Monday, December 27, 2004

Finding a Niche for an Affiliate Website

Affiliate Marketing Programs :: Finding a Niche for an Affiliate Website

I see a lot of people wrestling with how to choose an appropriate niche to launch an affiliate website for. I suspect that many of them spend so much time trying to decide what kind of site to launch that they never get around to actually launching a site. So I'm going to give you a step by step guide to choosing a subject for an affiliate website:

  1. Set aside some time for brainstorming.
  2. List as many subjects as you can think of that you like to read about online.
  3. List as many products as you can think of that you've received spam for recently. (I don't condone spamming, but I'm aware that it's a good way to figure out what's profitable online.)
  4. List as many products that you've bought online over the last year online as you can.
  5. Visit Wordtracker and watch the Wordtracker ticker. Write down any keywords that look like something you might be interested in writing about.
  6. Visit Google Zeitgeist and if you see something interesting there, write it down.
  7. Visit the Lycos 50 and if you see something interesting, write it down.

You should now have a ton of ideas about what you can create a website about. Go through these ideas and search for them on Google and Yahoo. Look at the sponsored ads on the right. Notice what kinds of products are being sold there--most of those ads are for products and companies who have affiliate programs. Write down any of them that interest you. Be sure to take a look at what these folks are willing to pay per click on Overture for these keywords. If people are paying a lot per click for advertising on Overture, then it's probably a profitable niche.

Also take a look at Commission Junction's categories. Everything you can imagine is available through Commission Junction to sell.

After you've gone through this exercise, start narrowing down your list. Find reasons you don't want to approach a particular market. Maybe the cost per click's on the ads are really low, so you think it's probably not a very profitable niche. Or maybe it's something you're just not very interested in. Keep crossing off ideas until you're left with two or three. From those two or three ideas, choose one, and get started on it by applying for the affiliate programs that are appropriate. (Adsense is appropriate for almost every niche, by the way, except for the ones that violate their terms and conditions.)

The most important thing is to make a decision and get started. Heck, if you don't want to go through the brainstorming exercise above, just pick one of the affiliate programs I've written about on this site. Don't waste days and weeks deciding what niche to target. Pick one and go for it.


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