How To Start A Niche Blog

Start A Niche Blog
💡 Introduction To Starting A Niche Blog
🎬 How To Start A Niche Blog
🚀 How To Launch Your Niche Blog
🌱 How To Grow Your Niche Blog
🏃🏼‍♀️ How To Run Your Niche Blog

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If you ask any entrepreneur, starting a business comes with its fair share of challenges.

Starting your own niche blog requires a great deal of effort, dedication and most importantly passion.

If you're willing to put in the effort to build your own niche blog, you're going to want to follow the critical steps to creating a successful brand.

We've created a guide that covers each step of the process - from making key financial decisions, to launching and marketing your business the right way, and tips/strategies on how to grow your niche blog effectively.

market size
$400B
avg revenue (monthly)
$4.98K
starting costs
$9.86K
gross margin
80%
time to build
4 months
growth channels
SEO (blog posts, organic traffic from search engines), Word of mouth
business model
Media Business & Subscriptions
best tools
Instagram, Twitter, Google Suite
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
12 Pros & Cons
tips
33 Tips

💡 Introduction To Starting A Niche Blog

Is Starting A Niche Blog Right For You?

There are many factors to consider when starting a niche blog.

We put together the main pros and cons for you here:

Pros of starting a niche blog

• Flexibility

You can put as much time into the business as you'd like. If you like the work and have some initial experience, you can start small and manage all aspects of the business on your own.

• Ability to start your business from home

It's not necessary to have a physical storefront or office space to get your business started. You can do everything from the comfort of your own home, at least in the beginning!

• Little startup costs required

The cost to start a niche blog costs significantly less money than most businesses, ranging anywhere from 515 to 13,250.

• Rewarding work

Starting a niche blog can be really rewarding work. After all, you are solving an immediate issue for your customer and you're working on something you truly care about.

• No overhead costs

To get your niche blog started, there are no costs associated with overhead, storage, packaging, etc. This will save you a lot of time and money!

• Traffic to your website

A niche blog gives people a reason to visit your website and to keep coming back to you!

• Scalable

With businesses and processes changing daily, there will always be demand for new features, products and services within your niche blog. Additionally, there are several different business models and pricing tiers you can implement that will allow you to reach all types of customers.

• Meaningful business connections

You never know who you will meet or get to work with for your niche blog. This could be the start of an incredible business opportunity!

• High margins

The gross margins for your niche blog are typically around 80%, which is considerably high and allows you to grow your business and manage costs easily.

Cons of starting a niche blog

• Crowded Space

Competition is high when it comes to your niche blog, so it's important that you spend a good amount of time analyzing the market and understanding where the demand lies.

• Constant maintenance of publication

You may find yourself constantly needing to update your niche blog in order to stay relevant for your audience and for those searching on google.

• Motivation of employees

If you plan to have a sales/content team on board, finding creative ways to motivate them can be a challenge. It's important that you're able to offer great incentives and a good work environment for your employees.

Players

Big Players

Small Players

Search Interest

Let's take a look at the search trends for niche blog over the last year:

How To Name Your Niche Blog

It's important to find a catchy name for your niche blog so that you can stand out in your space.

Here are some general tips to consider when naming your niche blog

  • Avoid hard to spell names: you want something easy to remember and easy to spell for your customers
  • Conduct a search to see if others in the space have the same name
  • Try not to pick a name that limits growth opportunities for your business (ie. if you decide to expand into other product lines)
  • As soon as you have an idea (or ideas) of a few names that you love, register the domain name(s) as soon as possible!

Why is naming your niche blog so important?

The name of your business will forever play a role in:

  • Your customers first impression
  • Your businesses identity
  • The power behind the type of customer your brand attracts
  • If you're memorable or not

It's important to verify that the domain name is available for your niche blog.

You can search domain availability here:

Find a domain starting at $0.88

powered by Namecheap

Although .com names are the most common and easiest to remember, there are other options if your .com domain name is not available. Depending on your audience, it may not matter as much as you think.

It's also important to thoroughly check if social media handles are available.

As soon as you resonate with a name (or names), secure the domain and SM handles as soon as possible to ensure they don't get taken.

Here's some inspiration for naming your niche blog:

  • ShallowMarket check availability
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  • The Peculiar check availability
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  • The Central Specialized International check availability
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  • Speciality Works check availability
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  • OwnPlace check availability
  • Fundamental Specialized & Company check availability
  • ProfitableGroup check availability
  • Ecologic Speciality Collective check availability
  • Market & Company check availability
  • ModestPro check availability
  • PermanentMarket check availability
  • The Occupational check availability
  • Rectangular Speciality Spot check availability
  • Tiny Segment check availability
  • Protected Recession check availability
  • Headed Recession check availability
  • The Appropriate Recess Pro check availability
  • Tiny Space check availability
  • ProperSpeciality check availability
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  • Empty Space check availability
  • Safe Space Co check availability
  • NarrowUnique check availability
  • Semicircular Specialty Collective check availability
  • Safe Unique Place check availability
  • The Broad Specialization Pro check availability
  • Tiny Recession check availability
  • The Stable Specialty Designs check availability
  • Small Speciality & Company check availability
  • The Profitable check availability
  • Little Unique Designs check availability
  • The Cultural Specialized Group check availability
  • Specialized Works check availability
  • The Cultural Speciality Works check availability
  • AvailablePro check availability
  • VacantInternational check availability
  • The Unoccupied check availability
  • Narrow Specialization Spot check availability
  • VaultedDesigns check availability
  • Arched Recession Pro check availability
  • Distinct Space check availability
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  • Environmental Corner check availability
  • The Vacant Space Place check availability
  • ModestUnique check availability
  • Nice Space Pro check availability
  • LucrativePro check availability
  • Circular Corner Group check availability
  • Protected Speciality Trading Co check availability
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  • Prominent Unique Place check availability
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  • Little Market Co check availability
  • NarrowGroup check availability
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How To Create A Slogan For Your Niche Blog:

Slogans are a critical piece of your marketing and advertising strategy.

The role of your slogan is to help your customer understand the benefits of your product/service - so it's important to find a catchy and effective slogan name.

Often times, your slogan can even be more important than the name of your brand.

Here are 6 tips for creating a catchy slogan for your niche blog:

1. Keep it short, simple and avoid difficult words

A great rule of thumb is that your slogan should be under 10 words. This will make it easy for your customer to understand and remember.

2. Tell what you do and focus on what makes you different

There are a few different ways you can incorporate what makes your business special in your slogan:

  • Explain the target customer you are catering your services towards
  • What problem do you solve?
  • How do you make other people, clients, or your employer look good?
  • Do you make people more successful? How?

3. Be consistent

Chances are, if you're coming up with a slogan, you may already have your business name, logo, mission, branding etc.

