Niche of the Week #1

Filed in Niche Market Ideas, Niche Research by on April 18, 2014

Hey,

This post yet again comes to you from my second favourite coffee shop.

I was feeling lazy today and it's closer to my apartment than my number 1 place but was a bad choice as the WiFi keeps cutting out!

Iced Cappuccino Thailand

Iced Cappuccino Thailand

On the plus side the iced cappuccino's are tasty, cheaper and larger than the other place.

Just a shame the women who works here is so miserable and rude and doesn't understand the concept of customer service (common in Thailand to be fair).

As always it's hot as hell in Bangkok but things are relatively quiet in the streets still after the Thai New Year celebrations. Seems not all business and street vendors have opened back up yet.

Last week I posted for the first time a 'weekly hack' and said it was going to be a weekly feature.

Due to the amount of time it took to create that post and the lack of real interest it generated I cannot justify making it a weekly feature.

It will likely morph into a monthly feature instead.

However people did seem to enjoy the 'niche of the week' aspect of it so let's try to make that a weekly feature, all good?

OK, let's get on with it then...

 

 

Niche of the Week

Camping

Summer is just around the corner.

With the warmer weather approaching it's time for the 56 million Americans who go camping each and every year to dust off the tents and equipment.

OR start buying new camping gear.

On average each of these 56 million Americans spends $1,852 making camping a $100+ Billion industry!

On top of the money spent look at the huge search volume on the topic....

Camping Monthly Google Keyword Volumes

Camping Monthly Google Keyword Volumes

Camping is for hugely enthusiastic people who take their hobby super seriously.

They buy tons of equipment, always want the newest and best gear, and upgrade their stuff almost every year meaning lots of repeat custom.

There's an almost endless list of products to sell them and not just limited to camping gear either but digital products and how to videos.

Amazon has over 330,000 products available and Clickbank over 50 products.

camping amazon searches

 

There's hundreds of dedicated eCommerce stores and affiliate programs catering to the camping crowd too.

Coupled with 100's of camping blogs, forums and social media groups this makes it easy to find your target audience online.

All those factors makes a great niche for an authority blog.

Here's how can you make money in this fanatical niche....

Well as mentioned above it makes a great topic for an authority blog.

All the factors are present – enthusiastic buyers easy to find online, lots of competition (always a sign of a healthy market), easy to reach audience, lots of products to sell, lots of advertising and big name brands.

To get a head start on camping niche domination you could grab some done for you keyword research, product video reviews, graphics, and articles on the subject...

>> Get a done for you niche pack and dominate the camping niche.

 

Or if you'd prefer to do something a bit different here's an example of a cool site you could emulate.

http://www.cool-camping-gear.com/

It's similar to Thisiswhyimbroke.com but niched down and features cool and unusual camping products with the 'wow' factor.

The sort of products camping enthusiasts share in a frenzy on social media so the potential to go viral is there.

I talk more about creating a viral site like this in the $20K Per Month Affiliate post.

It's easy enough to set up a site like this, there's a manual way and an automatic way.

Manual way...

Get a theme like Pinfinity and manually search out cool products to add.

Load up the site with 100+ products to begin with so there's plenty to keep people occupied.

Drive traffic through social media and relevant forums and blogs.

Encourage people to share on social media to increase the chances of the site going viral – being active in relevant sub-groups on Reddit can help with this.

There's a camping sub-reddit here  and a hiking one here with over 80,000 readers between them.

There will be other relevant sub-reddits too.

Engage in content marketing by having a blog as part of the site, this will allow you to draw in search engine traffic, engage in guest posting, link out to authorities, blog comment and get involved with forum marketing.

It will take some time to get the sites content up and a big enough following on social media to gain traction.

Automatic way...

There's also an automatic way with the viral wordpress theme.

This allows you to automatically generate your own Thisiswhyimbroke style site in any market of your choosing by simply entering your niche term / keyword like 'camping' for example.

It then grabs relevant product images and descriptions and loads them into your site.

Like TIWIB the site is designed to convert (essentially they've copied all the best part of TIWIBs theme).

Any time someone clicks on an image or button they are sent off to Amazon and a cookie is set – even if they don't buy the product they've clicked on but purchase something else you'll get commission.

Even if they buy nothing on the first visit your cookie is set in their browser so if they go back to Amazon later and make a purchase again you'll get commission for the sale.

The viral theme is built to make it easier for your site to spread like wildfire across the net by making it for your audience to share than ever.

With one click they follow you across all social media networks and share your products.

It's designed to get email sign ups with a clever 'wish list' system that automatically adds people to your list when they see products they'd like to buy.

With the one click install you could have your own viral camping site up and running today...

>> Launch your own viral camping site today.

 

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Weird Niche of the Week

I know you love the 'weird' niches that I share on Niche Hacks so here's another one for you....

 

Bearded Dragon Care.

People actually keep these freaky looking creatures as pets and there's a huge demand for information and accessories to care for them.

The bearded dragon niche is profitable!

Look at the screenshot below and see how many people are seeking out information....

bearded dragon kw volumes

The fact the search results are filled with small websites over known authority sites or well known brands also means it's not a too competitive niche and easy to rank a site – a nice bonus.

These days Huffington Post, About.com, Amazon, Wikipedia etc seem to appear in every result regardless of what you search for.

bearded dragon SERPS

It costs around a minimum of $400 just to get started and buy the pet and all the accessories needed to care for it (Source)

Tanks cost around $150 and screen lids $30, heat lamps $30, UV lights $20-$30, furniture $10 and the lizard it's self around $60 (Source) for example.

So a lot of money is spent and spent on a regular basis.

Bulk food is needed to be bought and as the dragon grows upgrades to tanks and equipment is required.

All these products (thousands of them!) are sold on Amazon and there's digital products on Clickbank too.

There's scores of blogs on the topic and over 10 dedicated forums with followings of 10,000+

Social media groups are in abundance with over 50,000 active members of bearded dragon groups on Facebook alone.

 

You can grab a done for you niche pack on bearded dragon care on the link below...

>> http://nichehacks.com/bearded-dragon

 

An analysis of some of the top sites on the net reveal that these are hot topics...

  • Bearded Dragon Tips
  • Everything You Need To Know About Bearded Dragons
  • What Are The Different Types Of Bearded Dragons?
  • What Do They Eat?
  • Bearded Dragon Nutrition Guide
  • Bearded Dragon Behavior

And these some of the most linked and shared pieces content that you can improve on...

  1. http://www.thebeardeddragon.org/bearded-dragon-care.php
  2. http://www.thebeardeddragon.org/types-of-bearded-dragons.php
  3. http://www.thebeardeddragon.org/bearded-dragon-care.php
  4. http://www.thebeardeddragon.org/bearded-dragon-diet.php
  5. http://www.thebeardeddragon.org/bearded-dragon-behavior.php

 

Bearded Dragon Care makes another great 'weird' niche for an authority blog.

>> Find out how these guys created a $1  million a month authority blog

 

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Recession Proof Niche of the Week

I'm a big fan of marketing in niches that make money even when the world is broke.

Where people have to spend money regardless or money simply isn't an issue to them.

That's why targeting 'luxury' markets can be a solid plan of action.

You'll know that pet care is a huge and booming industry with hundreds of sub-niches contained within it.

Dog care being one of the biggest. People treat their dogs like family members or as if they were their kid.

In fact in the USA today 47 million homes have 'mans best friend' and there are around 79 million domestic dogs.

The 'average' dog has $350 per year spent on it meaning the market is worth $27 billion.

However what if you didn't focus on the 'average' dog and instead on man's best friend who's used to the finer things in life....

