15 Aug

Definitive – Best Keyword Research Tool to Determine Keyword Competitiveness

My last post reviewed how effective MarketMuse was at predicting a piece of contents success in Google.

This post digs deeper into MANY keyword research tools to try and show what tools can help provide us an edge!

So… What is The Best Keyword Research Tool? What tool provides a keyword competition score that gives us the best ability to predict how well an article will do in Google?

 

Analysis Summary – What Tools Competition Score Correlated With a Higher Google Rank

The list below shows the tools ranked from the tools whose competition score was most positively correlated with a higher Google Ranking.

Comment 1 – The results surprised me with both Ahrefs and SEMRush underperforming my expectations and LongTail pro overperforming my expectations. I expected SECockpit to do terrible as the competition score it provides I never find to be a reliable analysis.

Comment 2 – The accuracy of this analysis essentially means those top 3 were tied. The margin of error would be larger then the difference between the results.

Based on this analysis I recommend using one of the top 3 tools when identifying keywords to create content for (it is now what we do at ContentRefined.com)! 

This post is going to help with exactly that, giving you the ability to choose the right tool available to give you a competitive advantage in targeting keywords that you can then turn into successfully ranking articles.

There are so many different websites and companies that have or are starting to develop keyword difficulty or SEO difficulty tools. But once you input a phrase and determine the existing competition and window of opportunity what weight should the number or percentage that they provide actually hold.

Previously in “Rank in Google with Certainty” I only analyzed Ferzy, SEMRush, and SECockpit on a very basic level. For this article I expanded that research to include ahrefs, Long Tail Pro, and cognitiveSEO while also including search volume influence (based on feedback from you in my last article).

I have also analyzed competition domain authority, trust flow, headline click-through-rate, and more but look for that to be shared in another post!

 

Now for the Fun Stuff (if you are a data geek!)

Using some articles from my various money site portfolio and all of Content Refined’ created content I have been able to compile enough data points to provide some statistical insight into predicting the performance of ranking an article around a certain keyword.

I have broken the 6 different tools into two tiers as the results within the tiers are statistically indifferent.

So here are the results…

Worst Performing Group (Worst Ability to Predict)

  • SECockpit

SECockpit keyword difficulty tool uses a percentage system. Scoring below 30% and as close to 10% while maintaining a reasonable search volume is a typical metric we use. However, with only a moderate correlation of 17% SECockpit has the least predictive tendency of the tested tools.

 

  • Ahrefs

Ahrefs provides an absolute number score out of 100 to determine the difficulty you would encounter to rank for a searched keyword.  While it only held a statistical correlation relevance of 23%, I do like that it provides a suggested required number of backlinks to go with the score.

NOTE – I was surprised by this result, the guys at AuthorityHacker who do great work had found AHrefs tool to be the best when it came to Keyword Difficulty but we found it to not perform very well.

 

  • SEMRush

With SEMRush you get a percentage score out of 100 with being below 70-75% as a target. Still only holding a moderate 25% correlation, SEMRush is the best of the tools found in our 2nd tier.

 

Best Performing Group (Best Ability To Predict How an Article Will Rank)

  • Ferzy

Ferzy is a newer tool on the market and will provide an absolute score out of 100 with varying levels of ratings categories. At 35% statistical correlation it offers to be one of the strongest predictors of keyword difficulty and ability to rank of the tools tested.

 

  • cognitiveSEO

cognitiveSEO is new to me and recently came out with a new keyword difficulty and content analyzing tool. Both seem to work great and at a 37% correlation it compares and competes well with some the more well known tools. The content analyzing tool offers a competitor to MarketMuse at a more reasonable price, but the effectiveness difference is still to be determined…(more to come on this in the future).

 

  • Long Tail Pro

Behold the Long Tail Pro, the final tool analyzed. Coming in with a statistical correlation of just under 40% it is the most predictive tool but not by much. I was surprised by this as LongTailPro has been around for a long time and I would have thought one of the newer tools would have come out with a better predictor.

 

Question – What if we adjust for search volume?

Monthly SearchesahrefscognitiveSEOFerzyLong Tail ProSECockpitSEMRush
ALL23.07%37.49%35.71%39.37%17.31%24.17%
< 1,0008.5%27.52%28.07%24.30%0.57%19.48%
> 1,00024.59%30.22%30.65%39.28%10.43%19.57%
> 2,50031.48%31.68%35.58%44.29%1.27%29.62%

 

When the varying search volumes for a keyword were separated the results varied little. The three successful tools reviewed before held their ground in being the most successful predictors.

 

Summary

In conclusion, the results shown offer that there is a significant competitive advantage available if you are using the right tool. Ensuring that you follow a strategy of 500-1000+ monthly searches and a low recommended score from the varying scoring systems from tier 1 tools you can start your content creation process with a stronger chance of ranking well in the end!

But remember, when looking to rank there are so many factors involved that only one step of the process can only provide so much insight and competitive advantage. When we look at 40% being the maximum predictor for keyword difficulty, we have to realize that the weight the keyword difficulty score carries in the overall process of creating ranking content.

While it is necessary to find good keywords, the rest of the process must be completed at the same level of effort and quality to maintain the opportunity to rank. So combining a keyword difficulty tool with a content analyzer tool, backlink analyzer tool, and so on is essential to maximize opportunities.

Look forward to an upcoming post where I will wrap up this round of statistical analysis by exploring additional tools and factors that help you rank like domain authority, trust flow, and headline score. Finding out that there may be an auxiliary tool for helping rank could be a difference maker.

Hope you are enjoying these more statistically driven posts!

If you have any questions or ways we could expand on this analysis please let me know!

Source: affiliate4

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15 Aug

Make Handsome Profits with These 5 Craft Supplies Affiliate Programs

Who loves crafting here? Since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated by all things created uniquely and artistically—anything that spells “arts.” I’m drawn to their beauty and to the story of how that beauty was created in the first place. And one of the things I loved to do before (and would love to do again when time allows) was crafting.

I don’t know about you, but during my childhood days, especially on special occasions, I used to make custom gift cards, one-of-a-kind storage boxes, and all sorts of handmade souvenirs as gifts to my family and friends. I even earned money selling customized gift cards on holidays like Christmas and New Year’s!

This is just one of the perks that you get when you put your creativity and skills to good use. And as they always say, you can earn money doing what you love.

But what if you apply this to affiliate marketing? The good news is you do not have to acquire the same creativity and skills to earn money in the craft niche. What you need is information that can help you tap the right market and properly promote your site and products.

Let’s begin to analyze the niche more, shall we?

Niche Definition

What is crafting?

Google says, "The activity or hobby of making decorative articles by hand. 'Crafting has emerged as a fashionable form of self-expression.' " To keep everything simple, let us stick to Google’s description of crafting.

If you plan to put up a crafting affiliate website, it is better to check for example websites first, such as Frugal and Thriving and Craft Gossip, to learn what a crafting niche affiliate site looks like.

Frugal and Thriving is a more generalized site focused on budget-friendly topics. The website has a sub-page on crafting, which supports the main topic. If you have a website in a niche similar to this one, you may add crafting as a sub-topic.

But if you prefer to start with a sub-niche website, then you can look at Craft Gossip for ideas. It's focused on crafting topics only.

There is not much of a difference between a general niche website and a more targeted sub-niche website. In terms of income, both these sites have the potential to earn. Perhaps the only difference lies in the amount of effort and time you spend in building and promoting the site. A general, wide-topic website like Frugal and Thriving may take more time to build because of the number of different topics included. With a sub-niche site like Craft Gossip, the topics are more targeted and focused on one subject only.

Popularity

Is there an online demand for this market?

It is not enough to know the niche you are promoting. No matter how knowledgeable or skillful you are in that niche, you still need to consider demand. Remember to always mind your target market. Without a market and sufficient demand, you won’t succeed with the niche you’ve chosen.

For the craft supplies niche, let us see how the word “craft supplies” goes in terms of Internet popularity:

Google Trends

This is one of my favorite tools when it comes to checking the niche’s popularity on the Internet, simply because Google is the number-one traffic source online. For the keyword “craft supplies,” we can see interest has been highly consistent this year.

The top countries from which “craft supplies” is searched for are (in descending order) Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. All these countries have high percentages of online buyers as well, which means that marketing wouldn’t be a problem for this niche.

