Rita J. Cartwright Archive

How to Find Your Niche – Part 7

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series How to Find Your Niche

We are wrapping up our series on How to Find Your Niche by focusing on the seventh and last step Boosting Your Money-Making Niche Powers.

Once your blog is set up (and even before) you can boost your money-making niche powers by doing one small thing:

  • Maintaining a consistent, daily presence in the world of your sub-niche

This can be:

  • On your blog
  • On your social networks

And believe it or not, this is the single hardest thing for most niche bloggers or affiliates to master. It is tempting to dart off to the next money-making idea, but don’t do it.

You’re under constant bombardment from other marketers, all showing you the next Shiny Object. Don’t be like a magpie or jackdaw – the British bird noted for its chronic kleptomania. These birds will even fly into a house to grab small sparkly trinkets: And that is what other marketers put all their efforts on training you to do.

internet marketing

You need to learn to drown out the chronic, insistent background chatter of: “ME! ME!”, “No, PICK ME!” and sit down to focus on helping your niche members.

Conclusion

You can make money within your chosen specialty niche in many ways – apply your creativity, and you can do this directly or indirectly. The foolproof formula is as simple as this:

  • Build up niche and Google authority
  • Focus only on products that truly do help and delight your niche members

Your content strategy should be 90% content sharing and 10% actual selling.

But make sure that every piece of content contains links pointing to offers, squeeze pages and sign up pages.

Also include social share buttons on every post and in every website.

social share buttons

Certain strategies are “musts.” For example . . .

  • Claiming your Google web authorship and using bylines on every post or article you write
  • Guest authoring

Others are highly recommended, depending on your niche:

  • Creating a Facebook Page for your niche (or multiple Facebook Pages) and logging in as your Page and posting daily
  • Commenting, answering questions and interacting with your audience daily
  • Using calls to action (asking people to DO something – even if it’s just sharing your article or post) as often as possible
  • Using “rich media” – interactive types of media such as videos, audio files, surveys, infographics, contests where the reader has to take an action (even if that’s just clicking “Like” – which is allowed now on Facebook).
  • Building an email list (install a sign up App with incentive right on your Facebook Page, as well as on your blog)

But ultimately, no matter what strategies you use, the best and most lucrative way to come up with your best ideas lies in immersing yourself, night and day, in your niche – and ruthlessly cutting out all other distractions.

Are you using any of these strategies to make money? We would love to hear your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section.

As I mentioned previously in this series (How to Find Your Niche), these posts are summaries of the seven (7) steps that are included in the workbook, The Riches are in the Niches: How to Find Your Niche. Go here to pick up the full version of your workbook.

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RJ’s Internet Marketing Services, LLC

 

How to Find Your Niche – Part 6

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series How to Find Your Niche

web hosting imageLast week we left off discussing how to find the right domain. There is one more item that you’ll need in order to publish a niche blog and that is hosting. This week we’ll look at Choosing the Best Niche Blog Host.

When selecting a web host, be sure to choose one that targets its services towards niche bloggers – otherwise you may find yourself with a lack of support for WordPress or your database or worse yet, if you have trouble installing your database.

For example, HostRocket is an excellent web hosting company with many huge advantages for mainstream HTML-based static websites and it does have the latest MySQL version, as well as Fantastico deLuxe, so you can set up blogs. But you won’t get any WordPress support from them.

You will be better off to go with a web host that gears itself towards niche bloggers, such as:

  • Hostgator
  • BlueHost

Hostgator has long been the industry standard for bloggers and in many ways is superior to all others – particularly in the ability to handle large amounts of traffic and host multiple sites very inexpensively – but this last year has seen some billing glitches that have left even long-time customers frustrated.

BlueHost works like a dream when it works – but is noted for small fits of down time. It does not use Fantastico deLuxe for its WordPress setup via your control panel; it uses SimpleScripts, which many people love. If you are a Fantastico fan, however, you will probably find SimpleScripts frustrating (tip: Follow directions exactly. Don’t assume it behaves like Fantastico). (There are a couple of more host examples listed in our full-version report, which you can pick up here)

web hosting imageRemember – do choose a web host that is “friendly” to WordPress. Even if you currently plan only to concentrate on one blog, do yourself a favor and choose a plan that allows unlimited domains. It doesn’t have to be a reseller account – unless you are planning to develop niche blogs to actually sell, which is another way to make money with niche blogging (and another topic entirely!)

