The truth is that it’s extremely challenging to make a stable income from marketing products online. You really have to be ready to throw everything you have into something, I’m talking effort on the level of a full-time job, and there is massive competition that you have to account for and to be effective you must be ready to really give an effort.
So is it really worth it? Well, is it worth it for you to work extremely hard to make it work? That’s the question you need to ask yourself, because if it wasn’t profitable then why would anybody do it? What it comes down to is what you are willing to put into it, it’s worth it if you work hard enough to make it a reality. Otherwise putting little effort and expecting huge reward is unreasonable. Anything you do you can be successful given enough time and effort, so it becomes a question you need to ask of yourself.
Content Marketing Takes Work
It bring me back to university and how I’d procrastinate until what seemed like the last minute, to produce that massive essay, working up until the last possible minute, to make it work. If this is you also then you have to realize that this kind of behavior won’t help you, that is unless you’ve created your own deadline and are that self-structured where this becomes possible.
If you choose to create a niche website and you are looking to depend on primarily on organic traffic from search engines then you are probably going to want to focus on creating content on a regular basis, this helps you rank faster if you are using quality original content. In order to make content marketing work for you, your best bet would to post often and keep your work updated, Google seems to like this.
The thing is that makes it really hard and of course this is dependent on what you are attempting to sell and how competitive the niches are, is that you need to research what will be your competition and you have to produce better quality content or copy to engage your customers more and have to put in the effort to see results.
Does your main competition have roughly 3000 word article that is well sourced and ranking well in Google? Then you’re going to have to do better than they are. You’re also going to want to look at their links; the quality of their domain and keeping all this in mind, someone else could be doing the exact same thing and competing just the same.
Probably, my number one piece of advice that I’d wished someone else had told me, is: If you are just starting out, stay away from the oversaturated niches like that of weight loss, make money online and gambling niches are such examples. I would build a niche based on something with less competition; however there is a drawback to this as well, and that’s traffic. Some of the saturated niches get lots of traffic but there is more competition, and less saturated means less traffic. The exception to this may be something going viral, or some trend that suddenly brings interest.
Maybe you have an actual physical product that you want to sell, or you could go into any number of affiliate programs that give you a cut of sales through your link. If you choose either you are going to want to make sure that the product is one that is a quality product, you are attaching your brand to it, so make sure it’s something you’d buy and that it provides value to your customers.
Another piece of advice is to not box yourself in either, you are going to have to write about this niche often so make sure it’s general enough in the sense that there’s tons you can write about said niche. That bring us to writing, hopefully you are someone who can write or have people you can turn to that you can pay to write quality content for you. There are marketplaces out there if that’s the route you want to take. It all depends on what you are looking to sell and what you plan on having as your traffic source.
Some tools that can help you are Google’s keyword suggestion tool as well as Bing has some keyword tools that are of use for finding niches that have a high search volume but not much competition. You are also going to want to get a webmaster tools account setup at Google and that along with Google Analytics can help you track visits, see what keywords you should use, track your rankings and help you find new opportunities for organic (free) website traffic.
The verdict is still out on whether or not you should be trying to essentially (stuff) keywords into your copy, Google has recommended that it’s best to just write high quality content and that should be enough to get you ranking. I would suggest you just start producing great well researched content and that should likely get you ranking in Google.
Make sure you are giving your readers something. Whatever you are promoting, that should not be the purpose of your website. Aim to really give as much quality and original content that you can and make that the priority. The exception to this would probably be a product review type website, if you are reviewing something make sure you have seen what it’s all about and know it’s a quality product.
Don’t expect anything and when something comes, great job you deserve it! It can literally take months to get a newish web property indexed, ranked and to start seeing results, the exception to this may be a news type website that has great content, or how saturated the playing field is.
Another great way to start bringing in traffic for free is the plethora of social networks. Sign up for some of the popular ones and setup pages or groups, or just post great content on other groups or pages to start getting traffic. This is a great way to test how effective your posts are and to begin to build a following for your brand whatever it might be.
The less travelled road is the one paved in gold. You want to go above and beyond, or offer something in a new way that’s better than what your competition does, you need to stand out. The internet is a massive collection of data and people don’t always have the attention span for some confusing rant, make sure you are always looking for new opportunities and providing real captivating engaging content, or else you may be finished before you’ve started.
So, to begin you will need a few things. First of all you need a domain. Some look for expired domains because they tend to have higher domain authority DA and even if you are lucky an established, non-penalized backlink profile that can be useful. You could also start from scratch and find a domain that is either your branding or relevant for your niche you are looking to write content about. Try doing a search to see if you can find a decent domain that is available. You may also be able to find domains for sale that are already owned and the owner is selling. I wanted my own branding so I went with somewhat generic domains.
Creating Killer Content
Ever heard the saying “Content is King” well that’s true whether you are content marketing or if you are creating a sales letter, whatever it may be. You should really aim to go above and beyond, the longer and better researched, the better. You have to really find something that interests you but also something that you can write about often, that’s why I mention it’s important to not box yourself in with your content. You want to ensure that you can write about this subject and not get bored of it.
