Garwulf of Huntsman's Lodge

Turning your passion into a profitable hobby

If you’re curious about how you can make money on the internets, or wondering how the whole affiliate marketing thing works, the topic of this post is intended to be your starting point. If you want to make a few extra bucks online, it’s actually not that hard – provided you pursue your passion.

A lot of people get started in IM only to fade out once they find out there’s actually a lot of ‘work’ involved, and any success they might achieve is a bi-product of that ‘work’. So…to avoid the burnout, and to ensure that you get started off on the right foot, you should pursue a niche that you are passionate about.

When you do this, you’re giving yourself an advantage right from the start.

When you’re passionate about a particular niche, it likely means that:

  1. You will enjoy producing content for this niche.
  2. You will be able to connect with your audience.
  3. You will have a better idea as to who your audience is.
  4. You will probably know your stuff and have a great deal of things to discuss.
  5. You will become even more of an authority on a particular subject, which will be a happy side-effect of your pursuit, regardless of any money you will make.

Another bonus you get from approaching IM in this way is that you’ll be helping and informing others by sharing content that you either already knew, or were likely going to research anyway. Profits aside, you can’t go wrong with pursuing a passion because you’re guaranteed to get something out of it – even if it’s just increased wisdom or warm fuzzies about improving the lives of like-minded people. Plus, the less it seems like ‘work’, the easier it will be for you to give it your all, and keep you interested.

When starting out in IM, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is first thinking . . . “hmmm…what is going to make me the most money..?” Instead, you should be thinking . . . “I wonder what I can share that will be of extreme value to others, and will also provide me with maximum enjoyment.?”

Don’t start a site in a competitive niche that you’re not into, simply because you think there will be a lot of money in it. If you do, you’re almost guaranteed to fail if you’re just starting out. Pick a favorite hobby or interest, build an authority site around it and learn how all of this works. Once you’ve actually ‘done it’ and have some affiliate experience under your belt, then you can begin to look at pursuing niches with more of an emphasis on profit.

My Passion = Online Gaming

I have a variety of passions, but when it comes to something that I’m into…have a great deal of useless knowledge about…and a desire to perform continual research on…that something for me is computer gaming.

Garwulf and Skoll

In particular . . . World of Warcraft.

My first couple of affiliate sites were built around passions of mine, but neither of those provided me with all 5 of the advantages I listed earlier in this post. It wasn’t until I determined that the thing I should pursue was the seemingly time-wasting hobby I’d been at for a few years. Once I figured this out, it was easy for me to go full-force into this niche.

Things were slow to start, in terms of actually making any money at it, but I was having fun! When I finally was starting to see some money as a result of my efforts, the rewards were very sweet since this was something I enjoyed – that I would have been doing anyway.

Instead of simply playing the game, I started sharing my knowledge with others, as well as offering a glimpse of the game from another player’s eyes. In fact, sometimes that’s all you need. You don’t have to be exceptional, you just have to provide others with a human experience they can relate to. If you do this, no doubt people will gravitate towards your content.

I took a passion that many others would view as silly, and turned it into what was at one time, probably among the top 5 most visited class sites for World of Warcraft. At my peak, I was seeing in upwards of 10,000 unique visitors per day, and although I didn’t get rich doing this, I learned a heck of a lot about affiliate marketing and how to get traffic. 🙂

Another thing to keep in mind is that, regardless of the profitability, a popular high-traffic site can present opportunities for you that you wouldn’t have been granted otherwise. You can take advantage of these opportunities by exercising them for future, more profitable projects. Your high-traffic, passion-fueled niche site may enable you to get accepted into more premium ad networks, you may receive sponsorships, and later on if you decide to develop a site in a related niche, you’ll have a high quality referring site right off the bat! These are reason enough to encourage you to pursue your passion on your first outing in affiliate marketing, and even if you think your passion is dumb, it doesn’t matter. If you’re into it, then chances are there will be thousands and thousands of others out there who are into it as well.

Don’t be another get-rich-quick affiliate. Focus on your passion and how you can be of service to others.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by trying to promote high profit niches like Credit Cards or Insurance… Instead, explore your passion for Nutella and all of the delicious uses for it. That may not be the most profitable niche, but you will be able to monetize it and get some ad clicks once you’ve got 2,000 Nutella freaks visiting and commenting every day. If you try promoting a ‘money niche’ on your first go you’ll likely go down in flames within a few months max.

There are a bazillion niches, and chances are, you’re an expert on at least one of them. Find it and Pursue it.

My Profitable Passion = Helping Others Make Money

If there’s something that I’m even more passionate about and more of an authority on than WoW…it’s web development and IM. I’ve had this niche in mind for a few years, but I’d yet to get after it…that is, until I found Wealthy Affiliate.

Discovering Wealthy Affiliate provided me with the perfect opportunity to explore this niche, while leveraging all that WA has to offer, lessening the need for me to go_over_every_single_thing. Rather than me trying to explain every little detail about affiliate marketing – from development, to content creation, marketing, monetization, etc… – all I need to do is use myself as a WA test subject, then share my findings, views and opinions with others.

I came into IM with a leg up due to my web design experience. Even then, it still took me years to find much of the information needed to manage a successful affiliate marketing site. Those of you with no background in dev or IM whatsoever, I can’t even imagine how daunting it may seem, or how intimidated you must be.

This is what makes Wealthy Affiliate such a no-brainer. If you’re serious about pursuing IM as a business, side-business, or ‘profitable hobby’, then trying out WA could be a good primer for dipping your toe into the affiliate marketing pool. Nowhere will you find an easier to follow program, with detailed and immediately actionable steps that will allow you to get started right away, and started out the right way.

Disclaimer: It’s important to note that while I do encourage you to follow your passion, you must exercise some common sense and do a little niche research before you commit to starting your first site. The good news is, Wealthy Affiliate will help you with that! 🙂

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