BuzzSumo

Other than knowing the popularity of a niche in search engines, it is also a good idea to check whether the niche is a hot topic on social media platforms. An easy way to check this data is to head over to BuzzSumo to see the current topic trends for the niche. For “craft supplies,” we get the following data:

Surprisingly, “crafting supplies” does not return favorable results in social media shares BUT this does not mean the niche is not recommendable. Remember, you can always do extra research when the results are not favorable. Let's do another search using a different keyword, “crafting”:

Compared to the first search on BuzzSumo, the word “crafting” returned better social media shares. Additionally, we can see that Pinterest shares stand out from the rest of the social media channels, which tells us that Pinterest is the best place to market the crafting niche.

SimilarWeb

Another great tool for determining niche popularity. Compared to Google Trends and BuzzSumo, however, SimilarWeb is quite different.

This tool provides an analysis of the website you’ve entered. It supplies you with important info such as traffic data, marketing channels used, social media traffic, referrals and much more. You can use this tool to spy on similar websites and see how well the niche is performing.

As an example, I have entered Craft Gossip's URL in the search bar. Here is what I got:

The traffic data for the website is not bad at all. The monthly traffic is very high (348k per month), with equally high unique visits a month (169k per month). There is still a LOT more data that you can check in SimilarWeb, but the traffic overview for this competitor website is enough for us to tell that there is a market for the crafting niche. 

Keyword Research

How to search for crafting keyword ideas using AffiloTools

Doing keyword research can be a challenging task for beginners, but if you have a sleek tool like AffiloTools, then there’s no need to worry. Here is a good guide to doing your keyword research with AffiloTools.

All registered members in Affilorama can use the free version of AffiloTools. If you wish to upgrade to a paid account, you can refer to our price table here for the details.

Now back to the tool. There are many ways to do your keyword research in AffiloTools:

1. Do keyword research by simply entering the seed keywords in the search box.

Head to the keyword section and simply enter your seed keyword(s) to get more keyword ideas, as shown below:

You will be provided with results under both “Keyword match” and “Related keywords.” The results in the “Keyword match” section are keywords that have an exact match with the one you’ve entered. For example, if our seed keyword is “craft supplies,” the keyword match results are as follows:

Notice that you have the phrase “craft supplies” in all keywords. These are all the keywords that include the seed keyword.

As for the “related keywords” section, the results provided here are keywords that are similar to the seed keyword entered. So you should also expect, most of the time, that there will be more keyword suggestions here than in the keyword match section. For our seed keyword “craft supplies,” AffiloTools returned the following related keywords:

Also, when using AffiloTools, take note of the colors under the Competition column. Green means light competition, orange means moderate, and red means high. These colors help you easily spot keywords worth targeting.

2. Use the Scan URL button to find keywords.

I am referring to the feature below:

You can find this section under AffiloTools' keyword research section, just beside the keyword search box (easy!).

Enter the link of a similar website to find all the keywords that website is using. This is a cool feature that you can use to “scoop” your competitors' keywords.

3. Use the “Import File” section.

The Import File section is located just below the Scan URL button (as shown below). This is another feature you can utilize when you already have a list of keywords and you only want to know their competition levels.

Craft Affiliate Programs

Crafty ways to improve your income

This is yet another niche that does not have any affiliate programs on ClickBank. There are a handful of craft affiliate programs on the ClickBank Marketplace, but they belong to specific crafts, not the craft supplies niche.

So, as always, I went looking for craft supplies affiliate programs online. Now, these five options I think best represent the diversity of affiliate programs for this niche. But they are not the only ones, and they are not necessarily the only good options. There are plenty more out there, but the ones I've chosen are great ways to get your feet wet.

Create For Less

1. CreateForLess

CreateForLess has all the crafting supplies you need for your scrapbooking, sewing, quilting, and beading projects. It has a section for kid's crafts, too. Prices range from a few dollars to about $20 or so.

How much can I make?
Payment is as high as 10% on every sale.

How do I apply?
You can sign up here as a ShareASale affiliate.

CreativeBug

2. Creativebug

Creativebug deviates from the norm for programs in this niche. It's not a craft supplies website. What the site does is create tutorials for various craft projects. For $4.95 each month, you have access to well-made tutorials on projects for a variety of crafts, from sewing, quilting and yarn work to paper crafting and jewelry making.

This is a great option to recommend to your followers who are just starting out. You can get tutorials and how-tos on YouTube, but the quality will not be as good as those in Creativebug's collection. The site also has specific projects that take you from beginner to advanced.

How much can I make?
75% commission for paid subscriptions. 30% on gift subscriptions.

How do I apply?
You can sign up here as a ShareASale affiliate.

SewAndSo

3. SewandSo

SewandSo is everything CreateForLess is, but for UK crafters. The site primarily targets people who are interested in knitting and sewing.

How much can I make?
You can earn as high as 7% on every sale.

How do I apply?
You can sign up here as a LinkShare affiliate.

Annie's Craft Store

4. Annie's Craft Store

The website name says it all: Annie's Craft Store. Needlework, beading, painting, paper crafting and all kinds of other crafts. Annie's has the supplies for it all. The site also offers online classes.

How much can I make?
You can earn 20% commission on all sales and 30% if they sign up for classes.

How do I apply?
You can sign up through the CJ Affiliate website to promote this product.

MisterArt

5. MisterArt.com

If Ms. Annie doesn't have what you need for your projects, then maybe MisterArt has it! MisterArt.com claims to be "the largest online discount retailer for arts and crafts supplies worldwide." I have not seen any site with as comprehensive a collection of arts and crafts supplies, so maybe it really is what it claims to be.

How much can I make?
You can earn a 10% commission per sale.

How do I apply?
You can sign up through the CJ Affiliate website to promote this product.

Amazon offers craft and art supplies, too. The commission isn't all that great compared to the other craft supply stores that we've covered, but Amazon is such a big enterprise, and carries such a wide array of merchandise, that there's always that possibility of earning a higher commission. Be sure to look into the Amazon affiliate program along with the other options.

Marketing

Ways to promote your craft supplies website

You may not have your site up yet, but that's no excuse not to look into link-building and inbound marketing methods. Coming up with a good link-building plan now will prepare you for what you need to do once the site is up, rather than letting it sit idle while you decide which link-building tactic to try first.

Social media marketing

This comes as no surprise. Frequent readers of the Niche of the Week posts might accuse me of monotony, but I challenge you to find a better link-building method: one that builds links and allows to you to engage your target market, not to mention the side benefit of getting traffic outside of Google.

Social media marketing allows for all that, and works for most niches too. Is it any wonder why it's on nearly every Niche of the Week post?

In the case of the crafts niche, social media marketing is important because that's where all the sharing happens—especially on Pinterest. Share your projects there, recommend products and exchange ideas with fellow crafters. Share links to your site and share links to other sites. Always keep in mind that in this method, it's not all about you. It's about sharing engaging content with your followers, building your site's online presence and all that jazz.

Reverse engineering

There are plenty of established websites in this niche. Make them your friends: refer to them and link to them, and plug their domain names into SEO applications and check the sites they build their links on. Then build links on the same sites. Where links are concerned, the friend of your friend is your friend.

Past that sad attempt for humor is the undeniable reason for doing this: reverse engineering can help even out the competition. It doesn't get rid of it altogether, but building links on the same sites as your competitors takes away some of their edge.

Consider it widening your site's reach, too.

Amazon Kindle traffic

The craft niche is one especially suited to promotions through Amazon Kindle. There's plenty of interest in the niche, and there's a lot of information being shared within it. Creating a small e-book on paper crafts, or a guide on how beginners can knit a patterned sweater, won't be difficult. There's also a ready audience.

Have a page at the end with links to your recommended products and relevant pages to your site, then share it on Amazon Kindle. You can charge a fee for each download to make some easy cash (just keep the price low), or keep it free to get more downloads.

Craft Supplies Affiliate Programs

Ready-made or too artful?

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Create For Less (Small)CreativeBug (Small)SewAndSo (Small)Annie's Craft Store (Small) MisterArt (Small)
10%

Commission
30%

Commission
7%

Commission
20%-30%

Commission
10%

Commission

How quickly we come to this question, but then, it is the driving question in each and every Niche of the Week article: Will this niche make me money?

