As the niche site duel continues, I’ve gotten to the point where, aside from adding periodic content and backlinks, the site has become a passive project for me. I’ll still share my earnings in my monthly income reports and maybe another post here or there about new strategies I’m using, but the vast majority of my niche site’s configuration has already been publicized here for you to read.
I’m a huge fan of personal challenges, and I think it’s about time to layer another one on top of my already existing projects. You can criticize me for juggling too many projects at once, but I’ve learned that this is how I keep it interesting and enjoyable for myself. If I can still produce positive results, I’m not going to complain about it.
I really believe that this new challenge is going to do wonders for my passive income portfolio, as I continue to diversify it. Let’s jump into the details.
Is This a Challenge or a Product Review?
You may have been confused by the title of this post, so allow me to clarify. First of all, if you read my blog regularly, you know that I rarely promote products. In fact, I can’t even think of an article I’ve written to strictly promote a product that costs money (except Market Samurai, which everyone is promoting due to how awesome it is) – it’s just not the way I do things around here. There are exceptions to this “rule,” however, when I feel like I’ve found something that can actually help others be successful.
A little over a month ago, I purchased Niche Profit Course from Chris Guthrie, a blogger (his blog is MakeMoneyOnTheInternet.com) who usually makes over $5,000/month from Amazon’s affiliate program. His best month was last December (i.e. last holiday season) when he earned over $12,000 from Amazon.
As you may know, Amazon’s commission rates generally range from around 4-8%, depending on how many products you sell in a given month. The fact that Chris has been able to have this much success really speaks to his methods and how he applies them.
I’ve followed Chris’s blog for several months now, so naturally I was excited when he announced that he would be releasing a course that walks you through, step by step, how he does it. Now that I’ve gone through the course and can honestly recommend it to others, I decided to combine my review with a real challenge where I’ll actually apply what I learned in this course. I’ll go through my review first, and then discuss the actual challenge at the end of this post.
Where’s the Sales Page with All the Hype?
If you click through to the sales page for Niche Profit Course, you’ll be surprised to find that there’s only a video – no annoying pitches, “too good to be true” testimonials, etc. I’ll try to cover the key points in this review, but if you’re at all interested in possibly buying the course, I suggest you head over there and watch the video.
Here’s My Review
Obviously, I’m only writing about this course because I’m recommending it. I don’t think it’s for everyone, however. At the end of the day, you’re still required to put together a niche site, and if that isn’t your cup of tea, this won’t be either. Fortunately, the method that Chris walks through involves WordPress, which makes it extremely easy to get these sites up and running.
It’s a Video Course
One thing I really like about this course is that it’s almost exclusively done with video. While I don’t mind the eBook format, I think video is a bit more effective when it comes to actually learning the material. Chris did a nice job breaking up each topic into its own video, so you’re never faced with a massive, several hour-long video. Each video is around 15-30 minutes in length. If there’s anything mentioned in the video (additional resources, etc.), Chris provides links to them below the video.
There’s A Logical Flow
This course is organized pretty well, and doesn’t assume that everyone knows everything. Module 1 begins with the basics (setting up a hosting account, etc.), but you can skip it if you are already familiar with setting up a basic WordPress blog. Here’s the list of modules included with the course:
If you’ve created niche sites before, some of the modules won’t be absolutely necessary (like how to build links and get traffic), however I still watched them and learned a couple additional tips that I either didn’t know about or had forgotten about. You may think you already know everything there is to know about other modules, such as “Module 2: How to Find a Good Niche,” however this course focuses specifically on Amazon niche sites, so I found it important to learn about how to tweak my keyword research for Amazon niche sites.
In addition to the basics for getting your site up and running (and earning), there are a couple bonus modules about outsourcing and buying after market domains that I found helpful, but not crucial to the course’s overall value.
Real Life Examples (Case Studies)
This is one of the real areas of value with the course – Chris actually walks through a couple Amazon niche sites that he has set up. I found this to be extremely helpful – a lot of times, courses like these tell you what to do, but fail to walk you through any real life examples.
Includes a Highly Effective WordPress Theme
In my opinion, this theme (Azon) alone pays for the course. With the course, you get the WordPress theme that Chris uses on all of his Amazon niche sites. This isn’t a regular theme that you can pick up for free on the internet – Chris spent almost $2,000 having this theme developed and tweaked, specifically for his Amazon sites. Module 3b shows you how to properly configure it. On its own, Chris sells this theme for $97.
Below each video, there is a comment section (very similar to the comment section of a typical blog post) where “students” of the Niche Profit Course ask questions. Chris usually provides answers pretty quickly. You can see the questions that everyone else has asked, which I found to be helpful.
Also, I’ve e-mailed Chris on a couple different occasions, and he was always quick with a reply (usually within 24 hours).
Like I said above, the Azon theme basically pays for the course – you get the $97 theme for free, and the course itself only costs $97. There are a lot of other crazy informational products and membership sites out there that seem to be asking outrageous amounts of money these days (up to $2,000 – oh wait – $1,997), so I had no problem shelling out the $97 to see how one of the most successful Amazon affiliates makes his money. It has a pretty standard 60-day money back guarantee in case you decide that you don’t like it or want it.
