In previous posts, we’ve laid some groundwork to get you thinking about how to start affiliate marketing.
OK, we have established that you DO love hamsters and think about little else. You know and understand plenty about them and as you are fond of writing and telling stories, you are interested in making those furry rodents your niche.
So you have PASSION. You know they are POPULAR too, because you have spoken with fellow-owners and the people who run the pet store in town. As you have wanted only the best for your hamster, you probably guess there are plenty of PRODUCTS that improve the little fellow’s quality of life.
So far, so good.
Before committing to this niche, you should investigate further to determine how many others have already made a head-start in the marketplace. In other words, what is the COMPETITION?
Let’s check out Google. By typing hamsters into the search bar, you will discover that there are over 17 million entries. But that will include all indexed websites where hamsters rate a mention.
For a better idea, you can do some research via Best of the Web.
Over there, you will find a search bar at top right. Type in hamsters.
You discover that there are seventy-one websites devoted largely to hamsters.
Is that too many? Well, a search at the same site for dogs reveals over 13,000 websites concerning doggery. So the hamster marketplace isn’t as crowded as it is for canines.
Next, you refine your search further. Hamster pets reveals 44 sites, hamster toys throws up 20 websites, as do hamster health and hamster care.
Your choice then, could be between the broad category of hamsters or one of the subsets. You should click on the various websites listed to see what they are about. Are they selling products? Are they selling them well, with decent presentation? Are these websites active, with new posts appearing regularly (as yours will be) or are they static and long forgotten, hardly noticed by Google and other search engines?
After you have had a look around the potential competition, you have come to the conclusion that no-one is covering the critters properly. You know you can out-write most of these webmasters and give the readers what they want and need to know.
So you are decided, at this stage, on the broader niche of hamsters rather than one of its subsets. You might find down the track that most of the reader interest in your site centers on one of those narrow niches, and then you can focus more strongly on that area.
Next, let’s look at the PRODUCTS again. You’ve seen a few down at the pet store and more in WalMart. But let’s head over to Amazon.com and see what they might stock. You should know that if a product sells, Amazon will sell it if they can.
I just did a search. I typed in the word hamster. I was hoping they sell a few hundred hamster-related products. They don’t. They are currently listing over 73,000 products under hamster, including food, traps, playgrounds, collars, habitats and harnesses. Heck, they might even sell hamsters!
The massive number of products on sale at Amazon in your niche makes your decision easier.
IDEAS ON WEBSITE CONTENT
You could build your website based on product reviews alone, as there is always plenty of information available about them.
You could write posts on “Ten Best Hamster Cages” or “Why Your Hamster Deserves One of These Habitats”. As a hamster lover, you will be able to think of loads of ideas.
Of course, your website will be about more than sales. You can list and review all 73,000+ Amazon hamster products and not sell too many because your readers don’t arrive, or if they do, they don’t come back.
So let’s return to the motivation angle. Of course, all of would like to earn a living following our passions, but we must be prepared to work hard to build our reputation as trusted authorities.
But I know you are committed, so perhaps it’s time to start thinking about the sorts of things you will feature on your site. You still have many decisions to make before you jump in, including choosing platforms, web hosts and most importantly, whether you can spend a little money (and it need not be a fortune) as well as spending the time to promote your new business.
We’ll explore a few start-up options when we next post on how to start affiliate marketing.
Stay tuned, and have another look at Best of the Web and Amazon. You may yet discover things that will change the focus of your niche.
Until then, happy hamstering!
This article is the third 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.