Welcome back: You will already have a an idea of the landscape if you have read How to Start Affiliate Marketing 1. Today we will look at next steps: the all-important HOW and WHAT angles.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SELL?
One of the first things to consider is how you will promote and sell products online.
Put yourself in the position of the buyer for a minute. Let’s say you are going to buy a personal computer, and you have done the research, talked to friends and family, sought advice from work colleagues and made your judgments between Windows and Mac, desktop and laptop, size of hard drive, etc.
You know what you want. Your next decision will likely be about where to buy the computer.
You will consider the prices offered by sales outlets and you might investigate the lowest on offer. But will you automatically buy on price alone? What about guarantees, bonus offers, after sales service? And how reputable are the various dealers? Will they be around to help you if there is an issue?
Most buyers will pay a little more if they feel comfortable with the store/person who is selling the product.
You are more much likely to walk into an Apple store and spend $2000 on a new super MacBook than you are to buy from someone selling the same model from the back of a van for $1500.
That’s because you trust the seller.
Now, as a would-be seller yourself, you will want to be seen by potential buyers as someone with both integrity and authority.
As an affiliate marketer, your store will not be a shopfront or a giant emporium where customers can stroll in and view your wares. No, your store will be virtual, in the form of a website. And it is through your website that you will build your reputation as someone reliable and knowledgeable.
(You can discover more about building a website here, but before even doing that, let’s take a look at the “what” angle.)
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SELL?
Even before making your choices about the right website builders and hosts for you, you should decide what it is you are going to promote on your website.
JC Penney or Walmart sell a massive range of products. On the other end of the scale, there are specialist stores: McDonalds and their competitors have a limited menu based around burgers and other quick to cook foods. Other specialist stores sell even smaller ranges, some even have just one item in a variety of styles and colors.
As an affiliate marketer, you have the choice of hundreds of thousands of products to sell. However, the best advice is to find your niche. While you will never match the sales of some of the online giants, you can find a nice little corner of the market that will serve you well.
CHOOSING A NICHE
You might want to have a look at this advice from Kyle, the owner/founder of Wealthy Affiliate.
There’s a good possibility you have something in mind already. If not, write down a list of things that float your boat!
What are you passionate about?
Did you say hamsters?
You mean that subfamily of about 25 species, classified in six or seven genera, that are now popular as house pets, partly because they breed in captivity?
Good for you!
OK, so you feel strongly enough about hamsters to create a website and regularly post articles and news about those little critters. You will need to do exactly that to establish some authority in the subject. It will help that you already know so much about hamsters.
OK, fair enough. If you are committed to doing that, let’s move on.
The next question is whether you will be able to make money writing about hamsters. No matter how advanced you are in hamsterology, the chances of you selling any products through your Hamster Heaven website are minimal unless there are a lot of people out there who have a similar passion for the rodent and want to read your advice. (Getting them to find your website is a topic for another day!)
Of course, reading about hamsters on your site and buying a new hamster collar are two different things. Are there enough products out there for you to sell, products that people will buy? Do a basic search on products of which you are aware. Amazon is a good start, because if those products sell, they will stock them.
Still fixed on hamsters? You know there are millions of hamster owners and lovers out there who are falling over themselves to buy hamster stuff. All good so far.
Now, given that, how is the competition? I don’t mean Amazon, but others out there who are writing regularly about hamsters?
How confident are you that you can play with the big boys who currently dominate the hamster market? Is there room for you? If you Google a few related sites, you will be able to develop a feel for how many sites there are and how well your intended niche is already covered by others.
You might find that hamster health and diets are well-covered in sites already but no-one is really covering hamster toys, which might be a market that is increasing exponentially. Perhaps that is your niche.
Then again, perhaps you have buried the hamster idea altogether. Go on to the next topic on your list. Ask yourself the same questions about passion, popularity and products, as well as examining the competition.
Here is some more sound advice about finding your niche.
This article is the second in a series How to Start Affiliate Marketing. There are endless possibilities, but plenty of challenges too. If you are really keen to get your teeth into it, there is no better place to learn the ropes than Wealthy Affiliate. You can read more about that here. and you can join FREE to learn even more.