It's important to create a slogan that is consistent with all of the above.

4. Ensure the longevity of your slogan

Times are changing quickly, and so are businesses.

When coming up with your slogan, you may want to consider creating something that is timeless and won't just fade with new trends.

5. Consider your audience

When finding a catchy slogan name, you'll want to make sure that this resonates across your entire audience.

It's possible that your slogan could make complete sense to your audience in Europe, but may not resonate with your US audience.

6. Get feedback!

This is one of the easiest ways to know if your slogan will be perceived well, and a step that a lot of brands drop the ball on.

Ask friends, family, strangers, and most importantly, those that are considered to be in your target market.

🎬 How To Start A Niche Blog

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Startup Costs For Your Niche Blog

If you are planning to start a niche blog, the costs are relatively low. This, of course, depends on if you decide to start the business with lean expenses or bringing in a large team and spending more money.

We’ve outlined two common scenarios for “pre-opening” costs of a niche blog and outline the costs you should expect for each:

  • The estimated minimum starting cost = $515
  • The estimated maximum starting cost = $13,250
Startup Expenses: Average expenses incurred when starting a niche blog. Min Startup Costs: You plan to execute on your own. You’re able to work from home with minimal costs. Max Startup Costs: You have started with 1+ other team members.
Website Costs
Website builder: The cost of your website will vary depending on which platform you choose. There are many website builders on the market, so it's important you choose the right one for your business and overall goals. To learn more about your options + how to build a great website, check out this article. $15 $100
Web Designer: If you have the necessary skills to design your website, then it may not be necessary for you to hire someone. However, if you do decide to go that route, make sure you establish an understanding of upfront cost, design and what the ongoing costs will be to manage the site. Here is what to expect when hiring a web designer. $0 $6,000
Total Website Costs $15 (min) $6,100 (max)
Office Space Expenses
Rent: This refers to the office space you rent out for your business. To minimize costs, you may want to consider starting your business from home or renting an office in a coworking space. $0 $2,000
Utility Costs (office space): This refers to the first month's utility bill for your office space. If you are not responsible for this bill, this would not apply to starting your niche blog. $0 $150
Total Office Space Expenses $0 (min) $2,150 (max)
Equipment & Supply Expenses
Technology Office Equipment: This includes (but is not limited to) physical items such as: laptops, cameras, monitors, microphones, speakers, headsets. Technology needs grow as your company evolves, so to minimize costs, try and only purchase what is needed for you to run your business at the time. $500 $5,000
Total Equipment & Supply Expenses $500 (min) $5,000 (max)
Total Starting Costs $515 (min) $13,250 (max)

Brett Lindenberg, founder of Food Truck Empire discusses his startup costs setting up his blog + his decision to outsource:

Like most bloggers, the launch of my business was low cost. I bought a domain name from GoDaddy, website hosting from HostGator, and had my initial website template customized by someone located in the Philippines. I was introduced to the designer from a friend who had worked with the individual for a Wordpress design as well. The total initial investment for the business was around $500. The majority of the costs went toward paying the designer to create the logo and set up the site.

At the time, $500 was a substantial investment for me. I fell into the trap of having around $40,000 in student loan debt another $10,000 in credit cards after college. Adding a monthly car payment shortly after graduation and the other bills (rent, cell phone, internet access) meant things were tight for me financially for the first 5 years after graduation.

In spite of financial woes, I forced myself to invest money in the design and setup of my blog. In retrospect, I’m glad that I did this because it saved me a lot of time starting the website.

When you start a blog, my belief is that you should outsource all the one-time technical work, design, and setup. There are so many people that spend months wasting time trying to figure out plugins and Wordpress themes when they could have solved the problem on Fiverr.com for a couple hundred bucks and be off to the races.

-  
Brett Lindenberg, on starting Food Truck Empire ($5,400/month) full story ➜

Raising Money For Your Niche Blog

Here are the most common ways to raise money for your niche blog:

What Skills Do I Need To Succeed For My Niche Blog?

With a niche blog, there are several essential skills and characteristics that are important to identify prior to starting your business.

Let’s look at these skills in more detail so you can identify what you need to succeed in your day-to-day business operations:

Advice For Starting A Niche Blog

We've interviewed thousands of successful founders at Starter Story and asked what advice they would give to entrepreneurs who are just getting started.

Here's the best advice we discovered for starting a niche blog:

Tony Florida, founder of The Diamond App ($500/month):

If you want to start an online business, then start an online business. Many people often make the mistake of overthinking and second-guessing.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Jodi Carlson, founder of Leader Connecting Leaders ($6.5K/month):

Blogging is work, don’t start blogging and expect to quit your day job overnight. Any blogger who claims you can make 100k in 6 months either was super lucky or lying.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Aleksey Weyman, founder of Millennial Moderator ($500/month):

It’s up to us as entrepreneurs to design the future of the world, to reshape entire industries and start new ones. Keep that eagerness alive in whatever way possible.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Joe Stech, founder of Compelling Science Press ($1.5K/month):

Doing a little bit every day adds up quickly. Setting aside an hour or two every day to get some work done can move mountains over time.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Hrishikesh Pardeshi, founder of Remote Tools ($0/month):

Platforms like Product Hunt and HackerNews are a great source of traffic spikes for your product. You should definitely leverage them. However, it’s important to first contribute to the platform to be able to reap benefits from it.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Angela Mary Vaz, founder of Stray Curls ($4.5K/month):

I feel email marketing is highly underrated. Your money is in your mailing list.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Natasha Magino, founder of The Vibe Room ($0/month):

Never let money stop you from starting anything.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Thomas Oppong, founder of Content Intelligence Media ($10K/month):

Success is a combination of passion, grit, and the ability to execute.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Matt Baer, founder of Write.as ($2.9K/month):

Give yourself time to make something truly good. Don’t get discouraged if your assumptions don’t turn out correct.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Jean-Loup Karst, founder of Secret ($18K/month):

Define what you want to achieve and make sure all co-founders goals are aligned

Read the full interview ➜

-

Phil Strazzulla, founder of SelectSoftware Reviews ($1.38K/month):

After diving deep on their problems, I was able to write in-depth content that they found useful, would share with their friends, and talk about at conferences.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Tyler M, founder of Moneypicks ($8K/month):

I never went into this to make money. I was just helping people. Doing this gained the trust of my community before I ever asked for a dollar, so when I finally did start charging business flooded through the door.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Matthew Gibbs, founder of Recruiterly, Inc ($1K/month):

Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Steve Sanders, founder of Episode Ninja ($1.3K/month):

The website has been steadily growing since launch and is currently at more than 200,000 unique visitors per month.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Sireesha Narumanchi, founder of Crowd Work News ($13K/month):

My first and the biggest mistake was to do everything myself when I started. I always believed in doing things myself but later realised it’s better to focus on the business rather than in the business.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Patrick Hess, founder of Bar Games 101 ($3.5K/month):

I’ve built several websites over the years and use content marketing and SEO to boost sales and generate leads in my day job. So, I wanted to apply this same skill-set to a completely different field.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan from the start is critical for the success of your niche blog.

