make sales now.

But wait, you’re still busy tweeting product links, right?

Good luck for 2017!

And I bet you’re STILL not doing point 3, even though every serious marketer on the face of the planet has told you you should be…

 


3. You Continue To Ignore Your Mailing List

Throughout 2016, you published countless new blog posts that generated thousands of visitors to your niche website.

But only a handful subscribed to your mailing list.

Why?

Because you have made no additional effort to make your opt-in box more prominent to the visitors.

You believe that placing it in the sidebar, with the title “Get Free Email Updates”, is enough to seduce your readers and get their email address.

Money is in the list, you’ve already heard this a million times.

It’s time now to take action.

Create a list magnet, place your opt-in box in the header and at the end of every blog post or create a pop up. Do everything to get more subscribers.

Here’s how you do a lead magnet properly…

 

A lead magnet done properly

 

As you’ll see it offers an instant solution to a key problem the NicheHacks audience has…they can’t find a niche.

They get 1781 niches delivered to them on a plate and it’s downloadable instantly.

The headline is benefit driven and clearly explains what they’ll get in return for submitting their email.

You can see why this is much more powerful than asking someone to “subscribe for blog updates”, right?

Ignoring your list is one of the prime reasons behind your continued failure as a niche marketer and this is why 2015 will be no different for you.

Which ties is nicely with point 4…

 


4. You Prefer Short Term Gains Over Long Term Business Goals

There are two types of niche marketers.

Those who treat niche marketing as a business.

And those who consider it a way to make quick bucks using a short term approach.

You’re the second type.

You’ve never considered niche marketing a business.

That’s why you’ve never created a long term plan.

You’ve just been publishing random affiliate reviews and promoting any products that offer lucrative commissions.

And probably throwing any old backlinks at your site just to rank quickly without considering the long term implications.

Instead of adopting a holistic approach to niche marketing, you’ve reduced it to a few landing pages and promotional posts to make a quick buck.

You don’t have any business values and that is why your readers don’t trust you.

You might have made a few quick bucks by promoting products that you’ve not even used.

But you’ve lost your credibility and brand image, the two most important requirements for successful niche marketing in 2017.

If you’d done things properly you could be seeing traffic stats like this one…

 

Over 1 million visitors to NH

 

And income stats like the following…

 

 

But that will never happen as your site will be penalized by Google LONG before you get close.

Or your rankings will drop due to a Google algorithm update.

Or worse still..

Your audience will have wised up to the fact you promote affiliate products you’ve never even seen let alone used.

And that ties in nicely with point 5…

 


5. You Don’t Think Like a Marketer

You call yourself a marketer.

Please start acting like one as well.

Marketers connect with their target market, listen to their problems, understand their needs and then offer solutions that can help their customers.

Their whole strategy is based on problem resolution and building trust.

What you’re doing right now is not marketing.

It’s just an opportunistic strategy built with the sole purpose of making money at any cost.

And as I said in the last point, you have no long term strategy because of which you jump into any niche and start promoting any products that offer lucrative returns.

For you, it’s all about making money, not resolving customer issues – a strategy that is bound to fail.

Which is why point #6 is something you need to address ASAP…

 


6. You Believe Passive Income Doesn’t Require Hard Work

Many of the early adopters of niche marketing believed it was an easy way of making lots of money without putting in the hard yards.

Much of that theory has changed now since most of the successful niche marketers have demonstrated how success is practically impossible without consistent hard work.

But you’re still living the old myth.

You believe hard work is not essential for success and there’s some secret shortcut that’ll make you successful one day.

That’s not going to happen.

The only secret to success is hard work.

Passive income only comes AFTER lots of hard work upfront.

Ask any successful niche marketer.

Ask Stuart!

The screenshot below shows over $40K of largely passive income from selling my own digital products.

 

Passive Income from Digital Product Sales

 

The sales mostly come from my automated sales funnel that run passively.

But I had to put the work in upfront creating the products and sales funnels upfront.

And building sustainable traffic sources away from just Google.

It would be impossible to make that income passively without the work done upfront, first.

And I bet you haven’t even thought about point #7 yet…

 


7. You Don’t Believe in Branding

The basic concept behind branding is to create a business that offers products or services with consistent quality, value, customer service and user experience.

And it has never been more important for niche marketers.

There are literally thousands of people trying their luck at niche marketing.

But just take a look at some of the most successful niche marketers and you’ll know that a major reason behind their continued success is their brand image.

They’re considered experts in their niche and people trust them as thought leaders.

Which is why they can get endorsements from big authority sites in their niche as seen in the screenshot below…

 

NicheHacks branding and trust signals

But since you’ve adopted the short term approach, you have done nothing to strengthen your brand image.

The big authorities in your niche don’t even know you exist and even if they did they certainly wouldn’t link to you.

You have a sub-standard blog, your Twitter account is hardly active, your Facebook page has no apparent connection with your main website and you still don’t have a LinkedIn page.

In short, your brand image is anything but credible.

Your site looks like a low quality, spammy, affiliate site that even your own mother wouldn’t trust.

Which is why I’ve drawn the following conclusions you need to take into consideration…

 

(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]

 


Conclusion

Niche marketing has changed dramatically over the last couple of years.

It still offers unbelievably lucrative opportunities to make a fortune.

But only to those marketers who’re willing to give it the respect it deserves.

If you’ve ignored it till now, 2017 is the time to really start focusing on creating a strong brand image in your niche through high quality content marketing

And by building a community of loyal readers who can become your most effective word of mouth marketers.

Don’t repeat the same mistakes you made this year, and the years before.

Otherwise 2017 will be another year of failure and disappointment for you.

Tell me below which of these rung the most true with you…

The post 7 Reasons Why You’ll Continue To Fail as a Niche Marketer in 2017 appeared first on NicheHacks.

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19 Nov

8 Lessons Affiliate Marketers Can Learn From A £87m Super Affiliate Site

Affiliate marketing is a beautiful lie that promises millions in passive income but in reality rarely goes beyond penny-commissions.

And even when the rewards and commissions are higher, it’s not possible for broke bedroom marketers like you to compete with the big players and claim your tiny market share and build a sustainable passive income from your niche website.

If you think like that, you’re not alone.

There are millions of struggling niche marketers who feel exactly the same.

But you’re still wrong.

Last year I shared niche marketing lessons from ViralNova, a viral news blog started and managed by one man and sold for $100 million from the comfort of his bedroom.

Today, I’ll share marketing lessons from another success story, MoneySavingExpert.com, a blog sold for almost 90 million pounds.

 


What You’ll Learn in This Post

  • How a one-man blog got sold for millions of dollars
  • How MoneySavingExpert is different from other niche blogs
  • One simple technique to build trust and credibility with your audience
  • How MSE  grew their email list to 10 million subscribers

 

If you’re in the UK, you might have heard about MoneySavingExpert.com, the largest personal finance blog in the kingdom.

It was started in 2003 by Martin Lewis, who is now considered a high profile financial commentator and expert.

In 2012, Martin sold MSE for 87 million pounds, while staying as the editor-in-chief of his website.

 

mse1

 

In 9 years, Martin grew his team from 0 to almost 90 professional journalists, editors, and financial experts.

MSE has gone from just a few hundred visitors to over 23 million page views per month, according to Similar Web.

 

mse2

 

Today MSE has a global audience and the blog earns millions in monthly revenue by reviewing products and affiliate commissions.

The thing that makes MSE a remarkable success story is their focus on giving value to their audience even at the expense of their revenue.

Their blogs, articles, newsletters and all other content is full of actionable money saving advice that helps their audience immediately take action.

They are value driven affiliate marketers with real business values and a long-term approach.

So whether you’re just starting out as a niche marketer or trying to take your passive income dreams to the next level, there are many lessons you can learn from the success of MoneySavingExpert.com

Let’s discuss some of them in detail.

 


1. Target a Small Niche With a Passionate Audience and Grow With Time

Choosing the right niche is absolutely crucial for the success of a niche marketing business.

This is why we regularly share in-depth niche research reports to help you make the right choice.

MoneySavingExpert.com is a great example of what we preach here at Nichehacks.com. Just like our laser targeted niche research reports, MSE caters to a very well defined audience that is passionate about a very specific need – cutting costs and saving money.

Here’s what the About page of MSE says about its audience

 

mse3

 

Look how they’ve highlighted the 25% pay rise that an average person in the UK can give themselves by following their advice.

That is a great example of a clear value proposition.

So often niche sites fail to clearly communicate one problem that they can help their audience solve.

This never allows them to focus on one core topic and prevents them from becoming niche experts.

The right approach is to start with a narrow focus and gradually move into related topics as your audience expands.

MSE started with content on savings and cost cutting. But over the years they’ve included separate sections for tools, resources, deal and even charity.

 


2. Use Transparency to Build Trust and Credibility

What’s the best way to get more subscribers, generate more sales and create more brand advocates that pull in more customers to your business?

The answer lies in one word – Trust

If people start trusting you as a person, as a brand, as a niche expert, their wallets open much more regularly for your offers and products.

And the quickest way to win trust online is by being transparent.

Leading affiliate marketers like Pat Flynn and Matthew Woodward have been openly sharing their monthly income reports, their experiments, their successes and even their failures.

Brands like Groove and Buffer have done the same and immediately found a dedicated audience that started trusting them.

MoneySavingExpert.com has also been transparent about its operations from Day 1.

In fact it has a dedicate page that mentions everything about how the site is financed, what costs are incurred, and what they plan to do next.

