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GOLD! Blogging for Profit (With Legendary GOLD Follow Up Posts)

Yoda

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Nov 12, 2015
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Dagobah
do you mind talking a bit on how you view market selection and picking a blog topic for building a particularly lucrative audience base? Some of this is basic business sense here, I know, and also largely dependent on the blogger treating the subject matter. But for the sake of this discussion I'd still love to hear more about your ideas in this regard.
Plenty of resources on niche selection on Google, but there are some basic principles which are mandatory:
  1. Evergreen
  2. Existing
  3. Entrance
  4. Enthralling
Evergreen - Don't pick a niche which is here today, gone tomorrow. What you think may be evergreen, may not actually be. Look beyond 10 years. It needs to have been, and will be. (Examples: Health. Beauty. Money.)

Existing - Don't pick a niche which is new, most of the time, unless it's a sub-niche. Banking somewhat on the point above, it better be something which has been, and will continue to be. It doesn't mean you should avoid micro-niche topics which come and go, just look at the bigger picture. (Examples: Computer keyboards. They've been around a while now, but there are micro-sets of keyboards niches which are coming and going all the time. However, the big picture is still keyboards.)

Entrance - This is the most closely related to fastlane, so I doubt I need to talk too much on it, but it bears repetition for the blogosphere because there are some niches which are worth diving into, others not, strictly based on entrance. You want something which is difficult, yet bearable. (Example: Good - Law. Bad - Pens.)

Enthralling - Seriously consider a niche which has some type of interest or fascination where people talk, discuss, argue, and actually participate in forums, etc. While there are riches in niches where this is not the case, it kills scale. If you want to blog and grow rapidly, you need scale in your back pocket, and nothing is more scalable than probing human behavior to acquire social shares, but, more importantly, acquiring other people's content (OPC). (Example: The Fastlane Forum)

If you've got a niche which fits, you're only just beginning. Let's take computer keyboards, now and dive in deeper. Ask yourself these questions:
  • Is there room in the market?
  • Do you have special expertise or experience with the market?
  • Are there niches to exploit within the market?
  • Is there potential for cross selling to closely related markets?
  • What are the existing methods of monetization available in the marketplace?
Computer keyboards have plenty of room in the market. There are several main competitors, which is a great thing, because there is no single dominant player. It also allows you great opportunities to pit the competitors against each other, and their respective audiences will be happy to get in on the conversation.

Expertise is up to you, but let's say I know quite a lot about them. Great. I would also have the capacity to find proper writers who are more expert than me, and I would also know how to employ OPC to get free content on my site. People who use computers are more likely to be proficient in using search, forums, etc., so OPC is probable. On a sidenote, younger crowds are more vocal than older, on the whole.

There are plenty of smaller niches within the keyboard space, yes. From basic, old school keyboards, up to the latest and greatest fully integrated full-scale keyboards with trackpads, to budget wireless or high-end gaming boards.

Cross selling would be a breeze, because you've got everything from accessories to the keyboard itself (keycaps & LEDs, for example), up to additional peripherals because you're likely dealing with someone who may want a matching mouse, keyboard dock, mouse pad, headset, etc.

Monetization could be everything from being a direct affiliate, to being able to build and source your own product, though electronics aren't the easiest. One thing I would do is build a list of email subscribers and pass along a monthly deal on the last Friday of each month. I'm not going to tell you why that's the ideal day for this type of niche, though. ;)

That's what I'd do. YMMV.

Tools are you disposal are Google Trends, watching the news, monitoring sub-reddits, and even just being open to what people say on a day-to-day basis about their lunch, dogs, vehicles and favorite widget they just found out about. Just listen. See what blows by on your facebook feed. See what products are hot sellers every year at Christmas time or Black Friday.

Be open to any niche, and don't get emotionally tied to it, just in case you find out it's actually a horrible niche, after all.
 

dru-man

Contributor
Speedway Pass
Plenty of resources on niche selection on Google, but there are some basic principles which are mandatory:
  1. Evergreen
  2. Existing
  3. Entrance
  4. Enthralling
It would take some SERIOUS digging to find something even close to as solid as this post digging around in the top results of Google. Thanks a lot @Yoda - I really appreciate the time you put into this post. This is a basic topic, to be sure, but you've given me some great things to think about in the meanwhile that I wouldn't have otherwise,

Meanwhile, I purchased a new domain for my old blog and put in a request to HostGator to transfer it over.
 

