Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Top 35 Blogging Ideas That Are Guaranteed to Be Popular

Blogging with a purpose increases market share, consumer engagement, revenue growth, and ROI. Of course, you want to do that.

I mean, just look at this:


But a lot of people I know are still stuck on the fundamental question:

What do we blog about?

For brands, the question is easy enough to answer.

You need to understand: 1) what you’re selling, 2) to whom you want to sell, and 3) what blog topics are relevant to both.

For individuals or other organizations who want to start a blog to monetize, the question can be a bit trickier.

About a year ago, I came up with an idea. I wanted to show you how to generate $100,000 a month from a new blog.

I picked a topic and have been making progress toward that goal.

But what if you haven’t picked a topic yet?

That’s why I wrote this article. A great blog has to start with a topic.

These are the types of articles, topics, and approaches that have demonstrated massive success in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

1. Listicles

Marketers have a love/hate relationship with listicles.

They’re among the most popular articles online, used by Buzzfeed, defended by the NY Times, and even discussed at this year’s SXSW tech conference.

Some people think listicles lack quality. And that could be true for some of them. Listicles, like any form of content marketing, have their pros and cons.


But let’s face it, people love to read listicles. It’s not just a trend. It’s scientifically proven!

That’s why the article you’re reading right now is a listicle.

2. How-tos

People generally hate reading instruction manuals. When was the last time you snuggled up with a glass of wine and the instruction manual to your toaster?

How do people figure out how to do stuff?

They Google it.

WikiHow became insanely popular based on how-to articles alone.


You might be surprised to see the kind of things people are Googling.

If you can find your niche audience, cater to their curiosities, and give them some helpful answers, you can’t help but create a popular blog.

3. Politics

Politics are popular during every election year. Whether national or local, find a political topic to discuss, and join this conversation.

Politics can be dicey, however. People tend to get really polarized around political topics, so be prepared to handle some controversy.

4. Bacon

Everyone loves bacon.

Huffington Post is one of the most popular blogs online, and it has an entire archive of bacon articles.


It’s not a trend going away soon, so get on board.

5. Recipes

Recipes are a great way to draw traffic to your blog.

There’s always a new diet fad, e.g., today’s Whole30 is yesterday’s Atkins, so there’s always new recipes to be discovered.

6. Beginner guides

Before you can convince someone that you know the advanced stuff, start with 101 beginner guides.

My own beginner guides have been very popular.


Everyone has to start somewhere. Beginner guides are often the way bloggers build organic search traffic at the start, and they can even be done using infographics like this guide to Sharepoint.


7. Ultimate guides

Subject matter experts, on the other hand, are always seeking out the most credible ultimate guides for their areas of expertise.

The term “ultimate guide,” however, is a bit overused. You can use some alternate terms if you want, such as these from Business Casual Copywriting:

  • Essential Guide
  • Complete Guide
  • Uncensored Guide
  • Last Guide to ____ You’ll Ever Need

If you’re an expert on something, creating an ultimate guide is an ultimately awesome way to do some ultimately popular blogging. 😉

8. Frequently asked questions

Be warned that posting answers to frequently asked questions online won’t stop people from asking anyway.

They do, however, serve as a resource for people, and they are often featured on e-commerce websites—but overlooked on blogs. FAQs are blogging gold in any age.

Google’s algorithm uses FAQs, questions, and other popular topics as part of its Knowledge Graph. If you’re lucky, you might score a top spot in this coveted place.


9. Interviews

The best way to set yourself apart from the ocean of bloggers is to gain insight from industry experts.

Whether it’s with people on your team or from other companies in the industry, set up interviews on websites like to gain valuable knowledge from a professional.

10. Personal stories

While personal stories may not be the keyword-filled anchor pieces you want, they’re still valuable additions to any blog.

Through sharing personal stories, you give readers a chance to relate to your business on a personal level, which helps build brand affinity.

11. Charity and activism

Any type of charitable actions, events, or activism you support should be blogged about.

Crowdfunding sites such as KickStarter, IndieGoGo, GoFundMe, and the like appeal to the good in people, and showing you’re active in these communities can build your readership. Even an occasional petition can help the brand image.

12. People features

Featuring select people—customers, professionals, authorities, leaders, etc.,—is a great way to add personality to your blog and create a sense of connection.

One of the most popular blogs doing this today is Humans of New York.


Occasionally featuring a real person—including photos, quotes, and other personal information—is a great way to produce strong engagement with your audience.

13. Product teviews

Not only are product reviews a trusted resource online that will draw traffic, but they are also a revenue stream for bloggers.

If you want to monetize your blog instantly, this is a smart move.

By linking to product pages through affiliate links like Amazon Affiliates, you can monetize a blog almost entirely on product reviews. Make sure you go niche, since this provides the greatest platform for credibility and expertise.

14. Sourced news

A great way to get media attention is to report on any type of sourced news. Long before the Internet, newspapers ruled the roost, and sourced news is still appreciated by news junkies.

With the right type of curation, selection, and commentary, this is a niche you can dominate.

15. Gifs and memes

It wasn’t just listicles that made Buzzfeed so popular.

Memes and gifs are widely used on the site too.

Gifs give people the experience of a video and usually provide a ton of entertainment.

16. Myth-debunking

Every industry has facts and fiction, which is why shows like Mythbusters got so popular.

We love learning what we’ve been doing or thinking wrong this whole time, so popular bloggers debunk myths.

17. Virtual reality

VR is a growing industry that’s only going to continue getting larger as time goes on.


Analysts predict it’ll reach $3 billion in investments by the end of 2016, so jumping on the bandwagon now could drive early adopter traffic.

18. Internet of things

Smart and connected devices are everywhere these days, and IoT experts blogging about IoT topics draw readers.

If you choose an IoT niche, you’ll have to prove your mastery of the subject matter. The niche is full of people who know what’s up.

19. Automation

For B2B businesses, automation is the buzzword of the day, so any posts regarding ways to automate something is Internet gold.

Automation, of course, is broad. You’ll need to select a type of automation in order to drive truly valuable traffic.

20. Troubleshooting guides

I’m always on the lookout for reliable troubleshooting tips.

Troubleshooting guides speak to the pain many content seekers are looking to eliminate. They want to solve a problem, which is exactly what a successful troubleshooting guide will do.

21. Contests

A great way to draw interest in a blog while rewarding readers is by holding a contest.

Contests once got a bad rap as being scammy or cheap, but they are on their way back as a valuable traffic-driving technique.

24. Advice

Both Lifehacker and Lifehack rose to prominence by featuring valuable advice to readers on just about every subject.