Their are wealthy people all over the world spending more than $350 per MONTH (we're talking thousands of dollars) on their dogs buying high end items.

So focusing on 'luxury' dog accessories is a win win situation. It's not only an evergreen and profitable niche but you've got high end buyers too.

And you know that rich people LOVE to spend money on designer accessories and equipment for their dogs to show them off.

dog accessories kws

Promoting luxury accessories from clothes to dog bowls to leashes to collars and much much more could be super profitable for you.

The sort of people that buy clothes for their dogs and over priced collars are the types that buy new items ALL the time – to keep up with the latest doggy fashion trends.

Seems crazy to me but what do I care? If they want to spend money on it then a smart marketer like me is going to sell it to them and I know that you're a smart marketer too.

And the great thing is you're not limited to JUST selling luxury accessories.

If someone owns a dog they'll also need pet health insurance, medical treatment and all sorts of other products you can upsell.

It's HUGE and profitable with so many opportunities and best of all it's never going to stop bringing in money.

If you want a head start you can grab a pack of done for you niche research and content.

The pack includes 100's of profitable keywords, 60 high quality product video reviews, professional banner and graphics, over 500 articles and 15 research reports.

So literally everything you need to be top dog in the luxury dog accessories niche and turn these 'rich bitches' (see what I did there?) into cash in your pocket...

>> Be top dog in the luxury dog accessories niche with this niche pack.

 

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Done For You Niche Of The Week

You know I'm a big fan of being able to 'hack' my way into new niches by grabbing done for you content, research and sites.

And I know you are too.

Cuts out a lot of mind numbing and time consuming research that none of us really likes doing.

Here's a solid opportunity for you to get involved in a multi-billion dollar industry.

Globally this will be worth an estimated $100 billion by 2015 (Source) so now is the right time to get into it.

What's the niche in question?

Toys!

One barbie doll is sold every 3 seconds somewhere in the world.

The toy industry generates more than the movie and music industry combined.

It's worth £2.9bn in the UK alone and over $11bn in the US.

This is a HUGE niche and it's growing!

Let's look at the search volumes....

toys kws

As you know Amazon sells everything and it sells a LOT of toys.

But as you can see from the search volumes not everyone looking to buy toys goes direct to Amazon.

And here's where you come in.

You can have your very own online toy store that has all the latest toys and games AUTOMATICALLY added to it as soon as they are released.

So this saves you having to figure out what's currently hot and what's not.

You don't actually have to hold any stock or sell anything as all products featured on your site will link directly to Amazon with your affiliate link.

These stores can be set up in 5 minutes and feature the best selling, top rated and highest quality toys which means you've instantly got a high converting affiliate store ready to make money.

They feature the ability to search by brand, age group, price range and more so your visitor can find whatever they are looking for and buy it – you'll be doing them a favor by helping them make a purchase decision.

All images, product descriptions, video reviews are loaded into the site so the content creation is already taken care of.

There's also a blog if you want to do a little content marketing to draw in more search engine traffic, guest post, blog comment or link out to other authority sites to network.

Pretty much everything you need to instantly launch you own online toy store in the billion dollar indsutry.

If you want a piece of this $100 billion industry then stop playing around click the link below now to instantly get started...

>> I'm ready to stop playing around and get involved in this $100bn niche.

 

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this 'niche of the week' post and found some good ideas.

Every niche featured here has HUGE potential to be profitable – just look at the demand for every one of them.

With the vast amount of products on sale between Amazon, Clickbank and others there's no end of items to sell as an affiliate.

Coupled with the fact they all have huge online communities on social media, blogs and forums means it's easy to get traffic and network with others.

If you're struggling to find a profitable niche then pick one of these and get taking action, there's no point in waiting around for that 'perfect' one to appear as there's no such thing.

Taking action is better than doing nothing! Even if you fail you will learn a lot and through learning you can improve the next time round!

 

 

Anyway, maybe it's time for me to get going.

I've been sipping on this seemingly never ending iced cappuccino for about 2hrs now and it's starting to make me feel sick, too much cream and sugar maybe.

Plus the a fore mentioned miserable women who works here is giving me evil looks signalling that she wants me out despite the fact I've been the only customer in the shop since I arrived.

Way to make a semi-regular customer feel welcome, eh?

Oh well time to call it a day and grab some food I think....pad ka pow gai (stir fried thai basil, chilli, and chicken) or rad na moo (pork and noodles in gravy) is the question?

Pad Ka Pow Gai - Stir fried thai basil (ka pow) with chilli (prik) and chicken (gai)

Pad Ka Pow Gai - Stir fried thai basil (ka pow) with chilli (prik) and chicken (gai)

OR

Rad Na Moo (Wide Noodles In Gravy & Pork)

Rad Na Moo (Wide Noodles In Gravy & Pork)

The only thing that is certain is that either one is going to be washed down with an ice cold Leo Beer.

Decisions, decisions.....

What dish would you choose?

 

 

As always I appreciate feedback and comments from you.

So tell me what's on your mind in the comments section below -I reply to EVERY comment.

Are you going to get involved in any of these niches? Think they are good / bad / OK?

Any questions?

Just want to tell me what food you'd choose, fine....

Post below....

STOP WASTING YOUR TIME DOING BORING NICHE RESEARCH
INSTANTLY DISCOVER 1781 PROFITABLE NICHE MARKETS WHEN YOU ENTER YOUR EMAIL AND CLICK THE BUTTON...

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Comments (42)

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  1. Nath says:

    Gotta say, I'm loving the niche ideas your giving out here Stuart, I've just gone into the "Dog Friendly holidays" niche, so hopefully that works out good. Looking forward to more posts from you buddy, and keep up the good work!

    • NicheHacks says:

      Cool niche. I saw that discussed some time ago but can't remember there. Maybe the luxury dog niche ideas will be of use to you too - remember you don't JUST have to promote dog friendly holidays these people are need everything else a dog owner requires i.e. medical treatment, insurance, dog accessories, food etc.

      Let me know how you get on.

  2. mike says:

    I really enjoy your niche idea posts. I'm sure they are a lot or work to research and write and I appreciate you taking the time to do so. You have also pretty much cured any desire I might have had to live in Thailand. Why do so many Brits move there.
    Thanks again.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Mike, glad you like the niches.

      What puts you off about Thailand? It's an incredible place to live with everything from big cities to jungle to small towns and villages to islands and beaches.

      So many Brits move here because the standard of living when you have even a little bit of money is out of this world

      Less than £200 a month gets you an all mod cons apartment with swimming pool, gym, maid service, WiFi, cable TV, and tons of facilities on site like restaurants that deliver to your room, massage, grocery store, laundry etc...some even have a bar in the complex.

      You want to pay more then you can and you'll get some real luxury.

      You can eat out every night feasting on deliciously spicy Thai food for as low as a quid. Local beers and spirits are dirt cheap.

      So you never need to do any of those boring things like cleaning, laundry, cooking etc.

      Bottle of local whisky or rum at a bar with ice and mixers will cost you less than £10, any not drunk goes behind the bar for the next time you arrive.

      People are generally easy to get along with and friendly (aside from the miserable women in the coffee shop).

      The women are slim, feminine, cute and friendly.

      It's never a dull day. You never know what's going to happen next and every day you see something that surprises or shocks you (keeps things interesting).

      It's easy to travel around the rest of Asia as Bangkok is a hub. Bangkok was also the most visited tourist city in the world last year!

      Need I go on? 😀

  3. David says:

    Hi Stuart,

    Another great info niche idea. May i ask, how do you derive all these very useful states, some wizard piece of software?

