What Really Makes Money in Niche Marketing

Let me start this off with a confession.  I would make a sucky counselor.  The worst on the planet.  Psychology always interested me, but I knew it was not something that I wanted to pursue as a career path for two reason.

First, listening to people’s problems day after day would drain me.  I know I wouldn’t be able to leave it at the office at the end of the day.  Even now, when I see someone dead set for disaster . . . and it doesn’t even have anything to do with me . . . I get stressed.

Second, and most importantly, it would absolutely drive me up the wall to tell someone what to do, they ignore that advice, and then have to listen to them complaining about the same thing that I already told them how to fix!

I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from saying, “I already told you how to fix it.  Either do what I told you to do, or quit your bitching.  I don’t want to hear it anymore!”

Which wouldn’t be the best way to build a successful practice.

For the same reason, I don’t really talk about my niche marketing with very many people that I know.  They obviously know about my regular business, although I don’t go into too many details with that either as most people’s eyes glaze over when I do. 

But I’ve found that most of the time when people ask about online marketing or or ideas on how to make money from home, they don’t actually want to DO anything

They may say that they do, but when it comes down to it, not badly enough to invest the effort into it.  I can’t even tell you how much time I have spent giving long, detailed explanations on what to do and how to do it.  I’ve given people info on opportunities that came up. 

But 99 percent of the people that I have given the information to have never done one thing with it.  They are still doing the same things and complaining about their situation.

I don’t watch a lot of TV, I don’t spending a ton of time sitting on forums and gabbing.  The forums that I do visit are related to building my business.

My time is spent taking care of my family, meeting with clients, working on client projects, and working on my own sites.  That doesn’t leave a lot of time of anything else.  So if someone isn’t willing to focus on something that will actually benefit them . . . what do they expect.

So most of the time I don’t volunteer information.

But recently on a local community forum, a guy was asking for input on his site.  It was an affiliate ecommerce site. 

Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen him try to do several things online.  He’s tried a local news site, a local forum, and a local classified . . . there are already well established sites in all of those models.

So this was a new online model for him.  I found a classified on another site from this same person looking for someone who knows about SEO and how to rank sites to partner with him in this affiliate store. 

His proposal was that he was good at development and knew about web sites what he brought to the table was the equivalent of someone’s SEO’s skill and knowledge.

Okay, first of all, it is ALL about the traffic.  What he has is a shop on an open source platform with a data feed. 

It may have, as he claimed, taken six months for him to get the site up, but that is because he doesn’t know what he is doing.  That six months was him getting an education on site development, not the development itself.  He could have paid someone on the Warrior Forum or odesk $50 to $100 and had the site up within a few days.

Him saying that he was an expert in web development because he clicked a button in Fantastico and filed out a couple of forms is like me saying I’m an auto engineer just because I know how to put gas in my car and put the key in the ignition.

Even then, his site had a horrible category structure, was not targeting keywords at all, and had absolutely NO content that search engines could grab on to. 

To make it really competitive, you would have to redo and restructure what was there.

Besides that, there were NUMEROUS exact match domains for his exact main keyword phrase, some of them by people that actually knew what they were doing.  I don’t know if he took some course and selected his site theme from a package of keywords that was distributed to a number of people.  But it was crazy, there weren’t even that many searches on the keyword to begin with.

. . . Oh, and NO backlinks.

What exactly about that situation would be enticing to someone that actually knew what they were doing

I’m not diminishing his efforts.  It does take time to learn all the ropes.  But just because you’ve spent some time on putting up a web site and have a rudimentary knowledge, it doesn’t mean you are bringing something to the table that has an equivalent value.

Since I could tell he was actually trying to take action but just didn’t know what he was doing, I sent him a message. 

I told him that anyone that actually knew what they were doing wouldn’t be interested in that offer.  In fact, he was taking a risk even bringing someone like that in, because they could just see what he had, slap something up similar and bury him in the SERP’s.  Anyone that had experience could duplicate what he had pretty quickly.

I gave him some tips on how to rework the categories and content.  Told him to get rid of the hideous background pattern.  (Just because you figure out how to tile a background image, it doesn’t mean you should.  It wasn’t even seamless.)

This is part of the message that I sent:

For an affiliate site like that, it is all about marketing. Anyone that could promote the site and bring in traffic could do it on their own without your site.

The base website itself is like 10% of the equation

This is my advice to you. People that will buy through that site are people that … site specific info...