 

mse4

 

And even when it was acquired by the MoneySpuerMarket Group in 2012, they developed a legally binding editorial code that ensured transparency in all their content.

Here’s an extract from it.

 

 

“MoneySavingExpert.com will continue to follow its founding principles. Its primary job is to ensure it provides the best information to help consumers, based on journalistic research, and the editorial line will stay independent of any commercial objectives or influence.

We will continue to highlight to users how the site is financed – and if a paid link is used, where practical, give you an alternative, unpaid link.”

 

They’ve taken the concept of transparency to a whole new level which is why their readers trust them for advice on financial matters.

The lesson for you is obvious.

If you want to cut through all the noise in your niche and want people to trust you, be as transparent as you can about your business.

 


3. Create Insanely Useful, Actionable and Detailed Content That Solves Problems

You can’t build a successful blog without creating quality content.

But quality needs to be defined very clearly.

Quality is not about the complexity of your words or the length of your sentences.

It’s the usefulness of your content.

The value your readers get from it.

The problems it solves and the solutions it offers.

Without creating high-quality content that is insanely useful and immediately actionable, you can’t build a loyal readership.

And MSE is a great example to follow when it comes to problem solving content.

They’ve built a reputation for consistently producing content that helps readers take action and make a difference in their lives.

For example, this mammoth guide on saving money tells readers everything they need to know to start saving and investing.

 

how-to-start-saving1

 

It is full of actionable tips based on different scenarios and circumstances that most middle class Brits face.

 

guide1

 

And this is just one guide.

The site has dozens of other categories like banking, insurance, financing, real estate etc. with detailed guides and how to posts.

On top of that, they’ve created a ton of free tools and resources for their audience which take them way beyond average affiliate marketers.

The usefulness of their content is one of the main reasons why they have millions of monthly readers.

And here’s the lesson for you.

As long as your content keeps solving the core problems of your audience, and helps them take action, people will keep coming to your blog.

 


4. Focus on Building a Loyal Community Around Your Niche Site by Helping People

One of the biggest assets of MSE is its huge community of loyal followers.

There are more than 10 million people on their email list.

But their real strength is the MSE Forum, which is the seventh biggest social networking site in the UK.

It has more than 1.5 million registered users that contribute articles, ask questions, discuss different money related issues and help other members solve their problems.

This community is also one of the biggest traffic sources to the main site.

 

mseforums

 

The forum has a full-time management and administrative team that moderates the content and responds to questions where necessary.

Other than that, MSE and its CEO Martin Lewis have a combined social media following of more than 500,000.

This didn’t happen overnight.

Martin Lewis started the forum way back in 2003 and used it as the main platform for engaging with his audience, listening to their problems and sharing his advice.

To be successful at niche marketing, you also need to build a community around your brand.

I’m not saying you should start a forum right away, because it’s not easy to manage a forum with limited resources.

But look for ways to bridge the gap between you and your audience. If it can be achieved through a Facebook Group, like the NicheHacks Group, or any other platform, do it.

Because ultimately it’s the strength of your community that will take your business to the next level.

 


5. Never Compromise Your Values for Short-Term Gains

MSE lies in one of the most lucrative niches on the web.

Based on the size of their audience, they can easily make millions of dollars just by publishing sponsored articles and stories promoting different products.

But that is against one of the core values of MSE, which is to create content purely for the reader’s benefit.

Here’s what the site says about this

 

“Companies cannot pay to appear on the site. Guides are written purely from a ‘what’s the best way to save money?’ stance. Once the guides are finished, it’s one of the team’s job to see if they can find ‘affiliate links’ to the top products.

The MoneySaving guides are written then, totally separately, paid links are looked for. If no paying link is available, nothing in the guide changes. If the best is the best and doesn’t pay, it stays the best. The link used is simply ‘non-affiliated’, ie, non-paying. Financial considerations do not impact inclusion in articles.”

 

 

Sticking to such values might hold you back in the short-term, but the brand image that it helps you build pays off multiple times in the long-run.

 


6. Turn Your Emails into Value Rich Messages That People Wait For

Email is one of the most powerful ways to reach your audience and help them consume your content.

Yet very few niche blogs use it the right way.

Most of the times you’ll find affiliate marketers sending one promotional email after the other without providing any real value to the subscriber.

MSE has done this completely differently.

Instead of sending sales pitches and product offers to their subscribers, they’ve created a value rich weekly email newsletter series that contains discounts, deals and money saving tips for their subscribers.

Every newsletter is also available on the main website and gets shared thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter.

You can call them short blog posts with quick tips and action items.

Here’s what they say about their newsletter.

 

“This isn’t a site with an email, it’s an email with a website to back it up. All the latest deals, guides and loopholes go in the Martin’s Money Tips weekly email. More than two-thirds of the best deals expire within a week, and the email’s aim is to ensure you don’t miss out.”

 

The newsletter is so popular that their email list currently has more than 10 million subscribers.

In simple words, even if Google wipes off every page of MSE from its search results, they’d still be able to drive millions of visitors to their site from their email list.

 


7. Repurpose Your Best Content To Expand Your Reach and Drive More Traffic

Creating high quality content is hard work because it not only requires a lot of research and data gathering, but also takes to time to compose and format properly.

Which is why it’s foolish to publish this content once and forget it.

Smart marketers repurpose their content into different other formats to not only prolong its life but also attract users from different platforms.

For example, you can publish a blog post on “7 Ways to Lose Weight without Giving up Your Favorite Meals”.

You can then repurpose this into a short video using the same content, and use its audio version in Podcasts.

Or convert this into a Slideshare presentation, a PDF eBook or an infographic.

Doing this will not only help you reach new audiences with the same content, but also help you earn new backlinks to your site.

MSE does exactly the same.

They have a widely followed YouTube channel where they often discuss the same tips published on their blog. They also regularly convert their high performing posts into infographics.

 


8. Find People With Complimenting Skills To Join Your Team and Grow Your Business

Martin Lewis started MoneySavingExpert.com as a one-man blog.

But as the audience on his blog grew, he started adding team members to help him with content creation, site management, research and a lot of other different things.

Today, he has more than 80 full-time employees running the site.

He could’ve easily chosen to do everything himself (something that most niche marketers try to do)

Instead he chose to expand his business by joining hands with people who could compliment his skills and help him grow faster.

As with most investments, this doesn’t pay off immediately.

But it’s one of the best decisions the owner of a growing niche site can make.

Stuart has shared several times how building a team for NicheHacks has helped him focus more on growing the business, instead of getting caught up in the day to day activities and losing the bigger picture

 


Are You the Next Affiliate Marketing Success Story?

MoneySavingExpert.com is a million dollar blog today but it was started by one man with limited resources.

There’s no reason why you can’t do the same.

Affiliate marketing has much more earning potential than $0.89 commissions from dodgy product review sites.

Start thinking big.

Start taking action.

The post 8 Lessons Affiliate Marketers Can Learn From A £87m Super Affiliate Site appeared first on NicheHacks.

Source: affiliate9

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16 Sep

7 Eye-Opening Niche Marketing Lessons from Pokémon Go

Unless you’ve been living on another planet or completely disconnected from the internet…

I’m sure you’ve heard about Pokémon Go .

It’s the addictive smartphone game that has taken the world by storm.

You might even be a Pokémon addict yourself.

Since its global launch on July 6th 2016, Pokémon Go has more than 100 million app downloads and almost 21 million daily active users who’re using it close to three-quarters of an hour every day.

And bringing in more than $10 million in daily revenue.

To give you some perspective, that’s more daily active users and daily usage time than apps like WhatsApp and Twitter.

 

time-v-social

Source: SimilarWeb

 

As a niche marketer, you should be excited about this.

Because Pokémon is very much a niche topic, and its success once again proves that if you target a very specific niche and offer them something they value, there’s lots of money to be made.

But there are many lessons to be learned from it as well.

Whether you’re doing affiliate marketing or building authority sites to sell digital products in your niche, you can learn a lot from this viral success story.

 


What You’ll Learn in this Post

  • How to approach a saturated niche from a unique angle
  • The secret strategy Pokemon Go developers used to turn it into an addictive app
  • The scientific formula for creating viral content
  • One small change that will dramatically increase your niche site opt-ins and conversions

 


1. Approach a Proven Niche from a Different Angle

If you’re a millennial, you’re likely to have fond memories of the Pokémon cartoon series and Game Boy edition released in 1996.

Back in those days, kids were mad about Ash, Pikachu and the other characters in the Pokémon series. Catching those Pokémon characters and playing with them in real life was every child’s dream.

 

nintendo-gameboy-color-orange-console-japan-pokemon-center-tokyo-limited-box-set-e664a14010969094002fc8eee0c55e8d

 

Niantic Inc. the developers of Pokémon Go, targeted this niche and created a product that took millennials like me back in time.

The developers of this game simply tapped into a proven niche, with a different approach.

The nostalgia associated with the Pokémon series did the rest.

What does that tell you about niche marketing?

You don’t always need to come up with a totally unique niche to find success.

People are already spending money in proven niches.

You only need to come up with a unique angle to claim your market share. (Stuart’s report on “1781 Profitable Niches” is a good starting point)

Take NicheHacks, this very blog, as an example.

The things we write about are pretty similar to several other blogs in the “Make Money Online” or the IM niche (blogging, social media, content marketing, traffic generation, SEO etc.)

Proven niches with lots of competition.