Life advice, regardless of the subject matter, is a valued commodity.

25. Productivity tips

People want to do more faster and are always on the lookout for tools, technology, or tips to help them get more done. Productivity tips are the bread and butter of many online blogs.

26. Travel

No matter how connected we get, travel will always be a popular topic for online searches.

With 126 million passports in circulation in the U.S. today, you know people are traveling—or at least they want to.


We all want to travel somewhere exotic and new. Any advice on how to do it cheaply is always appreciated.

27. History

History lessons are a great way to fill a blog with useful information.

Long-time bloggers often get caught up on current events, so occasional forays into history help create consistent content.

28. Funny stories

There will always be a place for humor in this world.

Posts that make people laugh get shared on social networks. There’s a reason why Buzzfeed, The Onion, Clickhole, and BoredPanda are among the world’s most popular websites.


29. Parenting tips

There will always be parents around, and any parenting tips are appreciated.

Blogging moms have conferences and conventions around the country, teaching people to follow in their footsteps and growing a sustainable industry.

Dad bloggers are also coming into their own as popular and respected places of information.

30. Upcoming events

You can always tell when an event is coming up by the buzz in the blogosphere. Whether it’s global events like the Olympics or local events like a concert or book-reading, events saturate many of the most popular online searches.

31. Internet stars

Partnering with and featuring the biggest Internet stars helps grow your following, so many content creators are partnering up in order to stay competitive. If you don’t know who PewDiePie and The Fine Bros are, it’s time to do some homework.

32. Tech support

Companies that offer technology services, hardware, or software will often include technical support within their blogs.

Microsoft, Google, and Facebook have extensive knowledge bases online, and they’re only growing along with everyone else’s.

33. Gift ideas

Right about now, blogs around the Internet are preparing holiday gift guides to help guide consumers to the right presents to buy for their colleagues, friends, and family during the holiday season.

Affiliate links can help create revenue for these cornerstone articles.

34. Best-ofs

The best ____ of 2016, the 2000s, this century, and of all time are all great articles to read.

WatchMojo built an entire business on top 10 lists, and many others are following suit. Including best-of lists focused on everything within your industry is a great way to draw reader attention.

35. Respond to readers

People have always been interested in getting advice from publications, whether it’s from old-school advice columnists such as Ann Landers or new-school ones such as Dan Savage.

Responding to readers makes you a real person having a real conversation and allows you to address individual concerns to prove you care.


Popular topics come and go.

You might pick a technique today only to find it went into disfavor the next day. That’s part of the excitement and drama of blogging. You’ll deal with it, pick up your traffic, and move on.

The topics, techniques, and tactics listed above are virtually guaranteed to make you the world’s most popular blogger.

Maybe you’ve got all the traffic you need. Maybe you have the audience you want. Maybe you’re content.

But if you want to see some improvement, it couldn’t hurt to try a few of these.

What blogging ideas will you be using that have the promise to be popular?

from Quick Sprout

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Income Report Roundup – August 2016

One of the most popular posts I publish are my income reports.

So I decided to round up as many income reports as possible and rank them based on earnings to see how I stack up against the rest.

If you publish an income report on your blog and would like it included in next month’s post then please let me know in the comments!

Here we go-

#1) – $107,895.00 (+$42,155.00)

Michelle is back with a bang this month as she celebrates her best month ever after the release of her brand new course!

She’s also celebrating her Blogiversary as this month marks 5 years since she created Making Sense Of Cents which was originally just a hobby.

The launch of her brand new course this month was successful and she now has around 400 students enrolled, with her featured question this month focusing on what she has learned from the launch.

#2) – $31,869.24 (+$6,565.23)

Ron’s been enjoying himself in his first month as a full time online entrepreneur since quitting his day job!

Income is on the up for him this month and he’s loving the perks of his new lifestyle, being able to enjoy family time mid-week and having some of his best earning days while out canoeing.

He’s excited to be building a great team and working on a lot of growth projects with more time than ever before to devote to his business!

#3) – $13,968.00 (+$1,377.00)

untemplaterThis month has been a good balance of hard work and leisure time for Sydney and she also spent some time appreciating the olympics.

Reporting an increase in earnings this month, she took a break from investing after making a $20,000 investment in June and reviews how the market is recovering since Brexit.

She reminds readers that as we reach the half way mark for the year it’s a good time to review your goals, and takes some inspiration from this month’s Olympians on mental toughness and mindset towards what you can achieve.

#4) – $13,551.28 (-$5,806.10)

It’s been a tough month and income has taken a hit after moving house led to almost two weeks of work time lost combined with higher expenses for the blog.

Down time from work was mainly due to the moving process itself and an unstable internet connection at the new house which took a week to resolve, coupled with a broken frigdge/freezer which meant more time lost to go out for food.

Going forward I expect the expenses from this month will bear fruit with higher income and lower expenses and I’ve also mapped out some aggressive goals for the month ahead!

Get all of my income reports & round-ups direct to your inbox!

#5) – $9,259.74 (+$739.06)

Brendan MaceIt’s been a great month for Brendan who’s reporting an increase in income this month and he’s happy to say that his travel, personal and business life are all moving in the right direction.

This month saw him back to YouTube video creation publishing 7 new videos this month before stopping to get to work creating his new course.

With everything almost finished he’s excited to start learning about how to launch his product.

He travelled to London, Prague, Berlin and Barcelona this month and shares some tips for solo travelling in this month’s report, finishing up with his thoughts on overcoming fear and living life outside of your comfort zone!

#6) – $8,226.24 (+$2,753.58)

IncomeBullyNathan’s had a nice increase in income this month coming in just short of his best month so far – not bad considering he spent a lot of time partying at barbecues and celebrating his 30th birthday!

He started work on a complete overhaul of his autoresponder complete with changing service providers this month and began preparing to launch a new Facebook ad campaign to give product sales a boost.

On top of that he’s also working on a new course which is taking a little longer to finish than he had hoped, but he’s more focused on making sure the quality is great and going forward into next month he’ll be getting back down to business!

#7) – $4,109.00 (-$14,957.00)

TrueValhallaAfter having his second best month for income last month, this month saw Matt bring things down a notch to avoid burning out, which now means he’s a little behind on a few projects.

Sales of his book ‘Learn To Make Games’ are on the up this month, he sold a good amount of HTML5 games and made a new consulting sale.

Aside from that and finishing some small overdue tasks and updates on the site he also started work on his taxes.

Although earnings are technically below average he’s happy with income as a whole. He started outsourcing creation of new music for his games this month and is looking forward to a much needed break next month.

