Hi there, today I’m continuing be review of the Straight Line – The Road To Passive Amazon Commissions, Erica Stone’s latest Amazon course. I’m starting to go through the Assignment pack after going through the Site Stats guide in my previous post.
This part of the course is her email coaching course without the one on one help you get. It is the assignments only. (That last bit reads a bit like being in school and at times seems that way without the sarcasm you get from some of the teachers. Erica is patient and gives feedback in a positive way in the coaching).
Getting into the assignments guide itself. It is 48 pages long. The first 2 pages are the title page and legal disclaimer. Page 3 is the contents which shows what is in the guide – it starts with an overview, finishes with an action plan and in between are 23 assignments.
I’ve just finished assignment 19 in the coaching program. I’m going back to the beginning here. So, on to the Package Overview.
This talks about it being from her coaching and emphasizes you don’t the one-on-one coaching i mentioned above. It says it will work well with here Extreme Review guide. I think it does – it gives you set things to accomplish for each of the assignments. And for me (I did have the coaching as well) it has meant I’ve actually got a site with 5 in depth review posts written and social sites set up which is more than I achieved when I just had Extreme Review – which is down to me rather than the guide itself.
Assignment 1 starts with the program objective. It’s good to know where we are going. The first assignment itself is concerned with finding a niche. It starts with a good definition of a niche is for the purposes of an Amazon review site.
There are then some good ideas on how to brainstorm ideas and the assignment itself with an idea of how long it should take. This step does take a bit of time (but not too much). It’s important to come up with ideas that you have some interest in, as you will be writing and investigating the products in depth.
I find niche research frustrating myself, but the approach outlined here was as good as any report I’ve read. So, once niche ideas it’s on to Assignment 2.
This one is about evaluating your niche ideas. This is where you need the niche ideas worksheet included in the course. It’s easy to fill out and assignment 2 takes you through the steps. It’s easy to follow along to and again this will take you some time to complete and assess your niche ideas. It can be frustrating when you realize the niche you liked the best doesn’t meet the criteria
Erica has taken as much of guesswork as she can out of niche selection, although there are no guarantees. It;s better being frustrated now rather than later when you’ve invested a lot more time and effort only to find out that the scope for growth isn’t that great.
I got my niche selected after some back and forth and it was on to the next assignment. Plan on spending a few hours on this.
This assignment is about evaluating the competition in the niche. Another frustrating topic to me, but again Erica makes this as straightforward as possible using the worksheet and an additional PDF where she describes the steps in detail.
Again it is annoying when you find and then you see it is going to be difficult to rank for and should be discarded (You could rank for it but it will be harder and take more time). Better to do this now rather than later when you realize the niche is going to be difficult to rank without buying links etc or it will take a very long time and lots more effort.
I think Erica has made this as much a science as you can but there is still the need to add some personal judgement when you look at the competition and decide if the niches are worth getting started on.
Once you’ve found the one you like and has the best chance to rank it’s on to the next assignment. I’ll look at this one in my next post. To date we have a niche.
My Thoughts So Far
It been great going back through my assignments to see what I did and why I chose the niche I did.
It is as good as I remember and has helped me in getting up a very good review site (even if I do say so myself) with helpful and in depth reviews. I feel confident at the moment that it will start to earn an income and will stick around because I’ve not taken any shortcuts to get my site ranking in Google.