But the niche marketing angle in all of our blog posts, eBooks and products, makes it unique and appealing for a very specific group within the internet marketing niche.

And this can be done in ANY niche because there’s no limit to the angles you can approach a niche from.

Healthy diet and weight loss is probably the last niche you’d want to enter since it has so much competition.

But one marketer identified that there are millions of devout and overweight Christians in the United States. So he created a weight loss program based on the lifestyle and meals described in the Bible.

salvationdiet-ebook Other marketers have replicated the same approach in the Muslim niche (example 1example 2)

As I said, you can choose a proven niche and keep coming up with as many new angles as you want.

 


2. Validate Your Product and Idea With Real Audience Before Launch

Have you ever launched an eBook, a membership site, a coaching program or any other digital product and made good money from it?

If yes, I’m sure you realize how important it is to validate your idea before creating a digital product.

That’s what Pokemon Go did as well.

They approached a proven niche from a unique angle, but they still needed to find out if their product would appeal to their target market.

So instead of launching it all over the world, they started with a very low-scale launch in Japan, the birthplace of Pokémon, and invited local gamers for field-testing.

They ran the “user feedback-improvements-testing” cycle several times and fine-tuned the game for their mega launch that took place several months later.

That’s exactly what niche marketers need to do when launching/promoting a new product or starting from scratch in a new niche.

For example, instead of promoting a product to all the subscribers on your list, choose a small segment first and analyze their feedback.

Similarly, when launching a product of your own, start with a minimum viable product and group of beta testers from within your email list to validate the idea first.

It’s not wise to create and launch a 100-hour coaching program only to find out that no one’s interested in buying.

 


3. Take Advantage of the Herd Mentality and FOMO to Create Viral Content

Here’s how Wikipedia describes the herd mentality

Herd mentality, or mob mentality, describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors. Examples of the herd mentality include stock market trends, superstition, and home décor. Social psychologists study the related topics of group intelligence, crowd wisdom, and decentralized decision making.”

Pokémon Go is a classic example of this, and several other psychological concepts and theories, in action.

It is heavily integrated with social networking platforms and also encourages the players to spread the word and share their progress on their social profiles.

It also takes advantage of a human behavior described by psychologists as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Studies show significantly escalated levels of FOMO among social media users. It also found that smartphone users can’t last a minute without checking their phones

 

fomo

 

Pokémon Go used this tendency to its advantage perfectly.

Wouldn’t you feel left out if all your friends are running around hunting Pokémon with their smartphones?

It’s impossible not to get involved when everyone else is having fun around you.

As a niche marketer, you can use the same psychological triggers to create more viral content.

Viral Nova became a $100 million company by creating intriguing content with click-bait headlines that thousands of people shared with their friends on social networks.

 

22-Viral-Headlines-You-Need-To-Learn-From-Right-Now

 

This viral post by Marc and Angle that got more than 500,000 Facebook Likes, 20,000 Tweets and several thousand shares on other social networks, is a great example of making content viral by using fear.

 

marcangle

 

It’s a simple headline, but makes you wonder if you’re doing something to yourself that you should not. Maybe you’re losing out on something.

The result? Lots of clicks and shares!

 


4. You Can Repurpose Old Content To Target a New Audience

Content creation is one of the biggest challenges for most niche marketers. Not only is it hard to come up with new content ideas all the time, it also costs a lot of money to hire good writers on a regular basis.

Repurposing old content is an effective solution to this problem.

If you look loosely, Pokémon Go is a repurposed idea.

There’s no difference between the characters and the storyline of the original Pokémon series and Pokemon Go.

The core idea isn’t new.

They’ve taken the same characters but placed them in a different environment and a different context.

And it has taken the world by storm.

You can do the same to your blog content that’s rotting in the archives.

For example, Darren Rowse of Problogger did a blog post series called “31 Days to Building a Better Blog” in which he published new blog posts daily for 31 days covering almost every aspect of blogging.

 

Darren-Rowse-ebook

 

The series got so much attention and fanfare, that Darren eventually repurposed the series into a proper eBook. In fact, he even published a second edition which is still on sale.

 

Darren-Rowse-31-Days-ebook

 

And he didn’t stop there.

He went on to repurpose more of his blog content on Slideshare and found a lot of success.

 

darrenb1

 

There are so many ways you can repurpose a blog post.

Convert it into a Slideshare presentation, an infographic, a YouTube video, an audio file, an eBook or a Webinar.

You already have the content, you just need to use it in different forms to increase its life and usefulness.

 


5. Content Rarely Goes Viral by Accident, There’s Science Involved

“It took us 6 years and 51 failed attempts to make Angry Birds an overnight success”

That’s what the CEO Rovio Entertainment had to say about creating one of the most popular games of all time.

Viral success often appears to happen by accident. But that’s rarely the case.

Just like it isn’t with Pokemon Go.

The world started going crazy about Pokemon Go just a few months ago, which makes it look like an instant success.

In reality, though, the developers of the game had been testing its features and finalizing its gameplay for months.

They launched a beta version to small groups of gamers in Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, and kept on making changes until they were certain the game would be a big hit.

The same approach works for creating viral blog content.

BuzzSumo studied the most viral posts of 2015 and found that all of them had certain common elements that were responsible for making them viral.

5-elements-viral-headlines

Predictably, intriguing and attention seeking headlines were the biggest reason for making a piece of content viral.

For example, this post by BuzzSumo, which received more than 2.6 million views, has a perfectly optimized headline.

viral-headline-format

In short, viral content and headlines have the following characteristics

  • They have intriguing and attention grabbing headlines.
  • They drive strong emotions
  • They say something unexpected and carry a strong element of surprise
  • They inspire people to bring positive change
  • They make readers dream
  • They contain images, snapshots, and visuals

But above all, content rarely goes viral without a strong marketing push at the start.

This blog post by Jon Morrow is a great example

 

jonmorrow1

 

And this one on Copyblogger

 

jonmorrow2

 

Both were outstanding posts that deserved to go viral.

But they got the initial momentum because they were published on high authority blogs that already had massive audiences.

But again, not every post on Problogger or Copyblogger goes viral.

The content was great and ticked all the viral content boxes.

 


6. Strong Branding is the Key to Successful Marketing

Do you think Pokémon Go could’ve achieved this success without being associated with the Pokémon brand?

The game itself is great, but it couldn’t have gone viral without the characters, the story and the overall environment of Pokémon – a brand with more than 20 years of history

In fact, very few people know that Niantic Inc., the developers of Pokémon Go, released a similar game in the past called Ingress.

It had similar gameplay and features, but it did not have the brand power of the Pokémon series.

The fan base of Pokémon Go is driven by a deep sense of association and nostalgia. Ingress had none of that.

Branding is the key to successful affiliate and niche marketing as well.

If your target audience trusts you and considers you a niche expert, it’ll listen to your advice and purchase the products you recommend.

It’ll become much easier for you to convert complete strangers into customers and even advocates.

According to Nielson, 77% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company when they hear about it from someone they trust.

 

Employee_Advocacy_Statistics_2016_Kredible_12

Source: Kredible

So the formula is simple.

If you want people to buy the products you recommend, you need to build a trust-based relationship with them.

This is especially true with high ticket affiliate commissions where people buy because of your brand image and credibility.

I covered branding for niche marketers in much more detail in my previous post, but in short, it comes down to the following points

As Zig Ziglar said, “If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you”

 


7. Adding Continuous Value To Your Existing Subscribers

The biggest niche marketing lesson I’ve learned from Pokemon Go is to keep your customers motivated through rewards and added value even when they appear to be satisfied with your product.

As niche marketers, we’re always trying different ways to make visitors stay longer on our sites, opt-in to our lists and use our links to purchase products.

This can only happen if your content keeps the readers engaged and interested.

Achieving this objective can become significantly easier if you learn from how Pokémon Go keeps its users engaged.

It offers small rewards and bonuses to players for taking different actions, for example finding a new Pokémon or walking to a certain place on the map.

This added value acts as an incentive for the players to take these actions.

You can apply this strategy to niche marketing in several ways.

For example, you can start offering blog post specific content upgrades as an incentive for opting-in to your email list. This approach helped Brian Dean increase email sign-ups by almost 786%.

 

briandean1

 

But you don’t stop offering value once a visitors turns into a subscriber.

You keep on sending them valuable, actionable and authentic content.

You stay in touch with them and regularly offer resources in the form of blog posts, eBooks, webinars etc. that can help them excel in their business.

Doing so would keep your subscribers engaged with your blog all the time which makes it easier to convert them into paying customers.

 


Ready to Apply Pokémon Go Marketing Hacks to Your Business?

Whether you’re a Pokémon Go fan or not, there’s a lot you can learn from how it has captured the imagination of millions of people around the globe.

You might not be in a position to replicate everything they’ve done, but you can certainly apply a few of their strategies to your own niche marketing business and reap the benefits.

But I must confess.

I’m not an expert Pokémon Go player.

So I’m sure some of you can identify more lessons that can be applied to a niche marketing business.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

The post 7 Eye-Opening Niche Marketing Lessons from Pokémon Go appeared first on NicheHacks.

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14 Aug

Branding for Niche Marketers: Step-by Step Guide To Building a Powerful Online Brand Image

My mom is a brilliant chef.

I guess all moms are.

She makes delicious cheeseburgers; way more awesome than McDonalds or any other burger chain in the market.

Really!

But can I sell them for the same price as McDonalds?

