GFY Educational Series: Consumer Focus Sells Niche Sites, Post 1 of 2
I'm Amelia G and most of you all probably know I run Blue Blood's SpookyCash
niche affiliate program for webmasters with goth/alt, rubber/fetish, and science fiction/fantasy traffic. Content packaging is a primary component of what I do and is fundamentally pulling together the right content, in the right format, to communicate a certain editorial viewpoint. My company does content packaging for both in-house branded products and for white label web sites, magazines, books, and similar projects.
As an editor, writer, and photographer, I started off in magazines. My first glossy non-music journalism clip was for Hustler's Chic. I've done writing and/or photography for all the major adult publishing house including Playboy, Penthouse, Flynt, Crescent, Magna, and AVN. If you'd like to see my photography portfolio or know more about my professional history, please check out AmeliaG.com
. If you'd like to know when I've started my day with an especially delicious iced soy latte, I tweet at Twitter.com/AmeliaG
Today, I'm going to talk about how you can make more money with a focus on being an editor and giving value to the end consumer.
Are you engaging the consumer and getting bookmarkers?
The #1 place a lot of affiliate webmasters leave money on the table is depending only on techniques like mass traffic buys and trades or SEO, rather than genuinely engaging the consumer. You want to use all those techniques, and more, to bring the surfer to your site in the first place, but your sponsors and you will benefit most, if the surfer has a reason to come back from time to time, once you get them in the door. If you have targeted your SEO or traffic buys and trades, then make sure your destination is actually what the surfer was seeking.
Most webmasters know a membership site needs to consider what members will want month after month, but niche traffic sites especially can benefit from taking the same tastes and preferences into account. You can generate a certain amount of revenue from a certain number of uniques coming through your sites. You can greatly increase that revenue, by consistently giving those visitors what they are looking for. Then they want to come back to your site the next time they are ready to bust out their credit cards for some entertainment.
What is your site about?
One of the reasons niches are holding more steady in the current marketplace is that niche affiliate webmasters tend to make their sites about something. Free Porn is not a topic any more. General free pictures might have gotten bookmarkers in 1999 and general free videos might have gotten bookmarkers in 2004, but your potential customers just have endless choices for generic freebies today.
By making your site about something, you give them a reason to come back to you. A topic like Brunettes Wearing Fishnets
or Tattooed Girls Giving Blowjobs
is the kind of specific subject which will get you bookmarkers. You can promote a combination of sites which are mostly or only about your topic, alongside sites which have an occasional update which fits your theme. If someone searches Google for a very specific topic, they are going to bookmark a site which tells them all the places they can find their heart's desire.
Are you going for quality over quantity?
A site which offers the most free content might attract the most visitors. Most people building sites are not going to have the tube with the very most content and sites with too much free content keep the surfers sufficiently entertained that they don't buy much. So just shoveling random free content, even legit free content with the sponsors' blessing, is not efficient for profitability. It is your job to be an editor, to select which clips and images and text represent best what your surfers want to find. If your surfers have to do the editing job, then they feel like they are collectors and not customers. Give your visitors the value of having edited for what they want and they are more likely to pay for that value.
What do you select to post?
Have you ever seen a Sesame Street segment on the subject of Which one of these things is not like the others?
Were you able to figure out the common theme and which item was the odd one out? This might seem really rudimentary, but, if so, then you have the basic skills to make a niche site surfers will bookmark and come back to.
The most important aspect of niche marketing is being able to identify the niche. If you can identify the niche and you take the trouble to post only material which is appropriate for your audience for the niche, then you are doing it right. Particularly if you do a good editorial job of picking attractive promo material, which directs your visitors to good sponsors, whose sites give good value to the consumer.
What niche should you pick?
Common wisdom is that you should promote a niche you know something about and have some interest in. I think that is good advice, but you don't necessarily have to be a dedicated aficionado of everything you promote.
You do need to know some things that your audience does not know yet. The most important information to impart is where your surfers can find what they might want to buy. It might sound simplistic, but you make money if they buy something and they don't necessarily know what you know about where to find membership sites or cams or books or whatever for what attracts them. To the extent that you know what sponsors are out there, you can somewhat depend on the sponsors to do some of the editorial sort for you. It is better if you can pick out which of the galleries you've been sent are best or have certain special features, but, the more niched out the sponsor, the more you can somewhat lean on the sponsor's edit.
Who is your audience?
Niche audiences segment and some hardcore fans of a particular niche will have very specific tastes. For example, I know not to post PVC content to SpookyCash's RubberDollies.com
membership site, because a lot of the audience consists of serious fans who would not accept PVC gear in place of rubber clothing. A traffic site dedicated to the shiny niche, however, could promote both rubber content and PVC content, because the two often can sell to the same people. The shiny niche is varied enough to give you a variety of sponsors, but still enough of a specific niche that users will bookmark a good traffic site about shiny fetish content.
Members of BlueBlood.com
will often have very strong opinions about the difference between goth and emo and deathrock. But realistically, if you don't have a strong opinion about that, it probably does not matter, so long as you consider your audience. In my experience, someone into these areas as a lifestyle, may prefer one sort of person to another, but most people into these styles as a fetish are likely to appreciate the spectrum. A lot of people who like hot pale chicks with a lot of black eyeliner really don't care about the finer cultural distinctions there. If you can tell a hot pale chick with a lot of black eyeliner from a homely one, then you can probably serve your surfers well by telling them where to find hot ones, without having to be an expert on which bands are emo and which are deathrock or anything like that. If you are expert in that area and want to cater to a more hardcore dedicated audience, then you will probably want to mix in some less commercial and more cultural subject matter. You'll have to really care about the niche to do this part and it is really optional.