Blogging for Profit

How to Find a Profitable Micro-Niche to Market Online

This is an article based on a similar article I wrote about traffic conversion in 2009. Using proven, repeatable techniques there is little risk and great rewards involved in blogging for profit. Peter Drucker in Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles writes, “Entrepreneurship, it is commonly believed, is enourmously risky…[but]…entrepreneurship should be the least risky rather than the most risky course,” because of how entrepreneurship, “by definition, shifts resources from areas of low productivity and yield to areas of higher productivity and yield.” Much work has already been done for us in the form of innovating processes and software tools, which eliminates risk. There are two key phases to the process:

  1. Research and Analysis – Identify a micro-niche inside a penetrable market that has profitable products that people are already selling.
  2. Marketing and Testing – Promote the products and test the results. If the traffic and/or conversions do not meet thresholds in a given time, start over.

The rate of success with this method is anywhere between 1 in 6 to 1 in 10 and marketing and testing can take anywhere from 1 to 30 days. Success is defined as more money coming in than is going out each month and that includes all opportunity costs (time that could have been spent making money in other activities). Tracking is critical not only with the data of the results, but with the finances and time spent.

Rules and Metrics of Phase 1 – Research and Analysis

According to The Thirty Day Challenge (now called simply, “The Challenge“) micro-niches are identified as the #1 keyword receiving at least 80 clicks per day and websites containing that keyword being less than 30,000 globally. At least 3 keywords other keywords within the micro-niche with similar criteria must also be identified, if not, start over.

The top 10 search results for the top 4 keywords has to be penetrable within the time allowed. Metrics to consider are:

Test 1: If the competition has a young domain age, a low number of back-links, and does not exist in any of these directories, then the market is penetrable. If the opposite is true, stop and start over.

Test 2: Check to see that related products are both available to be sold and are being sold by others. If either is not true, stop and start over.

If both of those tests pass, then make sure the products are giving a referral amount that you deem acceptable. If not, stop and start over. You now have products in a penetrable micro-niche that are profitable to sell. Move on to Phase II – Marketing and Testing.

Phase II – Marketing and Testing

Begin by setting up a place to place your products. This is where your marketing efforts will point back to. It can be a Squidoo page, a Blogspot Blog, or WordPress running on your own domain.  If you are using Blogspot or WordPress, install Google Analytics to track traffic. If using Squidoo, there are tracking mechanisms built into the site. Once you have a place to put your products, begin writing copy (content) for the site. You will need to write the following:

  • ‘About’ and ‘Privacy’ pages – use keywords and talk about the product. A privacy policy is required by many advertisers and affiliate programs including Google Adsense.
  • Ad copy for the products – if using Market Samurai, there are built-in features for helping with this, but you can do it manually too.
  • Create posts (or pages) about the keyword subject matter within the micro-niche.
  • Next, begin to create backlinks to your site by placing links to the domain, the blog posts, and the the product pages on social bookmarking, social media, and in blog comments in your related market. Be sure to add links from .edu and .gov domains. You can search Google specifically for blogs on those domains manually, but you can do this semi-automatically with Market Samurai too.

Track the incoming page hits on Google Analytics. Testing for viability can begin only after your product’s page is receiving at least 200 hits per day. If you are not getting 200 hits per day, then try these things first:

  • Increase the number of blog posts on and off the site using other services like hubpages and squidoo – then promote all of the new posts again.
  • Make sure you are promoting on at least 30 different sites for each post – you can use services like ping.fm or trafficbug to assist with this task.
  • Pay to have your site listed in the Yahoo! Directory.
  • Pay for Google Adwords or Bing (Microsoft) AdCenter.
  • Add pictures with descriptive text to get hits from search engine’s image searches like Google Image search.
  • Add video to Youtube with links and comment on other videos in your micro-niche.
  • Make sure you are posting to Twitter and Facebook regularly and engaging in conversation, not just promoting.

If after 30 days or at your own set threshold, you are still not receiving 200 hits or more per day, your product is not viable. Quit and start over. You have just found one of your 6 to 10 failures. If you do have over 200 hits per day, but are not getting conversions, first try changing out your ad copy, images of the products, and/or placement of the two on the page. Refer to Dan Kennedy’s sales letter technique. If after changing all three of these variables and still your revenue is below your expenses, then start over. If not, you have a profitable business. Consider selling it for ten times it’s worth and starting over using Flippa.

Sign up for LinkShare

Signing up as a LinkShare publisher is quick, easy, and free! Just complete the info on this page and you’ll be able to start making money online in no time.

What is a LinkShare publisher?

Publisher is LinkShare’s term for an affiliate who is promoting other company’s (Advertisers) products and services in exchange for a commission.

Who’s eligible to become a publisher?

