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The Humor Niche

March 23, 2009

Do you have a great sense of humor? Do you have a quirky sense of humor? Are you just looney and offbeat in a way that’s amusing to others? Then you have a niche you can use to make money, and that’s the humor niche.

I’ve seen humor sites of varying quality during my travels across the Net, ranging in quality from hilarious to “I wish I hadn’t come here”. The ones that do well are those that can appeal to the sense of humor of their target niche, and there are quite a few success stories. The Onion, Failblog, and Cracked.com all come to mind as successful repeat traffic magnets because of their styles of humor. Heck, The Onion even had its own movie.

If you want to start a humor site and make money, here are a few options I’ve seen before:

  • A full-blown blog: Technically, this would be the generic content site strategy for humor. However, if you go this route, blogging platforms make content management so much easier than direct alterations to HTML code. That’s why I recommend a blogging platform for the content approach to humor. Failblog (a video blog) uses this format, and even has its own YouTube channel.

  • A web comic: I see the occasional web comic on the front page of Digg, so they do generate traffic. Again, they’re of varying quality from “Ugh” to “Cool”. If you can draw comics, you might want to consider this route.

  • Jokes in the email: Yes, you can use humor to list build. Granted, the jokes I get from my last sign-up are miserable, but that doesn’t mean you won’t make someone laugh if you’re good at comedy. Building your income stream this way is just like any other type of email marketing.

If you can do it, humor is a great niche. Vulgar humor isn’t so great, because its so ubiquitous its really doesn’t stand out. However, the ability to humor people to real laughter over and over again is a sure-fire traffic magnet, and something you should consider to leverage a talent for comedy into money making online.

Seriously, how do you make a beautiful, sellable ebook? Find your answers today with The Ebook Walkthrough!

My name is Ryan Ambrose, and I’m one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online.


How to Pick a Profitable Niche

March 9, 2009

I don’t know why so many internet marketers think that there’s some kind of hidden secret to being successful at making money online. If you didn’t know better you would think there was a secret money making manifesto buried under John Reese’s house or something like that. Well, I’ve got news for you; there is no secret to making money online!

The same is true for finding a profitable niche market; there is no hidden secret to that either. The process is actually quite simple and in this post, I’m going to give you the basics of niche research. Follow this simple niche finding guide and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a profitable niche for you to focus your internet marketing efforts on.

The first step in the process of picking a money making niche is to just find something. It can be anything, it really doesn’t matter what it is as long as you find a starting point. Think of things that you or your friends are interested in, or stuff that you often see being sold online. If you can’t think of anything just go to eBay and check out what the hot selling items are there.

After you find a possible niche go to the Google Keyword Tool and check the niche to see how many searches there are for the main keyword phrase related to it. Chances are you’ll get a large list of related keywords from the search. It will show you how often each one is searched for every month on average.

After you have the keyword list, go through each of them one by one and plug them into the actual Google search engine to see how many competing sites there are. Use quotes around the keyword phrase so you only get sites with exact matches. Since there will probably be a lot of keywords you don’t have to check them all, just several of the main ones.

Now, let’s say a keyword phrase gets an average of 1000 monthly searches and you found there are 10,000 competing sites. There’s a simple formula you can plug these figures into and get the Keyword Efficiency Index (KEI). The formula is (monthly searches / competing sites) X monthly searches. If the KEI is 100 or greater the niche is typically considered to have profit potential. In our example it would be (1000/10,000)X1000 = 100, so it that niche is a potential money maker.

Finally, you need to find out if there are any products being sold in that niche and any Adwords campaigns being shown for the keywords. If there are, this is more evidence that the niche could be profitable because most people won’t take the time to create a product or pay for ads if there’s no money in the niche. But even if there aren’t any products or ads it could just mean that you found a completely untapped niche. The potential still exists that it’s a money making niche, however it’s not likely that you are the first to find it, so you might need to do more research if that ends up happening.

As you can now see, niche research is not very complicated and there aren’t any hidden secrets to it. Anyone with basic computer skills can find a profitable niche if they really want to. It basically boils down to finding out what people are searching for, seeing how much competition there is, and figuring out if products exist within the niche. If everything looks good, the money making potential is probably there.

No, I’m not kidding, it really is that simple!

Dedicated to your success,
Trent Brownrigg
Helping aspiring entrepreneurs find home business ideas since 2003.