Which web hosting company would you recommend for niche bloggers? We would love to hear your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section.

Come back next week as we continue our discussion on How to Find Your Niche. As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons!

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How to Find Your Niche – Part 5

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series How to Find Your Niche

We are continuing our discussion on How to Find Your Niche focusing this week on Choosing the Right Domain Name.

Once you’ve decided to create a niche blog, which is extremely important if you want to build authority with Google, choosing a name will be another step you can use to help your searchability. Being searchable is a form of inbound marketing.

With a niche blog, it shouldn’t be in your own name until you reach superstar status – but by all means secure the domain name for your personal name if you can, for future use.

Your niche domain name shouldn’t be anything forced or artificial-sounding (remember the Hummingbird algorithm!) – no “horsefreewhybuy.com”-type names.

You can find out which domain names are available instantly, without the usual risk of having someone snap up that name, by entering your keyword (broad or narrower) into Instant Domain Search. You can buy defunct names – the prices are shown. And sometimes you can apply a coupon code. Your niche blog domain name should:

  • Make sense
  • Be something people would actually type a search for (e.g. “WhyBuyNotBoard.com”)
  • Be easy to remember

If you are planning to develop more than one blog for the same general or specific niche, choose a general name you can promote related sub-niches (e.g. “VegeQueen.com”).

If you are going to pour all your energies into a single blog, be as specific as possible (e.g. “QuarterHorsePsychology.com”).

Once you’ve registered your domain name, go to your web host and point your nameservers there.

How did you select your domain name? We would love to hear your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section.

Come back next week as we continue our discussion on How to Find Your Niche.

As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons!

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How to Find Your Niche – Part 3

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series How to Find Your Niche

We are continuing our discussion on How to Find Your Niche, and this week we will focus on Finding Niches that Actually Pay.

Last week we looked at finding a specialized focus within your field of interest by narrowing down your keywords. Now it’s time to look over your list of results and highlight or copy at least half a dozen possibilities. And here is where it becomes a combination of logic and gut instinct. Don’t be afraid to go with hunches, though – you’re just researching at this stage and if an idea bombs out, discard it and move on to the next. (Even super affiliates have this experience.)

Using our “horse” example, let’s look into these three keywords:

horse keywords image

You might not think that people who want free horses would pay – but for the right product, they will pay under $40.00 for information to help them acquire a $3,000 horse for nothing.

Likewise, horse boarding could be a possible topic. It is specific enough (one focus) that people will search for it.

  1. Explore these keywords further in Keyword Tracker and other keyword tools you may have, like the free but powerful Traffic Travis or Google’s new AdWords tool. (The latter is a “must”, if you are planning to monetize with AdWords.) (This exploring-further process is what super-affiliates often like to call “drilling down”.
  2. Look for social groups focused around that specific niche:
  • On discussion-based social networks (e.g., Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn)
  • In forums (e.g. Yahoo)
  1. Look for presentations on that specific niche topic:
  • In photo-sharing and blogging social networks (e.g. Instagram, Pinterest, SlideShare, Tumblr)
  1. Look for hashtags and tweets on that product through Twitter Advanced Search and Hashtags.org.

horse hashtag image

(Use a broad keyword when searching keywords, if your specific keyword idea doesn’t turn up any results.)

Just keep in mind that the more specific your focus – i.e. one specialized topic, one product – the greater possible results.

These are just a few suggestions to help you find niches that pay.

How did you choose your niche(s)? We would love to hear your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section.

Last week, I mentioned that I’ll be sharing summaries of the seven (7) steps that are included in the workbook, The Riches are in the Niches: How to Find Your Niche. Go here to pick up the full version of your workbook.

Come back next week as we continue our discussion on How to Find Your Niche. As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons!

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How to Find Your Niche – Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series How to Find Your Niche

Last week we began our series on How to Find Your Niche taking a look at how niche marketing will work in 2014. We learned that it pleases Google to focus on one niche.

