Below is an edited transcript of this video
In this presentation I cover a few things:
And as I said, if you’ve been struggling with information overload and if you’re just overwhelmed which is totally understandable, then this model should give you kind of a high level view of the way I’ve made money online and the way that an online business can work and I think it’s just a good bird’s eye view of how the whole process works and it should clear some things up for you.
So what exactly is a micro niche?
I actually looked around for a definition of this and I really couldn’t find anything so I actually coined my own definition:
“A micro niche is a slice of a market in which a relatively small group of people have very similar needs”
I’ll give you some examples of micro niches in a second…
But I just want to emphasize here, “relatively small group” that can mean millions of people. I use the work “relatively” for a reason. I mean relative to a huge micro market like weight loss for example, where there’s hundreds of millions of people around the world who are looking for solutions, a micro niche could have five million to ten million people, for example. So just keep that in mind.
So again, a slice of a market in which a relatively small group of people have very similar needs.
You can think of a market as a large pie, and then you can think of niches within that market as slices of the pie, and micro niches are slices of the slices. So a micro niche is a thin sliver of a giant pie.
So here are examples of what I call markets. A market is basically a big group of buyers and sellers, but there’s three evergreen markets that we talk about usually in internet marketing: Health, Wealth, and Love.
Health is pretty straight forward, when people have problems with diseases or trying to improve their health or physical fitness, that sort of thing.
Wealth has to do with making money, with career advancement, and that sort of thing.
Love has to do with dating, relationships, and so on.
I’ll give you some examples right now.
So here are some niches within those evergreen markets:
So as I said, Health can be specific diseases, like heart disease or high blood pressure and other health conditions like that, or it could be a health issues like weight loss. So those are examples of niches within the Health market.
Within the Wealth market, you could be talking about things like investing, the “make money online” niche or “career advancement” niche.
Within the Love market, there are niches like dating, relationship advice, divorce advice and things like that.
If you’re familiar with the Clickbank marketplace, you’ve seen products that get into a lot of these niches.
As we go down a little bit further, as we niche it down as I say, if you’re looking within the Health market and the weight loss niche, a smaller niche could be a paleo diet for example, or the raw food diet.
Within the Wealth market and the investing niche, you could be looking at the penny stock investing niche or day trading.
And I’ll give you examples of even tighter niches in a second.
And finally, in the Love market and the dating niche, you could be looking at Christian dating, Latino dating and that sort of thing. I mean, there are tons of different segments in the dating niche.
Ok, so here are examples of micro niches within the niches I already mentioned, and keep in mind there are millions of different micro niches out there.
So if you niche it down even further, for example within the Health market and the weight loss niche, you can get into raw food diets for women.
Within the Wealth market and the investment niche, you could be looking at day trading for advanced investors.
So for example, to make that even more specific, you could start a program, if you have the experience or if you have access to people who are experienced or experts, you could start a program teaching millionaires how to day trade for example, or teaching high net worth individuals how to day trade.
Another example in the Love market and the dating niche could be Latino dating in New York City.
And this can be online as well, it’s not just an offline concept. You could have a website that specifically targets for example, Latino women living in New York City and provide them with tips on how to find a man and that sort of thing.
And what’s great about that is because you’re focusing on a geographic area, a local area, you could give specific offline kind of advice or places to go or that sort of thing. And New York City is obviously a big enough city where you would have a fairly large market there.
So again, these are examples of micro niches. Remember: when I say that a micro niche is a relatively small group of people, we could be talking about millions of people.
Raw food diet for women could be an audience of millions of people, because online you have global reach. And the same thing applies to the other micro niches I mentioned, with the obvious exception of Latino dating in New York City. That audience would probably be more like thousands of people, rather than millions.
Ok, so let’s go over to my micro niche monetization model in detail.
This model is basically my entire marketing process, and I’ve used this process to make a lot of money online.
So the first step in this is to actually understand your passions AND your strengths.
I should emphasize one thing here: a lot of people focus on passions only.
Understanding your passions (or interests) is very important, but nobody talks about strengths.
In my experience of running an online business for seven years, you really need to understand what your passions AND your strengths are.
The importance of passions is obvious: you should have an interest in some aspect of your online business, whether it’s the topic of your online business or some aspects of the operation of your business. And by “operation” I mean, do you love the marketing aspect of things, do you love building websites, do you love you know SEO or those sorts of things?