    I'll back you up %100 regarding living in Thailand....especially your comments about the women : D

  4. NicheHacks says:

    Some of them come from software, some from a plugin which is no longer on sale, some I just hear or read about, many pop into my head as I go about my daily life tbh.

    If you always have your marketer hat on you can discover a lot.

  5. Massive research, great post- i really enjoy coming around here for cool ideas on niche stuff. But from my understanding ( i stand to be corrected) this niche seems to be a season kind of niche. it is not the conventional all year round kind of niche. i am looking forward to hear from you on this regard.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Camping would mostly be done in summer yes but it's still a year round niche - a lot of people go into the outdoors in winter still and need camping gear.

  6. Krista says:

    Stuart, thanks for these awesome ideas! I've been researching all week looking for a niche to start an authority site in and hadn't come up with anything that I thought could work. The content you have on this site is awesome and truly helpful, I finally have 3 solid ideas that I'm going to research more and narrow down to 1 to finally start my site.

    I hope Google starts to send some more love to your blog - I did so many searches over the past few days looking for help on finding a niche and only just came across your blog today after a rather random search. Nearly everything I found in the Google results up until your site was pretty much useless

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Krista, thanks for commenting and glad you like the site. Google is actually my second biggest source of traffic. I'm ranking for a lot of 'niche' related keywords.

      I don't try and go after Google rankings however as it's too unpredictable. Prefer to focus more on traffic I have control over.

      Hope to see you around again.

  7. Neo says:

    Hey Stuart

    I'm loving the blog and learning so much, thanks! I just wanted to inquire; however, on the covert store builder and toy store clone products that you used as links in this article. Are you an affiliate for these products? I did some research on the covert store builder and found some disturbing info about the site not abiding to Amazon's TOS for prices in thei r[Amazon's] affiliate program. I would really like your opinion on these two opportunities before I invest in them.

    Neo

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Neo,
      Thanks for the comment and good questions.

      Yeah I am an affiliate for both of those.

      As far as I remember Amazons TOS states that prices cannot be static on your site and must reflect the current price displayed on Amazon. If Covert Store Builder does not do that then they are breaking Amazons TOS but I would be very surprised because these guys are long time product builders who often create sites that work with Amazon so it would be a huge oversight for them.

      I'll need to look into it further and find out.

      Don't purchase for now.

  8. h says:

    If you put up a list of excellent niches wouldn't everyone on this list Go and do that and become the best in that niche and take it all ?

    Or am I being wrong in my thinking and there will be enough pie for everyone ?

    P.s I'm new to the game

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Harry, thanks for commenting.

      Good question.

      But no.

      A lot of people will see the niche and think "it's not for me" or find a reason not to get involved.

      A good amount of people, even the ones who liked the idea, will never get round to doing anything with it.

      Out of the few who do take action many will give up at the first hurdle.

      Such is the way of internet marketing.

      So don't worry about that.

      There's enough pie for everyone even if lots of people do get into the niche.

      Thanks for your time.

  9. alan lackey says:

    OK, so what does Bangkok have to lure you there again other than really good Thai food of course. Hope you're having fun...

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Alan, this is an old post from when I was in BKK before. I'm currently in UK still but I will be back in Thailand soon.

      Good food, warm weather, great value for money meaning you can live like a king for low prices, fantastic street life, great nightlife, cute, slim and feminine women everywhere, loads to see and do (culture, sport, history, nightlife, art, people watching etc) etc etc etc.

      It's in my top 3 favorite cities in the world.

  10. Diane says:

    I really love reading your blog Stuart. It's very educational especially for a not-so-newbie in the online marketing world like me. Keep up the good work!!!

  11. Laura says:

    Hey Stuart, many (many) thanks for the best info I have found on setting up an affiliate business. I'm a senior citizen, just getting started after 10 years of owning a dog walking/pet care business. I sent you a message earlier asking why there didn't seem to be any mention of pet related evergreen niches, but later found a post from you about luxury dog accessories being an evergreen, profitable niche with high end buyers. Since my company name is Walking Doggies I decided to focus on off-beat and upbeat luxury outdoor gear for dogs, and will provide information to pet owners on how to turn ordinary dog walks into a time for fun, games and adventures. From there, as you suggested, I'll build my brand and upsell other products and services dog owners need or want. I'm so grateful to you for providing this great information. Thanks again so much, Laura Grace

    • NicheHacks says:

      Hey Laura,

      Just replied to your email but it bounced back. I forgot about that post on luxury dog accessories, good find.

      Here's what I said in the email in case you didn't get it...

      I didn't actively go looking for dog blogs / sites so yeah of course there
      are plenty of dog blogs out there, there has to be. It's a huge industry
      worth millions.

      Keyword volume isn't the whole picture. You need to do market reseach not
      just keyword, see here...

      http://nichehacks.com/ultimate-guide-finding-niche-market/

      If you're going the TIWIB style site then it has to feature cool and
      unusual products or it just won't work. It has to be the 'wow' factor
      products that people can't help share and have the potential to go viral.

      So cool dog gear or even dog apparel maybe have that appeal but just random
      dog everyday dog items...not so much IMO (though this isn't a niche I'm
      familiar with)

      I don't think the Keywords tell the full picture here. We both know people
      spend stupid amounts of money on gear and toys and other items for their
      dogs. But they don't necessary search for "cool dog gear" or "funny dog
      items". Doesn't mean they don't buy them and won't share them on social
      media.

      Hope that helps.

      • Hi Stuart, I got both your emails and thank you so much for reaching out! Yes, my idea was really wild, offbeat outdoor doggy gear, kind of like the TIWIB of the dog world, focusing on outdoor stuff. Here's my tagline: Off-beat and Upbeat, Luxury Outdoor Gear for Dogs!

        I am so confused. I need to make a decision tonight or tomorrow as to whether I focus on dog training or luxury outdoor gear. Can you help me?? The name of my company is Walking Doggies and if I focus on dog training I'll sell upscale dog training gear and focus on helping dog owners turn ordinary dog walks into a time for fun, games and exercise. I'll become an authority and get expert trainers and pet care providers to write articles. From there, as you suggested, I'll upsell pet insurance, medical services, etc.

        If I focus on luxury outdoor gear, the crazier the better, building a community might not be as easy because there's no problem to solve, but TIWIM and http://www.MommyIWantThis.com just sell products and seem to be doing well.

        I am 67 years old and starting from scratch here. Is there any way you can direct me based on your incredible experience incredible knowledge? I would be so grateful, there are no words to express how grateful I will be for any help re which direction to take.

        Thank you so much in advance,
        Laura

        • NicheHacks says:

          If you focus on the offbeat outdoor gear then yes I believe there's potential for a TIWIB style site. These sites don't really solve problems like you would in a traditional marketer sense. They are more for entertainment purposes.

          I mean TIWIB whole business model is featuring weird products that most people are never going to buy and in turn getting those people over to Amazon or other sites where they end up buying something else instead netting them a commission.

          But you don't have to focus on a TIWIB style site. A blog about dog training would work too but I bet there's a 1001 of those. I'd try and niche down further if go that route and specialize to stand out.

          The choice is yours. Both are viable business models I believe (based just on initial thoughts haven't done the full research). Depends what you'd prefer to work on.

  12. Wow, you are incredible! Thank you so much! My site is already set up like TIWIB in terms of template, just doesn't yet contain the unique products I will feature if I go that route.

    The choice is whether to focus on weird, unique outdoor gear and setting it up more like TIWIB or to feature more mainstream dog training gear and helping dog owners solve the problems many dog owners have by creating more of an info/content site. I'll think it through a little more. I'm not sure there's enough weird, unique outdoor gear to create an ongoing business, so you may have already helped me make my decision.