Anyone with a Web site, blog, or Internet presence can join LinkShare. You will also need to provide a valid mailing address (to receive payments) and tax information.

Does it cost anything to apply?

No, it is completely free to become a LinkShare publisher and there is no cost in joining any LinkShare advertiser program.

How do I generate revenue?

As a publisher, you will have access to links and banners that you can place on your Web site, blog, or in Emails. These links will drive traffic to advertisers’ Web sites. Advertisers will pay a commission for each purchase or qualifying action you generate for them. LinkShare acts as the trusted third-party that brings together both advertisers and publishers.

What makes LinkShare different from other affiliate networks?

There are many affiliate marketing networks to choose from and you want to spend your valuable time on the network that will generate the most commissions for your business. LinkShare maintains one of the most successful affiliate marketing networks in the world. Leading publishers and advertisers from almost every vertical have chosen LinkShare to help increase their online revenue. We stand apart from other affiliate marketing networks in terms of experience, technology, and network quality and integrity.

LinkShare has signed on hundreds of advertisers including some of the most prestigious and well-known brands in the world such as Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Clinique, OfficeDepot, and Apple iTunes.

LinkShare recently introduced a completely redesigned user interface for its Publishers: the LinkShare Publisher Dashboard, which is a simple, elegant design allows you to easily find and join advertiser programs and then locate the best links for your Web site. Plus, you can see how your commissions are stacking up at any given moment in time with our easy-to-understand and advanced reporting capabilities.

LinkShare offers many innovative link technologies that help you keep your advertiser links fresh and up-to-date including Merchandiser Product Feeds; Dynamic Rich Media (DRM); Flex Links for video, widgets, and Flash content; and Mobile Links for those publishers on the cutting edge of the next e-commerce trend.

Like Attracts Like

like-attracts-likeConverse to magnetism, in life, like objects tend to attract like objects. Good attracts good that the same way bad can attract bad. Trips to the doctor beget trips to the hospital and so on. Have you ever heard the expression that the more money you have, the more money you’ll make? That’s because money also attracts more money.

Pay attention to the thoughts you have right now. Are they good thoughts or bad thoughts? Are they thoughts of growth and improvement or limiting thoughts or thoughts of despair. How do we know what thoughts in our head are true and which ones we just placed there? Just because you have a thought in your head, doesn’t mean it’s true.

If you follow this thought out a little further you can see that if your thoughts are not true, then you can place thoughts there that are more fitting to your desired outcome. Some self-help books call this “self talk”. Some people view this as lying to yourself. I am proposing that your mind is always lying to yourself, so why not use the thoughts that it is telling you for good instead of detriment?

Let’s take a moment to go back to the thought about like attracting like and view some specific examples in science, nature, and in social settings.  If you grab a glass of water, then drop some oil in it, watch as the oil at first dissipates, then collects back together as the molecules are more attracted to each other than to the water.  Now, go outside, find a lake or pond and watch as the fish congregate together or how the “birds of a feather flock together”.  And lastly, visit a high school cafeteria and see how the children naturally segregate into various groups among the tables.

It’s the same way with adults and in life.  Rich people are more comfortable hanging around rich people. Poor people are more comfortable hanging around poor people.  It’s not that they can’t or don’t mix, but there is a level of uncomfortableness with this mixing.  I’ll be discussing comfortableness in a following post, but for right now I just want you to see how like objects are naturally attracted to like objects.

Now that you can see how it is naturally occurring, can you see how money naturally attracts more money?  Let me give you some practical examples by starting with nothing.  A man goes out and offers his services in return for pay.  This person is now considered experienced at what he does and can advertise this fact in either a resume or in an advertisement.  The man is now able to offer his service for a higher pay or in higher volume, thereby making more money.  This is active income, but if he manages his money well, the money will begin accruing passive income through savings and investments.  This man has now gone from having nothing to having something by doing one thing well and attracting more of it.

You may have heard of Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball.  Well the snowball is an example of like attracting like.  Paying down debt begets paying down more debt.  And once the debt is gone, the snowball can then turn into a snowball that instead of “beating debt” begins to “build wealth,” as Dave would say.  I highly encourage you to check out Dave Ramsey’s books.  They have helped many people create a plan for how to get control of your personal finances.  Dave likes to say that if you don’t manage your money, your money will leave you.  This is akin to the idea of what you don’t manage, you don’t value, which is what I recently blogged about in The Law of Focus.

The Law of Focus is much about like attracting like. Because you are focusing on something, measuring it, and valuing it, when you come across more of it, you will collect it or because you are so fond of it, others will bring it to you. This could be in the form of more work or just word of mouth (free advertising). For example, just like in the story of the man who had nothing and began offering up services, once you start down a path, people around you notice your path, and start to help make it straight for you. This is only natural. For those who don’t know which path to go down, that is the subject of a future blog post.

Cheers!