Understanding this chapter is crucial if you want to make money as an affiliate marketer on the internet. If you blow off this chapter don’t be surprised if your business goes belly up! That’s how crucial it is. Things often go seriously wrong when sellers pick the wrong niche.
Unfortunately, you will only become aware of your mistake when it’s too late to rectify it. You will know you picked the wrong niche when you have spent a tremendous amount of time, effort, emotional energy, and money only to find that you have very little, if anything, to show for it. Remember, never trade your time for money!
One of the most common mistakes that new sellers make is to sink money, effort, and time into a resource that simply does not provide a real service or, if it does provide a service, provides it at too high a cost to justify it’s use.
I simply can’t emphasize enough that niche choice is crucial to your affiliate marketing success.
A Quick Rundown of What Can Go Wrong?
First, there may be low or no demand for your product or service. When you pick the wrong niche, the demand may not be there. You might think that it’s the hottest thing since sliced bread, but people really could care less about it – what they care about is whether you produce the kind of results that they would pay dollars for. Another problem with picking the wrong niche is that you may pick trendy niches. This may seem really hot right now, but they may be “here today, gone tomorrow.” A good example is fidget spinners. These spinners created a rage in 2016.
Now, nobody wants to have anything to do with them. A lot of people made money selling these fidget spinners but a lot of people also lost money because they entered into the niche too late. Trendy niches can mean the end of your affiliate marketing investment. Avoid trendy niches and instead pick niches with tried and true long-standing sales histories.
Another problem that you can avoid by picking the right niche involves low return on effort. A lot of people confuse this with return on investment. These are two totally different concepts. Return on effort is the amount of time you personally invest something. The iron rule of return on effort is to put in as little effort and time as possible, while getting as many dollars as possible.
If you don’t stick by the iron rule and pick the wrong niche, you could end up making some money but only at the expense of your time, mental energy, and emotional resources. Pouring your life into that activity is simply not going to be worth the return on effort. Of course, there is always the possibility that you would pick a niche that has really no return on investment. This speaks more to the amount of dollars that you’re going to be putting into your affiliate marketing business. Maybe you put in this money up front or at a later stage in the development process.
Whatever the case may be, whatever profit your business produces does not in any way, shape, or form come close to justifying the amount of dollars needed to put up the business in the first place. Sadly, people commit this mistake all the time. Another danger with picking the wrong niche involves competition. People routinely pick niches that are too competitive.
As a result, there are just so many of these niche websites out there that the competition becomes a washout altogether. In other words, the competition is so great that essentially no one wins. This is a serious problem because if the typical consumer interested in that niche gets the impression that your website is just like everyone else’s website, there’s really no compelling reason for them to go to your site instead of the thousands of other websites that share your niche.
It simply is too saturated. Another danger that you need to avoid involves your mindset. You may be making money off your business. Things may be looking great on the surface, but somehow, some way, you lost interest. You just don’t have the heart for it anymore. This pitfall is often the true reason that your business is unsuccessful. If you truly lose interest in your niche or your business you will not have the level of passion you need to solve problems as they present themselves.
That is the essence of successful business. Successful business people solve problems. That’s their job. That’s their calling. Unfortunately, if you lose interest in whatever it is you’re doing for money, you’re not going to be excited to solve issues. You’re probably not going to be in a hurry to put out fires as they appear. As a result, your business starts to die slowly.
In other words, you find yourself in the pitiful situation of putting in all this time, effort and money creating a website that pulls in a nice chunk of traffic, only to end up completely empty handed because you have nothing to sell or promote. Sounds ridiculous, right? Unfortunately, you can suffer any one or even a combination of all of the problems listed above if you do not pay close attention to the niche selection process.
You have to know how to select your affiliate marketing niche in a systematic and methodical way. Otherwise, you may end up creating the wrong business.
How to Pick Your Niche the Expert Way
By following the steps I lay out below, you increase your chances of affiliate marketing success tremendously. Instead of coming up with a “hot” idea and wasting a tremendous amount of time, effort and money on it, if you follow the steps that I lay out below, you go through a tried and proven niche selection process that dramatically increases your likelihood of success.
Now, this is not a guarantee that if you just follow these steps riches await you in your bank account. Still, it will give you enough of a competitive advantage that your chances of success are much higher than if you were to fly by the seat of your pants.
