Stickwithitness: Eight Keys to Niche Blogging Success

Stickwithitness. I know that is not a word. But it should be! Lately I have seen a number of new bloggers, and few veterans too, become rather frustrated with their ability to make money online. Trying to earn a decent income from niche blogging or similar online endeavors can be frustrating.  But there is a key to it: Stickwithiness.

Earning from a content site takes time. It takes time to generate enough content for good traffic and to become established though social media. Until that happens, income will be lower. But stick with it in several ways, and the potential for income can be good. Here are few things to try out, do consistently, and stick with:

(1) Use affiliate links consistently. It took me several years of  growth before I started seeing consistent results from affiliate links, but then it happened-my traffic became regular and high enough that suddenly those links started converting. I also stumbled on some very good converting products simply by trying many different programs and links. I now make about 40% of my income on my older sites from affiliate marketing and my newer sites are developed to earn around 80% of their income from affiliate links.  What would have happened if I hadn’t stuck with it from the start and kept putting in those links? Well, they wouldn’t have been there I wouldn’t have made the money or found the best converting items.  Use affiliate marketing resources religiously! Stick with it! If you are a veteran who has relied on ad income and haven’t used affiliate marketing resources, consider going back and adding affiliate links to your old posts that get regular traffic, it will be  work, but you could end up pleasantly surprised,

(2) Build your social network. It takes time to create relationships and build a following, but it is well worth it. Remember your friends and treat them well and they will remember you. Sometime down the road, that favor you did for someone will come back to help you. Maybe in ways that will earn you money or advance your blogging or marketing career. Plus the relationships that you form will be rewarding in and of themselves. Stick with it!

(3) Test, test, test! Experiment, try different ad sources, move your ads around, experiment with colors and different affiliate programs, take up video posting or podcasting, etc. Basically, try something new. Something as simple as optimizing your adsense  can make a big difference. The last time I did adsense testing, I increased my income by about $100  per month on one site and $50 on another, not huge, but noticeable, and all it took was a few tests of different ad arrangements–maybe 20 minutes of work tops.  I have also tried numerous other ad programs. Some, even most, were huge failures, but a few did very well. I wouldn’t have found those if I wasn’t open minded to new things and willing to test.  The diversity of programs that you find will also help protect your income.

(4) Be willing to compromise. I once spoke with a blogger who really wanted to run CPM ads, but only below the fold because she wanted her site to look pretty. She was frustrated that she could not make money doing this. A good looking site is important, but you simply can’t make much money with below the fold CPM ads, or below the fold adsense for that matter.  So compromise: Maybe run one above the fold ad. Or, do as I did and test many. I found that my traffic never decreased from running multiple relevant above the fold ads, even when I ran many of them or took on higher paying ads that I personally don’t care for, such as pushdowns.  I never received a single complaint either (much to my surprise). You won’t know how it will work on your own site or affect your readers until you compromise and try it.

(5) Start or build an email list. Email marketing is not dead. It is thriving. I learned this one late and still am new to the game on it. Build an email list! Use it to send  quality information and also to promote your site and market quality products. Use a double opt in service, such as AWeber, to avoid issues of looking like (or actually being) a spammer, keep the quality high, and the process can bring great rewards. Like everything else though, it takes time to build. Stick with it!

(6) Be proactive. Ask for ad sales, ask for commission increases, negotiate contracts. It is OK to ask to be paid what you are worth. I no longer run purely promotional notices for brands and stores. I don’t believe in giving away free ads. But, when I think it is relevant, I politely offer ad space or sponsored posts (with no follow links). Most decline, but a few buy, and do so a decent rates.  I wouldn’t have those sales at all if I didn’t ask.

(7) Create a product. I have yet to do this, but it is next on my list.  With your own product, such as an ebook, online course, or physical product related to your site, you own the profits and you can create something to market that you truly believe in. If you are veteran blogger getting frustrated with lack of profit from affiliate links, look to this. It can be a great new way to grow.

(8) Most Important: Stickwithitness! It takes times, it can also have its ups and downs. I have had periods of great income only to see something kill it. A good advertiser pulls out, or a top converting affiliate program ends. But amazingly something always seems to rise to replace it. Why? Because I moved on, stuck with it, and found something new to replace the lost income. I am always looking for the next successful thing.

Success is never guaranteed, but one thing is for sure, if you don’t stick with it, you will fail.

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