LF Ideas to monetize a cooking niche mailing list

by longblog 14 replies
Howdy! I have a question and I can't find a similar thread. I guess this is the right place to ask, but I'm not quite sure. Here's my issue:

I have a food blog/authority site with a lot of traffic, great serps, and loyal readers. I've never built a list off this site because I didn't think there would be any way to monetize it (I know, I'm retarded). Today after speaking with a well known member of this forum who is huge into list building, I decided to add a simple squeeze box in the side bar that offers nothing, it just says "join other food enthusiasts and get our cool updates".

Yeah, so I added that squeeze box about an hour ago and already have several subscribers to my double opt-in list. I can see this list growing big pretty fast.

Does anyone have ANY ideas on how to monetize this sort of list? I want to stay away from clickbank crap, since it's usually just that. I know I can send out amazon links, which I plan to do, but those pay fairly low for this type of niche. I'm thinking of trying to find some cooking courses and stuff like that, but I don't see that converting well, since it's going to be location dependent, etc. I thought about trying travel stuff since food enthusiasts usually enjoy wine tasting etc, but it seems to me like that would also have pretty low conversions. Does anyone have any ideas for a way to monetize this into a profitable funnel without sending junk to my viewers which I highly respect and don't want to piss off?

Ideally I want to explore a way to shift a portion of the list into a "make money online" list since that is going to be an easier sell as far as I'm aware, but that's going to require a much more thought out, long term approach. The majority of the list probably isn't interested in that sort of topic, but there must be some cross-over if the list gets big enough.

Any thoughts or advice you can provide is welcome. Thanks for reading.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #cooking #ideas #list #mailing #monetize #niche
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  • Profile picture of the author DustonMcGroarty
    Hello - I'll try to give you a few different options to try.

    My Dad and I have a few different sites in the gardening niche and rely 100% on our list for income. I can tell you right off the bat that you would be better off selling your own products (which I'm sure you already know).

    Though, promoting some affiliate products to start would be a good way to gauge what your readers are interested in.

    Either way, whatever you decide to promote, this is the model I would suggest you follow:

    1. Create downright awesome content on a consistent basis. We try to do AT LEAST two blog posts a week. I'm working towards getting that closer to five.

    The content serves multiple purposes... it gives your current readers value but it also attracts new readers from the search engines. That's why after taking a step back and looking at our current model, it just makes sense to put out more awesome content. We currently get around 80-100 opt-ins a day ALL from organic search. (The link in my signature for the no-optin free report describes this in detail).

    2. Once you have new content created, send an email to the list telling them to go read the new content and include a 4-5 line ad inside your email pitching a product. This way, you're still providing value in every email (keeps open rates up) and... you're able to make some money promoting a product.

    This has been our model for 14 years now and has worked tremendously. Just remember... it has to be world-class content. The reader comes first.

    We also have embedded ads throughout our blog posts that link to our sales pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author simonpiemon
    I saw build a paid membership from this. That could be GOLD content, or a daily / weekly newsletter, whatever pushes their buttons.

    Important thing is though, make it cheap, $5 a month.

    If you've got a lot of customers already, just get some of them to pay for more of the same.

    Make them VIPs!
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    My stuff...
    1 simoncrabb.com (consulting and coaching - I've been a full time affiliate marketer since 2000)
    2 plrproducers.com (free and paid PLR products)
    3 concealeddeals.com (digital downloads deals site)

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  • Profile picture of the author longblog
    Thanks for the ideas guys. I wonder what sort of product I would create for the cooking niche though.
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh Richardson
      Originally Posted by longblog View Post

      Thanks for the ideas guys. I wonder what sort of product I would create for the cooking niche though.
      May seem obvious, and not trying to be clever, but have you thought about offering Recipes?

      But jazz it up a bit, make it recipes that taste real good for say under $20.

      There's probably a lot of free places they can find recipes, but maybe just for the sake of convenience you could deliver recipes for the whole week?

      My mum would be a great example, she knows she can find things for free if she takes the time - but she'd much rather have it packaged together for convenience so its easy to navigate and sent from an authority, somebody that she "trusts". And yes she'd pay for it. Especially if its something low like $5/pm as another poster suggested.