    If I decide on dog training I will drill down to helping dog owners turn ordinary dog walks into a time for fun, games and adventures, as that is where my experience in the dog walking industry has led me. I'll focus on the outdoor dog and the benefits of fun and exercise for dog and owner, how to turn your dog into a Canine Good Citizen when out in the street, etc. The focus will be the dog outdoors. So this may be a niche within a niche within a niche, etc.

    Again, I am very grateful to you for this amazing help and support. I'll keep you posted and thank you again.

    Laura

    • NicheHacks says:

      I'm sure when you go looking you'll find endless weird and wonderful dog products but they need to have the 'wow' factor and make people really crazy to share them they can't just be "slightly unusual"...take it from someone who used to have a TIWIB style site (in a different niche - kitchen gadgets, people don't share the just slightly strange stuff).

      Are dog owners generally looking to spice up their walks and turn it into adventures? I don't know the dog market at all as never had a pet dog nor marketed in it but it doesn't seem like a major problem to me you'd be solving by showing them how to turn walks into adventured. You clearly know the market better than me so you will know much better.

      Their has to be a real pressing problem you're solving if you go that route. A problem people realize they have. Something that causes them a headache and they want a solution to.

  13. Laura says:

    Wow, this is getting harder and harder. You're right, there is not enough 'wow' factor pet gear and I had decided on training but I see your point. Yet I know the pet industry is huge and my background is here.

    There is one thing. I have 2 senior dogs of my own with joint problems and I have many clients whose older dogs also suffer from joint problems. I have referred many clients to supplements I give my own dogs. There's tons of supplements for joint problems in senior dogs and there's also gear to help senior dogs walk outside. Joint problems in senior dogs is a huge problem that needs a solution.

    Maybe I belong in the pet health industry and maybe I should drill down to pet health for senior dogs and drill deeper to senior dogs with joint problems. Then I can work up from there and down the line even offer products to start puppies out on the right foot (little play on words there).

    It still ties in with my company name which is Walking Doggies. I can focus on healthy supplements to address joint problems in senior dogs.

    This is definitely a problem that needs solving as dogs are living longer and longer. I actually had a client whose dog lived to be 23 years old and is in the Guinness Book of World Records.

    I just did a Google keyword search for old dogs = 14,800 searches, arthritis in dogs = 2,900 searches and the term senior dogs seems to be rising in Google Trends.

    Maybe this is where I belong for now. A senior citizen blogging about better health for senior dogs. Oh, I do hope you think this one is a winner!

    Again, I am so grateful for your help.

    Laura

    • NicheHacks says:

      Joint problems for dogs seems like a much more pressing problem than "making walks fun and activity like" as people will obviously be distressed that their dog is in pain so to me that seems like, on the surface, to be a better niche.

      Problems and passions make for good niches and both are present here.

      Do some research (or maybe you know already from your experience in the industry) to see if this is a big problem for other dog owners and if it is then you've got a good idea for a niche I'd say.

      This guide shows what else you should be looking to research before you jump in...

      http://nichehacks.com/ultimate-guide-finding-niche-market/

  14. You are my hero! This information is so valuable and can make the difference between success and failure. We are going with 'Improving Mobility, Joint Health and Quality of Life in Older Dogs'. This just feels so right to us. We are taking your advice all the way down the line and will keep in touch as we grow. I'm recommending you to everyone. We're so excited and feel you let us in on some secret information. If you're ever in NYC, please get in touch. We would love to take you to dinner. Thanks again so much, Laura

  15. Hi Stuart, I first contacted you asking why there was no mention of pet-related niches on your site, but after I sent that message I found a post on your site where you said that luxury pet supplies was an evergreen, profitable niche with high-end buyers. You said you had forgotten about that post and it was a good find. Here's part of that post from your site:

    "Their are wealthy people all over the world spending more than $350 per MONTH (we're talking thousands of dollars) on their dogs buying high end items. So focusing on 'luxury' dog accessories is a win win situation. It's not only an evergreen and profitable niche but you've got high end buyers too.
    And you know that rich people LOVE to spend money on designer accessories and equipment for their dogs to show them off." You also mention that you can upsell them health insurance, medical treatment and all sorts of other products.

    But in a message to me you said if I am doing a site like TIWIB the luxury pet products have to be cool and unusual with a wow factor or it just won't work. I'm confused because you didn't say that in the original post about luxury pet supplies. In fact you said that niche is "huge and profitable with so many opportunities and best of all its never going to stop bringing in money."

    I think these statements contradict each other.

    After messaging back and forth I decided to focus on promoting products and services for older dogs with joint problems and you thought that was a good niche. And maybe it is, but by the time I set up the site and filled it with medicine, supplements and medical devices for older dogs even I was depressed.

    Thanks to some input from a friend who's helping set up my blog I decided to go with my original idea. My tag is "The best, coolest, most upbeat collection of fun products for dogs!"

    I choose to accept your comments from the luxury dog blog as opposed to your more recent comments. I agree dog owners spend stupid money buying luxury items for their pets. The buyer has to determine whether or not an item has the WOW factor. That decision is personal to the buyer.

    I don't know if you ever do this, but I would love your feedback about my site. the url is http://www.WalkingDoggies.com.

    I can always change the focus, but truthfully even owners of older dogs with joint problems buy luxury items for their pets, so I think I'm on the right track.

    Thanks,
    Laura

    • NicheHacks says:

      Sure luxury dog products is most likely a profitable niche but that doesn't mean it will necessary work with a TIWIB style site. The success of a site like this is the 'wow' factor of a product. It being so funny / shocking / stupid / ridiculous that people MUST share it with their friends on social media.

      I just said that I'm not sure if dog accessories fit that criteria (I don't know I'm not in this niche or a dog owner). Maybe they do. You know this niche much better than me so you can make that decision.

      I'm not saying a site about luxury dog accessories can't work. I'm sure it can in some capacity. Maybe in a TIWIB style site or maybe in some other.

      Just keep in mind 'most' of the profitable niches are ones that solve a BIG problem. Dog joint pain for older dogs seems like it's potentially a big problem for dog owners so could be a gold mine.

      Keep in mind TIWIB makes most of it's money through products they don't even feature on the site. Adam (the owner) has said himself (check the comments section on the TIWIB case study on this site) that most people never buy the stuff they have on the site but instead click over to Amazon (or wherever) and buy a smaller, every day item, or other purchase rather than the product that initally took them there.

      Worth keeping in mind.

      • Hi Stuart, I did a lot of thinking about this. I'm not sure what you mean by a TIWIB style site. Most sites have an option to show Featured Products or New Products and you can choose to display as many or as few as you wish. I have mine set up now for infinity scrolling but I think I will change that so people can reach the end of a page, rather than go on forever.

        Truthfully the infinity scrolling on TIWIB frustrates me (thank goodness they have categories on the left), and to the best of my knowledge they are completely ignoring the current FTC and Amazon regulations for properly disclosing (on the top portion of their home page and/or within the product descriptions, not buried on the About page) that they are affiliates. From what I read if they ignore warnings the sellers (Amazon, etc) can be fined and they can possibly be fined as well, and the fine is up to $11,000).

        So I don't think I want to model that particular site, even if they are making money now. Frankly, despite reading complaints from other bloggers about the FTC disclosures I am thrilled about it, and so are many other bloggers who feel this is a step in the right direction as far as recognizing blogging as an important and professional business with far-reaching potential.

        I understand the reasons for the new regulations and there are clever ways to incorporate the proper disclosures into a blog and use those disclosures to create loyalty in my business.

