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Now that you have narrowed down your niche, it is time to begin drilling down to your keyword focus. Your goal now is learning how to find cash-generating keywords for your niche. But, first, so many words involved in online marketing!!! So, before we look at research, let’s talk about what keywords are and their importance in online marketing.
First, a keyword is one or more words that succinctly describe the content on your page or post. In short, when someone goes to a search engine to search for a topic, the keyword is the word or words they enter to search. Ideally, when someone enters keywords relevant to your niche, your page appears in the list on the first page of search results. As you can probably guess, then, your keyword choices are supremely critical to your success in almost every online business model. Whether you’re pursuing affiliate marketing, blogging, Pinterest marketing, or any number of additional Internet marketing opportunities, your keywords largely determine your success.
Relevant keywords are critical to your success
How are keywords so critical? Well, keywords are important for several reasons. First, keywords drive traffic to your site. I remember a relevant quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson discussed in my Marketing 101 class in college. To paraphrase it, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” But, my professor was careful to point out the fallacy of this statement – because the world WILL NOT beat a path to your door if they don’t even know you built that better mousetrap.
How does this relate to keywords? Well, if you choose the wrong keywords to target, you probably will not get nearly as much traffic as you’d like, if any. To make money, you must choose keywords that will appear in search engines close to the top of the list of sites. If you think about it – what do you do when you conduct a search? Do you generally look at the first few entries or do you look at the 100th or 200th link that appears? Most people stick to the first 10 entries, while a few other people go to the second or third page of listings. So you need to find and use keywords that will positively affect your ranking (how high up you are on the listing) and link performance (how many people click on your link).
How do focused keywords drive traffic?
Another reason keywords are so vital is that you need targeted traffic coming to your site. For example, ten thousand visitors coming to your domain via the keyword “books” might be worthless if you are selling books about Harry Potter. However, if your focus is books about Harry Potter, then 500 visitors who come via the keyword phrase, “Harry Potter books,” will be interested in what you are marketing.
Likely, someone searching for “books” is just browsing. They may not even be interested in buying anything – they could be interested in selling books, book bans, book publishers, and number of other topics.
On the other hand, someone who is searching for “Harry Potter books” is more likely to be interested in buying something immediately. You see, it’s not enough to just get tons of traffic. You need a lot of focused traffic willing to take the action you want them to take. Whether selling eBooks, promoting affiliate products, getting leads for an offer, or just getting sign-ups to your list, you want targeted visitors. These niche visitors provide you with likely now or in the future.
Conducting research on your niche
All right. That was a rather lengthy, but important lesson on keywords. So, let’s explore how they relate to your niche. If you have chosen your niche that matches your passion and seems to have a huge profit potential, you need to research the keywords to use. If writing articles, you need to choose keywords to use in the titles and text. When building niche websites, you need to use keywords in the domain name. When using pay-per-click marketing, the keywords you choose will likely be one of the biggest factors determining whether your campaign is profitable.
Research your keywords for free using Google
Google provides a way to research keywords that is quite extensive. And free. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the method of using it is somewhat obscure and can be confusing. So, let me provide a little tutorial that will step you through how to use Google for conducting keyword research.
First, make sure you have a Google account, if you don’t already. You can sign up for free here. This Google account will benefit you in a number of ways, so even though Google can be intrusive, it also provides many services for the online entrepreneur. Once you sign up you will have access to their keyword research tool.
This tool is not perfect. It gives you approximations of searches ranging from 1-100 up to 100K-1M. While this is quite broad, it will nevertheless give you ideas about keywords. Time to take out your journal and start taking down notes. Remember, you will be writing many posts and so you want lots of ideas about popular keywords to use. Google’s Keyword Planner is absolutely FREE to use, but you have to sort of jump through some hoops to get to it. Warning – some hoops look scary – like you might have to pay for an ad campaign first.
But, follow the directions as indicated below and you will get behind the scenes to conduct your research. Trust me, it is easy peasy once you know the steps.