I'm sure a lot of you would prefer a straightforward yes or no, but that is not the case. Most of the time, the answer involves a big "but." "Yes, you can, but…" "No, you can't, but…"

Strategy plays a big role in succeeding in your chosen niche. Don't go into anything blindly. Do your homework. Research. Take the time to look at the numbers and what's trending. While I am a big fan of going after niches that you're interested in or passionate about, you have to consider what the market wants, too.

As for the craft supplies affiliate niche, yes, you'll make money in this niche. It won't be a lot, considering the commission rates and how little these craft supplies go for. It'll take time, too, if you're just starting out. It helps to be genuinely interested in the niche.

If you already have a site about crafts, then it's time to make money off that website. Join any of the above affiliate programs and start promoting them.

There'll be competition, but you don't have to look at other craft sites as the enemy. These are new sites to visit and connect with, new people to exchange ideas with. It's a way to cross-promote and network with other potential authorities. And all the while, you're making a bit of dough on the side.

And with that ends this week's Niche of the Week. I hope you enjoyed it and found it informative! Pass the word on using the Share buttons below! Do you know of a craft supplies affiliate program that should have been featured here? Would you try your hand at making crafts and making money from them? Is there a niche you'd like us to investigate? Share your thoughts and leave a comment!

 

Want to learn how to spot a profitable niche? AffiloBlueprint will show you!

Source: affilate6

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08 Aug

Rank in Google With Certainty? – Maket Muse Review Updated Data Analysis

The “holy grail” we are chasing with our data analysis is being able to predictably rank an article in Google with certainty!

Our vision is being able to say… given a number of metrics for the keyword and article we can produce an article that ranks well in Google!

 

BEWARE!! – THIS POST HAS A LOT OF DATA!

If you don’t like data/statistics and geeking out on analysis I would recommend you skip this article!

 

I have previously talked about MarketMuse and it’s ability to suggest what keywords to focus on and which to use to add depth, all with the idea to create a better article that ranks predictably well in Google!

I have been using MarketMuse to enhance my money site portfolio but more importantly, provide top quality articles for Content Refined since November of last year and have been learning a lot!

This is where the second round of MarketMuse testing and analysis comes in. Previously we reviewed how the data for MarketMuse relative to Google rankings performed here – http://authoritywebsiteincome.com/rank-content-in-google-with-certainty/. In that article, I shared the results of Content Refined articles success in Google using different available online tools I use.

While more time has passed and more articles continue to be created I figured we would be able to provide a larger set of data to use for research and provide a stronger analysis of the MarketMuse tool more specifically. So in this round of analysis, we went deeper and came up with more ways to analyze the results that MarketMuse provides each time you run your content through their ‘Content Analyzer’.

In this post I will run through the results of our second MarketMuse analysis in terms of their ‘Content Depth Score’ and ‘Word Count’ metrics on an absolute scale and weighted scale.

What do I mean by absolute and weighted in terms of MarketMuse? Well for absolute scores I used the exact score as provided by MarketMuse to analyze its ability to predict the ability to rank in google. For weighted scores I took the absolute score and divided it by the average and best scores, for the topic as provided by MarketMuse. Using the weighted scoring (which we didn’t last time) we hoped to be able to account for the niche or keyword competition level and recognize how much better than the average or best score you need to be in the certain topic to perform that much better in Google.

Lets Get to the Data!

We analyzed 2 pieces of a data in 3 ways each…

ONE – Content Depth Score

TWO – Word Count

Then tried to make the analysis a little more accurate by comparing (or normalizing) the score of the given article relative to the competition.

Analysis 1.1: Absolute Content Depth Score as a Predictor of Google Rank

Correlation: 38%

Statistical Meaning: There is a weak to moderate correlation that the higher the content depth score the more likely the article will rank.

Importance: 2 / 5 – This low correlation comes from not having a baseline for each topic’s competition. A score of 15 could be a great score for a topic but not be perceived well in this analysis since it is considered to low.

 

Analysis 1.2: Absolute Word Count as a Predictor of Google Rank

Correlation: 30%

Statistical Meaning: There is a weak to moderate correlation that the larger the word count the more likely the article will rank.

Importance: 1.5 / 5 – Once again there is no competition baseline to compare what a competitive word count looks like for a given topic but the correlation in this scenario comes from the larger word count having more room for quality content to be included giving an article more depth. Always something to keep in mind.

NOTE – We saw the very long posts seeming to perform better… 10/12 posts that were over 3,000 words ended up in the top 20.

 

Analysis 2.1: Weighted Content Depth Score vs the Avg as a Predictor of Google Rank

Correlation: 41%

Statistical Meaning: There is a moderate correlation that the higher the content depth score is relative to the average content depth score the more likely the article will rank.

Importance: 3 / 5 – When each content score is compared to the top 10 average in MarketMuse’s database the scores can be compared on neutral grounds. What I thought would be the most successful predictor is. We are excited to continue this analysis and overlay this normalized MarketMuse content score with keyword research data to take this analysis to the next level!

 

Analysis 2.2: Weighted Word Count vs the Avg as a Predictor of Google Rank

Correlation: 39%

Statistical Meaning: There is a weak to moderate correlation that the larger the word count is relative to the average word count the more likely the article will rank.

Importance: 2 / 5 – The highest predictor metric for word counts… this basically says it is important to have your article longer than the average of your competition. 

 

Analysis 3.1: Weighted Content Depth Score vs the Best as a Predictor of Google Rank

Correlation: 29%

Statistical Meaning: There is a weak to moderate correlation that the higher the content depth score is relative to the best content depth score the more likely the article will rank.

Importance: 2.5 / 5 – With the level of correlation it makes hard to trust but still trying to be the best or close to the best in the world of MarketMuse will help!

 

Analysis 3.2: Weighted Word Count vs the Best as a Predictor of Google Rank

Correlation: 22%

Statistical Meaning: There is a weak correlation that the larger the word count is relative to the best word count for a topic the more likely the article will rank.

Importance: 1.5 / 5 – There is usually one article with an astronomical best word count for the topic so this makes it difficult to compare. However being that one article with the best word count is a clear benefit in ranking.

 

SUMMARY

MarketMuse

Content Depth Score

Word Count
Absolute0.380.30
Weighted w Avg0.410.39
Weighted w Best0.290.22
    Two Important Take-Aways!
  • For our articles that ranked in the top 10 they had an average weighted content depth score vs the average of 132% over the average content depth score of the top 10 in that topic.
  • For the articles that ranked in the top 10 in terms of word count, we had a average of 92% of the word count vs the average word count.

The main concept to consider from all this is that while there is no easy or guaranteed way to rank, MarketMuse offers the opportunity to provide a competitive advantage to the varying degrees supported above.

Therefore if you do use it, to maximize its potential, to be most effective it is recommended that you stay above the averages and as close to the best content depth scores while writing between 1,000 – 2,500+ words.

 

Whats Next – Big Stuff Coming! 

Stay tuned over the upcoming weeks as I will continue to roll out additional analysis posts regarding Keyword Difficulty as a Ranking Predictor (what keyword research tool provides the best predictive abilityas well as Other Additional Factors as a Ranking Predictor over the upcoming weeks based on the results of my Money Site and Content Refined’s articles.

 

Want to Benefit from All of This Analysis?

As always I will be happy to keep sharing everything I am learning as we work very hard to get incredibly good at predictably producing content that will perform well in Google!

For you to benefit from all of this effort simply follow along in the posts or if you want to leverage these learnings you can use the Content Marketing team that is producing this data… ContentRefined is working very hard to become the best content marketing company in the world!

To give ContentRefined a try you can use this coupon to save 10% on month 1 – datageek – signup here!

Source: affiliate4

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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.

Source: affiliate8

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01 Aug

Mortgage Crushing Challenge Update – Deep Dive into My Strategy

For me the mortgage crushing challenge or MCC is a great opportunity to test out some very efficient hands off strategies in an attempt to build up my site.

What is the MCC? The mortgage crushing challenge is a goal we set with our internal team and invited others to join in that results

This post is going to cover…

  • A couple successes people are having with their site!
  • My Exact 3 Part Strategy
  • Results So Far

Special Note – I am very happy to say that a few people participating in this challenge are having a LOT of success!

