After having explained the basics and terms in the first article of the “Affiliate Marketing” series, I would like to go into the first important step today.
It’s about finding the topic of your own affiliate website, commonly referred to as niche.
Because this definition of niche is very important for the later implementation of the affiliate website. The design of the website, the selection of the affiliate programs, the content, the marketing etc. are based on this.
So let’s get down to finding the right niche.
What is a niche?
To anticipate it right away, there is no one generally valid definition of a niche.
If you search at Google, you will find the most different definitions. One defines it by the number of visitors, the other by the scope of the topic and the third by something completely different.
I define a niche roughly as Wikipedia does. There it is called analogously:
“A market niche in a part of a market that has not been served by the competition, or only insufficiently so far.”
If I were to transfer it to the Internet, I would define it as follows:
“A niche website comprises a special topic which has not been served by other websites at all or only insufficiently so far”.
In order for a niche market to become a niche market, however, a further prerequisite is needed. It must be economically worthwhile!
And so I would define an optimal affiliate niche as follows:
“An optimal affiliate niche comprises a topic that offers relatively little competition, many visitors and a lot of revenue potential.
Find Affiliate Niche
Finding a niche for an affiliate website is somewhat different from finding a blog niche. This is simply because an affiliate site is usually managed quite differently than a blog.
While you write daily in the blog, an affiliate site is not maintained as regularly. As a rule, there is also less heart and soul attached to an affiliate website, so that you will certainly go to the niche selection a little differently here.
Nevertheless, it is of course not wrong to search for topics you are familiar with. This has the advantage that you can create content relatively easily and quickly.
But as you can see in my definition of an affiliate niche, 3 factors are especially important:
Competition, visitor numbers and revenue potential
How can I research them?
AdvertisingI will go through the research of affiliate topics here as an example. This is just my approach, which by no means has to be the only one. If you do otherwise, then I’m looking forward to your comments.
First, I collect my theme ideas. These could be things that interest me or that I stumbled across on the internet, for example. The ideas usually have in common that I’m interested in them and know them more or less well. But now and then there are also topic ideas, which are completely new for me.
In addition, it is also worthwhile to look for trends that could fit for an affiliate site. I have already written a detailed article about this: “Finding and using current trends”.
For example, on eBay you can see very well what is currently selling well and it can be worthwhile to launch an affiliate site.
Then I look at how many people are interested in these topics. After all, a niche shouldn’t be too small either, because otherwise you’re at position 1 on Google, but still only find 100 people per month.
My favorite tool for this task is Market Samurai*. With this tool you can find out very easily and quickly how often certain terms are searched for.
Alternatively you can use the “Google AdWords Keyword Tool”. Also Google Trends is very useful, because you can see seasonal fluctuations.
Find affiliate niche with GoogleI find the new “Google Keyword Tool based on search queries” very exciting. This offers the possibility to select categories and subcategories on the left side.
For example, you can go to the categories “Computer => Computer accessories => Computer cables” and get a long list of keywords listed. This list also includes the number of search queries per month, the strength of the AdWords competition and the expected click price.
If the number of visitors is too large for a topic idea, then you should consider splitting up the topic again.
The strength of the competition cannot be analysed so clearly. Of course, you should first see if there are any websites or blogs that deal with the subject in question. To do this, you can search Google for the most important keywords and also analyze directories such as Yahoo.
Market Samurai* shows very well and vividly how good the competition is. Various data of the Google Top10 are evaluated with a search term and color-coded how strong the competition is.
But you can also analyze this with the Firefox plugin “SEO for Firefox”, for example. If the plugin is active, the Google search result is supplemented with interesting information, such as Pagerank, Alexa value, backlinks of various search engines, domain age and other values.
This shows you very well whether these are more specialized niche sites or more general, but large sites.
Google Suggest, the automatic recommendation of Google when entering keywords, is also a good way to check the competition. In addition, you can come up with new niche ideas again. Simply go to Google.de and enter something in the search field.
In the ideal case the competition is neither particularly strong, nor so specialized, as one intends to do this. However, if there are already very specialized websites on this subject, then you should change the topic or at least the approach (instead of online role-playing games, e.g. online racing games).
The third important factor is the revenue potential. A niche may be interesting, but if you can’t earn money there, it’s uninteresting from an affiliate’s point of view.
To find out if you can earn money with a topic niche, you should visit the affiliate networks and look for the topic there. Are there any affiliate programs that fit your topic very well?
But also the analysis of the AdSense prices is interesting. What is the expected click price for your own keywords?
You should also take a look at large online shops such as Amazon. Are there products there that fit the niche theme?
The search for a suitable affiliate niche is therefore based on the following cornerstones:
Finding niche ideas
Are visitor numbers sufficient?
How strong is the competition?
What can one earn in this topic?
Besides this analysis, one should also not forget the soft factors when searching for an affiliate niche.
So it is usually worthwhile to listen to friends and acquaintances. They often talk about wishes and needs that might be implemented in affiliate sites.
This is exactly what is most important. People must have a need that they want to satisfy by buying a product (sale) or providing contact details (lead).
But also the visitors of existing websites and blogs often give hints as to what they might wish for. By carefully observing the online and offline world, you can identify needs and gaps in the market.
Such a market gap can also simply be a knowledge gap. So there are already products that satisfy the corresponding needs. Only the target group knows nothing about it. This can change with a special niche website.
I already have a website/blog
Many readers of this series probably already have a website or blog. So they don’t start looking for a topic from scratch.
Even if you’re already a little tied up, it doesn’t hurt to check the topic(s) of your website/blogs for affiliate suitability. You may also find a suitable additional topic which you can integrate and which is very suitable for affiliate marketing.
If you want to do affiliate marketing concretely (and not just blogging, with a little affiliate marketing), then you should research very carefully when choosing the topic and find the optional ideas.
If you find topics where the 3 factors look very good (traffic, competition and revenue potential), then you have already laid a very good foundation.
The next part of the affiliate marketing series is about affiliate networks. I will show what they do and what the advantages and disadvantages of these networks are.