Easy profit, a worldwide market, manageability of business at home level—all these and a variety of other reasons contributed to the popularity of online businesses. In fact, a lot of businessmen who used to peddle their stuffs in a local area are now getting online. And why not? The Internet provides everyone a chance to market their products to a wider market more conveniently. And you won't even need to have your own product to start marketing online!
If you're new to both the online scene and the marketing scene, there's no better way for you to earn money online than by getting into affiliate marketing. Simply said, affiliate marketing is a relationship between a merchant trying to sell his product online and an affiliate willing to advertise the product or the site of the merchant on his site. The merchant then agrees to pay the affiliate whenever the affiliate directs a visitor to his product's site—that is whenever someone clicks on the merchant's ad on the affiliate's site.
Anybody can get into an affiliate marketing program, but the sad fact is that not everybody gets successful. A lot of people make the mistake of promoting too many products from too many merchants and usually ends up without directing any visitor on their merchants' site. What's the problem with them? They're trying to occupy a very large market—a market that tries to provide a lot of things to a lot of different people—and this concept won't usually work. Before entering into an affiliate program, it is essential for you to first choose a niche to promote.
According to the 1st World Library – Literary Society (http://classiclibrary.org/), a niche is "an easily identifiable market that can be targeted for direct promotion, i.e. golfers, model plane hobbyists, collectors, etc." In affiliate marketing, the niche would simply be your merchant's market. As a webmaster or a website owner, all the freedom is given to you to choose the niche you are to promote. The problem is how do you actually choose the right niche to promote?
Here are a few guidelines that can aid you in choosing the right niche to promote:
* Choose a market that is not too big yet not too small.
You cannot promote everything that this world has to offer, but neither do we advise you to promote only a single and specific product. There are only a few websites that try to offer almost every product in this world, such as Yahoo and MSN, and it is not a good idea to compete with these multi-million companies if all you've got is a website.
Rather, think of an idea that has a probable market, like cars, computers, fishing, etc., and start from there. If you have picked computers, for example, you won't have to limit yourself to a particular computer type or to a particular computer brand. You can promote desktop computers, laptop computers, notebooks, tablet PC's and other related stuffs.
* Identify your hobbies and interests and start from there.
In affiliate marketing, you cannot be a jack of all trades—promoting just about anything you want to promote. It would do your better to first identify your expertise, and that would usually mean you hobbies and special interests—things that you are good at. If you take what interests you as your niche, there's a greater chance that you can promote that niche better. This would generally mean great contents for your website that are capable of attracting more visitors as well as more potential customers for your merchant.
* Choose a niche that is profitable.
An old marketing adage tells us that in order for anyone to succeed in a marketing venture, he must "find a need and fill it." This adage worked well in traditional marketing and there should be no reason for it not to work in online marketing. Generally, what one has to do is to find what people want to find through the Internet.
You can start searching from various search engines, as these sites can usually provide you with a ranking of the keywords that people search for in their sites for a period of one month. If your niche ranks high in these websites, then good for you as there are probably a lot of people needs or at least are interested on the products you promote. If your niche does not even qualify for the rankings, then you better choose another
Choosing the right niche is probably just one of the many preliminary things that you have to consider before entering into an affiliate program. Aside from the niche, you'll also have to think about the program deals, commission rates, method of payment, and others. But having a good niche to start with would definitely do a lot of good things for you. Often times, the only things that differ from a successful affiliate and an unsuccessful one is the niche they try to promote.
This article was posted on Aug 12, 2005