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Saturday, 12 July 2014

How to Find the Right Niche in Affiliate Marketing – 5 Practical Steps Revealed

Identifying the right niche for promoting affiliate products is as tough as it is important. Because it is such a crucial component for success in affiliate marketing, it becomes even more difficult for you to decide on the right niche. You are worried that you might make a mistake by choosing the wrong niche.  It is almost like a continuing vicious cycle.
This article tells you how to find the right niche in 5 simple steps. But before that, let’s quickly answer the ‘why’.
Selecting the right niche is crucial in affiliate marketing

Why is the Right Niche Crucial for Affiliate Marketing Success?

The concept of niche marketing is important not only in online marketing but in offline marketing too. Simply put, if you try to be everything to everybody, you end up being nothing to anybody.

The world wide web is huge place and caters to the entire world. It would be foolish and impractical to target all of them. So what you need to do is specifically target a portion of this huge audience and promote something of high interest to them, something that solves their specific problems. This specifically targeted portion of the population is a niche.
And when you identify the right niche, you have got yourself a successful online business model.

5 Practical Steps to Identify the Right Niche

1.  Don’t Look for Products, Look for People

Several newbie affiliates spend time identifying products to promote. This is not the right approach. Instead focus on the people you want to target. Is it men, women, teens, or senior citizens? Then go even deeper. The more specific you get, the better it is for business. For example, you may identify your niche as male entrepreneurs below the age of 30.

The advantage of identifying people based niches, rather than product based ones is obvious. People will remain forever, but products may be replaced, discontinued or the company producing the product may shut down. The risks are high. On the other hand, male entrepreneurs below the age of 30 are coming into existence every single day. This is a growing niche and unlikely to dry up.
A Useful Tip:
One way to pick a niche is to focus on people like you or people you like to hang out with.

2. Identify the Pain Points of Your Niche
 Once you have identified your niche, it is now time to get to know them better. An even smarter option is to start with a niche that you already know well or you are a part of. For instance, if you are a mom, it is easier for you to think about what potential problems other moms could be facing and come up with solutions that address those problems. Obviously, these solutions are the products (or services) that you will promote.
However, ensure that you identify the right problems. Are there ‘right problemsand ‘wrong problems’? You bet there are. The fact is not all problems are created equal. There are some problems, you niche might be OK living with creating a business that provides solutions for such problems is obviously NOT profitable.
Identify the real, urgent issues of your niche and focus on those. One way to identify such problems is to hang out where you niche is. Visit social media, forums, blogs etc to get a feel of the most discussed issues and therein lies your profitable niche.

3. Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research gives you hard numbers and lends a quantitative approach to your niche selection process.
First and foremost, keywords statistics such as monthly and daily search data help you identify the most popular terms used by your audience for searching. Unless you are aware of these terms there is no point spending money on building a website because no one will ever find it.
Keyword research also helps you identify potential affiliate programs you can promote, possible joint venture partners and of course gives you an insight into competition.

4. Check Out the Competition in the Niche
Once you have identified specific keywords, use them in search to find out the top ranking sites in the niche and study those sites. They are your competition. What are the top 10 sites in the niche? Are they big corporate sites that can pump in loads of money on SEO, ads etc? What is their inbound linking data? Tools such as Yahoo Site Explorer or SEO for Firefox will be able to give you this data.
The idea of all this exercise is to figure out what you are up against? Will you able to outrank the competition with fair efforts or would it drain you out financially? You know the smart decision to make here. Here is a simple analogy to drive home the point. If you are playing tennis against Rafael Nadal, you might as well not play and withdraw from the game, but when you play against the kid next door, with the right strategies and some smart techniques, you will actually win.
While low competition is a good thing, beware of ‘zero competition’. For instance, if there is no PPC advertising for the keyword, chances are, the niche is not that profitable.
5.  Go Full Out..And Own the Niche
 Experts recommend choosing a niche that you are passionate about. If you find a niche that meets all the other criteria and is incidentally a subject you love that’s great. But often you have to work around profitable niches which may or may not be your favorites personally. In either case, the idea is to own the niche completely. Become the unequivocal expert in the niche. This can be achieved by going deeper into the niche.
For instance, don’t think women, think working women, further get down to fitness for working women, maybe focus on their ‘time crunch’ problem. How do they make time for fitness when they have so less time? So the answer could be an effective 10 minute ab cruncher product or a Yoga DVD or some such product. Thus when you dig deeper you will get the answers that will lead you to the right niche and the right products for the niche.
And once you have identified a niche, use high quality content to build your website reputation. Focus on attaining top SEO rankings and also offer valuable content to your audience. In fact, with the recent Google algorithm changes, these two activities are NOT mutually exclusive.
Aim to become the GO TO resource when that particular topic is discussed. Build a loyal audience who will trust you and therefore trust your recommendations. It is now easier to sell not only affiliate products, but you can come up with products of your own to sell.
That is the power of selecting the right niche.

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