A Crazy Little Niche That Makes Thousands Per Month (And How You Can Replicate It)

crazylittlenichethatmakesthousandsIt’s easy to get the impression sometimes that the only niche that is really profitable is “make money online”.

But that’s just because we are exposed to it day in day out.

The reality is there are literally thousands of profitable areas online: I’ve done very well out of the stock market niche and in GHG Membership we interview and decompose the web-businesses of real people who are making ethical and serious money in all sorts of niches. In the last few months alone we’ve covered the cooking, local business and fitness niches.

…and shortly, we’ll even be “grilling” one entrepreneur who is profiting from the online magic niche!

What constantly surprises me though is how profitable some of the more unlikely niches actually are.

For example, I was recently talking with a GHG Member who is looking at the herbal remedies marketplace.

After a few minutes of step-by-step investigation we found this site which has thousands of members that pay either $9.99 per month or $97 per year (imagine what that would do for you):

http://www.herbmentor.com

What is more this site has recently been put up for an industry award!

Now I know some people might have objections why they couldn’t possibly do this. So let’s get this out in the open and break down these down one by one:

Objection #1: I don’t have the budget to create a site like this.

Well, consider this:

  1. The entire site is based upon WordPress (which is FREE and very easy to learn)
  2. The software to control the membership side of things is Wishlist Member (a WordPress plugin which costs $97 and I know it’s awesome because I own it too!)

Remember: In the dotcom boom of the late 1990s getting a website created like this would have cost tens of thousands. Minimum. Now you can do it for $97 dollars without any technical skills at all. There’s never been a better time.

If $97 still puts you off then remind yourself this is a business – we do need to get real here. What does it cost to start an offline business? And most of those aren’t even profitable for 1-2 years, right?

Objection #2: I’m not an “expert” in herbs so I couldn’t create the content

We talked in a previous blog post of why you don’t need to be an expert to make money online (click here if you missed it). But here’s some things to start with:

  • Interview experts on Skype (probably THE fastest way to create great content)
  • Transcribe those interviews (I’ve done this many times by hiring someone on oDesk for $20)
  • Hire a writer on oDesk to repurpose those interviews into separate articles, cheat sheets or even free gifts to attract more subscribers onto your list
  • Invite people to write guest posts for you (example from another niche: Digital-Photography-School does this so the owner Darren Rowse doesn’t even have to create any of the content himself!!!)
  • Buy (high quality) Private Label Rights products and rewrite/repurpose them
  • Add a forum to the site so members can help each other out (adding a forum is very easy by the way)

Trust me, when you start doing even a bit of this you’ll start to learn so quickly. And remember there’s no such thing as an expert really, if you know a little more than other people who can help them. This happens every day in life anyway, when you meet people and they ask you questions.

Objection #3: I don’t know how to do the graphics.

You can learn GIMP (which is a free and powerful graphics program) and create your own graphics.

Whilst you do need to learn some core skills to make money online things like graphics are pretty specialized and as such I recommend outsourcing them rather than learning the process yourself.

Regular readers will know I use fiverr.com a lot for this. I love it: It costs less than the price of 2 cups of coffee and it’s just unbelievable what you can get in terms of quality!

There are other places you can go for graphics too of course: oDesk, 99Designs and bigstockphoto.

In short it isn’t a problem – I’m terrible at graphic design myself and most other successful people on the web are too!

Objection #4: I wouldn’t know how to get traffic/market my website

Ok, here are some things I would do if I was setting up in this particular niche:

  • Post in popular herbal remedy forums
  • Find popular herbal remedy blogs, comment on their blogs
  • Then guest post on these blogs
  • Then interview the owners of those blogs for my content (see above!)
  • Then get those blog owners to promote my membership site in return for 50% commission (Joint Ventures)
  • Buy banners on forums and blogs (very cheap)
  • Survey some forum members or just write an interesting article and do a press release so journalists pick it up and quote it as “Rob Cornish from TheBestHerbalRemedySiteOnTheInternet.Com”
  • Run some Facebook Ads to build a list of prospects

I could go on … and on….

But do you get the idea?

There’s nothing stopping you getting into and profiting from an online niche that you know nothing about. All you’ve got to be is interested in the subject.

Nobody was born with web skills, business skills, traffic generation skills or knowledge about specific niches. We all had ZERO web-knowledge at some point (for me this was in early 2010). It’s ALL learnable. And with the right approach you can massively speed up this process and enjoy it too!