        In your original post about luxury dog items being an evergreen niche you don't mention a WOW factor, and I don't think that niche needs to think about that, because as you mentioned dog owners spend stupid money on products for their dogs. They do not look for WOW factor dog toys. That may be the case with TIWIB, but that's a whole different market. He sells mainstream stuff. Much of it is boring.

        People buy cute, squeaky, bright colored things for their dogs that the dogs will like. And, trust me, dogs don't know from WOW factor.

        Here are some successful blogs that are not focused at all on the WOW factor. They are, however, focused on providing the best products and info they can about the items they sell:

        http://www.TheWirecutter.com
        http://www.FindGift.com
        http://www.TheAwesomer.com (awesome stuff? Not very much. They sell the same juicer I've had for years and it's def not awesome)
        http://www.TheGreenHead.com (they have a Humpty Dumpty egg cup on their home page. Def not a WOW product)
        http://www.GeekAlerts (again, very little geek and no WOW on this one)
        http://www.TheHomeGadget.com (they have a snow cone maker on their home page - boring)

        All the above blogs made it onto a list of 'some of the best' yet they are far from showing, consistently, if at all, WOW factor products and none of them at all solve a big problem, so I'm not sure where that's coming from.

        I thought you were familiar with the pet industry from your original blog, but if you're really not it's worth researching, because much of what you're saying doesn't apply to this customer base.

        Pet parents look for toys their dogs will like, food and treats that are healthy for their pet, outdoor gear that will keep their pet safe and warm, etc., beds that will keep them comfortable, etc. Any pet parent who puts the emphasis on WOW factor products instead of what is in the best interest of their dog, is not my market.

        There actually is a need in the pet supply niche, and that is to do the research, separate the good from the bad and present pet parents with an online catalog of the best products available to help dogs maintain the highest quality of life possible for as long as they possibly can.

        I will eventually creates niches within niches and offer the best for puppies, adult dogs, senior dogs and then can drill even deeper and create the best toys for each, food and treats for each, outdoor gear for each, etc. Don't forget, I have over 10 years in the pet care business and can bring in professionals to write posts and articles and to do product reviews.

        So this is where I'm staying, but now I have to edit each listing to be in complete compliance with FTC regulations and figure out how and where to add some appropriate text to my header. It never ends!!

        • NicheHacks says:

          A "TIWIB" style site means Thisiswhyimbroke.com style site with the featuring of unusual and weird products. This type of site is obviously very different from a blog.

          Not sure what Amazons terms are on where you have to display the disclaimer, before you just had to have it on your site. TIWIB have been doing this for a long time and are heavy Amazon affiliates, I'm sure they know what they are doing.

          Those sites you listed (GreenHead, Wirecutter etc) aren't 'blogs'. NicheHacks is a blog. A blog is a continually updated site with articles.

          Not every niche / topic will work as a 'TIWIB' style product site. You can't just list any old products side by side and have people sharing them like crazy. The products featured have to have to say it again the "wow" factor that makes people share them and go viral.

          To be clear, I am NOT saying that luxury dog items won't work as this type of product site. Maybe they will. You know this niche far better than me.

          And to clarify sites like this don't go the traditional problem solving route that makes most niches profitable (as the basics of marketing is to find a problem and offer a solution) they are a different model. But typically the best niches ARE ones where there's a major problem present that needs solved.

          Like I say TIWIB hardly makes any money from the stuff they feature on the site, that's not even their goal. They just want you to click on it so the affiliate cookie is set and then get you over to Amazon (or wherever) who are really good at getting you to purchase other stuff and they get the commission for that. Just something to keep in mind.

          So if you're not going the 'wow' factor route then honestly I don't think a (to use this phrase again) a 'TIWIB' style product site is the way forward. It's maybe more suited to a content style site, i.e. a blog like NicheHacks is for example.

          Why would people come to your website just to find a load of every day pet products when they can just go direct to Amazon or any of the big trusted pet retailers and buy direct?

          The "secret" to affiliate marketing is to offer something the end retailer doesn't (VALUE) so if you're just routinely listing dog products without anything special or extra then where's the value their for the customer?

          You talk above about getting professionals to do reviews and articles, I think that's a great idea but then that's a different model altogether from TIWIB.

          Again, to clarify, I'm NOT saying your niche isn't a good one or that this business model will not work. I'm just putting everything out there for you to consider.

  16. Hi Stuart, first of all, thanks again! I'm so sorry, I know what TIWIB means. I just didn't know what you meant by a TIWIB style site. I thought you meant a site that uses infinity scroll but if you're taking about weird stuff being the reason social media picks up on them, they're not making all that much money and 3/4 of their stuff is boring. $20,000/month is nothing compared o http://www.SurvivalLife.com, which I read generates one million dollars a month.

    If I do this right there will be even more social medial involvement from avid dog owners who will spend any amount of money to buy products for their dogs. I'm not looking for the crazies. I'm looking for a solid community that buys regularly.

    The concern about the disclaimer has nothing to do with Amazon. It's an updated guideline from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and they're coming down hard on companies not in compliance. At this point they are not going after bloggers but companies that use bloggers are at risk. I'm surprised you don't know about it. It's all over the Internet and it's changing the way bloggers blog.

    There has to be a disclaimer on every single blog post saying something like: FTC Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link. If you make a purchase using this link we earn a small commission.

    A lot of bloggers are angry about this but others, like me, see it as uplifting to the industry by requiring truth in advertising. Do a google search for FTC Compliance Guidelines for Bloggers 2013. Again, it's all over the Internet.

    My site is a WordPress blog and the product offerings are updated daily. In addition, the actual 'blog' entries that are not product offerings will also be updated daily. To me, that constitutes a blog because it is not a static site.

    Again, with all due respect, I feel you're missing the point. TIWIB has 90% mediocre products and 10% weird stuff and the customer base that's interested in those types of products are NOT my customers.

    in 2014, Americans spent $56 BILLION DOLLARS on pets last year. Not weird pet supplies, not WOW factor pet supplies, not even unusual pet supplies. Just regular pet supplies.

    There's tens of thousands of pet-related blogs, websites, facebook pages, associations and on and on that I will use to spread the word about my company. I don't need the crazy market, nor do I want them. And also I don't want a TIWIB style website. That being said, my website does look a lot like his, and we haven't really customized it yet.

    And you CAN have non-WOW factor products side by side that people share like crazy because you are not comparing apples to apples. You're comparing 2 different business models and I'm not sure you understand how absolutely FIERCE dog owners are about their pets.

    Again, I feel you're fluctuating from your original post that said the luxury pet market, and actually any pet market, would always be an evergreen niche to now saying unless it's WOW I can't have a TIWIB style business.

    As I said before I don't want a TIWIB style business. I did in the beginning before I did my research. I simply want to reach financial success doing what I love, and I don't feel that I have to have WOW products OR fill a need to be successful.

    There are plenty of blogs/websites selling products that do not fall into one or the other category and are generating crazy money. You know that because you highlighted many of them yourself in your own blog.

    Why will people come to my site, you asked?

    I plan to capitalize on the fact that I am a dog walker/pet care provider with decades of experience running a successful pet care business who is curating the best products for dogs. In terms of meeting a need, I will position myself as an authority presenting the best products and services, so dog owners don't have to spend hours sifting through the enormous amount of junk out there. I will address a number of special needs, not just those of older dogs. I'll categorize the different products by type (toys, beds, etc), but also by the special needs the products would serve (i.e. older dogs, separation anxiety, barking issues, eating issues, high energy, etc). I just set up a "Sort By Category" and will be setting up a "Sort By Need" down the line.