#8) – $3,430.89 (+$458.56)

ThePracticalSaverLast month’s newcomer Allan is happy to be celebrating his best month for income for the fourth month in a row!

He got a lot done including signing up to new ad networks, following up with readers who needed help and experimenting with the site and homepage design, although he admits he neglected his Twitter account.

His goals next month are to reach 5,000 pageviews per day, improve his Alexa rank, increase his social media reach, reach 500 subscribers and he also hopes to double income.

#9) – $2,494.54 (+$79.35)

ohpIt’s a slight increase in income for Ron this month and as he takes a look at where the income came in he’s happy to report that one of his tutorials has earned almost $1,000 so far.

His JFFHub site has had another good month and as he delves down into expenses he talks about the benefits of hiring a writer.

He’s also seen a big drop in consulting income but is happy for that to disappear altogether as it’s not passive income.

Going forward his goals are to launch the redesign of his TJHQ site and its autoresponder, finish up his new authority site with the developer, get 20 backlinks for his JFFHub site and launch the site’s housing database.

#10) – $1,544.64 (+$251.20)

livingoffcloudDespite having had a quiet month Nadya is reporting her best month for income so far and was excited to notice that the niche website she built from scratch has been making money!

This month she tackled her nerves about speaking on camera head on in a video testimonial and had no internet for two weeks due to problems with service providers after moving house.

Her plans for the coming month include working on conversion rate for her ‘Rat’ site, improving the PBN and content for her ‘Honeybee’ site and creating new content for her other projects.

#11) – $654.29 (+$34.28)

OnlineMoneyzIt’s been a busy month for Ilya who’s reporting a slight increase in income. He also managed to take a week off from all his businesses and had his highest Amazon affiliate day while he was off!

He spent over 30 hours moving his site’s hosting and after seeing another site with a lot of traffic but little profits in the same niche as his new site idea he decided to scrap it as a bad idea.

He started an amazon affiliate site in a new niche which will be his main authority site and going forward says all of his goals will align with his main goal of paying for college with online income.

#12) – $447.96 (-$353.00)

AliRazaIt’s quite a drop in income for Ali this month and he starts this month’s report by reminding readers about the importance of backing up your work after reading an article about an artist who lost 14 years worth of work.

This month saw him write 5 blog posts, just short of his target for the month and he continues to work on giving the best user experience.

His featured question this month focuses on how to write great content and his plans for the month ahead include writing four new posts focusing on quality rather than quantity, writing more blog comments and updating his older content.

#13) – $377.05 (-$509.16)

Passive Income TrekNew to the roundup this month is Richard over at Passive Income Trek reporting a dip in income from last month due to taking the end of the month off on holiday and then returning to a week of illness.

After recovering from his illness Richard had three weeks worth of his day job to catch up on, and taking that time off meant visits were the lowest they’ve been since the blog was started.

Before that though, he managed to secure some work consulting, set up adsense on a couple of sites he runs, buy another domain and begin setting up two new websites.

Since he spent so much time off last month he’s set himself similar goals this month as he’ll have more time to dedicate to things. His goals include scheduling social posts and posting two new articles.

#14) – $274.30 (+$91.25)

The Restless WorkerOur second newcomer to the lineup this month is Madi at The Restless Worker reporting her best month for income so far!

She saw a huge increase in traffic with double the amount of visitors this month as her post about travelling in Iceland became popular.

She’s currently struggling with working full time, blogging part time and trying to maintain a good work life balance.

Her goals for the blog are to add more affiliate links to the site, explore alternative advertising options, outreach to other businesses, invest in social media scheduling, write and feature more guest posts and work on image optimisation.

#15) – -$84.93 (-$462.47)

mypathtopassiveincomeEsteban is still finding work tiring and stressful and hasn’t had time to blog or get to the gym this month, releasing his report a week later than usual.

That doesn’t mean he’s been slacking though as he actually spent 20 hours a week on his new project and his big drop in income is due to paying a yearly membership fee.

He achieved one out of four goals he set himself this month and is looking forward to some time to recover on holiday next month, although he expects the blog’s downward trend to continue.

Aside from publishing his new eBook none of his goals for next month relate to the blog, instead he’s focusing on his new site and other personal goals.

#16) – -$115.21 (-$12.50)

TheExtraIncomeProjectLast month’s newcomer Lloyd is reporting a loss due to investing in a yearly tool subscription which made expenses unusually high. Last month’s personal challenges also had a knock on effect into this month.

That said, he’s actually had a great month and achieved nearly all of the ten goals he set for himself. He puts his success with those goals down to good organisation and maximising the limited time he had.

This month he wants to focus more on networking and promotion and his goals include increasing sessions, users, page views, social media followers, working on a monetisation plan and site branding, and publishing at least one post per week.

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In Summary

This month sees two newbies added to the roundup and three of our regular faces decided not to publish a report.

Total income this month has dropped $13,283.07 to $197,902.03 but with that said, four of the featured blogs this month are actually celebrating their best month for income so far!

As things begin to slowly pick up again after the summer slump ten of our sixteen blogs are back on their feet and reporting an increase in income.

A few of our bloggers have struggled with a variety of personal issues this month from illness to internet connectivity, so with everyone set to get back down to the grind it will be interesting to see how things are looking by the end of next month!

If you feel inspired to start your own blog then why don’t you start a blog now? It only takes a few minutes!

Performance Tracking

I only include the earnings history of the top 10 blogs each month to make the graphs easy to read.

I’m having a problem with the graph right now and will update the post when fixed

from Matthew Woodward

The Very Best Of Internet Marketing August 2016

This is the 35th post in the series which shares all of my favorite internet marketing posts from the past month.

There is an awful lot of junk to sort through every month so here are the best bits according to me!

The Best Posts Of August 2016

While everyone else is taking time out to enjoy summer, it seems the SEO world has being focused on pumping out some awesome content.

This months roundup is heavily focused on SEO & blogging and there are some important changes that you need to be aware of!

SEO & Link Building

First up in the big announcement from Google cracking down on intrusive interstitials on mobile from January – make sure you are on top of that!

Next we take a look at how to secure rank zero by taking advantage of featured snippets.

If you are looking to increase your search engine traffic take a look at this noob friendly link building guide or these 10 link building hacks that anyone can do.

You can even outsource your SEO work with this training task list for junior SEO’s and they should probably read this case study as well.

Last but not least, Glen treated us to 51 profitable low competition niches to attack!

Blogging / Traffic Generation

If you are struggling with your blog, then you can learn how create, promote and profit from all of your blogs posts.

Taking that a step further, these experts share all of their top tips to make sure every post you produce is a raging success!