At some point in your journey you will find out that it’s almost all about developing trust with your target audience. This is why promoting something that you see real value in is a crucial hallmark for success in this game. You want to build relationships with your customers and through the development of these relationships you can get trust which is so important. Why would someone buy something from you, what sets your brand apart from the rest, what can you offer that’s better? These are questions that can really help you to find your niche and the best avenues to take for building more trust.
Branding is really important and so is site design. If you worked hard for great content the last thing you want to do is let your sub par site design get in the way of conversions and trust. Testing out your design and finding what is the most appealing for your visitors is key. I like social traffic because you can make some posts and watch with Google Analytics how your traffic is doing. You can find metrics like time on page and bounce rate which can help you to find where you may be going wrong and correct it. Every visit you get can be another opportunity to learn from your mistakes.
Testing For Success
You should be tracking everything, if you have affiliate links, if you use WordPress there’s plugins that you can add that help you find what links get the most clicks and you can optimize the rest of your content this way, every little bit helps. I track all my social shares, Facebook also provides really good page analytics that can help you with your social campaigns to really optimize everything.
In order to know what is effective, or not, you are going to have to test everything out. There are services that you can pay for to find a “heatmap” of where users are typically clicking, but there’s other free methods you can use that will help you map out your traffic and point you in the right direction.
For choosing a domain just like hosting, there’s tons of options. Really it all depends on your needs, but you have to start taking into account that web page loading time and reliability (uptime) are factors for ranking. If you pay for subpar hosting, that may be all you need to get up and running, but how much is your visitor’s user experience going to suffer? Speed is a ranking factor and your quality of hosting really matters if you want to compete in a competitive niche. Keep that in mind and pick something that best suits your needs, you are just starting out and it’s possible to move to another host later on.
WordPress makes web development much easier than it used to be. Building a site from scratch makes customizing maybe easier but it takes more time and effort where wordpress typically works as a great publishing framework right from the start. You could spend the time building a website from code alone, always an option but the ease of use of wordpress makes me recommend it for someone starting out.
If you go with wordpress, there’s a ton of themes that will satisfy just about any niche you can imagine, but keep in mind for quality you’re going to have to fork over some dough. Some disadvantages of wordpress are speed but there are ways that you can optimize wordpress to speed up page loads, and much of it depends on the hosting plan you choose. Quality hosting and an optimized wordpress installation can go a long way in getting a good pagespeed score in Google, in turn helping you to outrank some of your competition.
Expired domains can have tons of potential in that they already have been established with domain authority and can be used right away to rank content. The downside is that you would have to find a reputable seller and really have a good look at the domains backlink history and hope it hasn’t been hit with any type of penalties that could end up being a mess for you getting your new content ranked.
The choice is yours but if you are looking to buy a domain be prepared to do the legwork for finding its history and making sure the seller is reputable. You can find some expired domains here and you can also use the internet archive wayback machine to view the expired domains content, in some cases you can’t see this data and I’d be wary of domains where I can’t see the history. They could have some issues with Google and for that reason I’ve always registered my own, if I wanted to focus on PPC advertising then it may have been worth it for me to get an expired domain that for example exact matched a product I was thinking about promoting.
Your Own Domain
Registering your own domain allows you to start from scratch and build your website from the ground up. I like this method because it’s a clean slate and you have the opportunity to really build your link profile from the beginning. I liked the idea of this so that’s the route I took. The downside is sometimes it may take a while for google to find and index your new web property. In this case there are things you can do to help get your site indexed and ranked faster. This includes building quality links to your website and having your website registered with google analytics and webmaster tools also I find helps along with a sitemap which the default yoast plugin gives you. Keeping your site updated often will in my opinion improve getting your content indexed, you can also see the status in webmaster tools. They give you tons of metrics that you can use, including pagespeed metric tool that you can test the speed of your pages, among tons of other great features. Best of all, it’s free to use.
Once you’ve decided on a domain that suits your niche you now have the task to find reliable hosting, in order to host your website. There are tons of choices out there and many different types of packages that you can get depending on your needs.
To begin with I used the cheap shared hosting but this is not the best choice if you are looking to have good Google Pagespeed metric score which can help your user experience and rankings. For that extra speed and availability I went with shared hosting and also signed up for a content delivery network or CDN which serves my images and better serves content on their cloud server network.
So, starting out there’s no need for super expensive hosting, at most you should set aside around $150.00 per year for your hosting, so it’s not a huge investment; the real investment is the time you take and effort you put into your content, so be aware of that simple fact.
When I first started web development I spent tons of time looking at what my competition was doing and how their websites were set up. It helped me to gain insight into my target market and to see what would be involved to really make an impact. There are of course tools that can help you more effectively gauge your competitors. Websites like Moz and Majestic have free variations that you can use to get some idea of what their link structure is. Keep in mind it’s all about competition and you will need to outrank your competitors if you are looking to reap the benefits of organic (free) traffic from web searches.
