PIP Module 2 – Building Your Niche Affiliate Site

Passive Income Project - Niche WebsiteIt seems no matter how hard I try – Posting on my own blog and building passive income, among other things, always seems to take the back seat.  Let’s not forget to mention that I currently have no means of recording audio (no microphone/mixer is out of commission due to a fried preamp).  So, rather than be a complete douche bag and use this as an excuse for not continuing my Passive Income Project series, I’m going to write out this next module with hopes of recording a video later.

In the first video, I talked about various ways I do my gold digging to uncover profitable keywords, products and domain names. Once you have everything in place they next step is to build your website, and even if you suck, I’m going to give you some tools and tips to make a killer site regardless.

Remember – I AM NOT A GRAPHIC/WEB DESIGNER! But I do know enough to make things look and perform well.  How did I learn?  I did the same thing anyone does when they want to develop a new skill… I scoured the Internet until I realized that I could just harass the living daylights out of my bud Jay aka Suite J to teach me every ninja photoshop, CSS, HTML trick in the book.  This was so much easier than reading about code and it was also free!

So TIP NUMBER 1 is if you suck at building sites like Justin Bieber sucks at growing chest hair, find someone to take you under their wing and absorb absolutely everything from them until you vomit on your keyboard.  Watch tons of photoshop tutorials on YouTube and TRY everything.  Don’t be afraid to mess something up or get crappy feedback on your sites – because the more you do, the better you get.

Here are some killer places to start:




TIP NUMBER 2 – If you don’t want to do it yourself, find someone good to do it – for really cheap!  When it comes to outsourcing your niche websites, the name of the game is FOREIGN EXCHANGE. How much is your dollar worth around the world? Find a great market and take advantage of the conversion, for example, $10 USD could get you a great looking website if you outsourced it to the Philippines – where the US dollar is of great value on the market.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

TIP NUMBER 3 – You’ve decided on how the site is going to be built, and which niche market/keywords you’ll be targeting, it’s time to find a killer advertiser to promote.  Now to make this really work, you want to have one primary keyword, with the domain for that keyword, and promote one single advertiser.  You’re not necessarily trying to build a micro niche website, because you might have a keyword/domain that is in a larger market, but you are trying to keep the website as targeted as possible and rank on the first page/first spot for your primary keyword.

I use LinkShare because they have every niche, great resources and make most other networks look like the bottom of Lindsay Lohan’s purse on a Monday morning. Click here for more on LinkShare.

TIP NUMBER 4 – For my passive income project website, I chose to promote LampsPlus.com, which is a reputable lighting and home decor franchise.  When it comes to designing your website, you want to make sure that it shares a similar look and feel to that of the advertiser you’re promotiong.  Why? Because when people find your site online and click on the ads or links, they won’t realize they’ve been sent to the advertisers website.

Is it okay to copy your advertisers website? No.  Is it okay to mock their colors and styling to increase conversions?  Absolutely.  Just take a look at my website, MissionTiffanyLamp.com and click any of the ads referring to LampsPlus – doesn’t it feel like you’re on the same website?  This is the whole point.

TIP NUMBER 5 – Keep your website as frequently updated as possible. If you can only write one post per week, great.  One post per month is fine, as long as you’re compensating with an increased amount of social bookmarking per new post published.  Every article you write or have written for the website will essentially be a short summary post, reviewing a product in particular – using your affiliate link for the image as well as throughout the content.

This is very important****IF YOU DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR NICHE WEBSITE, OR DON’T CARE HOW IT LOOKS AND PERFORMS, YOU WON’T MAKE ANY MONEY.  So the opposite of that would be to actually care, work hard, and if you don’t know how to do something – learn or hire someone for dirt cheap to rid you of the burden.

In the next module I’ll actually take you guys through how I set up the WordPress niche site in the back end so you have on board stats, click tracking, link cloaking, etc..  I’ll show you how to make your website run like a champ (Rocky to be exact).  Not sure when I’ll get around to doing the video – but I will!




