Tuesday, June 03, 2014

A Simple Approach to Finding a Good Blogging Niche, Part IV - Monetization Research

If you’ve been following along the steps in this series of articles, you’ve thought of possible blogging niche topics, and come up with lists of possible content ideas. You’ve looked at keywords and hopefully found some viable keywords for each niche topic.

Remember, that as you learn and grow as a blogger and Internet promoter, you’ll learn about even more detailed research and tools to use for it. For now, however, you’ll have the start.  There is still one more step, and that’s to find out about the money-making potential of the site.

On your blogsite, you’ll be posting content. This will be stories, instructions, and opinions that relate to your niche topic. You’ll also have affiliate links where visitors can see products that relate to your topics.  They could relate in a general way ( rods and reels on a fishing site), or be very specific to a particular posting (like a link to a particular fishing reel that you’ve just reviewed). In either case, if someone clicks on it from your site, and goes to the retailers site and buys it, you’ll get a percentage commission back from the retailer. That’s how affiliate marketing works.

And, of course, the more customers you send, the more money you make.

The next step in the blog niche research process, then, is to see what sorts of products exist that you could promote.  Is it possible to actually make money off of a particular blog niche topic? Here’s how to see:

  • Go to Amazon.com

There are lots of Affiliate companies (called “Grantors”), but the quickest and easiest one to use for your research is Amazon.com. They sell so many different products that you can almost always find something there to promote.  In addition, they have a very flexible and adaptable affiliate linking program.

  • Search for products using your topic and your keywords.

In the Amazon.com search bar, do searches for your keywords and for products that you think your audience would be interested in.

  • Identify a few good products in all price ranges

As you look over the returned results, look at the brand names, and the ratings. It’s good to promote quality items.

Also, look at the prices. When you setup your website, it will be good to promote products from a wide spectrum of price range. You’ll see inexpensive items, at about $20 or less, common items, at $20-$100, midrange prices, like the ones from $100- about $250, and then the more expensive, high-end items that go up from there.

Since the affiliate commissions are paid on a percentage, you’ll obviously get a better dollar amount with the higher-priced items. Still, the items toward the less expensive end of the scale will sell more often.  It’s a good idea to be able to offer items from all ranges on your site. So, if you’re looking at a niche, and all you can find is the low-priced items, that could be a problem, because you’ll only make a few pennies for every sale.  On the other hand, if all you can find costs $1000 each, you’ll not close as many sales.

  • Repeat for each niche idea

As always, you’ll do this same research for each of your niche ideas.

When you’ve done this research, you can look over each of your niche ideas and ask yourself these questions in review:

  1. Does this niche excite you? How much do you feel motivated or driven to pursue it?
  2. What do you know about the niche? Can you think of things to say about it?
  3. Are there plenty of good keywords to use to promote and optimize your your blog?
  4. Are there good products in a variety of price ranges to promote and make good money from your site?

As you balance the answers to all of these questions, you’ll be able to make a final decision.  Keep in mind that once you get one site up and running, you can return and create a second or a third with the other topics you considered.

Once you have your first niche idea chosen, you can then move forward and establish your domain name and your website!

This article is part of a four-part series on researching and choosing your blog niche. The other articles can be found here:

  1. Introduction to finding a good blog niche
  2. Brainstorming blog niche and content ideas
  3. Keyword research
  4. Monetization product research


Mark is currently employed as an Internet Business Coach.

Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot - Dutch Oven Recipes, MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.

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