 

My Strategy Update:

Knowing my restrictions on time my plan was to come up with a strategy that would take minimal time while at the same time be able to test out a slightly unique strategy.

  1. Push out LOTS of super low competition content to the site
  2. Use my 301 Building Block Strategy
  3. Use PBN for bulk of link building efforts and then use highest quality link building services

I wish I was able to put more time into this project but ultimately I need to figure out how to be lean.

 

My Website Strategy Break-Down (for this project):

Part 1 – Create Content around Super Low Competition Keywords

The content strategy I have been using here is to identify sites that rank well for some obviously low competition keywords and then see what other keywords they are ranking for using SEMRush.

Then with those keywords I get quality articles created using a very similar process

To date using this system I have 80 posts on the site.

I plan to keep pushing content to the site.

 

Part 2 – 301 Building Block Strategy

This is the part of this strategy where my process gets a little unique!

I planned/still plan on heavily relying on the 301 Building Block Strategy!

What Is the 301 Building Block Strategy? It is the process of buying an expired domain, putting a money site on it, checking how it performs in Google and then moving it and the contents of it over to the main money site. The idea is that the cumulative effect of multiple 301 Building Blocks is a site that grows in authority and helps push up the other not perfectly related articles.

 

A VERY detailed step by step tutorial on how to do each of the steps shown above is located here – http://authoritywebsiteincome.com/301-building-block-part-2/

 

Results for MCC Using 301 Building Block Strategy:

So far I have only executed 3x  301 Building Block strategies and they were initially very effective but one keyword that was driving the majority of the results has been slipping.

The spin-off benefit for the site has not been as evident as I would like. For this strategy to work 1+1>2 and right now I can’t say that it is.

However, a lot of the analytics data is thrown off from one post which ranked VERY well for awhile and swayed the traffic numbers substantially.

The image below shows the top 10 pages for my MCC site and

  • Green = Not 301 Building Block Articles
  • Blue, Orange & Purple are all 301 Building Block Pages

 

 

Part 3 – Leverage Expired Domains for Link Building

I have not done as much of this as I had planned.

There was a 5 site PBN built for it and about 15 UseMyPBN links built to the site. This has been enough to keep the site moving

The number of links is climbing nicely but the quality is below where I want it to be…

 

 

Overall Results

The overall results have been mixed. I have seen the site being able to rank for some very high traffic keywords but sticking the rankings has not been as easy as I had hoped.

For example one major keyword had amazing ranking for awhile and generated a ton of traffic but ultimately because what people were searching for couldn’t be provided by just content the metrics on that page I believe resulted in rankings dropping.

 

 

Traffic

 

Due in large part to the popular page above it looks like the site is on a downward trend but if we removed that one outlier page the site is slowly/steadily growing still.

Income

This has yet to be a major focus of the site but the site has earned a still disappointing small amount…

  • Jan = $0
  • Feb = $2.64
  • Mar = $12.72
  • Apr = $31.27
  • May = $118.53
  • June = $108.24
  • July = $TBD

Year to Date = $273.40

 

Summary:

Although the earnings are not where I want them and the traffic growth isn’t where I want it I plan to see this entire experiment through following this strategy.

Moving forward I will continue to leverage the 301 Building Block strategy and lots of content for super low competition keywords.

I do wish I had more time to invest in this project and it is REALLY great to see people like Matt and Kelley having success with their site!

If you are working on accomplishing a similar goal in 2017 I hope it is going well for you and would love to hear how your site is coming along!

Please leave a comment below with a short update on your site and what is working well/not working for you. If you have any questions I can try to answer I will do my best!

Source: affiliate4

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24 Jul

June Income

June was a solid month. Although the results did not hit the target we were still able to push forward a lot of larger initiatives.

In particular, the team has a few big projects that are on the go and we are pushing hard on some larger goals.

The results from this month were a little disappointing! Having been growing nicely and having a string of very solid months back-back it felt like a step backwards when the final results of this month came in. However, when I sit back and look at the overall/absolute results I really shouldn’t be disappointed… but alas human psychology is cruel and regardless of the size of the earnings one key to satisfaction is growth.

Many projects are underway nicely but a couple of my core businesses which can be a little cyclical had down months at the same time. I am looking forward to them bouncing back for July and moving forward.

Hopefully, this post will shed some light on how I build/operate my online business and gives you some useful insights. There are plenty of areas for improvement in my business and I try to highlight these as well!

Hope your summer is going well and your business is growing!

The Business “Divisions” For My Online Business:

  1. Money Site Portfolio
  2. AuthorityWebsiteIncome Blog
  3. Services – Web Development, Content Marketing & Link Building:
  4. Amazon FBA Business
    • Brands 1-6 – All have specific targets for 2017
    • ListingEagle – Amazon FBA Hijacking and Suppression Monitoring
  5. Put Outside Capital to Work Efficiently in the Online Asset Space

 

Key Successes

  1. Great Acquisition – Working with a very small group we have acquired a couple great FBA businesses and have a world-class manager installed/ready to grow the business! The business achieves ~40% net margins which is very rare for FBA businesses. A couple great options for acquiring FBA businesses are TheFBABroker (who we used in this case), FE International or EmpireFlippers.
  2. Scalable Site Growth – My site building initiative this month is having a lot of success with continually adding more and more traffic
  3. Unique Acquisition – A deal will close in July that started in June I will be excited to share the story behind it!
  4. Shopify Site Had Record Month – One business that had a record month was my Shopify site.

 

Key Failures

  1. Diversification Isn’t Always Awesome – Diversification is great because it generally means that earnings/business results will not have huge swings. But… when a couple of the bigger businesses have a couple naturally down months the benefit of diversification isn’t as obvious.
  2. Consistency – This is the most concerning failure of the month but my lack of consistency in terms of putting out highly useful content is the biggest failure in June.
  3. Facebook Ads – I launched and tested a free + shipping offer for my Shopify site and did not have any success with it unfortunately!

 

2017 Business Goals

Below is my businesses main goals for 2017…

 

Part 1 – Passive Authority & Niche Website Income Profit/Loss

3 Goals in 2016 for my Website Portfolio Business

  1. Everyone Win at the Mortgage Crushing Competition

June Update – Traffic definitely took a dip on this business as a couple very well performing posts slipped in rankings.

  • Traffic = 15,071
  • Earnings = $108.24

2. Buy 1 Site Per Month

June Update – No new sites for my personal portfolio were purchased in June. None of the ones that came across my plate were interesting. I will have one new small/medium sized acquisition to chat about next month

  • GOAL = 1 New Website Purchased
  • ACTUAL = 0 New Website Purchased

If any readers are looking to sell their profitable site(s) VERY QUICKLY let me know by emailing me. I can let you know in 12hrs if I am interested and complete the purchase in 24-48hrs – Contact Me Here

I have found the right sellers are those…

  • Desire a simple/efficient/non-invasive sales process (no option is easier to sell to)
  • Looking to sell FAST (under 24hrs has been accomplished!) (shorter time for due diligence on my end increases risk for me)
  • Not wanting to spend a lot of time on the sales process (analytics and income proof is all I need)
  • SEO done to the site can be questionable and that increased risk will be reflected in the sales price
  • Understand that the benefits of the bullet points above means the sales multiple will be lower than if you went a more traditional route

If you have a profitable website you are looking to sell fast please let me know

3. Scalable New Site Creation Strategy adds $5k to Portfolio

June Update – Traffic has been working out extremely well with this project! Across the new sites I have grown the traffic to 55k uniques last month! This is a great sign for the project but we are SUCKING at turning that traffic into earnings. No point in having all this traffic without converting it. We will continue pushing hard to earn more from the traffic.

  • Traffic – 55,210
  • Earnings – $380.10

PRIMARY GOAL – OVERALL INCOME FOR WEBSITE PORTFOLIO GROW TO $15k/MONTH CONSISTENTLY

June Update – Solid performance from my Shopify Ecommerce site helped out the portfolio a lot. I am still struggling with monetization and have put pressure on myself and my team to not do anything other than grow earnings this month for the portfolio!

 

Part 2 – Authority Website Income Blog Profit/Loss

3 Goals in 2015 for AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com

  1. Post Once Per Week

June Update – Not a great month for content production! What I have started is a mastermind for content marketing which I go to weekly and combined with this monthly update and that mastermind my goal is to get caught up on quality content production!

