Below I’ve laid out a plan for you to find profitable niche markets, produce content, and monetize a niche blog that will make you money every month. And we’re going to do this using completely free and available information on Amazon.com and a little insight from Google.
This guide, as well as the niche, are my gift to the person who wants it most. Let’s make money in 2011!
Follow these methods outlined below, and with some practice and patience under your belt, I promise you will be producing great content that ranks well in Google, informs consumers about the products they are searching for, and refers them directly to Amazon where you’ll get a cut of the sale.
Why All Affiliates Love Amazon
Amazon is arguably the most important and most trusted shopping juggernaut on the Internet. I love reading reviews before I buy anything and getting bargains, in fact, in 2010 I’ve probably bought more products through Amazon than anywhere else online.
Amazon took in revenues around $24.5 billion in 2009. They are masters of e-commerce, A/B testing and sales conversions, not to mention their brand recognition. If you’ve shopped online, you’ve heard of Amazon.
These facts make Amazon’s Website a great tool for product research and building profitable blogs. I’m going to walk through the steps and explain how to use Amazon as a money-making tool.
Amazon is my favorite way to monetize my Websites. Why?
Consumers Love Shopping on Amazon – I believe seeing the Amazon logo literally makes people want to shop, even if they aren’t necessarily shopping. My click/sale conversion with Amazon ads is in the double digits, somewhere between 10 and 15%.
Good Payouts – Payouts range from 4% and up, depending on the volume of orders you drive to Amazon in a month’s time. The more orders you bring, the higher your commission percentage.
Amazon Pays Commissions on ALL Items Purchased, not just your Ads – Someone clicks your ad, lands on Amazon and instead of purchasing the item they clicked on, they start doing all of their Christmas shopping. Pretty soon a cart is filled with someone’s whole Christmas list including a PS3, a knitting kit, a Victoria’s Secret bra, a collection of Dr. Seuss books, and a pair of fashionable reading glasses. Now, what was originally a $30 dollar purchase has become a $600 dollar transaction. And 6% of $600 on a single sale, dumped right into your account isn’t too shabby!
Amazon are masters at converting and up-selling. You’ll be surprised at the types of order referrals your simple niche blog ads will bring, often completely unexpected.
4) Get paid on time – Amazon pays out once a month at the end of the month. You get your money after the return period for your items, so you’ll have that month’s revenue within the next 60 days. Once you get into a rhythm and have conversions every month, there’s always a steady flow of income coming in.
First, Let’s Find A Good Niche – 15 Minutes
Go to Amazon.com and look at their basic categories on the Homepage. There are only 13 main categories to choose from at the time of writing this:
Pick a category and drill down from there. With the holidays fast approaching, I want to get into the Christmas spirit, so let’s do a blog on “toys”. I’m not really sure yet what kind of toys I’m going to write about yet, “toys” is far too general, but I know I want ’em.
So, under “Toys”, I clicked “Toys and Games”. Amazon’s toy page is basically an online shopping directory where we can choose by pretty much any way you would shop for toys: age group, brand names, and sub-divided toy categories.
Our goal here is to find something mainstream enough that people are buying, but not too competitive to get rankings for. It’s “e-commerce sense” that Amazon is only going to put its best selling items and top promotions on the front of its Toy category. We see the featured brands in this case are LEGO, Nerf, Crayola, Tamatown, Little Tykes, Fisher-Price, Barbie, and BeyBlade (not sure at all what this one is).
Let’s see what the heck a “Tamatown” is. OOOOooo, it’s a newly released revamp of those Bandai Tamaguchi digital pets that got popular after I was too old to want one. But that’s OK, because we now have a whole new generation of youth in need of fun stocking-stuffers that enable them to clean up pixel-poo and put their digital dog/cat/Japanese cartoon to bed.
And wow, this return of virtual pets aren’t just virtual pets; Tamatown has toys, accessories, and an online game now, too! So the potential for upsell here is huge if these toys really take off.
Check the Competition – 5 Minutes
Now that we have a pretty good idea for a product, we need to see how competitive it is in Search.
SHead on over to Google.com to do a quick SEO check-up on keywords. Check the competition in Google by searching for “TamaTown” “Tama-Go”, etc.
Tamatown – 37,400 Results
Tama-Go – 140,000 Results
This is EXTREMELY LOW competition for SEO. I’m honestly surprised at how low the competition is for this niche. I would have to credit this to being a brand new toy release. All the results are from Bandai and the major retailers selling the product (shopping results).
Knowing that Google and Yahoo like to mix up shopping results with information site results for most keywords, it looks like we’ve got a totally wide open market to provide information, feedback, and promote these products to that has a good chance of ranking in the Top 10.
