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So you want to start a new business with a blog. A brand new affiliate marketing business. Make no mistake. A blog is a business and you must treat it like one. But it can be daunting. Where do you even start? Many people simply find a topic and grab a domain and start writing content.
Then 6 months down the line, they have very little traffic. And even less profit and they are left to wonder what went wrong. All the great content and passion for a topic will be meaningless if you can’t get traffic to your blog. Starting a micro-niche blog, like any business, takes planning and a solid foundation.
You need to have a plan. You need to understand not only the niche you are entering but the way affiliate marketing and search engines interact. There is a lot of information to absorb and it can get overwhelming. Especially for someone who is new at this.
That’s where these 5 tips come in. These will help you lay the groundwork for a successful micro-niche blog before you ever write a single word of content for it. The preparation will give your blog the best possible start to its life online.
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Research Your Micro-Niches Competition And Traffic
You have a great idea for a micro-niche website. That’s a great start. Brainstorming a niche that you want to pursue can often be a tricky proposition. But that is not enough. Once you find that niche or topic you want to build your new blog around you needs to do some thorough research.
You may have heard the idea that any niche can be profitable. There is a grain of truth to that statement, but it is overly optimistic. If your niche is way too specific then you won’t have the traffic to really generate the income you want. Too broad and you run into the big authority sites.
The fine balance of enough traffic and lower competition is why you research your niche first. Before you write a word of content before you even pick a domain and a brand. You have to be sure that the niche you choose is going to work for you long-term.
No one wants to throw away 6-months of hard work when they find out their great niche idea doesn’t have a large enough audience.
So what are some great signs that your micro-niche is viable? The first and most important marker is competition. Yes, you want to avoid a huge amount of competition but we achieve this with our keywords. You want the niche itself to be pretty competitive.
Because if there is competition there is money to be made there. Simple as that. The competition is good. Your job is not to completely avoid competition it is to beat the competition with better content. Don’t fear the competition, beat the competition.
After finding the competition you need to access them. Are you going up against huge e-commerce sites or large authority sites? If you are, it is not the end of the world. It simply means you need to target long-tail keywords. Once you are confident that there is enough search volume and interest and the competition is acceptable then you can really start to build the foundation of your new blog. And that starts with our next topic.
Research Your Micro-Niches Trends
This tip might not be as obvious as simply researching your niche’s competition and search volume. But it is crucial for the long-term viability of your blog. But what does that mean? The trend of your micro-niche. Simply put it means it is a fad or is it here to stay?
If you started a blog about Crocs sandals that were very popular/hated a few years ago. Would that blog still be as relevant or profitable as it was when you started it? I doubt it. It is still probably making you some money but nothing like what you expected from it.
The trend for Crocs started going downward and stayed there for years until recently someone decided to bring them back. If you manage to hit the upwards trends every time something comes back in style you can do well in these volatile micro-niches.
But for the most part, This is the type of volatility that your blog can do without. So how do you avoid these ups and downs?
One way is to find a micro niche in an evergreen blogging niche. Pets, weight-loss, dating, and finance are always going to be popular, competitive, and profitable for a blog. There are certainly fluctuating inside these evergreen niches.
You can see the ups and downs of Crocs in the Google Trends graph. It peaked in 2007 or so then dropped and only rebounded in late 2017/early 2018. Trends are important long term.
Fad diets come and go, for example. So you still need to be careful and do thorough research even for these evergreen niches but in general, they are more trend-resistant than many of the others. Google Trends is a great place to see the interest ina specific subject over time.
Check for Affiliate Programs and Products
Affiliate programs are going to be your main income source for your new blog. That may change once your traffic starts to increase and you can command higher ad revenue. But that also depends on your niche as some have much higher revenue from clicks associated with them.
Once you have done all your basic research you will want to see if there are any affiliate programs that you can leverage to start earning income. For most niches, Amazon is a great choice. However, their commissions tend to be low and their basic cookie is not great at all.
But if you choose to use Amazon it is important to research some of the products that you will be promoting within your niche. Ask questions like “What are the prices of the products?” Ideally, you want to have some high-ticket items to promote along with more affordable products.
How popular are the products within the niche? Find the ones that really sell well on Amazon and build your promotions around those. You are laying the groundwork for a successful start by putting in the extra effort before you even build your webpage.
If you want to use something other than Amazon as your affiliate partner, then make sure to research your niche’s affiliate programs. You can use Google to find some of them or you can find some of the big affiliate networks like Commission Junction and ShareASale and sign up for those. A basic rule of thumb is to find at least 10 good, active affiliate programs for your chosen niche. Typically these smaller partners have much better affiliate terms. Let’s look at an example.