Why?

Because this allows you to roadmap exactly what you do, what your overall structure will look like, and where you want to be in the future.

For many entrepreneurs, writing out the business plan helps validate their idea and decide whether or not they should move forward with starting the business.

You may want to consider expanding upon these sections in your business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Brief outline of your product, the market, and growth opportunities
  • Overviews and Objectives: Overview of your business, target customers, and what you need to run your business
  • Products and Services: Specifics on the products and services your business will provide
  • Market Opportunities: Analysis of customer demographics, buyer habits and if your product is in demand
  • Marketing: Outline of your marketing plan and how you plan to differentiate yourself from other customers
  • Competitive analysis: Analysis of your competition and the strengths and weaknesses therein
  • Operations: Hierarchal structure of the company and what it will take to run the business on the day-to-day
  • Leadership Team: Detailing roles and responsibilities of each manager based on their specific skill-set
  • Financial Analysis Understanding of all expenses, operating budgets, and projections for the future.

Learn more about how to write a business plan here

Determine Which Business Bank Account You Need

There are hundreds of banks out there, and it can be overwhelming to find one that's right for your business.

Here are some factors you may want to consider:

  • Location - Is your bank close enough that you can easily make deposits or get cash?
  • Low Fees - Make sure to understand any and all fees associated with setting up and maintaining your bank account. Ask for a list - banks usually try to keep this hidden and in the fine print.
  • Online Banking Services - Make sure you can easily navigate through your online portal and you have easy access to everything you need.
  • Line of Credit - What do your options look like (even if you don't need this now, you may need this down the road).
  • Every bank has something that differentiates them from the rest, so make sure whatever that is applied to your needs and values.

Check out this list of the 13 Best Banks for Small Business in 2020 and what makes them so unique.

When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.

The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.

These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.

  • LLC: All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
  • S corp: Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
  • C Corp: C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.

Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.

Learn more about securing the right permits and licenses ➜

Need to start an LLC? Create an LLC in minutes with ZenBusiness.

How Do I Pay Myself As A Small Business Owner?

Most entrepreneurs start a business to do something they love- but at the end of the day, you still have bills to pay (maybe now more than ever).

But it's important to strike the right balance - if you pay yourself too much, you could be putting your business at risk.

There are two common ways to pay yourself as a business owner:

1. Owner's Draw

Many entrepreneurs pay themselves through an owner's draw. This means that you are technically sean as "self-employed" through the eyes of the IRS and are not paid through regular wages.

At the point that you collect money from the draw, taxes typically are not taken out - so make sure you are prepared to pay these taxes once you file your individual return.

As an owner who takes a draw, you can legally take out as much as you want from your equity.

This type of compensation is suited for Sole props, LLCs, and partnerships. If you’re an S corp, you can pay yourself through both a salary and draw if you choose.

2. Salary

If you decide to pay yourself a salary, you will receive a set and recurring amount. This will be taxed by the federal government and the state you reside in.

The reality is that it can be really complicated to set your own salary, so we have some tips for you to consider:

  • Take out a reasonable amount that allows you to live comfortably but also sets your business up for success
  • Consider the number of hours you are working weekly + the type of duties you are performing.
  • Set your salary based on your industry-standard, location, and profits (or projected profits)
  • Look at your P&L statement: Deduct your own pay from that amount. This is important so you can first tackle important business expenses, and then pay yourself from the amount leftover.
  • Pick a payroll schedule (and stick to it)! In the US, it's most common to pay yourself and employees twice a month.

https://media.giphy.com/media/xT0xeLTRncS90ptpfi/giphy.gif

To learn more about how to pay yourself and what is a reasonable amount, check out this article.

How To Price Your Niche Blog

One of the most challenging and critical pieces to starting your niche blog is determining how much to charge for your niche blog.

When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.

Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as "cheap." Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.

On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.

When customers buy, it's likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they're getting the best value + deal. This is why it's so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.

Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:

Understand your customer

It's important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they're willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you'll want to takeaway:

  • Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
  • Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
  • Level of price sensitivity with your customer

All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you're attracting and how to price your product accordingly.

Understand your costs

When pricing your niche blog, it's critical that you first identify all of your costs and consequently mark up your niche blog so you can factor in a profit.

The actual cost of your niche blog may include things like:

  • The actual cost to make the product (ie. raw materials, supplies, manufacturer).
  • Shipping + overhead fees
  • Rent
  • Operating costs to run your business

You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet with every single expense involved in operating/owning your business. This will give you an idea as to what you need to generate in order to at the very least, break-even and will help you price your products to factor in a profit.

Create revenue goals

When determining the price of your niche blog, you'll want to create goals for revenue + how much profit you want your niche blog to make.

This process is simpler than you may think:

  1. Think about your breakeven cost (by completing the above step).
  2. Create a revenue goal based on your break-even cost
  3. Evaluate the # of items you plan to sell in a given period (make sure this is a realistic number)
  4. Divide your revenue goal by the number of items you plan to sell

This figure will help determine your estimated price per product in order to meet your revenue goals.

Evaluate your competition

The last piece in determining how to price your niche blog is by simply looking at your competition.

The best way to do this is by finding like-minded businesses that offer product(s) with similar perceived value. Then, you can compare prices of the different businesses and determine where your niche blog fits best in the marketplace.

All of these factors play an equal part in pricing your niche blog, so it's important you evaluate each one individually to come up with an accurate price that will help optimize your business from the start.

Building an MVP (Minimal Viable Product)

When building a niche blog, it's critical that you first validate your product/service rather than rushing to build it right away.

This could save you months, if not years of building the wrong product/service.

If you're hoping to decrease any sort of risk that comes with launching your niche blog, designing a prototype can be a great way to de-risk your situation.

The point of your niche blog prototype is that it doesn't have to be perfect.

In the beginning stages, it doesn't matter how rough V1 of your prototype is, it's more important to just get started and you can always refine from there based on feedback from your network and most importantly your customers.

How To Build A MVP

Here are several different ways of building a prototype/MVP:

  • Start by building a landing page to see if customers actually need your product and if they are willing to pay for it
  • Build a very basic version of your idea and ask for immediate feedback from potential customers
  • Present a problem and solution via Facebook/Instagram Ads and see what the response is like

Natasha Magino, founder of The Vibe Room dives deep into the process of designing and prototyping their product:

When the idea of The Vibe Room was first conceived, Natasha and Isabel, wanted to mirror the structure of popular magazine companies like Complex, Fader, I-D, etc. They wanted to produce original stories about creatives in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia), but unlike these companies, they wanted to focus solely on underground artists.

