Best Ways to Boost “Niche Marketing IQ”

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Just over a year ago, I’d never even heard of niche sites or affiliate marketing.

Now, I’m running a niche site that attracts tens of thousands of visitors per month and generates over $3,000 per month in affiliate and ad revenue.

(I have bigger plans, but it’s a solid start!)

Trending in the right direction — up.

As the daughter of two professors, the love for learning new things runs in my blood.

But you don’t need an advanced degree in marketing, SEO, copywriting, or programming to create a successful niche site. (Thank goodness, amiright?)

In this article, I’ll discuss the some of the most helpful resources that helped me boost my “niche IQ” when I was starting out.

Courses, Resources, and Folks Worth Following

I’ll mention podcasts, FB Groups, courses, YouTube Channels, and blogs.

Podcast // Affiliate Marketing & Side Hustles | Doug.Show

Doug has a podcast about affiliate marketing and side hustles. The success stories are the most popular.

He talks to beginners and relative newbies like me, plus people that are making tens of thousands per month in profit from niche sites.

  • What it costs: Free
  • What you’ll learn: Basic and advanced marketing, SEO, keyword research tips, success stories, random stories from Doug – usually entertaining!
  • Where to find it: Doug.Show


Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | Overcast | Google Podcasts

Episodes to Check Out

FB Group // Affiliate Niche Builders

Facebook groups come in different flavors — some good, some bad.

Ben Adler has a well-curated group that has awesome people in it. He’s been featured in a few places and the FB group is touted as one of the best groups to learn about affiliate marketing.

  • What it costs: Free
  • What you’ll learn: All about affiliate marketing and SEO
  • Where: Click to learn more

FB Group // Building Online Empires

This is the Human Proof Designs FB group, and I’ve been a part of this group for a long time.

Doug has worked with and known the founder of HPD since starting Niche Site Project, though Dom Wells has moved on to Onfolio.

  • What it costs: Free
  • What you’ll learn: All about internet marketing, affiliate marketing, and SEO
  • Where: Click to learn more

Course // Multi Profit Site

I heard about Doug and Niche Site Project after he was on a now-defunct podcast out of Bozeman, MT.

By the time I met Doug for coffee the following week, I was already hooked on the idea of starting a niche site.

For the first time in months, my brain was on fire with new ideas, questions, and — of course — more than a few worries.

  • Could I really learn how to do an entirely new thing like affiliate marketing?
  • Could I really start a site that would earn a meaningful amount of money?
  • Could I figure out all this SEO stuff?

Another affiliate marketing course taught me the basics, but I was ready to hit the road now and needed details. That’s where Doug’s course came into play.

I signed up for Five Figure Niche Site that night. This was late August of 2018.

Be sure to check out Doug’s latest course on creating a site with a variety of income sources, Multi Profit Site.

If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions, video tutorials, and data-driven advice, this course is where it’s at. I’d never set up a WordPress site, done a lick of keyword research, or installed a plugin in my life — but I could follow Doug’s instructions and figure it out as I went.

  • What it costs: $1,097 (Advanced Course Option)
  • What you’ll learn: How to pick a viable niche, doing your keyword research, using the Keyword Golden Ratio, setting up your site, applying to Amazon and ad networks, working on custom deals, publishing content that ranks fast, outsourcing tasks, promoting your site, scaling up, and more.
  • Where to find Multi Profit Site: Click to learn more

Course // Pinterest Magnate

Jon Dykstra of Fat Stacks Blog grew his Pinterest traffic from 74,000 to 300,000 visits per month (300% increase) in 12 short weeks. So he knows how to execute and get massive results.

I’m super excited about this course and eager to see how it changes my Pinterest game.

If you read my other article about using Pinterest, you’ll know I believe it’s a valuable traffic driver for affiliate marketers — especially during the first year. Instead of solely relying on Google to send folks your way, you can attract new visitors via Pinterest.

  • What it costs: $197
  • What you’ll learn: Pinterest setup, creating pins with examples, systems and scheduling, measuring progress, email list growth, compelling pin content, and more
  • Where to find it: Click to Learn More

YouTube Channel // One Hour Professor

I don’t even want to think about how much time I’ve spent watching YouTube videos about niche sites and affiliate marketing over the last year.

Suffice it to say, it’s a lot of time.

That’s because video is a fantastic learning medium if you’re new to niche marketing.

Their videos are really meaty deep-dives into specific topics and questions around evaluating niches, doing SEO research, and writing quality content.

Note: Every professional blogger has his/her favorite strategies, so be prepared for some differences in opinion and approach if you follow multiple folks on YouTube.

  • What it costs: Nothing—it’s free!
  • What you’ll learn: SEO tips and tricks, evaluating niche viability, display ads, content creation best practices, how Google really works, and more.
  • Where to find it: Click to Watch on YouTube

YouTube Channel // Doug Cunnington

Beware, you’ll have a hard time keeping up with Doug’s publishing schedule. He’s a video-creation machine. (I honestly don’t know how he does it.)

*He also has a podcast now called The Doug Show that’s well worth your time!*

My favorite videos on Doug’s channel are the case studies from newbie niche marketers who are seeing real results. Most of them are working day-jobs, hustling on the side, learning affiliate marketing later in life, and remind me… of me.

Doug’s Keyword Golden Ratio videos are also invaluable.

I haven’t found anyone else who actually gives new niche marketers a FORMULA for keywords that are more likely to rank in year one.

Without this single tool, I don’t think my site would have gotten off the ground at all. I would have been completely overwhelmed by the perceived complexity of SEO research — or I would’ve gone after keywords I had no chance of ranking for with a new site.

If I hadn’t have seen some quick KGR results, I wouldn’t have been able to keep the faith that my niche site could become something valuable either.

  • What it costs: Nothing—it’s free!
  • What you’ll learn: Niche marketing case studies, Keyword Golden Ratio, project management, Amazon Affiliates, and cute videos of Border Collie Georgie 🙂
  • Where to find it: Click to Watch on YouTube

Start with these 5 videos:

Blog //

Geniuslink is a software company that makes localizing, tracking, and managing smart links easy so you can earn more without increasing your workload.

Their blog is a treasure trove of affiliate marketing tips, tricks, and advice. If you’re curious about linking and Amazon specifically, start here.

  • What it costs: Nothing—it’s free!
  • What you’ll learn: Affiliate marketing, link strategies, Amazon Affiliates, and more.
  • Where to find it: Click to Read the Blog

Start with these 5 posts:

Blog // AmaLinks Pro 

This is the new Amazon plugin in town. It’s been around for a few years now, long enough to have a mature and stable plugin.

They focus on usability and conversions while adhering to the Amazon Operating Agreement. Some other plugins (like AAWP) are looser on the rules which can lead to issues with Amazon audits.

  • What it costs: Nothing!
  • What you’ll learn: Affiliate marketing, link strategies, Amazon Affiliates, and more.
  • Where to find it: Click to Read the Blog

Post to check out:

Money & Time Well Spent

If I hadn’t invested my time and money in the items discussed in this article, I wouldn’t have a successful niche site now — it’s that simple. With plenty of free (and paid) resources to choose from, you can tailor your learning to your budget and time constraints.

From my perspective, spending just shy of $2K on educational courses during my first year was totally worth it. My site grew faster, I produced better content, and I avoided a lot of costly newbie mistakes.

That investment no longer seems extravagant because what I learned has helped me build a site that now pulls in THOUSANDS PER MONTH.

Bottom line: Getting smarter pays off — big time!

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