Once you have produced awesome content, you can apply all of these promotion strategies with zero budget!

If you are still hungry for more traffic you can use any of these 35 resources to explode traffic to your blog.

And don’t forget to take advantage of Emoji marketing at the same time!

from Matthew Woodward

Monday, August 29, 2016

10 Content Writing Tips That Will Help You Find Interesting Topics in Minutes

You’ve probably faced this before.

I know I have.

You’ve run out of ideas.

Maybe you’ve been blogging along for, I don’t know, maybe three or four years. Maybe it’s only three or four months.

And now you’re done. Why? Because you’ve written everything there is to write about the subject.

You’ve exhausted all possible avenues, topics, approaches, angles, possibilities, and techniques. It’s over. Your blogging career has to die because you don’t have anything else to say.

It’s no use trying to fake it and continue to post recycled fluff just to keep your audience placated, because they will wise up fast.

If you’re out of ideas, you’re out. You can’t just—boom!—make yourself write new stuff on demand.

What do you do?

It’s time to step back and strategize.

I’ve been blogging for a long time. Ten years is a long time, right?

And I still haven’t stopped. I’m not just blogging here, on Quick Sprout. I’m also posting a lot of articles on, maintaining columns on Huffpo, Forbes, and Inc., and sharing guest articles with other marketing sites.

Yes, I deal with the same topics, but I have to provide fresh and unique content all the time.

Here are some of the ways I come up with interesting topics in order to keep readers engaged, informed, and coming back for more. 

1. Don’t just read. Analyze all angles of the news

Staying up-to-date with the latest events in your industry is not always a matter of a quick Google search.

Google News only indexes a limited number of websites for its web searches and even fewer for its News aggregator.


Start with the most basic search, and compare your SERPs and headlines to other news sources.

It helps tremendously to research the demographics of your favorite news websites and determine some of the most recognized brand names in the industry as well as well-known commentators associated with that industry.

Take note of the movers and shakers of your business, and follow their movements.

Follow them on social media to see not only what they are posting but also what they’re reading and what they’re sharing and retweeting.

You’ll see what’s on their minds, and knowing the thought process of influencers in your industry, you’ll be able to anticipate tomorrow’s news.

2. Stay tuned into the voice of the people through social media comments

Don’t stop looking for ideas after reading the most respectable and popular publications. Why? Because some of the best conversation starters are trending on social media.

They may not come from a reliable news source, but do these topics generate interest? Absolutely!

More Americans actually get their news from Facebook and Twitter than they do from network programming.


Some of the most absurd “guilty pleasure” posts trending on Facebook (you know, ridiculous headlines like “Child Sues Mother for Deleting All Her iPad Apps” or whatever) are great places to collect ideas.

Have you seen this meme that says, “I just came here to read the comments?”


Well, sometimes I do visit websites just to read the comments!

Why? I gauge what people are thinking about trends, the questions they ask, and what’s inspiring them to comment.

People really speak their minds, holding nothing back! I’ve been shocked by the things I’ve read.

Ask questions about the stories and articles you read.

  • Why did this inspire controversy?
  • What made people comment?
  • What was the biggest issue people commented about?
  • Who else might this event or trend affect besides the person interviewed for the story?
  • What might be the long-term result of these new trends?
  • What does this show us about how people’s attitudes have changed on a given subject over a period of time (several years, for example)?

Maybe the story you encountered on Facebook will spark an idea for a post on “How many parents admit to using iPads to keep their children quiet?”

It’s a related discussion to the original story you read, and yet if you’re an app developer or iPad seller, it’s also more relevant to your audience.

Ideas come from unexpected places. The more you constantly feed your mind, the more ideas will come to you. Write them down as soon as inspiration strikes.

Keeping up with social media news—and just as importantly, the comments of users and how the news makes them feel—is a great place to spark your creativity.

3. Visit some Q&A sites, and borrow their questions

Most questions on Q&A sites are public domain. Your answers can prove to be invaluable.

Industry leaders are always ready to answer a customer’s question, and frankly, it’s just the polite thing to do.

Now, guess where these people go to get a professional opinion on a question they have?

They certainly don’t go directly to your office or your website, do they? They may not even run a keyword search.

No, they just ask whoever is nearby.

The current generation is used to asking questions and getting answers in 30 seconds.

If their friends don’t know the answer, they’ll ask random groups of people. And guess what? Eventually someone answers.

That’s why you have sites such as LinkedIn, Yahoo Answers, and Quora, which discuss thousands of industry-specific questions you can browse.


Searching these sites is a double advantage for you. You can answer the questions on the site (getting some attention from the mainstream) and then write a new blog post or article by turning that brief Q&A into an entire 500-1000-word discussion.

Expand on the answers already given, and provide more insight on the issue.

Judging from the growing databases of these Q&A sites, you’ll never run out of questions to answer—very often, even with niche topics.

4. Create your own database of customer concerns and questions

Chances are you’ve sold at least a few products, if not hundreds, by now. That means you have plenty of cases to study for your own marketing purposes.

What did your customers say in the reviews? What questions did they ask? Reviews matter, so pay attention.


You can generate ideas from their statements, survey information, emails, or testimonials.

I jump on the reviews customers leave to see tomorrow’s trends.

I immediately read all posted reviews to see whether the customer is satisfied or not and whether they left any suggestions for improvement. I use their enthusiasm, positive or negative, to fire up discussion on the web content.

If you have never taken the time to learn your customer’s personality and demographic, start now. Send a survey form along with every product delivery, and give them an incentive for taking the time to fill it out.

This will give you insight into your customer’s mind, and it’s the most direct and effective way to keep producing the content they want to read.

5. Research what your competitors have already done

There’s no shame in learning from someone as equally ambitious and dedicated as you are. Make a list of your closest competitors—for industry as well as for local or long-tail keywords—and take notes on what they are writing about and why.

Now, you don’t want to blatantly copy their entire article. Rather, analyze their topics, and determine ways to expand upon the story.

For example, for a broad topic such as food safety, ask yourself if there is a way to narrow it down to something more specific, like recent changes in the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act.

If the topic is too niche and you can’t think of a way to adapt it to an original article of your own, broaden the topic to your area of expertise.

There’s no sense, however, in rewriting something that’s already successful and niche-specific.

Coming up with fresh ideas is one-half researching other people’s great ideas and one-half brainstorming ways to make your rendition better.

6. Research the history of your profession and all related professions—offline!

It may surprise you to know there is far more information in book form than there is all across the seemingly infinite Internet.

The Internet makes research easier, but the information found there is not as comprehensive as we might think.