No chance.

McDonalds is a brand people trust and willingly associate themselves with. They know they’ll always get the same great taste when they order a McDonalds burger

I’m a nobody.

I might sell a few here and there, but I can’t build a long-term business from it.

Unless I establish a trusted brand as well.

As a niche marketer, you don’t sell cheeseburgers (you can of course!) but you do need to build a brand to earn people’s trust and establish yourself as a niche authority if you want to build a long-term business that keeps churning out money years down the line.

In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to do that.

 


What You’ll Learn in this Post

  • Why niche marketers should care about branding
  • How to instantly build credibility with a small change to your website’s design
  • An under-utilized content type that can immediately establish you as a niche expert
  • How Facebook can help you build word of mouth marketers and brand advocates

 

 

ziglar“If people like you, they’ll listen to you. But if they trust you, they’ll do business with you”Zig Ziglar

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 


Why Branding is Important for Niche Marketers

Thousands of niche marketers are promoting the same products from Amazon, ClickBank, JVZoo and other affiliate networks.

But all of them have different results.

Some are making six-figures every month while others are hardly selling anything.

The top marketers have strong personal brands. People trust their recommendations and know that they’ll get their money’s worth.

This is exactly why companies spend millions of dollars every year buying celebrity endorsements for their products.

And this is why influencers generate 2x more sales for companies vs. paid ads.

 

influencers

 

But that’s just one side of the story.

As an internet marketer, you know you can’t build a viable business without generating a significant portion of your traffic from Google.

And Google clearly has a soft corner for brands when it comes to search engine rankings and even penalizing websites.

 

google loves brands

 

So how do you differentiate yourself from the thousands of other marketers selling or promoting similar products?

Take a deep breath and follow these steps.

 

 

chris ducker“Building my brand has quite frankly turned out to be the best business move I’ve made in my entire career” – Chris Ducker

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

 


1. List Your Brand’s Core Values and Identify Your Target Audience

Are you in this for the long run or just trying to make a quick buck?

Are you solving problems or just promoting shiny products?

Who’re you targeting? Anyone with an overflowing wallet or someone who’d be grateful you helped?

You can’t build a powerful brand without the right mindset.

So you need to answer these, and many other, questions before you start working on your brand image.

The shortcut to getting this step right is by defining your core values; things that you just can’t compromise on.

For example, as an affiliate marketer, some of your core values could be

  • To offer solutions to your audience that’ll help them excel in their businesses (aka Customer Success)
  • To never promote products that you haven’t tried yourself.
  • To never recommend a service that you don’t believe in.
  • To take full responsibility for anything that you promote.
  • To promote only the most relevant offers.

You can expand this as much as you want.

Following a set of values doesn’t bring immediate results. Sometimes, it can even test you for months. There might be no good enough products to promote

Do you go back to promoting rubbish just to make a quick buck, or do you stick to your values?

And I’m not preaching morals over here.

Sticking to your values is the only way to differentiate yourself from opportunistic marketers and establish yourself as a trustworthy knowledge source.

It pays off 100x once your audience starts trusting you.

 


2. Choose a Memorable Domain Name and Invest in Your Site’s Design

Exact match domains (EMD) vs. branded domains is still a hot debate in the SEO world. Many marketers still go for EMDs and find success.

However, in 2012 Google’s head of web spam clearly indicated that EMDs are not going to work anymore.

 

emd

 

So even if EMDs are working for you right now, it’s still a risky strategy.

But purely from a branding perspective, I’d go for a domain name that is easy to remember, represents my brand properly and sounds good.

NicheHacks.com is a good example.

Stuart could’ve easily gone for a URL like freenichereports.com or nichesiteearnings.com, but NicheHacks sounds much better and also represents his core offer properly.

It’s also much easier to secure backlinks from high authority sites for branded domain names as compared to EMDs.

For example, editors of Forbes or Entrepreneur would never allow a backlink to a URL like “BestWeightLossTipsFor Men.com” or “AwesomeCheapTshirts.com”.

As a freelance guest blogger, and a writer for several A-list blogs, I know this from experience. You can use Shopify’s free business name generator to find domain name ideas that suit your brand or use a brandable domain name marketplace to find niche domains.

Nutrition Secrets, a niche blog by Neil Patel, is a great example of a branded domain name.

 

domainniche

 

It not only has a unique and easy to remember brand name but also has a very professional design, which is the other thing that you need to invest in.

As a serious marketer, you don’t want to be using a free WordPress theme because it not only looks bad but also puts your site at a security risk.

We use Wp-Radiance for NicheHacks and it looks quite clean and professional.

But you can use any other theme you like as long as it gives center stage to your content and doesn’t have unnecessary clutter.

AuthorityNutrition, a blog in the healthcare niche, is a good example.

 

designniche

 

Both these things (domain and design) are easy to overlook when you’re starting out, but they have a huge impact on your brand’s identity.

If you’re not good with WordPress, you can use this A to Z guide to building a WordPress website. If you don’t have the time to do everything yourself, you can hire designers from 99Designs, Fiverr or Upwork to get yourself plenty of logo and website design options.

 

 

spencer haws“I no longer even care if an exact match domain is available” – Spencer Haws (NichePursuits)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 


3. Get Your Hands Dirty in Your Niche and Share Personal Experiences

If you’re planning to build an authority blog in a crowded niche, your best chance to stand out and get noticed is by really getting involved in your niche and getting your hands dirty.

Not sure what that means?

NicheHacks writer James Johnson is a perfect example.

James recently started his own blog in the travel niche – really crowded – in an open niche site challenge.

And what’s the first thing James does after getting the design and URL right? He dives right into his niche and goes out traveling himself.

 

onedayguides

 

He could’ve easily found all the content he needed with a few Google searches, but he chose to explore things himself and share his own experiences with his audience.

This immediately makes him authentic to his audience and adds so much more weight to his content because he’s sharing his personal experiences, not some re-hashed content from the web.

So the next time any of his readers are traveling to Portugal, or any other countries James has been to, they can trust his advice.

 


4. Stand Out from the Crowd by Creating More Video Content

If you want your blog visitors to immediately fall in love with your content, start creating more videos. Video content has taken the web by storm and shows no signs of slowing down.

In fact, it drives the highest user engagement among all other content types.

videostats

Source: Hubspot

Seriously, most people are just too shy to stand in front of a camera and look their audience right in the eye. If you can do that, you’ll immediately establish a strong rapport with your audience.

NicheHacks team member Chelsea recently started creating videos for her copywriting business. And she’s immediately more recognizable in her industry with more credibility and a higher probability of getting clients.

James is doing the same for his niche travel blog and regularly posts videos on his Facebook page.

It adds so much more value to his content when he’s actually visiting a place himself and sharing his experiences on camera.

 

videofacebook

 

Video becomes even more important when you’re marketing physical products. According to Internet Retailer, video product reviews boost eCommere conversions by almost 144%.

While researching different sites for this post, I came across Ideaing.com, a product review site that clearly makes all of its revenue from affiliate commissions.

 

affiliatevideo

 

For many of their products, they have high-quality video reviews. This makes their content 100x more valuable and actionable for their readers.

Even if someone visits their site for the first time, he’d immediately start trusting them because of their strong branding and quality video content.

You can also use screencasts to create How-To videos on different topics related to your industry. There are dozens of free and paid screen recording software applications that you can use to create such videos.

 


5. Grow Your Tribe by Starting a Facebook Group

According to Nielson, more than 83% people trust recommendations, or word of mouth, from friends and family when making online purchase decisions.

What does that tell you about online marketing?

If you have a group of loyal readers and subscribers who can vouch for your products/services/content (Seth Godin calls them your tribe) you can make 10x more sales at a fraction of your total marketing costs.

In my experience, there’s no better way to achieve that than starting your own niche focused Facebook group.

Why Facebook?

Because billions of people use Facebook every day and, in all likelihood, your audience is already there. There are more than 1 billion active Facebook groups on every niche imaginable.

Search for anything on Facebook and you’ll find related groups. I just randomly searched for “pumpkin growers” and found related groups.

 

fbgroup

 

It’s much easier to get people to join a Facebook group as compared to your email list (I’m a big fan of email list building).

Once you have them in your group, you can share useful content, engage with them, provide them solutions and build your image as a niche expert

Just look at how the NicheHacks Private Mastermind group has turned into a huge community of like-minded people.

When I joined Stuart’s team, the group had just over 5000 people. Now it’s a thriving community of more than 20 thousand (and quickly growing). And most of them are share read and share NicheHacks content regularly because they’re loyal fans.

Neil Patel has an awesome guide for starting and growing a Facebook group.

Do check it out.

 


6. Start a Niche Specific Podcast to Grow Your Audience

If you think that podcasts are old-fashioned or not effective anymore, think again.

In the U.S, the number of podcast listeners and Twitter users is almost the same. In fact, a recent study by Edison Research shows that the average number of podcast listeners is at an all-time high right now.

 

Podcast-statistics-2016-1-1

 

And just like Facebook groups, there are active and thriving podcasts in all kinds of niches.

Starting your own podcast is a great way to build your brand image and share value with your followers. In fact, you can use podcasts to interview other experts in your niche and borrow their credibility.

Despite huge potential, podcasts are under-utilized in niche marketing which is why it’s a great opportunity for you to take the lead.

Chris Ducker has a brilliant guide on starting and promoting an effective podcast.

