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6 tips for using residual income sites to test a new writing niche

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You want to start writing or blogging in a new niche. You need to find out if there’s an audience for this writing niche. Residual income sites can be excellent to help figure this out, while also offering you a chance to build a name and reputation within the niche.

There are certainly benefits to using residual income writing sites. However, you need to use them carefully. You are putting a lot more money into someone else’s pocket and giving up a lot of control. This certainly depends on the site, but there are still some factors to consider.

So, you need tips to use residual income sites for your writing niche development carefully. You need to make sure that any time you put into the site is worthwhile. It’s essential that you actually build your niche and now just work for pennies.

I use residual income sites for my writing niche development all the time. History is one of my strongest niches, but I’m yet to set up a history blog. I use residual income sites to my benefit. Here are the tips that I use to make it possible.

1. Try out one niche at a time

There’s no point in jumping from niche to niche when you use residual income sites. This isn’t going to tell you what’s working and what isn’t. It also won’t help you build a following.

One of the downsides of residual income sites is that they can cover multiple topics. Various writers will cover different writing niches. The sites overall don’t build a following.

That’s why you need to make sure you’re the reason they’re checking out the site. You want to build a reputation around yourself within a particular niche.

So, it’s important to do one niche at a time.

This was a major mistake that I made (and still sometimes make) with residual income sites. I like to write about a lot of topics and have stupidly jumped from topic to topic on the same site.

If you want to try out a couple of different niches, either have different accounts (not all sites will allow this) or sign up to different sites. There are so many available, giving you the chance to build your following across different topics.

How to Grow Rich by Creating Multiple Streams of Residual Income ($)

2. Work on your social media following

You can’t build your email list with residual income sites. Because of that, you need to build your social media following instead. You can use this when you transfer writing to your own blog or website.

Remember, you’re using the residual income site to build your writing niche. The plan isn’t to remain there, so you need to find a way to bring people over to your permanent home.

Do social media one platform at a time.

I automate a couple of accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook, and then work on growing Pinterest for some niches. Other niches I’ll automate Pinterest and work on growing Instagram or Twitter instead. It depends on where your most loyal and interested fan base is.

If you can, through your social media grow your email list. This will be another way to build your niche following for when you switch later. It also gives you an idea as to whether the niche is viable for financial reasons.

3. Give yourself a deadline

You don’t want to spend too much time trying to build the niche on a site that isn’t your own. I will usually spend three to six months building a niche on a residual income site. That should be enough time to see if it’s viable.

You have the time to put the effort into growing your social media channel and building your content.

From there it’s up to you if you decide to stick with the site or go out on your own. I can’t tell you what you should do here. I like to have my own sites for my own control, but as I’ve said with my history niche, I’m still to create my own site.

The deadline is more for you to decide when to move on from the writing niche you’re testing out. If you haven’t built your following within six months (and you’ve genuinely tried) then I’d suggest looking into a different niche. You could look at a different angle or look back at your posts to see why they possibly haven’t work.

This is a topic for another blog post and I’ll share that tips for this at a later date.

MORE: 5 tips to make money at revenue share sites

4. Use affiliate marketing as much as possible

As you start to build your niche following, you’ll gain loyal followers who want to buy products. They may want books on the subject or be interested in jewelry connected to the topic.

You want to make sure any residual income site that you sign up to offers affiliate marketing. Some will offer a percentage of the profits and others will give you 100% of the commissions you make. It’s up to you where you choose for your affiliate marketing.

Wizzley ($) offers 60-70% of the commissions, depending on the number of articles you’ve written. You can only use select affiliate programs that the site allows, but Zazzle and Amazon are among the list of allowed affiliate marketing sites. I can’t remember HubPages’s affiliate offering, but I don’t remember it being as good.

I recommend getting into affiliate marketing as soon as possible. You won’t get paid much through the views. It’s the affiliate marketing where the money is. This is why I stick with a few residual income sites.

Amazon Associates is where a lot of people will start. You can also sign up to Zazzle, ShareASale, VigiLinks, and much more.

Test a Writing Niche on Residual Income Sites

5. Check out the reputability of the site

There are times that you have to join a site out of faith. I did that with Writedge and Daily Two Cents when they were open, and am glad I took that leap. At the same time, I did that with Bubblews and it was a waste of my time and effort!

With Hidden Remote, I waited to see how a friend did and then applied. On other sites, I’ve always checked to see what writers I know say to make sure the site is worth my time and effort.

Make sure you check the reputability of a residual income site before you use it for writing niche development. If Google isn’t impressed with the site, then people aren’t going to find your content, no matter how good it is.

Look out for sites that are relatively old. This isn’t a guarantee (after all, Squidoo closed down) but it’s a start. Older sites are more favorable to Google in the majority of cases.

6. Make sure you have all rights to your content

I can’t stress this last part enough. I still got burned recently for this because I overlooked something in the terms and conditions of a site! Even as a veteran writer I overlook a few things and make mistakes. It’s very easy to do when you’re running multiple projects at once.

Take the time to read through the full contract or terms of use at a site. Find out about the copyright of the content and any usage rights. Also find out about deleting content off websites.

No residual income site should take all rights away from you. You should always have the right to pull your content at a later date. If not then I’d hope there’s a way to change your penname if you decide that the ship is sinking and you no longer want your content on the site.

I never trust a site that says it is taking some of my rights or that I give exclusive and unlimited rights to my content. After all, if you’re developing your niche before you buy your own site, you may want to take your content later with you to share again to your followers.

MORE: 5 reasons revenue share sites are good for developing your writing niche

You can use residual income sites for writing niche development

There isn’t anything wrong with choosing to write at residual income sites. Sure, they don’t always pay a lot in views or through AdSense but the money is in the affiliate marketing. Yes, you have more control with your own site, but this is a way to test that the niche is viable before you put money into it.

What you need to do is take careful steps. You don’t want to just make the owners rich. You want to make yourself rich too. Take the time to build your following and work at it for three to six months. You’ll know if it’s viable enough to move elsewhere in that time.