an image expressing the difference between active and passive income

Heard of affiliate marketing? Or niche blogging?

Yeah, maybe from those 5-figure success stories or someone who bought a Land Cruiser lately.

Those fancy earning screenshots or 6-figure fortunes might be as tempting as your favorite junk food. But they rarely shed light on the blood and sweat behind the scene. Let alone the failed attempts.

However, being someone who’s seen both sides of the coin, I got myself on the podium today to reveal some bitter sour truth.

If you’re after daydreams, feel free to pass them along. If not, buckle up, and let’s go. You’ll thank us later.

First Thing First, Let’s Crack Some Terms

As starters, we’d like to crack some definitions for you. Don’t skip, it’s just a couple of them, and they’re crazy important!

1 of 2: Passive Earning

Passive income is just what it sounds like. You’ll make money while you’re sleeping, doesn’t matter if you’re pouring any more man-hours into it or not.

Sounds lucrative, doesn’t it? Well, it actually is, until it isn’t.

We mean?

Well, think of it as something like writing a book, or building out a house, or being a YouTube influencer.

Each of them comes with a threshold point until you need to work hard as an ant to build it up. And you won’t get paid a penny! But once you’re done doing it, it’d keep bringing up money, attention, and fame for the rest of your life.

Likewise, one of the biggest passive income schemes is to act as an affiliate marketer in technology.

Quick Note: Mind that, passive earning is not just a money-printing machine. There’s a lot of investment, maintenance, and risk management involved within it. Find more on it later.

2 of 2: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a ‘revenue sharing’ process where one can sell someone else’s products and make a cut out of them. It works for products, services, properties, and literally anything that can be ‘sold’.

It has worked for decades, and will remain so for decades to come…we hope!

There are four parties involved in affiliate marketing-

  1. The Merchant/Adviser: The owner or seller of the products or services.
  2. Affiliate Network/Manager: Platform that hosts and manages the affiliate program on behalf of the merchant.
  3. Publisher/Affiliate: Bloggers or influencers who promote the products and make ‘passive income’ out of it.
  4. Customer: Those who buy the products.

You see, the true beauty of affiliate marketing is- everyone gets what they want. Unlike many other businesses, you don’t need to hang one out to dry for your own benefits.

In case you’re interested, you can look at some of the affiliate programs from eBay, Amazon, and even Apple!

Blog vs Niche Blog- What’s What?

Remember writing dairies where you jot down your thoughts and stories?

Maybe you don’t. But in fact, you’re not alone. No one seems to be fond of pen and paper nowadays. What they go for instead is a digital diary on the internet, a.k.a. Blogs. Unlike dairies, literally, anybody could read them as well!

J.K. Rowling, Bill Gates, Paulo Coelho– each have got their own blogs. Meghan Markle with The Tig(her blog) was making marks, but the duchess shut it down in 2017.

Anyways, those blogs are examples of ‘personal blogs’. One can write about whatever they feel like, and the audience finds some ways to connect to that. Because it’s the person to whom they cherish, not only the value within the contents.

But when you add the word ‘niche’ before ‘blog’, that makes a different sense.

So, what are niche blogs?

Niche blogs are content-based websites that are built around a specific, niche area of interest. Examples are- gardening, cryptocurrency, personal finance, handymanship, fashion, etc.

an image explaining how a niche topic is generated from a large topic.

In niche blogs, it’s not the spilled-out personal thoughts. It’s rather an attempt to solve people’s problems and give out advice or tips. The readers get some sort of value in exchange for their attention. The identity of the person behind the keyboard doesn’t really matter.

Still, got some cloud to clear? Here’s a head to head portrayal for you-

ConcernBlogs(personal)Niche Blogs
CreatorsInfluencersNiche Experts(with team)
SpreadDiverseWithin the niche
ExpertiseNot requiredRequired(acquired or pre-built)
InterestTo share ideas/lifestyleTo offer solutions/guides
Content DiversityNoneHow-to’s, reviews, listings, tips, etc
How It GrowsPre-built InfluenceDigital Marketing
MonetizationNone expectedAds, Affiliate, Sponsors, products

How Affiliate Marketing Connects to Niche Blogs

Now that we’ve got a bit hold on both affiliate marketing and niche blogs, it’s time to uncover the bridge between them.

Simply put- affiliate marketing is the #1 way of monetizing niche blogs.

Like every creative creator, niche bloggers also need some fuel to keep propelling and keep providing value for the audience. No one does it for charity, it’s a business and it has to work like one.

Fine. But how does monetization work for both creators and affiliate merchants? — you might ask.