One of the top complaints that they heard from their peers was, creatives in the DMV felt as though there weren’t enough platforms highlighting them, which in turn made it hard for them to break out or gain any traction. This often resulted in creatives fleeing the DMV in search of fame and recognition in cities that they felt catered more to their needs. After a discussion about the frustrations that creatives face, Natasha and Isabel decided to create a platform that could help alleviate some of the hardships DMV creatives face.

From the beginning, we recognized that the audience we wanted to reach would be comprised of creative millennials. We realized that this group was the most receptive to our ideas and excited for a new creative platform. We were also very aware that this audience prefers to receive and send information electronically. So, we decided that our first magazine issue would be created and published digitally. Unlike most magazine companies who publish stories online in blog format, we decided to stick to the structure of flipping through a magazine. So, when you visit our website, you’ll flip through each story page by page instead of scrolling up and down through an article.

There’s no singular process when it comes to sourcing artists and topics. It’s both organic and collaborative. Shaakira, head of recruiting, does a lot of the sourcing. A good portion of our features is creatives and artists she’s met at local art shows, market fairs and the like. Other prospects come from our subscribers connecting us with creatives or, creatives reaching out to us through social platforms. Community is our driving force. Through The Vibe Room magazine, we hope to show whoever is reading that there is a lot more to D.C. than Politics and Lyft scooters!

on-starting-an-online-magazine-about-the-creative-industries

When our brand recognition started to grow, we decided to print a limited number of magazines in celebration of our one-year anniversary. For our first print, we stuck to a classic magazine feel with glossed pages and saddle-stitched binding. We immediately realized how much our audience enjoyed having a tangible product of The Vibe Room. There were appreciation and admiration for the print magazine that we’ve decided to produce print magazines to accompany our digital magazine for all of our forthcoming issue launches.

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Natasha Magino, on starting The Vibe Room ($0/month) full story ➜

How To Find The Right Developer For Your Niche Blog

If you (or others on your team) don't have the necessary coding/design skills to build the product on your own, finding the right developer for your niche blog is a critical piece to bringing your idea to life.

Prior to hiring someone, you'll want to:

  • Have a very clear understanding of what your product (or MVP) will look like
  • Understand what the details of the user experience will look like (pages, how users sign up, backend administrative details, billing, reports etc). It may help to draw out the prototype and UX experience on a design platform such as Sketch
  • Understand what features you want to implement now and even those in the future
  • Understand the costs and time associated with hiring a developer and set a budget (more on that below)

Here are some ways you can find a developer:

Arielle Frank, founder of Clout Collective talks about her experiences and lessons learned when hiring a developer as a non-technical founder:

My first attempt to find a developer was a massive failure. I was basically screaming to be taken advantage of with my lack of technical knowledge and a heart full of hope. I signed an extremely unfavorable contract with a developer based in Morocco who claimed to offer “discounted” development services in exchange for equity in the company. By “discounted” I mean that it would cost only $40K to build the MVP. At the time I had no frame of reference for whether or not this was normal and justified it to myself.

Luckily, after a lot more internet sleuthing, I found my current developer, Adeva. Working with Adeva was the opposite experience of my initial encounter in every way. At $8K, Adeva’s quote for my MVP was literally 1/5th the cost of the original developer! I decided to save money on a front-end designer for V1 by using a template and designing things where I could in Figma.

I was forced to figure out many of the details and features of the platform upfront since Adeva couldn’t give me a quote without detailed user stories.

When building out the prospective features, I tried to focus on the end result and work backward from there.

For example, the end goal was for a content creator to be able to read a review and know whether or not they want to collaborate with a specific brand. I used this goal to inform the questions I collected for the reviews and the best way to display this info. During this phase, I also relied heavily on my beta testers for feedback about which info would be the most useful for them.

It’s tempting to add a bunch of cool, slick features when you’re building your product, but my brilliant mentor encouraged me to focus on doing one thing extremely well.

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Wilson Hung, on starting ARPU (/month) full story ➜

🚀 How To Launch Your Niche Blog

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Build A Website

Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list (without having to hire someone).

  1. Pick a domain name that's easy to remember and easy to type
  2. Choose a Web Hosting Plan (ie. Shopify, Squarespace)
  3. Make sure you choose the right theme and design
  4. Implement the proper page structure (ie. about page, contact page, pricing etc)

To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide.

Best Website Platforms To Use For Your Niche Blog:

There are a variety of websites platforms out there, and it's important to choose the right one that will set you up for success.

Here's everything you need to know about the two most common platforms for your niche blog:

WordPress

Free and open-source content management system based on PHP and MySQL.

Free to use/open source but you will need to pay for the hosting.

Businesses using WordPress:

242 successful businesses are using WordPress ➜

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Get WordPress ➜

Squarespace

The all-in-one solution for anyone looking to create a beautiful website.

  • Personal Plan: $12/month
  • Business Plan: $18/month
  • Basic: $26/month
  • Advanced: $40/month

  • Pricing: Freemium

  • Twitter: @squarespace

  • Website: squarespace.com

Businesses using Squarespace:

55 successful businesses are using Squarespace ➜

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Get Squarespace ➜

Web Design

Once you have chosen the domain, web hosting, and platform, it's time to get started with the design phase.

Themes are a great way to produce the fundamental style and identity of your website - this includes everything from your font design to your blog post styles.

One of the best ways to get started is to simply explore the various themes (free or paid depending on what you're looking for) and test them on your site.

If web-design really isn't in the cards for you, you may want to consider outsourcing a web designer to help bring your vision and brand to life.

Get Press Coverage For Your Niche Blog:

The more buzz around your brand - the more the phones ring, the more traffic to your website, and the more customers as a result.

Here are a few ways you can get press for your business:

Press releases:

Press releases are a great way to share big announcements or news, but in order to get any traction, you'll need to find a way to make your press release stand out amongst others.

Try to convey a story that really matters, not just to you, but to the reporter and to their audience.

Here are some things to consider when submitting a press release:

  • Craft a catchy subject (keep it short and sweet).
  • Acknowledge the journalist's past work and interests - this is key!
  • Include the main point of the story in the first paragraph, heck, even the first sentence. Reporters want to hear the juice first and foremost.
  • Focus on the facts and try to limit the amount of jargon used.
  • Pitch yourself! Help them put a face to the story.
  • Make sure your topic is newsworthy. If it's not, find a way to!
  • Try not to include any attachments of your release!

Email is one of the most effective and preferred way to send your press release, so as long as you keep your pitch brief, interesting and personalized (no cold emails), you should stand a chance!

