Choosing Affiliate Site Topics
For many new affiliates, Choosing an Affiliate Site Topic is the biggest hurdle on the path to success. As we mentioned in an earlier lesson:
- There are many different affiliate programs you can promote
- There are hundreds of different markets you can promote to
- There are lots of different methods for promoting products
These are all great points, but with so many options you have a perfect recipe for indecision, so let's tackle these points one at a time.
First on the list of paralyzing decisions for new affiliates is what topic to focus their affiliate efforts on. You could find something suitable after just a day of brainstorming, or it might take you a couple of months before you settle on something so here are some ideas for approaching this task:
1) Do you have any interests?
The first thing you can do is sit down and brainstorm. Write a list of your interests. Write a list of your hobbies. Write a list of the subjects you know something about. Write a list of the subjects you'd like to learn about. You don't need to be an expert on a subject to build a website - you will learn along the way.
However, it is absolutely critical that you choose a topic that you can take an interest in - remember: you're going to be spending a lot of time immersing yourself in this subject. You're going to hang out on forums related to this subject, read blogs that talk about this subject, compile articles about this subject and review products related to this subject. If you're not remotely interested in the subject, regardless of how profitable it may seem, you're going to give up on affiliate marketing altogether within a month.
This is particularly true with your first few sites when you're likely to be doing a lot of the work yourself. Later on down the track when you can afford to outsource some jobs, you might be able to delve into less interesting topics but, for now, motivation is your greatest resource, and if your topic bores you to tears then you're going to run out of motivation before you even get out the gate.
2) Look for opportunities
Once you've got a list of subjects, start looking around for good affiliate programs. Browse the affiliate networks. Consult the search engines and see whether any affiliate sites show up for related terms. Take a look at what and how they're promoting and start collecting ideas. Note down your ideas and keep a record of any related sites or products - even if you don't end up using these ideas now, you might want to review this list for one of your later websites.
Another thing you can do is visit forums related to these subjects and see what sort of things people are talking about. Find out what they're interested in, and what they're concerned about. This can help you narrow down your topic or discover aspects of the topic you might not have thought of. For each aspect of the subject ask yourself: is there a way to make money from this?
If there don't seem to be any affiliate programs for your topic, think about whether the topic is good for an Adsense site: consider whether there are a lot of people searching for information on this topic and whether Adsense pays well in this market. You may want to tuck this one away in the back of your head for a time when you feel like making an Adsense site.
3) See what everyone else is doing
This seems like a slightly counter-intuitive principle with affiliate marketing, but you should generally go where everyone else is going. Promote the products that other people are promoting in the markets that other people are working in. If you're having difficulty finding a good market under your own steam, have a look to where there is other affiliate activity. Try browsing the affiliate networks and looking at the products that seem to be attracting a lot of affiliates (eg, check ClickBank's "gravity" measure). Look around at successful affiliate sites and see which products they're promoting. Are they well maintained and full of comprehensive information? If so, they're probably doing pretty well. If they're doing well, then you can do well too.
INSIGHT:Be gentle, it's my first time
Often its the case that with your first website you'll be struck with this horrible brain freeze, but as soon as you start learning the ropes you will begin to see many more opportunities.
This is because you'll learn the indicators for a successful market and you'll get ideas for different ways to approach them. Until you've been through the process with one website your insight is pretty limited. One way to think about it is that your "real" job at this point isn't to find the best possible market you can find, it's just to find an acceptable market to get started in; keep a pen and paper next to your computer so you can write down these new ideas as you stumble upon them!
Choosing an affiliate site topic is one of the hardest things that new affiliate's find themselves having to do. Some ways to make this process easier can include:
- Writing lists of your interests, what you know about and what you'd like to learn about
- Visit forums related to a topic to see if there's new angles or insights you haven't thought of
- See where everyone else is succeeding
Don't be too concerned if you don't find the "best possible" market - for beginners it's really about learning the ropes, gaining insight and building up lists of ideas!