Monday, 23 March 2009

Collectibles provide great niches for bloggers!

If you are still thinking about the theme for your next niche blog, you might consider blogging about collectibles.

In many ways collectibles provide great themes for niche blogging. Usually people who collect things are very interested in reading all the possible information about their beloved objects. Furthermore, they are willing to pay for the items still missing in their collections.

If you already collect something you know what I mean. And in that case, you most probably know a lot about everything related to your collections. So you could probably start blogging right now.

There are even more reasons for blogging about collectibles. First, the collectibles lend themselves for writing in separate articles. In this way, you will be almost forced to write in a way that is already well optimized for the long tail searches using Google.

Second, if something is worth collecting, there are probably hundreds or thousands of different collectibles that can be written about. This means you won't run out of ideas for blog articles too soon.

Third, you can use the blog as a platform for starting an online store for the collectibles. This way you can make even more money in the niche.

Fourth, you can participate in affiliate programs for marketing for example books that are relevant to the hobby.

Fifth, in case you are interested in building a collection yourself, the blog is a great way to build contact with other people sharing similar interests.

Sixth, you could use the blog for marketing products on ebay.

The collectibles provide incredibly many niches you probably have never thought about. In one time or other, I have collected books or stamps. Already these two major themes could be divided into hundreds of mini niches. For example,

- A blog about German stamps
- A blog about stamps of the World War II
- A blog about Latin American stamps
- A blog about South East Asian stamps

Coins and paper money would, of course, provide possibilities for similar niches.

Some people collect Barbie dolls that can be extremely expensive today. And men of my generation might like to collect Nintendo's Game & Watch electronic games made in the 1980's. And there are probably more people collecting Swatch watches you can imagine.

Probably any of these niches would provide you with a theme that brings in more revenue than blogging about blogging or making money online.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Maximise the Minima Blogger Template

As I have written several times, Minima family is a very usable and clean family of Blogger templates that I have used with a few money making blogs.

It is not especially pretty but at least Minima Lefty gives a decent click rate when you put the Google Ads in the left column of the blog. In the ordinary Minima template the sidebar is on the right side which gives a less than perfect click rate.

If you are looking for something fancier, you might like to try Minibox. It is a three-column-hack of Minima, and I have used a slightly tweaked version of it with one blog.

More AdSense ready blogger templates based on Minima can be found in Mywebquestforu.

If you want to customize Minima to your own taste, you should read some of the tutorials that are available on Internet. For example, Tips for New Bloggers has a useful tutorial for tweaking Minima from the default two columns to a three-column-template.

At the moment, I test a four-column-template based on Minima. This provides plenty of slots where one can add AdSense ads and other marketing stuff like the Amazon product ads you see on the third column.

Another tutorial is provided by Blogger Buster, in the article A Cheat's Guide to Customising Blogger Templates. Those two articles should be more than enough to get you started in customizing the Minima blogger template to your taste.

More tips can be find in the Themes Wiki's section for Blogger. It is a nice introduction to blogger templates and you might well like to print the page for reading off-line. And if you want to do some more serious Blogger hacking, you'll find a nice collection of hacks in the

As you see, even the simple Minima can be customized to a great extent. Just try the different tweaks until you are happy with the result! And if you cannot find all the information you need by googling around or using the links above, you should seriously consider buying the Blogger handbook presented to the left.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The best niche blogging articles by Doshdosh

Doshdosh is one of the few blogs that I can warmly recommend for anyone who is trying to make money online with blogging. Unfortunately, Doshdosh has not been updated very often during the last months. The blog archives, however, are full of gems that ought to be read by every blogger interested in tweaking the performance of her blog.

If you don't have a lot of time for reading all of the articles, start with these:
  1. How to Make Money Blogging: 7 Strategies to Help you Get Started Immediately
  2. An Introduction to Niche Blogging
  3. The Lazy or Smart Blogger’s Way to Create Content for Niche Blogs
  4. How to Create Your Own Niche Blogging Masterplan for Long Term Profit
  5. How to Choose the Right Blog Niche: A Simple Three-Step Method
These five articles are a really good introduction to profitable niche blogging. I have learned a lot by reading Doshdosh and I'm sure you will learn a lot as well.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Big money with brute force blogging

Brute force blogging can be the easiest way to make a decent living by blogging. A brute force blogger is not interested in having 50000 daily readers for the blog, she would rather have 100 low-maintenance blogs that each have 500 daily readers.