 

 

NEIL PATEL“Facebook groups represents a massive opportunity for marketers who want to connect with prospects and provide value” – Neil Patel

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 


7. Feature on Authority Publications to Borrow Credibility

You’re visiting a marketing blog for the first time, and you see names like Forbes, Entrepreneur, LifeHack, Huffington Post in the “As Seen On” section.

What’s your first impression? “This guy must be good”

Featuring your brand on high authority publications either through guest blogging or sponsored posts is one of the best ways to build instant credibility.

It helps you borrow authority from other established publications in your niche and helps you win people’s trust.

We’ve done it here on NicheHacks

 

NH

 

And VideoFruit, one of my favorite blogs

 

videofruit

 

Even top authors and speakers like Michael Hyatt follow this strategy to build instant credibility

 

michael hyatt

 

Most bloggers use guest blogging to generate traffic, which is fine. But in my opinion, it’s much better to use it as a brand building strategy. You’ll get traffic anyway.

There are two ways to land mentions on leading blogs and publications.

You can reach out to them with high-quality guest posts or directly connect with the authors who’re already writing for authority sites and ask them to review your site.

You can also use platforms like Get Reviewed and HQ Guest Posting for guest blogging. Both these platforms connect publishers with bloggers on different high authority blogs.

Use them to search for relevant bloggers and ask them to get you mentions and backlinks on your target publications. But to make this work, you’d need to have some link-worthy content on your site as well. Otherwise, no authority blog would allow linking to you.

MyBlogU is another platform you can use to get cited on authority blogs. But it works slightly differently. Instead of directly asking bloggers to feature your brand, you can collaborate with them, answer their questions and get cited on authority sites.

 


8. Highlight Customer Success Stories and Expert Endorsements on Your Site

Has your product helped customers achieve success in their businesses? Have you ever received words of encouragement from any experts in your industry?

If yes, don’t be shy to use them on your blog. They only make you look more credible.

For example, here’s a testimonial Neil Patel uses on his blog

 

testimonials

 

There are several high-profile recommendations in the About section of NicheHacks

 

testimonial1s

 

Similarly, if your content has helped people take action or make a positive change in their lives, make sure you document their success stories and share them on your blog.

Yaro, Entrepreneurs-Journey, does this brilliantly on his blog. He has well-documented success stories of all his students and shares them regularly with his audience.

 

successtories

 

This is another form of social proof for your brand and makes you look more credible to your readers.

 


9. Create Authentic, Actionable, and Data Rich Content

Your content is authentic when you truly believe in it. You’re not just writing it to get visitors and social shares. It’s your honest opinion.

It means you’re prepared to lose readers because of your opinions and you’re not afraid of being controversial.

But you can only write authentic content if you’re knowledgeable about your niche.

The other two qualities, actionable and data-rich, are self-explanatory.

Every piece of content you publish needs to help your readers take action. It needs to give them actionable guidelines they can immediately follow.

And to make your content more persuasive, you need to back most of your opinions using solid data references and numbers.

Need examples?

Just read through NicheHacks archives. All our posts are highly actionable and backed by data evidence.

 


Ready to Build Your Brand?

Your brand image plays a key role in determining your success as a niche marketer.

The more credible and trustworthy you are, the more chances you have of making sales and commissions.

People buy from people they trust – it’s that simple.

So, what are you doing to strengthen your brand image?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

The post Branding for Niche Marketers: Step-by Step Guide To Building a Powerful Online Brand Image appeared first on NicheHacks.

Source: affiliate9

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07 Apr

Learn Niche Marketing from Donald Trump: 8 Powerful Lessons from the 2016 Presidential Campaign

Donald Trump and niche marketing? You gotta be kidding me!

I know that’s what you’re thinking.

Like him or not (I don’t), Donald Trump has made the race for White House much more interesting.

He has attracted support and criticism from all corners of the country and has caused the kind of polarization that’s not often seen in American politics.

But why should I be talking about him here on NicheHacks?

Because, even if you don’t like him, there’s a LOT you can learn from his run for the Republican nomination.

Yes you can learn niche marketing from Trump.

Look closely.

As a niche marketer, you’re directly or indirectly selling products all the time. You create content to convince people about the usefulness of the products you’re promoting.

That’s exactly what presidential candidates and politicians do as well. They sell ideas and dreams and convince people about the usefulness of their policies.

When Trump started his campaign, he was not even an outsider. He was mocked, ridiculed and wasn’t considered a serious contender.

He was a newbie in the politics niche.

(See more niche research posts here)

But he powered his way to the top of the republican polls and, as I write these lines, has just won the Hawaii caucus to further his claim for the Republican nomination.

 

trump

 

It’s fair to say he’s making a lot of people uncomfortable both in the Republican and Democratic parties.

No matter whose side you’re on, you can’t ignore Donald Trump.

Here’s what you can learn from his campaign so far, and apply it to your niche marketing business

 

(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]

 


What You’ll Learn in this Post

  • How to be regarded as an expert in a new niche
  • Why you don’t need to worry about people outside your niche
  • How to stand out from your competition and get noticed
  • The secret to earning big money using low-priced products

 

 


1. Know Your Audience To Create the Right Strategy

Trump knows his audience very well. He owns a huge business empire and is aware of the importance of in-depth market research.

He has identified the issues of his potential voters and shaped his campaign accordingly. His objective is to get his audience take action and vote for him. And he knows exactly how to motivate them to do so.

As a niche marketer, this is one of the first things you need to do when entering a new niche. You need to understand exactly who you’re targeting, how you can provide them value with your content and make them take action.

In simple words, you need to do some market research and know your audience as much as you can.

You don’t want to end up creating lots of content in a niche that has no buyers, or create the wrong content that has no appeal to your potential buyers.

 


Action Items:

  • Thoroughly research your niche before investing time and money in a full-scale niche marketing business.
  • Create accurate buyer personas, understand your audience and create content that resonates with them.

 

 

Kevin Stirtz“Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet.” ~ Kevin Stirtz

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

 

 


2. Focus on Your Niche and Don’t Try to Please Everyone

I don’t like Donald Trump. I think he’s arrogant, he promotes hate and he discriminates people on the basis of religion and race.

But that’s just my opinion.

Does he care what I think?

Hell no!

He doesn’t care because I don’t fall in his niche. I’m not his target market so my opinion doesn’t hold any value for him.

That is exactly what you need to do as a niche marketer.

In fact, the whole idea behind niche marketing is to pick one very specific niche, identify its needs, and create content that makes people take action.

If your niche site is about kitchen appliances, you don’t write about the latest Google search algorithms.

Why? Because your audience doesn’t care about it and the topic holds zero value for your business.

So people like me can ridicule and criticize Trump as much as we want, but it won’t stop him from winning the Republican nomination race because his niche is right behind him.

 

Action Items:

  • Identify the topics that resonate with your audience using BuzzSumo, and create laser-focused content for your target market.

 


3. Create a Benefit Driven Niche Marketing Strategy To Win Customers

One of the biggest problems facing an average American citizen since the 2008 recession is financial security and well-being.

This includes everything from job security and health coverage to old age benefits and taxes.

These are the things that directly impact a common citizen.

By focusing his message and his campaign on the welfare and well-being of the common people, Trump has gained a lot of support from the people who believe their current government isn’t doing enough for them.

The punchline of Trump’s campaign “Make America Great Again!” signifies exactly that.

 

trump1

 

As a niche marketer, you need to design your marketing strategy around the benefits of your products or services.

For example, if you’re running a micro niche site or a product review site, don’t create content that only discusses product features and price tags.

Rather, tell your readers exactly how those features can solve their problem and fulfill their needs.

This is why expert SEOs optimize their content on the customer needs and problems, instead of product features only.

The same rule applies to paid marketing channels like Facebook and Google Ads. For example, NicheHacks Facebook Group member Mohammed EL Khiyati regularly shares case studies of high-performing Facebook ads.

 

fbads1

 

Most of them are focused on the core benefits of the product, not just the features.

Identify the real need behind your products and use your marketing strategy to highlight the key benefits of your product.

 

Action Items:

  • Review your current marketing content and increase your focus on highlighting the benefits.
  • Visit industry specific forums or run surveys on your audience to identify their real needs

 


4. Be Anything But Boring If You Want To Stay in the Game

How many times did you stop and listen to Jeb Bush or Ben Carson during the Republican debates? How many of their statements do you remember?

I don’t know about you, but I remember none.

But what about Trump?

I can easily recall more than a dozen incidents, speeches or remarks from his campaign.

What does that tell you about marketing?

Right from the start of his campaign, Donald Trump has said some outrageous and even disrespectful things about different people and communities.

In one of his speeches, he termed all Mexicans as criminals and called for a complete ban on Muslim immigrants. He even made fun of a disabled reporter.

 

trump3

 

But none of that affected the approval rating among his supporters, his niche. In fact, if anything, such remarks only earned him even more free air time and publicity.

In marketing terms, his content stands out from the crowd and makes people take notice. And that is precisely why his supporters love him.

As a niche marketer, if you copy and recycle the same content that everyone else is creating, no one will take notice.

You need to be unique and, more importantly, create the kind of content people love reading and sharing.

 

Shares-by-Content-Type

 

Action Items:

  • Add personality to your content, write in a conversational tone and add a bit of humor because you can’t afford to be boring.

 


5. Don’t Wait for Others to Knight You as an Expert – Knight Yourself!

Donald Trump is not a politician, and none of his competitors considered him a serious threat when he started campaigning.

He was a newbie no one was willing to take seriously.

