A few months back, I published a blog post about what’s better: running after profits or passion. I believe I put across some convincing points for how going after either is fine. But, working on your passion has more than one personal benefits, while still making you money.
I’ve always worked on stuff I was passionate about. Every one of my businesses revolve around at least one of my passions: Marketing, writing, problem solving, coding. Which is probably why I never felt like I was working, even when I was.
But, I do know that my “passions” have already been proven to be profitable. Internet marketing is one of the most profitable fields out there, not to mention the software field. So, even though these markets were crowded at times, I had no problem soldering on. But, what if you’re passionate about a niche that no one has ever tried to make a business out of before?
What if you want to blog about a topic that people only blog about for fun? If you can’t find products (digital or physical) in a niche to promote, is it even worth getting into? But, what if it’s one of your passions and you want to try it out?
These were the thoughts on my mind lately. I wanted to see if I could build a successful business out of a blog that was born purely out of passion.
I have a niche in mind. I’ll not be revealing the niche in this case study (for obvious reasons), but rest assure, it’s a very obscure social niche that I’ve never seen a business person go after. So, if I can make this project a success, you can do the same for any niche you go after.
The only monetization model I could probably fall back on in this niche is advertising. Since there are no products associated with this market, any advertising on my site is going to be generic, which means lesser $ per clicks than usual.
So, to make a decent income out of just generic advertising, I need a decent viewership first. But I don’t think traffic is going to be a problem, since there is more than enough interest around this niche. The interested parties are not used to buying products in this niche, that’s the only difference.
My content plan
I plan on this being a side project, in every sense of the word. As you might know already, I have other businesses that take up a considerable portion of my time and brain juice. I can’t afford to spend more than a few minutes a day (around 15-20 minutes at the max) for this project on weekdays. I could probably put in an hour or two on Saturday and Sunday, since I don’t usually work on weekends.
As I said, this subject is one of my passions, and I have a lot to say about it. So, I don’t believe I’ll feel like I’m working when I write for this blog.
If you have a day job, my schedule for this project would be perfect for you.
I plan to publish one blog post per week. I’ve already made a list of around 15 topics. This list should keep me busy for the next 4 months. I’ve selected topics that are broad enough to write a couple thousand words about.
I’ll be aiming for 2000+ words per blog post, since that’s how long my blog posts are in my other blogs. 2000+ words seem to be the sweet spot for Google rankings as well as reader satisfaction. I’ve noticed that I can take a topic and do justice to it with a 2000+ word write-up rather than the customary 500+ ones that barely graze the subject.
I’ve noticed over the years that it takes me around 30-45 minutes to write (or should I say type?) around 1000 words on a subject I’m interested in. It’ll probably take me longer if I must do extensive research on a topic before I start writing. So, I believe I can finish a blog post in less than 2 hours. I’ll add in an hour for research (before I start writing) and editing (after I start writing).
I’m going to allocate Saturday and Sunday for writing, editing and scheduling my blog posts. Around 1-2 hours on each day. I’ll schedule the posts to be posted on Mondays, since I’ve seen more readerships on Monday than any other day.
If I couldn’t work on one, or both of those days, I’ll just have to skip that week. This project is going to be a passion of mine, not a job/business.
A blog needs traffic. There is the obvious source of traffic, Google. I am planning on writing 2000+ words on multiple topics within a niche with relatively less competition.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of blogs in this niche. But the bloggers aren’t business people. They don’t build lists, or monetize their blog, or even worry about getting traffic to their blog. Most of them blog for fun, or to express their views. So, that’s what makes the competition relatively easier to handle.
These long blog posts will certainly get me first page rankings in more than one long tail keyword. But, ranking takes time. I’ll have to wait at least 6-9 months before I see worthwhile organic traffic to my blog, especially since I’m not going to be building any backlinks to it.
But, I did say this was a niche with a lot of interest. And, one of the easiest ways to bring traffic to a niche that people care about is via social media.
So, I’ll be using Tumblr and Pinterest for traffic generation. For now, I’ll only be focusing on Tumblr, so I’ll talk about my Pinterest marketing plan in later posts.
More traffic = More shares = More links = Faster rankings – This is the plan I’ll be following.
Apart from rankings, if I get good results, social traffic alone would be enough to qualify my blog for advertisements in the future.
My Tumblr marketing plan:
I have a simple plan for Tumblr. I’m on Tumblr a lot, and I’ve already built a follower count of around 283 by occasionally blogging or re-blogging about topics in this niche. I’ve been doing it recreationally so far.
I’ll continue to do the same. Whenever I have time during the day, I’ll queue a post, or re-blog a post on my Tumblr blog. Either of this should take less than 5 minutes of my time. Tumblr is a micro blogging platform, so the users usually stick to smaller posts of around 100-200 words each.