How to navigate the tool to find keywords
First, click on this link to be taken to an opening page. Once you get on this page, be sure to review the content. It will give you an idea of what the Keyword Planner does. When ready, click on Go to Keyword Planner button on your page, as seen below.
On the next page, click on NEW GOOGLE ADS ACCOUNT.
You will need to ignore most of the choices on the next screen and go to the bottom of the page. Click on Switch to Expert Mode.
On the next page, click on Create an account without a campaign.
Ok, here is where the kinda scary looking stuff comes in. Don’t worry though. You won’t have to spend any money. Just click on SUBMIT to go to the next step.
Ready to explore your account?
Whew! You are almost there. Keep going. On the next screen, you will even get a trophy. Click on EXPLORE YOUR ACCOUNT.
I promise, you are almost there. Click on TOOLS & SETTINGS, then go over to the PLANNING tab and select Keyword Planner. WHY do they make it so complicated?
All right one more screen to get through. I swear, Google has a lot of skill in developing cool tools to use. Why oh why are they making this so difficult. Anyway, on the next screen, you can click on the little arrow on the bottom right of the screen to see what the planner is all about. Or you can just click on GET STARTED.
Seriously, almost there! Laughing yet about all the clicking? Yes, take a deep breath and laugh. Now, you are really really ready to start. First you’ll want to enter a base keyword for your niche. Let’s say you’re targeting the golf niche. You might enter “golf” into the keyword tool of your choice. Then the keyword tool will show you a number of related keywords.
Finally, you are at the keyword planner tool!
Start adding your words to begin exploring the significance of keywords in your niche. I added the words baby clothes and boys. You can add as many keywords as you want. You can also go back and delete and add words. Take some time exploring the many keywords and their significance.
Once you do this, you will get a report about the average monthly searches. The information is rather general, but it can provide information about the significance of the number of searches. It will also give you ideas about other keywords you can focus on in your niche.
OK- now you have the basics. Please take time to explore the many options on the Keyword Planner so that you can find the best cash-generating keywords. Look for different keywords and drill down again and again. Take notes and jot down keyword ideas as you run across them. This will help you to write your articles with a focus on the most popular keywords. You particularly want to focus on words that have high popularity but low competition. This means many people are looking for this product, but competition on the niche is not high.
The Google Keyword Planner tool should be bookmarked because you will be referring to it frequently as you build your business.
Why finding keywords is so important to your niche?
All right. Lots of steps to access the Google Keyword Planner. But remember, as discussed in previous articles, selecting your niche is critical. Why is that? Well, there are four important reasons to consider your niche carefully.
- Reduced competition. At the time, your niche may have less competition. It might after all, be rather new. Smaller businesses may not yet have your niche on their radar. At the same time, large businesses may not consider it profitable. Thus, at the time you find the niche, you have optimal conditions for expanding. This would be high interest and low competition. This condition may not last – so jump on it as quickly as you can.
- You become the expert. Because the niche is somewhat under the radar, then you can easily become the specialist. Thus, as the expert, you become the recommended source of information. Once established as an expert, you will likely remain significant in the niche.
- Focused effort on your niche. If you have a narrower audience, then you can focus on catering better to the needs of that audience.
- Gaining a toehold in market. Once you gain significant standing within the niche, your business can confidently expand into new and broader markets.
After deciding the niche you are going to focus on, you have a critical next step – finding keywords highly relevant to your niche. In addition to just finding keywords that are relevant, you also want to learn how to find cash-generating keywords for your niche. These cash-generating keywords should be relevant AND high interest/low competition. Those keywords are critical to the amount of profit you will make in your online business.
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As discussed in the previous article, finding a highly profitable niche is very important when you begin working from home. But, probably the most important thing you need to consider is how you feel about that niche. As in – do you feel a huge passion toward that niche? Does it light your fire and make you feel enthusiastic and energized just thinking about it? In other words, does it match your passions?
