12 Real-World Examples of Successfully Monetized Niche Sites

by Lisa Suttora on May 15, 2010

In my last post  The 7 TOP Ways to Monetize a Niche, I outlined seven different ways to monetize a niche market. (You can start reading from the beginning of our Niche Monetizer™ series here.)

Today we’re going to look at 12 real-world examples of people who are successfully monetizing a niche in different ways.   Some of these sites are small, home based businesses, others are  larger organizations.

However it’s important to note, that it’s not the size of the business that matters. You can apply all of these Niche Monetizer™ methods at any level. And that’s exactly why this is a solid business building model, and a method that anyone can use to make money online.

Selling Physical Products in a Niche

Selling physical products is one of the easiest ways to monetize a niche. Why? Physical products are readily available.

I showed you earlier in this series how Wai Hong Fong monetizes 10 individual niche markets with 10 different websites.  Read how he does it here.

Take a look at how Melanie Landi, a member of my 2010 Business Growth Group monetizes the  kid’s products niche.  She runs two niche websites, Kid’s Chair World and Brianna’s Bedding and Beyond. By focusing on a specific niche, Melanie can search engine optimize her sites and focus her message clearly on her target customers. Melanie’s products have now been featured on some industry blogs (bloggers are very influential in promoting niche ecommerce websites) which led directly to increased traffic and sales. The combination of a niche market and the connection to industry bloggers opens up a whole new marketing and visibility pathway for Melanie’s business.

Fun Stuff for Dogs is a site for dog lovers with a sense of humor and a sense of fun. This is no generic Petco dog site, it has a clear focus on a niche. Not only does Fun Stuff for Dogs sell physical products, they’ve parlayed their expertise in this niche into a radio show on Blog Talk Radio that boasts over 21,000 listeners. . This now brings in other opportunities to monetize this niche.  In fact, this site is in a prime position to start having their own products manufactured and branded under this great brand!

Keep in mind that Fun Stuff for Dogs did not start out with a radio show – they started out as a simple ecommerce site.  And you can do the same.  No matter what niche you sell in!

Physical Products, Affiliate Products, & Information Products

When it comes to finer vintage china, no one is more of an expert than Sally K, owner of Kimbesas’s Closet and Diary of a Dishie.  Sally (who is also the uber forum moderator for my 2010 Business  Growth Group forum ) started monetizing her niche by selling products on eBay. But with the creation of her traffic driving blog, Diary of a Dishie, Sally has started monetizing her niche with affiliate marketing and consulting.  Sally’s business is now expanding into information as well.  She is a Platinum Ezine Articles author, (resulting in more than 11,000 new potential customers learning about her) has written for the Examiner, and has started two new blogs in different niches.

Branding Your Own Products

Here’s an example of a very successful site that started out as an email newsletter with 10 people on it, and has now grown into a multi-million dollar business. Marcia Cilley’s FLYLady started out as a small newsletter on how to keep your home clean and organized. It also addressed deep-seated issues that many of people experience like procrastination, perfectionism, lack of structure and more.

Marcia didn’t start out with a goal to turn this into a business that sells products – she only had a desire to help other people solve a problem. One of the  hallmarks of serving a niche.

Her originaly subscribers recommended the newsletter to their  friends, and before long FLYLady was a household name for millions of men and women across the world.

Marcia monetized this niche by taking an existing product and putting her brand name on it. And today sales of timers, feather dusters, De-Clutter kits, toolkits and more generate millions of dollars in sales.

Branding an existing product is a relatively simple thing to do.  It immediately gives you a product exclusive and you can customize it to fit the needs of your customers!

The Lizton Sign Shop on eBay has sold tens of thousands of custom ‘street signs’  for personal use. Product customization is a super hot trend and this is a great example of a creative way you can capitalize on a trend by creating your own product to monetize a niche.

Niche Affiliate Sites – Multiple Monetizations

Themed weddings are a hot trend. Super Weddings is monetizing this niche in three ways.

They monetize through information marketing, physical product marketing and affiliate marketing.  They also sell advertising space to other information marketers.  And while the linking throughout the site and to their two wedding stores is not clearly laid out, the individual stores are keyword optimized, which means the people searching for the products or information being sold on these sites can find the site from multiple sides.

The Golf Collection sells physical products from their site, but they also have an affiliate program so that affiliate partners can market the sites products as well.

Urban Garden Solutions, a great site built around a sizzling hot trend, urban gardening, also sells their own products and offers an affiliate program for other marketers to sell products as well.