I’m going to aim for around 5 micro blog posts per day. The number could be less or more, depending on how the day goes. Furthermore, as I said, blogging on Tumblr, especially about this topic, is something I do for fun. So, I don’t think I’ll notice the difference.
I’ll also follow like-minded Tumblr blogs I come across. I don’t have a number in mind, but it should be around 20 a day. This’ll probably take an additional 5 minutes of my time.
I won’t be linking to my blog posts in every Tumblr post I make. Every week, I’ll post an excerpt about my post, with a link back to my website. I’ll tag these posts as “articles”, so they’ll be easy to find by my followers. Also, I’ll have an articles tab at the top of my Tumblr blogs.
My earning goals?
The purpose of this experiment (or case study) is to see if it is possible to make a full-time income from a business that was born purely out of passion, regardless of profit statistics.
The definition of a full-time income differs from country to country. So, let’s take an average and aim for around $2000/month. When my blog hits around $2000 a month from all of my monetization efforts, I’ll call this project a success. And, we can conclude that it is indeed profitable to go after your passion.
This is quite a risk because, as I said, I’ve never seen any of my peers go into this niche. But, this is a niche that has a considerable number of readers, so I don’t believe I’ll have much problem in getting traffic.
Though I can’t get the same earnings per visitor I’d get with one of the money niches (health, wealth, relationships), it should be decent enough to be worth my effort. The primary bonus is going to be that no part of this project is going to seem like work to me.
Virality and less competition
Though this niche is not a “money” niche, as in it has practically no affiliate product to promote, it is great it terms of virality. This is niche filled with passionate people who feel very strongly about these topics.
Hence, there’ll be more discussions and shares, which’ll increase the likelihood of my posts, and in turn my blog, going viral. We can’t predict if or when this will happen. But, there is a higher chance of that happening in this niche.
Add that to the low competition, and this niche is starting to look increasingly profitable to me.
This is what I want to prove with this case study. That you don’t have to always go into niches/markets with billions of dollars in annual revenue. There should enough people who are as passionate as you are in a niche. Then, even if it isn’t a proven money maker, you can always make money from it.
How is this blog going to make money?
Adsense is one of the obvious monetization options. It is abhorred by most internet marketers though. But, it’s probably the best option for this niche since it has no physical or digital product I can make a commission from.
I do have plans to self-publish book(s) in this niche in the future. I haven’t planned on exactly when though. When my blog gets big enough, and if there is enough interest for a book among my readers, I’ll add that to my monetization options.
I’ll also be building a list of subscribers. Over time, my E-mail list should become one of my biggest sources of traffic for my new posts. For now, I’ll only be sending them weekly E-mails about new blog posts. I’ll write an excerpt for every post, with a link to it at the end. That’s it.
When I write a book later on, my E-mail list could give me the necessary boost in sales at launch.
I don’t believe in filling up a blog post with useless drivel. This is an experiment, meaning I don’t know how it’s going to go, or when I’m going to get results that are worth blogging about.
Keeping these points in mind, I believe it’s better if I don’t promise you a fixed schedule for updates. I will post an update when I many changes have happened to write a blog post about.
I will also post about the problems I face, and how I overcome them. Also, you can look forward to posts filled with the marketing and business tips I learn from this project.
Ok, let me do a quick recap of what this case study is going to entail:
- I’ll be running a blog in a niche that business people would usually avoid, because it’s not an obvious profitable choice.
- I’ll post 1 blog post of around 2000+ words per week. I’ll write these posts in the weekend (I’ll need 2-3 hours to write and edit the post).
- I’ll be using my Tumblr blog which currently has around 283 followers to get traffic to my blog. I’ll post around 5 mini blog posts or re-blogs every day. I’ll also follow around 20 people every day.
- I plan to monetize the blog with Adsense ads and other advertisements (native ads, for example). I also have plans to publish book(s) on the topic, once I deem it a worthwhile endeavor.
- I am aiming for around $2000/month from this project, no matter how many months/years it takes.
That’s it! A simple project, and I’ll be spending a total of 3-4 hours a week on this. Keep in mind that I already do a good portion of these tasks for fun, so it’s not time out of my working hours.
This is going to be a long-term project. It’ll probably take me more than a year (or 2) to hit my target. On the other hand, if some of my posts go viral, and I build a bigger following than I anticipated, I could hit my target much earlier.
Either way, I’m going to keep my expectations low, but I’ll not be giving up at any point. Why? Well, running this blog is going to be real fun, and I’ll still do it even I don’t make any/much money from it. So, I don’t mind the wait.
You probably have a passion you’ve been wanting to create a business out of. Maybe you have a day job or a business already, and you don’t know if starting your project is worth it. I hope you find inspiration from this case study to get started.