Get Press Using HARO

HARO, otherwise known as "Help a Reporter Out" is an outlet for journalists to source upcoming stories and opportunities for media coverage.

The best part is, HARO is free to use! There are, of course, premium versions you can purchase, but the free version is still an accessible way to get press.

Once you set up an account, HARO essentially will email you based on stories (that are relevant to you) that need to be covered where you will then have a chance to essentially "bid on the story."

Here are some tips when crafting your pitch:

  • Discuss your experience and expertise in the space. Make sure it's obvious why you're relevant to this story.
  • Answer the question in 3-4 sentences. Try and be as direct as possible
  • Offer to provide the reporter with more information and make sure to give them your contact info

Plan a Publicity Stunt

Planning a publicity stunt is an effective and quick way to raise awareness for your brand and gain some traction from the press.

If you're looking to plan a stunt, the objective should be to be bold and create something memorable

However, being bold has a fine line - it's important that you consider the timing of your stunt to ensure you don't come off insensitive or unethical. For example, timing may not be in your favor if you plan something during the general election, or in most recent cases, a global pandemic.

In order to measure the success of your stunt, it's important that you first determine your end goal, for example:

  • Is the stunt aimed to raise money for your business or a particular organization?
  • Is the stunt aimed to drive more traffic to your website?
  • Is the stunt aimed to get more followers and engagement on Instagram?

Here are a few tips for creating a great publicity stunt:

  • Research to ensure that there haven't been similar stunts done in the past by other businesses - this could easily turn off journalists and your audience.
  • Make sure you can explain the stunt in one headline - this will help grab the media's attention. In other words, simplify!
  • The stunt should be related to the product you are promoting. Even if the stunt is a success in terms of viewers, but it doesn't tie back to your original goal, then it's not useful.
  • Keep the stunt visual with videos/images.
  • Leverage the internet and social media platforms for your stunt by sharing your message across a variety of audiences. This will help with word of mouth and the overall success of your event.

To learn other strategies on how to get press, check out our full guide here.

Launch Strategies For Your Niche Blog

There are various different ways you can launch your niche blog successfully.

Here are a few different strategies to get customers excited about your niche blog.

  • Build hype with a landing page: you can effectively do this through waiting lists, discounts, countdown timer etc
  • Create a teaser video: even just a 30 second video is a great way to exposure for your niche blog, and possibly even go viral
  • Reach out to influencers: The right influencer for your product has the ability to reach your audience with just one post, and because of their loyal following, this could lead to a big return for you.
  • Get Press: Whether you plan a PR stunt or get exposure through a popular news outlet, this is a great way to attract initial customers
  • Launch on popular sites: A great way to get buzz about your niche blog is to submit your launch to popular startup sites.

Here are a few popular sites to launch on:

Learn more about how to launch your business successfully ➜ here

Tyler M, founder of Moneypicks dives deep into the process of launching the business:

Launching the business was a fluid process. As mentioned previously I began the Instagram page in November of 2018. I was just stealing people’s memes and reposting them and then also posting results from my bets.

As this started to grow, I had marketing agencies reach out to me to try and work with me. I rebuffed most until one that really caught my eye contacted me. I have been working with them ever since. My page started to get much more professional after I began working with this agency:

BEFORE :

how-i-make-8-000-month-watching-sports

AFTER:

how-i-make-8-000-month-watching-sports

how-i-make-8-000-month-watching-sports

At the same time I started working with this agency, I began looking for a web developer on Fiverr.

Once I find someone good to work with, I paid him $500 to make my website. If you are thinking about starting your own business, Fiverr can be a great place to turn to for various things. I paid for everything with money from my day job.

I am very lucky to have an amazing day job, but no matter if you have the best job in the world or the worst. We ALL have time to make things happen outside the 9-5. I think that too many people get wrapped up in the idea that they are too busy.

I wake up at 6am to work an hour on Moneypicks every day, and then work from 5pm until I go to sleep. Believe it or not I actually have a third and fourth business that I make time for. If you really want it then put away the xbox and Netflix when you get home from work. Spend your weekends grinding. My mantra: Live like a prince now to live like a king forever.

In May, I officially launched as a paid service. The reaction was insane. I made $3000.00 in the first week and $8000.00 the first month. I got to 100 clients in only 36 days. It blew my mind. It was like a dream.

I offer 3 different packages as of today. Daily for $12.50, Weekly for $50.00 and Monthly for $150.00. What you get in this package is access to the members area of my website and a betting school within that members area. The packages only differ in the length of time you can access the members area. I do not have it setup on a recurring basis simply because the amount of time I would spend dealing with customer service issues is not worth the headache or extra few bucks I might make.

My prices are on the low end in the industry, the opposite end of the spectrum people pay $500 per pick or $15,000 per month. The two guys that charge this amount are much older and from a different era, I don't believe they utilize the technology that my generation wields and they don't connect to their community.

My biggest learning lesson was just trying to go too fast once I got it in my head I wanted to start charging for my information. I had lots of issues with the website. I blame myself for not spending enough time testing the site as much as I should have. Luckily I have lots of communication channels with my customers and an awesome relationship with them, so they understood about any issues that did arise.

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Tyler M, on starting Moneypicks ($8,000/month) full story ➜

🌱 How To Grow Your Niche Blog

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Social Media Advertising

Social Media Advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to niche blog.

There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.

Let's talk about a few of the main platforms and what makes them unique:

  • Facebook Advertising - more than 2 billion monthly users. Facebook is the best for lead generation + capturing email addresses for e-commerce businesses.
  • Instagram Advertising - approximately 500 million monthly users and has a higher audience engagement rate than any other platform. Instagram ads are best for linking to a product page or landing page and reaches the 18-29 age group most effectively.
  • Twitter Advertising- Small businesses typically use twitter ads to drive brand awareness, but the platform is meant more for organic engagement (and is not as heavily used for paid advertising)
  • Pinterest Advertising - 175 million monthly users and most effectively reaches the female audience. Pinterest is great for promoting products without "promoted". The promoted pins have a way of blending right in.
  • LinkedIn Advertising - 227 million monthly users and is geared towards the B2B market and generates the highest quality leads. Great platform for recruiters, high-end products and services that will help businesses

It's important to first define your goal/objective so that you don't waste time and money into the wrong platform:

Here are some different questions to ask yourself as it relates to your goals:

  • Do I want to simply drive brand awareness?
  • Do I want to drive users to my website to gather information?
  • Do I want to increase sales and get my customer to take action?

From there, choose the platform that targets your audience best and start experimenting!

Learn more about social media advertising ➜ here.

Founder Andy Hayes talks about mastering FB ads and the pixel:

The biggest bang for your buck will likely be mastering Facebook and it’s platform - which we all know is pay for play, so you’ll have to come up with a small amount of budget to start for marketing.