In the following weeks, we’ll share a brief summary of the remaining six (6) steps of How to Find Your Niche. This week, we’re discussing Brainstorming and Researching Your Unique Niche.

Step Two: Brainstorming and Researching Your Unique Niche

After you’ve narrowed your new super-niche down to half a dozen possible choices, the next steps lie in:

  • Seeing if there is a focused sub-niche with a high level of activity
  • Deciding whether or not you could spend every day for at least the next year living there for part of the day

It’s not enough to have a high level of activity within a sub-niche. There are many highly active sub-niches where people don’t pay for anything; and, what’s more, would be deeply annoyed and offended if asked to do so.

These are sub-niches that you should avoid.

So first, sit down and ask yourself questions like:

  • “What do I love most in the world? Where do I wish I could spend all my free time?”
  • “What do I wish I could do most in the whole world?”
  • “What are my unique skills?”
  • “What am I really experienced in? So much so that I even take it for granted?”

Also consider using mind-mapping software like SpiderScribe.

mind map image

 

It is free for a limited personal account, but even at a Pro account level, the cost is just $5.00 per month. SpiderScribe is cloud-based, so you can access it from anywhere.

No matter what your process, you still have to research your niche. So start right now and ask yourself the above-mentioned questions.

For example, if you ask yourself “What do I love most in the whole wide world?” You might come up with a general answer like: “Horses!”

That’s not really a niche: It’s a general topic – a broad field of interest.

Now you need to find a specialized focus within that field of interest.

Go to a simple keyword search engine such as the Wordtracker Free Keyword tool. Enter all the main keywords for your niche topic that you can conjure up from memory.

keyword tool image

(Be sure to check “plurals”.)

The keywords that remain after these refinements are where you should start your real research.

These are just a few more tips on How to Find Your Niche. Are you using any of these suggestions in narrowing down your niche? We would love to hear your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section.

As I mentioned, this is a summary of Step Two: Brainstorming and Researching Your Unique Niche. Go here to pick up your workbook, The Riches are in the Niches: How to Find Your Niche in order to have the entire lesson, which include all seven (7) steps.

Come back next week as we continue our discussion on How to Find Your Niche. As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons!

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How to Find Your Niche – Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series How to Find Your Niche

You’re probably no stranger to the concept of niches, but in case you are, let’s look first at what a niche is. A niche is a specialized but profitable corner of the market. A niche market is a subset of the market on which a specific product or service is focusing.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll going to take a look at how to find your niche. The first step is knowing how niche marketing works in 2014.

Step One: Knowing How Niche Marketing Works in 2014

One of the biggest reasons to focus on one niche is because of Google. One thing Google hates are the spammy niche sites that have empty, repetitive “token” articles. So its efforts over the last few years have been aimed at getting ride of those from search results.

Google has even introduced a new algorithm, Hummingbird, that helps ensure keywords match the context of all web content. So what it rewards are niche sites where the owner actually cares about the niche and knows it inside and out.

It doesn’t tolerate artificial context.  What it loves are conversational, real dialogues on a topic.

When Hummingbird talks about “conversational search” it really does mean “conversational.”

You can now literally speak your search question into the latest version of Google Chrome and get contextual answers. (Search Engine Land demonstrates an excellent example in one of their articles.  Just click on the link. Go check it out.)

search engine land image

So put aside everything you’ve ever known about niche marketing for now and start with: What do you know? What passionately interests you?

To write convincingly, you need at least one of three elements:

  • Overwhelming interest
  • A wealth of experience in that field
  • An overwhelming desire to finally learn about or do something

Niches that involve one of the above criteria will help keep you interested and active on your blog – and that will keep your readers interested and engaged with your blog.

That’s the sort of niche you want to focus on and explore.

Come back next week as we continue our discussion how to find your niche.

Have you found your niche yet? We would love to hear your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section.

As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons!

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21 Ways to Be a Social Media Superstar – Part 3

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series 21 Ways to Be a Social Media Superstar

We are finishing up our series on “21 Ways to Be a Social Media Superstar” covering the last seven methods.