The answer is- niche bloggers embed product recommendations into the articles that they publish. This placement can be in form of-

But as you can see, things can go south if the marketers decide to get biased to the products and become greedy for that ‘affiliate’s cut’.

The good news is- they usually don’t.

Here’s how they manage to stay unbiased to the products and still earn what they deserve-

  • They don’t ‘scream’ about a product while reviewing. It’s more of an honest criticism that serves the user’s end.
  • While placing products, they don’t just ‘place’ them. They blend the products into the solution they’re offering and add value to it.
  • To compare between brands or products, they take an analytical approach. Those articles tell untold facts that someone won’t find on the brand or product’s sales page.
  • They stay transparent about how they earn from the purchases people make through their recommendations. Here’s an example-

3 Other Ways to Monetize Niche Blogs

Affiliate programs might be the most popular way of monetizing niche blogs. But they’re not the only ones out there.

The list contains Ad Monetization, CPA Monetization, Sponsored Posts, etc.

Ad Networks are platforms that collect Advertisements from brands and let niche bloggers display those. Once those ads get views or clicks, the network pays a % of what the brands pay them.

Among popular Ad Networks, Google’s AdSense, Amazon’s Native Shopping Ads, Yahoo’s, etc are noteworthy.

Ads aside, CPA and Sponsored Posts are pretty popular monetizing methods. But let’s keep them for discussion another day.

Some Stories of Successes…and Failures

“You become financially free when your passive income exceeds your expenses.”

-T. Harv Eker, Author, “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”

Passive income feels great. And everyone wants to taste that freedom of lifestyle when your boss won’t decide what you’d do. But in reality, 95% of them can’t make it to the par.

Take building niche sites for example- 

Behind a successful, 4-figure monthly profit from a niche site, you got to have these skills up your sleeve- 

  • Analytical web research
  • SEO(execute and troubleshoot)
  • Content writing
  • Hiring and managing freelancers
  • Basic web development(WordPress) and security maintenance
  • Business outreach 

Having all these skills will help you take off the ground swiftly. But your chance to make it to the end depends a lot on…..well, your Luck. 

So, either for doing things wrong, or getting stabbed by the luck, things might look like this with your niche site- 

On the brighter side, some of the marketer’s hard-earned successes look like- 

You see- a 6-figure niche blog asset can turn into ashes overnight. Call it your poorly executed process or just dumb luck, it happens all the time.

Niche Blogging vs Other Online Passive Earning Schemes

Niche blogging might be a good passive earning choice, but it’s not the only one. 

Among other choices in the digital space, there are- Youtubing, Course Creation, PoD(print on demand), dropshipping, and even creating apps that come into the play. 

And each of them brings on their own risk and gain factors to the table. Regardless of the choice, the hardship of setting the ground, getting on your knees, and marketing your creation- all of them are REAL! 

In simple terms- the harder you push, the shinier the outcome is. 

Hence, it’s really hard to judge them by numbers. If you really want to make a choice, it’s best to cross-check your creative skills and find the best match. Here’s something to help- 

Passive Income CareerCreative Skillset Required
Niche BloggingSEO, Content Creation, Web Development, Risk Assessment
YouTubingScripting, Videography, Editing, YouTube SEO
Course CreationSubject-level expertise, Videography, Marketing
Print on Demand2-D Design, Market Research, Social/Paid Marketing 

Moment of Truth: Should You Make Niche Blogs?

It’s interesting that you’ve made it so far in this post. That gives us a hunch that, you might find it interesting to make niche sites. 

But if we be honest, the purpose of this post was not to lure you into the business and sign you up anyway. It’s no easier than any physical or digital businesses, and often compared to be as challenging as building up a start-up from scratch. 

To check out your likeliness to be a successful niche blogger, we’ve created a checklist below- 

  • Do you have a command over the required skills for niche blogging? (Yes/No)
  • Have you got the idle money(not borrowed or savings) that you’re ready to gamble with? (Yes/No)
  • Have you got the smart of taking critical, calculative risks? (Yes/No)
  • Are you ready to take a sudden hammering from google on the blog of your dream? (Yes/No)
  • Do you think about quitting when you are at a helpless point? (Yes/No)

If at least 4 out of these 5 answers turn out to be ‘Yes’, pat on your back. You have a hidden niche blogging talent in you. Otherwise, feel free to control your greed.

Parting Words

I’m not sure how you’ve managed to come to the very bottom of this post. But as you’ve done it, I hope the discussion has helped you to some extent. 

If I put my optimistic hat on, I’d say that niche blogs are untapped scopes of business that can bring on rapid growth. Only if you manage not to keep any loose strings in the entire process. 

Happy marketing! 

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