When it comes to niche marketing, most of the ebooks will tell how to find the so-called *HOT* niches and how to make money selling affiliate products. What nobody tells (to my sheer amazement) is about the pre-requisites you need before you build a business around a niche. Last week, I noted down three things that I am going to do when marketing in niches. Let me share them with you. I hope that at least a few of my subscribers would find it helpful.
1. Choose A Niche in Which You Are Interested Enough: I would choose a niche that I really want to be in for a long period: People who tell you that you can make money from any niche within days may be telling the truth, but if you want to build a ‘business’, then you should choose a niche which not only has several sub-niches under it and but also one in which you would be able to operate without getting bored. For example, if you choose the weight loss niche, make sure you would be able to remain in this niche for at least five or six months without break. The reason? Well, that is the amount of time you'd need to start making a permanent income from a business.
I am not talking about ‘scattered’ affiliate marketing here. Affiliate marketing is great for earning some short term revenue but I won’t call that a business. A business is something that you build from scratch, nurture for a considerable time period (build subscribers’ lists, recruit affiliates, membership sites, etc.), and earn a recurring income from it. Well, in my experience, I have found that you need a minimum of five or – six months, to achieve that end.
So, make sure you have done your due diligence before choosing any niche, if you want to build a business around it, that is. Make sure you know enough about the niche that you would be able to sustain your business for a long time. You really don’t want to leave a business hanging in the mid-air, do you?
Yes, before deciding to dominate a niche, you should spend at least half of your available time in researching it thoroughly. Use forums, 43things.com, mygoals.com, etc for this purpose. Make sure there are active ezine publishers in the niche. Believe it or not, I have even come across niches where very few marketers have any opt-in form on their sites. You definitely won’t want to be in such niches because in that case you would face problems when recruiting JV partners or finding list owners who would publish your articles in their ezines. So, it always pays to build a business around the mainstream niches. And there is another thing you need to do.
2. Make a Budget: When you are building a business, you would need to pay the upfront costs. While the costs would differ from business to business, below I will give you a short list of subjects on which you are likely to spend money. I am assuming that you can build basic HTML pages.
A) Graphics: Online or offline, it is personality that counts. We build online personality with graphics. In my estimate, a professional graphics pack consisting of a header, footer, background image, ezine or ebook cover, order button, etc., would cost around $67. Keep in mind that I am quoting the minimum you need to spend.
Make sure you also read my article regarding recycling graphics. It would save you a lot of money on graphics!
B) Articles, autoresponder follow-ups, etc: If you are a good writer, you can obviously write these things yourself; if not, then I would recommend you hire a ghostwriter for these projects. Any decent ghostwriter would charge around $6-8 per article. I would recommend you start out small: ask your ghostwriter to write no more than 10 articles. So that makes it to: $6×10=$60
As for autoresponder follow-ups, my ghostwriter charges $3-3.50 for a 250-350 word email message. Autoresponder messages are trickier to write than articles; you need to create the follow-up sequence in such a way that the prospect gets a series of follow-ups aggravating his/her problems, followed by a set of follow-ups that deal with the available remedies, which is further followed by another set of follow-ups which tell the prospect in what way your product is better than all the other available remedies. In total, you would need about 21 follow-up messages (well, that is what I need for each niche), which makes the cost to 3×21=$61. Let’s make that $60 for ease of calculations. :)
But don’t tell your ghostwriter to write all the follow-up messages at the very start! Why would you waste money on an uncertain campaign? Instead, write down the sequence of messages you need for your niche in a chronological order (yep, you need to know a bit about the market to create that sequence). I just write the titles of each message and the kind of content I’d want to include in each. That is pretty much to it. Next, ask your ghostwriter to write just 6 messages. If your email campaign is successful, you can always ask him to complete the project. So, as far as autoresponder follow-up messages go, you need to start with $18 ($3×6).
C) Free and Paid reports: Next you need a free and one paid report. You would use the free report as a bait to attract subscribers. The paid report is obviously meant to be sold ;) The free report should not be just a teaser: it should be informative; for example, if it is a medical niche, then you should tell people about the gravity of their diseases/problems, and how ineffective the current remedies are, etc. That would basically build a report of about 10 pages, and IMHO, you don’t need to write anything more than that in the free report.
If you want, you can outsource this part (I highly recommend you do). My ghostwriter charges about $60-66 for this. If I provide him with a general outline of what to include in the report, then the quote is generally lower.
For the paid report, cost would vary depending on how large it would be. If it is a 30-page report, then it would cost around $200. If it consists of 50 pages, then it would cost around $330-350. If you can hire a niche expert instead of a ghostwriter, then the quote would obviously be lower: you can have a 30-40 page ebook written for about $100 (Hint: experts can be found in niche forums, and some can be found in our very own Warrior Forum). Let me assume that your paid report would consist of 30 pages, so your cost for this project would be $200.
Now, don’t ask me where to find a good ghostwriter or graphic designers. :D I found mine through a friend but there are many decent freelancers who hang at the Warrior Forum.
So, in total, you would need about $67+$60+$18+60+200=$405. So you need about $400 to begin with, and keep in mind that I have not included any advertising cost in it, because it would be difficult to predict for me how much you would spend on advertising or whether you would spend any money at all! I don’t spend much money on advertising.
That’s it! I would suggest you not to start a ‘niche domination’ project unless you have got at least a little more than $400 in your Paypal account. I would not use my bank money for these things, and neither should you! Your bank money should be used for the most essential tools of your business, such as hosting, autoresponder, domains (esp. renewals), etc.
Why did I make this budget? Well, before I had a budget, I would spend the same amount of money without knowing it. Before I knew it, My Paypal account would’ve become empty and I had to stall projects midway. A budget helps me to estimate the cost of a project. If I don’t have the sufficient money in my Paypal account, I wouldn’t proceed. This is where the third part of this newsletter comes
3. Earn before Spending: If you are starting a big project like the above, I would always ask you to follow the ‘earn it before you spend it’ formula. If you don’t have sufficient funds, consider earning some short term cash by selling PLR articles or ebooks in the Warrior Forum as WSOs (they sell out pretty quickly, and if you deliver good content for cheap, it would be a no-brainer deal!). PLR is really a very lucrative business model especially if you need some short term, emergency cash.
That concludes today’s newsletter. So to sum up, before you start dreaming about dominating a niche, make certain that you want to be in that niche for a long period of time (at least for about half a year), that you have made a budget of the upfront business costs, and that you have earned enough money to be able to bear the costs.
I guess that today’s newsletter is one of the longest, or perhaps the longest you have ever read. :) But when writing a newsletter, I try to explain things clearly to my subscribers so that there is no cliffhanger in-between. So, when writing each issue, I think about how clearly I am able to make my point; not about how many words I wrote. :)
As always, your comments are appreciated!