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How to start earning with affiliate marketing!

February, 2008


Thousands are already earning online through affiliate marketing. If you want to know how to make a start with your own web based business, you've come to the right place - our easy-to-follow guide covers all the essentials to put you on just the right track.

Your idea, your product

Your first step is to come up with something you're confident will be popular. This could be an idea for a website or blog, or a product (or products) you think will sell. Some affiliate marketers follow their own interests, others look for ideas or products they think will appeal to consumers. Whatever approach you take, you'll need to do some research to get a picture of whether it's likely to work. Every idea, every product, has its own place in the overall consumer market. Looking at the various sections of the market and where your idea fits in will help you make decisions about its chances of success.


Market segments, market niches

The language used to describe how markets function is often used quite flexibly, but your concept will almost certainly belong either to a segment or a niche. To make this clearer, think about the area of home entertainment. This extremely popular market can be divided into several segments, such as music and DVD. These in turn can be divided yet again. For music, further segments include Mp3 players, CD players and CDs. For DVDs, market segments include players and the DVDs themselves. A niche, generally, is taken to be a very specialised sub-division of a market segment. For example, a blog dealing with silent movie DVDs would be covering a niche in the DVD market.


Niche marketing

If you're completely new to online marketing you may not have heard of niche marketing before, but as time goes by, you will - often!

Many affiliate marketers try to work with niches. This is simply because a specialised market is far less likely to face huge competition from other sites, but still holds enough interest to attract a substantial audience. What's more, a niche audience is generally easier to sell to.

Think about the silent movie niche mentioned above. If you're a real fan of the genre and track down the blog, it's also quite likely that any featured products, such as rare DVDs, will definitely appeal, too.

Niche markets come and go frequently. Marketers who are interested in emerging niches use lots of ways to try to spot them. These range from keeping an eye on popular products on ebay, to checking Yahoo! for its most popular search terms, or checking out the current buzz online at blog reference sites such as technorati.com

If you are lucky enough to discover just the right product or idea, niche marketing is definitely one of the most lucrative forms of online selling.

The downside, however, is that you're up against thousands of others all are looking out for the next big thing. What's more, many niche items have temporary appeal, particularly if they're connected to trends.

Most marketers that work with niches are constantly on the lookout for new ideas, and the likelihood that they'll constantly hit the jackpot is not very high.


Niche into segment

Some niche markets will retain their popularity or even establish themselves as a wider market segment.

For instance, ten years ago Japanese anime comic books were a specialist niche with a small though devoted fanbase. These days they are far better known and many websites exist to reflect this interest.

If you identify a niche of this nature, you're in a good position to create a significant web presence and build your marketing opportunities significantly over time. On the other hand, as niches become more popular, competitors with new ideas and marketing strategies will also start to appear.

If you're a new affiliate in this kind of market you need to be fairly certain that there really is room for another player. Do searches to find other sites in the segment, look at what they offer and ask yourself if you think you really can compete.

Established segments

Segments such as travel guides, health information, movie reviews and many other besides have definite consumer appeal, but this also means that the internet is already saturated with sites catering to these interests.

Competing in a well-established segment is extremely difficult, but can be done, especially if you have an idea that's slightly different to most and are prepared to put a lot of time and effort into marketing. With so much competition, getting your site seen is likely to be one of the biggest obstacles.

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