Content The Not Entirely That Hard BUT Definitely Not The Easy Way

Content is king, right?  It's a cliche, but something doesn't become cliche without having at least a hint of truth to it.  In my last post, I went through the steps I took to choose a product, find a domain, host and build a site.  Now all it needs is the content.

This Is A Review Site, Afterall...

The idea behind my monetized niche review site is to provide reviews of products that consumers will find useful.  Ideally, these consumers are pretty much already all revved up to make a purchase and are just looking for a little nudge to confirm that they are making the right decision (if someone is searching for walnut brown wall mirrors, it is a pretty safe assumption that they are looking to buy walnut brown wall mirrors, I mean, who googles walnut brown wall mirrors for the heck of it anyway.  This is why keyword research is key!)  Therefore my reviews have to be mostly positive, and the negative shouldn't really be a negative anyway.

You Don't Have To Be An Expert

If you're an expert on walnut brown wall mirrors than you will have a leg up on the competition, but for the rest of us expertise is not necessary.  But it is important that you can be PERCEIVED as one.  So how will my review show that?

Since I am an Amazon affiliate, I go to, where else, but Amazon to research the products. And by research, I read through the product descriptions on Amazon and basically rehash that info; I also include the bulleted product info in my review as well.  I rehash it in a way that establishes myself as an authority on the product. So if I were selling walnut brown wall mirrors, I would open up the review by saying something like,
if you are looking for a walnut brown wall mirror than this XYZ mirror is the one for you and here is why....
What I am doing is giving valid reasons why this prospective shopper should by this particular product, thereby establishing credibility, increasing the likelihood that they will read the rest of the review, which increases the chance that my affiliate link will get a click, and the rest is up to Amazon (don't fail me now).

The Best Experts Are Those That Use The Product

When you're on Amazon looking to buy something, where do you spend more of your time: on the product description or the customer reviews? If you're like me, than it's the customer reviews.  There is a wealth of real, useable information in those reviews and when creating my reviews I tapped into this great resource.  I scanned three or four of the positive reviews, found what they had in common, and rehashed that into my review, highlighting that this is what actual users had to say about the product.  I include something that is slightly negative as well, to give the review some teeth, but am sure to say the positives always outweigh the negatives.

Then I made sure to wrap up the review by giving the product a ringing endorsement, assuring the potential buyer that they aren't wasting their money on this product.

I will leave two affiliate links in the review.  Once at the beginning of the review, and one at the end.  I make the link a call to action, like, you can find this at Amazon at a great discounted price, or something.  My second link will be a call to action, but it won't be as salesy, just a reminder of where the buyer where to find the product.

And that is basically it.  My site is live right now with four product reviews.  I have six all together, with one being a negative review, where I will not endorse the product (again, to establish credibility).  I published the first three at the same time, and am spacing out the final three one week apart from each other (dripping them slowly because google likes it that way...maybe?)

Now, comes the biggest challenge: SEO.  I will be posting what my plan is, how I am doing in ranking, and if and when, I make a sale.

Building My First Website - The Bricks & Mortor

It's been a few days since I posted and I am finding motivation can be difficult when (for now) there is basically an audience of one!  Plus, I work full time, so I don't get home until about 6:15, where dinner is immediately served, than I clean up, spend time with our daughter and put her to bed.  It is usually 8:30 at that point and by then all I really want to do is veg out with my wife!  But we must soldier on....

So, like I said in my first post, this blog will follow my progress as I build a niche site.  I am choosing to monetize the site via the Amazon affiliate program, despite the fact that their commission rate can be low.  Their referral rate starts at 4% but can go up to 8.5% depending on your volume of sales.  But with Amazon, they do the selling for you because it so trusted.  For me, being new to this, takes a huge psycological burden off my back.  My job will be to get people to click on my affiliate links and then let Amazon do the rest.  Also, when people go to Amazon there is a chance they will buy more than one thing, and if they get there via your link, you get a commission on everything purchased (does Amazon sell cars?).  And, I am pretty sure your cookie (your affiliate scent) lasts for 24 hours, so what I think that means is, your link lasts that long and you will get credit for any purchases made in those 24 hours.

Since I don't know what I am doing, I went to the Warrior Forum for some guidance (a great place to get real answers to your internet marketing questions from people who eat and breathe internet marketing).  I purchased a course called the Physical Affiliate by Jan Roos, which is a step-by-step guide on how to find products, build sites, and get rankings, taught by a guy who makes his living off of Amazon niche sites.  Most of my limited knowledge about internet marketing comes from that course so I will leave it to his program to answer your detailed questions (that is not an affiliate link, by the way).

What Should I Sell Anyway?

