My Profitable Niche Adventure #3: My Monetization Strategy

Last time, I offered somewhat of a challenge to the readers and asked how they would monetize my niche site – and they didn't disappoint.

Matt from Notixtech suggested:

“I'd monetize your niche site with sponsorship (1 ad, at a high price, not many small ads), affiliate links, and an eBook or something. Depending on the niche, I wonder if you could sell any sales leads to companies in that niche (that would be cool). I have a great podcast from Third Tribe Marketing on this.”

Sharif from 28 Media followed up with:

“Great niche. I'd second Matt's approach. A bunch of product reviews with affiliate links (Amazon or direct manufacturers, if available), one or two sponsor ads, and an eBook and/or webinar about how to streamline your office workflow by using a scanner.”

These are some great ideas (some I definitely didn't think about).  I especially like creating an ebook, even if it's just to get people on a mailing list. Plus, since my virtual assistant is the one running the site, it'd be a great training tool.

Amazon summary for January

The current strategy

You and I are definitely on the same wavelength when it comes to monetization.

I wanted to do 2 things.  The first was to find a high-commission affiliate that would give a big payout per user.  the second was that I wanted an affiliate program where I could get more sales volume.   I chose to go with a Shoeboxed and Amazon Associates strategy.

Shoeboxed is a Netflix type receipt scanning service (pretty cool)  that has a pretty interesting program in that they will pay you $30 per lead, even if the person doesn't buy one of their paid tiers.  Also, if someone does buy a paid plan, depending on the tier you may be able to earn even more.

The downside to Shoeboxed is that their landing pages don't convert well at all.  The current ratio of clicks per conversion is about 250 – 300 clicks for every 1 sign up.  That's not very good at all.

Amazon, on the other hand, does pretty well, but the payouts aren't that large.  The way that I offset this is to review products that are $100+.  The cool thing that I see with Amazon Associates is that even if people click on one of my products that I advertise and don't buy, they often buy a similar product.

It's all about performance

Keep in mind that I am not #1 in Google for my primary keyword yet, but I am #3 (woohoo, we'll go into this more in the next episode).  However, even though the site isn't on top it still gets between 100 -200 views a day.  Here are the stats from December and January;

December:

  • Shoeboxed: $0 (That's with 200 clickthroughs.  Yeah… )
  • Amazon.com: $54
  • Bottom line: $54

January (as of the 17th):

  • Shoeboxed: $60
  • Amazon: $65
  • Bottom line: $125 ( over 100% improvement!  Rock on!)

All in all… pretty good…

It's not great, but just in January I've been able to generate half of the income used to pay for my full-time VA writer.  That's pretty sweet considering that it can only get better as the site moves up in rankings.

I definitely want to get an ebook and mailing list going since it's a great way to keep visitor loyalty, and I could have my VA set up an auto-responder campaign.  I was also thinking of contacting some of the larger companies that produce receipt scanners and having them advertise on the site.

Thanks for the awesome suggestions!  Great stuff!

Thinking of giving niche marketing a try?  If you start up a niche venture, let me know!

See what happens in part #4

4 Comments

  • Phil Derksen

    January 18, 2011

    Dean – Great series and thanks for going through it in detail. Very useful to me as I'm exploring niche site income as well. Can't wait to hear more!

    • Dean Soto

      January 18, 2011

      No problem, man! Thanks for commenting and I'm glad it helps! It's definitely an interesting experience so I'll try to keep showing the good and bad.

      Let me know when you start! I'd love to see your experience with it (I'm sure others will too!) =).

  • Matt

    January 20, 2011

    Thanks for the quote, and the linkage, Dean. 🙂 Looking forward to seeing how this monetization strategy works out for you, and helping along the way. 🙂

    • Dean Soto

      January 20, 2011

      No problem man. you seriously had some ideas that I hadn't thought about, or that I am a bit afraid to try (dunno why). I want to have my VA create an eBook for it, but I always worry that it won't be as good as it should be (which is definitely not the case with my writer, she's awesome).

      I think that it's going to be a next step. It's a great way to make loyal visitors and perhaps even try and bring them here at some point.