Hearts, Farts and Shopping Carts

Yes yes.. another month gone, another Paypal balance transferred.  I hope everything has been productive for you guys and gals in 2009 – I’ve been doing my best to keep busy and remain afloat in this massive Internet ocean.  As you’ve been noticing I’m starting to get back in the groove with regards to posting and keeping fresh content for the search engines – and in actuality, I post because I like to hear from you guys (as you’ve probably noticed I don’t do tutorial type posts anymore).

I think the biggest obstacle was figuring out how I can shift my objectives while still expressing myself in a fashionable manner.  Making money online is no longer a mystery to me, but rather a daily task which I absolutely love doing.


So Valentines day is approaching, and if you haven’t already, it’s time to get some of that seasonal affiliate money, right?  I dunno.. I find I’m more motivated if I treat everyday like it’s a special occasion to make money online.  Sure, people’s online shopping frequency may increase over Valentine’s day – but it’s one day, one month and one shot.

I’m definitely considering running a few ads that will funnel traffic to some CPA offers like Nintendo Wii, iPhone and other popular gifts desired by the women we love.  Let’s face it guys, we do most of the shopping on Valentines day – so if you are thinking of running a few campaigns or promoting a particular product, be sure you’re targeting the male audience.  If you’re great a targeting niche markets, then I would say fuck the male market and really snipe the female shoppers, because most big time players are probably targeting the male audience – which means there’s less competition towards the female purchasing traffic.

Here’s an idea:  Create a little one page website with a poll that collects information regarding “what do you want for Valentines day?” and advertise the page via your facebook, twitter, etc.. You could pretty much gather results and have your campaigns pointed out to you.  Hmmm.. That really wouldn’t take much to put together.  Good job Elijah – Thanks Elijah, you’re so smart – Aww, thanks man. I really appreciate it.

What do you guys have planned for the Valentines day traffic?


Veronica and I have severely shifted our diet to consist of 99% organic goods – and it feels amazing!  Physically, I noticed a decrease in the “bloated” look of my face/gut within the first week.  It’s now been 2 months, and I wake up feeling energized almost every morning – and that is something that I never felt before.

Along side eating all organic, we’ve stopped purchasing meat and dairy products, but we’re not necessarily vegan – let me explain:  I could never go straight vegan or vegetarian because I love meat.  Steak, chicken wings, steak, um.. steak… I could never give up the pleasure I get from the combination of a bbq, a steak and a cold beer.  What we’ve done though is stopped purchasing meat and dairy products, so it will never be found in our own fridge.  If I’m over at a friends, or we’re out at my favorite steakhouse, then you better believe I’m treating myself – but that is the keyword.  It’s a treat, not a daily consumption.

We decided this based on many obvious factors such as the chemical preservatives, steroids, and other variables that are in the meats served to the general public, as well as the sheer brutality of how the animals are kept and killed in the processing plants.. it’s like something out of a horror movie – and we just couldn’t bare with the thought of purchasing and eating something that was gutted alive while hanging upside down by it’s ankles on a zip line.

Anyways.. I wanted to comment as I’m sure a few of you are of the vegetarian/vegan/organic persuasion:  eating well makes you fart like a hell storm!  Not that Veronica and I ever had problems letting it rip before (quite the opposite) but it seems to be more regular and often now that our diet has shifted – which is awesome because it’s free laughs!

I guess the body needs to detox and rid itself of all the crap built up from the years of digesting chemically processed shit.  Also, we found this awesome company located here in Toronto that delivers our organic produce weekly to our door for $35!  They’re called FrontDoorOrganics, and they provide organic food delivery – everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to organic shampoo, soap, condiments.. pretty much everything you would need.  Sweet!

Shopping Carts…

I’m in the final stages of completing NicheOnDemand.com – which will be serving as my home base for niche website services etc.. Feel free to check it out and give me some feedback!  Anyways, I need to implement some sort of shopping cart element into the site, and want something a little more diverse than a Paypal button.  I’ve heard of e-junkie and a few others… Do you guys have any suggestions based on your own personal experiences?  I need something that gives me the ability to track, provide receipts emails to clients etc.. You know what I’m talking about.

So, what do you guys think based on what it is that I’m doing?