If each of these 100 blogs would bring 1 USD a day in AdSense revenues it would make 3000 USD every month. That would be a very nice income for most of the people, especially if one does not need eight hours every day for writing these blogs.

I suppose the best strategy to approach the brute force system would be to write very actively for each blog in the beginning. Probably 15 articles per month (each at least 300 words) would be enough to get the blog to the first page of the Google search for most niches in two or three months.

It is not too difficult to write this many articles in a day if one does not demand a very high quality from the articles. I suppose I have written most of the articles published in this blog in less than 10 hours.

This means that it would be quite possible to start five new niche blogs in a week and write enough content for the first month of each blog. After one month of blogging, the blogger would already have twenty niche blogs that have fresh material every second day.

It is true that this high productivity is possible only if the blogger has some previous knowledge on the topic or is willing to research the niche for some time before starting to blog. But it should be easy to create a series of articles based on any good book one reads about the topic of the niche blog.

After one has earned a decent position it is a lot easier to keep it than it was to conquer the Google. I have noticed that after getting to the top, it can be enough to post an article maybe once a week. So there is no need to create fresh unique content constantly on high level. With a little of luck, one of these 100 niche blogs might become a very popular blog that is worth quality content. In this way, tiny niche blogs can function as a playground where one can test ideas for different blogs.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Brute Force Niche Blogging

So far I have concentrated on writing about niche blogs that provide quality content and attempt to build a dedicated audience of readers who come back every day or week to read the latest blog article. In my opinion, this is the way everyone should blog. Internet is already full of crap that is not worth reading, and every day there are tens of thousands of new blogs that provide even more crap. Thus it becomes every day more and more difficult to find something that is really worth reading.

This is caused in part by brute force blogging. Brute force niche blogging is a method that is based on writing as many blogs as possible to tiny niches. The point is not to provide anything that is really worth reading or causes the casual reader to come back to the blog. The point is just to write enough content to have the blog up enough in the search results for the chosen keywords.

And when the blog finally gets visitors by Google, there is no point in continuing to write content for the blog more than what is absolutely necessary for keeping a decent page rank.

For brute force bloggers, the only thing that matters are AdSense revenues.

If there is too much informative and interesting content, the reader has no reason for clicking the ads. Because of this, brute force bloggers try to minimize the interesting content in order to maximise the ad clicks. The blogs are just considered websites that are made for AdSense, not for readers.

But to be honest, this is a very profitable practice when one tries to build a huge collection of low-maintenance web sites that provide the blogger with a small but steady revenue from AdSense.

I myself have several such miniblogs online, and the return for time invested is very good indeed. One just has to have an idea about what information people are searching for when they use Google. And if you write in any other language than English, you can probably just copy some profitable niche blog ideas that have been used by bloggers writing in English.

Try it, you might like it :-)

Friday, 13 March 2009

Niche Blogging Boredom

As I write this article, the blog has been available for two weeks. I still have not got a single visitor coming to the blog from Google. It will be interesting to see if the situation has changed when this article is published in the mid-March.

At the moment I write content for several niche blogs. The most popular of them has pretty good CTR of about 4 %. Furthermore, the AdSense clicks are usually pretty well priced, ranging from 20 cents to 1.5 USD. That blog will probably have its high season in April or May. After June the traffic will probably die almost completely for the rest of this year. Early in 2010 there will be again more readers - and then I will have most of the content ready for recycling.

I'm also trying my luck with a couple of more niche blogs written about business matters. In one of the blogs I just started I write about accounting. a theme with no competition in the language I write in. I chose the niche because of economic reasons: the average cost per click is pretty high in that niche. It will be interesting to see what happens in a couple of weeks when the blog hits Google results.

I have only written three articles for that blog during the last few days and already now I have a few regular readers. But they are not the readers I'm interested in -- I hope they don't read this blog :-)

What I'm trying to do is to get a great ranking with certain accounting-related keywords for the Google search. I target people who are getting into a small business and are searching for information about accounting. This way they might well click some of the very well targeted AdSense ads in the blogs.

