This guest post is by Anshul Dayal of Nichsense Niche Marketing.
This is the fourth post in our series on Blog Business Models.
Many entrepreneurs who own successful online businesses have followed similar paths through the world of blogging, internet, and affiliate marketing. Perhaps they were working a never-ending grind stuck in a nine-to-five day job they hated until one day they discovered the power of the internet—a medium that has likely made more millionaires than any other in the last ten years.
My journey to the world of blogging and online entrepreneurship is not dissimilar, with one exception. I came from an extremely rewarding, fulfilling, and successful career working on computer-generated visual effects for multi-million-dollar Hollywood productions. That’s probably the definition of a dream job for many people!
So what led me to blogging and the world of internet marketing? The answer is my never-ending desire to conquer new challenges and create something of my own. My initial foray into internet marketing wasn’t completely based around blogging. In fact, I first started by building small affiliate and AdSense sites sometime in mid-2011—a process I wrote about in this post for ProBlogger.
Within a matter of months, some of these sites started turning over decent monthly revenues, and that was really the lightbulb moment for me. I’d heard about internet marketers making millions on autopilot using the web, and while I was by no means making millions, I could see real, tangible evidence that by using the right strategy, it was very much possible for me to make a comfortable living online.
I also felt that there was a lot of misinformation surrounding what it really takes to make money online. That’s when I decided to launch my own blog, nichesense.com, as a place for me to share the proven strategies I was using on a daily basis, and help budding online entrepreneurs.
Blog or business?
In its infancy, nichesense.com was very much an information-focused blog supporting my affiliate niche marketing business, and sharing my journey to building a successful online business.
There were two reasons for taking this approach:
- it allowed time for defining the so called “unique selling proposition” for the blog
- it helped me build a loyal online audience and somewhat immunize the blog from unreliable search traffic.
This approach also allowed me to test various monetization strategies I was going to implement as part of my development of a long-term business strategy for nichesense.com.
A different approach to blog monetization
From a current business and monetization perspective, the majority of my blogging business success has come through affiliate promotions of various products and services that I used to build successful niche affiliate sites. This includes WordPress themes, keyword research tools, SEO tools, hosting services, and also various information products.
Effectively, I’ve taken the techniques I developed through my work building successful niche affiliate sites, and repurposed them to suit my blog.
Most of these affiliate promotions are gradually drip-fed to subscribers through a series of follow-up emails as part of the free training they receive when they first sign up to the blog. This approach reduces unsubscribe rates and also helps me achieve better conversions, as many new subscribers are also guided through the process of using the products to achieve real results.
From a broader perspective, the key elements in nichesense.com’s growth are still to do with offering practical, hands-on internet marketing training. The primary focus is on providing genuine strategies and techniques, and less on selling the next magic bullet to online success—which is what many of the “make money online” blogs tend to focus on. That’s what makes nichesense.com unique in the internet marketing blogosphere.
My recipe for success
Social media, email marketing, YouTube, and organic SEO have all been key tools for success in my blogging arsenal. However, there is one thing that stands above the rest: outsourcing. I have used virtual assistants for just about every aspect of my online business. This includes using dedicated social media managers to grow Twitter and Facebook follower counts, plus assistants to research content, publish content, conduct SEO tasks, and so on.
Outsourcing has been pivotal in helping me focus on the developing the blog as part of my larger business, rather than simply letting it turn me into a workhorse who researches, writes, publishes, and does just about everything—something that I think can be a real hurdle to growth and success.
Moving forward, some of the biggest challenges for nichesense.com will still focus around continuing to evolve a long-term traffic and monetization strategy. Using affiliate promotions on the blog achieves only a small part of its monetization potential.
Publishing great content is no longer enough for serious bloggers looking to make a mark in the lucrative internet marketing niche. Most successful bloggers in this niche in recent years have used innovative methods of engaging the audience through interviews, podcasts, reviews, and real-life case studies. This is very much the path I intend to take with the blog while still keeping a unique identity through the “hands on”-style content which has made it popular so far.
Creating high-quality information products, attracting guest posts, and presenting expert interviews will also be an integral part of my revenue and growth strategy for nichesense.com in the coming months.
I recommend anyone looking to build a successful business through blogging is to at least write down a vision statement of what what will make you stand out from the crowd. This is especially true if you plan to launch another “make money online” blog. Think differently and don’t be afraid to innovate.
Remember, the key to a building successful blog in any niche is more than just good content. If you want to treat it as a business then you ought to be making money from it and in order to make money you need to to envision a strategy to attract “buyer” (or paying customer) traffic very early on.
Anshul Dayal is the author at Nichsense Niche Marketing blog offering cutting edge niche marketing strategies for starting a real, sustainable and profitable online business. You can download his step-by-step guide to launching your own profitable niche website on his blog http://www.nichesense.com