Finding A Profitable Niche For Local Success

Wasaga Beach BumsI spent the last week or so helping two good friends of mine, Mickey and Alistair, move from their recently sold condo to a cozy apartment in the trendy Bloor West area of Toronto – I absolutely hate moving, but that’s another post on a whole other blog!  Anyways, Mickey and myself have always shared a passion for computers and technology, and whenever we get together for 37 beers and a bottle of scotch the conversation usually leans towards business ideas and world domination tactics.  3-5 times per year a whole crew of us travel north of the city to a very popular cottage town called Wasaga Beach, where Mickey’s father John lives and plays.  This is usually our time to relax, build a fire, eat awesome food and spend some quality time together, as most of us don’t hang out as often as we’d like now that we’re all getting older – and more consumed in our individual careers.

This past summer we stumbled upon the realization that there isn’t a central location on the Internet for our demographic (male/female aged 19-30, future alcoholic millionaires) relating to what’s going on in Wasaga Beach.  This discovery lead to the obvious discussion of building a web 2.0 social network style community, that would utilize our individual skills (Mickey is a Computer Programming Ninja, and Alistair is Night Club Manager/Promotion Sniper) and provide the Wasaga Beach party people with a go-to spot for events, contests, and intoxicated gatherings.

A Moment Of Genius…

A huge factor with pulling this off would be the ability to make the concept “sticky” and branded – because with our age group branding is everything.  If we can come up with a catchy name, tag line and logo that people will recognize all the way from the strip to the line up in front of the keg, not only will the idea explode but word of mouth will take effect – and that my friends is what viral marketing dreams are made of.

All we have to do is funnel that viral buzz towards a fully interactive, multimedia driven social community where people can upload videos of their friend streaking across a beach volleyball court with a Roman Candle hanging out of his ass, and we’ll be in business!  We can combine this with a Profile system, a vibrant choice of locally themed forum threads, photo galleries with tagging capabilities, and an up to date events section providing the inside scoop to everything Wasaga Beach Bums deem important.

We have all winter to get the foundation of the site complete, as well as the necessary traffic generation and link building methods – which is where I come in – and as summer roles around next year we’ll be more than prepared to start spreading the word and claiming our authority within the party scene of Wasaga Beach.  Here’s a few ways I think we can create the viral power we need:

  • Take the entire crew down to the beach at least once every long weekend, all wearing branded t-shirts with the website address and logo on it while being loud and vibrant as usual.
  • Get branded bottle openers and condoms on a stick to give away while we’re out partying.  Making people do ridiculous shit for free stuff and recording it to compile in an online video release at the end of each cottage season.
  • Host a free karaoke party at the beginning of cottage season – with more filming and condoms.
  • Every year in August Mickey has a pig roast for his birthday.  We can charge people $20 a head for a Keg Party Pig Roast – all you can eat and drink with contests and prizes.
  • Once established we can cross over into the winter season and host events at the surrounding ski resorts –  milking the snowboarding crowd.

I’m sure the wheels are all spinning in your heads right now – how can I find a profitable market locally and use the power of the Internet to support it?  Take a look around you.  What do people enjoy doing in your town or city?  What’s popular based by season, or even year round?  How can you position yourself between a trendy tourist spot and it’s visitors to capitalize and provide a resource or service to enhance their experience?

Spend a Sunday walking around your downtown core and keep your eyes open – the opportunities are everywhere! Thinking locally might not be as profitable compared to a global online launch, but on the flip side local niche targeting makes it much easier to establish authority and dust what little competition there might be – especially if you know a thing or two about Internet marketing!



20 Questions With Mark Hansen From TheNicheStoreBuilder.com

Round three with my 20 Questions interview series, and I have to say that I’m surprised with not only the response, but the fact that established affiliate marketers and Internet veterans are actually agreeing to participate!  So far we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Alan LeStourgeon from AffiliateConfession.com and Paul Piotrowski from InspiredMoneyMaker.com on a more intimate level, and they were both really awesome interviews.

Today I am going to introduce you to someone who has played a very important role in my budding career as a work-at-home ninja marketer.  His name is Mark Hansen and he runs TheNicheStoreBuilder.com where you will find endless information on finding niche markets, keyword research techniques, and the ever popular eBay affiliate site building script Build A Niche Store.

