You want to start writing or blogging in a new niche. There is an audience for it but you don’t know if there’s an audience for you. Sometimes you wonder about your own skills and ability to bring in an audience. While you want to develop the niche, you don’t want to spend too much money on it. This is where residual income sites can play a part.
There are certainly benefits to using residual income writing sites. However, you need to use them carefully. You are putting a lot more money into someone else’s pocket and giving up a lot of control. This certainly depends on the site, but there are still some factors to consider.
So, you need tips to use residual income sites for your writing niche development carefully. You need to make sure that any time you put into the site is worthwhile. It’s essential that you actually build your niche and now just work for pennies.
I use residual income sites for my writing niche development all the time. History is one of my strongest niches, but I’m yet to set up a history blog. I use residual income sites to my benefit. Here are the tips that I use to make it possible.
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#1. Try Out One Niche at a Time
There’s no point from jumping from niche to niche when you use residual income sites. This isn’t going to tell you what’s working and what isn’t. It also won’t help you build a following.
While there are plenty of other people who write on different niches, people will come to the site because of you. It’s quick to see that the site covers different topics, but your audience will check to find out more about your content – the other stuff you’ve written. If that’s on the same niche, they’ll start to look out for you more.
One of the downsides of residual income sites is that you can’t have your own email list. However, there are some ways around that. Some sites will allow you to direct your following to an email list (and they are free to create without the need for your own website!) or you can direct them to your social media accounts so people can follow and get updates right away.
So, it’s important to do one niche at a time.
This was a major mistake that I made (and still sometimes make) with residual income sites. I like to write about a lot of topics and have stupidly jumped from topic to topic on the same site.
If you want to try out a couple of different niches, either have different accounts (not all sites will allow this) or sign up to different sites. There are so many available, giving you the chance to build your following across different topics.
#2. Work on Your Social Media Following
I know I’ve mentioned this in passing, but this is the way that you’ll build a viable niche. When you eventually stop writing at the residual income site and put your content on your own website, you’ll have a social media following to transfer with you. After all, you’re using residual sites for your writing niche development.
So, work on building your following as much as you can. I recommend doing one social media account at a time. I’ve tried building multiple social media accounts up at the same time and it became a time consuming mess.
I automate a couple of accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook, and then work on growing Pinterest for some niches. Other niches I’ll automate Pinterest and work on growing the Facebook page instead. It depends on where your most loyal and interested fan base is.
If you can, through your social media grow your email list. This will be another way to build your niche following for when you switch later. It also gives you an idea as to whether the niche is viable for financial reasons.
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#3. Give Yourself a Deadline
You don’t want to spend too much time trying to build the niche on a site that isn’t your own. When it comes to your own blogs, I usually give a niche 6-12 months. The third of my tips to use residual income sites is to spend 3-6 months growing your writing niche.
This short period of time is enough to tell if it will be viable. You have the time to put the effort into growing your social media channel and building your content.
From there it’s up to you if you decide to stick with the site or go out on your own. I can’t tell you what you should do here. I like to have my own sites for my own control, but as I’ve said with my history niche, I’m still to create my own site.
The deadline is more for you to decide when to move on. If you haven’t built your following within 6 months (and you’ve genuinely tried) then I’d suggest looking into a different niche. You could look at a different angle or look back at your posts to see why they possibly haven’t work. This is a topic for another blog post and I’ll share that tips for this at a later date.
#4. Use Affiliate Marketing as Much as Possible
As you start to build your niche following, you’ll gain loyal followers who want to buy products. They may want books on the subject or be interested in jewelry connected to the topic.
You want to make sure any residual income site that you sign up to offers affiliate marketing. Some will offer a percentage of the profits and others will give you 100% of the commissions you make. It’s up to you where you choose for your affiliate marketing.
Wizzley offers 60-70% of the commissions, depending on the number of articles you’ve written. You can only use select affiliate programs that the site allows, but Zazzle and Amazon are among the list of allowed affiliate marketing sites. At Writedge you get to keep 100% of your affiliate commissions and you can use any program that is reputable.
I recommend getting into affiliate marketing as soon as possible. You won’t get paid much through the views. It’s the affiliate marketing where the money is. This is why I stick with a few residual income sites.
#5. Check Out the Reputability of the Site
There are times that you have to join a site out of faith. I did that with Writedge and Daily Two Cents and am glad I took that leap. At the same time, I did that with Bubblews and it was a waste of my time and effort!
Make sure you check the reputability of a residual income site before you use it for writing niche development. If Google isn’t impressed with them then people aren’t going to find your content, no matter how good the content is.
Look out for sites that are relatively old. This isn’t a guarantee (after all, Squidoo closed down) but it’s a start. Older sites are more favorable to Google in the majority of cases.
#6. Make Sure You Have All Rights to Your Content
I can’t stress this last part enough. I still got burned recently for this because I overlooked something in the terms and conditions of a site! Even as a veteran writer I overlook a few things and make mistakes. It’s very easy to do when you’re running multiple projects as once.
No residual income site should take all rights away from you. You should always have the right to pull your content at a later date. If not then I’d hope there’s a way to change your penname if you decide that the ship is sinking and you no longer want your content on the site.
I never trust a site that says it is taking some of my rights or that I give exclusive and unlimited rights to my content. After all, if you’re developing your niche before you buy your own site, you may want to take your content later with you to share again to your followers.
You Can Use Residual Income Sites for Writing Niche Development
There isn’t anything wrong with choosing to write at residual income sites. Sure, they don’t always pay a lot in views or through AdSense but the money is in the affiliate marketing. Yes, you have more control with your own site, but this is a way to test that the niche is viable before you put money into it.
What you need to do is take careful steps. You don’t want to just make the owners rich. You want to make yourself rich too. Take the time to build your following and work at it for 3-6 months. You’ll know if it’s viable enough to move elsewhere in that time.
If you want more tips to develop your writing niche and use residual writing sites effectively, don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter!
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