Libraries and bookstores are an underrated source of information, particularly in exploring forgotten or lesser-known histories and studies.

The quality of paperback or hardcover books is generally much higher and more in-depth than that of Internet e-books or articles, which are really scratching the surface of what we know.

Consider quantity alone. According to a very conservative Google Books estimate, about 130,000,000 books are still in existence throughout the world, though the number could be higher than that.

In contrast, Amazon—a place many people consider the definitive source of books—has less than a million e-books and lists 1.8 million print titles for sale (according to a Quora discussion).

Libraries offer access not only to books but also to newspapers, journals, encyclopedias, and archival documents that are simply not online because there’s no interest in them. In these records, though, there is enough research to power up a blog for years on end.

If you really want to establish yourself as an expert in your field and produce thoroughly original content, take your search offline and bring back a gem of knowledge.

7. Interview an expert

Content writers sometimes ignore the option to interview an expert because quoting press statements are easier to use.

If, however, you are in need of a series of interesting blogs or articles, reaching out to a professional in your industry (or related industry) for an in-depth discussion can generate enough information to write a number of individual posts.

Many experts will give interviews free, provided you have a popular blog or are reporting on a niche subject with little available information.

Many experts are eager to give online interviews either to correct what they think is inaccurate information on their subject or to build their reputation and make their name Internet-famous on a given subject.

I remember interviewing a number of leaders in my earlier days, and the issue of payment never came up. Sometimes these experts really love to share their knowledge and have someone listen.

Since they know you’ll publicize the interview, it’s a win-win for them, especially if you keep the interview brief, using phone or video chat.

Profnet, a subsidiary of PRNewsWire, is a site that matches writers with experts (or usually their representatives) in a number of fields.

Some will do brief interviews online or on the phone for free. Some experts might charge a fee, and if it’s a niche in which you can produce a lot of content and get some highly targeted traffic, it may be worth the exchange.

8. Hire young blood

Fresh perspectives are the best way to think outside the box. If you run out of ideas, brainstorm with more members of the team. Owners will oftentimes hire new blood to help in brainstorming sessions.

Even as an individual web content writer, you can tap into young creativity by simply starting conversations with acquaintances in the office or in your circle of friends online.

Many of my websites, such as Crazy Egg, have content from multiple contributors. That’s one reason why the content stays fresh.

Featuring writers from multiple backgrounds and demographics helps bring diverse, and sometimes even opposite, views on the same events we cover.

Another thing that can spark your imagination is hearing personal experiences of your colleagues or friends. People probably tell you stories about their lives all the time, e.g., an exciting commute to work, a weekend adventure, etc.

Do you actually listen and say to yourself, “You know, this would make a great blog topic!”?

You can tell their stories, with permission, or adapt their stories to start a discussion with your readers.

9. Learn to read the work of your enemies

It’s amusing how reluctant we are to listen to our enemies or, in some cases, the “quacks” of a field who we believe are spreading anti-advice.

This is why some people completely block news sites they deem biased or ignore social media users that irk them.

But I think some of the most interesting revelations about any industry come from disagreement. When someone disagrees with you, it’s an opportunity for you to sharpen your debating skills. You brush up on your knowledge of history and science so you can make an accurate rebuttal.

This is actually standard protocol in college when you write a dissertation. By learning the opposing side’s viewpoint, taking into account their objections and their research, you strengthen your own argument.

It doesn’t really matter if you believe the viewpoint or not. Whether spoken or written, it’s a part of your industry. Maybe that means you must correct the misconceptions with your web content.

Be open-minded to new evidence. Test new and outside the box ideas, even if they seem ludicrous.

This is just a part of the brainstorming experience. By spending some time investigating wrong ideas about your industry, you can find the right idea. You will also have greater passion for your industry.

I make it a point to read both sides of an argument before concluding what each side got right and wrong. It doesn’t hurt to play “devil’s advocate” in your industry blog either.

Sometimes, I can come up with a topic after reading someone else’s story that I feel is utterly false and misleading. And guess what? It stirs a great conversation, which gives me ideas for three more posts.

As you can see from this Pew Center graphic, many brand name news outlets are associated with biased viewpoints:


Bias isn’t a bad thing, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid a biased outlet.

Objectivity is not your concern. Rather, you can generate fresh ideas for new topics by reading opposing points of view on the same subject.

10. Stay on top of industry news

Social media is not the universal channel for industry news.

While social media is important to review so you can learn the voice of the consumer, blog writing it really its own entity.

If you don’t move beyond social media, you’ll frequently pass over some really good stuff because of poor hashtags, too much competition, and bad scheduling.

On the other hand, using a blog news app will help you stay up-to-date with relevant industry blogs as soon as they are updated.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for fast updates, or you can use a website such as Bottlenose, which is a data discovery program that gives you real-time insights about the trends in your industry.


This goes beyond just bookmarking and actually allows you to get analytical insights about drivers of brands, consumer trends, emerging risks, and what the competition is doing.

Alltop provides a free service and, a bit more to the point, shares the top business blogs and the most trending news stories.


You can also create your own virtual magazine rack of top websites, magazines, and blogs. Better yet, you can even share your rack as a URL for easy interaction.


Lastly, remember that your brain is constantly working.

Even during sleep, it can subconsciously give rise to new ideas.

If you’re feeling drained and out of fuel, take a break and sleep on it.

Let your mind dwell on the idea over time, and make subconscious connections while you attend to something else. Before you know it, inspiration will strike you.

As long as you keep taking in information, you’ll always be capable of generating great content.

What are your techniques for coming up with interesting topics?

from Quick Sprout

Retail Arbitrage – How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners [With Real Product Examples]

If you are a dedicated reader of Niche Pursuits, you’ll know that we talk quite a bit about Spencer’s growing Amazon FBA business.

While there are plenty of other FBA sellers doing bigger numbers, I think we can all agree that Spencer’s $60,000+ per month in revenue is nothing to sneeze at.

Today, I’m going to take a deep dive into a strategy called “retail arbitrage” – which I consider to be one of the best ways to start selling on Amazon for beginners. In addition to just sharing concepts, I’m also going to share actual examples of products I sold on Amazon FBA – so you can have some ideas of the kinds of things you can sell on Amazon

My Journey With FBA

Before I get into the details, let me first share a short summary of my background with Amazon FBA.

In 2012-13 I was working full-time, and as I often did I was looking for ways to make extra money on the side. I already did some of my shopping on Amazon, but I wasn’t really aware of their FBA program and what it actually meant.

I discovered that I could find products at local stores, send them into Amazon’s warehouse, and then sell them on Amazon’s site for a profit. I actually had some success with this and made a few thousand extra dollars doing it.

