One thing I notice with a lot of affiliates is that they start up projects or websites that they aren’t really passionate about.
I’m sure most of you reading this have at least one website in your portfolio that you put a bunch of work into to begin with, but really don’t have the drive to maintain that website.
You thought there was a money opportunity, or an untapped niche, so you decided to build a website around it even though you couldn’t care less about it.
Boy, do I have websites like that. Here’s one example: PokerVideoGameReviews.com. The idea was fine – reviews, tips and strategies for all poker video games. Then try and sell them via affiliate marketing, while trying to push these people to real poker rooms too.
However I honestly couldn’t care less about poker video games – of all the games that are reviewed there I’ve never played one of them, and after launching that website it’s sat there doing absolutely nothing for almost a full year now. No new content, no link building: nothing.
What I’d like to suggest to everyone is that they start up a new hobby – and then they write about it. Simple as that. Look for something that you think you’d be interested in doing – something fun – then get a domain name, WordPress installed and start writing all about it.
To start with, don’t even think about doing it for the money. Do it because you want to do it. Because it’s something fun to write about. You can still aim to make money with it of course, and that should ultimately be your goal, but go into it with a different perspective. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing it can be, and all the new people you get to interact with that also share this hobby.
Here is a list of potential websites that would be interesting reading, and a few ways that you can make money from it:
Participate In A Sport
Quite an obvious one this – join the local hockey team, or soccer team or whatever, and write about it. Write about what you do to train, and how your team does with match reports. The income potential on this one is generally low unfortunately – equipment referral and local business media buys are the best that you can hope for. However it gets you out of the house and gets your blood flowing, which always helps us think more clearly.
Watch A Sport:
Very simple one – start watching a sport on a regular basis, and write about it. Do game reports, talk about what you did during the game, write up previews prior to the games with your thoughts on it, etc. It’s even better if you pick a sport that you don’t know anything about, and you can write about how to fully understand the game, all the rules etc.
Quite a lot of opportunities for marketing this one, as you can link to a variety of items for referral income like merchandise. Affiliate links for sportsbooks can do okay on a website like this too, and you will get a ton of keyword ideas. I’d also recommend if doing this try and pick a sport that isn’t covered in too much detail on the web, or one that is growing in popularity. Remember too that you’ll get a lot of fans of sports on these type of sites that don’t gamble – so you can introduce them to that, be it sports betting, poker or casinos.
Watching a TV Show:
TV show websites are some of the easiest websites out there, and can actually be nice money earners. You can write recaps on the TV show, post NUMEROUS top lists, and really build a community around it. If there’s a TV show you watch or have watched in the past, have a look on the WWW and you’ll see some great fan sites, with communities that are strong in both quality and quantity. Even better, a lot of these communities stick together long after the show is over.
Many potential marketing opportunities for this one. Create your own merchandise and sell it or promote websites that do, sell the DVDs for the show via your website, do recommendations for “shows like this” with the referral links in there. Depending on the show, you can even promote gambling to that market. It’s a bit extreme, but promote bingo on an Antiques Roadshow website! You get the idea.
A similar website could be watching movies and writing about them. Again however, just a direct blog on that wouldn’t work well financially – you need to be smart about it. “If you liked this, you’ll like this…”, promoting merchandise and so on.
Bet On Sports
I ran a similar blog for awhile which was DansCasinoBlog.com – now located at CasinoAnswers.com/blog where I would gamble at a casino every week. You could do a similar website, or one where you bet on sporting events.
Now this may seem an obvious suggestion – however I’m talking about taking this to the next level. It’s not another “tips” website – it’s your hobby. You buy books on sports betting and you read them and write reviews of the books, and what you learned from them. You go into detail about why you’re betting on something, and analyze where it went right or wrong after the game.
Basically it’s not a sports betting tips website – it’s the journey from you, the webmaster who has never bet on sports in his life(or at least, not thought about their bets in great detail), to an actual handicapper whose bets have a positive expectation.
