Last week in the kickoff post of our niche selling series Want to Have Success Online? Find a Niche and FOCUS!, I detailed that one of the benefits to finding a niche and focusing is this…
There are multiple ways you can monetize one niche.
Imagine taking one niche, one center of experience, all your time invested in building a business in that niche, and then leveraging it into different streams of income.
Therein lies the power of a niche!
Depending on what niche market you sell in, there are at least 7 ways to monetize a niche! In fact when working with consulting clients, one of the primary things I work with them on is identifying every potential profit center in their niche! There’s no reason to move to the next niche, if there’s still good money to be made in the one you’re in!
In today’s niche case study, we’re going to look at some different ways to monetize your existing niche.
Let’s first start by identifying the top 7 ways that anyone can monetize a niche.
The 7 Top Ways To Monetize a Niche
Physical Products. When it comes to monetizing a niche, physical products are the “low hanging fruit” on the money tree. Most every niche has a product associated with it. And if people are interested in buying hard goods in a niche, it’s a clear indication that they will buy other things as well.
For example, in-city vegetable gardening is THE hottest trend in gardening this spring and summer. Made popular by people’s desire to eat healthily and have control over their own food, city folks are gardening in their back yards, on their decks, even on their rooftops! And if this trend wasn’t already hot enough, Michelle Obama skyrocketed this trend with her White House vegetable garden!
There are many opportunities here to make money. But let’s start with physical products. If people are buying physical products to use in planting their vegetable gardens. They’ll also buy information products that show them how to plant a vegetable garden. “Done for You” vegetable gardening kits. Affiliate products associated with vegetable gardening like greenhouses. And for those who are enterprising offline entrepreneurs, you could even start a “done for you” vegetable gardening service!
I worked with a client the other day who is a successful landscaper, but she wants to set herself apart from the rest of the landscapers in the area. She is going to start specializing by offering a vegetable gardening service and then continue to monetize that niche by offering gardening tools and decorative accessories (decorative plant name identifiers for example), and information on maintaining your in-city vegetable garden.
Physical products are available everywhere. If you want to monetize a niche or test market it’s, this is an easy place to start. There are hundreds of thousands of new products that come into the marketplace each year. In our first niche case study, I introduced you to Wai Hong Fong, the owner of OZHut Stores. Wai Hong currently operates 10 niche websites selling physical products which will generate a whopping $1.5 million dollars in sales this year.
Information Products. People love information. We voraciously consume the written word, audio, and videos on every topic under the sun. And there is not a niche market on the planet that someone, somewhere doesn’t want to know something about. What would you sell them? eBooks, hard copy books (using Amazon’s create space), video training, audio training, home study courses.
You can either create the information products or have them created for you.
The great thing about information products is that you don’t carry a cost of goods with you beyond the initial investment of creating the product.
So now, on your website, instead of only carrying physical products, you can also offer your customers pertinent information products as a cross sell or upsell and increase the final sales price of every sale.
It’s a natural extension for the customer. If the customer comes to buy products to start their first rooftop vegetable garden and they see your ebook titled “Vegetable Gardening for Beginners” it’s a natural “click to buy” because there are already there making a purchase.
The end result? You’ve just monetized your niche two ways and increased your final sales ticket price.
Affiliate products. Do you know that Amazon has an affiliate program that enables you to sell most everything they carry at Amazon.com? Did you also know that affiliate programs are the hottest marketing tool being adopted by today’s retailers? In fact if you check any of the job boards like Monster.com, you’ll see that companies are clamoring for people who know how to run an affiliate programs.
Because companies have realized that they need an army of product promoters (aka affiliates) in order to get the broadest reach for their products and make the most sales.
So what this means (and pay very careful attention to what I’m about to say) is that there is tremendous opportunity for you when you think of yourself as a marketer in a specific niche, not as ” retailer.”
Now I’ll talk more about this in an upcoming blog post, but I want to seed the idea now, because thinking of yourself as a marketer of products and not a retailer who most hold the product, is the way of the future for independent online sellers.
Getting back to our vegetable gardening niche. Or the kitchen niche. Or the wedding niche. You name it… there are affiliate products you can sell in almost any niche.
Not only that, you can sell “hard goods” such as rakes, shovels and green houses or you can sell information products, such as how to eBooks, home study courses, books and videos as an affiliate.
These are the top 3 ways that most any niche can be monetized.
Now let’s move on to 4-7
Create your own product bundles. A lot of times when I recommend that people create their own products, they automatically think of manufacturing merchandise. But creating a product bundle from existing components and customizing it to your target niche is a powerful way to have an exclusive product and not have to deal with doing the manufacturing yourself.
How you monetize through product bundles is by assembling a product from existing components.And focus on solving a problem or desire that your niche market has.
All of a sudden those individual gardening tools, your Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening and some decorative plant ID stakes are combined together in an attractive presentation to become the “Ravenous Rooftops Gardening Kit” See It! Grow It! Eat It!
And voila! You have your own exclusive product and another way you’ve monetized your niche.
Have your own products manufactured. 5 years ago it was not easy to design and create your own products. Today with the help of computer aided design, it is much easier to have a product prototype made. And with platforms like Alibaba.com, it’s possible for a small entrepreneurial organization to work with a manufacturer in China.
There is more risk involved in this and you have to know learn how to do this, but the niche monetization potential is endless!
“Done For You” Services. Even though the Do It Yourself trend is hot, there are a lot of people that want it “Done for You.” And for those of you who are interested in starting an offline niche business, creating a Done for You service in a niche is a great way to monetize it. Whether you are an expert chef, preparing home cooked meals for your clients, or a landscaper turned in-city vegetable gardener like my client, or an artist, teaching art to school-aged kids and adults and selling the beautiful art supplies for your students to create their own masterpieces at home…
Consulting Services. Using your niche expertise to help someone else monetize that same niche can be a very in-demand service. For example, I have a friend whose parents just started an all organic/eco-friendly home child care business. Their target market is families of kids who live an organic, eco-friendly lifestyle and want that same environment for their children when they are at childcare.
There is a learn when starting a childcare business like this and so rather than read books, wade through information or learn by trial and error, they hired a person who has expertise in starting and running an organic/eco-friendly home child care business.
Now they are learning from someone who has niche expertise. Someone who has done this before and can advise them of the fastest way to ramp up and the pitfalls to avoid when getting started.
I recently saw them at a get together, and after talking with them, they now plan to create a small eco-friendly in home care boutique where busy parents can purchase cute eco-friendly clothes for their kids, toys without plastics and toxins, environmentally friendly art supplies and books on living an organic lifestyle.
Monetizing a Niche Multiple Ways
The real income potential comes when you pick multiple ways to monetize one niche. For most online entrepreneurs, the first three: physical products, information products and affiliate products make up the wining trifecta!
Not only does this approach generate several income streams income from one niche, it will also helps to hedge against cyclical sales cycles.
You can ramp up one stream if the other tapers off.
It’s important to note that you want to get one stream of income up and running before moving on to the second method. If you’re selling physical products, get something going in that niche first, then supplement your income with information products and affiliate products.
If you’re an information products seller, compliment your information products by embedding links affiliate links to products related to what you’re covering in your ebook or special report.
The bottom line? Once you’ve identified a profitable niche, there’s always more than one way to monetize it. Never stop at one, or you’ll be leaving money on the table.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at a case study that showcases how some enterprising entrepreneurs are monetizing their niche markets in multiple ways!