Fast forward to today and I’m now spending much of my time managing Spencer’s Amazon business. I’ve learned quite a bit about coming up with product ideas, finding manufacturers, getting samples, and ultimately launching products on Amazon.

In addition, I’ve got several of my own products selling on Amazon which is quickly turning into a nice side business for myself.

I’ll admit that the entire process of launching a brand new product from scratch sounds simple on paper, but there is actually a lot to it.

Fortunately, my experience with dabbling in retail arbitrage really gave me a head start on understanding the process of selling goods on Amazon, which has ultimately allowed me to take the next step and create brand new products/brands to sell.

If you’re still on the fence or just starting out, hopefully this guide will help you get rolling.

Understanding The Basics

Already I’ve thrown around some terms that you may not be familiar with if you are truly brand new to selling on Amazon. So let me take a moment to explain some basic concepts:

FBA – “FBA” is an acronym meaning “fulfilled by Amazon.” In practical terms, this means that when you have a product to sell, you send it into an Amazon fulfillment center and they will store it and ship it for you when a customer buys it. You don’t have to sell “FBA” to sell on Amazon, but there are some clear advantages to doing it this way which I’ll discuss in a moment.

Retail Arbitrage – This is all about discovering and profiting from inefficiencies in the market. For example, if my local Target has a box of teeth whitening strips selling for $10 on clearance and that same time that product is selling on Amazon for $30 – I can buy it at $10 and sell it for $30 on Amazon and make a profit on the difference between those 2 numbers.

Why Would Anyone Pay That Much?

Let’s pause for a moment and help out that skeptical voice you may have on the inside saying “this sounds too good to be true.”

One of the first questions you probably had when you read my example of retail arbitrage is “why would anyone pay $30 for something they could buy at Target for $10?”

It’s a fair question, but this is really what a market inefficiency is all about. Here are just a few reasons why people would (and do) pay more to buy on Amazon in certain situations.

  1. Prices/Deals Vary by Location. Just because a product is slow moving in a Target store in Ohio doesn’t mean that someone in Oklahoma wouldn’t be happy to pay retail price for that same item on Amazon.
  2. People Pay for Convenience. There is a reason Amazon did $105 billion in revenue last year. People like buying stuff from Amazon because it’s (increasingly) fast and convenient. It is the default option for buying goods online, so some people would rather pay more and get it on Amazon without driving across town (assuming they even have a Target nearby), standing in line, wasting gas, etc.
  3. All Products aren’t Available Everywhere. When you go on vacation and visit a Kroger store, you’ll probably notice a bunch of brands of barbecue sauce, snacks, and other items that you’ve never seen in your local Kroger. That’s because selection varies regionally, which means that someone who loves a product only sold in New York might be out of luck if they live in Nevada. There are a bunch of limited availability/regional products sold on Amazon at a premium because of this scarcity.

Benefits of Selling FBA

While Amazon sells plenty of products on its own, third party sellers make up a big (and growing) chunk of their sales.

Third party sellers sold about 2 billion items on Amazon last year, which represents 40% of all the goods Amazon sold. As a third party seller, you can really sell in 2 different ways – via FBA or by fulfilling orders yourself. In other words, you keep the inventory at your house or business and when sales come in you would ship out the orders to the customer.

If the possibility going to the post office multiple times per day wasn’t enough to convince you that FBA is the way to go, then consider a couple other reasons that selling FBA is a much better choice:

Prime Benefits

When you sell fulfilled by Amazon, the buyer can benefit from fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. This is HUGE. About 52% of Amazon’s US customers are Prime Members, a number which continues to climb:

According to Quartz, those Prime members spend $1,200 per year on average, compared to only $500 for a non-prime customer. So by using FBA, you are tapping into Amazon’s largest and best customer base.

These customers will enjoy free two-day shipping, or in some cases be eligible for free next day shipping depending on where they live on YOUR products. In my experience, customers will absolutely pay more to buy from an FBA seller than they would to buy from a third party seller who ships their own orders.

If they already pay for Prime, they trust that Amazon will deliver the item fast (and free) which means that they might pay $49 to get the item with Prime shipping instead of buying the same item from Al’s Toy Barn (Toy Story reference) who is priced at $30 + $8 for shipping.

I’ll share an example in a moment of how I tested the limits of just how much people are willing to pay to get an item from an FBA seller…

Cost Savings

In addition to the fact that you can typically charge more for your product when selling FBA, I also believe you can save money in the end.

Let’s say you go buy 25 items that you are planning to sell on Amazon. As a third party seller fulfilling your own orders, you’ll have to ship out all 25 as they sell – which might mean 25 different boxes, 25 trips to the post office, printing 25 shipping labels, and just the time involved to check those orders, prep them, etc.

With FBA, you’ll get home from the store and go into Seller Central on Amazon and say that you want them to provide the shipping and customer service for your order via FBA. They’ll tell you which fulfillment center(s) to ship it to, and you make one trip to the UPS store or get a pick-up service and ship all the goods at once.

Then, as items sell, Amazon ships them to the customer and you just get an email letting you know that they’ve shipped an item you sold.

Yes, you pay additional fees for pick/pack and storage for Amazon to do that service, but I’ve always felt they are very reasonable and factoring in the cost of buying your own materials and the value of your time to fulfill your own orders, I believe you save money with FBA in the end.

You Can Sell More

My wife hates clutter. When I used to sell stuff on eBay I had products laying around everywhere taking up space and causing stress in my home. As a result, I would consciously buy less stuff because I really didn’t have room to store it or didn’t want to hear about having 200 unopened board games sitting in my dining room!

Amazon FBA makes space a non-issue, allowing you to scale. Now if you find a killer deal – go ahead and buy every unit in the store. You can simply run home, find out where Amazon wants you to ship it, and then have your inventory boxed up and out of the house before bedtime.

No Customer Service

Another benefit of FBA is that Amazon handles the customer service after the sale. In particular, when a customer wants to return an item they can do that by sending it back to Amazon. Occasionally customers will contact you directly, but not having to deal with questions about tracking numbers, delivery schedules, and even the refunds that come with a return is a huge win.

What to Sell on Amazon

You can sell almost anything on Amazon. There are a few restricted products/categories for FBA, but generally it’s reserved for things that are potentially hazardous, insanely huge (like over 150 lbs.), or in a category ripe for counterfeits like beauty/clothing where you’d have to put in a special application to sell those products.

I’ve sold pre-packaged food, coffee, toys, novelty items, home goods, cleaning supplies (sponges, etc.), teeth whitening strips, and more. While some people sell used books, I’ve always focused on selling brand new items that you can buy at a discount and then sell for retail price on Amazon.

