About Blogging Sites: Niche, Nuance, Style!





Due to what seems like an infinite number of blogs – and websites about blogs – on the internet, it can be tough for a casual user or Web surfer to distinguish one blogging site – yours – from the many others in existence; and whether you are starting a new website aimed at bloggers, or looking to make your existing blog site more distinctive, the key to building and maintaining a site that will capture the interest and attention of the blogging community is in finding your niche.

If you can fill a unique need in a way that no other blog or website does, you’ll be able to build a lasting readership from the online community. Keep in mind, however, that the discovery of such a niche does not mean your work is done; because there will still be a lot of work to do, even though the point at which you find your place in the blogosphere is the place to begin carving out your own unique place in the online universe.

Every great blogging site starts with a great idea, because you really can’t build a successful and lasting site without one; and since there are many great sites aimed at today’s bloggers, and competition for the attention of this growing demographic is so fierce, it is important to make your blog stand out from the pack; so you will need to offer something that no other site is currently offering; or if you have to do the same thing that an already popular site is doing, you will have to do it in a more impressive and valuable way.

One way to discover an ideal model for your blogging site is to look at the sites that have already been successful in capturing a blogging audience, and then determine whether or not you can utilize similar strategies to help realize your vision. Of course, you may also need to add somewhat of a unique flair to your project in order to stand apart from your competition, but that should be less tasking than creating the niche itself.

Many people agree that websites which do the best in today’s market are those sites that have the most personality; and they also agree that the fiercely individual surfers (rugged individualists?) who are bloggers, are a demographic that responds especially strong to personality; so consider how you can give your site a unique and attractive nuance by lending your own voice and sensibility to your site’s design and content.

Once you have a great idea for your site, have pinpointed a special niche that you are well equipped to fill, and have infused the site with personality; the next step is figuring out how to get the word out to the blogging community. In the long run, a great idea just isn’t enough to propel your blogging site to success. You will need to draft a smart and realistic marketing plan in order to draw readers to your site.

Once you have attracted the attention of, and enticed bloggers to visit your site, you can keep them coming back with interesting and compelling (great?) content; but it is vital to get that first glance of your site, or it won’t have a chance to shine.

Making Residual Affiliate Programs Work for You





Affiliate payment structures

The term residual income, when used in the context of long-term income, can be replaced by the term, leveraged earnings which might be the most coveted source of income in the sales profession. The most significant difference between the two methods of earnings might be that residual income is earned repeatedly for a single sale by the individual salesperson, whereas leveraged income is earned repeatedly based on the sales of others (recruits/sub-agents).

It is important to understand however, that leveraged income can be earned without residual payments when group leaders, managers, recruiters and other such agents have utilized their leadership skills to hire, train and motivate other people to go out and make sales that are considered “one and done” with no prospects for repeated payments on the sold item; unlike sales of magazine subscriptions, insurance policies or membership dues, which are paid for on an ongoping basis.

But staying on the subject of affiliate marketing and the various programs and payment structures utilized by online merchants, if you are a webmaster in need of additional income; or you are planning to set up a Web-based business but you do not have a product or service to sell, affiliate marketing may be the best solution for your particular situation, since you really wouldn’t need to worry about creating a product because the merchants will provide them.

Affiliate-merchant relationships

All you would need to have is a website with interesting content that is related to any product or service you decide to market. By joining a particular affiliate program, or by becoming an independent affiliate representing various merchants, you can start earning money right away thereby meeting the financial demands of your unique situation; but in order to ensure that your earnings from sales can be relied upon to come repeatedly, you will have to align yourself with those merchants that offer residual income, a task that may be easier said than done.

To be a good or super affiliate marketer and make the kind of money you expect to make it is important to understand the nature of affiliate marketing as it relates to the kind of business relationship that established between merchant and affiliate. In affiliate marketing, an affiliate agrees to direct traffic to a merchant’s website or product page, and if that traffic is converted into the visitor taking any kind of action like making a purchase subscribing to a service, the directing (referring) affiliate will be compensated.

Compensation may take the form of either a percentage of any sales made in the form of a commission or a fixed fee predetermined upon the application of the affiliate with the merchant’s affiliate program. Based on this kind of arrangement between affiliate and merchant, both having mutual interests in its success and deriving mutual benefits from it, affiliate marketing has become one of the most popular Web marketing methods today.

Set fee versus residual income

In fact, almost every merchant or retailer site today offers an affiliate program that any one can join; and most retailers would entice people to become affiliates or members of their program by promising great benefits like large commissions, lifetime commissions, click through incomes and various other benefits; but would it be reasonable to think that all these affiliate programs offer the same benefits? Read on to learn how reasonable such a thought might be.

Most affiliate programs would pay affiliates a one-time commission for every sale or lead referred to the merchant’s website by those affiliates; and such one-time commissions are usually large – ranging from 15% to a high of about 60%. Other affiliate programs would pay a fixed fee for every click through or visitor referred to the merchant’s site by any affiliate; and programs like this often pay a smaller amount for every click through – usually not amounting to any more than half a dollar, even in the case when no purchase is made but the visitor becomes a lead.

Residual affiliate programs usually pay only a small percentage of a sale as commission for every sale referred by the affiliate to the merchant’s site. This commission is often in the range of 10% to 20% of sales made; and because of this many people ignore residual affiliate programs and opt rather, for the higher paying one-time commission offered by other affiliate programs. So depending on their financial objectives and individual preferences, marketers make their choices.

Contrasting income modes

However, for a marketer to ignore residual affiliate programs based solely on the fact that fees or commissions are smaller would be to forego a reliable and – over the long term – substantial income stream; because despit the fact that residual affiliate programs pay at a lower rate, merchants offering such programs would generally pay regular and ongoing commissions for a single affiliate initiated sale. That means you, as an affiliate of a affiliate program can get paid on a regular and ongoing basis.

Just to elaborate a little further, suppose there are two online merchants both offering web hosting services on their sites. The first merchant offers a one-time commission type of affiliate program that pays $80 for every single affiliate initiated sale. The second merchant also offers an affiliate program, but it is a residual affiliate program that pays only $10 monthly for every single affiliate initiated sale for every customer that opens a hosting account.

Naturally an affiliate may get attracted to the larger commission of $80 being offered by the first merchant, instead of the smaller amount of $10; but by thinking things over before actually getting involved with one or the other, the affiliate may be able to better understand that the second merchant is offering more of an opportunity to earn a larger amount of money since the $10 will be made on a continuous basis for as long as the customer has the account.

Making the choice

So for the same effort of getting one customer to subscribe to the merchant’s service, you get paid monthly in residual affiliate programs while you only get paid once in a one-time commission type of affiliate programs. That having been said, are residual affiliate programs worth promoting? Definitely yes, because you simply get more money from these types of affiliate programs in the long run; and would residual affiliate programs work best for you? It depends, but with the benefits that residual affiliate programs can provide, it would really be unwise to ignore such programs.