      Might be worth thinking about Healthy food too - you could almost segment people who are interested in healthy food are also interested in Losing Weight, or Keeping fit.

      Just a quick brain dump
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      • Profile picture of the author GaryCarlyle
        I would go for more health drinks for content. Green smoothies are massive right now and would be genuinely helping people.

        Then I would follow some of the above advice and simply make a forum and give people levels they can attain from posting/commenting or buy. They are also PLR reports/books you could sell or give only member access too.

        If you want to convert some of the traffic to the IM niche I would sign Up to Empower Network as you can find banners for that simply in Google that convert very well and as it is an MLM people will be selling for you too.
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      • Profile picture of the author longblog
        Awesome, thanks for all the great ideas!

        Originally Posted by Josh Richardson View Post

        May seem obvious, and not trying to be clever, but have you thought about offering Recipes?

        But jazz it up a bit, make it recipes that taste real good for say under $20.

        There's probably a lot of free places they can find recipes, but maybe just for the sake of convenience you could deliver recipes for the whole week?

        My mum would be a great example, she knows she can find things for free if she takes the time - but she'd much rather have it packaged together for convenience so its easy to navigate and sent from an authority, somebody that she "trusts". And yes she'd pay for it. Especially if its something low like $5/pm as another poster suggested.


        Might be worth thinking about Healthy food too - you could almost segment people who are interested in healthy food are also interested in Losing Weight, or Keeping fit.

        Just a quick brain dump
        My neighbor was saying the exact same thing last night. I believe this is the direction I will go in. Probably offer a week's worth of recipes with a complete shopping list.
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  • Profile picture of the author simonpiemon
    You often don't have to even have new content, or a product. Just curate what content you do have in a useful easy to consume way.

    A lot of people will pay a subscription to have content delivered right in their inbox and save them from having to trawl through a large site with a lot of information.

    It depends on what your current content is though - curate, extend, compliment.
    Signature

    My stuff...
    1 simoncrabb.com (consulting and coaching - I've been a full time affiliate marketer since 2000)
    2 plrproducers.com (free and paid PLR products)
    3 concealeddeals.com (digital downloads deals site)

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  • Profile picture of the author longblog
    Up to almost 40 double opt-in subs in less than 24 hours with no freebee. I'm kicking myself for not doing this years ago. I'm going to need a bigger plan at get response by the end of the month if it continues with this type of growth.
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    • Profile picture of the author marco005
      Hi,

      thats an interesting thing these food niches...

      to build a list,how I find giveaways events to give freebie to the opt in subcribers?

      @DustonMcGroarty; do you get this amount of subscribers with free traffic,or do you buying ads ....??


      best wishes
      marco005
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      • Profile picture of the author longblog
        Originally Posted by marco005 View Post

        Hi,

        thats an interesting thing these food niches...

        to build a list,how I find giveaways events to give freebie to the opt in subcribers?

        @DustonMcGroarty; do you get this amount of subscribers with free traffic,or do you buying ads ....??


        best wishes
        marco005
        Well the best way is to create your own freebie, but it's not always necessary. You can build a list without any freebie if you have quality engaging content, as I did with this website. You can also find free PLR content to give away if you feel that would encourage people to sign up.

        I managed to land about 850 subscribers in one week on this site. I had the site up for sale on flippa at the same time I was building the list and it sold after about a week, so I don't know how big the list is now. I would imagine the list is now pretty substantial, all without a freebie.
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  • Profile picture of the author marco005
    Hi,

    850 subscribers in one week? That is amazing, how you do that?

    best wishes
    marco005
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  • Profile picture of the author marco005
    Hi,

    @longblog; yeah that is great, but how you get this traffic? What you do and where the traffic comes from, article syndicate (how many articles in month?) , facebook ads,pinterest..... ???

    best wishes
    marco005
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  • Profile picture of the author longblog
    It was all organic traffic. I didn't do any of that stuff, but it was an aged domain with pr4. I did do some limited article marketing, and blog directory submission back when I started the site in 09, as well as comment on related blogs to make friends in the blogosphere. If you write quality original content the readers are looking for, traffic kind of takes care of itself. Back to the old adage of content is king, I guess.
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