Before you read any further, I want to warn you about a few things.
It will take you between three to five years before you figure out how to actually make any money. I started experimenting with blogging and writing eBooks when I was 19. After three years of trial and error I’ve only just started to make a decent amount off of passive income sources like books and websites. Unless you are already a skilled copywriter you aren’t going to make much for the first two years.
Most niche sites will cap out around $15,000 a year. If a website is earning more than $30,000 per year it’s almost always operating off of paid traffic. The owner is buying advertising space somewhere. Sites that get organic traffic and less than 10,000 visitors a day aren’t going to earn a more than a $10,000 to $20,000 per year.
The average person will have a near impossible time turning a profit. Most people will never make a dime. They aren’t creative enough, they don’t have the ambition, they lack self-confidence, and they try to beat the system. While writing sales letters isn’t labor intensive (you can make a good one in about an hour) it does require you to go beyond what everyone else is doing. If you plan on phoning it in don’t even bother trying.
With that said, building a monetized website is still a great way to learn sales. It’s inexpensive (hosting and a few domains cost less than $200 per year), requires very little input cost, and can teach you a lot about writing great copy. Because of this it’s a good training tool. Plus you can make a couple bucks while you learn.
How To Rank For Keywords
SEO is easy. In 99% of cases all you need to do is title a post “[Product’s name] Review” or “[Product’s name] By [Creator’s name]” and you’ll do alright. Case in point: My review of “The Six-Figure Erotica Author” which sells around a dozen copies a month.
Additionally, you have to be a decent writer. Most people who worry about SEO, or put too much emphasis on it, are terrible writers who pump out boring sh*tty content. Go visit Swiped, look at how sales letters are written, and emulate that style. Or buy a copy of Triggers and implement what you earn.
If you’re an interesting writer your content will rank well.
With that said, here are a few “technical” SEO tips:
- Before buying a domain, use Google Trends to see if your niche is even popular. No sense trying to monetize a dead field.
- Download the Moz toolbar and use it to study all the sites you’ll be competing against.
- Take the free Moz course from Udemy. It takes one hour and you’ll learn a lot.
- Pick a niche with an actual product to promote. Don’t waste time writing generic advice articles.
For the rest of this post we’ll be using the Hamilton Beach 22811 toaster as our example product. Why? Because it’s something that sells well but (on the surface) appears to be pretty boring. While I don’t recommend using Amazon as your main affiliate program, it is what we’re using for this tutorial.
Using our “[Product’s name] Review” template, let’s see what the competition looks like:
While there are less than 6,000 search results, all the front page ones are hosted by major companies. Good luck outranking Target or Amazon. Still, it would be worth writing a review using the “[Product’s name] Review” format.
Another popular Google search is for “[Item name #1] Vs [Item name #2]”. Below are the search results for “Hamilton Beach 22811 Vs Cuisinart CPT-160 Metal Classic.”
This time there are less than 2,000 results in total. That makes it much easier to rank well.
Because most people are busy writing life advice posts or generic content, there’s very little competition when it comes to actually reviewing most products. Ironically, it’s easier to get search traffic from posts designed to make money than it is from ones that provide free information
How To Build Your Readership
(Elephants Don’t Leave When Free Food Is Around)
Most people fail to build up a following because they are greedy and stupid. They constantly hit their readers up for cash, or jam huge “Click Here To Subscribe” buttons in everyone’s face.
Unless you are using paid traffic to funnel tens of thousands of readers through a well-crafted sales letter don’t try either of these techniques. They look stupid and sophisticated readers will immediately leave your site. Instead of trying to force a sale, you focus more on soft selling (which I’ll explain in the next section).
Also, when it comes to building traffic you should give something away for free. When you do this don’t bother collecting emails or trying to make a sale. Just create some sort of giveaway (maybe a free eBook or a contest where all commentors are eligible to win a $10 gift certificate). Something that will just get people through the door.
Back when I started 30 Days To X I made a free juicing eBook. I posted a link to it on Reddit and got roughly 3,000 visitors from there alone. Business is a long-term game. Don’t be afraid to create a loss-leader when you’re first starting out.
How To Write Engaging Articles
If you think there’s nothing interesting about the Hamilton Beach 22811 toaster you’re wrong.
While a machine that cooks bread might not sound too exciting, there’s a lot you can write about. Recipes, for example, are great for drawing readers in. They’re easy to read how-to articles that are ripe for soft selling.
In Asia there’s a popular dessert called honey toast. Write a post about what this is and why the reader should try making it. Then make your own, or order it at a cafe, and take a picture.
In reading the eye is the most used organ. If you can’t entertain the eye you can’t engage the brain.
Your phone has a camera on it. Start taking more pictures and include them in every post you write. Readers like looking at photos and it increases your chances of making a sale.
Once your post ends, include a “P.S.” section. Statistically speaking, more people will read your P.S. than the actual article. That’s because most readers immediately scroll to the bottom of the page before they even read the first sentence of your post.
In the P.S. section write “If you liked this post be sure to check out my Hamilton Beach 22811 toaster review. I’ve been using this device for [amount of time] and it makes the best toast I’ve ever had.” That’s your soft sale.
If you think soft selling sounds dumb or cheesy, you should be aware that there is a post 30 Days To X which uses this exact tactic and brings in about $200 per month. There’s no links to any product except for one sentence in the P.S. section. I’ll let you look around and figure out which article it is.
Creating sales letters and building monetized niche websites is easy. As long you’re willing to research the keywords behind your products, provide readers with something that they want, and create quality content that’s actually interesting to read.
If you can master these three things you’ll be able to do quite well for yourself.