What If You Can’t Find A Niche That You Are Passionate About?

July 14, 2008

Question Mark

In my previous posts on finding the right niche to market to I said that it is much easier to build a business by sticking with one niche market that you LOVE.

While this is true, this assumes that you can find something you are passionate about.

What if you can’t find a niche market that you are passionate about?

What if there is no money in the niche markets you enjoy the most?

I have not seen these questions answered by many people. The first time I saw this answered was when I was doing religious study, but I have also seen it answered by a few business people.

So, what is the answer?

First, let’s take a quick look back at my 7 step niche finding system:


1. Make A List Of Your Passions

2. Make A List Of Things You Do Well

3. Merge The First Two Lists

4. Choose Your Favorite 3-5 Niches

5. Determine The Traffic Potential

6. Determine The Money Making Potential

7. Make Sure You Have Time For The Niche

If none of the niches that you are passionate about look profitable, then skip step 1 (1. Make A List Of Your Passions). At the end you will have a list of niches that you are good at and that make money. If none of the niches that you are good at (or have knowledge about) are niches that you can make money in (which is possible, but unlikely), then you need to skip steps1-4. Which means all you are left doing is finding profitable niches (steps 5-7).

After completing steps 5 through 7 you now have a profitable niche to target. That’s what you do when you can’t find a good niche in areas that you are passionate about.

“What about the passion? Aren’t you going to have a problem staying in this niche if you don’t have passion for it?”

That is the million dollar question… and despite what I may have said in the past the million dollar answer is that you need to…

Love the niche that you choose! Be passionate about the niche you choose!

Loving what you do is a choice. You can choose to love any niche. This may go against many of the things you have heard in the past, but it is an extremely important principle to learn. This is so important I am going to repeat it in big bold letters:

“Loving what you do is a choice. You can choose to love any niche.”

You don’t have to be passionate about a niche to make money online. However, you need to become passionate about everything you do in that niche (marketing, writing about it, etc.). You need to be passionate about what you are doing to make it easier to stick with it long term. And that passion is a choice. You can choose to love what you are doing, or you can choose to hate it. The decision is yours. When you choose to love what you are doing, then you will be much more likely to create the online business of your dreams.

Viral Marketing With Video

March 26, 2008

My friend, Ryan Shamus, just wrote a great post about using video to get viral traffic to your website or blog. Ryan goes into a lot of detail about the various ways you can use video to make more money. Ryan covers things like:

  • How to use YouTube to bring traffic to your website

  • How to create and edit your own viral videos

  • Ways to make a video viral

  • Video software tools to use

  • and much more.

You can check out his post by clicking here.

What Niche Mini Site Resources Do You Recommend?

March 13, 2008

I have been ill with the flu this week (after having just recovered from a virus), so I am going to keep this short.

After Ryan’s latest post, Chris asked:


How do you advise a person to get started in mini-site marketing? Do you know of any good resources, or is this something that a person would have to find on thier own?

I decided to write a list of resources, but then realized I am too ill to do so. So, I am doing something different! I am going to start the ball rolling with one recommendation and let YOU give your recommendations. Feel free to include affiliate links as long as you really believe in the program.

Here’s my recommendation…

Jim Edwards “Mini-Site” Creator Home Study Course
Jim’s course gives you step-by-step, click-by-click mechanical “how to” steps for setting up money-making niche mini-sites. This particular program is aimed at people who don’t have the money to hire a webmaster and/or lack the technical know-how to create professional mini-sites.

What do you recommend?

UPDATE: Just to be clear I am looking for ANY resources on making niche mini sites. This includes how to pick the niche, marketing, product creation, etc.

How To Pick The Right Niche For Your Online Business

February 18, 2008

Target Niche

In the previous post in my getting started series we talked about the importance of knowing what you want. In this post we are going to discuss how to pick the right niche for your online business.

A while back I wrote about how to pick the right niche for your blog. The same process can be used to pick the right niche for your online business. Here is a quick outline of the steps you need to take (you can read all the details here):

1. Make A List Of Your Passions

2. Make A List Of Things You Do Well

3. Merge The First Two Lists

4. Choose Your Favorite 3-5 Niches

5. Determine The Traffic Potential

6. Determine The Money Making Potential

7. Make Sure You Have Time For The Niche

The Most Important Things To Remember When Choosing The Right Niche For Your Online Business

You should choose a niche in a target market that you CAN and WANT to spend a LONG time serving. While you can have online success by going from one niche to another and you can have online success by creating products in niches that you are not passionate about it is much easier to build a business by sticking with one niche market that you LOVE and catering to that target market. I am going to say that again , because it is SO important:


It is much easier to build a business by sticking with one niche market that you LOVE and catering to that target market.