  • Plan = 4
  • Actual = 2

2. Systematic Promotion of my Content and Building of my List

June Update – No Progress  – One of the team members it is on their list.

3. Increased Intelligence with Email Automation

June Update – No Progress – Need to carve out a dedicated workday to go through this!

PRIMARY GOAL – GROW TO 30k VISITORS PER MONTH

June Update – 12,782 which is all I should expect if I am only producing 2 articles in a given month! Summer usually has a small downturn in traffic due to vacations and such but no excuses I need to do a much better job on this site! I feel I owe you this audience more then I have done over the last month.

Part 3 – Services Business Profit/Loss

  1. Systems First Focus

June Update – Great signs that the culture of systems and SOPs is getting embedded. Team members are rolling out procedures without being prompted and are starting to see the benefit.

  1. LightningRank.com – Quality and Efficiency Improvements

June Update – No change this month, continuing to see great results for clients with many very LARGE PBNs being discussed now.

Visit LightningRank.com for Link Building Services!

  1. ContentRefined.com – 20k MRR by June & 40k MRR by End of Year

June Update – A weird billing nuance where anyone who signed up on the 31st got billed on the first showing up in July vs June with my tracking has this number a few thousand less. CHURN is the enemy of any growing recurring subscription business! For us we were experiencing some awesome growth numbers but with a big push last month and then some normal/happy customer churn we have seen this growth slow.

  • Planned MRR = $20,000
  • Actual MRR = $26,031

4. BrandBuilders.io Structurally Well Setup & New Offering Launched

June Update – Achieved – The TurnKey affiliate sites ready in 24hrs are selling out in a handful of hours every time we launch!

PRIMARY GOAL – SYSTEMATIC GROWTH!

 

Part 4 – Amazon FBA Business

  • Brand #1 – HG – Running Lean and Spinning off Cash
    • June Update – Continuing to perform solid but not amazing. Running it very lean and piling up some cash in the bank.
  • Brand #2 – CF – Quarterly Dividends Ahead of Baseline
    • June Update – Business is performing solid, a little behind the planned numbers but solid!
  • Brand #3 – NT – Path To Strong Market Position and Successful Pillar Product
    • June Update – This business we are running until out of inventory and then wrapping up.
  • Brand #4 – CK – Systematic Growth to $20k/month Profit
    • June Update – A big promotion push has this business moving nicely again
  • Brand #5 – PC – Successful launch and $5k/month Business
    • May Update – Only a couple months in and sales are starting to pickup. Showing some definite signs of promise!
  • Brand #6 – SE – 4X Value Expansion with Dream Team!
    • June Update – VERY disappointing results on this business. Although it was a great plan the results did not line up with what we were looking for. Despite the affiliate site driving $40k worth of sales to a competitor the same amount of traffic to our site has driven $0!
  • ListingEagle.com  – Hijack and Listing Suppression Monitoring Service
    • June Update – Steady business

Part 5 – Put Outside Capital to Work Efficiently

June Update – A great deal and manager has been onboarded with this project. We are continuing to look for additional world-class un-hireable managers who are looking to play a bigger game. Feel free to reach out if you have a world class skill set, proven track record growing a business and are looking to play a bigger game!

Overall Income Update

Original Monthly Net Income Target (original goal $15k/month reliable income by age 35)

  • Target Net Income = $11,275
  • Actual Net Income = $37,827.23
  • 2017 Average Net Income = $45,962

Gross revenue is a vanity number for my business and I do not share it.

Final Comments

June was a tougher month! I need to evaluate if my focus is correctly allocated or not especially when it comes to providing useful posts at AuthorityWebsiteIncome.

This I believe has been my biggest issue with my business over the last couple months and I will be addressing it!

Please let me know in the comments below what posts have been the most useful for you and I will work

Source: affiliate4

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21 Jul

June Income Report

June was a solid month. Although the results did not hit the target we were still able to push forward a lot of larger initiatives.

In particular the team has a few big projects that are on the go and we are pushing hard on some larger goals.

The results from this month were a little disappointing! Having been growing nicely and having a string of very solid months back-back it felt like a step backwards with the final results of this month came in. However, when I sit back and look at the overall/absolute results I really shouldn’t be disappointed… but alas human psychology is cruel and regardless of the size of the earnings the one key to satisfaction is growth.

Many projects are underway but a couple of my core businesses which can be a little cyclical had down month at the same time. I am looking forward to them bouncing back now 🙂

The Business “Divisions” For My Online Business:

  1. Money Site Portfolio
  2. AuthorityWebsiteIncome Blog
  3. Services – Web Development, Content Marketing & Link Building:
  4. Amazon FBA Business
    • Brands 1-6 – All have specific targets for 2017
    • ListingEagle – Amazon FBA Hijacking and Suppression Monitoring
  5. Put Outside Capital to Work Efficiently in the Online Asset Space

Key Successes

  1. Great Acquisition – Working with a very small group we have acquired a couple great FBA businesses and have a world-class manager installed/ready to grow the business! The business achieves ~40% net margins which is very rare for FBA businesses. A couple great options for acquiring FBA businesses are TheFBABroker (who we used in this case), FE International or EmpireFlippers.
  2. Scalable Site Growth – My site building initiative this month is having a lot of success with continually adding more and more traffic
  3. Unique Acquisition – A deal will close in July that started in June I will be excited to share the story behind!

Key Failures

  1. Diversification Isn’t Always Awesome – Diversification is great because it generally means that earnings/business results will not have huge swings. But… when a couple of the bigger businesses have a couple naturally down months the benefit of diversification isn’t as obvious.
  2. Consistency – This is the most concerning failure of the month but my lack of consistency in terms of putting out highly useful content is the biggest failure is June.

2017 Business Goals

Below is my businesses main goals for 2017…

 

Part 1 – Passive Authority & Niche Website Income Profit/Loss

3 Goals in 2016 for my Website Portfolio Business

  1. Everyone Win at the Mortgage Crushing Competition

June Update – Traffic definitely took a dip on this business as a couple very well performing posts slipped in rankings.

  • Traffic = 15,071
  • Earnings = $108.24

  1. Buy 1 Site Per Month

June Update – No new sites for my personal portfolio were purchased in June. None of the ones that came across my plate were interesting. I will have one new small/medium sized acquisition to chat about next month

  • GOAL = 1 New Website Purchased
  • ACTUAL = 0 New Website Purchased

If any readers are looking to sell their profitable site(s) VERY QUICKLY let me know by emailing me. I can let you know in 12hrs if I am interested and complete the purchase in 24-48hrs – Contact Me Here

I have found the right sellers are those…

  • Desire a simple/efficient/non-invasive sales process (no option is easier to sell to)
  • Looking to sell FAST (under 24hrs has been accomplished!) (shorter time for due diligence on my end increases risk for me)
  • Not wanting to spend a lot of time on the sales process (analytics and income proof is all I need)
  • SEO done to the site can be questionable and that increased risk will be reflected in the sales price
  • Understand that the benefits of the bullet points above means the sales multiple will be lower than if you went a more traditional route

If you have a profitable website you are looking to sell fast please let me know

  1. Scalable New Site Creation Strategy adds $5k to Portfolio

June Update – Traffic has been working out extremely well with this project! Across the new sites I have grown the traffic to 55k uniques last month! This is a great sign for the project but we are SUCKING at turning that traffic into earnings. No point in having all this traffic without converting it. We will continue pushing hard to earn more from the traffic.

  • Traffic – 55,210
  • Earnings – $380.10

PRIMARY GOAL – OVERALL INCOME FOR WEBSITE PORTFOLIO GROW TO $15k/MONTH CONSISTENTLY

May Update – Great results on the traffic for new projects but I really need to pick things up when it comes to the earnings!

Part 2 – Authority Website Income Blog Profit/Loss

3 Goals in 2015 for AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com

  1. Post Once Per Week

May Update – Hit my target this month which was great. In particular I was very happy to reveal the level of analysis we are putting into content marketing at ContentRefined.com and what the data there is showing! The 2 most predictive metrics that allow you to tell if a site is going to rank!

  • Plan = 5
  • Actual = 5

  1. Systematic Promotion of my Content and Building of my List

May Update – No Progress  – One of the team members it is on their list.