First, I think you need to do some reading on keyword research and buyer intent. There are only 78 searches per month, exact match for "xxx xxxx xxx." If you got the #1 spot with a 42% click through rate, you are talking about 30 visitors a month, or 1 a day from organic search. Even with a 20 percent conversion rate, you are talking 1 sale in six months if you’re lucky. And the #1 result right now is (major corporate site that spends a ton on link building.)

You need to rethink your keyword strategy or plan on spending a ton on PPC.

#1. Keywords:

  • Download the free trial of Market Samurai and watch all their videos.
  • Next download the free version of Traffic Travis and watch all those videos.

    Do some keyword analysis on what you are targeting. Then run all your pages through the Traffic Travis page analysis. I think your category descriptions are actually pretty good, but you need to look at the category titles (if you are targeting xxxxx, name the category xxxx) and the product names

    Once you have a good idea of what the actual buyer keywords are, start a blog, start writing and featuring products

    If someone knows what they want, they will just go order from (big company.) You need to frame the posts what to purchase in certain situations

    Then you need backlinks. You can get an education on article marketing from Ezinearticle’s blog. However, don’t just submit there, also submit to the other top article directories.

    When you’re ready to go beyond that, go to the Backlinksforum for more strategies. People that post there are people who do, not just talk. The warriorforum is another good site, but there are a lot of people who post as if they are experts, post all the time, and don’t make a dime online. It can be a huge time suck.

  • Did he listen?  Well he did work a little on the content and the categories, but the design tips  I gave him he completely ignored.  But some people just have no taste.

    But then yesterday I found another classified ad from this same guy asking for an SEO expert to “partner” with him on yet another site. . . . ??? . . . ???

    The guy is totally clueless and beyond help.

    So I’m posting this here in hopes that someone will actually take away something from it and that it writing all that wasn’t a complete waste of my time.

    Just in case my point got lost in the story. SEO is the skill to learn if you want to be successful in affiliate marketing.  If you learn that, you control the marbles, everything else can be outsourced cheaply.

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    2 Comments on "What Really Makes Money in Niche Marketing"

    1. Niche Chick
      JamestheJust
      04/30/2011 at 3:29 am Permalink

      Carla – well said, and too funny/frustrating…some people think they have it down when there’s no reason to believe that.

      Sure, Amazon makes a mint – but they’re solid on SEO, too. They close sales. Doesn’t mean you should open up an online store…

      Sure, dating sites work, but do you actually think you can open up a dating a site and compete with Match.com or eharmony?…

      Anyway, school of hard knocks will have to do for your acquaintance. You can’t help someone who refuses to ask for it – let the guy spend his money and waste someone else’s time. (Man, did that sound harsh or what?)

      I wanted to ask you about Traffic Travis, though – I use Market Samurai and other tools, but why TT + MS? What does TT offer that MS doesn’t cover? Curious since SEO is my thing, any shortcut helps. I’ve seen TT but never really dug into it.
      JamestheJust recently posted..Top 10 Things Not To Do On VacationMy Profile

    2. Niche Chick
      Niche Chick
      04/30/2011 at 9:26 pm Permalink

      Hi James,

      I know, that’s what I get for giving unsolicited advice. 🙂 Maybe after he wastes another year or so, he’ll remember what I told him and start looking at what really works.

      I use MS for almost everything to do with research, but the one thing about that program is that it is SO SLOW.

      I got the professional version of Traffic Travis as part of a membership program I was in for awhile. They have a keyword research and sorter tool that I think people into PPC use. I don’t do PPC, so I really don’t use it.

      But I do really like the page analysis tool where you can have the program run the sitemap of your site and list all the pages. You enter your target keyword, and it will score each page on how well it is optimized for that keyword. I know a lot of people use SEOPressor, but I already had this and this and my own brain works pretty well for me.

      The other thing that I use all the time is the competition analysis. It does the same thing as MS, but it runs a whole lot faster. I like the display better too, don’t ask me why.

      The other thing for people just getting into SEO is that the free version of Traffic Travis does pretty much everything that the Pro does. You just can’t save reports . . . and I think the keyword lists are limited too.

      So if someone was watching their pennies while they were building their arsenal of tools, they could download Market Samurai for the keyword research. Even after the trial expires, that feature is still available. And then if they download the free version of Traffic Travis, they are pretty much covered.

      A new version of Traffic Travis is actually launching next week. I’ve gotten a ton of email about it, which honestly, I haven’t read. I’m not sure what the new features will be and I hope there will still be a free version. It’s an awesome resource for people just starting out.

      Carla

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