To help target the right niche, you need to decide who your ideal customer is. You can do this by answering the following question:

Who will I enjoy serving?

Target your online business for a niche you would LOVE to serve (click here to read a previous post I wrote about the importance of choosing your customer first).

You want your online business to be enjoyable and easy. One of the best ways to do that is stick with a niche you are passionate about.

If you REALLY want to make big money online AND enjoy it, then do what you LOVE.

Use WordPress To Create Niche Websites

January 23, 2008

Caroline Middlebrook just let me know about a free ebook she has written that reveals how to use WordPress to create Niche web sites. In her ebook, Caroline walks you through the process of setting up WordPress and using it to create a static website (not a blog) in the niche of your choice.

WordPress is a good CMS that makes it easy to add/edit content on your site and I planned on talking about using it to create niche sites at some point. Also, the Stompernet trial had some really nice video lessons on using WordPress to set up niche sites. Anyway, click here to download the free ebook. It is definitely worth checking out!

Your Offline Skills Make Great Ebooks

November 19, 2007

Have an offline business? Then you have knowledge and skills that someone else would pay to know. And an ebook is an excellent way to get someone to pay you for them. Even if you don’t want to take your business online (or can’t), it doesn’t mean you can’t create ebooks, training packages, or other materials you can sell online. These spin-offs can help you increase your income with comparatively less overhead and expense than your offline efforts currently cost you.

What can you sell with an ebook?

  • Traditional text: It still sells well, especially when you pair it up with useful and interesting illustrations that help make your point.

  • Videos: These are growing in popularity. Instead of just writing an ebook, you can make videos that your customers can download or watch over the Net. But, if you want a video product, produce it to a higher quality than you find on YouTube. People are paying you for it after all.

  • Audio: You can make audio training you can listen to over the Internet. However, if your skills are best taught with some demonstration, use video instead.

You already know what you know, so why not make extra money from it? Even if you don’t want to sell proprietary information that could rob you of a competitive advantage, there’s still plenty of market for the basics. So if you want to add to your bottom line, consider spinning off a profitable training product.

Seriously, how do you make a beautiful, sellable ebook? Find your answers today with The Ebook Walkthrough!

My name is Ryan Ambrose, and I’m the co-author of Can I Make Big Money Online.

Internet Marketing Tips 8/24/2007

August 24, 2007

I am starting this week’s links with something different. It’s not an article on Internet marketing, but it is a great example of drawing readers in with a story:

LOT OF POKEMON CARDS THAT MY KIDS TRIED TO SNEAK BY ME
In this ad on ebay, a mom with her hands full tells a great story to sell some pokemon cards. I love this story! It is funny and makes you want to read every last word. Because the ad was so witty it has become quite viral. The person who wrote the ad, also has a blog at http://mom2my6pack.blogspot.com/ which is getting TONS of new traffic. Not only that, but she got over $100 for something that would have cost about $3. You can learn a lot from this story, be sure to check it out.

Google Proxy Hacking: How A Third Party Can Remove Your Site From Google SERPs
Dan Thies writes about a Google hack that really needs to be fixed. Black hat SEO gurus can use it to remove your site from the SERPs, just like they did to Brad Fallon’s wedding favors site last year.

Summer Slowdown Myth
Alice Seba says we should ask the question “Is it your market or you who is slowing down?” Very interesting post. I personally have not seen a slow down in traffic this summer, but I have had a slowdown in comments.

How To Launch A Membership Site – Part 4: Content and Pricing
Yaro continues his membership site series with part 4 – “Content and Pricing”. In part 4 Yaro discusses how to choose the right price for your membership site. He also discusses what type of content to provide to your members and how to provide it.

How To Launch A Membership Site – Part 5: Triggers
In part 5 of Yaro’s series, he covers pyscological triggers. I like his disclaimer at the start of the start article, because the idea of using triggers to make people buy is a hard one for me to come to grips with ethically. Ultimately, the money we earn is directly or indirectly a result of advertising that uses phsycological triggers to get us to buy. Love it or hate it that’s just the way things are.