I'll keep you informed about the success of this blog - the idea should be easily transferrable if you write in a language other than English. For English writers, the niche is too difficult to conquer.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Producing Niche Content Can Be Boring

If you don't like writing - and writing a lot - much, you should not even try to attack some of the more competitive niches without investing money for advertising the blog.

I don't have any money to invest in this blog, only my own labour. So I have to be ready to invest many hours in this niche by writing more and more articles that have meaningful content. Articles that solve problems that my readers have encountered. Otherwise I will never make it to the top of the search results. And if I don't make it to the top, I will never earn more than a few cents with this blog.

It is sometimes difficult to find any ideas for an article. There are, however, ways to get over this block.

One of my favourite ways has been to write articles well in advance. Whenever I get an idea that somehow relates to blogging about AdSense and niche blogging, I write a paragraph or two to be published after a few weeks. In the weeks between the first draft and publication, I will have plenty of time to redraft and rewrite the article.

In addition, I often write my ideas down in a separate file where I can later find forgotten ideas for blog postings. I have used the same method for developing all kinds of texts ranging from my MA thesis to a published book.

If I don't write my ideas immediately to some file I will forget the ideas sooner or later. Usually sooner. And then I would have lost yet another topic for some of my niche blogs.

Furthermore, mind maps are a wonderful device for building networks of topics that can be used for a series of blog articles.

A series of intertwining articles is always easier to write than, let us say, five articles that have completely different topic and logic. And if you write well enough, such a series of articles will make your reader come back. And that is what we blog authors want our readers to do.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Find More Time for Niche Blog and Books

A couple of days ago, I wrote about how spending too much time reading other people's blogs does not help you at all in creating your own blog. It is too easy just to comment other blogs, link to some articles and recycle the ubiqitous crap that internet is full of. My advice was: read books instead of blogs.

In addition to books, you should read magazines that are written about the topic of your blog. Only then will you know what really is being written about something and what is considered as interesting developments. It just is not enough to be satisfied with only Internet as source material.

Furthermore, you should read books about business.

Whatever you are writing about, remember that you are in the business of content production. And you have to market yourself and your writing to the consumers. If you forget that, your game is over.

So go back to your Marketing 101 books. And if you never studied marketing, you should start doing your homework right now.

If you don't have any idea about where to start, you could first read about guerilla marketing. And the best way to learn about guerilla marketing is to start with the man who invented the concept: Jay Conrad Levinson. Blog authors cannot market their blogs using big money, innovation and fresh ideas are needed for marketing without money. Buy the book and start learning about guerilla marketing!

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Choosing an AdSense Optimized Blogger Template

Now that I have kept this blog alive already for a few weeks, I hope there are already some regular readers (I write this three weeks before the day I have programmed this article to be published!). Thus I should at least now be thinking about changing the template from Minima Lefty to something fancier.

Or should I?

In fact I have started to like the template a lot. It is simple and clean, and it lets the reader concentrate on the content. And content should be the most important part of any blog, not the AdSense ads in the margins or between the articles.

On the other hand, if people find it too unattractive they might not bother to read even the first article. They would probably just return to the Google search results and move forward to the next hit. Bad for me. And for my readers.

There are many good templates that claim to be optimized for AdSense. At least they are designed to look good and they have nice places ready for ads. But are they really optimized in the sense that they give higher click-rates? So far I have not found any conclusive analysis or comparison made between different free blogger templates. And I do not intend to do such a time-consuming comparison at the moment myself. I need my time for other, more important things. Like for writing this and several other blogs.

Minima is a very functional theme and I value functionality very high. But do the readers see it in the same way? Does the blog just look plain and boring? Does it look (too) unprofessional?

If the template is too plain or unprofessional, the visitors to blog might just jump to the next Google result and not read a single article of the blog. In this case, they most probably will not click any ads either.

At the moment, I am testing Thisaway Blue. It is one of the default templates available in the Blogger. It's pretty simple but still a bit prettier than Minima.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Find Time for Your Profitable Niche Blog

Finding time is always difficult. It seems I have never enough time to do everything that needs to be done or that I want to do: to study, write, work, read and play chess.

