Okay, you’ve got a beautifully themed and customized blog all ready to become a massive money-maker.
So now what?
Now you add high-quality content and advertisements that will (hopefully) help you earn money. Content first…always. Never try to put advertising on a niche blog before adding at least a few bits of content. Your advertising will see no use in paying money to be put on a site that had no chance of drawing traffic.
So now you know why Content Is King but how do you write good content? The cheapest and, in my opinion best, way is to write your own articles based on your knowledge of the subject and your own research. I have written plenty of articles on subjects I knew nothing about simply by researching online but it is faster and easier to write about something you know about which is why I suggest you pick a niche you have some basic knowledge of. Use your niche keywords and phrases and come up with at least 5 to 10 articles that will go on your blog. The best articles are usually between 300 and 600 words long and be sure not to keyword stuff (using your keywords more than once per hundred words). The search engines and your advertisers don’t like keyword stuffing because consumers don’t like keyword stuffing. Writing articles isn’t as hard as you might think so at least give it a try.
If writing isn’t your thing, you can always pay someone else to write for you if you have the money in your start-up budget. Type in freelance writers in Google and you’ll find loads of good sites to find writers. If you go this route, ask for a sample of writing first. Dont’ pay before you know that you will be getting quality writing. Also, have anyone who writes for you agree to a contract stating that you will possess full rights to the finished articles. Be very clear about what you want in an article and when you expect the work to be done. Don’t pay until you proofread the finished work.
Probably the worse way to get content for your niche blog is through free content articles. While this can be an acceptable way to fluff out your site, any free content you use has most likely been use on other sites too. Some advertisers and Google especially does not like “duplicate” material. Occasionally you will find an article that provides good information that you can use for your own article but stay away from copying.
Ironically the worst way to get content for your blog is also one of the best ways to get traffic for your blog. Writing articles (different from the ones that you put on your niche site), adding a resource box with your bio and link and submitting them to article directories to be picked up by other niche marketers is a terrific way to get readers to your site. In fact I recommend article writing as the best free way to get traffic.
Once your site has some well written and informative articles about your niche it is time to find affiliate programs and advertising for your blog. I’ve had good and bad luck with some and I find it is mostly an individual preference but here’s a list of the affiliate and content advertisers that I use on my sites:
- Google Adsense – the best known and probably the most used content advertisers. It free to join and easy to use. The variety of ads that they can bring to your niche blog is the best thing about them. The $100 payout that you have to reach before getting a check is the worst.
- Commission Junction- this a directory for finding affiliate products. They have so many products that you are almost guaranteed to find something for your niche. You will have to sign up for the merchants affiliate program through CJ but this is usually quick and easy enough to do. Because you are dealing with many different affiliate programs (all managed by Commission Junction) the terms of each products is different. The ease and variety make this site a must have while I haven’t personally found anything I don’t like about them.
- Clickbank- similar to Commission Junction, clickbank deals more with products that are available for immediate download upon purchase. They are also known for working more with publishers who are just starting out in affiliate programs since it is easy to start an program with Clickbank’s help.
- Kontera- this site provides advertising linked to keywords in your site’s content. When a reader mouses over the keyword link, they are met with a discreet advertisement based on the word. It can be difficult to get accepted to Kontera so read the requirements carefully and if at first you don’t get accepted…reapply in a few months when your site is bigger and better known.
These are just a few sites to get you started. Search Google for “your niche” + affiliate and you will likely find many more programs you can sign up for. Look for ones who pay a high percentage of the sale price and offer plenty of advertising resources for you in the shape of buttons, banners, and prewritten ad copy for email marketing.
This post turned out to be longer than I expected. Next time we’ll talk about driving traffic to your site and making your niche blog worth revisiting.