To be sure, working in any niche can be challenging. Well, let’s face it. Just working can be challenging. So, if you are going to pick a business that you do from home, then you need to pick something that you love. And, love it so much that even when totally frustrated, you still want to stick with it. Thus, when working from home, it’s important to choose a niche that suits your passions. When you are passionate about what you are doing, you wake up in the mornings with the energy and the enthusiasm to get to work.
How to find a niche to suit your passion
Take a few minutes to consider which niches might fit with your passions. If you’re not sure what your passions are, imagine you have a whole day to yourself. Sit back and go through your absolutely perfect day. What would you spend it doing?
Would you spend the day cooking and perfecting new recipes? Or would you go out to explore your city to visit attractions you have never seen? Are you more likely to spend the time writing movie reviews? Do you love to go shopping? Where would you go to shop and what would you be looking for?
Would it be a special time to work on those hobbies that you never seem to have time for? Maybe you would go outside and work in the garden or build a DIY project? Perhaps conducting research on the latest technology suits you more. Or would you spend time catching up on the latest book or movie?
Perhaps you would spend time organizing your house. Maybe you would organize your life. How about taking a day off to go visit the wineries with your friends. Maybe take your kids out to the park or to go camping.
As you begin imagining your perfect day, make sure you have a journal by your side to jot down ideas about all the things you would do on your perfect day. These are the things that are your passions – and these are the areas in which you can begin your search for the perfect niche.
After you find a passion, what are next steps?
Taking this long moment to consider what you love doing will help you in finding the best niche for you. AS you reflect on what you love doing, also consider what you would love to do. Maybe you have never had time, but you would love to travel to Paris. Or you would love to learn how to train dogs. Jot down notes about things you would love to learn about.
What do you do next? Your next step is to begin reading and researching. Fully immerse yourself in your chosen niche. Sign up for every email list that you can. Conduct research about what is trending on the niche in Amazon, eBay and Google. This research before you begin your business will pay off in big ways. You are becoming an expert who knows the current issues and events in your niche.
Spend time browsing websites. Look at both of expert and amateur sites alike. Blogs are a great way to learn about what’s happening in the niche industry you plan to use for your business. Search blog directories for your category by going to a search engine and typing in “blog directories.” Then choose a blog directory and browse it by category.
While you are doing this, be sure you jot down ideas about your niche. By now, you probably have a list of potential niches just waiting for you to tap into. If so, begin to trim that list. Par it down to your top three that are of the most interest to you. Select the three that you feel most passionate about. These three should be your main choices – the niches you have the most interest in.
What other factors do you look for?
When selecting your niche, don’t just go by how much is being sold in that niche. Since there are so many ways to monetize a niche, your big concern should be selecting something that interests you. Just remember when your niche interests you, it shows to your customers. Conversely, when you’re only in it for the profit you can make, that shows too. So, it is important to choose a niche that you can earn an income in and gain personal satisfaction from.
Once you know the right niche for you, take a minute to ask yourself, “What’s not being covered? Which audiences are being ignored? Who are the rising stars on the horizon and how will they change the niche?” Since you already have an interest in these niches, you’ll be better at meeting the needs of consumers that other entrepreneurs are missing. You can begin by focusing on that segment of your niche.
Taking time finding your niche
This is not an easy process nor should it be taken lightly. It might take several days to narrow down your topic. You might have a false start or two as you begin to hone in on your niche. That is perfectly normal because this is a difficult task. However, as you begin to build your business, you will be glad that you took the time to do this. Being in business for yourself is rewarding, but it can also be frustrating and challenging. Having a passion that keeps you going in your business can make all the difference in your success.
As Mark Twain said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” So, this I say to you, “Find a niche you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” And if you do get frustrated, you will never quit your passion.
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Before we discuss how to choose a profitable niche, let’s define niche and look at their importance. I am sure you have been reading scads about niches lately and want to know more. So, what is this thing called a niche? How does it relate to blogging and making money online?
Well, a niche is a focused portion of a broader market. So, for example, let’s look at baby products. That is a huge market these days with probably millions of businesses vying for a portion of the market. Then, to be competitive in the market, you want to look at niches that are smaller and more focused. So, you might focus on baby clothes. Still a huge, competitive market. So, consider drilling down more to look at baby clothes for boys. Now, there exist tons of things for baby girls – but less in the market for baby boys.
