Everyone wants to get started in Internet Marketing, but few know what to do. You may join a "program" which is another way of saying you do the same thing as everyone else. It doesn't succeed. So you try something different. The problem is, due to lack of experience, you make critical mistakes, and, once again it doesn't succeed.
What is needed is a template that forces you to do the main things right, but leaves you enough latitude to add your own personality into the mix without breaking anything. What I propose in this thread is a simple way to identify a niche that you know you would like working in, then build some sort of affiliate site that serves that niche, and finally get traffic to the site and start a revenue stream.
The beauty of this method is that you can personalise it 100% and do something totally unique. All of this without spending one red cent. Here goes:
1. Get Keyword Ideas
Go to Google, and click the link called "shopping" at the top left of the page. Underneath where it says "Search Stuff To Buy" there are 25 search terms of things people want to buy right now while you are staring at your computer screen. Scan the list. If you see anything that you think you would like to sell, write down the search term. Refresh the page. Repeat this process until you have 20-30 search terms. Don't worry if you don't know enough about the thing to write anything intelligent. You can research the topic later. Of course if the keyword describes something you know about all the better.
2. Research Keyword Search Volume
Go to http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. One by one, type in your 20-30 keywords and click "Get keyword ideas". The main reason we are looking here is to get some information on search volume. However, we may stumble upon slight variations on our keyword that are less competitive and easier to target.
When you do this you will see a list of keywords on the left, and the search volumes on the right. Trim your list down to keywords with over 1,000 searches. If you see variations with good search volume, write them down too. You will see why in a minute. One of the first niche keywords I came across on the Google shopping search page was "fiber optic lighting". As of this writing it has 27K searches a month. This is really high, probably too competitive for us. But I will keep it on my list for now. I will also keep variations such as "fiber optics lighting", "fiber optic light" and "fiber optic lights" which all have healthy search volume.
Now it's time to research the commercial intention of your keywords. Note: This was not included in the original OP. I honestly don't know how I managed to forget it. It is a gem, so if you don't know about it yet, it's time you did!
What does commercial intention mean? Well, broadly speaking there are two kinds of keywords: buying keywords and information keywords. People are looking for information most of the time. But sometimes they are looking for something they want to buy. When we see a keyword we need to know which one it is. You or I may think we know the difference, but we could be wrong. Wouldn't it be nice if you could find out how many times an actual keyword resulted in a purchase? Well you can. Go to adlab.microsoft.com/Online-Commercial-Intention, type your keyword in the Tool Input field, be sure to click the Query radio button, then click Go. You will get a number between 0.5 and 1, plus a qualification of Commercial Intention or Non-commercial. You only want words with an index that indicates commercial intention, and the higher the better. Personally I like to shoot for 0.8 but this is not always possible. However, our search term fiber optic lighting has a Commercial Intention of 0.91! It doesn't get any better! (I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't rather be selling fiber optic lighting kits...) Proceed this way with each of your keywords, and write down the Commercial Intention value next to each one.
3. Research Competing Pages
Now go to http://www.google.com and search each keyword, putting it in double quotes. In other words, don't search fiber optic lighting, search "fiber optic lighting". This will return only pages that have the exact phrase you are searching, and these pages are the most likely to compete with you in searches. This is an excepted method used by many successful marketers to pre-qualify search terms. It is not perfect and there are other parameters you could consider, but for you, right now, it is a good place to start.
When you search "fiber optic lighting" with the quotes you will see something like Results 1 - 10 of about 135,000 for "fiber optic lighting". (0.18 seconds) in the upper right of the results page. This tells you that you are competing with 135,000 pages. I don't know about you, but I am beginning to find this exciting. As marketers we want the maximum number of searches and the minimum number of competing pages. As a rule of thumb we go for at least 1,000 searches per month and at most 100,000-150,000 competing pages (exact numbers vary from marketer to marketer). Here we have a whopping 27K searches and only 135K pages!! This may be a goldmine. But we're not finished yet.