  1. Develop Relationships with “Key Influencers”

    Don’t just focus on your fans – actively follow and respond to your own favorite “key influencers” in the social media niche. We’ve already spoken about crediting them and sharing their work. Responding to polls, quizzes and sharing your own tips will help get you noticed too.Do make sure you visit their feeds and interact regularly; however, never just for the sake of interacting, but the more often your Profile Photo appears next to a really helpful post or detail-specific comment, the better your chances are of being noticed and remembered.

  1. Create Useful Infographicstwitter 2012 infographic

    The beauty of infographics lies in the fact they are (a) seen instantly (b) judged on the spot. This not only prequalifies your reader in whether or not they click through, it helps make your statistics more accurate. On top of that, when people love an infographic, they click on it. Sounds obvious – but it’s the quickest way to get people to access your key information on social media. A blog post link with a photo? Possibly. A blog post link without a photo? Maybe, if your headline is catchy enough. But an infographic can be accessed – and assessed – at a glance. If it’s liked, it will be shared with one simple click.

  1. Use Fiverr if You’re Just Getting Started

    If you’re starting out on a shoestring budget, save time and get professional products like infographics or Facebook Cover Photos created for $5.00 by trying out Fiverr freelance offers.Look for excellent ratings and reviews – and just try out one project at a time until you’re sure the outsource contractor you’re using really knows what to do. (But once you’ve got that professional product in your hands, expect to pay more, if your contractor is worth his or her salt. This type of contractor will only be offering deals on Fiverr as limited samples).

  1. Run Contests

    If you stop and study how often top social media experts run contests, you’ll also see how much viral buzz and interaction these generate! Just be sure to check with your local area rules and guidelines, as well as with rules and guidelines for the specific social platform you want to use.Remember that you can easily create contest Apps using free or inexpensive services and tools such as ShortStack.

  1. Offer a Service Sample for Free

    You can also use an App to offer service samples for free; or in conjunction with some other offer; or as a contest, as Mari Smith has done in the example below. mari smith pic

  1. Track your Conversions

    Facebook in particular (and many other social networks) provide tools that allow you to track your conversions.This simply means finding out how many people take the actions you ask or drive them to take on that network. Track, and you will quickly find out the “hot buttons” your particular audience best responds to. It’s amazing how many would-be social media experts don’t bother to track, so get the edge on them and start doing so!

  1. Be There

    Another seemingly obvious tip that a staggering majority of would-be social media experts ignore is simply be active on your networks daily – preferably when your target audience is present. Respond, comment, “Like”, thank and question. You’ll build trust – and a community. And that’s really what becoming a social media expert is all about!

Do you use any methods to becoming a social media superstar that we haven’t covered in our 3-part series? We would love to hear your ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section. As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons below!

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21 Ways to Be a Social Media Superstar – Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series 21 Ways to Be a Social Media Superstar

Last week we began our series on 21 Ways to Be a Social Media Superstar. This week we will look at a few more ideas on how you can be a social media superstar.

  1. Illustrate your Posts and Links with Graphics
    Especially use this tip with blog post links. People have become immune to links and many have conditioned themselves to gloss over them and keep the eye moving. A picture helps stop people in their tracks if it “tells” them instantly what they’ll get when they glance at the photo.
    cheat sheet pick
  1. Be Generous – Credit and Share
    If someone else has written the post you wanted to write – share it and give credit to the author! If they’ve provided a fabulous list of resources or a juicy tip – share it and give credit to the author! Never be afraid to share your secrets with your audience. You’re proving you have their best interests at heart and that you are all in the journey together.(And the person whose post or tip you are sharing may return the favor or JV (joint venture) with you one day in the not too distant future.)

    Oh and share your followers’ posts and tips too (people love to be noticed and acknowledged; particularly by experts).

  1. Vary your Post Types
    Your page will feel more interactive and interesting if you vary your post types. Rotate between photos, contests, quizzes, polls, questions, blog links, tips, personal posts, videos and infographics.
  1. Install Google Analytics on your Facebook Page
    “That’s impossible,” you say. “Facebook doesn’t allow JavaScript; and you need JavaScript enabled to install Google Analytics.” Ah, but Webdigi has created a free, open-source tool to get around this. You can either install it on your own server or use the free, hosted version.Complete instructions on how to install FBGAT (and Google Analytics on Facebook) in this Webdigi blog post.
  1. Use Promoted Tweets on Twitter
    Do this especially if you are offering something to be downloaded. Studies show that when a download is involved, the response rate is over 10% higher than other types of posts with links.
    fodor travel pic
  1. Don’t Serial Post
    Engagement is one thing, but the quickest way to turn people off – on ANY network – lies in serial posting, where you fire out one post after the other to dominate your target viewer’s feed.