What is SEO? SEO or search engine optimization is a method of preparing your copy or web content with keywords you have researched and so many other aspects. You would want to optimize your content to include titles, headers, and content as well that is rich with the keywords you are trying to rank for. Using image ALT tags can help to optimize your images in image searches, so that helps as well.
There are plugins that can help you to optimize your posts and pages if you use WordPress for example. An example of this is Yoast SEO which lets you set your keywords and Yoast will analyze your content and give you recommendations to enhancing on page SEO, this is hugely beneficial and I would recommend the free version.
Of course with all the websites out there; there is huge traffic that can easily be yours, but, only if you play your cards right. There are other ways that you can do it if SEO is not something you want to do examples would be paid traffic, but this also will require you to research keywords and there is tons of competition out there so the key is getting clicks with buyer intent for cheap.
Pay per click or PPC can have some advantages but they are more for those with experience, or those that learn quickly! You can easily set budgets with most paid search providers I’ve looked into and you typically bid on keywords that appear in search engines. If you’ve searched on Google and see the results at the top that say Ad those are the ads you will be competing with.
There are many different types of advertising and I’ll just touch on a few that I know.
Paid clicks can be great if you are promoting a niche that is not overly saturated, but it has drawbacks and of course costs money, my advice is to stay away from this until you know you have tested your content out and know roughly what your conversion rate is.
Google has a platform that you can run your ads on and they can be extremely effective for someone with the experience and know how to get clicks for cheap. The best thing about paid traffic is that it can highly target those searching for keywords with buyer intent, however those keywords have tons of competition, so Google Adwords has some policies that can get you into trouble and possibly banned so be sure to further research their policies here before you
The Bing search network includes popular search engines including not only Bing, but also other popular engines like AOL, MSN and even Yahoo search. The cost per click of Bing network is typically cheaper than that of Google, but I find better quality with Google Adwords. Bing policies leave room for more variety in the types of ads and networks they allow so that is almost the tradeoff here with Google you have a limited variety of what you can promote so the quality is better but more strict for an advertiser to adhere to.
Yes Facebook has an ad platform as well and the beauty of Facebook ads is the amount of data you have available to target your buyer audience. Facebook ads are pretty reasonable in their cost per click and like I said you have great control over your targeted audience, more so than I was able to find with Bing, or Google. You can also promote your Facebook web properties like pages and drive traffic to your branded pages, Facebook ads is great for this purpose.
Because the rewards can be so lucrative, there can be intense competition and you will have to work harder and smarter than your rivals to make this profitable. Again, it comes down to picking a niche to advertise that is not saturated, but that has tons of interest and buyer intent, it’s not easy and I suggest you first start with SEO then move on to paid search once you have content that gets conversions.
Start Now Because In a Year It Will Be Harder
Times are changing and marketing is evolving, you will only let yourself down in the future when you know you could have had a well established business but you waited, get in now and you will have an advantage on those who do wait.
One thing that I’ve learned is that things change and in order to really be successful you have to be prepared for the times and go with the changes rather than not evolving. The same is with any market; it’s constantly evolving. People are finding and exploiting new ways to profit; those there first will stand to make the most and dominate the niche. Be prepared to fail a lot and get back up and keep going because that’s the key to success. You see most people give it a halfass attempt just to give it up before they realize just where they were going wrong. It definitely takes a deep sense of motivation and not taking failure as an option is absolutely crucial for anything, this especially true for marketing online.
You may fail miserably at first and that is completely normal, you’ve learned the hard way now get back up and fix it, you have to know how to get back up and keep going.
Don’t Have Unreasonable Expectations
If you do decide that internet marketing is the right journey for you, don’t think you write a post or two and then leave it, it’s not that easy anymore, there may have been a time where it was that easy but I think those times are gone. You need to be promoting your work everywhere and people who are successful are working at this like it’s a full time job, this illusion that you just write a bunch of content and “it’s making me money while I sleep” is not a good mantra to have. You have to fight for it just like everyone else and I hate to say that you may not make it.
To recap, no matter what route you are taking to promote someone else’s product, or to sell your own, you must produce quality engaging content that offers real value to your audience. You are going to want to really take the time to research your competition and connect the dots to find what worked for them and translate to that working for you, it’s no easy task, it may have been a few years ago, but nowadays the name of the game is trust and building relationships with your customer base that helps you develop your brand.
If you’ve made it this far then you can probably get the picture that it’s not easy. In fact it’s very difficult and most of the easy money was had years ago. Today it takes a heck of a lot more effort than what it seemed like it took before. You are competing with a huge global industry and you have to be willing to put the effort into it. You are going to have to build and nurture relationships between yourself and your customer base, you have to go the extra mile. Overall, you have tons of things to consider, most fail and it comes down to how bad you want it. Those that are most successful will find new opportunity and be willing to adapt to the extreme pace of technology. Good luck!