Have you come across any interesting niches lately? Are you struggling to find one yourself? Do really think you couldn’t do this yourself? All comments, likes and tweets are good – let me know below… 🙂

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37 Responses to A Crazy Little Niche That Makes Thousands Per Month (And How You Can Replicate It)

  1. sean smyth February 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Hello Rob
    I am on the first day of my trip to Peru. Five weeks to go. This trip for me is more than a holiday. I hope it will contribute to a spiritual cleansing. I am sure that in my past 65 years I have accumulated a lot of negative programming which has served to limit me. I am taking active steps to clear that clutter out of the way so that I can at last tap into my unrealized potentia.
    Your email this a.m. was very encouraging. I am sure that with your guidance I too can create an online business. Keep up the good work. I hope to join you more actively on my return.
    Best regards
    Sean

    • Rob February 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      Hi Sean,

      All sounds good, don’t think TOO much about the online stuff during your trip though! I went to Machu Picchu a few years ago and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen!

      Rob

  2. Cristina Ansbjerg February 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Great post Rob. It’s the perfect explanation of that quote by Michael Jordan:
    “The only person that can stop you is yourself”

    • Rob February 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

      Thanks Cristina, that is very true!

      Rob

  3. Dee February 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Hi Rob
    I think fear of the unknown is something that puts a lot of people off trying anything new.
    I have plans to go in many different directions when I have my product creation sorted, but never felt that membership sites are for me.
    Dee

    • Rob February 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

      Agreed Dee.

      I think if you turn it around in your mind and say “well this is an opportunity to learn something new so I’m going to enjoy it” then everything changes (for the better!).

      Rob

  4. Ray February 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    As usual Rob great post. Something I may be interested in doing myself down the road.Having my own membership site would be brilliant.

    Ray

    • Rob February 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

      Hi Ray,

      Yes, membership sites are a great business model due to the constant income streams that they produce.

      When starting out building your list it’s great to begin with affiliate marketing, then your own standalone products and THEN possibly a membership site. This said you can see from this other site what the model it – it’s all WordPress based, just with a fancy theme and plugin!

      Cheers,

      Rob.

  5. Darren February 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    Hey Rob,

    Great blog post, we especially like the simple steps you,ve broken
    the whole picture into…..seems manageable know !

    I,m buiding a few sites in the dating niche and have used cooking
    (as I am a Huge foodie and obseesed with cooking and all things food).

    But I gotta say I,ve never really thought of this niche as desperate
    enough.?

    having siad this I am sure low fat recipes etc are a sure winner?

    How else could I exploit this niche?

    I suppose really its about going deeper not wider so to speak?

    I look forward to your comments and ideas.

    Kissing and cuddling flirting and how to hold hands aint really my
    cup of tea (scuse the pun !)

    If I could write about food all day it would be such a treat !

    Enjoy your chilly afternoon here in the UK.

    Warmest Wishes

    Darren

    • Rob February 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      Hi Darren,

      You’re SPOT ON: Breaking things down is absolutely the key. We all suffer from the info overload occasionally but separating the list building from the traffic from the content creation from the payment processing etc etc is so helpful. With today’s web tools there really isn’t anything stopping us.

      In niches in general I always like to remember 3 words: Passionate, Desperate or Urgent.

      So you’re right that many cooking isn’t about desperation and necessarily urgency. But people can still be passionate.

      Also, yes, I’d said you always won’t to try to drill down. So vegan cooking or diet meal plans or something like that.

      Obviously you’ve got to still make sure you have a sufficient market size.

      But the general rule to keep in mind when you want to create a product is try to make it so your audience and potential prospects think, “Wow, this was MADE for me – it’s exactly what I’m interested in.”.

      Cheers,

      Rob

  6. Ralph February 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Another awesome post Rob. For anyone still working in the corporate world, getting a VA to do alot of the dirty or even just more technical work is a great, cheap way to start for $150 – 400/ mo depending on part or fulltime, with the goal to eventually roll it all into a membership site. Makes the startup so much easier, especilly for anyone non-techie like meself!

    • Rob February 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

      Thanks Ralph,

      I appreciate that and especially from you because I know you’ve actually been there and done it!

      Cheers – Rob

      • Ralph February 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

        Thanks Rob, if anyones interested in seeing how the sales funnel starts for my little niche(although there are an estimated 400,000 sales managers in the world so its not that small I suppose), heres the website:

        http://www.salesmanagementmastery.com

        Not trying for a backlink, just thought it may be helpful for some of your readers to see other membership site ideas as well.

        Cheers!

  7. Napoles February 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Hi , Rob
    You know what , thats is a good niche to go after truthfully I have Not thought
    about it myself so Thanks for sharing and as always ” love” the details Man.

    • Rob February 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

      Hey Napoles,

      Well me neither to be honest – It’s amazing what you can uncover sometimes when you dig around researching on the web!

      Good to see you here again – thx for the comment 🙂

      Rob

  8. colin February 9, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    Rob, I don’t know whether I with my particular limitations can do it, but you have broken down and explained the process in a non techie language of a clarity I have not seen before. Hoping not to appear patronising, Thank you and well done

    • Rob February 10, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      Cheers Colin!