Georges Ch

Contributor
Feb 21, 2018
22
36
22
19
Lebanon
I was wrong. - Vigilante

There you go, haters. Print that out and frame it on your wall, stalkers and ego maniacs.

I was wrong about blogging.

I have been quick to dismiss people's concepts of starting a blog for sustainable, passive income.

I was wrong.

I am doing some inquiries within a small subset of the internet, in one area specialty. I am reaching out to top bloggers in one small sector of the consumer marketplace.

And I am flabbergasted by their rate cards.

Many have professional marketing companies managing their advertising. If they get 2-3 sponsored posts a month (and the top bloggers in this space get more than that) they're pulling in six figures annually.

Blogging.

So, to those of you who I have discouraged from blogging... sorry. Some of you probably left, sad. Sorry.

There is still gold (and maybe growing stacks of gold) blogging.

Get writing.

When you can get to a million page views a month, with less than 20,000 fans... you can make a living selling information and advertising via. a blog.
Really what I wanted to read after starting a blog and thinking weather it was a good or not :)
 

NuclearPuma

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
May 3, 2015
192
391
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Just launched my first post of my behavior and influence "blog".

I'm approaching this more as a redirection of my attention and focus into something more productive than as a fastlane business.

I have become addicted to the internet over time and have been very active on message boards.

The way I look at it is, I'm already generating tons of content in forum discussions but have zero return. And the topics are just driven by the boards discussion.

Well, I've been fascinated by behavioral psychology since I left college though I never studied it in class work.

I'm going to shift my time on message boards and writing in forums to instead publishing articles on behavior and influence.

I won't use any ads, it is totally opposite of the readers interest and message of the site, but I may add affiliate marketing in the near term.

I know going into this that chasing money would not be the right mental state.

I've set a goal of 100 research based posts that include citations. This will push me to do more reading and research of my own as well as providing lots of quality content. I will also illustrate each concept myself in a very basic way.

I'm not setting any monetary goals for this website until I see what type of following forms. I want to share actual research based self improvement and behavior information, not self-help feel good platitudes.

It's taken a while to finally get to this point as I began in September but only today have I gotten around to publishing the first post. However the rest of the infrastructure is in place, the post was the last thing I set up, so from here on out all I have to do is make content.



How many people create blogs just to really be helpful and provide insights as opposed to chasing money? I want to start from the place of giving actionable insights and not chasing money.
 
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Saavik

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Dec 21, 2018
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I've got something of a detail question here, would appreciate your experiences:

When you start blogging, often the right focus is not yet there (that was the case for me, anyway). So, older blog posts may not be as "on target" with regard to the audience one has picked out, and may be different in tone and topic than later posts, after one has refined the audience and business model.
Would you keep these old posts around then, creating more visibility for the blog on search engines (many of the keywords being the same or similar), or delete them in order to avoid confusion for potential advertisers about the focus of the blog?

I hope some of the original posters of this very useful thread (@Yoda in particular) are still around to weigh in. :)
 
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Andy Black

Any colour, as long as it's red.
Staff member
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May 20, 2014
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www.andyblack.net
I've got something of a detail question here, would appreciate your experiences:

When you start blogging, often the right focus is not yet there (that was the case for me, anyway). So, older blog posts may not be as "on target" with regard to the audience one has picked out, and may be different in tone and topic than later posts, after one has refined the audience and business model.
Would you keep these old posts around then, creating more visibility for the blog on search engines (many of the keywords being the same or similar), or delete them in order to avoid confusion for potential advertisers about the focus of the blog?

I hope some of the original posters of this very useful thread (@Yoda in particular) are still around to weigh in. :)
I deleted them.
 

Andy Black

Any colour, as long as it's red.
Staff member
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Why? For the reason I suggested or others?
I started a blog years ago by writing articles about AdWords. Then I started writing about how I prospected, made sales, and was growing my business.

My own focus changed, from learning a skill, to selling the skill, to scaling the skill (as described in a podcast in thetropicalbma).