We’ve spent countless hours (and paid numerous coaches) before we cracked the code that works for us on Facebook, but it is working really well for us now.

Some of the most important things to know when it comes to FB Ads:

  • Start with retargeting (that’s showing ads to people who already know you but did not purchase). Master this - and start building information on your Facebook Pixel - before you do anything else
  • Once you have that down, try working with the 1% “Lookalike” audience to prospect for new customers. This may take awhile because your pixel audience is small, so try layering on interests - 1% Lookalike and your largest competitor, for example. Don’t use interest-only targeting until you master this.
  • Great photography and videography is key, as is smart copy. Research what’s out there in your industry and constantly test - what works for one company may not work for other people.
  • Make sure you have good offers. For example, we have a $5 trial for our subscription, which converts affordably - if we promoted our subscription with the standard $30 front charge, it wouldn’t be as cost-effective.
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Andy Hayes, on starting Plum Deluxe Tea ($75,000/month) full story ➜

Grow Your Email List

The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.

One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free (or discounted) in return.

This could also be anything from:

  • Ebook
  • Fascinating case study
  • Video series
  • Free week of the product
  • Discount on the product

Learn more about how to grow your email list and improve email marketing ➜ here.

Dylan Jacob, founder of Brumate states their email collection tactic that is proven to work:

We use Spin-a-Sale for this (you spin a wheel for a discount code in exchange for subscribing to our email list). This has been the best email-collecting tool we have found because the customer truly feels like they won a prize rather than just a coupon code.

Even if a customer doesn’t convert right away, if we have their email we have a 19% chance of converting them into a future customer whether that is through future promotions, new releases, or simply just sending an email at the right time for a purchase to finally make sense for them.

We also have a return customer rate of over 14%, so one out of every 6 people we convert will end up buying from us again with an average order value of over $60.00.

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Dylan Jacob, on starting BrüMate ($12,000,000/month) full story ➜

Add an exit-intent popup to your online store

A great way to double, or even triple, your email opt-in rate and to grow your list is to add an exit-intent popup to your site, and offering a discount or content upgrade for subscribers.

Here's an example of what that might look like:

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One thing that I spent years NOT doing, that I now kick myself about, is adding an "exit intent pop-up" to our site, which lets people enter a sweepstakes to win a Xero Shoes gift certificate.

That one idea has added over 100,000 subscribers to our email list, which is one of our most effective marketing channels.

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Steven Sashen, on starting Xero Shoes ($1,500,000/month) full story ➜

Improve Your Email Marketing

Different types of emails

Here are the most common types of email campaigns you can send to your customers and their benefits:

  • Welcome emails - the perfect way to provide information from the start with a clear CTA. Make sure to tell your customer everything they need to know about your product or service.
  • Newsletters - a great way to give customers updates or send out your latest content
  • Product launch emails - the quickest (and easiest) way to increase sales is by selling to current customers. Make sure they're the first on the list to know about your new product
  • Promotional emails - promote discounts, deals coupons etc. Try and make this feel exclusive and for a limited time only
  • Abandoned cart emails - give your customers a reason to complete their purchase!

Here's a great resource for finding curated email designs, for all types of email campaigns!

Abandonded Cart Flow

The abandoned cart workflow is one of the most effective strategies for turning your lead into a customer, and a powerful tool to have if you're an e-commerce business.

Think about all the times that you went on a shopping frenzy only to add items to your cart and then either forget or realize nows not the right time to pull the trigger.

Then, minutes later you receive an email saying "Hurry up! Your cart is waiting - and we want to provide you with 20% off your order."

Maybe that's the special touch (and discount) you needed to pull that trigger.

Implementing this workflow can automatically trigger this for your business every time a customer abandons their cart.

Here's a great example of an abandoned cart email from Brooklinen:

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Things they do well:

  • Showcase 5-star reviews from other customers
  • Offer a small discount + free shipping
  • Great design + clear call to actions!

Improve your SEO

SEO is not just about driving traffic to your site, it's about driving the RIGHT traffic to your site, and ultimately, converting leads into customers.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding what your customers are searching for, otherwise known as "keyword research."

Here are some tools that can help you choose the right keywords for your niche blog.

Publish Great Content

Finding keywords is an important piece of the puzzle, but Google also ranks your site based on the actual content you produce, as this is what your customers are reading and engaging with.

There are various different "forms" of content that you may want to consider diversifying on your sites, such as blog posts, articles, studies, and videos.

So let's discuss what google considers "good content:"

  • Length - This will vary depending on the page, however, generally having a sufficient amount of content helps search engines recognize that your site is a good source for a specific topic
  • Engagement - The longer people stay on your website to read your content, the higher Google will rank your website. It's important to have informative and "thick" content that keeps people reading
  • Avoid Duplicating Content - Google will recognize this and may consider your content to have low value
  • Ensure pages load quickly - This will also help with engagement and time spent on your website
  • Shareability - Create content that people want to share, and is easy for them to share, especially to their social media accounts (ie. "click to tweet" is a great example of this).

Another element of creating good content is creating consistent content.

If (and hopefully you are) publishing content frequently, it's important to stick to a schedule - this helps build brand trust and easy user experience with your customers.

Planning out your content with a content calendar is key to staying consistent.

Here are a few great content calendar tools that can help you:

  • Trello
  • Airtable
  • If you prefer to keep it simple, your average spreadsheet is just as useful!

Backlinks

Backlinks are an important piece to SEO, as they allow for other websites to link to your content.

Search engines recognize that other sites are essentially "verifying" your content and essentially rank you higher because of this.

Of course, some links are more valuable than others and can affect your site in different ways.

For example, if a highly valuable and credible site like the New York Times links to a page on your website, this could be remarkable from an SEO perspective.

Aside from organically getting mentioned from other sites, there are other ways that you can increase and earn backlinks:

  • Create infographics with relevant data that people want to share
  • Promote your content on different sites/look into "guest blogging"
  • Contact influencers/journalists/bloggers and ask them to mention you!
  • Write testimonials for other sites in exchange for a backlink
  • Leverage existing business relationships

Learn more about the fundamentals of SEO ➜ here and check out Neil Patel's 3 Powerful SEO Tips below

Build A Blog

One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and grow your business is through consistently blogging.

We've outlined some useful tips for you to consider when creating content:

Consistency and Quantity

Quality is important, but it should be the standard for any content you publish.

What’s more important is consistency and quantity.

Consistency is as simple as committing to publishing and sharing a certain number of posts per week. For me, that’s three per week right now.

This kind of commitment is key, because one day, a random post will blow up, and you will have never expected it.

Oversaturation

The easiest mind trap is to think "I’m posting too much", and “I need to give my readers/audience/this platform a break”.