But you also need to understand your strengths because what I find with a lot of people who come to me for advice is they are struggling, working on things that they are very weak in and are bad at. That’s not only hugely inefficient – it’s also demoralizing.
So in my case, one of my weaknesses is website development.
I know my way around WordPress, but when it comes to HTML and designing and all the nuts and bolts behind a website, I’m not only NOT interested in those things but I am terrible at it.
And I have spent many hours messing around with WordPress websites and trying to get images to align properly and all sorts of things and it was a total waste of my time, because I could have hired somebody for 10 bucks from a freelance website to do that work and I should have focused on my strengths.
So there are a number of ways of identifying your passions and your strengths.
To figure out your passions, I could give you a whole list of questions to ask yourself or exercises to go through, but here are just a couple of things:
Strengths are a little more difficult to find out, because it’s hard to objectively identify what you’re good at
So what I recommend is you ask your friends and family. And there’s a great exercise where you can just send out an email to your friends and family and simply ask them “What do you think I’m good at?” Simply ask them that question. If you send that out to 10 or 20 people, you’ll start to see themes emerge.
Ok, so that’s understanding your passions and strengths. It’s very important to do that kind of self-assessment inventory before you get started, even if you just take an hour or two to do it.
So the second thing is finding a profitable niche.
As you probably know, my Niche Sherpa course covers this process step-by-step, but in this section I’ll give you the broad strokes.
First thing you do is you select a handful of test niches. That’s just a brainstorming exercise where you kind of go through and you figure out “OK, which niches should I be focusing on based on my passions and strengths?”
At this point you’re not looking at profitability, you’re only looking at niches that appeal to you based again on your passions, interests and strengths.
The second one you do is you fill your problems bucket. Once you’ve identified a handful of niches, you have to go through and do the appropriate research to find out what are the problems that people are facing in each of those niches. So all you’re trying to do is find the range of problems that people are having in those niches.
The third thing that you do is you zero in on the most profitable problems.
This is when you’re kind of like filtering in or narrowing down the problems. You want to find the problems where you’re going to have the highest chance of being profitable straight out of the gate.
I’ve done this in multiple markets, including in one of my markets where I did the research, I actually did online surveys and I launched a product and in the first day I had about six sales. Actually the first night I had six sales.
And the reason that it sold so well was because I identified exactly what people were having pain with, extreme pain, and could not find to a solution easily online and when I presented it, they just gobbled it up.
I zero in on profitable problems by passing them through what I call the “NEEEDS Test”:
N = Needs are based on a strong emotional or physical desire for a solution?
E = Enough people searching online for a solution?
E = Evergreen niche?
E = Easily available solutions are not online?
D = Desperate macro niche (Health, Wealth, or Love)?
S = Solutions make money or save money?
And I should just say that the last two of these needs, a desperate macro niche or can a solution make money or save money – those are not necessary in my experience, but the first four are.
So if your problems do not fall into the macro niches of Health, Wealth or Love, or if it’s not a solution that will make money or save money for people, that’s not a deal breaker. But the first four that I just covered, the N-E-E-E, those are absolutely necessary.
The last thing you do, once you identified the most profitable problems, is to dive deep to understand those problems deeply and use what I call the Private Investigator or Survey Researcher approach.
Keep this in mind: doing this much research might seem like overkill, but you follow these steps you’ll have such a deep understanding of the problems facing your niche audience, you will know your audience better than they know themselves!
And when you do that, you’ll now not only what problems they’re willing to pay for and are desperate to solve, but you’ll also know the language they use when describing their problems. And when you can mimic back that language to people, they will feel that you are speaking directly to them and they will be more likely to trust you and buy from you.
Once you’ve found a profitable niche that you’re going to run with, you need to figure out your offers. And there are four basic kinds of offers. I’ve used the first three extensively in my business, the last one not so much, but I’ll describe that too.
You probably already know what an affiliate product is: a product that is created by someone else, and that you can get a commission for when you promote it on your website.
I’ve specialized in promoting Clickbank affiliate products, as well as promoting my own products.
Even if you start an online business by promoting affiliate products, you should aim to create your own products as quickly as possible.
There’s a simple reason for that: when you have your own products to promote, you have a lot more control over every aspect of your business:
You control everything! So not only can you make a lot more money (because you keep all the money, not just an affiliate commission), but you also can increase sales by changing aspects of your products.
I’ve focused almost exclusively on info products in my business, but you can also get into selling services, coaching, etc.