      I had to stop myself writing too much in the post actually! Everything can be broken down into steps and I honestly believe that each of those steps are doable by anyone who is up for it.

      The other thing I’d say is that confidence grows with time but ONLY when you take constant steps outside of your comfort zone. Remember most people aren’t willing do to this so if you are you’re already miles ahead.

      Hope this makes some kind of sense 🙂

      Cheers – Rob

  9. Dan February 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Whats with the “7” in all spammy/money making/slightly dodgy in nature things on the internet, as in $97 a year. What happened to $99, or $100…

    To be honest as soon as I see the 7 at the end of whatever the price might be I know its borderline scam…or Internet Marketing related, I think these guys should just use standard pricing instead of seedy underground internet pricing models really.

    • Rob February 10, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      Hi Dan,

      Great to see you here on the blog – thanks very much for sharing your thoughts 🙂

      That’s an excellent question: Why $7, $17, $27 etc. I’ll be honest and say I don’t really know BUT here’s my take:

      1. When people have tested prices only the “7”s tend to convert best.
      2. Perhaps 7 is seen subconsciously as lucky?
      3. In retail stores online and offline prices are often $19.95 or $19.99. This again I think is psychological and results in greater sales than just $20.

      It’s all very interesting! It could be associated with scamming but to be honest that really comes down to the quality of the product and support customers receive rather than the price.

      I recently launched a product which had an upsell priced at $6.95 and that sold very well so I guess the rule of 7s isn’t the only way to go?

      All the best,

      Rob

  10. Zandra February 10, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    This is a great post. I know how to drive traffic (I have a blog that was getting about 50K visitors a month, but only making about $600), how to outsource etc, but my biggest problem is coming up with a profitable niche for a membership site. I’ve been struggling for years trying to make it. Last year was my best year by far but then I got hit by google’s panda and my small income was literally wiped out. I’m checking out that website now to get some ideas. Thanks.

    • Rob February 10, 2012 at 9:12 am #

      Hi Zandra,

      Welcome to the GHG blog and thank you for taking the time to comment!

      Wow – that’s a truck load of traffic there! Well done and shame about those pesky Pandas…

      I think the best niches for membership sites are the ones where people have an interest over time. Ache for example would not be well suited as people are looking for a quick one-time solution. But gardening would be ideally suited.

      A few Google searches will allow you to see whether people are already making money with membership sites this really is one of the best indicators you’ll find to decide whether a membership site is a good way to monetize.

      Thanks again and hope to see you back here soon Zandra 🙂

      Rob

  11. Mike Emily February 10, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    Good post, and it reminded me of a little mental trick that I used to use to clarify my frame of mind. When at a store or around town, I would look at a successful product and say to myself: “If this was my product and I was just in the planning stages with it, could it be successful?”. That would dredge up that little voice of doubt and excuses that many of us have. It would say things like “That will never work!, Who would buy that!” etc, etc. It was amazing what the little voice would chatter on about. But the power of the technique was that since the product in question was already in the marketplace and successful, the little voice of doubt was made to look quite silly. I found it a good way to move forward. After all, most people have ideas that they never move forward on because of that little voice!

    • Rob February 10, 2012 at 9:16 am #

      Hi Mike,

      GREAT point. I’ve done that myself and it’s amazing if you take the basic concepts of huge companies – say Google or Facebook – that most of us would be thinking at the outset “oh it won’t work, and it’s all a bit complicated!”.

      This is one of the virtues for looking at various niches and finding out if people are making money already. If they are then you know 100% that it can be done and there is money to be made. Hopefully, this encourages more people to go forward.

      Cheers,

      Rob

  12. Moira February 10, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    Another interesting blog post from you Rob – I look forward to your emails as I learn so much from you. I am investigating the local business niche and doing some training with this with a view to leveraging it for myself in my local community – I have learnt quite a bit about internet marketing over the past year and feel that I could help local businesses – have heard that it is much easier to do than affiliate marketing – and the idea of helping businesses with the skills I have acquired is exciting – Your post has given the impetus to get moving on this – Thank you
    Moira

  13. Ken February 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Hi Rob
    The only problem I have is that your posts are so interesting and informative that time has to be made to read and absorb your message.
    Cyber space is full of websites which tie together to produce a complete picture so the end result is that you write a post and I’ve lost another day which I really should be using to sate my creative instincts.
    I don’t think there’s an answer. I’m reminded of Charles Dickens who was reputedly an insomniac but having said that I don’t think 24 hours a day would ever be enough to make full use of all that is available through the internet.

    Thanks for everything
    Ken

    • Rob February 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

      Ah – Ken you are very kind! Thanks a lot 🙂

      Actually I am aware of this and if you scroll back in the archives of this blog you’ll see I used to put up a lot more videos and audios. The reason I’ve switched more to written posts is because the subscriber feedback was they are generally much quicker to consume. Hopefully my posts don’t take more than 5-10 minutes to read and (if you feel inclined) comment on.