    Stuart, people do not ONLY flock to share facebook posts because they found weird stuff on a website. Young people do that until they get bored with the game but, again, that's not my market. My market are professional people, business owners, wealthy people who have pets and will spend any amount of money on products for them. My market is probably much older and much richer than the market TIWIB is after.

    You asked why people would come to my site rather than go directly to Amazon. I will ask you the same question. Since 90% of the items on TIWIB are from Amazon why do people go to his site when they can go directly to Amazon? The reasons why, Stuart, are for the other things they cannot get from Amazon. In my situation that will be the content. In Adam's not sure because most of the site is quite mediocre.

    I understand the SECRET, and just told you what we will be offering in addition to products. And again, as mentioned several times the only thing I initially liked about TIWIB was the visual site, but once I really got into it it seems shallow and boring. His market is probably kids who play video games, because I doubt many professional adults would be amused by a mold of a bloodied hand that you plant in a garden to scare people.

    Do you understand what I'm saying. That is most def NOT my market, not my focus and not my direction. WalkingDoggies.com is a blog that will be updated daily, with valuable content and amazing products. And that, my friend, is it for now. Enjoy your evening.

    Laura

    • NicheHacks says:


      they're not making all that much money and 3/4 of their stuff is boring. $20,000/month is nothing compared o http://www.SurvivalLife.com, which I read generates one million dollars a month.

      The $20K is an estimate and from just Amazon. They have scores of affiliate programs on their site. Either way $20K a month is a lot by most peoples standards. Not many people online are doing that much. Survival Life is owned by a team of expert online marketers with decades of experience in the field with Ryan Deiss at the helm. They are a one off not the norm.


      There has to be a disclaimer on every single blog post saying something like: FTC Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link. If you make a purchase using this link we earn a small commission.

      Yet no blogs actually do this, why?

      I've literally never seen it.


      Again, with all due respect, I feel you're missing the point. TIWIB has 90% mediocre products and 10% weird stuff and the customer base that's interested in those types of products are NOT my customers.

      In your opinion 90% are mediocre. They are the most successful site of this type (the weird product niche) on the internet and very well known. They have a huge loyal following (they get very little search traffic and last time I checked not building their email list) who visit frequently...so obviously most people are happy with the products they feature.

      I never said they were your customers but if you're going to build a niche down version of a TIWIB style site then I think you'd want to pay attention to some of what they do, no?

      It's not me that's missing the point. I totally understand what you are trying to do.


      and I don't feel that I have to have WOW products OR fill a need to be successful.

      You definitely don't need 'WOW' products but you DO need to fill a need. If there's no need there's no demand and no money being spent. It's the basics of marketing.


      in 2014, Americans spent $56 BILLION DOLLARS on pets last year. Not weird pet supplies, not WOW factor pet supplies, not even unusual pet supplies. Just regular pet supplies.

      Yep, not debating that. It's a huge industry. But people tend to go to well known sites like Amazon or the big pet store brands when they want to buy pet products. They need to find another reason other than "to buy" to go to your site. If they already know they want to buy and what they plan to buy they'll go direct to the retailer not to your site that features a load of products side by side.

      As an affiliate you have to offer something the end retailer does not. People know the end retailer and trust them. They don't know you, don't trust you and don't care. You need to give them something extra.

      You can do that through a blog and product reviews and so on. It's harder to do it when all you're doing is listing rows of products that they can find direct on the end retailer. This is why sites like TIWIB work well because they feature products that people find a bit weird and wonderful not just every day products people can find easily on Amazon.

      You've mentioned you'll have a blog too. Definitely recommended.


      Again, I feel you're fluctuating from your original post that said the luxury pet market, and actually any pet market, would always be an evergreen niche to now saying unless it's WOW I can't have a TIWIB style business.

      See you're saying that it's me that's missing the point but actually you're missing the point here.

      The pet market is DEFINITELY ever green and profitable. 100%.

      Luxury dog good is clearly profitable. No argument.

      But does that mean putting lots of every day pet products on a site that looks like TIWIB will work?

      NO.

      Many have tried and failed.

      Niched down TIWIB style sites haven't proved to be popular so far because most people miss the point. They think it's just about getting a load of, slightly cool, products lined up on a site in a TIWIB style layout and the money will roll in.

      It's not about that. The way TIWIB and similar site get their traffic is by viral social sharing and viral social sharing only happens when a few different aspects are in play. Products with the "WOW" factor are featured that gets people sharing like crazy on social media, quirky product copy, clever product placement and a few smaller aspects.

      If you ignore those aspects and just put every day pet products side by side then I don't think you'll see succes..

      AGAIN (said this several times now) that does NOT mean that I'm saying luxury dog items won't work as this style of site. Maybe it will. I don't know this market well enough to know what sort of luxury dog items are likely to be featured,

      Maybe they DO have the viral sharing / WOW factor. I don't know. You maybe do as this is your experise.

      I've never once said this site won't work. I'm just explaining WHY and HOW a site like TIWIB works so well and why so many people fail to get it right when they attempt to replicate it.

      I will ask you the same question. Since 90% of the items on TIWIB are from Amazon why do people go to his site when they can go directly to Amazon? The reasons why, Stuart, are for the other things they cannot get from Amazon. In my situation that will be the content. In Adam's not sure because most of the site is quite mediocre.

      It's because 90% of what Amazon, and other retailers, feature is totally ordinary. You can't easily find these weird and wonderful products.

      The people who visit TIWIB love the geeky, weird, unusual sh*t they feature. The love the quirky copy they use. They love the clever placement of products. The high quality images. The layout. The sharing and community features.

      Not just because they added some slightly interesting products side by side to their site. I'm NOT saying you just plan to add every day dog products side by side to your site and expect people to visit I'm just pointing out WHY a site like TIWIB works and why so many people who attempt to replicate it FAIL...because they totally miss the point.

      You don't have to explain marketing to me Laura, I'm a full time online marketer who makes a generous living from this, is location independent and currently living in a tropic country. I understand WHY people visit affiliate sites over going to end retailers.


      Once I really got into it it seems shallow and boring. His market is probably kids who play video games, because I doubt many professional adults would be amused by a mold of a bloodied hand that you plant in a garden to scare people.

      Kids don't have money to spend. His audience aren't kids but adults.

      You can doubt what you like but TIWIB is a very profitable online business that knows what it's doing. Adam gets affiliate marketing better than almost any other marketer I've seen. He understand values and customer experience way better than your average internet marketer and is someone to be studies and followed not ignored, regardless of your niche.

      .I mean he's created a business that makes money by NOT selling 99% of what his website features. Genius.


      That is most def NOT my market, not my focus and not my direction. WalkingDoggies.com is a blog that will be updated daily, with valuable content and amazing products. And that, my friend, is it for now. Enjoy your evening.

      TIWIBs audience might not be your market but you are attempting to copy TIWIBs business model and it's been proven time and time again sites like this that focus mainly on featuring products side by side don't do well unless they feature the weird, unusual, and 'WOW' products.

      Regular, every day products, don't cut in most niches. Maybe the luxury dog niche is different. Maybe those products are 'WOW' products with the viral sharing aspect (again I don't know this market well enough to know I'm just telling you what I DO know).

      I hope you have great success with this. I'd love to see you make a profitable business from it. You seem to have the knowledge and passion for it.

  17. Good morning Stuart, here are my thoughts about your last post.

    Yes, $20,000 a month is a nice place to be for many people. I am just starting out and would love to be there myself. But they're not building anything of value. There's no growth potential so it all depends on how long he can keep the teen/young adult market amused, and how long he can continue finding these products. There will come a point when either there's not enough amusing products or the market dries up because the viewers moved on.