But he’s managed to carve out a niche for himself and has a loyal fan base. As a result, he’s killing it in the Republican nomination race and has established himself as a serious candidate.

He didn’t wait for anyone to knight him as an expert. Instead, he knighted himself and it seems to be working well.

This is exactly what you need to do when you enter a new niche.

You need to establish yourself as an expert so that people trust your recommended products and willingly buy from you.

And how do you do that?

By putting yourself out there and creating high-quality content in your niche. Instead of waiting for people to label you as an expert, do it yourself.

This is exactly the strategy that Glen Alsop (ViperChill) has used and established industry-specific digital marketing agencies in dozens of niches.

 

Action Items:

  • Focus on creating a strong brand image on your niche site.
  • Write in-depth and detailed content using lots of snapshots and data references.
  • Fake it till you make it.

 

 

 

Glen ViperChill“As the millionaire consulting coach Alan Weiss would say, people feel like they need someone to ‘knight them’ before they can provide value to others. I’m telling you to knight yourself” – Glen Alsop

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

 


6. Use Social Media To Keep Your Audience Engaged

Every presidential candidate holds press conferences and invests heavily in advertising.

In fact, this particular Republican nomination campaign has seen unprecedented amounts of money being invested into television and radio advertising.

But Trump has gone one step ahead of his competitors.

He has used social media, Twitter in particular, much more effectively than any other republican or Democratic candidates.

 

trump4

 

He’s run Q&A sessions, connected with his niche and even mocked his competitors openly in his Tweets. Most importantly, he understands how to create viral content.

 

trump5

 

 

Social media is important, even if you’re creating a niche site for affiliate marketing.

You need to connect with your target audience, build conversations with them and win their trust. You need to approach social media scientifically .

And it’s not just about sharing your content all the time. Social media is about being social with your network and connecting with them regularly.

 

Action Items:

  • Build a full-fledged social media strategy for your niche marketing business. NicheHacks has a lot of great advice on doing that.
  • Build your email list and keep your audience engaged.

 


7. Build Your Audience With a Compelling Offer and Use Upsells to Earn Big

Even some of the most die-hard Trump fans don’t agree with everything he says. Many of them have reservations about his opinion on women, minorities, and several other matters.

But they still support him.

A major reason for that is Trump’s sales strategy.

Just like a smart internet marketer, he didn’t pitch the hard to sell ideas upfront. Instead, he targeted the lowest hanging fruits and got people on board.

He pitched them the dream of a great America.

Once they joined him and started listening to him, he voiced his opinion on some of the more controversial subjects.

This is exactly how smart niche marketers use upsells and down sells as well.

If you ever wondered why every life changing product on JVZoo or Warrior Plus costs between $7 and $9, you need to understand this concept.

The $7 -$9 products are there to get people on board. They’re like freebies that help you attract relevant subscribers.

The real sale comes after that.

That’s where marketers use customized products, software updates and consultancy packages as upsells that make them millions.

 


Action Item:

  • Offer freebies and low priced product to build your email list.
  • Use autoresponder campaigns to pitch upsells
  • Stay in touch with your subscribers to keep the sales rolling

 

 


8. Build the Right Partnerships to Grow Your Business

No presidential candidate can go all the way without building the right partnerships and getting endorsements from influencers.

Right from the start of his campaign, Trump has involved different celebrities, businessmen and influential figures to show support for his campaign.

More recently, his Republican colleagues Chris Christie and Ben Carson also announced their support for Trump.

The lesson is simple – if you want to succeed in a new niche, you need to build the right connections.

This is why influencer outreach and networking is so crucial to the success of your niche marketing strategy.

If you know the right people and they openly back what you say, a LOT more people will listen to you and trust your advice.

 

Action Items:

  • Identify influencers in your niche using BuzzSumo or Ahrefs.
  • Develop and follow a comprehensive outreach strategy from the first day you enter a new niche.

 

 

“It’s not about what you know. It’s about who you know that matters more”

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

(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]

 


Trump Must Be Doing Something Right!

Smart marketers are ready to learn from anyone who can benefit their business.

Personally, I’m not a supporter of Donald Trump.

But I think you can apply many of his strategies to your niche marketing business.

You can’t deny that his campaign has been very effective so far. He’s competing with some really smart people and outshining them every time.

So he must be doing something right.

Tell me why you think Donald Trump has been able to generate so much momentum in his campaign and what other things we can learn from his marketing strategy in the comments below…

Oh and what did you learn about niche marketing from Donald Trump? 🙂

 

CLICK HERE TO GET ACCESS TO 150+ NICHE REPORTS

The post Learn Niche Marketing from Donald Trump: 8 Powerful Lessons from the 2016 Presidential Campaign appeared first on NicheHacks.

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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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22 Dec

11 Reasons You’ll Continue To Fail at Niche Marketing in 2016 (and Beyond)

So we’re approaching the end of another year.

Time really is flying.

Exactly 1 year ago, I predicted here on NicheHacks that you (yes, YOU) will continue to fail at niche marketing in 2015 (just like 2014).

And guess what, I was absolutely right.

But here’s the bad news – 2016 is going to be no different.

Lots of new marketers will come and conquer new niches. They’ll take advantage from Stuart’s hard work, download his report on 1781 niches, take action and change their lives.

But you’ll continue to fail.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing personal against you. But I can’t give you a false sense of hope just because it makes you feel good.

I’m not a fortune teller.

But I can see where you’re going (Hint: nowhere!)

Here’s why 2016 is going to be another year of failure and frustration for you as a niche marketer (unless you do something about it).

(Learn how to create a review website here)

 


1. You Still Don’t Use Lead Magnets for List Building

I must admit – you have learned from your mistakes.

Last year, you were not collecting emails at all (not a good idea).

This year, though, you’re all pumped up about list building since you’ve realized you can’t build a profitable and sustainable niche marketing business without an email list.

But there’s a small problem.

Not many people would find the “Get Free Email Updates” offer on your blog convincing enough to join your email list.

Smart marketers use highly targeted, well researched and tempting lead magnets or email list bribes to lure visitors to join their list. They use entry and exit intent popups, welcome screen opt-in boxes, post specific content upgrades and many other forms of lead magnets to attract subscribers.

You, however, just can’t find the time to create a list magnet (lame excuse).

So don’t be surprised if your email list remains in double digits throughout 2016.

 

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

 


2. You Don’t Follow Routines for Success

One of the biggest myths about the internet lifestyle, which attracts lazy people looking for ways to avoid hard work, is that it frees you from routines, and demands no discipline or hard work.

I know this is one of the reasons why you gave niche marketing a shot.

I have bad news for you.

Most of the successful bloggers and online entrepreneurs follow set routines when it comes to work. In fact, they work harder than most people do in 9-5 jobs.

They have a strong work ethic and consider their work as serious business (not just a shortcut to party lifestyle).

They do take advantage of the flexibility that the internet lifestyle offers. But they realize very well that without developing consistent routines, they can’t achieve much.

For example, Buffer, a hugely successful startup, encourages online entrepreneurs to develop routines.

 

design-a-routine

Source: Buffer Blog

But I know this is all a bit too heartbreaking for you.

Because you only work when you feel inspired (no wonder you haven’t achieved much).

 

 

 

Aristotle“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Click Here to Tweet this!

 

 

 

 


3. You Have No Plans of Creating Your Own Product

You’re a niche marketer but you’re afraid to create your own product. You think creating your own product requires a huge mailing list, strong technical knowledge and LOTS of time.

And of course, you think everyone else already offers digital products so who’d buy from you?

James Johnson answered most of these questions (and some more) in his recent myth busting post about product creation for niche marketers.

Selz, a leading eCommerce app for selling digital products, conducted a detailed study on the different behaviors of aspiring entrepreneurs in Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. The study reveals some surprising stats. For example, just 11% of people use digital products to make money online. The rest are more interested in offering services and physical products.

 

selzstudy1Source: The Side Business Phenomenon

Clearly, the competition isn’t as stiff as you think.

Even if you have a small, but engaged, email list you can make money by selling digital products like eBooks, courses, training programs etc. It not only generates additional cash but also strengthens your brand image.

You don’t even need to be a technical expert to set up a digital product for sale on your blog. You can use tools like Selz and create attractive product widgets, fully integrated with mainstream payment processors (PayPal, Visa, Master Card etc.) and email marketing tools like MailChimp, AWeber and GetResponse.

Many others are already doing it.

 

tara1

 

But you’re happy just promoting other people’s products.

I don’t have a problem with this.

But just look at Stuart for inspiration. On top of his affiliate income, he has made more than $42,000 by selling his own products.

But I know you won’t listen.

 

 

 

jerry west“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” – Jerry West

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

 

 


4. Your Blog Has SEO Loopholes

You’re a smart marketer so you know SEO is important for your business.

But going into 2016, your blog till has several SEO loopholes. And unless you fix them, you’re inviting Google’s wrath.

I even created a complete SEO checklist for you to use every time you publish a piece of content.

But you’re taking it a bit too lightly.

SEO is a lot more than just keywords and title tags.

For example, your site still doesn’t support mobile visitors. You’re not using a responsive website design, which is really a crime from a user experience point of view. More than 50% of all Google searches originate from mobile devices but you’re still ignoring mobile visitors.

Then your site has performance issues and security loopholes. Your page load speed is too slow and you haven’t strengthened your site’s technical SEO.

Google is tightening the screw on low quality blogs that offer poor user experience. And your blog might not be too far away from a Google penalty.