      But you’re right, we only have 24 hours in the day I’m afraid…

      Rob

  14. Aniee Qasim August 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Oh come on!
    i checked their site, its not like everyone can make a site like that, they specialize in that topic, details about herbs , courses, which I absolutely cannot do and don’t have any expertise in herbs.

    How do u suggest that we generate content Rob?

    • Rob August 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      Hi Aniee,

      Thanks for your comments and you’ve raise a popular question there. We’ve talked about answers to it in lots of places but here some advice:

      1. What DO you know about or what ARE you interested in?
      2. Here’s a brilliant strategy that has made many people a lot of money in various niches without being an expert yourself: http://www.gainhigherground.com/the-lazy-way-to-product-creation-evergreen-strategy/

      The trick is to think of yourself as a publisher rather than having to necessarily be the expert yourself.

      Cheers, Rob.

  15. Lewis Saka December 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    I’ve tried to replicate herbmentor with a website on natural oils. It failed becuase I didn’t dedicate enough time and effort to the project. I’m planning to pull out my old notes andrevist the idea again

    Lewis

  16. LES November 1, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    Rob,
    Great post.. I hope it’s OK to post this here… But since you mentioned him, there is a great interview with John Gallagher “The Herb Mentor” on launchtalkshow.com The interview was done by Marc Evans who is a Product Launch Manager that works with Jeff Walker. (I have no affiliation with the site, and it’s free to view the interview.)

    LES

    • Rob November 1, 2013 at 7:45 am #

      Hi Les,

      I don’t mind at all Les and in fact thank you very much for posting this, that’s very helpful indeed 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed the post and great to see you here on the blog!

      Cheers, Rob.

  17. Lesley Smitheringale November 13, 2013 at 4:55 am #

    Hi Rob,

    I really found this article useful and have thought about doing a membership site for ages now in the art and craft niche. I loved looked at the herbmentor site as an example. I have a question though – they seem to pull in lots of resources and input from other experts etc. What incentive is offered for people to contribute to the membership site in the way of quality articles, videos, tips etc. Do you offer free membership for them, perhaps free advertising, pay them per article or to be a regular contributor or is just the publicity they will receive and links back to their own website enough? This is my major stumbling block as I can’t offer enough content myself quickly enough – not enough hours in the day! Any advice would be most appreciated.

    Lesley

    • Rob November 13, 2013 at 8:31 am #

      Hi Lesley,

      Most contributors will do it for free because:

      1) They get publicity (as you say) for themselves and their site/product
      2) It improves their “expert” status (being interviewing is very powerful)

      I contribute to other publications myself (by writing guest posts or being interviewed) and I’ve also accepted many contributions from others for my products (including my membership site). either way, money has never changed hands.

      Great to see you here on the blog – come back soon 🙂

      Cheers,

      Rob.

  18. Inadinimi November 13, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks, great stuff.
    It gets me excited and at the same time overwhelmed.
    I would love to get on your programs, do you offer one-on-one coaching in your programs besides the videos, or its just the videos only.

    Cheers,
    Inadinimi.

    • Rob November 14, 2013 at 6:45 am #

      That’s great to hear Inadinimi 🙂

      Two pieces of advice:

      1) Take things step by step

      2) ENJOY each step and the learning curve as you transcend it.

      In terms of training the best option is to get yourself access to the members area (link). This will give you in depth training on everything from selecting a niche to attracting traffic. Plus you get email support from me too. IF you are still interested in a potential 1-on-1 relationship after that please feel free to get in touch privately – but keep in mind this is not for everyone and it is hard work and expensive.

      Cheers, Rob

  19. Hugo June 18, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    Hi Rob,

    Fantastic article. I’m a bit late to the party, however having only recently found your site/blog, where do you suggest I look for ‘high quality’ PLR products? Is it the usual suspects like Clickbank, Offervault etc. or are there other sites, possibly less commercial, that you’re able to suggest please?

    Appreciate your feedback, and keep up the great work you’re putting into this site.

    Thanks

    • Rob June 19, 2014 at 10:23 am #

      Hi Hugo,

      Thanks for your post and good to see you here!

      On the PLR side there are some PLR library sites out there on the internet but generally speaking these are the ones filled with junk. I’m not saying don’t join them but rather that, if you do then be prepared to do some deep sifting to filter out the good from the bad. In my experience they’ll be much more of the latter!

      A much better source is actually to look through WarriorPlus or JVZoo. Again you have to be discerning (as with any product of course) but there are a lot of high quality PLR/resell rights that you can pick up for many of the more popular niches out there online.

      Hope this helps Hugo, good luck and do subscribe to the email list if you haven’t already 🙂

      Kind regards,

      Rob

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