  1. Increased Intelligence with Email Automation

May Update – No Progress – Need to carve out a dedicated workday to go through this!

PRIMARY GOAL – GROW TO 30k VISITORS PER MONTH

May Update – 13,760… Tons of work needed!

Part 3 – Services Business Profit/Loss

  1. Systems First Focus

May Update – Modified tracking system with each team members weekly scorecard having a focus on it.

  1. com – Quality and Efficiency Improvements

May Update – Great progress on an improved process that is showing some serious benefits already! We are excited to continue to roll this out to our sites and clients.

Visit LightningRank.com for Link Building Services!

  1. com – 20k MRR by June & 40k MRR by End of Year

May Update – With a price increase at the start of this month A LOT of clients jumped on signing up for the service right at the end of the month. Overall another solid month! We are working hard on increasing the number of customer acquisition channels.

  • Planned MRR = $18,000
  • Actual MRR = $27,452

Visit ContentRefined.com for Content Marketing Services!

  1. io Structurally Well Setup & New Offering Launched

May Update – Achieved – The TurnKey affiliate sites ready in 24hrs are selling out in a handful of hours every time we launch!

PRIMARY GOAL – SYSTEMATIC GROWTH!

Part 4 – Amazon FBA Business

  • Brand #1 – HG – Running Lean and Spinning off Cash
    • May Update – Continuing to perform solid but not amazing. Lean and piling up some cash in the bank.
  • Brand #2 – CF – Quarterly Dividends Ahead of Baseline
    • May Update – Dividends getting paid out!
  • Brand #3 – NT – Path To Strong Market Position and Successful Pillar Product
    • May Update – Continuing to sell at a slow/steady rate.
  • Brand #4 – CK – Systematic Growth to $20k/month Profit
    • May Update – Several negative reviews have hurt the return to growth for this project but we are throwing everything we have at it.
  • Brand #5 – PC – Successful launch and $5k/month Business
    • May Update – Only a couple months in and sales are starting to pickup. Showing some definite signs of promise!
  • Brand #6 – SE – 4X Value Expansion with Dream Team!
    • May Update – At the end of last month we were days away from having this go live.
  • com – Hijack and Listing Suppression Monitoring Service
    • May Update – Staying flat/slightly declining business. Very little additional effort going into this but the business is well supported and appreciated by anyone who NEEDS to know if their listing has been suppressed.

Part 5 – Put Outside Capital to Work Efficiently

May Update – Expect a BIG case study on this soon

Overall Income Update

Original Monthly Net Income Target (original goal $15k/month reliable income by age 35)

  • Target Net Income = $11,100
  • Actual Net Income = $51,574.21
  • 2017 Average Net Income = $47,590

 

Gross revenue is a vanity number for my business and I do not share it.

Final Comments

May was another fun month with the welcoming of some additional in house staff!

A few BIG issues definitely need to be worked this month including increasing my earnings per visitor for my portfolio of sites. In addition ContentRefined needs to focus on addressing getting more customers  from non AuthorityWebsiteIncome audience.

Overall things definitely seem to be moving in the right direction and the problems we are working on solving go a lot further

Source: affiliate4

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11 Jul

1 Year Quit Anniversary – What Has Changed?

It has been one year since I left the day job and pursued my online business activities full time.

I wrote a very in depth post on how I got to the point of quitting my day job – http://authoritywebsiteincome.com/quit-my-job/

This post is going to cover…

How Have My Results Been Since I Left the Day Job?

I will break the results down into 3 parts…

  1. Have I achieved my 2 main reasons for quitting?
  2. Financial Results since I quit?
  3. Have I successfully mitigated my concerns about quitting?

My Main Reasons for Quitting:

I had 2 MAIN reasons for quitting…

  • See What I Can Do on My Own – Online entrepreneurship has a lot of opportunities I am excited to explore. I may or may not regret this decision but I am 100% certain if I never took a shot at building something on my own I would always regret it! (from my post 1 year ago)
    • Results after 1 year – I am definitely aligning the pieces of my business between projects and people on my team to be able to make a bigger impact. I would say that I haven’t achieved as much here as I would like but believe the combination of building an amazing team and getting heavily involved in some BIG projects has me moving all pieces of my business in the right way to make a big impact.
  • Ski/Bike/Hike With My Family – My oldest child will be 36years old if I were to retire at 65 (3 years older than I am now) and the number of hours I work per day between now and then were not going to go down based on the path I was on. But the main reason is I simply wanted to ski, bike and hike with my family in my hometown! (from my post 1 year ago)

Results after 1 year – I have without a doubt massively increased the amount of time I get to spend with my family since leaving the day job. Now being home routinely between 3:30 & 4:00 vs 6:30 (on good days) we are able to do an outing almost every day depending on the season (beach, hike, bike or skiing). Plus flexibility to take time off for activities whenever it makes sense for the family. I do believe I still work too much to have a proper balance on the health side and see opportunities for improvement here.

Overall both of the main reasons I wanted to leave my day job to pursue my online business full time have been moving in the right direction. I am especially proud of the amount of time I get to spend with my family.

Financial Results:

“enjoying” working online full time is certainly great but how have the businesses results been? They have been solid, hitting my stretch targets (barely) and having a lot of success with a few new projects.

Have I successfully mitigated my concerns about quitting?

I had been working insane hours (80+ combined day and online job) and pushing myself VERY hard in the couple years before I left the day job. I had some concerns that the loosening of my schedule and the loss of a single clear goal would negatively impact my business. Here are my thoughts on the results…

  • Getting Mentally Soft – For the last few years my schedule has been a little bit insane. Approx schedule… wake 6am, leave for work 6:30am, work 7am-5:30/6:00, Home at 6:00/6:30, family time until 7:30/8:00, work from 8pm-11pm(sometimes much later). Following this schedule was TOUGH and it, like training for anything, resulted in me being able to be disciplined about working. Will I now go soft since I won’t be working the same number of hours?
    • Results After Year 1 – I would say I definitely have gotten softer. My crazy dedication to working EVERY night no matter how tired/sick I was has slipped. Now I take nights (even the occasional day) off. Some would say this isn’t a bad thing but I do think I am getting softer as a result!
  • No Single Inspiring/Driving Goal – Achieving my goal of leaving the day job had become an obsession and now my current goals are less tangible… will my business not have a stimulating goal and as a result be directionless?
    • Results After Year 1 – The goals have become a little more project/business specific. There is a central overall goal for myself which I don’t discuss publicly but am working towards. Because of the new focus on building a business I am continually inspired to build something awesome.
  • Playing Not to Lose – For those that play/watch sports we all have experienced/seen a team take the lead and then play not loose vs playing to win. Will I now play not to loose vs take bigger swings?
    • Results After Year 1 – This one I am very happy to say is not a problem. I would say I am becoming less risk adverse and need to have the controls in place to make sure I don’t risk too much. Over the last 8 months I have put more money to work, hired more staff and started more projects.

What have I done?

Here are the major changes I have done over the last year…

  1. Grew my in house team from 0 to 2 full time and 3 summer interns
  2. Started a couple big new projects
    1. ContentRefined.com
    2. One investment vehicle I will talk about more later
  3. Increased my rate of site building
  4. Focused more on education and extending my time horizon from only a few years to much longer

Summary

I can say with certainty that leaving my day job was a great decision for my family and so far 1 year out my pocket book as well.

However, the fears I had around getting soft and not having a crystal clear goal I don’t think I have sufficiently mitigated. But overall I am extremely grateful for the world we live in where running this type of business is possible. The ability to both throw myself at a business and not sacrfice time with my family is pretty amazing I am extremely grateful for that!

If you are working towards a similar goal please know it is possible and can be done faster then it took me 7years to reach. BUT… it is not easy… I want to stress that it took me 7+years from when I first started and ~3 years after I got serious about building my business to hit the numbers I needed to hit.  Good luck to anyone looking to do the same!

Source: affiliate4

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08 Jul

Mixing Profits with Pleasure: Baking Affiliate Programs

One of the best things in life is waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread. Yum!!! Isn’t it great to wake up with that? You start your morning feeling all positive inside and out.

But before we indulge further in my daydreaming of freshly baked breads and good mornings, today’s niche of the week requires channeling your inner Martha Stewart! I will be covering baking affiliate programs with you today, which requires sparks of creativity just like Martha's.