Really the only question I care about is “can I sell this and make a profit?”

If the answer is “yes” then I’ll buy it and send it in. As far as margins go, I heard a good rule of thumb for retail arbitrage from Chris Green who literally wrote the book on Retail Arbitrage that a simple way to think about it is the rule of 1/3.

You can roughly figure that the cost you are paying should be about 1/3 of what you can sell it for on Amazon. Then Amazon will get roughly a third in fees, and you’ll keep a third.

So like an earlier example, if I’m buying some teeth whitening kit for $10, I’d like to see it’s selling for $30 on Amazon.

Obviously there are plenty of variables that go into these numbers. For instance, the heavier and bigger an item is the more it will cost to ship to Amazon and the more you’ll pay in FBA fees.

So the best way to get accurate projections is using a tool like Scoutify from Inventory Labs. I’ll show you how it works a little later in this post, but basically it’s an app for your phone that you can scan an item in the store and quickly see how much it sells for on Amazon and what your projected profit will be.

Real Examples

I’m pretty much out of the arbitrage game now that I’ve started creating and selling my own branded products on Amazon, so I’m happy to share some real examples with you of things I actually found and sold for a profit via Amazon FBA.

The very first thing I sold on Amazon was a box of Starbucks K-cup Coffee. I found it at Sam’s Club for $36 and at the time it was selling for around $55 on Amazon. Although those margins aren’t very good at all, the sales rank was up around 2,000 which means that it sells like crazy.

So I bought a few boxes, sent them into Amazon and profited about $5 per box.

On that same trip to Sam’s Club, I found another interesting product which was a “one time buy” AKA not something they have in the store all the time. It was this Sharper Image Foot Massager. At the time it was selling for $48 at Sam’s and on Amazon it was only sold by non-FBA third party sellers, with the lowest price being around $80.

I bought a couple of them and priced it at $84 but because I was the only Prime seller, I quickly sold both units and netted just over $10 per sale.

Going Big

Now that I had a taste of success and made about $50 profit on my first trip to Sam’s, I went a little crazy. I went back with credit card in hand and bought every Sharper Image Foot Massager they had left. My total was right at $1,000 for 20 massagers. I filled our SUV to the brim, bought some big boxes at Walmart and shipped them all into Amazon.

This time, I started testing the theory that people would pay more to buy from an FBA seller.

Rather than pricing at $84, I jumped it up to $99.

Much to my surprise, I still had the buy box (meaning I was the default seller when someone clicks the buy button) and I kept selling them pretty quickly – even though there were still other non-FBA sellers who were priced at $80.

Even though I was making $25 profit at $99, I ended up jumping my price again when I was nearly sold out to $119 and sold the last few units at that price – a full $40 more than they could have paid for the exact same, brand new item from a non-FBA seller.

That’s the power of FBA.

In the end, I made about $450 profit on my $1,000 spent.

Going Local

Earlier when I was answering the common question from a skeptic “why would anyone pay that much?” I mentioned that one reason is because not everyone has access to the same products at their local stores.

If you want something and you can’t find it locally, you’ll probably go Google search that item. When you do, you’ll probably find an Amazon product listing sitting right at the top of the results.

Since Amazon has a high amount of trust, many people won’t bother clicking elsewhere and just go to Amazon and confidently buy what they want.

skyline chiliLiving in Cincinnati, OH we have several local restaurant chains that sell their products in our local stores. One example is Skyline Chili which is the thing that everybody tries when they visit Cincinnati. For those that love it, the odds are they are out of luck on buying more when they get back home – unless they buy it online.

I used to buy packs of 4 cans of Skyline for around $10, and at the time they were selling for about $28 on Amazon which was a consistent $7 – $8 in profit per sale.

Another notable local place is Montgomery Inn, famous for their ribs and barbecue sauce. I used to buy this 2 pack of sauce from Sam’s for around $5 and sell it in the high teens on Amazon.

Another example of a place that has national demand with limited local availability is Trader Joe’s brand products. The small grocery chain has a cult-like following and they don’t sell their products online, so if you look on Amazon you’ll find plenty of people willing to sell you Trader Joe’s products at a marked up price.

Perhaps some might frown on this practice, but the reality is that if someone really loves Trader Joe’s shampoo which sells for $5 in the store but their closest store is 200 miles away, they might decide to pay $15 for a bottle of it and have it delivered to their doorstep.

Here are examples of Trader Joe’s products that sell on Amazon.

Depending on where you live, you may have similar products that have a wider demand than they do distribution. If so, the odds are that many people who would buy that product but can’t are turning to Amazon to find it. If the numbers work, it might be a great way to break into retail arbitrage.

Going Online

While there is no magical store out there to find the best deals, some of the places I frequented were Sam’s, Target, Big Lots, TJ Maxx (for toys), and then just any other random big box store I’d find myself in and spot a suspiciously good deal.

If it sounded like a good deal, I’d pull out a scanning app like Scoutify and see how much the product sells for on Amazon.

While most of the things I sold were found in local stores, I did find some deals online that I was able to buy and turn around on Amazon for a profit. In fact, one of my favorite stories was a box set of books that I actually bought from Amazon and then sent them back in to sell on Amazon as a third party seller.


Yes, I was a frequent visitor of which is a deal finder/curator that highlights big sales on products. They showed a deal for an Ivy and Bean box set that was normally $99 selling for only $9 from Amazon. I used the CamelCamelCamel price tracking tool to verify that the price really had been $99, plus saw that all the individual books in the set were selling quite well too.

I ordered 25 sets of books, and got them from Amazon 2 days later. I opened them and did the required FBA labeling, then shipped them right back to Amazon in the same boxes they had arrived in.

As suspected, Amazon raised their price back to $99 so I ended up selling my sets for $49 since it’s really hard to compete head to head with Amazon when they sell a product too.

It took several months, but I sold all 25 sets and made over $25 profit per set.

How To Get Started with Retail Arbitrage

I’ll skip past some of the obvious basics like signing up for a seller account with Amazon. Once you’ve got that in place and decide you’re going to give this a whirl I’d suggest upgrading to their Pro Seller Account for $39.99 per month. This gives you access to additional tools and it saves you $1 per transaction in cost, so if you sell 40 or more products in a month it is a no-brainer.

The pro account is also needed to use helpful third party tools like Scoutify from Inventory Lab which I mentioned earlier. I’m telling you that a scanning app will save you so much time and hassle when you go hunting for deals at the store.