I remember when I had a little boy, I could find all sorts of adorable clothes for little girls, but just boring stuff for little boys. So, something you might want to do is focus in on adorable clothes for baby boys. You could look at clothes with different themes that are relevant for little boys – such as sports clothes, wilderness clothes (camo, etc.), astronaut clothes, construction clothes, etc. You get the idea. When you specialize in this way, you separate yourself from the mass market and become the uber specialist for all adorable clothes for baby boys.
Why choosing the right niche is important
What happens when you find a niche that is generally neglected, you limit your competition. You also gain a loyal following who seek your business for advice first. The niche market is almost unlimited. However, you do want to ensure that the niche you are interested in will be worth targeting. If you have made the decision to begin your online business, you might already know what you want to focus on. That is a great place to be. Yet, most who start are not sure what niche they want to target.
Make no mistake, picking the wrong niche can limit your profits. So, you do want to discover which niche has the ability to make you the most money. So, you have to do your research to find a niche worth building. How do you do this? One of the quickest routes to a business failure is to pick a niche that doesn’t have the potential to bring in the profits you’re looking for. The way to discover which niche has the ability to make money is easy. The way to do this? You must conduct careful research.
How to decide on a niche
First, select a niche that you’re personally interested in. The reason for this is rather obvious. You will be spending an enormous amount of time immersed in your niche. So, select something you are interested in. It doesn’t matter whether you are already an expert in your topic because you can become one. With the Internet’s abundance availability of knowledge, you can always learn what you need to know. But, if the niche is too technical or you consider it boring, you will dread every day that you work. That is not a place that you want to start your business.
In addition to choosing a niche that not only interests you, but one that you feel excited about working on daily. That way, you will stay pumped up, eagerly looking forward to growing your business. As you begin researching to find your niches, make sure that you are looking in an area that is interesting and relevant to you.
Researching to find the perfect niche
First, research by looking at what the big companies are focusing on. What are the hot selling items of the time? You don’t have to know this off the top of your head or guess. Look for these top selling items on sites such as Amazon or eBay or other market websites. One way to do this is to use free tools such as Sonar-tool to conduct your research on Amazon. Use Data Labs to research top trends on e-Bay.
Another way to conduct your research is to go to Amazon itself and look at their bestsellers. The bestsellers will tell you the pulse of the people buying products. So for example, if you are interested in Baby clothing for boys, you can drill down in Amazon to see the top ten bestsellers. Exploring this portion of Amazon can give you many ideas for selecting a niche based on what is popular. One more place to look on Amazon is the area for self-help books to see what’s selling there. For example, books on depression, weight loss, and relationships always sell well. Those and other books that sell well contain clues to let you know that the market will always be wide open for self-help niches. You can also gain additional insight on what else is popular and trending in any best-selling subject area.
Choose an evergreen niche to be profitable
Another important consideration for selecting a niche is to look for an evergreen focus. What that means – select a topic that will remain popular for decades – not months or even years. Make sure you don’t make the mistake of setting up a niche based on what’s considered a here today, gone tomorrow item. You will spend the same amount of time building a business that is trendy today as one that is evergreen – or trendy for many, many years to come. If you pick a too trendy, fad niche, then you face doing the work over and over again every time the trend changes. Not something that you want to do. In other words, avoid fads. Don’t build your business on pet rocks.
Pick a niche that is expandable
Another important consideration is picking a niche that can be logically expanded if necessary. Once you have fully developed your niche, you may find that you want to branch out. If you pick a niche that can be expanded, then building the next topic will be easier. If the new niche can be a natural extension of your original niche, then you have an audience in place, a mailing list in place and are ahead of the game.
Obviously, if you have to start all over with a very different niche, then you are virtually starting at square one. While you have more knowledge and the second niche will be easier to build, it will also have to start with building an audience.