If eating is a hobby, baking, on the other hand, is an art! Let’s begin “baking” our ideas about this niche, shall we? 

Defining the niche

The first step to a successful baking niche website! 

Baking, for me, is anything that has to do with cooking food inside the oven when it involves a lot of not-so-good-for-you but hard-not-to-eat ingredients such as sugar, flour, chocolate, vanilla and cream.

For a more scholarly take on the definition of baking, Wikipedia says “Baking is a method of cooking food that uses prolonged dry heat, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones.”

But for affiliate marketers, defining your niche isn’t just about knowing what “baking” is in general. You need to tap into the market through research. Particularly, you need to know:

1. What is your target market?

This is where you need to perform thorough research on what you want to tackle in your niche. For a baking niche site, you can still target more specific sub-niches like flourless baking, sugar-free baking, baking for kids and so on.

Once you’ve figured out your specific topic(s), it’ll be easier for you to determine your target market. The more specific you are with your niche, the easier it is to identify your market. A good example of a niche-targeted site is Pastries Like a Pro. It is a how-to website with a list of great pastry recipes.

2. What are the current market trends? 

This is very important when you are doing your market research. You need to know the current trends in your market to sell. You can refer to these websites to learn the current trends in your niche: Google Trends, Amazon (just browse through these categories: Best Sellers, Movers & Shakers, and Most Wished For), BuzzSumo, Instagram and Twitter.

For the baking niche, I found this interesting article discussing the market trends for the baking industry in the United States. BakingBusiness.Com reports:

  • The baking industry is heavily affected by changes demographics. Between the years 2010 and 2025, the U.S. will see, proportionately, a slight decrease in its white population and an increase in its Hispanic, black and Asian markets.
  • Savory muffins will be a hit because of the emerging demand for foods to go.
  • Consumers are keen to choosing nutritious baked goods.
  • Some cake trends for 2017 includes fondants, pastels and emojis.
  • Personalization has grown in demand.

You can check out Diabetic Good Baking as an example website built on a trending market demand. This is also a good niche website and compared to a general one, this kind of website is easy to market.

Popularity

How trendy is the baking niche? 

According to AmericanBakers.org, the baking industry accounts for about USD $300 billion in total economic output. More than a million Americans were employed, directly or indirectly, within the industry in 2010.

But never mind the statistics. Just head on over to these sites for instant data:

Google Trends

Worldwide search popularity in the last 5 years for the term “baking”:

Google Trends results for "Baking"

Websta

Partial screenshot of the most popular Instagram hashtags for the term “baking”:

Websta results for "Baking"

Hashtagify

Partial screenshot of the most popular Twitter hashtags for the term “baking”:

Hashtagify results for "Baking"

BuzzSumo

Trending topics across social media sites related to baking:

BuzzSumo results for "Baking"

Research your keywords

How to look for potential keywords in 2 easy steps!

For beginners, keyword research can seem overwhelming. But with the help of certain keyword tools, it gets a lot easier. You simply need to remember to do two things:

  1. Seed for keywords
  2. Check the competition

When we say "seed for keywords," we mean look for potential keywords that you can use for your niche. There are a lot of ways to seed for keywords. I can show you two of these techniques:

1. Look for seed keywords on similar or related sites

If you do not know which keywords to target, the easiest way to seed for keywords is to scout similar websites and look for common keywords. You can do this manually or you can use AffiloTools’ Keywords Research tool.

As an Affilorama member, you get free access to AffiloTools. Simply log in to your Affilorama account then follow this link to start: https://tools.affilorama.com

To seed keywords using AffiloTools, go to the keyword tool under the Research > Keywords section. You should see the page below:

AffiloTools Keywords Research Tool

On this page, you can see the field that reads “Type URL to scan page for keywords.” This is located just before the Scan URL button, as shown above.

Simply enter the URL of the website that you want to seed for keywords. For example, I want to seed keywords on the Baking Mad website, so I just enter the complete URL in the form and click the Scan URL button. This gets instant results, as shown below:

AffiloTools Scan URL results

Another way to seed your keywords is to use Ubersuggest's keyword tool. This is another free tool that you can run directly on your browser.

Go to https://ubersuggest.io/ and type “baking” into the search bar to get more keyword suggestions:

Researching "baking" on Ubersuggest

By default, the results are arranged alphabetically. Another sleek feature of this tool is that you can easily download the results to your computer.

There are also a lot of options available. Just explore to familiarize yourself with all the free features and fully utilize the keyword tool.

2. Re-run the keywords to get the competition 

Once you are done seeding your keywords, the second step will be re-running these keywords in the Keywords Research tool to get the competition data.

Keyword competition data is important, as it lets you know which keywords are too competitive for your niche. SEO-wise, when a keyword has a lot of competition, it is hard to rank for on the search engine results pages. What we are looking for are keywords that we know we can rank for easily over time.

To get the competition data for each of your seed keywords, go back to AffiloTools' Keywords Research tool. Enter the keywords in the biggest box, as shown below, and then click the Search button:

Performing keyword research in AffiloTools

You should see a results page similar to the one below:

AffiloTools keyword research results

You can easily check the competition data by looking at the competition column in AffiloTools. Each keyword has its corresponding percentage, but if this confuses you, you can easily sort the keywords by looking at the color indicated under the competition column. Red indicates a highly competitive keyword, orange a moderately competitive term, and green a less competitive one.

What keywords should you pick?

Unsure how to sort your keywords based on all this data? I recommend reading Gina's advice on proper keyword research.

Bake and earn

Affiliate programs to promote

Keiko's Cake

1. Keiko's Cake

Professional pastry chef and instructor Keiko shares her knowledge of how to create delicious baked confections through her website. She offers site members exclusive video lessons and unique recipes, too.

How much can I make?
Payment is as high as 50% for every sale.

How do I apply?
You can sign up here as a ClickBank affiliate.

The Macaron Master

2. The Macaron Master

While Keiko shows you how to make a variety of scrumptious bakery goodies, The Macaron Master shows you how to make delicate macarons. Their step-by-step guide shows you how to master macaron-making and turn it into a home business.

How much can I make?
You can earn as high as 35% for every sale.

How do I apply?
You can sign up here as a ClickBank affiliate.

Cake Decorating Business Secrets

3. Cake Decorating Business Secrets

Another home business that stems from a baking skill: cake decorating.

How much can I make?
You can earn as high as 75% for every sale.

How do I apply?
You can sign up here as a ClickBank affiliate.

Minimalist Baker

4. Minimalist Baker

The Minimalist Baker stands out among these baking affiliate programs. The site doesn't teach you how to set up a home business, for one thing. Another is that the recipes require 10 ingredients or fewer. The recipes are mostly vegan and gluten-free, too, so this would be a great product to market to people who are on those special diets.

How much can I make?
You can earn 30% for every sale.

How do I apply?
You can sign up through ShareASale to promote this product.

Amazon

5. Amazon

It's not a baking site, but it's a one-stop shop for just about anything: books, acne creams, cosmetics, clothing and of course, tons of baking and kitchen supplies. The commission here is nothing to write home about, but it can add up when a user purchases several items through your affiliate link. The good thing about Amazon.com is users can end up buying not just baking supplies, but other items too, increasing your commission for that sale with each item.

How much can I make?
You can refer to this page here for the complete information on fees and commissions.

How do I apply?
You can sign up here.

Marketing your baking website

Let people know you're into baking

1. Connect to your readers through blogging

Writing good content should not be hard when your number one priority is your readers. As I have previously discussed, you need to spend time investigating your market and its current demands.

2. Post good photos

You’re entering a food business, so it’s a requirement that you publish eye candy. If you check out successful food blog sites, you will notice they all have good photos on all their posts.

3. Share your content on social media

And by content, I am not only referring to your articles but to your photos (or videos) as well. The baking niche is best promoted on social media sites, particularly on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Investing time, money and effort into producing good photos is therefore a must, since you will share most of these on social media.

4. Build your subscribers

Don't waste all that traffic! Start building your list by running an autoresponder system. If you’ve successfully managed to get a lot of traffic to your baking website, it is but practical to start building your list of subscribers as early as possible. Sending them regular newsletters will likely increase your sales over time.