This is nonsense.

There is no such thing as oversaturation. Well, there is, but it is just someone else’s opinion.

For every person that tells you you are posting too much, there is another person that wants even more of your content.

You should ignore people’s opinions on how much you post.

Patience & Persistence

Keep posting, keep trying, and keep putting out good content on the regular. Your time will come, and when it does, it will change everything.

The only thing you have control over is your content.

You can’t control how people will react to it. You can’t control pageviews, likes, or shares.

So the only metric you should focus on is how much content you can put out in a week, month, etc.

Where to share your blog content

Mailing List

I know it sounds obvious, but the best places to share your content is on your mailing list. It is guaranteed traffic and it is a great way to get rapid feedback from your most loyal readers.

Send newsletters often. I have done once a week since starting, and I’m moving to twice a week soon.

Work on increasing your mailing list as well. Look into ways to increase your conversion rate to your mailing list. I added a flyout popup thing to my site and now I’m collecting ~30 emails per day.

An email newsletter is one of the most powerful assets you can have and it is worth its weight in gold.

Reddit

Reddit is one of my favorite places to promote content.

It is a very scary place because you will often get banned or heckled, but it can really pay off.

Create social media accounts for your blog, the main ones I use:

Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn

Set up Buffer and share all of your blog posts to all of your accounts. All of these little shares really do add up.

Automate this as much as possible. I automated all of my social media for Starter Story.

Facebook Groups

When I started out, I put together a spreadsheet of relevant Facebook groups for my niche, and I would post to these groups whenever I had a big story I wanted to share.

Experiment With Pay Per Click Ads (PPC)

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a performance-based marketing method that allows you to show specific ads for services or products oriented to a very defined target, with the goal that the user visits your website or landing page.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Consider connecting the ad to your corresponding landing page so that the audience receives the necessary information after clicking on the ad.
  • Conversion Tracking: When running PPC campaigns, be sure to run the ads with conversion tracking.
  • Focus on quality keywords, even if there are few as this will save you time and money. When assessing the performance of a keyword, it's important to track the expense, conversion, and cost per conversion, as well as the ROI.

PPC advertising can be a very important lead generator as long as it's done properly. Your PPC campaign is intended to drive traffic to your website and help the business scale.

Additionally, if the campaign is not having the desired results, you can make the necessary changes immediately to improve them.

Ryan Schortmann, founder of Display Pros talks about their investment in PPC Ads:

My name is Ryan Schortmann and I’m the founder of Display Pros. We are a custom trade show display booth company offering easy to use portable display “kits” for small and medium businesses wanting to get into the trade show game.

It did not take long to come to the realization that to compete at any reasonable level, we were going to need to take the plunge and invest in Pay Per Click ads and display.

From experience, I know that it is important to give Google’s hivemind some time to settle in before each campaign starts seeing consistent results (this is largely dependent on budget).

A certain amount of PPC budget must be viewed as a “marketing research” expense and then you can look at the analytics data and make informed decisions on where to refine, tweak or plain scrap an idea.

Google Shopping was an entirely new concept for me. You can’t assign keywords to products so at first, I was asking myself “How the hell do you refine these?”. Then I found some good reading material and courses and learned of some advanced methods that the pros are using. It turns out you can utilize negative keyword lists combined with the priority setting on each shopping campaign to “shape” the keywords that are coming in and how much you are spending on them.

To learn more about PPC Ads and Google Shopping, check out this video to learn everything you need to know!

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Ryan Schortmann, on starting Display Pros ($30,000/month) full story ➜

Build A Facebook Community

Building a community is a great way to grow your network and your business.

There are several different ways of building a community, one of the most effective (and simplest) ways is to build a Facebook group

Setting up the group page takes less than 10 minutes, and we've outlined ways the top 5 ways to create an engaging and successful group:

  • Make the group exclusive. This may sound counter-intuitive, however, this ensures privacy and that the group will feel comfortable posting and engaging with members.
  • Try to be warm and welcoming. A great way to do this is by having a "Member Monday" where you welcome new members and ask them to introduce themselves in the group
  • Use polls/surveys. This is a great way to know your audience and see what people want more of in the group (more business tips, networking opportunities, etc).
  • Include influential people & conduct AMA's (ask me anything). This is a great way to get members engaged
  • Host an in-person (or virtual) event with members in the group. This will create stronger relationships and build a strong community.

Mike Doehla, founder of Stronger U, an online nutrition company noticed that his customers needed a little motivation and sense of community:

Most diets are lonely so we wanted to give support and a community.

I think many people fail diets because there is no one to talk to and no accountability.

You can by a book, or google a meal plan but who’s going to keep you on track? We will. The entire SU community.

We give our members access for life to our Facebook community filled with people around the world who are looking out for everyone’s success.

Most diets make up arbitrary rules and we thought they just didn’t make sense. Meal timing, Cutting carbs, butter in coffee, sugar being the devil? Ehh no need to overthink that stuff.

We’ll give you the science behind of what we do and show you what actually matters based on real research.

Luckily we have a PhD at our disposal to educate our staff and members so everyone is getting the most up to date information out there.

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Mike Doehla, on starting Stronger U ($500,000/month) full story ➜

Consider Working With Instagram Influencers

Partnering with like-minded influencers (within your industry) is one of the most effective ways to grow your social media organically.

Industry influencers already have an established and loyal following. With one post, your product immediately establishes a connection with a brand new audience. It's that powerful.

When finding influencers to promote your product, do your research and make sure that their following will actually be interested in your product.

It's easy to be blinded by any influencer with a huge following, but if those followers don't resonate with your product, there may not be any value there... so make sure you do your research!

Evan Marshall, founder of Plain Jane discusses how "micro-influencers" have impacted his business:

Influencer marketing has been huge for us. Our approach is pretty simple. We give out samples of our products and ask people to post about us on social media aka a micro-influencer strategy.

We really like this approach because we get authentic stories and content. We cannot really control the messaging so the product has to speak for itself. We don’t really take product photos at all. Our customers take the photos and we ask to reuse them.

With any influencer strategy, you have to be very sure you’re targeting the right people and engaging with them. You can make sure you’re targeting the right influencers by looking through their posts and then looking through the profiles of their engaged followers.

It takes more time per influencer but the payoff is certainly worth it. Make sure their followers look like your existing customers.

It takes a ton of time and work to grow a social media following this way but it’s worth it. Other accounts have tried to grow themselves through botting or other manipulations. As a CBD company, we didn’t want to give Instagram any reason to shutdown our account so we’ve done everything through content and real engagement. It’s not magic to make this happen. You just have to post consistently and then reply or like every single comment you get. It takes months but it works

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Evan Marshall, on starting Plain Jane ($275,000/month) full story ➜

The Freemium Model

Offering free trials to your platform is a great way to gain exposure for your business and potentially get new customers!

