Again and again, the biggest question newbie's ask is "how do I decide which products to promote?"
Now when you're first starting out, this decision can be a little daunting - everyone wants to be that overnight success, and if you make a mistake in choosing the right niche, you're worried that you won't be able to recover.
Well for starters - quit worrying so much!
If you get your first niche wrong, you learn what you can from it and you move on! Even the best internet marketers get into niches from time to time that don't work out - the difference is they don't let it discourage them, they simply learn from their mistakes and move on.
That being said, it is of course preferable that you do succeed, even just moderately, in your first niche. The rush of confidence that you get from your first few sales can really give you the kick you need to keep going. So what single technique is the most effective at helping you choose what to promote?
Sell what you know.
Everyone has interests - things they like to do, things they like to read about. We're not talking about being a veritable expert here, but if you actively seek out new and interesting information about a topic, or have a good grounding in the basic concepts of something, then I suggest that this is the best place to start your internet marketing empire!
But why should you focus on what you know? Surely you should go for whatever niche is most profitable? Not necessarily. Sure, there might be a lot of money in those niches, but are you going to get far enough to find out? When you're first starting it out, focusing on your existing interests and hobbies can definitely be the best place to go. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Being bored out of your skull isn't fun.
Now I should be clear - I know affiliate marketers who can pretty much dive into any niche and be successful, and a big part of the reason is that they are interested in what they're doing. But it's not necessarily the niche itself that interests them; it's the process of building a profitable business in lots of diverse areas. But when you're just starting out, it's probably a far better idea to choose something that actually spins your wheels to begin with. Unless you've got the capital to invest in getting other people to do the work for you, you most likely have to spend quite a bit of time researching and writing about this topic - so you might as well make it something you enjoy. Soon enough you'll be able to dive into virtually any niche, because you will be able to build on your past success and enjoy the process of building up multiple niche sites.
2. You know where to start
So you want to promote "learn guitar" products but you're the most unmusical person in the world and you can't tell the difference between The Beattles from Bjork? Maybe not the best place to start. But if you happen to play guitar, you might know that some great resources online are HarmonyCentral.com or Ultimate-Guitar.com (yes I did use to play guitar!) or you might be able to come up with enough information to put together your own free mini course on your own. Knowledge like this can be really beneficial, because you can save valuable time in getting started and you have a natural advantage over all your competitors who might just be promoting a product because it is profitable with no regard for its content.
3. You know the lingo
Jargon can be really important in marketing. By its very nature, Jargon only means something to the people who know something about the topic in question. It's painfully obvious when someone doesn't know what they're talking about. I ran into an affiliate page the other day for a Twitter marketing product which referred to messages as "Twitters" instead of "Tweets" - now if you've never used Twitter, both probably sound about as irrelevant as each other. But to someone who is an avid user, "Twitters" is a big bold flashing sign that says "I don't know what the heck I'm talking about - don't buy from me!" While you can learn jargon from research, if you're already interested in a topic you've got a massive head start.
4. You will sound (and be) genuine
In marketing, sounding genuine can often be more important than actually being genuine. That being said, don't you think it's easier to sound genuine if you actually are? If you've been over weight and you have then worked hard to lose it, you will be infinitely better equipped to write about the struggle of losing weight. Drawing from personal experiences is a great writing technique that engages the reader - I'd much rather here someone's personal story than some generic fact sheet that I could have got on Wikipedia (otherwise why wouldn't I be at Wikipedia?).
5. It will give you a good foundation
Success breeds success. Starting in an area you know, you will be more likely to have some success which will then give you the motivation for your next success, and so on and so forth. What's more, the things you learn in your first niche, you can apply in your second, which drastically cuts down in the trial and error.
How to get started:
Take a large piece of paper (yeah it's good to rock the low-tech sometimes!), and draw five small circles down the middle. In each write one of your interests. Keep things pretty general here, for example you might write "guitar", or "singing", or "tattoos" or "health and fitness".
Then from each circle, draw out 5 to 10 sub topics - for example for "guitar" you might have "learn guitar", "buy guitars", "learn bass", "playing lead guitar", "jazz guitar", "blues guitar", etc.
When you've done that, start searching for products for each sub topic. Search affiliate networks like the Clickbank Marketplace. You might find that some products overlap sub topics - that's ok, the point is to get you a wide foundation of ideas and products that you have an interest in from which can pull out a handful and build your first niche site from.
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