How Not Knowing Something Makes You More Of An Expert
Very good read about what makes you an expert in your niche.

Will The FTC Investigate Google & Matt Cutts For Paid Links?
Andy Beard takes an interesting look at Google’s stand on paid links. I don’t think the FTC will ever attack Matt Cutts for the lack of disclosure on his blog. If he worked for Microsoft it might be a different story…

This World – This Next Activity Map
This Next is a new social shopping site. What is really cool is the activity map (see link above). You can actually watch people buy stuff in real time. It shows what people are buying and where they are buying it from. Very cool! Found via Jack Humphrey.

Defeating Self-Limiting Thoughts
Chris Garrett wrote a nice post about staying confident and positive by removing negative thoughts. If you want to have long term success online, you need to stay positive.

WEB USERS NOW SPEND HALF THEIR TIME VISITING CONTENT, FAR OUTPACING TIME SPENT WITH SEARCH, COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMERCE
Very interesting study showing changes in the way people are using the Internet. How can you use this to your advantage?

That’s it for this week’s Internet marketing tips from around the web.

7 Steps To Choose A Niche For Your Blog

April 25, 2007

It’s the day you’ve all been waiting for— the long-awaited first post for my new Blog Traffic Series. (Okay, maybe you haven’t been waiting for it, but I’m excited that I’m finally writing it.)

The first step to get solid traffic to your blog is to choose the right niche.

There is no surefire way to pick a profitable niche. Even professional bloggers admit that they sometimes choose a niche that doesn’t get enough traffic or make enough money to make it worthwhile. So don’t worry if the first blog you start flops. Just try again. Perserverance is the key to success.

Here are 7 simple steps to choosing a niche that is right for you:

1. Make A List Of Your Passions
Write down all the things you are passionate about. If you aren’t passionate about the topic you write about, it will show! Passion is one of the biggest keys to keeping people interested in your blog (yourself included). This is the most important step in choosing a niche. If you don’t follow any of the other steps in this post, make sure you write about something you are passionate about.

Here is an example of what your list of passions might look like:

1. Basketball
2. Playing Video Games
3. Officiating Tennis Matches
4. Internet Marketing
5. American Idol
6. Reality TV
7. Being a Good Parent
8. Model Rocketry
9. UFOs
10. Bird watching
11. Carpentry
12. Ridding the world of Ants
13. ...

2. Make A List Of Things You Do Well
Write down all the things you do well. It is advisable to ask other people for input on this. Find out what other people think you are good at. They might mention things you haven’t thought of. You might also show the final list to your friends and family to get further input on the list.

An example list of things you do well might look like this:

1. Basketball
2. Officiating Tennis Matches
3. Cooking
4. Teaching
5. Running Marathons
6. Open Heart Surgery
7. Being a Good Parent
8. Model Rocketry
9. Calculus
10. Bird watching
11. Sailing
12. ...

3. Merge The First Two Lists
Take the lists you made in steps 1 and 2. Write down all the things that are in both list 1 and list 2. This will give you a good idea of things you can blog about as an expert. However, you don’t have to be an expert to blog about something. If you are really passionate about something, but aren’t good at it or are just learning about it, you can still blog about that topic from the perspective of someone trying to improve in that area.

For Example, if we merge the example lists from step 1 and step 2 the list would look like this:

1. Basketball
2. Officiating Tennis Matches
3. Being a Good Parent
4. Model Rocketry
5. Bird watching
..

4. Choose Your Favorite 3-5 Niches
Out of the list you compiled from step 3 (above), which ones are you MOST interested in blogging about? It doesn’t matter if other people write about it. It doesn’t matter if it’s extremley competitive. Just write down the top 3-5 things that YOU want to blog about. It’s okay if you are down to 1 niche at this point, but 3-5 would be better.

NOTE: At this point you have at least one niche you could start writing about. However, if you want to make money from your blog, you need to do more research.

From our example, let’s say that you would want to blog about the following three things from your merged list:

1. Basketball
2. Being a Good Parent
3. Bird watching

5. Determine The Traffic Potential
There are a lot of ways to do keyword research and determine the traffic potential for a niche. To simplify things, you aren’t going to worry about competition, you are only going to concern yourself with demand.

