Reader Q: Passion Or Profit With Niche Sites
Reader Al jumped in with a question or two on last week’s niche site article.
Here’s his comment:
What we have essentially here is the question, “is it better to create a niche site based on something you’re interested in, or concentrate on finding profitable affiliate opportunities and then creating a niche site around them?”
Al, you have asked the right person.
I have done both, and here are my thoughts.
Pick a Niche You’re Interested In Versus Profitability
The optimal solution is to get a list of things that you are interested in and then find the best affiliate opportunity.
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This is a problem if you are of a singular passion but in most cases we have a ton of interests and it’s just a case of finding the right opportunity within one of them.
The conventional wisdom here is to brainstorm all the things that you’re interested in and then look for good affiliate programs.
You don’t want to write in a niche that has no profitability because you are wasting time and you will come to resent your own hobby. On the other hand, you get bored if you’re just writing for profit.
Whether you can work through the boredom is something for you to decide based on your personality.
Whether you can take a niche which is not entirely profitable and make it profitable is based on your skill and experience. Let’s talk about those two things.
Writing For Pure Profit And Overcoming Boredom
Here’s something that you can only learn through experience: you will become a lot more interested in a topic when you make money from it.
Making money is a good incentive to learn about something and you find that bland topics can become interesting when you are incentivized to learn them. As a side note, I recommend trying to add some sort of monetary reward for your hobbies, because this works the other way too.
That said; let’s talk about working through boredom and writing through boredom.
Writing through boredom is best done in sprints. If you find a topic that you aren’t interested in it is better to follow a template model and to write short sections at a time.
With niche sites, you will find this comes when you are writing endless product reviews with little variation.
Gamification always works.
Making A Niche Profitable
If you are really passionate about a niche, then it might not be suited to niche sites if there are no affiliate opportunities.
However, this isn’t as much of a problem as you might think. I’ve found that putting together an e-book and selling it for $5 can be as profitable as running your niche site on a purely affiliate marketing based plan.
Let’s say you get 500 visitors a month. If 1% of those convert to a five dollar book sale each, then you have made $25 a month from your niche site. You don’t have to worry about affiliate marketing. You don’t have to worry about the profitability of the overall niche.
This is an easy way to write about things that you’re interested in without worrying about those things.
It’s also something that you can do in addition to the affiliate marketing. And that’s just one simple thing that you can do if you aren’t getting affiliate sales.
The middle ground is always the best for questions like this. If you have an interest in two different niches and one of them has great affiliate programs and the other has none, then you are better going with the former.
If you really hate a topic and don’t think you could write 50 articles about it, then it’s probably not good project for you unless it’s very low competition and high profit.
When you are experienced with building niche sites, then you can make most niches profitable in some way. Even if it is selling cheap books or a secret insiders email list or something similar.
So the answer is to find a middle ground. And then progress based on your skills, experience and attitude towards writing.
I hope this helps.
Actually, one last thing…
Framing Niche Sites Against Your Goals
Al says that his long-term goal is to make a full-time living from websites. Now, this will affect how you approach niche sites and sites in general.
It’s something to take into consideration for everyone.
If you intend to make a living from websites, then you really need a publishing plan. Would you rather have five big websites or 10 small ones or 50 really small ones?
Are your websites going to make money purely from affiliate marketing, or are you willing to write content and other resources that make money?
Where you stand on these things will decide what sort of approach you take to making niche sites. If you are a person who wants to make 50 small niche sites that are relatively hands-off when they are completed, then you can go for more profitable but less interesting projects.
If you want to build long-term projects that grow into authority projects, then you want to take a longer-term approach and sacrifice passive profitability for brand building and getting projects together that you can stomach in the long term.
I can’t really answer those questions for you at the end of this article but like I say, they affect your decision quite heavily.
Anyway, I will leave it there. I hope this helps.