    You're asking why blogs are not honoring the FTC disclosure guidelines? This is where someone like you could really be helpful to blog owners. A lot of them are not aware of the new guidelines. You may not have been aware either. Advertising Age reported that in September 2014, just 5 months ago, the Federal Trade Commission warned more than 60 top advertisers about the ad disclosure flaws and sent letters to TV and print advertisers saying they did not provide satisfactory disclosure in TV and print ads to consumers.

    The FTC would not name the firms they sent the letters to but they will be monitoring the advertisers to ensure they are abiding by disclosure guidelines.

    How long do you think it will take for this to trickle down to the blogging community? Trust me, not very long at all because more and more affiliate networks are popping up and more and more businesses are joining them.

    The next step will be for the affiliate networks (like cj) to reject applicant bloggers because their blogs do not reflect disclosure information. But companies like cj don't generally share the reasons for the rejection and the bloggers will never know.

    Again, this is where you could be really helpful by advising bloggers about these changes and encouraging them to be in compliance, instead of adapting the attitude of "don't know, never seen it".

    Yes, in my opinion, 90% of the products on tiwib are boring and that is just my opinion. But the weird product niche is only interesting to that particular market and to imply that it's the only successful path to big success is wrong.

    Anyone can start a similar site, sign up with Amazon and the same affiliates Adam is with, get a WordPress blog and do exactly the same thing. But they may not have the same success and that has nothing at all to do with the niche. It has everything to do with the marketing and how he is getting the word out. Again, it is NOT the niche and you should know that.

    Once again, for the 10th time now I am NOT trying to build a niched down version of a tiwib style site, despite the fact that you say that in every post to me.

    Regarding 'filling a need', pet supplies fill a huge need. There are many more people searching for pet-related products than searching for weird products. There are hundreds of thousands of stores, online and off, selling products that people and pets need, and none of them are weird. Yet somehow all these businesses are alive, well and making money.

    You mentioned that people go to Amazon for mainstream pet supplies, but then why are companies like http://www.EntirelyPets.com, http://www.PetFlow.com, http://www.Chewy.com, http://www.Wag.com, http://www.Petsmart.com, http://www.Petco.com, etc., etc., etc. not only in business but in BIG business?

    I'll tell you why. It has to do with branding, marketing and developing relationships with customers through whatever means possible. There are enough people in the world for any business to build a brand, develop loyal customers and become successful, and as a marketer you should know this as well.

    True story: There are 2 delis around the corner from my building. They are 6 stores apart. from each other They have different owners and they've both been around for over 30 years. They both have their own loyal customers and are both swamped with customers at all hours. Why?? When you can answer that, you'll understand that the human factor involved in building a business can be a powerful tool.

    Finally, I am not attempting to copy the business model of tiwib. Why do you say that? I have a blog that looks similar but so do thousands of other people. I am not in the weird product market so, again why do you keep saying I'm trying to copy his model?

    First you say the luxury pet market is and always will be huge and evergreen. In the next breath you say listing products side by side won't work and people can buy them from Amazon. I feel like I'm darting bullets here because you're jumping all over the place.

    Let me end this before it gets painful by making it clear that I am focusing on offering The best, coolest, most upbeat collection of fun products for dogs! Our blog will be updated daily with new products and information of interest to pet owners, some written by professional pet care providers. We will niche down to 'the best toys', 'the best clothing', 'the best food' etc and niche further to products and services for puppies, adult dogs, seniors, and even further to deal with specific health issues.

    To say we will not be filling a need tells me you really don't understand the plan here.

    And I will certainly keep an eye out for 'weird, wonderful' sh*t for dogs.

    Finally, Stuart, I think you should consider reading up on the FTC's new guidelines, because ignoring them is the wrong thing to do. Just my 2 cents!

    All the best,
    Laura

    • NicheHacks says:

      Laura you keep saying TIWIB has no value. Is silly. Is for kids. Etc. You're wrong on all those fronts.

      They have been around for years. Have a loyal following (even without having much of an email list which is crazy). People DO get value from their site hence the repeat traffic and loyal following they have. They grow month after month and year after year.

      Teenagers and kids are NOT their target market. Teenagers and kids don't have money to spend.

      They don't even manually market or advertise the site. It grows naturally because of the viral social element of it. And it's not like Google is sending them traffic either as they don't rank for much.

      I've talked about the FTC in your other comment. Most serious bloggers are aware they need disclaimers and have them. Just not on every page and under every affiliate link. It's for each individual to interpret the rules as they see fit and not for me to give any sort of advice on whether it's legal or not.

      Many people HAVE started similar sites to TIWIB and failed. As they don't "get" it. They think it's just about chucking a random load of products on a site that are slightly unusual and linking to Amazon. It's not. I've said that about 5 times already. There's loads of subtle things which make TIWIB such a success.

      Most people miss out on the incredible value and customer experience he provides to his audience.

      On the subject of people going to Amazon to buy pet supplies. You've missed my point again. I've said more than once now if people know what they want to buy they'll either go direct to Amazon, one of the big pet suppliers online, or locally. They won't go to an affiliate site first which requires them then to go onwards to Amazon / other big retailer. Just makes no sense. They'll go direct to the source - the big retailer they trust and know. Not the random affiliate site on the internet.

      Amazon / big name pet retailer have the known brand, the trust factor, the reputation, the customer experience, the reviews and customer ratings. Almost everything people need if they know what they want to buy.

      If you're going to create an affiliate site that lists products side by side like TIWIB / your site does there has to be something additional there to make people visit you first. With TIWIB it's that they feature only weird and quirky products that their target audience love to share.

      What's the reason people will come to yours? (I'm not saying you don't have a reason just saying if you don't have a convincing one you need to find one ASAP)

      You say you are not attempting to copy TIWIB business model but you have built a site EXACTLY like theirs so there are similarities. As I've said a dozen times now sites that are designed / look like this tend not to have much success unless they have something unique or special about them. In TIWIB case it's that the products are all weird and quirky (to their target audience).

      Yes the luxury dog product marker is clearly profitable and evergreen BUT (again I've said this several times now) that doesn't mean it will work with the type of site you're building. There are many different ways to sell affiliate products and the way you're doing them isn't known to be all that effective in most cases (again TIWIB doesn't make money off most the products they feature instead by setting the affiliate cookie and getting people to buy other stuff)

      Read this post for different affiliate business models....

      http://nichehacks.com/profitable-affiliate-sites/

      I did NOT say you weren't filling a need. You said that you didn't feel like you needed to be filling a need. You're misinterpreting almost everything I say.

      I've nothing more to say. We're going round in circles and the same stuffs being said over and over. You're going to do what you're going to do regardless of anything I say anyway I feel so let's leave it at that.

      Just to clarify one more time. I'm NOT saying your niche isn't profitable, your site won't work, or that you're doing things wrong.

      I wish you all the best and hope you have a massive success with this. You've got the knowledge and the passion for it without a doubt.

      Keep in touch and keep me updated.

      Thanks

      P.S.

      You don't appear to be building your email list - big mistake. It should be your main focus. It will allow your site to grow faster, send more traffic back to the website, build a connection and trust with your audience and countless other benefits.

  18. Stuart, I also want to mention that Amazon is getting strict about their disclaimer appearing on the sites and blogs of anyone selling their products as an affiliate/associate. They require exact wording, which can be found on the footer of my home page, as well as on the right margin of most of my internal pages.

    In terms of the FTC insistence on compliance, I decided to insert a disclaimer link in every post containing an affiliate link. The disclaimer links then link to my disclaimer page. According to what I've read, this is acceptable to the FTC. You can take a look at what I've done if you're interested.