5. Write an ebook

Publish an ebook and make it part of your marketing campaign. You can sell the ebook on Amazon Kindle to get more traffic. Even better, the traffic you get from your Amazon sales is likely to convert into more sales because these people are already willing to buy.

Baking affiliate programs: stiff peaks, soft peaks?

I conclude…

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Keiko's Cake (Small)The Macaron Master (Small)Cake Decorating Business Secrets (Small)Minimalist Baker (Small)Amazon (Small)
50%

Commission
35%

Commission
75%

Commission
30%

Commission
NA

Commission

The commission percentages may look tempting, but once you consider the average price of the products in this niche, you see the hard truth: you can expect less-than-spectacular payouts unless you make a ton of sales. That could very well happen, but not within the first 6 months to a year. This is a niche that, like your bread or pastry dough, takes time to rise.

Add the competition and you've got one tough mix.

I wouldn't recommend this niche to those just starting out, but hey, don't let that stop you if the baking niche is truly your passion. The good thing here is, in the long run, you can create your own products in this niche. In addition, you can add ecommerce later if you want to merge into selling or dropshipping baking products.

If you have a baking website, well, what are you waiting for? Monetize it! Plenty of home bakers like you are earning on the side doing something they love. So, why shouldn't you?

I hope you found this week's Niche of the Week as delightful as I did! Be sure to share it using the Share buttons below.

Do you love to bake? Are you keen on starting your own site about baking? What's your favorite dessert? Don't be shy—leave a comment!

 

AffiloBlueprint shows you how to bake affiliate marketing websites from scratch! Check it out today!

Source: affilate6

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05 Jul

6 Figure Success Story – Non Native English Website Builder Sells Content Website for 6 Figures

I am always thrilled when I get to hear about success stories! Today’s post includes someone who also allowed me to interview him about how exactly he had so much success.

Here are the highlights:

  • Mr “D” is a non-native English speaker (who initially believed this would be a limitation)
  • Started in 2014 grew his site to 5k per month and sold for ~150k in 2017 (USD)
  • Content – Content was sourced from multiple sources and then over the last 7 months leveraged ContentRefined.com content exclusively.
  • Link Building – Used PBNs initially and then turned to Guest Posting and Editorial Links after
  • Monetization – Ads/Affiliate. He had a lot of success with AdThrive.

 

Worked On His Business Not In It! Reinvested and Managed the Process!

What I was most impressed with was Mr D’s ability to test to find the best services and then combine them to create an awesome combination! Then once he had a winning combination he simply scaled content and links as much as he was able to reinvest.

  • Website Development – Using some of his own skill as well some help he was able to get his site up. If this is your bottleneck checkout BrandBuilders.io!
  • Keyword Research & Content– He tried a lot of different content strategies but as he says below “ContentRefined was the best”. Once he started using Content Refined for keyword research, content creation and publishing the site grew by 3x in 5 months!
  • Link Building – Using PBNs initially and then moving onto GuestPosts and Editorial Links was Mr D’s link building strategy
    • PBNs
    • Editorial Links
    • Guest Posts (if interested in a good source for guest posts enter your email here and I will send you details)
  • Monetization – Leveraged the experts at AdThrive to grow his earnings.

 

Interview

 Tell us about your background and how you got involved in this online business world.

I am 29 years-old and I was previously working in tech support but I wanted to start my own company. I read about websites that can make money and decided to start my own in 2014 in the home/family niche.

For a year, it was not earning anything but I did not have a lot of time to work on it because of my day job. I built some links and added some content and it finally took off in the summer of 2015. From there, I just grew it with more content and more links.

How did you first find out about this whole world of building sites that can make money?

I first found out about it on a forum where I saw that it was possible for non-native english speakers to build sites, so that encouraged me to try. So I tried and eventually it worked out.

In that year where there wasn’t a lot of success and you were working part-time, you kept persevering. What drove you to keep working through that year when you weren’t seeing the results you were hoping for?  

It takes patience, I know it cannot be done in a few months and you can’t quit!

 

Jon Comment – This I believe is the single greatest determining factor if someone will have success building a website that will make money or not. The results will not come as quickly as you would like and if you stop you are guaranteed to fail!

 

What was your growth plan for this site when you first started? Did you have an idea on how you were going to build up this site and get traffic?

Well, since it started to earn for itself the plan was to grow and improve it in several areas; content, monetization, and building links. Those three areas were the main focus for me.

  1. Regarding monetization, I tried several options, I experimented with Minion Ad, AdSense, and I finally settled with AdThrive because they are much better than any other.
  2. For content production I continually used better quality writers, Content Refined was the best.
  3. To build links, I used PBN’s, guest posts, outreach, and buying some editorial links on Huffington Post and some other magazines. All that together paid off.

What was your content production schedule at the start?

In the beginning, I chose to publish 10 articles and then I waited. I didn’t publish anymore until I built enough links from PBNs, forums, blog commenting… etc., to rank and then I developed a content plan. I researched my competition with SEMrush and Ahrefs to find as many keywords that the other websites are ranking for. I made a spreadsheet of those keywords, grouped them into articles, and then just worked through that excel spreadsheet.

 

Jon Comment – If you are interested in learning more about this strategy I have a free tutorial here on basically this exact same process.

 

At what rate did you keep publishing content and how did it change over time?

Well, it was pretty consistent in the last 9 months at 4 posts per month but before that it was 2 or 3 articles per month. I never did more than 5 per month because I was going after quality not quantity.

For ContentRefined posts these graphs show the progress of a few different keywords from the time it was published until the time the site was sold.

 

From a promotion and outreach standpoint, how did you promote the site and how did that change over time?

In the beginning I used PBNs, and then I switched to outreach to other sites to write guest posts for them. I also published a few infographics and offered it to other sites to obtain links. With that method you offer infographics to other sites and also offer to write an introduction for it and you place the link into the introduction, it worked great. I bought some editorial links on Huffington Post and Buzzfeed …etc. and I also had another method that I thought was a good idea but didn’t work as well; I offered to write a review for manufacturers if they sent a product example hoping that it would get published to their sites with my link. It did work for a few links but not for most.

 

Did you do anything with an email list, or videos, social media…etc?

No, I collected emails but did nothing with them as I did not have the time. In terms of social media, I had some limited success with pinterest. I had about 30 visitors per day but nothing special.

 

What have been some of your biggest takeaways in terms of what you have learned from what you were originally thinking you would be doing to what you ended up having so much success with?

Honestly, it takes luck to build a successful site. Choosing a niche is a very important part, for me it was a lucky guess. The home/family niche is a somewhat competitive niche, it’s not easy and later I found out that many strong sites were ranking in the first 10 results but nonetheless I kept going and eventually succeeded.

 

Jon Comment – A lot of people get hung up on choosing a niche… if you are looking for help with niche selection you can checkout some ready made “Turnkey” sites for sale at BrandBuilders.io.

 

What are some of the basic traffic numbers, revenue numbers, and the multiple for the sale price?

Well, traffic stats were about 120,000/month. Earnings were 4k at the beginning and reached 5k when I sold it.

The multiple for sale price was about 30x the monthly earnings and I sold through Empire Flippers.

 

How many hours a week did you average over the years working on the site? And what would a typical week look like for you in terms of how those hours were spent?

I worked at least 10-15 hours per week. I was mostly finding link building targets, formatting articles, sending outreach emails, reading seo blogs, and doing research during those times.

 

What sources of information did you find helpful throughout this journey?

Initially, I built the site after watching Spencer Haws. Your website AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com was useful and Niche Pursuits had a course/internship where Perrin built a site and had tutorials on it. After watching them, I built my site. I found that Matt Diggity has some interesting articles, I’m trying to implement his methods.

How have these earnings and this sale impacted your life?

I quit my day job a month ago!! Today is my first day as a full-time online entrepreneur.

I’m planning on building out other websites and investing in real estate. I have many other areas  of interest to explore and my plan is to expand and continue with SEO.

 

Jon Final Comments & 3 Takeaways!

I am very impressed with the results that Mr D was able to achieve! He grew his website to life changing income numbers for him resulting in him leaving his day job. Pretty amazing!

Here are the 3 takeaways I have from his story…

  1. Work on your business and not in it (but don’t overlook the details)
  2. Reinvest in what is working
  3. Stick with it even when it isn’t delivering you the results you want!

 

Source: affiliate4

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