    7-Serial Posting

  1. Don’t Over-Promote
    If you use the majority of your social media posts to drive people to actions you want them to take, you will come off as just another marketing shark. A recommended rule-of-thumb is to make 80% of your posts helpful, general, entertaining or just plain interesting, and less than 20% promotional.

Are you using any of these suggestions in your social media strategy? We would love to hear your ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section.

Come back next week as we continue our 21 Ways to Be a Social Media Superstar series.

Join us tomorrow, December 20th at 1 pm MST for a step-by-step webinar on Be a Social Media Superstar. Go here to register today!

As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons below!
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Why You Should Use a Social Media Expert

social mediaHaving a strong presence on social media is a great way for companies to increase brand recognition and grow their sales funnel. Social media has proven to be a really strong marketing tool, and many small business owners are taking note by pumping more money, time and effort into growing their presence on social media.

Just a few years ago, it may have seemed unnecessary to have a person that only focused on social media for your company, but today more people understand the importance of having an expert on hand. Having someone focus solely on social media for your company is a great idea because it will potentially help the company maximize their social media efforts. Contrary to popular belief, social media management can be a full-time job.

This is why so many companies are hiring a social media expert or outsourcing their social media to marketing firms that specialize in social media. It may seem like an easy job; just post a few times a day and like a couple of pictures, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Social media experts dig much deeper by interacting with others and developing relationships.

Another benefit of hiring a social media expert is time. As stated earlier, social media requires a great deal of attention on a daily basis. The benefits of social media are long term and business owners may not have time to dedicate themselves to properly managing even one social media platform. Instead their time needs to be spent on something that generates money immediately.

While business owners are managing their day-to-day activities, a social media expert can help them increase their brand awareness. Business owners that try to manage their own social media pages tend to run into the problem of not being consistent. Inconsistency on social media is one of the fastest ways to discredit your brand or disrupt the flow of establishing credibility. Once you have gained fans and followers, they are going to expect more of what you gave them initially. Otherwise, they are going to stop following you and completely lose interest.

Hiring a social media expert or outsourcing your social media is a smart move for any small business. The number of people using social media is growing every day and more people are using social media to research products and services before they make purchases.

Are you considering hiring a social media expert or have you hired one? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences in our comments section below.

As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons below!
 
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How to Grow a Service-Based Business Using Pinterest

social media marketingThere are all sorts of social media platforms out there that can make your business more visible online and help you generate more revenue. One social media platform that has seen incredible growth is Pinterest. Currently Pinterest has 70 million users.

Service-based business owners typically stay away from Pinterest because they think it only works for product-based companies. In this article, I will share with you some tips that you can start using right now to grow your service-based business using Pinterest.

Pin Daily

Pinterest moves at a very quick pace so if you want to build your business, you have to keep up by pinning often. Pinning new pictures and videos daily will help you build brand awareness. Service-based businesses can share package images, images that are relevant to an event you may be hosting or even images that go along with a blog post you recently published.

Humanize Your Brand

While it’s great to be professional and stick to industry-related topics, there’s nothing wrong with showing the human side to your brand. You don’t have to share personal or intimate information like images of your kids or spouse. Instead you can share images of your favorite restaurants, brands you adore, things that make you laugh, inspirational images and so on.

Be Original

It’s okay to share things that you have found online, but people love originality. Creating your own images is a great way to build authenticity and your fans know that when they visit your boards they’re likely going to find something they haven’t seen before. Original images can also earn you a spot on the Popular Section of Pinterest. The Popular Section is where you’ll find unique and original images. Earning a spot in this section will also draw a huge crowd to your boards.

Have you been using Pinterest to grow your service-based business? Are you new to Pinterest and still have questions? Whether you have comments or questions, we’d love for you to connect with us using the comments section below.

As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons below!
 
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