Here’s how it works:

Remember my example of selling Skyline Chili? If I’m at the store and pick up a 4 pack and scan the barcode with my Scoutify app I’ll see this:

Scoutify App Example

This quickly tells me everything I need to know about whether I should buy this product. Let me break it down for you:

Sales Rank: While no one knows the exact formula for this, the higher the sales rank indicates that the product has been selling well recently compared to other products in the same category. The rank has been known to fluctuate over time, but here is an excellent chart that gives you an idea of what a good sales rank is in each category. Based on the chart, I can see that Skyline is likely in the top 15% of grocery items which is actually stronger than I’d expect.

You can also check the aforementioned CamelCamelCamel (free tool) to track sales rank over time.

Other Sellers: I’ve found the amount and type of other sellers to be extremely important when making a buying decision. The perfect situation is when you have a product with a high sales rank that has zero FBA sellers – only sellers in the “New” column on Scoutify. This was the case when I sold the Sharper Image Foot Massagers I wrote about earlier. For our example above, there are 2 FBA sellers both priced at $22.99 currently that I’d have to compete with.

In some cases, you’ll see a small “a” to the left of an FBA price which indicates that Amazon sells the item. If Amazon sells it, do yourself a favor and move on. Situations like my Ivy and Bean book set are very rare, and you won’t often beat Amazon on price.

Another situation I avoid is having a bunch of FBA sellers. 2 sellers is no big deal, but if you see 5, 6, or even more FBA sellers then you better make sure you are getting a great deal on that product.

What tends to happen is if another seller buys Skyline Chili they’ll decide to get cute and price it at $22.95 to undercut the other sellers by .04 in hopes of winning the buy box. The problem is, thanks to automated repricing tools you’ll find that one of your competitors drops to $22.89 within a few minutes. Then another seller will jump down to $22.49, etc.

This little pricing war begins what I call “a race to the bottom” where nobody ends up making any money.

If I did choose to by the Skyline shown above, I would come in and just match the price of $22.99. The odds are that the other sellers will stay the same, and you’d each get your chances at the buy box – meaning you shouldn’t have any issues selling your inventory.

Net Profit: The other key metric on Scoutify is your net profit. This takes the data from Amazon and calculates exactly what your FBA fees are, so all you have to do is tap the amount shown at the bottom and input the price you’d be paying to purchase the item. Then, you’ll see a breakdown like this:

FBA fees chart

If I were doing this now, making only $3.95 per sale – probably a best case scenario – wouldn’t be worth it to me – so I’d keep looking for other products.

Although Amazon would probably never sell the Ivy and Bean set for $9 again, here is how that example would look in Scoutify:

Scoutify Screen Shot

There are only 2 FBA sellers who are selling the product new (indicated by (N)) and they are both third party sellers and priced close to $56. If I bought the set for $9, I would stand to make around $31 profit if I matched their pricing.

Obviously, this would be a deal you should jump all over.

Scoutify is part of the Inventory Lab’s suite of products which we use for our Amazon business and highly recommend. Their reporting tools on your sales are WAY better than the reports you get from Amazon.

Click here to do a 30 day free trial of Inventory Lab (which includes the Scoutify app)

Can I Lose Money Doing This?


Like anything else you do, there is risk involved. However, the thing I love about selling on Amazon is that you don’t have to worry about driving traffic the stuff you’re selling because Amazon is just a monster.

If people are looking for the product you’re selling online, there is a pretty good chance they’ll end up on Amazon’s site at some point – which gives you a really solid opportunity to make money selling things there.

If you’re still a little worried about getting started, let me leave you with a few tips on how to not go bankrupt selling on Amazon:

  1. Avoid Overly Competitive Products. To be safe, if Amazon sells the product too – don’t buy it. If there are 5 or more FBA sellers and your margins are tight – don’t buy it. While sometimes the race to the bottom is unavoidable, I’d encourage you not to be the one who starts it. Just match the lowest FBA price and exert a little bit of patience and you’ll sell through.
  2. Avoid Big and Heavy Products. Set your mental filter to look for things that are small and light when you are scouting deals. If you find some weight bench for $25 and it sells for $75 on Amazon, that’s probably a bad deal. You’ll pay so much to get it there and then so much in FBA fees that your profits will quickly disappear. It’s also more expensive to store big items, so the longer it sits the less you make.
  3. Go Big or Go Home. When you’re first starting out, you tend to be a dabbler. “This is a great deal so I’ll buy 2 of them, 3 of these, and then 1 of this other product.” While that’s ok at first, once you’ve made some sales and have a little confidence then you should really start going big when you find the best, no-brainer deals. If you find some crazy sale at Big Lots on a product that sells well on Amazon and the margins are there, drive to every Big Lots in town and buy all their inventory. You might get some odd looks, but who cares.
  4. Create Bundles. Did you know that you can add new products to Amazon? At some point, it may make sense to buy a couple of related products, like a candle and a diffuser, and package them as a new product. Here’s a helpful article on how to do that. Even if you don’t create bundles new, look for listings of products that feature different quantities. For example, the Montgomery Inn barbecue sauce I sold got very competitive for the 2 pack. However, there weren’t nearly as many sellers selling the 6 pack. So I would buy 2 packs at the store and use shrink wrap to turn them into a 6 pack. This left me with better margins and less competition.

Honestly, the best thing you can do is just get started. Set up a seller account, do a free trial of a scanning app like Scoutify and go to the store. Most people won’t get rich doing retail arbitrage, but it is a fun, legitimate way to make a meaningful amount of extra money.

Looking For More?

If you’re thirsty more more information about retail arbitrage and FBA selling in general, here are some things to check out.

Nick Loper’s First Shopping Trip – Nick of Side Hustle Nation shares his experience using a scouting app, searching for deals, and making his first sales on Amazon.

CamelCamelCamel – Although I hate the name of it, make sure to bookmark this site. If you’re feeling gun shy, their historical data on prices and sales rank are super helpful.

Inventory Lab – I gave a demonstration of their Scoutify app, but if you are really diving in to selling on Amazon then I highly recommend checking out the entire suite of solutions at Inventory Lab.

SellerEngine Blog – SellerEngine also sells Amazon tools like a scanning app and a repricing tool, but they also have a really helpful blog worth reading that covers many topics to help you succeed.

Spencer’s FBA Business – Once you’ve mastered retail arbitrage, the logical next step is to look into creating your own products and selling them FBA. If you are the creator and the manufacturer of a product, you don’t have to worry about pricing wars with competitors.

As I stated at the outset – I’m not the foremost expert on Amazon FBA, but I’ve had enough experience to be dangerous. If you’ve got any questions or tips of your own, please share in the comments below…

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