You need to go through these steps. Don’t skip any of them if you want to make sure that you are targeting the right niche.
Step #1: List out all your interests List your personal interests and hobbies.
Really think about what you personally like to learn about, see, do, collect, or spend time on. Apply the following test: Ask yourself, as you go through each of the interests line by line, if you would talk about those topics even if you were not getting paid. This should narrow your list substantially. Once you have cleaned up your list, go on to the next step.
Step #2: Filter by commercial interests on Google Keyword Planner tool
If you haven’t already done so, create an account at Google Adwords. Using its Google Keyword Planner tool, enter some keywords related to the topics on your list. If you don’t know how this works, just type in the interest and you would be able to find keywords related to it. Group these keywords based on the topics they’re related to.
When you look at each keyword, Google Keyword Planner tool will show the estimated cost per click for that keyword term. This should give you a rough dollar value of the overall demand for each niche. Now, simply eliminate any listed niches that have very low commercial value.
Step #3: Filter by consumer demand on Google Keyword Planner tool
Now that you’re entering keywords related to your niches on Google Keyword Planner tool, the next step is to pay attention to the average monthly search volume projected for those keyword clusters. A certain pattern should emerge from topic to topic. It should be fairly clear which topics have more searches. Now, delete listed niches that do not have enough demand in terms of projected search volume, as well as those that have too much demand. Again, think of this concept as the previously mentioned competition for competition.
If a topic generates too many searches, the competition is too great to allow any one or two particular websites to flourish at all. The pool is too full! Now you will see a list of niches that are considered “middle of the road” as far as monthly average search volume is concerned.
Step #4: Filter by competition level
Take the keywords related to each of the niches remaining on your list and search theose keywords on Google’s main search engine. Take note of how many websites are returned by Google. Usually, Google will show a number figure of how many websites are related to the keyword you entered. Write these numbers down. After you’ve done this with all the keywords related to all your remaining niches, compare them with each other. You should wipe out niches on your list that have too many websites targeting them. You should focus on a fairly manageable level of competition.
Step #5: Filter by consumer trend
At this stage, your list of niches should be growing shorter and shorter. Now, apply two more filters to your search so that you can zero in on the niche you should target. This is the expert way of picking niches. If you follow this process, there is a high chance you will be more successful with your affiliate marketing business.
For this step, you’re going to type in the keywords related to each of the niches on your list into Google Trends. Pay attention to the chart. Is it flat or does it show a decline over time? If it shows any of these two patterns, delete that niche from your list. Chances are, the demand level for that niche is dying over time.
If you need a good example of this, look at the search pattern for the keyword phrase “fidget spinner.” There were many previously hot products and hot niches, that have dropped like a rock. You don’t want to be stuck with those. Filter from your list any niche with a declining or flat lining trend line.
Step #6: Filter by social media demand
For this step, I need you to go to Twitter or Facebook. I need you to enter keywords related to your niche on those platforms and see if there are hashtags on Twitter or really big accounts that target those keywords. On Facebook, see if there are any big pages or Facebook groups that tend to talk about those topics. If a niche isn’t already being talked about on these two platforms, you might want to take it off your list.
If you pick a niche that already has some sort of demand on social media, you’re making your job much easier. You know that there are already platforms and groups as well as promotional spaces on social media. You only need to go to those existing places to promote whatever it is you’re promoting. Do you see how this works?
You don’t want to have to create social media demand. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’re going to have to reinvent the wheel, as far as your niche is concerned. You have to ask yourself, “Are there enough people already talking about the niche that I’m thinking of promoting?” Similarly, “Are there areas on social media dedicated to this niche already?”
Step #7: Filter by content ease
This is an optional step. You don’t have to delete items from your niche list if it doesn’t fit this criteria. However, if you are operating on a tight budget, you might want to do just that. The question you need to ask yourself is, “How easy is it to come up with content for this niche?”
For example, among the three remaining niches on your list, one involves really complicated robotics technology, this might be an issue. You better have the time to properly research content for that niche and do things yourself, or you better get ready to hire somebody. If you’re going to be outsourcing content creation, it may be very expensive because the niche is so specialized or involves some sort of cutting edge technology.
Since you’re going to be spending money for this content, it may prove to be too costly or, in the case of you writing stuff yourself, too time intensive. You may be better off sticking with a niche that is easier or cheaper to produce content for.