Do the search again like with the allintitle operator. Search allintitle:"fiber optic lighting". We get 1,400 pages that have our exact search term in the page title. Anything under 10K is good so we are still on solid ground.
Next go to PageRank Search - SEO Tools - Search Engine Optimization, Google Optimization and search for your keyword without quotes. This nifty tool will display the top results with the Page Rank of each page. Page Rank is not the be-all end-all in judging how competitive a page may be but it is an indication. What we want to find out is what we are up against. If the top 5 results in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) are all PR5 and up, then we are in trouble. If they are all HubPages and Squidoo, and Ezine Aritcles, it will be a piece of cake.
When we do this for "fiber optic lighting" we see that there is some formidible competition but some easy stuff too. A mixed bag. The greatly feared Wikipedia page has PR6 but it is below the fold (bottom half of the page) and the #1 result has no PR. It may be worth a go.
You may wish to corroborate all of this by doing the search directly on Google, and clicking through each result to see the PR with your Google toolbar. (If you don't have it just search "google toolbar", find and install it in your browser. It shows you the PR of every page you visit).
4. Decide On Your Horizontal
Now you know your "vertical" market - fiber optic lighting, or whatever you may have chosen. This must now fit into a "horizontal" market. Three are covered here:
- physical products shipped from Amazon, Ebay or a multitude of other retailers
- information products shipped from ClickBank or other digital product marketplaces
- CPA income from a CPA (Cost Per Action) advertising network
5. Find A Product To Sell
Now you need something to sell. What you do next will vary depending on what decided in step 4:
- for physical products, just search your keyword on amazon.com and ebay.com. Try to find products to ship. Also look for retailers by searching your keyword on Google until you find one that can drop ship products for you. You will need to open an affiliate account with the chosen retailer. Procedures vary from one to another.
- For information products, visit clickbank.com, open an account, log in and click on "Market Place". Search products using your keyword until you find information products that serve your market. Do some ground work on the numbers after each product description: sale price, future, referred, gravity and % commission. This is too big a subject to cover here. If you are serious about doing ClickBank there are good resources here on this forum where you can find out more.
- For CPA revenues, you must join on or more CPA networks. You can begin by applying to NeverBlue, MaxBounty, CXDigital to mention but three. There are loads of them. Just search "CPA" on this forum.
Now go to squidoo.com and open an account. Write a 250 word article on your subject. Create a new lens and put the subject in a new text field. After the article, put an affiliate link to your product. This may be a ClickBank hop link, an Amazon affiliate link, or a creative provided by your CPA network. Squidoo will complain that your lens does not have enough stuff on it to make it interesting, so keep Squidoo happy and add some stuff. If you don't like Squidoo or if you find it too complicated you can always try HubPages. Stay away from WordPress because they do not like commercial blog postings.
Now you have a complete business all set up. You just need some customers. That means getting traffic.
7. Get Targeted Traffic
Go to lemonarian.com. Download the report that explains how to build a link wheel. Write a second 250 word article, different from the first one, to be used in your link wheels. Make sure your second article is a blog post that talks about your subject but does not appear to be trying to sell anything. You will get better results with review-type text rather than ad copy.
Open accounts on Weebly, Blogger, WordPress, Vox, LiveJournal and HubPages. Build a link wheel using these six Web 2.0 properties. Use your second article on all six. Duplicate content is ok, according to Lemonarian. Use your keyword in the anchor text of all the links to your money page, and the links to the other spokes of the wheel.
Build backlinks to the spokes of the link wheel using bookmarking sites such as A1webmarks , Ask, Backflip, Blinklist, Connectedy, Delicious , Diigo, Linkagogo, Mylinkvault, Spotback, Spurl, OYAX, Pixelmo, TeDigo, MyPIP, SyncOne, Yattle, Memfrag, Ziki, i89 and Chipmark . Try to put 1 to 3 new links per day per spoke of the wheel. This is tedious work so you may want to automate it. There are a number of automated services around this forum that have a free trial period. Use them, and if you haven't made a sale by the end of the free trial just cancel your subscription. But you can get this off the ground without spending any money, that much is certain.