    There is also a lot of mention about DMCA Disclaimers on blogs. Mine is also in the footer of my site. As a blog marketer you should be passing on this valuable information so blog owners don't lose their business. Blogging is growing up and will soon be required to stand in place with other forms of advertising and abide by the same guidelines. These guidelines are not going away, so ignoring them won't help.

    Do a google search for how many amazon affiliates are shut down for having the quote they require, in the exact wording they require, on their site or blog.

    These legal issues are more important than finding a niche. Because a niche without a blog or site is useless.

    Laura

    • NicheHacks says:

      Yes Amazon has always required you to have a disclaimer on your site to say you're an Amazon affiliate and for a long time the FTC have required you to have a t&c page with a disclaimer. Most sites have that. Including mines. But I haven't seen anyone put it on every page or beside every affiliate link nor have I heard of anyone getting into trouble for not doing that.

      Yeah I looked at what you did and I think it seems OTT though I'm no law expert and wouldn't try to give advice on the subject so everyone has to make their own decision on what they do.

      You WILL lower conversions massively on your site by doing what you've done and with a site like this I imagine conversions will be quite low anyway. On the weird kitchen items style TIWIB site I owned conversions were on the low end of things.

      Also it seems you're only featuring products from Amazon and no other retailers and every product is an affiliate product?

      This doesn't represent 'value' to me and could easily put off your audience who think you're just trying to sell them Amazon products for commissiom. You need a wide mix of products from different retailers and some products that aren't affiliate ones. As it stands now you've just got an Amazon affiliate store and people will wonder why they don't just do direct to Amazon next time.

      Aside from that the site looks really good. Nice and clean and simple and good use of images.

  19. Hi Stuart,

    I never said tiwib has no value. I said since it's just products with no content I see no growth potential except for adding more and more products. And I never said it was silly. I said that most professional people I know have no interest in sharing plastic molds of bloodied hands on their facebook page.

    Good, I'm glad to know you've talked about the FTC's guidelines. Actually my attorney called me this morning and said I can scale down unless and until I am notified that I need to do more, and he feels it will be coming soon. I did scale down but you should know that many people posted on forums that their conversion went up, not down as you suggested, when they blatantly posted disclosure information. These bloggers feel that happened because visitors to their blogs respected their compliance, so I don't agree with you that keeping notices in the posts would lead to lower conversion.

    Interesting point you made about other people trying the tiwim format but failing. Why do you think that is when they can set up the exact same WordPress theme, sign up with the exact same affiliate network, choose the exact same weird, wonderful products and display them in the exact same way and write the exact same clever descriptions?

    In other words if they can copy every single thing Adam is doing exactly as he's doing it and fail why do you think that is, and doesn't that negate your entire argument? I'll answer the question. Anyone, including you and me, can do EXACTLY what Adam is doing and fail because there's an unknown factor here, as I've mentioned many times. And that unknown factor is branding and marketing, and again you should know this.

    Since Adam's site is available for anyone to see anyone can clone it. Many have tried and failed because their sites were not branded and marketed properly.

    A good salesman can sell anything to anyone, whether or not they need it.

    In terms of your comments about people knowing what they need and going right to Amazon, you are again negating the branding and marketing aspect. People don't to to tiwib for things they need. You are correct that they go to Amazon for what they need, but they don't go to sites like tiwib for things they need. They will go to Walking Doggies for the content (once we get it up) and for the products we promote.

    We made 2 sales last week from people who visited the site to see what we were doing and liked the products enough to buy them. ** THEY WERE NOT LOOKING FOR THESE PRODUCTS BUT THEY FOUND THEM ON OUR SITE AND LIKED THEM. We set up this site 2 weeks ago and don't have the content up yet. In addition to Amazon we were accepted so far by 3 other affiliates and will now start putting their products up.

    I pointed out to you that besides Amazon there are at least 6 major online e-tailers who are all doing quite well selling mainstream, non-wow pet supplies. If they can do it, I can do it too.

    Adam uses WordPress and so does wwwMommyIWantThis.com. Their sites look similar to mine. Because our sites are similar that doesn't mean I'm trying to copy Adam's business model. I've told you several times about the content we will be adding shortly, and what our expansion goals are. I don't think Adam plans to do any of that, so how am I copying his business model?

    Not sure what you mean by 'the type of site I'm building'. We are choosing to display our products in the same way hundreds of thousands of other sites do. What is your issue with that?? We have a 'sort by category' tab on every page and search boxes on almost every page. So explain what you mean by 'the type of site I'm building'.

    Also as mentioned several times, our content is not up yet. We have only been on this earth several weeks. The content will start coming in this week.

    You did say if a site doesn't have 'weird, wonderful stuff' it has to fill a need. WD will be filling a need once the content is up. But I do not agree with you that sites that don't have crazy products have to fill a particular need. I gave you many examples of online e-tailers who sell mainstream pet supplies. Is that a need? Yes, but not in the sense you meant. These companies sell the same mainstream boring stuff you said would never lead to success when placed side by side on a site.

    And you're wrong because all of those sites I mentioned have the very same boring, random products placed side by side, filling no particular need except the need for that particular product.

    So since these stores are obviously successful selling boring products side by side because they carefully branded and marketed, I can do it too. There are enough people in the world for me to build a nice business of loyal customers who will come to me for the content and buy product.

    In fact, there are enough people in the word for online e-tailers like entirely pets and the others I mentioned to be successful despite Amazon. So again, if they can do it, so can I.

    In all your arguments you never once mention the importance of building a loyal customer base through branding, marketing and great customer service. As the mom of 2 delicious dogs I can tell you that I shop for products for them at stores I like, it's a relationship thing. I don't automatically go to Amazon, in fact, I don't automatically go anywhere. If I am made aware of a particular store and I like what I'm all about I'll buy from them. Branding, marketing, customer service.

    If a product can sell to even 1 person, it can sell to millions. It's that unknown factor, a combo of branding, marketing and some special sauce mixed in.

    Regarding our email list, again, we're only live for about 2 weeks and obviously do not want to start marketing until we get some content up. That will happen within the week.

    And regarding your comment that we only have Amazon products, we only have a handful of products up at this time because, once again, we are 2 weeks old and the site is incomplete. However we have products from Hammacher and Pet Fancy that I guess you missed, and we are supplying to more affiliate networks this week.

    Laura

  20. laura says:

    Hey Stuart,

    Sorry for all the typos in that last post. My dogs and I were locked out of our apartment from 3am until 7am because my lock broke and I couldn't get back in after doing a late night (early morning) dog walk with my boys. And at 7am I had to get ready for 2 dogs who were coming for boarding so I didn't sleep at all last night and the typos reflect that.

    Anyway, you understand what I'm trying to say, which is that anyone can sell anything to anyone, whether or not they need it as long as it's branded and marketed consistently and cleverly.

    My father was a wonderful salesman and taught me much about the art of selling.

    How often do people buy things they don't need because the sales person was that good? And then the customer later says, "I don't know why I bought that?? I certainly didn't need it!!" Very often, as I can attest myself.

    A clean, professional looking site that offers great resources for pet owners, amazing customer service and direct links to some of the coolest, most fun products for pets from some of the best e-tailers will do well. Having everything together in one site so people don't have to search for these products and resources will also be helpful to the end user.

    I'll check back so you can see our success for yourself. In the meantime I'll be spending my time building my business so I won't be responding to these posts and I'm signing off for now.

    All the best,
    Laura
    http://www.WalkingDoggies.com
    The best, coolest, most upbeat collection of fun products for dogs!