In the course of earning a living online, I promote and sell a variety of products in a number of different ways. You might not know that if you read this blog, where I promote a number of products but emphasize one over the others – Wealthy Affiliate. I like the product, think it offers good value for the money and it converts fairly well, which is to say that the people to whom I recommend the product seem to like it.
While I promote other products, this is the product that I think works best with both the content and the readership of this blog. Many of the visitors to this site are people who are new to trying to make money online and they may not fully understand the process that goes into making money in affiliate marketing. Wealthy Affiliate is a good way to introduce them to the concepts involved and with the free trial, they can even learn the basics for free. But someone recently posted a question in the comments on this site about that, asking, “Why do you promote wealthy affiliate for a few bucks when you can promote these “high ticket” products and make much more? ” That’s a good question, so I thought I’d go into detail about that in this blog post.
When deciding to make money online, a big part of that decision is choosing your marketing niche. Marketing niches define what, exactly, you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. If you like dogs, you might want to build a Website around the needs of dog owners, though that’s a bit of a broad market. What you want to do instead is choose from a number of marketing niches within the overall market of dogs. Dog training, for instance, or dog toys, or perhaps dietary requirements for dogs might qualify as marketing niches, whereas the overall market for “dogs” is a market, rather than a niche.
Of course, when choosing marketing niches, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the potential number of possible things to do. The list is nearly infinite, and that can make it difficult to pick a market segment that you’d like to address in terms of making money. Granted, some marketing niches are going to be more popular than others – weight loss, for instance, is always going to draw more potential customers than a Website devoted to knitting. If you’re just starting out, one of the best guidelines is this – pick a niche that involves solving people’s immediate problems.
There are lots of ways to make money online, and affiliate marketing is one that has a low barrier to entry. It’s not the only way, however; you can also do well by selling physical products, and lots of people do that, too. The problem with selling anything online is that you’re likely to have competition no matter what you’re doing. It’s pretty rare to have a niche all to yourself, and most people gravitate to selling things that a lot of people want. Competitive niches are fine, but you may find yourself struggling against larger, longer-established sellers.
How can you survive in competitive niches? Most people take the wrong approach, by simply trying to do the same thing that everyone else is doing. They’ll try to optimize their Website or blog for the same keywords that their competition is using, and they’ll try to sell the same products at the same price as the leaders in that category. The result is usually a bad one – as a small, or even a newbie, marketer, you’re likely not in a position to compete on price, and targeting the same keywords as the industry leaders isn’t going to help, either, since you’re unlikely to outrank them. Think about it – how likely are you to outrank Amazon in the search engine rankings for any keyword?
Something I see a lot on marketing forums and other places where affiliate marketers gather is a question of how to pick a marketing niche. Everyone wants to find hot niches, that is, the ones that draw a lot of traffic and make it easy to make money, but it can be hard to find those, especially if you’re a newbie. Lots of people say, with good reason, that you should “follow your passion.” That makes sense; if you’re going to create a blog and you’re going to add a lot of content to it, you want to create something that interests you, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time with it. You don’t want to get into a niche that bores you, because you’re going to quickly tire of the topic before you can profit from it.
That said, the fact that something does interest you doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be profitable. There are plenty of niches that you might be passionate about that might be hard to monetize. So there’s more to it than finding something you like and blogging about it. You need to find a marketing niche that interests people, interests you, and which has the potential to allow you to make money from it. It’s that combination of things that makes for the “perfect storm” of a blog topic that you can use to quickly become profitable. And with that in mind, you need to be aware that there are some hot niches that are, day in and day out, niches that interest people and which offer the opportunity to make money.
I’ve written before about how important it is to choose a marketing niche, and why it’s better to focus on something that’s popular but relatively narrow, rather than something broad. After all, a niche, by definition, is “a shallow recess.” It’s something small, rather than something broad. That’s why I’ve suggested, for instance, that if animals interest you, picking a marketing niche around dog training would be a better choice than something relating to animals in general, or even dogs in particular.
Still, people tend to think in bigger terms than that, at least when they’re first starting out in online marketing. That’s why you’ll frequently see people in marketing forums asking questions such as “What is the best niche?” That would seem to be a straightforward question; the person asking simply wants someone to tell them what to do in order to make money. The problem is that a question like that actually brings about more questions than it does answers.
I’ve written before about choosing a marketing niche, which is basically deciding which category of interest you’d like to choose for making money online. Your marketing niche is basically the portion of the market that you’ve chosen as your target. There are limitless choices when it comes to selecting a marketing niche, but it turns out that your choice will make a difference, and it will matter a lot.
A marketing niche is generally considered to be a fairly narrow segment of a larger portion of the overall market. When you’re trying to work online from home, you’ll find that you have greater success if you can choose a marketing niche that’s fairly narrow, but not so narrow as to have no potential customers. That means that you’re going to have to find a segment of the market to target as your source of income. Continue reading →
There are a number of things to consider when you decide that you want to work online from home. Finding a good marketing niche is one of them, and we previously discussed how you might go about doing that. Once you decide what your site and business is going to be about, you need to decide on a business model. If the marketing niche is the “what” of making money online, then the business model is the “how.” It represents the process that you’re going to use in order to generate revenue on your Website. Needless to say, choosing a business model is an important step in creating your online business and there is no right, wrong or “best” way to do it. Each method has its pros and cons and you need to find a business model that works best for you and your chosen marketing niche.
We’ll take a look at a few of the different options that are available and give you an overview of the advantages and drawbacks of using that particular business model.
Direct Retail Business Model
Selling physical products at retail – Selling retail products, packaging them, and shipping them to your customers is the oldest and the most traditional way of doing business. You will be, in essence, operating an online store. When someone buys one of your products, you will need to put the product in a box and mail it to them. There are some good reasons to use this business model including the fact that it’s one that most everyone understands right away. You list something for sale on your Website, someone buys it, and you send it to them. That’s pretty straightforward. On the downside, there are some issues to consider – do you have space to store merchandise? If not, where are you going to keep your inventory? There are companies that offer dropshipping, and they will warehouse merchandise for you and ship it to your customer. All you have to do is pay them the wholesale price and provide the name of the recipient. There are fees for dropshipping services, but it’s the best way to run a retail business from your home. The downside of dropshipping is that you’re buying from a large wholesaler who will be selling the same merchandise to lots of other retailers, so you’ll have lots of competition. A good workaround to that is to sell unique merchandise, and while that method is outside the scope of this site, we can recommend a great book on building an online store. While selling at direct retail is a well-established business model, it can be a lot more work than most people want to do, and there are ways of making money online that don’t involve packing and shipping merchandise.
Before you can get started with your mission to work online from home, you need to begin to give some thought to how you’re going to make your money. I don’t mean anything specific, such as, “I’m going to sell Industrial Products Widget 32-A in bulk at $99.99 each.” What I mean is, what marketing niche are you going to enter? If you want to make money online, there are a few steps you need to take, starting from the general and working towards the specific. It’s likely that you have no idea where you want to start or what you want to do. Don’t worry; that’s not unusual. What you don’t want to do is put the cart before the horse and try to start a business before you figure out what it is you want to do.