There are various ways of making money from a blog such as getting revenue from advertising on your blog site, selling affiliate products and selling your own products and services. Most blogs are pretty mainstream, catering for various audiences and interests, but how about writing a blog that would appeal to people who love anything a bit odd or different?
There is certainly money to be made in this sort of niche and let’s face it most of us enjoy stories that are a bit out of the ordinary, so a blog catering to this area of interest could be a way to tap into people’s curiosity and fascination with all things odd. Let me give you a few examples…
A few strange items have sold tens or even thousands of dollars on eBay over the last few years. Even though eBay has strict policies about auctions it does not see as legitimate, it has become a hot spot for some very odd items indeed. A while ago an odd item was sold on eBay and was even covered in the national press and on TV shows and news stories – it was a 10 year old cheese sandwich that a mother had found in an old lunchbox. You can imagine how manky the sandwich was after a decade, but it was well preserved enough to show the shape of the face of the Virgin Mary in the mould. But here is the interesting thing; astonishingly, the sandwich sold on eBay for $28,000. Amazing but true! The buyer was an executive of an online casino who apparently felt very privileged to be able to own the sandwich bearing the face of the Virgin Mary.
Another example includes several people who have sold their ‘lifestyle’ on eBay and some have even attempted to sell members of their own family! One rather less contentious item was an x-ray of the stomach of a duck. Inside the stomach was an odd looking object that looked like an alien inside the duck’s stomach – this sold for an incredible $9,600.
Other whacky items that have sold in recent years include a one night stand with somebody’s wife, a woman’s virginity, an air guitar, some dead flies, a ghost in a jar and, mindbogglingly, a collection of letters from a serial killer which fetched £1,500 each in the UK.
Most of these items sell in eBay’s ‘Everything Else’ category in the subcategory of ‘Weird Stuff’.
So, you might ask, what has this got to do with blogging? Well, people are fascinated by these kinds of stories and might be interested in reading them on a blog. In fact, one successful blog devoted to unusual stories attracts over 5 million visits a month. Have a look at oddee.com, which is devoted to all the old, strange and weird things in the world. Oddee is an entertainment blog that features articles and sections which explore a range of subjects from science to advertising and technology. Apparently, over 15 million pages are read on the site every month with the biggest audience, 53 percent, from the US and Canada. Most visitors, 60 percent, are male; 64 percent are college graduates, 46 percent are professionals and technicians and 54 percent are between the ages of 18–44. The site was one of the top 100 websites of 2008, selected by PC Magazine and was one of the 100 essential websites of 2009. There is certainly a market for the weird and wonderful!
Even if you already have a well-established blog devoted to your particular area of interest, there are several ways you could exploit this niche market – and the best thing is that it’s so much fun!
Start a new blog: there is no law to say you cannot have more than one blog, so why not start a new blog on all things odd. You could have a generalised site like Oddee which features many different types of weirdness from around the world, or you could specialise in crazy stories such as animal antics or the silly things people do to get revenge on cheating spouses, for example.
Develop your existing blog: if you already have an established blog and don’t want to start a new one without proof that this idea will work, you could try out the concept by developing your existing blog. The best thing about this is that you already have an audience – you just have to try the idea on them a few times and see how it’s received. Try a wacky story and encourage people to post comments – and ask your readers if they’d like to see more of the same as this will give you an idea of whether you should develop your existing blog or start a new one devoted to the weird and wonderful.
If you can develop a fascinating blog on the stranger aspects of life, you could easily make money from selling a variety of related products and services. Often, when people are amazed and fascinated or in a light-hearted mood they are more prepared to part with their hard-earned cash, so you can capitalise on those impulse buys straight after they have read your amazing blog stories.
Affiliate products: to make life easy for yourself, why not track down some oddball affiliate products to promote since it is undeniably easier to provide simple affiliate links within your blog than going through the rigmarole of selling your own products. However, a mixture of both affiliate products and your own products could be the most profitable way to go.
Be on the lookout for strange things for sale that you would like to feature on your blog. Especially look for products with no affiliate program because this gives you a great opportunity to sell exclusively. Just contact the owner and ask them if you can sell their products on your blog for a commission – they are highly unlikely to refuse.
Links to eBay auctions: if you can find something unique, you could try setting up an eBay auction and get blogging about it. Provide links and try and get a frenzy of interest so that people will start bidding for your strange items.
YouTube videos: if you can make a video featuring some strange phenomena or daft escapades, you could use it as a great marketing tool. Posted on YouTube, you could end up with a viral video that could bring a heap of traffic to your blog and hopefully lots of paying customers. A viral video itself can earn thousands of dollars through advertising revenue and if yours looks set to go viral, you would be well advised to have a second similar video or a series of videos to capitalise even further on your success. Plan well with backend products and you could make a lot of money!
Press releases: most people are fascinated by the weird and wonderful and that’s why blogs like Oddee can attract millions of visitors. If you can write a press release about your blog or about individual stories featured on your blog, you may be able to persuade a national newspaper or TV show to feature your story, which could potentially drive a flood of traffic to your blog and create mega sales for your products. A great way to get the attention of editors and TV producers is to do something odd yourself – like riding down the street in a bath full of baked beans for charity or other similarly daft antics.
Sell weird items: there have been large chains of shops which have made millions from selling odd items; stores such as Hawkins Bazar. Given the success of these types of products, there is no reason why you shouldn’t sell whacky stuff directly from your blog. All you need is a link to a PayPal shopping cart, which could be a separate web page from your blog, and you can sell all manner of peculiar products. Often this type of goods sell as an impulse buy or as hilarious gift and that makes them recession proof when they are sensibly priced.
Social media: don’t forget to market via the social media as this is just the sort of thing that gets shared most frequently. Help to brighten somebody’s day with something out of the ordinary and you can’t fail to make an impression.
Odd things certainly capture people’s attention and have the potential to make enormous profits – it only takes one daft idea like a mouldy sandwich and you could make a killing!
David Anderson is a business coach, mentor and expert in making money. He has over 30 years’ experience of building and running startup companies and large corporations, David has a successful history of building wealth. Learn more about his wealth-building system, Wealthopedia, at davidandersononline.com.