Niche selection is highly critical to your success
Without a doubt, choosing a niche is one of the most important steps you will take when building your online business. Once you have carefully selected your niche, then it will be easier to select your name, your office logo, color schemes, and such.
Take the time to conduct your research carefully, first looking at what you are interested in, next considering what you are excited about and finally what everyone else is interested in. With this formula, you will be on your way to building a highly profitable business. Next, when you select your niche, you are ready to begin exploring the best keywords for your particular niche. Click here to explore finding your very best keywords for your profit generating niche.
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Reducing stress is so critical in the world in which we live these days. Generally speaking, life is stressful. And, from experience, I have found that time management goes a very long way in reducing my everyday stress.
In fact, “Reduce your stress,” is one of the key mantras my chiropractor expresses every time I go see her. For those who have read other posts, you know that I have problems with neck pain. So, I am work to ensure that I have an ergonomic office. I also ensure I do my exercises, sit correctly, get up and walk around. All the right things to avoid back and neck pain.
But, still some days, I hurt. And I find those days are mostly the ones that I have let stress get out of control. Yes – just stressing out causes neck pain. If you feel stress, your body tenses, your neck muscles get tight and you start to feel pain – in your back, your arms and sometimes in your head. Yup, stress is bad.
In earlier posts, I discussed the use of essential oils for reducing stress. I highly recommend that you use a diffuser in your office (and your home) with essential oils that have properties that combat stress. However, I also highly recommend that you look at changes you can make to reduce as much stress as you can before it even starts. Time management is one of the changes you can make.
Stress can be overwhelming
Those of us who work from home often find that without some type of time management, the stress can overwhelm us. When you put too much pressure on yourself or you become overwhelmed by duties, demands, and responsibilities, it can lead to snowball effect. Simply put, very unscientifically, the more stress you feel, the more stressed you become.
Stress comes in many forms. And, it is caused by many things. But, when your stress is just from having too little time for all your responsibilities, it might be a great opportunity to work on your time management skills. Time management helps to reduce stress while working to eliminate that horrible feeling of being overwhelmed.
Getting your thoughts under control before managing time
Before we take a look at some time management strategies, it would be helpful to “get your mind straight.” One of the best ways that I have found to do this, is first take a deep breath. Okay. Good. Now take another. That’s right – keep taking deep breaths until you feel a sense of relaxation. Seems too simple, but it does work to get more oxygen to your brain.
With a sense of calm, you can now work on some time management activities.
Begin with the beginning in mind
What does that even mean? If you want to better manage your time, you need to start at the beginning by choosing your priorities. Let’s face it. You can’t get everything done at once. So, what needs to happen first? What can you relegate to later? Setting your priorities will help to relieve some of your stress. The good thing about reducing stress is that it allows your brain to function better overall. Because of this, you are able to get more accomplished.
Then, how do you figure out what the priorities are? Here are some things to consider when setting task priorities.
Is there a deadline?
Think about tasks that have a strict deadline. Assign those tasks to the top priority and get those tasks done first. These should be a priority, since they MUST be done by a certain date and time.
I highly recommend visuals when managing your time. A good way to keep track of these priority items is to put the tasks with deadlines down on a calendar planner. If you are a list person, then you can use a list to prioritize your tasks. Once you have the tasks with a deadline on your calendar or list, then begin assigning a priority to the rest of the tasks you have to complete. Tasks without a deadline are more open-ended, so they can be added to a later date on your planner or list.
Just prioritizing your tasks should help reduce your stress. Making a visual of all the things that need to be done can bring a sense of relief. You will now have all the tasks ordered and assigned priority for completion. With this prioritizing, you can see the things you have to do and when they will need to be completed. But you are able to look at them as individual units rather than a crazy, overwhelming mess in your head. If you have the plan to accomplish each task rather than worrying about doing everything at once, you will eliminate some stress.
Look at the big picture and decide if the task is really critical
When you are building a business, you may find that you simply have too much to do. Instead of insisting that you have to get everything done, consider whether each task is NECESSARY. Think about each task and what the end result is going to be. Especially think about what would happen if the task was NOT done. Is it more like busy work that you think you should
be doing, or is it actually critical that it get done?