Affiliate Disclosure & My Bonus to You
As you probably assumed, I’m affiliate for this product. In other words, I will earn a commission if you purchase this course through my link. As an incentive for you to do so (if you’re going to buy it anyway), I’ve decided to throw in a little bonus. No, it’s not a crappy eBook. Here’s what you need to do:
2) Forward the receipt to my4hrworkweek @ gmail.com
The bonus: I will send you the details for one of the niche sites I’ve created using Chris’s methods. It’s already ranking on page 1 of Google for my primary keyword, and I’ve already made a couple affiliate sales with it after only a week or so. To be perfectly honest, it’s already doing better than my P90X site for the niche site duel – it’s weird how sometimes you accidentally find niches that are easier to break into.
It’s one thing to see examples from the teacher, but it’s another to see one from a student who went through the course and applied the concepts. I’ll also open myself up to questions via e-mail if you’re wondering about how I did anything in particular.
The reason I won’t be sharing all the details publicly on this blog is because I believe the sub-niche I’m targeting is relatively uncompetitive given the amount of traffic it attracts, and while most of you wouldn’t try to compete with me, someone out there likely would and it could severely hurt my future income from this site.
The Amazon Niche Site Challenge
Now it’s time to get into the good stuff – the actual challenge I’m going to pursue. As I like to do, I’m going to set my goals high and then do what I can to work my way up to achieving them.
The reason why I’m so excited about creating Amazon affiliate sites is because it’s affiliate marketing that you can really feel good about. You aren’t pushing a crappy Clickbank product or getting people to submit their e-mail addresses for an onslaught of spam. You are simply getting people over to Amazon.com where you will earn a commission on products that they want to buy. Amazon is easily one of the most (if not THE most) reputable online store, so working with them as an affiliate is something I want to do, and I want to make it a large part of my passive income portfolio.
Overall Goal: Add $20,000 per year to my passive income portfolio.
Breaking Down the Goal
I know I’ve set the bar high, but I really believe that I can break through that goal over time. If I’m aiming for $20,000 per year, that means I need to earn approximately $1,670 per month. This isn’t going to come from 1 or 2 niche sites – at least, not at first.
Right now, I would expect that (on average), I’ll be able to earn $75 per month from each site I create. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you consider that each site will probably take me about 6 hours to build from scratch (I will most likely be outsourcing the backlinking process, and possibly some content creation), the site won’t need to earn much to make it worth my time. $75/month is $900/year – if I’ve only put 6 hours into a given site, that’s $150/hour just for one year at that earning level. Obviously, the plan would be for each of these sites to earn for several years into the future.
I’m guessing some sites will only earn $10/month, but I think others can easily earn $150+ per month (Chris has several sites like this), so I’m hoping the $75/month average per site is a reasonable goal. To break it down even further (it makes me feel better), that’s only $2.50 a day.
To achieve my overall goal, I will need to create approximately 22 Amazon niche site. This seems like an overwhelming task, but I believe I can work at a rate of 1 site created per week (or 4 per month), taking into account other time consuming obligations (9 to 5 job, this blog, and my other passive income projects).
Although I believe I can create 1 site per week, I’d like to leave myself a little bit of cushion for the holiday season (where I’ll be on vacation for at least week) and for other times when I’m too busy to work on it. Therefore, I’m giving myself an initial timeline of 25 weeks to complete this challenge.
I’ve Already Given Myself a Head Start!
Yes, I’m already cheating in this challenge. I currently have two of these sites completely up and running (content complete, most SEO work complete) and I have another one that should be complete next week. In addition, I’ve already purchased domains for 4 other sites that I will build following this Amazon niche site process.
Am I only going to use Amazon’s affiliate program?
While this is expected to be my primary source of earnings, I will also monetize with Adsense and possibly other types of ads, depending on the niche.
Why create 22 sites that earn a small amount instead of a few larger sites that earn substantially more?
This is an excellent question, and I’ve given it a lot of thought. It’s really hard to tell from the start which types of products and niches will be successful. You can estimate traffic, but until you actually see that traffic hitting your site and seeing how well it converts to sales, you won’t be fully aware of the site’s potential.
I don’t plan on ignoring a site’s larger potential if I see it. In other words, if I believe a site has greater potential than a 10-page micro-niche site, I will take it to the next level, by adding more content and building more backlinks to push it to #1 on Google (instead of just page 1). Of these 22 sites I plan to create, I am expecting to find at least 1 or 2 “golden nuggets” that I can develop extensively and try to achieve earnings in excess of $500/month.
What will you be sharing on this blog?
While I won’t be as transparent as I am in the niche site duel, I still plan on sharing earnings and even the general niches that I’m working in. As much as I’d like to spell out every detail, I hope you can understand that this could be detrimental to the success of any site I create. I probably won’t go into a ton of detail about my methods, mainly because it’s all covered (in detail) in the Niche Profit Course.
Are you insane? Why don’t you just focus on one project at a time? What about the niche site duel and the InfoBarrel Challenge?
Yes, I’m insane. I like to try new things to see what works and what doesn’t. If this works, I’ll have an amazing new stream of passive income. If it fails, well, I can move onto something else. No problem here.
I will still be working on my niche site duel site and I will still be publishing articles for my InfoBarrel challenge. Don’t worry.
Who’s With Me?
I’m totally fine with taking on this challenge alone, but if someone wants to join me, speak up! I’m not looking for people to compete against, but rather people who want to strive for a common goal. Maybe we can even chat on AIM/Skype/whatever about what’s working and not working, and in general, just share ideas.
If you’re wondering “how is this different from the niche site duel?” I understand. I think it’s different because it’s essentially following 1 method and 1 main type of monetization. It even seems odd that we’re all using the same WordPress theme, but then again, there are tons of popular themes out there (Thesis, etc.) that thousands of people use, so I don’t see it as a big deal.
Time to get to work!
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