Affiliate Niche Blog Setup: First Steps

Seth GodinRight in the middle of this fun Cross Blog Conversation with Vera, super affiliate Rae Hoffman (aka Sugarrae) posted this Seth Godin quote/graphic on her Facebook Page and said:

"That's affiliate marketing in 2013 in a nutshell. Creating a site or presence on the web of value centered around a topic you can actually contribute value on - and then helping your audience find the products, services and solutions they need."

This is exactly what we've been discussing in our live discussion about choosing the right niche (for you!), and finding a market you can truly - passionately - serve.

That said, profit potential and monetization ARE important. Obviously. So Vera's homework was to brainstorm product ideas for her new affiliate niche blog...

Lynn Terry and Vera Raposo

In my last post I suggested that Vera brainstorm freely about products, services, brands, etc that she might discuss on her new affiliate niche blog. In her reply, where she shared her list, she said it could also easily be called “Vera’s Wish List.”

This is exactly how you want to do your product brainstorming!

When you are your own target market, it's easy to make solid recommendations because they're based on your own research and personal experience - which are the type of recommendations people love, and take action on!

We'll dig into that list, and talk more about product selection and monetization, in a future post in this series. For now, Vera needs to get her new affiliate niche blog set up - and she has a question regarding content development. :D

Sidenote About Passion & Serving Your Market

We've talked a lot in this series about choosing a niche you're deeply passionate about, and how that can lead you to your ideal lifestyle. It gives you a platform to talk about the things that matter to you most, and it helps you get your life and business aligned into one goal moving in one direction. This is where you're going to find peace, fun, happiness, and of course success.

But it's not all foo-foo rah-rah happy smappy stuff. This is also what makes a business super successful. Not just in terms of how successful you are as a business owner, or how much money you can make. It's what makes a business that attracts readers and buyers. Your enthusiasm, your genuine attitude and personality, your dedication to your market - these things are what create fans, make getting traffic easy, and increases your conversion rates.

Just to say that it's not ALL about you. It's also about creating a business that makes a difference in the lives of others. Yes, even if you're a "kitchen gadget" or "RC helicopter" enthusiast! ;-) A great example is Michele Uncorked, which is the website of one of my members. Michele loves to drink wine, listen to music and COOK - and she shares her fabulous personality while doing all three on her fun blog.

Affiliate Niche Blog Setup: First Steps

Now that Vera knows her affiliate niche, she's ready to dive in and get started. I love to see people taking action!! :D In Vera's reply, she asked about creating content:

My next question to Lynn… "How much content should I now be prepared to write for this new blog to launch it out there?"

Once you choose your niche, and get excited about your topic, you'll start getting lots of content or topic ideas swirling around in your head.

My recommendation: use Evernote and document EVERY idea you have, from topics to products and everything in between. Keep an ongoing idea journal so you don't draw a blank when it comes time to implement! Evernote is ideal because you can access it from anywhere, and it syncs across all of your computers/devices. ;-)

There are only two pieces of content you need to create upfront, which leads us into your next steps - your homework assignment:

  • Set up your new domain name with your web host. Install WordPress. Choose a free theme to start. Create your About page, and write your first post - on what it means to be a "Faith Adventurist".
  • Set up mailing list for this site in Aweber. Create your opt-in form, and set your list up as a blog broadcast in your Aweber account.
  • Set up your Social Media channels. Flesh out those profiles with your picture, website link, and a fun compelling description. You want to set up specific social media accounts for this venture, so that you're not mixing topics/markets or using your personal accounts. At the very least, claim your name/brand with: Facebook Page, Twitter, Gmail/Google+, YouTube, Pinterest. (Vera: ideally you will use "FaithAdventurist" as your username across the board.)

The goal for now is to have your social channels set up, with links to your new site, with something on that site (about page & first post) to engage them if they click through. Make building your mailing list & social media channels your top priority for now! Get them excited about the topic, and encourage them to join you on the "adventurous journey". ;-)

Once you have that done, let's talk Blog Categories...

Start by listing general topics you think you'll be discussing on your new blog at FaithAdventurist.com and we'll go from there.

* The set-up and use of Categories and Tags is a common question, so follow along to watch how we do this on Vera's blog for a "live tutorial" on best uses of both Categories and Tags in WordPress...

Have questions? Want to add something to the discussion? Leave a comment!

Best,

p.s. I don't offer private coaching or personal consulting by phone or email. What I'm doing with Vera here publicly is our way of helping as many other people through this process as possible. If you would like for me to work with YOU personally, hands-on, in your business or in the setup of your online business, see:

Ready To Get Serious About Making Money Online?

You'll learn about my Private Mastermind Group at that link, which is only $37/month, and where I help people choose the RIGHT niche, set up their online business, get traffic and make sales, and all the little technical details in between. ;-)

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 15 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Lynn, I love seeing your processes & systems in action. What a great way for aspiring niche bloggers to follow along. I can't wait to see how this project progresses.