Finding the right niche blog is a big deal for most people, so it can be important for customers to try a free version with limited features prior to making a big investment.

Once your customer reaches the limits of their free account, they're much more likely to invest in the premium version so they can gain access to all of the features your product offers.

There are a few different ways you can limit certain aspects of your product:

  • Usage quotas: Storage limits or limiting the number of times they can utilize a feature
  • Limited features: Only allowing your free user to utilize certain features vs all features - this is also a great way to upsell during the user's experience
  • Limited support: Customer support can be time-consuming, by limiting the level of support to free users this is a great incentive for them to upgrade (and will save you a lot of time and money)!

🏃🏼‍♀️ How To Run Your Niche Blog

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How To Retain Customers For Your Niche Blog

Retaining customers is one of the most effective ways to grow your niche blog.

Oftentimes, it's easy to find yourself focusing on generating new customers, vs retaining your current ones.

Look at it this way - you are 60-70% more likely to sell a new product to an existing customer than you are a new customer.

That's not to say that finding new customers and revenue streams is not important, however, the easiest (and most inexpensive) source of new revenue is right there in front of you.

Here are some ways you can retain customers for your niche blog:

  • Responding to comments on social media
  • Send discounts (or freebies) to loyal customers
  • Provide valuable content, for free
  • Write a hand written thank you note
  • Provide awesome customer service and build relationships with customers

To find out more tips and tricks on retaining customers, check out this article ➜ here

Jodi Carlson, founder of Leader Connecting Leaders dives deep into the process of attracting and retaining customers:

The core of my traffic started coming from Pinterest.

Troop leaders love Pinterest. So I focused primarily there for the first year. The first important things to do is to change your profile to a business profile and make sure to have rich pins set up on your blog.

It is worth getting Tailwindapp which will allow you to schedule pins ahead of time. Join Pinterest tribes, which is where other people who will see and share your content while you also share theirs. Additionally, there is some amazing analytics in the dashboard to know what pins are working and which pins are not.

The next addition to your blog is the Tasty Pin Plugin, this allows you to set pinterest descriptions for every picture on your site, set up hidden images on blog posts so when someone hits pin from a blog post they can pick between all the pictures you have saved for that post.

It will share it with the keyword rich description you added to that image. It also allows you to set the Alt text separately which is important for SEO. I also hired a VA this last year who makes 12 new images from my most popular blog posts. You can create pins that not only state what the title of the post is to grab things from within post that could catch someone's eye. And lastly, pinning daily at least 10 to 15 pins a day some your own and sharing other people's content is worth it as well.

I continued to get more and more people being added to my mailing list. I also used Facebook groups as a place to share my content.

In early 2017, I started a Facebook page for the blog, which has proven to be a big success as well. Since starting, I am at 5961 fans, with very engaging fans. As the income started coming in more and more and traffic picked up from Facebook as well.

Below is a screenshot of 2018 traffic sources. As you can see social media overall was double the organic search. While both were important I do spend a lot of time on my social media accounts.

how-jodi-carlson-grew-a-niche-blog-to-6-5k-month

I tried Facebook ads specifically boosted posts and found that people were sharing it with their friends, which led to more likes to page and more traffic to blog. This is an ongoing expense each month because the ROI on it is worth it. I also discovered if you post great content people want to share they share it with people that are not liking your page, so you can then look at those likes and invite them to join your page. I share my own content as well as other great ideas I find on the web that leaders will find helpful.

I set little goals for myself each month I would focus on reaching out to one new blogger, or person that I felt would make a great partner and would ask if they want to collaborate in some way. It sometimes was a blog exchange, or even just getting their content on my blog was a big win for me. I found authors who did patch programs and shared their ideas on my blog and then shared on Facebook, Pinterest and mailing list. With every bigger popular blog post I wrote brought more and more traffic.

I also have two shops I started selling my booklets strictly on teacherpaysteachers.com then in early 2017 I decided to try selling the booklets directly from my website. I have found having two different avenues of ways to purchase the booklets has paid off as well. People sometimes search and find my other shop first, or by finding that shop they discover my blog and join mailing list.

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Jodi Carlson, on starting Leader Connecting Leaders ($6,500/month) full story ➜

Diversify Your Product Line

Adding new products to your business is a great way to expand into new markets and grow your business.

It's important to note that adding new products and diversifying may not be in the cards for you right this moment, and that's okay. You can always consider it down the road.

Here are some reasons you may want to considering adding/diversifying your product

  • Meeting the needs of your customers
  • Establish yourself as a top provider in your industry and stay ahead of the game with competition
  • Resistance to downturns/trends fading
  • Create new revenue streams

Word of Mouth

The most tried and true way to grow a niche blog is through word of mouth - some entrepreneurs would say it's more important than all social media.

Why you should focus on word of mouth:

  • Consumers trust word of mouth above all other forms of marketing
  • 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising
  • 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe it is the most effective form of marketing

Learn more about word of mouth in our guide: 30 Ways Founders Grow Their Business ➜

Authenticity

As a brand, you want to deliver an experience that authentic, honest and transparent.

Don't make the mistake of giving your audience less credit than they deserve.

Be Authentic

If you go around chasing every trend and only focused on yourself and money, you’re going to lose very quickly.

There have been many times where we have been tempted to do this but stayed true.

Sure we sacrificed sales, but we kept our integrity, played the long game and people saw and appreciated that, and really began emotionally investing in the brand.

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Valentin Ozich, on starting I Love Ugly ($300,000/month) full story ➜

Outsourcing

If you can afford to hire someone to help support your niche blog, outsourcing is a great way to save you time and energy.

Most importantly, outsourcing can help you focus on the core growth of your business, versus spending your time on day to day tasks that other people can do just as well!

If you do plan to outsource your work, it's important to be hyper-familiar with the actual work involved.

Why is it important to be hyper-familiar with the work?

  • So you can understand how long it takes
  • So you understand the full process, edge cases, things that can go wrong.
  • So you can explain it in detail to your employee.
  • So you can make sure it actually works (for example - how do you know cold email works for your business if you’re not on the ground floor trying it out?)
  • Understanding the tasks at a deep level will save you a lot of time and money.

Build a Referral Program

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business and acquire new customers. Especially when you are starting out, it’s important to build a solid referral program to encourage existing customers to help you find new ones.

A great way to do that is by offering a reward (ie. credit on your service or cash) to customers that refer you to their friends and family.

A fantastic referral program will help with clout, credibility, and establishing yourself in the space.

Resources

We put together the best resources on the internet to help you start your niche blog.

Tools

Books

Web Resources

Videos

Case Studies

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Starter Story,   Founder of Starter Story

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