In this case, we’ll have a look at dog clothes. A pretty good niche actually. Amazon is going to give you about a 4-6% commission for your efforts. Their basic cookie is around 20 hours. Not great, but they are trusted and everyone is comfortable using them.
But, with a little extra promotion, you can use a smaller affiliate with better terms and a more focused inventory. In this case, Muttropolis is a great partner to use for the dog clothes niche. The commission is 12%, almost triple that of Amazon.
The cookie is 120 days. The cookie alone makes this affiliate much more desirable. And the prices are very similar. As a basic rule of thumb, never try and force a higher commission product if it is disproportionately more expensive. It is bad form. You want to give your readers the best options for the best prices, even if you take less in the commission.
The downside is that much of your readership has probably never heard of Muttropolis and doesn’t have the same level of trust that they have with Amazon. This is not a negative it is an opportunity. Craft a campaign around Muttropolis to educate your readers on their store and its history.
You can do this for all of your affiliate programs. It is good, helpful content and it makes using a smaller partner much more viable. One last thing to keep in mind about affiliate programs. They are a reflection of your blog. If you promote a bad affiliate partner with terrible products, your readers will blame you and not the partner program. Be sure to choose your affiliate programs wisely.
Find 10+ Good Longtail Keywords Before You Write A Single Article
You want to have enough keywords at the ready when you start your new blog. Find at least 10, preferably 30-50 great longtail keywords to base your content on. These are crucial to getting a good start for your new micro-niche blog.
The articles you write from the keywords will generate the high-converting organic traffic you need to build a successful affiliate marketing business.
By doing the keyword research before you start writing the content you will be confident that there are enough long-tail keywords and traffic to write dozens of articles. There are many cases where people find one or 2 great ones and then struggle to find anything else and their content creation grinds to a halt. You can avoid this by making a to-do list with all your newfound keywords.
It also gives you a structure you can follow. Need new content? Just go down the list of keywords and find something you want to write about today. It is a ready-made hit list for your new blog.
And instead of just a topic, you have a verified keyword that you know will bring in traffic for your blog. So let’s look at a little keyword research using the Jaaxy keyword research tool. There are dozens of tools you can use, pick the one that suits you best. Most have a free trial you can use to check it out. Jaaxy and Longtail Pro are the two that I use most regularly.
On to the example.
For continuity sake, we’ll stick with the dog clothes example. You don’t want to target the head keyword. In this case, “dog clothes”. It is too broad and there is very little intent in the search, as you can see below.
We want to find longtail keywords. Ideally with a good amount of buyer intent. The types of keywords usually include words like “best”, “top”, “buy”, etc. So let us see if we can find some for dog clothes.
The keyword I chose here is “cute dog clothes for small dogs”. It fits squarely into our niche and has a decent amount of buyer intent with it. But look at what happens when we do some research on it.
Not only do we discover that our targetted keyword is outstanding. Good volume and very low competition. But we find at least 2 more great keywords that can be used for other pieces of content. “Cheap dog clothes for small dogs” and “cute accessories for small dogs” are content ideas all to themselves.
So after about 5 minutes of keyword research, we have at least 3 topics for articles. And that is how easy it is. Especially when you have good keyword research tools. For this example, I used Jaaxy but there are many other great ones you can try out.
This might be the most important tip I can give you when you are just starting out with your new niche blog. Be Patient. It is not uncommon to go 3 months, 6 months, and in some cases up to a year before you start to see any real income.
The first few months for a new blog will get next to no organic search traffic regardless of how good your keywords are. Google simply doesn’t view new blogs with any relevance. The more competitive the niche the longer it will take to get any traction. It simply takes time. You must have great content, great SEO, and great keywords. But it still takes time.
And you still need to be patient. There is a stat floating around that 90% of all blogs fail in the first 6 months. Whether it is a real stat or an urban legend grown out of control, who knows? But there is always a bit of truth in something like this.
And the biggest reason for the failures is impatience.
The End Of The Beginning
These tips are there for you to use before you ever write a single word of content. The end of this process is simply the beginning of your blog. Now the hard work begins. Constant, creative, and helpful content will be your focus for the lifetime of your blog.
Whether you are writing most of it yourself or outsourcing the writing to others you will still need to have a hands-on approach to content creation and editing for your blog. Ultimately this is your voice. Your passion and your business.
A blog is a business. You must treat it like one. Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into the preparations and research you really need to do before jumping into a micro-niche blog. After you are up and running shoot for 30-50 pieces of great content for the first 6 months or so. That will give you the basis to grow in the future. It is going to take a lot of hard work and even more patience but you can do it.
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Thank you for visiting and as always have a wonderful day.