The Stock Market
How many people are reading this, and don’t dabble in the stock market? And how many of you would like to get into it, but don’t fully understand it? Then the perfect blog for you, is learning all about the stock market! Books, simulators, everything – write all about learning it, everything you trade on it etc. So many potential ways to make income with a stock market blog, and it’s a blast to learn and do in the process.
Same as above, and there’s still a huge market for Forex at the moment. It’s name value grows every day, and more and more people are interested in trying it.
Baseball Cards. Comics. Stamps. Trains. There’s tons of possibilities when it comes to collecting, huge online communities, and so many websites that sell all these products that if you get a regular following, you can clean up. Write about getting into it, talking to people, understanding the communities, the value of items, get reader interaction like the most valued comic book they have etc. This is the type of thing that an experienced internet marketer could kill at.
These are getting more popular every day. Internet marketers are starting to work out, then blog about it. Of course it goes a lot further than that. Promoting the latest weight-loss techniques, supplements etc. A fantastic website and a great example of this is GymJunkies.com.
Build a Salt Water Tank
Or build something. Ideally something that will cost a lot of money!
Using salt water tanks as an example as I have some friends that have their own – people are OBSESSIVE about this stuff. They need to have the best EVERYTHING when it comes to salt water tanks, and they get addicted to it. Practically everything salt water tank related is expensive as hell too.
I have a friend who doesn’t really make much money, yet he recently splurged on this:
You know what that is? It’s a 125 Gallon Tank. It doesn’t even come with a lot of key components like Tubing and Canister Filters. You know how much it cost him? $3,000.
There are so many cool things you can do with salt water tanks too. Get some webcams and temperature meters going that get posted online, get people visiting your website regularly, and start selling them everything. If you can get the visitors, I guarantee you that you can sell them products like the above.
Another simple one that we have to take to the next level. Read a book, write a review. However take it to that next level – book recommendations, who this book would be good for(in terms of helping people to buy gifts) etc.
Another obvious one – start playing video games and write about them. Of course there’s unfortunately a million websites that do that – some with huge marketing budgets – so for something like this, you need to think outside the box. Maybe set yourself some sort of challenge or whatever.
I just wanted to mention video games for a great example: http://www.1milliongamerscore.com The owner of that website is Raymond, and he is on a quest to have a 1 million gamerscore on XBox 360. The marketing for that is done just by word of mouth pretty much, yet he has 1488 Twitter followers and 1009 Facebook likes as of this writing. He’s got a huge audience, and with the right kind of marketing he could make some really nice money. Plus there’s the referral potential, the ability to get free items from companies and so on. And when he approaches the 1 million mark there will be companies queuing up to get their marketing material on his site; trust me.
One of those “hobbies” that so many people would like to take up is photography – so do it! Start your own photoblog, write about the equipment you use, books you read, everything you do for a photograph.
You’d be surprised at how profitable this could be. I’ve got 2 friends who are amateur photographers. The first one has a photoblog where her pictures get posted to lots of image sites like Tumblr & Flickr. She also has her own homepage. She had no marketing material on it at all, however I convinced her to add a referral link on each picture simply stating what camera she uses for each picture. With just that one link, she’s made $300 in 6 months at Amazon. That may not seem like a lot, but she has just the one referral link on every picture and never really promotes equipment at all. If she got into full-fledged internet marketing, she could be making a bundle.
My other friend I convinced to take it one step further – go for a more localized blog, aiming at pictures in and around her city. 2 years after we had that talk, she’s quit her 9-5 job and is now a full-fledged photographer. Thanks to all the local marketing she was able to do weddings, christenings etc and now makes huge money from it.
I could write ideas for pages and pages. Needlework. Building model airplanes. Doing jigsaws. Taking up Yoga. Getting into the Civil War. Taking up a board game. Fishing. Bird watching. Food critic. Travel blog. Scrapbooking. Taking up a musical instrument. Starting a band. Cooking. Building lego. Etc. Etc. Etc.
The fact is, life’s too short to be stuck doing the same mundane things every day. You need to take a break from the grind, and a hobby is a great way to do that.
And in this day and age, there’s ALWAYS ways to make money from it. ALWAYS.