The reason I named this website Earn Cash In College is because I wanted to eliminate the idea that you’d be given freebies right out of the gate. What I am going to teach you in this guide, as well as my other guides, is how to build your online income so that you can establish a strong cashflow by the time that you graduate and not be stressed about the job search, student loans or any of the other various stresses facing college students and graduates.
What makes what I am about to teach you even better, is that it’s actually a very much in demand skill. Even if your website doesn’t take off overnight (which it likely won’t) you will be learning a skillset that will open up an entire new category of jobs for you. Even better, because you took the inititative to teach yourself on your own time, you’ll have that self-driven bonus to add to your resume.
Here we go… Getting Started In Affiliate Marketing
First, some technical stuff.
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning commissions through promoting products and generating sales to third party companies. However I don’t want you to get too hung up on that so that’s the last you’ll hear about affiliate marketing for a little while.
Alright, enough of that. Let’s jump right in to the fun stuff. I want you to start thinking about things that you love. This could be anything ranging from hockey to baseball to reading to music to making money! There are no wrong answers here. The only criteria is that your choice be something you are truly passionate about.
Got something in mind?
Now, I want you to think about the kinds of people who are interested in that passion you just thought of. I’ll help you out a little here.
Let’s say my passion is playing guitar (it is, actually). What other type of person likes to play guitar?
- College students who are pressed for time and don’t have the money for private lessons
- Kids who’ve never played an instrument before and just got a guitar
- Retirees who are looking for a hobby to spend time and decided to take up guitar
- Someone who has loved rock music their whole life and has decided they want to learn how to make their own rock music
The list goes on and on…
Your turn. I want you to think about the various types of people who could share your passion. Again, there really are no wrong answers.
Want to know what I love about that exercise? You’ve just killed 2 birds with one stone. You’ve not only found your niche, but you’ve also figured out who your audience is.
You’ll hear me reference the word “niche” a lot throughout this guide and website. A niche, in its simplest form, is a specialized subset of people interested in a topic.
My #1 Resource For Choosing Niches
What makes a niche better than a topic?
A topic is broad and can have many niches included within it. A niche is specialized and has more specific terms attached to it. Choosing a niche instead of a topic will help you with your keyword research, content brainstorming and the overall success of your website as a whole.
In addition to your niche selection, you now have your audience figured out as well. Knowing your audience allows you to put yourself in their shoes. This makes developing your writing tone easier and simplifies molding your writing style to better cater to your audience.
Why Does Any of This Matter
Ultimately what I am going to be teaching you is to help your audience. This is why it is very important that you are passionate about your niche choice.
The goal of your website is going to be to teach, to inform, to be a useful resource in your niche to your target audience.
Nobody wants to read something that is blatantly trying to sell them crap. Sales should not be your focus. Being helpful and engaging is your goal.
What? You thought just because this is a website you wouldn’t be getting homework? Ha.. Think again.
I want you to practice coming up with niches and audiences. Trust me, you will thank me later.
Come up with 3 niches along with audiences. That’s it. Leave what you’ve come up with in the comments below and I will get back to you with feedback.
Additionally, if I’ve left you with questions unanswered, feel free to leave them below and I’ll be happy to help.
Hey this is a really good article, i think coming up with a good niche is the hard part. My first niche i picked was to broad so i changed my niche and now i have 2 different websites i run. Affiliate marketing is worth it in the long run and im going to keep going until i finally succeed, keep up the good work!
I agree it can be rather challenging to choose a strong niche. However it is also important to not overthink it too much. Really it is as simple as picking something you are passionate about and then narrowing it down to a group of people who are also passionate about it and then re-branding to fit that mold. Thanks for the comment and good luck!
Hey. You really interested me in affiliate marketing. I have not heard anything about it at an before, but I feel it is what I have to do to change my life. It is very fascinating that you can create a blog about your own interests and earn extra money. Thanks for this wonderful information. It takes a long time to see some small results?
In short, the answer to your question is: it depends. If you have some experience in internet marketing and Search Engine Optimization then you could see results a little bit faster. However, for the most part, you are building a company so it takes time to establish everything, just as it does with any other company startup. You wouldn’t expect to open a store and be in the green on day 1, the same goes for affiliate marketing. It takes time, patience and dedication but is extremely worth it. The hardest part is making it through the first big hurdle. However once you start generating traffic and income, everything grows much faster.
Hi! Great lesson! Thanks for sharing the importance of niche and audience. When I write my blog, I sometimes forget about my audience (how I can help them), and the tone and writing style of my content just are not catering to them.Thanks for the reminder!
I wish I knew about affiliate marketing when I was in college; I had more spare time, less stress, and I could learn a new skill set.
I couldn’t agree more. I started my first affiliate marketing site when I was a Junior in college but I let myself get distracted so many times it didn’t really pick up and start earning until closer to my senior year. If I had started and stayed focuses on affiliate marketing efforts when I was a freshman I could’ve paid my way through school without student loans. Ahh, what a dream eh? Anyway, thanks for the comment!
I have a specific niche idea that I would just love to try out, but it will take some financial investment as well as the investment of time. I have been hesitating because I don’t want to invest a lot of money and have it go nowhere.
I’m thinking maybe I need to start with general content that doesn’t do personal reviews of specific products. Maybe I can start earning a little and then do the personal product reviews (which will require me buying a product that isn’t exactly cheap)?
As you gain more experience working in affiliate marketing and writing review you’ll learn various tips and tricks to accomplishing what you need to without too much investment. While sometimes you may need to purchase a product in order to review it. However, often times companies will grant you temporary access if you reach out and let them know you’d like to try out their product for the purposes of creating a review for it. If you are an affiliate of theirs, most companies will do this no problem – unless it is a physical product instead of an online product/service. This is where it can get a little trickier. If all else fails, you will just have to do a little more work than most, do extensive research on the product be reading the product’s pages on their website and then read a bunch of other people’s reviews, both good and bad and then form your review based around that. As long as you are providing valuable information and your own take on the product then this is okay. I’m thinking now maybe I should write a guide on how to write a product review. Thanks for your comment!
I wish I had that opportunity when I was in college – now I got one daughter about to start, and a son who is not going to be far behind. I am trying to talk them into Affiliate marketing because I believe in it strongly.
I hope that a lot of college students get to see this post – you are absolutely right on the money with your info.
I wish you and your children the best of luck! This is one of those businesses where the sooner you get started the better! It will take a lot of work and patience but the payoff in the end is so far beyond worth it. Thanks for the comment!