 

 


5. You Rely Completely on Google for Traffic

Yea I know you can’t build a niche marketing business without consistent search engine traffic.

But you’re taking it a bit too far.

More than 80% of all your traffic comes from Google, the majority of which never returns to your site after the first time.

You have no other sustainable traffic sources since you haven’t diversified your traffic channels. Your social media profiles aren’t active, you hardly ever guest blog and your email list isn’t big enough to send you any traffic.

You’re building your online empire on rented land. As a result, you’re at the mercy of Google and just one algorithm update away from disaster.

 


6. You’re Always Looking for Free Tools and Solutions

Ah! This one’s my favorite.

A few days back Stuart shared this funny update on the NicheHacks Facebook Mastermind group.

 

freebies1

 

I know you’re one of them.

You’re looking for free stuff all the time, and not prepared to spend money on your business.

Ask any successful niche marketer and they’ll tell you that premium tools with proven success are worth every penny. That’s why smart marketers spend money on premium tools and make 100x more money than freebie hunters like you.

 

 

 

e3AkMVul_400x400“If you’re serious about building your marketing engine you need to invest in the right tools” – Ian Cleary (Razor Social)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

 

 


7. You’re Not Willing to Invest in Yourself

Have you ever seen a real world business consultant offer advice to conventional businesses with a physical presence for just $9.99?

Sound impossible, right? Those guys charge millions of dollars.

Then why do you find it so expensive when an online business consultant offers you his proven success strategy for just $7?

Does that make sense? Shouldn’t you be happy?

But no, you just want free advice because you’re not willing to invest in yourself. You don’t realize that, just like real world, you need certain skills to take your niche marketing business to the next level.

The people who’ve made money before you, have proven and tested methods that work every time. Those are genuine money making strategies.

Why do you expect them to tell you everything for free?

Grow up, and start valuing other people’s time. Invest in yourself by learning new skills and methods for success.

 

 


8. You Don’t Believe in Branding Your Niche Marketing Business

One of the secrets to successful niche marketing is careful and strong branding. Look at any leading niche site and you’d see the conscious effort they’ve put in to present a strong brand image.

A strong brand Image communicates trust, credibility, consistency and quality in every aspect of your business. When you focus on building a brand around your business, your blog visitors and customers are always sure about the value they’ll get from your content and your products.

And that is why Google loves brands as well.

 

brand1

Source: QuickSprout

 

You, unfortunately, haven’t focused on brand building at all. There’s nothing consistent about your blog, the products you promote and the content you create. Your brand signals are weak, and hardly anyone in your niche knows your blog by name.

 


9. You Don’t Spend Money on Marketing and Advertising

Effective content promotion and marketing is often the difference between successful and not so successful niche marketers. The top guys spend just 20% of their time creating content and 80% actually promoting it at the right places.

Just a couple of years back, you could just post an update on Facebook and, if it had the right ingredients, see it go viral. That’s how million dollar blogs like Viral Nova got their initial break.

But that doesn’t happen anymore.

Now you need to spend money on paid advertising channels to promote your content and products. Free marketing channels just don’t have that kind of reach any more.

That is why some of the top niche marketers strongly advocate using Facebook advertisements for content promotion.

But you’re still not ready to spend money on marketing. You think if your content is good enough, Google will promote you and people will find you themselves.

Keep dreaming.

 

 


10. You Still Write Thin, Short and Opinion Based Content

You know why no one ever shares your content? Because they don’t trust what you say. They don’t think you’re a liar, but they’re also not convinced you’re 100% right.

Why? Because your content is just your opinion. It’s not backed by research, it’s not deep enough and offers no proof of its credibility.

And it’s not just your readers who think like that. Google agrees with them. With every algorithm update, Google is tightening the screw on thin and low quality content.

 

serpiq

Source: SerpIQ

The average length of the top ranked content in search results is more than 2000 words. Which means that thorough, deep and authentic content ranks higher.

Google loves what its users, and your readers, love.

Readers love content that is actionable, detailed, authentic and answers their questions.

Writing opinion based posts with no actionable insights or credible data references used to work a few years back.

But not anymore.

 

 

 

gYTAct4i_400x400“Instead of asking ourselves “is this content thin?” we should be asking ourselves “does it answer the question?” – Stephen Kenwright (SEW)

Click here to Tweet this!

 

 

 

 


11. You’re Too Shy to Sell to Your Email List

You think sending too many emails to your list will offend them, right? You’re basically afraid of being labelled as a sales guy by your subscribers.

Well, I’ve got news for you.

You’re not running a charity. Niche marketing is a business, and every business needs sales.

I’m not asking you to send a dozen sales emails every day.

But once you’ve established your authority through high value content and freebies, there’s absolutely nothing wrong in sending 6,7 or even 10 promotional emails spread across.

Your subscribers know that you promote products.

They’ll be fine with promotional emails as long as you promote the right products.

Just look at Stuart email marketing strategy. He sends multiple sales emails on every product launch.

Your subscribers need that push.

If you keep shying away from it, you’ll continue to lose money making opportunities.

 

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

 


Are You Ready To Turn Things Around in 2016?

The purpose of this rant was not to demotivate or ridicule you – not at all!

But there are times when a straight forward and honest reality check helps you wake up from your slumber and take advantage of the opportunities that are on offer.

The only thing that is stopping you from becoming the next niche marketing sensation is your own mind.

Instead of running after experts and looking for that one secret strategy that’ll make you a millionaire, start acting on the knowledge that you already have.

The more you try, the more you fail and the more you learn, the closer to success you’ll get.

So get your act together and prove me wrong.

The post 11 Reasons You’ll Continue To Fail at Niche Marketing in 2016 (and Beyond) appeared first on NicheHacks.

Source: affiliate9

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21 Dec

How To Increase Your Niche Site Earnings By 83% Using This Opt-In Strategy

There’s no better sales generation channel than email marketing – not SEO, not social media, not paid advertisements.

SEO is great for traffic generation, but when it comes to conversions, email marketing is ahead of everything else.

According to Sikich, consumers spend almost 83% more when targeted via email marketing.

As a niche marketer, your objective is to build a business, not a one-time sales channel. And you can’t build an online business  without an email list.

According to Statista, the number of active email users around the world will reach 2.8 billion by the end of 2016.

(Learn how to create a review website here)

 

email users

 

In the U.S alone, nearly 66% of email users older than 15 years made a purchase in the last year because of an email. Even more staggering, 91% of users check their email at least once a day!

 

email users 1

Source: Sikich

 

Email usage and engagement rates have also increased dramatically because of the increase in smartphone users. According to emailMonday, almost 67% users check email on their smartphones, while 42% on tablets.

 

devices-to-check-email

Source: emailMonday

 

In short, email marketing is not going anywhere. In fact, its importance is only increasing with time.

But what exactly are YOU doing to build your list?

Don’t tell me you have a cute little opt-in box in your sidebar with a tempting headline “Get Free Email Updates”. People don’t subscribe to such ‘generous’ offers anymore (unless you’re Seth Godin)

If you’re a slightly advanced niche marketer, you might be using a lead magnet to get subscribers.

I did a very detailed post here on NicheHacks on the different types of lead magnets you can create.

But even a lead magnet isn’t enough.

It might get you subscribers, but are those subscribers really interested in your offer? Or are you just building a list of freebie hunters who have no intention to spend money even if you make the most insane offer possible?

 

 

“Consumers who recieve email marketing campaigns spend 83% more on online shopping, and email is 20 times more effective than other marketing channels” – Sikich

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(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 34 ways to grow your email list click here or the image below)

 


What You’ll Learn in this Post

  • Why many niche marketers fail to sell anything to their email subscribers
  • Why most of your subscribers might be completely useless
  • What you actually need to do to attract the right subscribers who’re willing to pay
  • How to find ideas for your perfect lead magnet
  • How to hook your subscribers for future sales

 


Why Email Subscribers Are Useless (Most of Them Anyway)

Yes, I actually said that – most of your email subscribers are useless.

Why?

Because they don’t have any intention to buy from you. They’re freebie hunters who can add no value to your business.

This happens to most niche marketers when they start building an email list. They focus so much on getting subscribers that they lose sight of their ultimate business objective, which is to make sales.

Lead magnets do attract subscribers, but you need relevant subscribers. And for that, you need to create a relevant lead magnet.

For example, I’ve actually seen health and fitness blogs use SEO checklists as their lead magnets. That freebie will get you subscribers, but those subscribers won’t be interested in health and fitness offers that you’ll make in future.

As a result, they’ll just download the freebie and go away.

To create a list of subscribers who’re actually interested in what you have to offer, you need to create a lead magnet that is relevant to your business and in line with your future paid offers.

Your whole thought process should be different.

Don’t attract random subscribers using unrelated freebies and then try to come up with a product for them. It’s much harder to find a common need that way.

Instead, research your target audience and create a freebie that is closely related your core offer.

Here’s a mind map I made explaining this (click on the image to see the enlarged version)

 

 

email marketing

 

There are three main activities for email list building in this mind map

 

  • Product Aligned Freebie: A lead magnet that complements your core product or service. This is your primary tool for attracting subscribers. I’ve listed some of the types of lead magnets you can create. You can read about them in much more detail in this post.

 

  • Autoresponder Sequence: This is a series of emails that your subscribers will get once they sign up to your list. It will help you qualify leads and convince them to buy from you.

