Today’s the day one of my baby blogs crossed 300K page views!
[in 15 months from the start of the blog]
And I want to take a moment to celebrate this.
Before I jump right into the juicy details.
Now, please keep in mind this is a PART-TIME blog which means until very recently, I had little to no help building this baby from the ground up.
I’m not one of those bloggers who ran 20 websites for decades and had a ton of experience doing this.
No, I started from zero and worked my way to the ground up, learning and improvising along the way.
I started my very first blog in 2017 and ended up closing that a year later.
So what did I do, that made a ton of difference?
1. Know your niche inside-out.
You often hear the “money is in the niches” in the blogging ecosystem. And irrespective of what you pick, you NEED to know it inside out.
The niche you pick can evolve a lot over time based on what you learn in the market.
I started out with an expat blog, learned that I had made some mistakes while picking that niche and that it wasn’t where I wanted to go. It did take me a year and a half to figure this out though.
This is also the period I transitioned from having a hobby blog to actually thinking of blogging as a profession.
So I shut down this blog, and started a second blog in a different niche that I felt was a better fit for me, the audience I wanted to reach out to and also had a monetization potential.
You can read my top 5 reasons why I think blogs don’t make money here.
My point here is that when you pick a niche or even pivot to a new niche there are a few things that you should be crystal clear about
- Is there a potential to make money in this niche?
- Do you love this niche enough to stick it out for a few years before you see any profits?
- Are you willing to invest to learn more about this niche?
- Is this a niche you are comfortable building an audience in?
Once you start to think along these lines, the answers will become clearer.
I may have multiple hobbies but not all of them are the ones that I can invest in or that other people might want to invest in.
If you came here looking for a simple answer, I’m going to tell you the top niches that exist on the web for making money right now.
- Making Money: Yes, ironic as it sounds, people will ALWAYS want to make more money. Now this niche can have tons of sub-niches like making money with Amazon, making money with blogging, making money with coaching, so on and so forth.
- Health: Who doesn’t want to live a healthier, happier life? If this is a topic that you love, think about having a blog in this niche.
- Relationships: We are nothing if not a sum of all our human relationships. Whether it’s about your love life, your kids, parenting, this niche is extremely popular and profitable for good reasons.
- Personal Development: A recent but profitable niche. We no longer want to do soul-sucking jobs and have no meaning to life. If you believe you have the knowledge or skill in this niche, you can definitely monetize it through a blog.
- Hobbies: Perhaps a much harder niche to monetize than the top 4, but done right, with the right target audience, sharing a hobby with others is also an excellent way to make money online. Think languages, crafts, cooking, travel, sports, etc.
Now, I don’t mean to say that you can’t have success if your niche falls outside of this, but just that it would be easier for you to make a living online with these than you would with other niches.
It’s no different than starting a milkshake shop in a town that really cares about coffee. You always should be thinking about your business (online or offline) in terms of demand and supply.
If there is no demand for you or your skill-set, no matter how fancy your shop is, you won’t have enough customers to make it worth your while.
2. Create a content marketing plan and stick to it.
Just by the virtue of having a blog, you are not going to get traffic and sales. You need a PLAN.
A blog is simply a marketing channel for your products or services. If you monetize your blog with ads then you offer advertising services to your partners, If you are a coach, then you offer coaching services. If you sell your printables, you are selling your products USING your blog or website.
You get traffic because you offer content (information) that your audience is hungry for and once they trust you, you can move them up to be a client or a customer, irrespective of what you have to offer.
This is no different than running a brick-and-mortar business. You open a new shop. A potential customer comes in and asks you questions, reads your flyers, sees your free events, and then decides they want to be a regular!
In short, this means that EVERY article you write should have a clear:
- AUDIENCE – who are you writing this for? What will they learn? Does anyone care about what you have to say?
- PURPOSE – what do you hope to achieve? money? traffic? leads? clients?
If you have a clear audience you are producing content for and a clear purpose, you then go about creating a marketing or promotion plan.
How exactly are you going to reach more people and grow your blog traffic?
Which leads me to my last point.
3. Pick one platform and dominate it. And then move on to the next.
Let’s be real here.
You probably have a 9-5. You have friends, partners, a family that often complains of how little time you have for them.
Much as you wish, you CANNOT be everywhere. Especially at the beginning, when you are just learning to walk.
So you gotta pick 1 traffic generation platform for you and your niche and stick to it.
You need to master it, set it on “automate” and then focus on the next platform.
If you try to be everywhere at the same time, you won’t be anywhere.
I learned this the hard way with my blogs. And even though I’m blessed to have a good social media audience (roughly 30K followers), not all of them are potential readers or customers.
In fact, I would argue that most social media platforms are useless for traffic generation, especially when you are starting from scratch.
If you start out with thousands of followers, then you can afford to reverse this process.
For the rest of us, we need to have a clear winner.
For me, and for thousands of others, this winning platform was Pinterest.
Today, Google also brings me about 40% of my traffic, but it wasn’t the same when I started out.
Thanks to the traffic and income I get from Pinterest, I can focus more on SEO and optimizing my website.
I use FB/IG for brand building and engaging with my audience. But that’s about it.
If I had to sum up the traffic I get from my 20K FB+IG followers, it would be less than 5% of my total traffic.
So I focus my time, energy and content creation + marketing efforts on platforms that work for me.
A short term social media platform and a long-term search engine.
This may change in another few years, and then I’m going to have to learn a new way to market, but until then, let’s stick to what we know shall we?
If you’d like to learn how to become a boss at driving Pinterest traffic, head here to get on the waitlist for my training program.
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