Mark’s blog is where I began my journey online and where I learned almost everything I know about Wordtracker, generating organic traffic and spotting niche markets.  Since we started this blog I have had the opportunity to become better acquainted with Mark via email, and you can expect to hear more about him in the next few weeks as we have some cool little “projects” that we’re going to be working on together.  He is a super cool dude, and a great teacher – even though he thinks differently about that!

So without further ado I give you 20 Questions With Mark Hansen From TheNicheStoreBuilder.com:

1.  Who are you and what do you do?

I am Mark Hansen aka The Niche Store Builder.  Thanks to Al Gore, I too, discovered the Internet back in 1993 the same way most did, on a Packard Bell 25mhz home PC dialing in through Prodigy. I became so encompassed with how to build a website at that time, I decided to learn how to do it! After 14 years of running my own web design business, the time was right in 2007 to take the leap into affiliate marketing, build a small network of my own sites, and start sharing everything I know with others… thus the birth of The Niche Store Builder site. In total, I have developed about 1200 websites (not counting affiliate sites of my own) ranging from basic business card type sites, to very extensive air charter reservation and estimating applications for the web.

If I had to choose one thing that really drives me every day, it’s search engine ranking! If I can make one of my own, or my customers managed sites, rank in the top 5 of the serp’s… I have done it right! When you can beat hundreds or thousands at the same game… it is a great feeling of accomplishment, usually followed quickly with financial rewards!

2.  In 1,000,000 words or less describe how you made your first profit on the Internet.

Buddys Baby Products… It was the first commercial website I developed in 1994!  I remember having one of my own boys record a 5 second audio clip that was used on the site to introduce the lineup. “Hi – I’m Buddy and Welcome to My Website” it was typical of most websites you saw in the early days… full of images and HUGE files that never got viewed due to dial up access anyhow! Fortunately, the site sold spit-up bibs, which I am sure most people did when they first viewed it! I still get a weak stomach thinking of that site!

3.  I’ve noticed that you have a great head of hair, does that mean you’re against wearing hats?

I am probably one of the only people I know that actually reads the directions on the shampoo bottle! Work the lather deep into the scalp, rinse thoroughly and repeat as needed… how friggin boring is that! I mean, you just squirt out a handful, work it in, rinse it out and your done right? Not me… gotta read the directions on EVERYTHING I do! Which is why I am not a hat wearer, no directions!

4.  Give me a brief description of your home office, or lack thereof?

Ahhh – My pride and joy! Wait, it’s in here under this mess somewhere! Big messy desk, dual 24 inch widescreen monitors in my office make it very easy to develop anything where the web is concerned. I also keep a laptop next to my recliner in the TV room. If I could recommend 1 thing that makes life easier, figure out how to setup 2 monitors on your system! Your workspace is instantly doubled and even if you’re just killing time reading directions, you get twice as much at once!

5.  Coffee or tea?

Coffee – by the gallon, all day long! I did have to switch to half-decaf though, my doctor said I am a bit hyper and drink too much! I wish they made coffee flavored Popsicles!

6.  If you could have 15 minutes with any successful businessman or woman, who would it be and why?

To me, success is not based on the money in the bank. it is based on the practices that led up to that money being there. I would love to talk to someone like Warren Buffet, but I think they would talk beyond me. Right now, I would like 15 minutes with Jeremy Schoemaker aka Shoemoney. He is more in line with the regular guy like myself, and could help me with some ideas I have for a new website, before I make costly mistakes!

7.  Early bird, evening owl, or midnight marauder?

All three! My mind is always running at 150mph… No alarm clock here, I usually wake to a dog licking my face between 6-7am and work until my eyes burn late at night! Jump into bed around 11pm and within 30 minutes, I am back in front a PC doing just “One more Thing” before I can finally sleep!

8.  Name the artist and title of the last full song you listened to.

Buck Cherry – Crazy Bitch! It was in the shuffle of the iPod on the way home from my mid-afternoon drive yesterday!

9.  In your opinion, name 3 tools or services that are necessary to becoming successful at niche marketing.

1 – High Speed Internet access! I actually watch that stat on my own site and wonder how 14% of visitors can survive with dial up!
2 – WordTracker for keyword research! I have tried almost every keyword research tool out there and have subscriptions to many right now. In the end, I return to WordTracker every single time!
3 – A monthly subscription to a rag-mag like People, US, or even Teen Magazine! Not only does it make for good ‘bathroom’ reading, you will always spot niche trends here first!

