Affiliate Marketing – Popular Markets Or Niche Products?
Many people come across a confusing crossroad when they first decide to try their hand at making money online in affiliate marketing. There are two main camps, or factions, when it comes to online commission based sales.
Some claim it is better to look for popular markets such as health and fitness, insurance or internet marketing. Others advocate the careful of niche – or less-popular – markets and the choosing of products with little competition in order to earn cash online.
Both certainly, have their merits but which should you choose? Here is a brief summary of both to help you with your decision:
In this method you look for a market that has a lot of interest. The easy way to do that is to enter the category into a search engine and look at the amount of competing sites. This will give you a good idea that this market is popular. If you want to confirm this you can go to your favourite keyword research tool and do the same search, you will be able to get a better indication of the monthly searches the category term gets.
The next thing is to choose a product that is selling well in that market. You can either look at the search engine results when you did your first search and click on a few example and see what they are selling or else go to your affiliate network and see what the top sellers are in that category.
The advantage to popular markets and products is obvious – there is a huge potential customer base. Another up-side is that your keywords will be simple.
The down-side is that those keywords will be fiercely competitive and very expensive if you are considering PPC advertising. But your biggest problem may lie in getting yourself noticed – this is not a problem if you intend to promote the product on your site or blog and you have a good customer base. The problem occurs when you try to promote via PPC or through SERPs.
This is the other side to the affiliate marketing coin. Sales will be smaller and keyword research more arduous and time-consuming but if you get it right you can run very prosperous PPC campaigns or find yourself with high SERPs in no time at all.
In this method you need to weed out very select markets such as building a chicken coop, puppy crate training or specific medical conditions. There is software to help you with this but it can be expensive. An easy method is to rely on your hobbies, or listen to friends and see if you can draw any inspiration.
Once you think you have a niche market, you should research it as per the popular market example. Make sure there is sufficient interest but not market saturation. You will need to find a decent product to promote – this should be easy enough, there is huge variety available these days and if not you can always create your own!
If you decide on a PPC campaign you will have to look for what is known as long-tail keyword phrases. These are simply a string of 3-4 words such as “build a chicken coop”. You will need to make sure there are enough monthly searches to facilitate a campaign but ideally you are looking for low competition and low CPC.
The reason for this is that you want to keep your costs low as you probably won’t make as many sales with niche targeting so you want to maximise your profit from every sale.
This method can be very profitable but you will need to run numerous projects at the same time. You may need 5 of these niche projects to match one popular market product. The advantage here is that you have a greater chance of success selling niche products if your get it right.
The disadvantage is the added research, extra work and hit and miss consistency of niche marketing, however, if you do it right you can stumble onto a potential affiliate marketing goldmine.
This technique is probably the best option for anyone breaking into affiliate marketing and trying to earn cash online that doesn’t already have a website with a large audience or a massive budget to compete in the popular keyword PPC market.