What is Affiliate Marketing? And What is a Niche?
An Affiliate Marketing Business involves a vendor, marketer, and a customer. For example, you start up a website as the marketer, you promote various vendor’s products on that website (protein shakes, baseball cards, yoga mats; it could be anything), and you earn a commission every time your referral to the vendor’s product turns into a sale.
In my opinion, this is one of the best, if not THE best, type of business to start these days, especially for beginners. There are multiple reasons for this:
(1) It is a high-reward/low-risk monetization strategy: Start-up costs are virtually non-existent compared to other types of businesses that require thousands of dollars for a license, inventory, equipment, etc. You want to start an IT business? $300,000. You want to open a McDonald’s? $500,000. You want to start an affiliate marketing business? $500 or less.
(2) Product development is the responsibility of the vendor: Companies pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions, to develop products that will be accepted by potential customers both aesthetically and functionally. Think about all of the engineering, design, and overall resources that went into designing the iPhone 6. We’re talking about millions of dollars here.
(3) No inventory to hold, orders to process, or items to ship: Your goal as an affiliate marketer is to get traffic to your website and convert that traffic into sales for your vendors. If you can do this, you will be highly successful. There’s no need for you to worry about all those traditional business obligations.
(4) Affiliate programs are free to join: It’s really a win-win situation for you and the vendors. They allow you to promote their products and earn commissions, and at the same time, they’re making more money thanks to you. If you run into an affiliate program that charges you. stay away! The largest affiliate program is Amazon Associates.
(5) They can be started part time: There are loads of affiliate marketers earning full-time incomes working part-time on their business. Start investing your free time by participating in blogs, websites, communities, and podcasts that revolve around your interests. This will allow you to extend your network and carve out your path online.
(6) The affiliate industry will continue to grow exponentially: You can find affiliate programs to sell virtually anything: baby strollers, laptops, beauty supplies, pillows, t-shirts, the list goes on and on. In addition, the Internet will only continue to grow, leading to more and more opportunities.
What is a Niche?
“NICHE” is a common buzzword that you’ve probably heard before in relation to business, but what does it mean? Simply put, a niche is a distinct segment of the market that consists of your target audience. For example, you may choose “personal health” as a niche…So your audience would consist of people interested in exercise, diets, and other healthy habits.Check out the video below for a good explanation of what a niche is and how to go about choosing one:
The trick here is choosing a niche that isn’t too limited nor too broad. Avoid a niche like “Stafford High School T-Shirts” because you’ll be limiting yourself to 500-2,000 potential customers. At the same rate, avoid a niche like “Food” because it’s not targeted enough. You’ll never be able to keep up with a business that deals with healthy food, unhealthy food, snacks, desserts, Italian food, Mexican food, Vegetarian food, etc. You’re better off picking one of those sub-categories from the list.
I’ve found that choosing the right niche can prove to be a roadblock for many affiliate marketing beginners, but it really isn’t all that complicated. In many cases, you can’t go wrong by following your heart.
So, How Do You Choose a Profitable Niche?
Some questions you may want to consider before choosing:
(1) Is this topic worth my time? Are there enough people interested? Are there good products/services that I will be able to promote within this niche? You don’t want to get stuck in a niche with limited opportunity.
(2) Will the products/services I promote solve an in-demand problem? Audience demand is much more important than product supply. If you come across an under-served niche, you can build a highly profitable business around it.
(3) Have I done my due diligence on potential niche topics? Are there high search volume, low competition keywords out there for me to capitalize on. The best way to check this is with Jaaxy Keyword Tool (30 free searches).
The Most Important Thing to Consider When Choosing:
Without even taking into consideration the questions above, I’d highly recommend this no nonsense approach to choosing a niche. Keep it as simple as possible: No tricks. No smoke and mirrors. Just make it something you’re interested in and/or passionate about. As for the “profitable” part, Every niche can be profitable. There are 2.5 Billion+ people on the Internet! There is no doubt that there will be a large enough audience for your particular niche.
The reason I recommend choosing a niche that interests you is because you’ll have to deal with it on a daily basis: Whether that be reading up on it or writing content concerning it, you’ll want it to be enjoyable. If you choose in this manner, your business will no longer be work, it will be a leisurely activity. 70% of people hate their jobs – don’t be one of them.
Still Can’t Decide on a Niche?
If you’re still having trouble choosing a niche, don’t beat yourself up about it…And certainly don’t get yourself stuck trying to pick “The perfect Niche”. Any niche will work, and if you become unhappy with your choice, you can always change your niche down the road.
If you’re waiting to come up with a “Breakthrough Idea” before starting your business , you’re simply wasting your time. Yes, it is possible to come up with one, but they are far and few between. Conversely, there are thousands of online businesses making money by simply finding and packaging relevant information in the right place. This is what’s known as a “Filter Business”. Think about it: there is so much information out there on the Internet that it can be frustrating for people to scroll through and find what they need. If you can sort through this information and present it to your audience in a clear and concise manner, it can be quite valuable.
Many people flock to sites like eHow, Yahoo Answers, and other sites that provide answers to people’s specific questions. For your own site, you may want to choose a topic you’re interested in and create content that revolves around “how-to’s”. People love step-by-step directions.
Also, don’t be afraid to base your business off a specific company’s current business model. Click Millionaires discusses a trio of brothers from Germany who have become billionaires simply by imitating hot U.S. start-ups, such as Ebay, Facebook, and Groupon.
And Please Stop Worrying About Credentials!
“Am I qualified?” is a question far too many aspiring entrepreneurs ask when it comes to choosing a niche. Everyone has knowledge that is valuable to others. Think about your past jobs, your current career, your hobbies, your family matters, your religious stance, your traveling experiences, your childhood memories, your medical history, etc. Believe it or not, we all have specialized knowledge and unique experiences to share with others. Luckily, the Internet allows us to share this knowledge with everyone and build a business around it.
The easiest way for you to start feeling like an authority, or an expert, in your respective niche is to start pumping out content. Do some research, use your current knowledge, write content, and then publish it. You will continuously learn as you go, and quickly become a bigger, more knowledgeable force within your niche. Your primary focus within this content should be to help people. If you can help people resolve their unique problems, you have a high-potential business on your hands.
Quick Tip: Use Google Alerts to “stay-in-the-know”of your chosen niche.
There are 2 Services I Highly Recommend for the Training, Support, and Tools You Need to Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer:
Utilize these Free Resources as well and don’t be afraid to take action – There has never been more opportunity on the Internet to build a life & business you will love.
Please ask any questions & leave any comments you may have below,
Written by Matthew Thomas