You can monetize a niche this way too.  Set your primary site up to sell products. Create an affiliate program for affiliate marketers to sell your products.  Or be the affiliate marketer who markets products for other people.

aStores for Amazon Associates

Amazon aStores are another great way to monetize a niche.  With aStores you can create a professional looking online store in minutes and monetize it with products from Amazon’s Affiliate Program. Then create an aStore and either embed it in an existing site, and customize it to reflect your branding as Sally K, owner of Diary of a Dishie does.

Monetizing a Niche Skill

Quilting teachers Jan and Leslie have taken their quilting skills and expertise and monetized it by creating an information products business. Top to Bobbin Quilting on eBay sells their how-to  DVDs teaching people their unique quilting expertise. They could also monetize this niche by selling beginning quilting products for an all in one shopping experience.

eBay seller beautifulfaces is a professional doll repainter. Not only does she sell her custom repainted dolls on eBay and her website, she also teachers other how to learn this skill so they can create their own repainted dolls to sell on eBay.  She does this by selling her training DVDs both on eBay and from her website.

Ask yourself “What expertise do I have? What do I know that other people would like to learn?” Then set about to create your first information product! You can burn it to DVD or CD and sell it on eBay. You can set it up as a digital product to sell on Clickbank (and have affiliates sell it too.) Or you can sell it from blog and using your existing PayPal account or Google Checkout account as a payment processor.

And these are only a few of the multitude of ways you can monetize a niche skill through creating and selling information products!

Find YOUR “Hidden” Monetization

Now that you know what to look for, it’s time for you to find the different ways to monetize your niche!

I call this  the Niche Monetization Mindset™.  When you know what opportunities to look for, you’ll see your opportunities differently.

All of the sites we looked at today are real sites, run by real people, making real money.

None of this is pie in the sky stuff. None of these are fly by night methods for making money. Just real people making real money based on solid business fundamentals.

Now that’s good business!

-Lisa

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kurt May 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Lisa,
You have inspired me to start looking for another niche site. Do you suggest using any niche finding software to find niches?

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2 Lisa Suttora May 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Hi Kurt,
What’s your current niche? Have you ruled out all monetization methods?

To generate ideas for niche markets, I use my method of frequenting Idea Hotspots – (pulling hot niches from everything that is happening around us) to find hot niche markets. And I combine those with trend information in order to make sure that if a niche is hot now, it will be 6-18 months from now. So I personally don’t use niche software for find niche ideas.

However, a tool I couldn’t live without and use every day is Google Insights.

I use this to get trending numbers for every niche and to compare niches/keywords. I also use the Google Keywords Tool to ferret out hot niches and check market demand.

The important thing once you find a niche is to A) Make sure that it is a niche that has a big enough market B) Make sure that niche is on an upward trend so that the time you invest in monetizing it will pay off for the foreseeable future.

-Lisa

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3 Trecia May 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Hi Lisa,

I do have a couple sites up and going, but am having “traffic” problems. What is the best way to begin getting traffic without breaking the bank?

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4 Irene Krey January 4, 2011 at 2:50 am

Hi Lisa,

Great post! Too bad I’ve discovered this blog only now. Well to tell you honestly, I’ve now been struggling to monetize my niche site which is focused on “3 day detox” since I have tried a lot of affiliate marketing strategies, contacting advertisers, building a list but then having the site live and ranked at number 1 in Google for those keywords and still weren’t enough for it to make money “for a living”.

So far, I’ve only had over 130 subscribers in the last 5 months whom I’ve sent product reviews, recommendations and also my very first electronic product (e-book) regarding detox but still they never buy. Also it’s difficult to see the problem since they’ve been responsive in my emails but the only hole I’m wondering about is why aren’t they brave enough to buy from me?

If you could kindly take a look at my blog http://www.3daydetoxhq.com please help me find more ways to monetize this. I’m currently using Adsense and also joined a few Clickbank affiliate programs at the moment but none of them work.

I really appreciate your help in this. I welcome any suggestions.

Thank you so much.

Irene

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5 Laura-Jane February 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Hi Lisa,

This is a great post. What are your thoughts about selling your own product as a monetization strategy? I have used Adsense in the past, but found that I wasn’t making enough to make it worth my while. I’ve also tried some affiliate products but I realized that unless it’s my own product that I really really believe in I am no good at (affiliate) sales. :)

Right now I am focusing my efforts on http://www.rawfooddietplanhq.com and I am trying to increase my traffic to dominate a key keyword phrase.

Keep up the great work and I look forward to reading more of your IM articles and insights.

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