10.  What was the worst Halloween costume you ever had?

Ironically, it was also the easiest! I cut 2 holes in a paper bag, pulled it over my head and went to a party as the unknown comic! I have wore some very interesting get-ups in the past, but since I don’t know the age demographic of your readers, I won’t go there!

11.  Did your mom ever cut your hair as a kid? My mother destroyed mine.

My mother and older sister went to beauty school together when I was a teenager… my head became their dummy! I have been permed, up-do’d, and literally lost chunks of meat off the ridges of my ears! The things we will do for gas money as kids huh?

12.  I’ve heard rumors that Facebook Ads is run by 13 year olds who play hacky sack in between approving ads. I’m really good at hacky sack, do you think they’d give me a job?

Hmmm HackyAds.com, a place to kick around new ad ideas! You might be onto something with that!! I imagine a good Youtube video resume would be in order during the application process!

13.  Sean Connery, Roger Moore, or Pierce Brosnan?

I would have to say Roger Moore. They should have chipped off the mole though.

14.  I know things have been bumpy for a lot of Build A Niche Store users over the last few months, where do you see the future of BANs going?

Honestly, if you forget you are developing a BANS site and focus on the content and overall visitor experience, you will be fine. It’s the point/click/done sites that have to worry! BANS is a very powerful application and simply took the place of “made for adsense” sites that were all the rage a few years ago with domain owners wanting to monetize parked domains. It was only a matter of time before Google and other engines took notice of the BanSpam in the index.

If you spend 30 minutes every day on _each_ of your BANS sites… you won’t have much to worry about! If you spend 2 hours every day pushing out new bans sites with no original content, you might as well just go to Vegas!  The BANS developers are truly listening to the needs of the users, so I think they will respond with better, more flexible version in the future. I just don’t know if it will be ePN only. In my opinion, they would enrich the product by making it work with many product feeds and affiliate programs, versus being tied to only ebay.

15.  I recently had my 27th birthday, do you remember what you were doing at 27?

We have 7 kids… you wanna guess?

16.  Like many others, I learned niche marketing and keyword research from your blog, and you’re a great teacher! Do you ever feel like Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid movies?

Truthfully, I think I am a horrible teacher! I jump around too much and stray off topic in the videos and series of posts! I need to sit down and watch Karate Kid to get some good focus training of my own! On a good note though… I can wax the hell out of my car!

17.  In 1,000,000 words or less explain why most people fail to make a living online.

This goes along with #9 – someone should sell a service or tool for patience! Too many people develop a site today and then watch the stats for 2-3 weeks, only to be disappointed with the results and give up on it. Instead of focusing efforts on growing the site, they move on to another one and repeat the same process endlessly! In the end, they have 20-30 websites doing nothing for them and they think affiliate website marketing is horrible!

Everyone has been led to think they can put up a site and it will just start earning money. It’s just not going to happen like that… and you have to sweat some of the labors of trial and error before you ever start realizing success. Those who give up early are the ones that populate the expired domain market to the tune of 95,000+ expired domains EVERY DAY!

18.  Do you think eating dirt as a child will cause any serious side effects later on in life?

This sounds like a trick question… you mean that wasn’t dirt?

19.  Star Wars or Spaceballs?

Definitely Spaceballs! It’s right up there with Office Space and the one of my favorites here lately, Mr. Woodcock.

20.  Why did you accept this interview?

I love reading about myself! Seriously, I have enjoyed your blog for several months now and love your style of writing. It is very engaging and entertaining to say the least. When I got your email on the subject a few weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to get the questions from you!

Mark’s blog is one of my favorites to read, and I hope you guys take the time to stop by TheNicheStoreBuilder if you haven’t already.  To get an idea of his tutorials in action, I would stop by a recent post he did on using Wordtracker and the Google Adwords Tool to find targeted keywords and content for your niche site.

Who’s the next victim?  I have no idea!  I guess it’s time for me to start sending out some more threatening emails…