Eventually I realised that reading how I was growing my own business appealed to the folks who wanted to replicate what I do, rather than the businesses who want to hire me. For people who wanted to hire me, my later articles weren’t appropriate.

Also... I realised I preferred being in communities such as TFLF rather than posting on a blog that no-one read and that was inherently a one-way conversation anyway.

HTH
 

Saavik

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Dec 21, 2018
58
67
109
My own focus changed, from learning a skill, to selling the skill, to scaling the skill
Yes, that helps, thanks a lot. It's pretty much the situation I'm in now.
But if you'll permit one more question: If you had left the old articles, which most likely had similar keywords to the new articles, your blog would have ranked higher in the search engines for related searches (unless I'm being stupid about SEO here). So you specifically deleted them to prevent customers finding your old articles and considering your current business as less professional, less advanced etc. than they would have otherwise. Is that right?
 

Andy Black

Any colour, as long as it's red.
Staff member
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
May 20, 2014
8,072
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Ireland
www.andyblack.net
Yes, that helps, thanks a lot. It's pretty much the situation I'm in now.
But if you'll permit one more question: If you had left the old articles, which most likely had similar keywords to the new articles, your blog would have ranked higher in the search engines for related searches (unless I'm being stupid about SEO here). So you specifically deleted them to prevent customers finding your old articles and considering your current business as less professional, less advanced etc. than they would have otherwise. Is that right?
The opposite actually. The newer stuff made it less professional.

In the end I left the AdWords stuff on my personal branded site and moved the freelance and growth stuff to a new site.

Then I decided I didn’t want a personal branded site anymore and blew that away by redirecting it to my LinkedIn profile.

The personal branded site is for when people who already know me checked out my website from looking at my email address. So I figured my LinkedIn profile was the best for that.

I don’t see the point of blogs for what I’m doing. Why do my articles have to be date and time stamped? Why post content and have no interaction and feedback like if I posted in a busy community?

I don’t care about SEO. I’ll blow the other site away once everything has been posted to a paid email newsletter.
 

BigDaddyKane

Contributor
Jan 19, 2011
51
79
128
Eventually I realised that reading how I was growing my own business appealed to the folks who wanted to replicate what I do, rather than the businesses who want to hire me. For people who wanted to hire me, my later articles weren’t appropriate.
In the end I left the AdWords stuff on my personal branded site and moved the freelance and growth stuff to a new site.

Then I decided I didn’t want a personal branded site anymore and blew that away by redirecting it to my LinkedIn profile.
This is something I've been thinking about lately, is where the separation and convergence between your "separate" audiences (based on topic/niche) and the integration of your face and story behind the words which creates what we know as personal branding.

@Yoda, your points are all great. @Vigilante thank you for starting this.
 

happiness2go

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Jul 21, 2018
51
43
59
Germany
Allow me to add to this thread from the perspective of somebody who has been blogging for many years with the wrong mindset, resulting in making hardly any money at all.

I STILL have the wrong mindset. And I am STILL struggling, so I am not trying to pretend to be an expert here. Just sharing my thoughts.

The mindset of the "creative"
I have always approached blogging from the mindset of being a "creative". This means, that I primarily saw myself as writer, not as an entrepreneur. I worked my a$$ off producing content... every single day... but with ZERO plans on how to monetize this.

My expectation was that if only I built a large-enough audience, eventually I would make money. All I needed to do for that is to create awesome content that people loved.

I never really thought about:

- which problem to solve
- what kind of solution to offer
- who exactly my target audience was
- what my revenue streams could be

Instead, I wrote about what I thought would be "interesting" to others. That was all the value I wanted to provide - being interesting. As a result, I only attracted people who wanted to read "interesting" and, most importantly, FREE stuff.

So yeah, while I managed to attract quite a fair amount of readers, I never really succeeded at making money out of any of these efforts.

I only built a blog, but I didn't built a business.


What I failed to do, was the conceptual work on my business. Coming up with a real idea on how I could provide value and for whom. And then build all my work around that concept. That concept could've given me the necessary sense of direction to move forward, instead of just continuously writing about different sorts of things that "came to my mind".

What I am going to try now is to focus more on the business side of things while treating the blog for what it is: a marketing channel.
 

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