 

  • List Engagement Activities: This is how you keep your subscribers engaged, even when you’re not directly selling something, so that they don’t forget you.

 

 

peep lajaThe bigger the positive impact of your lead magnet, the better push you have given the prospect down your sales funnel – Peep Laja (ConversionXL)

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Create a Lead Magnet That Attracts Leads Not Just Subscribers

So how exactly do you create a relevant and effective lead magnet that attracts subscribers who’re willing to buy from you?

For starters, your lead magnet needs to grab attention, and for that, it needs to be different from the usual “7 Ways To Do XYZ” kind of eBooks that every other blogger is giving away.

Here are some of the other qualities your lead magnet should have.

 


  • It Needs To Offers Immediate Value

You want your subscribers to become fans and advocates of your expertise. So your freebie really needs to give them a few “aha” moments and get them hooked immediately.

You also need to make this value pretty clear when you’re inviting visitors to subscribe to your list. For example, here’s a lead magnet by Bryan Harris with a very clear and immediate value proposition. There’s nothing confusing about it.

 

value1

 

The moment you look at it, you know the value that’s on offer – 100+ proven landing page templates for FREE. The bullet points further elaborate the value of the freebie

And this approach isn’t new either.

It’s a proven method that online businesses have been using to drive different actions on their sites. Smart internet marketers have just applied the same to list building. For example, here’s how AreaVibes, a portal for finding accommodation in the US, uses a similar format on its homepage.

 

areasvibes1

 

The formula is simple, communicate the value of your offer in clear terms without confusing your prospective subscribers.

 


  • It’s a Sample of Your Paid Offer

I’m stating this point again just to make it stick to your mind. If you want to build an email list of qualified leads, not just subscribers, your freebie needs to create the buying intention in your subscribers from the first day.

That happens when your subscribers,

– Trust you

– Consider you a niche expert

– Believe that your paid offer will have value based on the knowledge shared in the freebie

To achieve that, create a lead magnet that aligns closely with your paid product. Even if you don’t have a product yet, you should have a good idea of the kind of products your target audience wants (based on your research). So make sure it gives them a taste of your paid product.

For example, if you’re a content marketer and your target is to sell video trainings on different content marketing topics, you can share a strategy blueprint or a strategy guide as your freebie.

Jon Morrow does that on his site GuestBlogging.com where he sells training courses to writers and bloggers who want to feature on high traffic blogs as guest bloggers.

 

value2

 

Another super effective freebie that Jon shared with his subscribers was a comprehensive list of the editorial contact details of hundreds of high traffic blogs.

 

value3

 

Visitors downloaded it immediately and signed up as subscribers.

They had the contact details of their target editors, but they didn’t know how to create guest posts that matched the editorial requirements of their target blogs.

The result? Jon had a list of hundreds of potential students for his premium GuestBlogging training classes, most of whom had the buying intention.

 

 


  • It Targets a Single Pain Point of Your Subscribers

Your lead magnet needs to be super targeted to get your visitors’ attention. Don’t try to create an “Ultimate Guide of Ultimate Guides to Creating Ultimate Guides”……you got the point, right?

Focus on one problem and deliver a tangible, specific and clear solution to it.

The free report on 1781 profitable niches, that Stuart offers, is a great example.

 

value4

 

He’s not promising you traffic, not teaching you how to boost website performance or design a conversion optimized site, and not even telling you how to write great content for your niche site, no.

He’s just giving you a ready to use report that has 1781 profitable niches researched and done for you – just download and use.

That’s how you target a pain point of your audience.

 


  • It Doesn’t Consume Much Time

And finally, your lead magnet shouldn’t be so long that it takes months for your subscribers to just go through it.

That is why short guides, checklists, strategy blueprints and ready-to-use tools are some of the most effective lead magnets. They deliver quick value in a short time.

Aim to make your freebie similar.

 

 

Bryan Harris

“Instead of having one universal toolkit or eBook, create a very specific bonus each time you write a post.” – Bryan Harris (VideoFruit)

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Creating Your Lead Magnet and Setting It Up for Success….1, 2, 3

You know what a great lead magnet looks like. Now it’s time to create your own.

 


1. Find Out the Answers Your Audience is Looking For

There are a ton of places where you can start researching ideas for your lead magnet. The more research you do, the better.

But I want to save your time.

 

a) Look at Your Competitor’s Best Products

The easiest way find out freebie ideas that your visitors will download like crazy, is to search for the best performing paid products in your niche. People are already spending money on those products. They’d love it when you offer something similar for free.

Start your research from your closest competitors. Most of the high traffic blogs in your niche already have a huge audience. And in all likelihood, they’re selling products as well (look for the page Store, Products or Shop on their site)

 

shop1

 

You can get a fair idea for your lead magnet by looking at your competitor’s best performing and entry level products.

If replicating or creating a freebie similar to their best performing product demands too much work, you can tone it down and create a smaller version.

In short, when people are buying from someone else, they’re likely to grab it free from you as well.

 

b) Get Ideas from the Best Performing Content in Your Niche

Another great way to find ideas for your lead magnet is to look at the best performing content in your niche.

BuzzSumo and Ahrefs are both great tools to do that. Search your main topic on these tools and they’ll give you the list of content that has performed best on social media.

 

buzzsumo1

 

You can even use BuzzSumo to search specifically for giveaways.

 

buzzsumo2

 

You might not find all the results relevant to your site, but it’ll give you pretty good idea of the kind of content you can create for your lead magnet to attract subscribers.

 

c) Look for the Top Performing eBooks on the Kindle Marketplace

There are thousands of eBooks on the Amazon Kindle marketplace. You can literally find dozens of great and proven ideas for your lead magnet by looking at the best performing eBooks related to your niche.

Just head over to the Kindle marketplace and search with one of your primary keywords.

 

amazonkindle1

 

Sort the results by average customer reviews so that you can see the best performing eBooks first.

Dive in, and find inspiration.

 

d) Take Inspiration from the Best Performing Udemy Courses

Udemy is one of the world’s largest portals for video courses and trainings. Thousands of trainers have uploaded video courses on all sorts of topics, and people pay for them happily.

 

udemy1

 

You can find courses in the relevant categories and then sort them by popularity or the number of reviews.

You can also click on any course and see its complete outline along with a few preview videos. This can give you a pretty good idea for the content of your lead magnet.

 

e) Ask Your Target Audience

The most obvious way to find great ideas for your lead magnet is to directly ask your audience. And you know what, people actually do respond when you ask them to help.

Just tell your blog readers that you want to create an awesome resource for them, and need their feedback to decide what they’re most interested in.

If you’re just starting out, and don’t have an audience yet, just go to your competitor’s blog and study the comments on their most popular posts. You can head over to Quora, LinkedIn Groups and Reddit as well. Try finding relevant discussions and see what people are looking for. Or create your own thread and directly ask for ideas.

 

 

ramsay“Offering a free eBook to email subscribers still converts better than offering nothing” – Ramsay (BlogTyrant)

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2. Make It Easy for Visitors To Download Your Freebie

Creating a lead magnet is one thing, but in order to attract signups, you also need to place your lead magnet intelligently.

Just putting it in the sidebar doesn’t work that well.

Proactively take it to your audience and tell them why they need it.

Here are a few ways you can do it.

 

  • Use Pop-ups, Sign Up Bars and Sign Up Screens

NicheHacks uses all three of these techniques to promote lead magnets and collect emails. My personal favorite tool for doing this, is SumoMe. It has some awesome paid features, but even the free version gives you all the tools you need to build an email list.

 

Sumome1

 

You can use Hello Bar to add the welcome sign up bar to your site.

Both these tools integrate with your email service and provide you detailed subscriber stats as well.

 

  • Use Content Upgrades in Combination with Your Lead Magnet

Content upgrades are post specific lead magnets that provide additional content to the readers in exchange for their email address.

Stuart uses them here on NicheHacks regularly.

 

contentupgrade

 

Many other leading marketers like Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Bryan Harris etc. also use them in all their posts. In fact, Bryan Harris reports sign up rates of 20-30% on his content upgrades. But even if you achieve an opt-in rate of around 7-8%, you should be pretty happy (you can always improve, of course)

Content upgrades are so effective because they’re closely related to the content of the post. For example, in the snapshot above, the lead magnet “Instantly discover 101 high paying affiliate niches” is closely related to the topic of the post “Lessons Learned from Making $44,775 in Affiliate Sales”.

The reader is already interested in the post and wants to know how Stuart made that much money  how he came up with the right niche to promote his products. The content upgrade provides exactly what they’re looking for.

 

(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 34 ways to grow your email list click here or the image below)

 


Ready To Create a High Converting Lead Magnet That Boosts Sales By 83%?

So really that’s all there is to creating a laser focused and super effective lead magnet that attracts subscribers who’re willing to pay for your product (not just freebie hunters).

But the success of your lead magnet depends on the amount of research and effort you’re willing to put into it. It requires some old-fashioned elbow grease.

Find out the problems of your readers and the topics they’re interested in. Then create something that resolves those problems in a quick and easy way.

And finally, take your lead magnet to your website visitors (don’t wait for them to find it)

As I said earlier according to Sikich, consumers spend almost 83% more when targeted via email marketing so you’d be crazy not to be building a list for your niche site.

(Learn how to create a review website here)

So just get to work!

I’m waiting to hear your success stories in the comments below.

The post How To Increase Your Niche Site Earnings By 83% Using This Opt-In Strategy appeared first on NicheHacks.

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