NOTE: I also check the number of Google Ads for these keyword phrases. Advertisers for keyword terms are a good sign that businesses are MAKING MONEY promoting these products in PPC. I notice very little PPC advertising for these toys in Google Sponsored Results. This is usually not a good sign that this is a profitable niche.
But, keeping in mind this toy is literally brand new this year (Amazon launched it late August) and only seems to be sold at a few retailers and on Amazon. Considering I could build this site and write its content with a couple days of work, this doesn’t really bother me. It’s better to be ahead of the curve, you want markets that are relatively untapped. And since Amazon is promoting these on their main toy page, it must have at least some market potential, right?
And even if it doesn’t perform as well as we hope it does, a day or two worth of work and the cost of a domain name is easily justified to find out. Someone’s gotta do it.
Let’s make it our goal to produce a site about these toys and write the best content for Tamatown toys to move up in those Top 10 Google Results.
A Little Keyword Research – 10 Minutes
Go to Google’s keyword tool and type in the names of the products you’re researching and do a Search. What we are after is a list of keywords to use to promote this site to the top and generate traffic. I want to see only EXACT matches for these keywords using Google’s keyword tool:
tamagotchi town – 14,000
tamatown – 8,100
tama go – 22,200 (broad)
tamagotchi world – 1900
NOTE: To make this very clear yet again, I would normally not build a niche blog for anything taking in less than $0.50/click in Google Ads. This is to make sure the products we’re promoting are competitive enough to get sales referrals. These terms have little or no Google competition. But, again, this is a very specific niche toy that looks like only a few big retailers are pushing, so I still say we give it a shot.
These terms above are a few of the most important keyword terms we’ll go for. When we write our content, we’ll include many, many more like “virtual pets”, “digital pets”, etc.
Choose a Domain Name – 5 Minutes
Let’s think for a minute who we’re writing for. We don’t care to attract kids with this blog; we want a buying market with credit card in hand. In this case, the buying market is made up of parents.
Parents like to know about the toys their children want. They want to find information on them to make the choices of toys their kids want. Kids ask for things all the time, so as a parent, you want to learn a thing or two about the toys your kids ask about and then shop for the best deal you can.
Let’s provide parents all the information they need to buying Tamatown Tama-go Toys and drum up some desire to purchase them.
Typically, you want a domain name that includes keywords, and it should, but we could choose any variation we want.
Here are some ideas off of the top of my head:
I like “TamaTownToyGuide.com“. It says it all; it’s about Tamatown toys (not the Tamatown Website) and it’s a guide about the toys specifically.
Find some Content Topics – 1 hour
We need to research and learn all about Tamatown toys so we can write useful content guides. (See my post on Writing Copy for SEO.)
Here are some potential writing topics I just brainstormed off the top of my head. These first lists usually change as I go about writing, but to get the brain juice flowing:
– What is Tamatown Tama-Go?
– History of Tamaguchi Virtual Pets and TamaTown Toys
– Tama-Go Features (Why your Kids will Love Tama-Go)
– Best Tama-go Toys for Boys/Girls
– Tamatown Carry Case for Collectors
– Most Popular Tamatown Toys
– How Tamatown Tama-Go is Played (Instructions?)
– What can you do with a Tama-Go?
– Holiday Shopping Guide to Tamatown Tama Go Toys
– Tamatown Toys Comparison Chart (Compare accessories and toys, list their unique features. A well made comparison charts will almost always convert well into sales.)
To research, look at the official site for the products, read Amazon product descriptions and reviews for a wealth of information. You’ll have a ton of content in no time.
Build the Site – (As long as it takes)
I’m assuming you know what you’re doing here, so I am not going into detail in how to build a niche blog. Of course, you can call us for help. 🙂
Sign Up & Monetize our Blog with Amazon’s Affiliate Program – 30 Minutes
If you are not an affiliate yet, go sign up for Amazon’s affiliate program. You may have to wait a couple days for approval. When you get your affiliate account, sign into your admin panel and start searching for the products to create your ads.
What kind of ads should you use? It’s really up to you. The interactive carousels have converted well for me in the past, but every site is different. Since Amazon usually has excellent pricing, I also prefer ads where the prices are clearly displayed.
Now, go Promote the Hell out of It!
All that’s needed is some content building/edits, some link building and submissions and you’ve got a site that should pull some ad revenues once the visits start coming in. And, even if it fails, no worries. You don’t know until you build. Start finding new niches and products you can promote!
You can literally do this with any brand, category, or niche market for products. Stick to profitable, low-competition keywords and niches that have strong market potential.