The third kind of offer is AdSense, i.e. ads on your website.
AdSense is Google’s advertising program for website owners. You put a little piece of code from Google on your website and they start serving ads on your website, based on their interpretation of the content on your website.
I’ve made a lot of money through AdSense. In my early days I was making thousands of dollars a month from Adsense on my websites.
And it’s truly “passive” income. I have one site right now that I haven’t touched for three years and it still makes up to $500 a month in Adsense revenue. That’s just one website, and I haven’t touched it in three years. It’s amazing!
The fourth kind of offer is lead generation. Here’s an example of how lead generation works: if you’re getting people to come to your website, and you’re capturing their personal information, like email address, telephone number and that sort of thing, you can sell that information to a service provider who can help those people.
So it might be, for example, if you’re running a travel website and your website is all about taking a vacation to Bali. There are travel companies who are willing to pay to get those leads.
So people come to your website for information on Bali, they enter their email address and phone number, and then you sell that information to a travel company that specializes in Bali vacations. (Note: you have to tell the people who are giving you their private information that you’re providing those details to a travel company, of course.)
Once you’ve decided on your offers, you launch your website. There are four things to look at when setting up your website:
I get emails from people all the time saying “Can you look at my website and tell me why I’m not making any sales?”
As soon as I look at their website, five to ten things jump out at me straight away. Often basic things that have to do with the layout of the site.
For example: they don’t have an email capture form on the site, or they don’t have an About page, or the About page doesn’t have a picture of them along with some personal information so when people go to the site, they can go to the about page and they can gain some trust. Or the site doesn’t look personal, it looks too corporate, or it looks kind of spammy.
There are many aspects of a site’s layout that affect trust, credibility, and sales. So you have set up a layout that gains your visitors’ trust and ultimately leads to sales.
Then you set up your website. I set up all my websites on WordPress, a very popular platform that you’re probably aware of.
Then you create the content for your sites. There’s an art and science to content creation, as well. You obviously want to create content that will organically attract traffic to your site and will provide useful information to visitors (just enough useful information to build trust and encourage visitors to buy).
A “sales funnel” is basically every step you take a prospect through to get them to buy.
How to set up a sales funnel could be an entire course unto itself, but the basics of it involve putting an email opt-in form on your website and then have an autoresponder sequence in which you provide people with very useful information that also builds trust and credibility, and occasionally offering paid products (either your own or affiliate products).
The next you do is start getting what I call “external” traffic.
I differentiate between external traffic and internal traffic like this:
External traffic is traffic that comes from outside of your website (i.e. fresh visitors), while…
Internal traffic is traffic that you drive back to your website yourself through email marketing (more on internal traffic below).
There are six different ways you can get external traffic:
· Paid traffic (such as Google AdWords and Bing Ads)
· Organic traffic (i.e. traffic that you get from the search engines that you don’t pay for. Some people call that free traffic, I think that’s actually a misnomer, because it’s not free at all if you value your time, because it takes a lot of time to try and get organic traffic)
· Social traffic (i.e. traffic from social networks like Facebook and Twitter)
· Email drops (i.e. when you buy an ad in an email, or when you pay a list owner send an email to their subscribers for you
· Referral traffic (i.e. when you submit articles to article directories, or do guest
As mentioned above, you can generate internal traffic by getting people who have opted in to your email list to visit your website again by sending them emails.
You can do that in two ways: through an autoresponder sequence (which is just a sequence or chain of automatic emails that you set up through an email marketing service like Aweber.com), or through broadcast messages, which are just messages that you send out manually once in a while, to your email subscribers.
So that’s a great way to drive internal traffic and drive sales. And from my own experience, getting people onto my email list is the number one way of driving sales and building trust. It works really well. It has for years, and will continue to do so for years to come.
The last thing you do once you’ve set up all of the previous steps is what’s called conversion optimization.
Conversion optimization basically means taking what’s working for you right now and making it better.
So for example, if you’re getting 10% of people who visit your website to opt into your email list, then you want to get that up to 15% or 20%. The process you follow to increase your email opt-in rate is called conversion optimization.
So that’s it! That’s the process I’ve followed for years to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in online revenue.
My snazzy new name for that process is the Micro Niche Monetization Model.
And in 2015 everything I do will be driven by this model: new content for my Niche Sherpa course, niche packs, coaching, and done-for-you niche research will be guided by this model.
How about you? Do you have any questions or comments about my process?