Is there a great way to go about this; some secret method that guarantees thousands of dollars a month in passive income?  Probably not (but if you do have one stop reading this blog and start selling your method!).  What I did was just spend a couple hours looking through the various categories and finding products that I find interesting.  A few pointers to narrow your focus
  • choose items that are at least $100.  It takes just as much effort to sell a $10 item as it does a $100 one, so it makes sense to maximize your efforts with the bigger payout.
  • choose items that have lots of 4 and 5 star reviews.  Remember, we want Amazon to do the selling for us; our job is get somebody to Amazon.  Lots of 4 and 5 star reviews will do just that.  Look for products that have at least 10 positive reviews (Jan says to look for that many reviews, but that bit of advice can be found anywhere, so I am not giving away any secrets there).
  • choose a product category that has lots of $100+ 4 and 5 star reviewed items to choose from.  To gain trust and increase your chance of making a sale, you will probably need more than one product to feature on your site.
When I found a few different product categories and the products to go with them I used keyword research to single out what I will build my niche site around.  
Remember: this is a niche site that will rank for a main keyword (product category) that is why keyword research is used to help choose what is the best category/keyword to choose from.
There are plenty of tools available to choose keywords.  In the Physical Affiliate course, we are taught how to use Market Samurai (paid) and Google Keyword Tool (free).  Market Samurai is a great tool, that does a lot of things that can be done using free methods, but does it quickly and efficiently, making it worth the purchase.  I do not own Market Samurai.  I promised my wife I would not make any more IM related purchases until I start bringing home the online bacon.  But I did use its free trial version to help me choose my product category keyword.  The Physical Affiliate course goes into in-depth detail and how to use Market Samurai effectively, the course is worth the price paid just for this lesson.

Market Samurai will give you lists of options on your keyword.  So if your product category/keyword is wall mirrors (I just made that up), it will give you all the different variations of search terms related to wall mirrors.  It will also show you how many daily and monthly searches each keyword gets and assigns an "SEO value" to each keyword.  There is a module in the software that will analyze the competition, (it checks for # of backlinks, on-page optimization, backlink anchor text density, and lots more)  and with this arsenal of information, I chose my product category/keyword.

I thought long and hard about whether to reveal my niche and, for the time being at least, have decided against it.  I am too new and fragile to give away my niche and run the risk of it being used against me in some way.  Once I reach my goal of #1 on Google (or conversely, if I just don't get there after months of trying) I will reconsider.  I hope you understand.

Now, keyword research can be done using free tools as well, but I will save that for another post.

Website Building Time

After settling on my keyword, it was time to purchase a domain.  Ideally, I wanted an exact-match to my keyword domain, i.e. (or .org, .net).  But I couldn't find it.  So I did the next  best thing and added a word before my keyword and my domain became  What I noticed when doing my keyword research was that "best product category" was also a searched for keyword, so while I will not try and rank for that outright, I should be able to rank for that set of keywords as well.  I purchased my domain through Go Daddy because it's the only place I know of to do so.  It has a very clunky interface and, for the future, would like to use a different resource.

After settling on my domain name, I needed a place to "park" my website on the internet.  For that, you need hosting I am using Host Gator (that is an affiliate link, by the way, so if you click on that, and purchase a hosting plan, I earn a commission.  Let me thank you now in advance).  I have nothing but good things to say about Host Gator.  I chose the "Baby Plan"; for $8/month I can host an unlimited amount of domains.  This is an investment because I do want to build a large portfolio of niche websites, and I can do so without having to worrying about web hosting, it is all taken care of.

I had problems "pushing" my domain onto my web-hosting servers, but Host Gator's  live technical support walked me through the entire process.  This is why I would recommend them, their technical support is perfect for newbies.

Once my domain was properly parked, I used their 1 button function to load Wordpress, and once that happened my site was live.

The Physical Affiliate Report recommends a great review style theme that Jan uses on his money-making websites, so I purchased that theme for mine.  This was a minor investment as well because it can be used for all my sites.  It is a very professional theme and the idea is that it makes the site look more professional, therefore increasing the chances of someone to stay on my site and eventually click on my affiliate link.  I customized the site with a custom header that I had designed by Logo Nerds.  It cost me $10 and is much more professional than anything I could have put together using my very limited Photoshop skills.  Again, well worth the investment.

So now I have a live site that needs content.  Stay Tuned...

The One Thing You Must Absolutely Do In Order to Acheive Success!!

Did I grab your attention?  I hope so because that was the point.  Titles that scream to the reader are important and necessary in order to break through the ocean of noise that is the Internet.  You want them to click to your site, not the next one, and because you want your reader to spend some time on your site (time = money, no one will click on your affiliate link or banner ad or buy it now button if they are on your site for 3 seconds), that title better be attention grabbing and more importantly, it should be HONEST.

Which gets me to what I wanted to talk about (it's not about headlines, once I get a few more under my belt we can talk about that), that one thing you must absolutely do in order to achieve success (success can mean different things, by the way, it doesn't have to be strictly monetary).  In my first post I said that I was jumping head first into the world of Internet Marketing for the first time, that actually, is not entirely true (damn that honest thing).