Go the Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool (which seems to be working again). Type in the primary keyword(s) for the niches you selected in step 4. Then you will come up with a list of keyword phrases and their search numbers for last month on Yahoo owned Search Engines.

Note: If Overture doesn’t work, try the free wordtracker keyword tool.

In my opinion, you really want to see more than 10,000 searches a month on Overture for the main keyword, otherwise it’s going to be really hard to get decent traffic to your blog.

Let’s go back to the example and turn your list into a primary keyword list, with a list of the Search Engine traffic. It would now look like this:

1. Basketball – 37845
2. Parenting – 33457
3. Bird watching – 5500

At this point, you might think that bird watching was out of the picture, but what if you wanted to write about birds, in general? What if you wanted to write about your favorite bird, the hummingbird (which had 17354 searches last month)? It is still possible to get a lot of traffic to a bird watching blog, but for the purpose of this post I am just covering a quick and easy method to analyze the potential traffic. You can expand your traffic analysis by looking at other related keywords if you like.

6. Determine The Blog’s Money Making Potential
Common sense might suggest to you that there are products to be sold to people looking for each of the things in our example, but is there a way to be sure?

Here is a quick and easy method you can use to help determine a blog’s money making potential. Go to Google or Yahoo and do a search for your primary keywords. The more advertisers you see paying for sponsored results (PPC) the better. If you don’t see anyone bidding on those keywords then it may be more difficult to monetize your blog but not necessarily impossible.

The sponsored results are the ads that show on Google and Yahoo at the very top and the right hand side of the Search Engine results, under the title “Sponsored Links” on Google and “Sponsor Results” on Yahoo.

So, for our example, I went to Yahoo and did searches for each keyword and wrote down the number of ads I saw:

1. Basketball – 10
2. Parenting – 10
3. Bird watching – 10

From our quick test, it looks like all three niches are capable of being monetized. Sometimes you will type in a word, and there won’t be any sponsored results. For instance, go over to Yahoo or Google and type in “underwater basket weaving”. When I tried it, there were no paid ads on either Search Engine. That is probably a good sign that there isn’t much money to be made in the underwater basket weaving market.

7. Make Sure You Have Time For The Niche
Is the topic so broad that you just don’t have time to blog about it yourself? For instance, if you choose basketball as your niche, do you really have enough time to cover ALL basketball news on your blog? If not, then you either need to:

A. Start a group blog with enough other people to cover the topic.
B. Narrow the focus of your blog. In our example, maybe basketball is too broad for you to cover. If so, you might choose to cover your favorite basketball team or write about funny basketball moments, etc.

There you have it, 7 steps to choosing a niche for your blog.

Something To Keep In Mind When Choosing A Niche For Your Blog

March 1, 2007

I have been ill quite a bit the past two weeks and it has been a bit rough keeping up with my blogs. I am better now and feel fantastic.

What does this have to do with choosing a niche?

I can write posts way ahead of time on this blog and save them for a rainy day. But on many of our blogs this is not possible.

For instance, my wife Jill has a blog about American Idol. Last week they started narrowing down the top 24. It was three nights in a row of American Idol! Wednesday night, Jill was feeling really ill and just couldn’t write her normal review of the show, so she wrote this post explaining that she would write the review in the morning. Unfortunately, she was way too ill to write the review until a couple of hours before the airing of the first elimination round of American Idol Thursday night.

It would not have helped her at all to have a post saved about how much she liked Taylor Hicks new album, because it wasn’t what people were coming to her blog for on Wednesday night.

If you have a blog that covers the news it is much harder to take time off, unless you have a group blog.

When choosing the niche for your blog, it’s important to evaluate whether or not you want to be able to take a week off without losing momentum. This can be accomplished either by having a group blog (something I am considering for several of our blogs, including this one) OR by having a blog that is NOT closely tied into current events.

Don’t Be Boring!

February 14, 2007

I am done creating anything that is boring on the Internet (well mostly done). I can’t think of one blog or website that I visit on a regular basis that I consider to be the least bit boring.

Whenever I get bored with a website or blog, I stop visiting it.

One of my BIGGEST goals in 2007 and beyond is to be remarkable, and to NOT BE BORING!

You should make it one of your goals too! Stop being boring! Nobody cares about boring websites except their owners. Just stop it!

Be remarkable, Be exciting, Be interesting, Be unique, Be everything you want to be, but…

DON’T BE BORING!

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