    Thanks to Vera for letting us see the inner workings.
    Tracy Roberts recently posted..Be Smart About Content CurationMy Profile

  2. I'm loving following this topic, as it's where I am now. One question - well, actually MANY, but here's the burning one...lol.
    I'm not particularly savvy with Google+ yet, so if I created a new Google+ account for a new website and used a pen name instead of the website name, should I change it to the website name? Can I change it? The same with Twitter?
    Bo recently posted..Theta Waves: The Line Between Conscious and SubconsciousMy Profile

    • Hi Bo,

      Ideally, if working under a pen name, you will set up all of your social accounts under that name - and keep things consistent across all of your properties/channels. You also have the option to set it up as your "brand" - such as Vera, which I recommend she sets up accounts with the username "FaithAdventurist". She'll have her real name both on the site and on her accounts as well of course, but you could also use a pen name there just the same. Whether you use a name or a brand for your usernames depends on your brand & objective...

      To give you a live example, for my TravelingLowCarb.com blog, I set up travelinglowcarb at Gmail and go by "lowcarbtraveler" as my username across Twitter, Facebook, etc.
      Lynn Terry recently posted..The Affiliate Survival Guide: Dominate Your Niche and Blow Away Your Competitors!My Profile

  3. Question: Why get Aweber so soon? Why not wait until she gets decent traffic to her site?

    • Great question, Kimmoy! I'm assuming Vera already has an Aweber account, or some type of mailing list manager, considering she has other blogs/sites. But either way, your primary goal in the beginning is to build a readership and following - which includes mailing list and social media. These are key to getting traffic, repeat visitors, and building up that all-important loyal readership that will ultimately make your site a success!

      Why wait until you get "decent traffic"? And how will you know exactly what that number is? Meanwhile losing the opportunity to stay in touch with people who ARE visiting your site from the very beginning... ;-)

      This reminds me of when I started my very first email newsletter, well over a decade ago. I promised weekly tips. The first week I had a few subscribers. The second week I had 9. I kept waiting to send out the "weekly tips" until I had a "decent number" of subscribers. And then it occurred to me: Those 9 people had NO idea there were only 8 other readers. And they didn't care. All the knew is that they requested tips, and they weren't receiving them! That was the day I started sending my newsletter, and realized I am writing to each person individually. The same goes for your website visitors - and you want to serve them all, whether it's a few or tens of thousands, to them... they are just one person. ;-)
      Lynn Terry recently posted..The Affiliate Survival Guide: Dominate Your Niche and Blow Away Your Competitors!My Profile

  4. hi Lynn

    I applaud your approach and like your mastermind group idea... I'll check it out soon after I'm done with revamping some of my niche affiliate blogs... I have 300+ I need to take next level...

    Anyway, Seth''s quote got my attention, and he's so right... you need to have an audience that likes you and buys from you, and create products to enhance their life and business further... but what do you recommend if we 're just starting out with zero clients, don't we have to create a product in the first place? :)
    John Gibb recently posted..Hello world!My Profile

    • Hi John,

      300?! Wowsa, lol. How in the world do you maintain and market that many sites? :D I look forward to hearing more...

      To answer your question, you do not *have* to create a product to start. You can, and that's a great way to enter a market, or you can build up a readership first - monetized in other ways - and then create products for them. There's always the option to be an affiliate for products others create as well, of course. There's no one right way to do it. ;-)
      Lynn Terry recently posted..How To Be A (Well-Paid) Professional BloggerMy Profile

  5. Right, right... there are more ways to go about it...

    How do I manage 300+ mini sites?

    Well, it's not easy... never been... never will...

    I have a system set into place, I outsource some key tasks, while juggling with hundreds of email per day and two toddlers who cry and need food... In AUG I'll take a week off, finally!

    You could find more about my success story (both wins and fails) in the Road to Success PDF ebook (free download via subscription)

    Does it help? :)

  6. Cheryl Paulson says:

    Thanks a lot for this amazingly informative post. I am planning to set up an affiliate blog, but hadn't really decided on the niche. I think some of your suggestions would finally help me decide.

  7. Hi Lynn, what do you think of using video instead of text for a blog? Or perhaps a combination of video and text?

    Really cool blog...I'll come back often!

  8. Clive Hitchcock says:

    Hi lynn this one is very inspiring. i remember when i first started my blog http://clive-hitchcock.com. its good to know there a other people and blogs out there willing to help others like yours. thank you

  9. Hi

    I love "realized I am writing to each person individually" that was the best part of the lesson for me today.

    I am just getting started with my affiliate site, have the domain name, some social sites, hosting and WordPress. Next set up I had not thought of doing .... mailing list for this site in Aweber. Create your opt-in form, and set your list up as a blog broadcast in your Aweber account.

    Thank you for such a creative, entertaining and educational site. It is much needed.

    Lois Dupre
    Anuated

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