One way to help me in having time for my blogs is to reduce time I spend reading other people's blogs. After reading blogs for several years, I have come to the conclusion that most of the blogs really are crap.

They are badly written, recycle same old information from blog to blog, using the same old emarketing tricks that have been written about in blogs, ebooks and printed books.

In fact, there are only a few really good blogs that I want to read: Dosh Dosh, Problogger and Zenhabits. Some good blogs are bubbling under the Top Three, but time waits for no one.

If you want to write your own blog, you have to concentrate on that fully. Don't read other people's blogs more than necessary. Reading blogs is really waste of time - except for the time spent reading my blog, of course!

I suggest that you read some good books instead. Books are the memory of the humankind, in books we have collected our private and common wisdom for centuries, even for millenia. By reading the classics you will probably learn a lot more interesting and useful stuff than by reading badly written blogs. You learn to write better, you learn about literature, economics, arts and the human nature. In fact, you will soon realize that Wikipedia really is nothing compared with a good library.

And there is one more pro for reading books: you find new ideas for your niche blog. As most of the bloggers just recycle news and other bloggers' ideas your blog will be refreshingly different when you have found some "new" information from printed books.

In this way, reading old dusty books helps you to become a better blogger.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Stop press! On the first page of Google results

It was a lot easier than I thought, as now this blog seems to be on top with the search words I thought would be a hard challenge:

- niche blogs with adsense
- income with adsense niche blogs

Now I have to try optimize my articles in the future for some more words that people might use when looking for information about blogging for AdSense revenues. I have already written several articles to be published during the next ten days, so it will be at least two weeks before I will move to a new theme.

During the last weeks, I've read quite a bit of ProBlogger, who has published many good articles during the time. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, as Darren Rowse if anyone knows about professional blogging.

But as my blog seems to be climbing up the Google ladder, I have to start thinkin about the branding and positioning of my blog. Should I continue using Minima Lefty or start to use something fancier?

AdWords for AdSense Finds Profitable Niche Themes

I have to confess that when I launched my first blogs and my first web site I had not done any research regarding the price of different AdSense keywords in the niche. I wish I had learned about Keyword Tool earlier than I did!

AdWords Keyword Tool is a great tool for finding niche keywords. Actually it is meant for advertisers to help them to locate keywords for triggering their ads on different web pages. But as the tool shows the cost of click for different keywords and their combinations it can be used by web page authors as well.

For example, I noticed that my only self hosted blog targets a market that mostly triggers ads that cost 5 cents per click. Now it does not surprise me at all that I don't make a lot of money with that web site even if it has a decent number of dedicated followers and a pretty good percentage of them even click the ads.

Unfortunately for me, the theme of that page is so narrowly defined that it will be difficult to address any better paid keywords. But I will certainly try to add something to that blog knowing that even slight changes in the wording can potentially bring AdSense advertisements that have a much higher cost per click.

It will be interesting to see if this works well. Basically my idea is to add some names of local towns to the texts as my main market seems to offer much better prices when the adword is combined with the name of some town. The reason seems to be that the services advertised are rather local in nature.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Writing niche blog articles in advance

I have noticed that it is a good idea to write my blog ideas in advance. So I might have many articles written well before I seem to have run out of ideas. For example, this post is written about two weeks ago.

When I write my articles in advance, I can write in a batch mode. In this way the economies of scale work for me: it is easy to write several articles about intertwining themes that can be discussed in several articles that will be published maybe every second day.

If I wrote these articles with even a one day delay between, I might well forget some of the ideas I have got for my blog. But when I write many articles that share some basic idea or continue discussing a theme I wrote in an earlier article it is a lot easier to write the articles during one session.

Try it at least once!

As I use timer for publishing these articles, it is easy to publish the articles in a logical order and on certain days. I have decided to schedule the articles to be published every second day.

I doubt I would have enough material to write a daily article of at least 300 words. But this way I can produce articles that are long enough for Google optimizing and publish them in a stable schedule. And if I seem to run out of words with a certain article, I can always come back to it during the next week or two and add some more ideas in the article. No more hasty articles written just to get something new published today!

And if I write the articles in a batch mode, I can spend the next few days or the next week marketing my blog in different ways. I'll return to the theme of marketing the blog in the next days or weeks. Come back for more!

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