It was around this past summer when I got serious about using the Internet to make some extra income.  I stumbled upon the Warrior Forum (one of the greatest resources if you are truly serious about internet marketing - despite the story I am about to tell) in my research and it was there I found a program for sale that was supposed to show me how to make a decent income online with only 20 minutes of work a day (RED FLAG!).  And you didn't need a website or know any SEO (RED FLAG #2 and #3!)  I bought it (it was only 7 bucks - see how easy it can be to part with $7, that was this guy's business plan) and was eager to dive in and start making some money.  The program showed you how to use Twitter to sell products, this guys product, the exact product I just coughed up $7 for.  You created numerous accounts, used avatars (attractive women was the recommendation) and set up automatic tweets, tweeting inane things like "I eat cereal for breakfast" to make you seem real 4 times a day while sprinkling in a tweet with a link to this product.  It actually worked.  I made 3 sales after two weeks of "friending" and "tweeting".

But it didn't feel right.  Here I am, 33 years old, married with a toddler daughter, and I'm going online pretending to be a young woman who wants to show you how you can get rich quick with nothing but Twitter.  My wife was making fun of me.  I didn't feel like I could share what I was doing with anyone; I was too embarrassed to speak about what I was doing.  I have a feeling that if I kept at it I could have made some decent cash because with a few hundred followers I did make 3 sales (the idea being you get 20,000 followers, convert 2% of your sales, etc) but I stopped.  Because I wasn't passionate about what I was doing, because it made me feel, well, for lack of a better term, icky, this wasn't the right business for me.  So this business failed me.

But I didn't let it stop me.  It made me realize that I can, in fact, make money online, I just need to hone in on what drives me, what makes me proud.  And that is what got me to where I am today.  And that is the one thing YOU must do in order to achieve success:  Find what you are passionate about.  Because if you don't, finding that drive to slog on through will be hard to come by, because this business can be very discouraging.  Those three sales have been the only three sales I have made online and every day a small part of me questions why am I doing what I am doing.  After a long day at work and putting my daughter to sleep (no easy task, I assure you) it would be very easy to settle into the couch and throw on some TV.  But instead, I am at my desk, toughing it out for an audience of one (so far, that will change).

So, there you have it.  My headline wasn't misleading, was it?

Yes, Another Blog About Internet Marketing (But You're Going to Want to Read This One, I Promise!)

I am at a crossroads. Do I take the easy path or do I take the smart path....

My name is Lonnie Feldman and I am an Internet Marketer (am I confessing addictions here?!?)  Actually, I am testing the waters and jumping head first for the first time into the world of Internet Marketing.  My first experiment will be to set up a niche website selling a product via Amazon (more to come on that later).  But first, let me take the time to explain what this blog is about and a little bit about who I am.

I am a father of a 3 year old, with another one on in the way in July.  My wife and I live in Brooklyn, NY and we both work full time (I work in production and she is a writer).  Combined we make a nice low six-figure income, but for some reason we still feel like we are broke all the time!  Mostly, because rent is so damn high (and we don't leave in the ritziest neighborhood in Brooklyn).  We constantly struggle with our finances, have slashed expenses wherever possible, and I am now turning to the Internet to make a few extra bucks.

I don't want to get rich quick, and from all the research I have been doing before finally settling upon my method to earn money, the internet will not make your rich quick.  And anyone who promises that it will if you just buy into their system is lying and you will be broker and more discouraged in the process.  This is going to take work!!!  But it can be done! 

My goal is to add a nice stream of passive residual income so that I can:
  • Have my own business!
  • Finally rid myself of my credit card debt!
  • Build an emergency fund!
  • Open 529 plans for both my children (holy crap, I am going to have TWO children!)
  • Start saving for what seems like a near impossibility: owning a home!
  • Have peace of mind!
That last goal rings the loudest now that I just typed it. There is a good feeling that one gets knowing that you are in control of your future and I want that the most.  I want to be in control of my destiny!

This blog is where I will be documenting my successes and failures (I'm sure there will be plenty of those too).  I will be sharing with you how I go about building my site, navigating SEO, and what I earn (gosh, I hope there is something to report!)  I want to use this blog as a resource for learning and sharing experiences, so it is vitally important that I am not the only one contributing on this site.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I will be creating an Amazon niche site. Basically, a niche site is a blog (or website) that focuses on one thing (like a product or service).  Your goal as webmaster extradonaire is to build content related to that one thing (i.e. your keyword), drive traffic to your site, and monetize.  I am choosing to monetize with Amazon (more on that in a future post), but there are plenty of other ways to monetize (Google Adsense, Clickbank, etc).  The site is about to go live and I will be documenting everything that happens with that site here.  My goals for that site is too:

  • Follow through!! I do not want to abandon this!
  • Get to the first page of Google for my keyword.
  • Get in the top 3 results of the first page of Google (hopefully by March or April)
  • Make money!  If I did my keyword research correctly (who knows if I did, this was the first time I did keyword research, more on that to come in a future post), based on the number of visits I should be receiving a day once I am in the top 3 spots of Google and I convert a sale 2% of the time, I am estimating about $70/week.
What am I going to do with $70/week?  Not much, that is why the plan is to rinse and repeat; if I can have 5 sites making $70 a week that can turn into some nice passive income.  That is the ultimate goal, a full deck of sites all generating passive income. That's when I can start achieving my personal goals. 

The journey begins now...