Especially in the building phase of your business, you will need to let go of some tasks. Think this, “What is the worst thing that could happen if I don’t complete this task?” The honest answer to that question should help you to decide whether the task really needs to be done or not.
How do you feel when working on the task?
If there is something you start working on that immediately causes more stress and frustration, re-think whether this is a priority or not. Now, some things that HAVE to be done cause stress. If this is the case, then perhaps chunking the task into smaller blocks of time will help.
My recommendation for these tasks, however, is to get them done as quickly as possible. If a task causes stress when you are doing it, then it causes a constant and nagging stress in the background when you avoid completing it. This can override any joy you might feel putting the task off. Bite the bullet and get the task done if it is a priority.
Does the task affect people in your life?
You might also want to think about certain tasks that could affect your family and friends positively or negatively. Tasks related to taking your kids to doctor’s appointments or helping your friend with moving might be a priority. But make sure you have them on your calendar or list to complete when scheduled.
In time management, schedule your work first to reduce stress
Brain clutter. That is what I call a huge mess of tasks that you know have to be done but have no idea how you will complete them. Brain clutter leads to brain fog. Which leads to feeling stress. Which leads to being overwhelmed. OK – you get the idea.
Take a deep breath now and first schedule as many of your work tasks as you can. Listing the tasks with a due date for the tasks prevents the added stress caused by missing deadlines, not going to appointments, or letting all of this clutter muddle your brain.
Time management is difficult, if not impossible to do effectively without having a schedule. It is okay to make changes as life happens, but at least start with tasks that will be worked on and when. Then you will have a better idea of how to spend the rest of your time.
Include your personal life in your calendar to reduce stress
When you have your own business, scheduling personal time can be the hardest thing to do. Especially at first. But, make sure as you schedule your time, you remember to schedule your personal life! That’s correct. I said to schedule your personal time.
No matter what you do or how busy you are, you need to have time for yourself, family, and friends. If you don’t schedule “you” time, you will hit burnout very quickly. This is why time management is so helpful in reducing stress. You not only schedule all your work tasks, but you also see where you have time for your personal life and leisure time.
Try logging your activities when you begin time management
Especially when you begin working on time management skills, consider keeping a detailed log of everything you do and when. You can easily do this by keeping a daily time log at your desk, and jot down what you are doing each hour. Of course, the more detailed you keep the log, the more it will help. But, don’t stress yourself out by spending a huge amount of time logging your time.
The log will help you to look back and see how you have been spending your time. It may alert you to what are time wasters for you. It will also help you to see where you go right, and where you might be going wrong in managing your time.
Perhaps at the end of the month, you feel like you should have accomplished more and don’t understand where your time went. If you keep a log of everything you did, you could see problems that occurred. Maybe you worked late for too many days so your personal life suffered. Perhaps you took an extended vacation that dipped into your work responsibilities.
Maybe your breaks were too long, or you simply didn’t manage your time correctly. All the documentation is going to help you understand where all your time went. Time management can be different for everyone. Sometimes it just takes a little trial and error to figure out what works best for you to give you the most balanced life.
Effective time management reduces stress
Let’s face it. We all have the same 24 hours every day. But some people seem to get more done with less stress. Others run around stressed and overwhelmed trying to get everything done and seeming to get nowhere. As a business owner, you want to be in the first category. You want to manage your time so that each day is productive and as stress free as possible. The sooner you get a handle on managing your time, the more successful you will feel. And, the more successful you will be.
Using time management to reduce stress allows you to spend your “brain time” accomplishing tasks rather than wasting it wondering how you will get everything done. It will also ensure that you enjoy your personal time, rather than spending it worrying about what you still have to do. If you feel stress about all the things you have to do, I recommend that you get a handle on managing your time today. Set aside some time to list and prioritize all that you have to do. Once this is done, you will notice that you feel less stressed. And that sure does feel good!
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