I hate numbers because I hate math. Unsurprisingly, this mentality led me to blindly hate everything that has to do with numbers. So writing about forex (short for "foreign exchange") is a challenge because this topic is the embodiment of numbers, formulas, charts, and everything that I simply hate. In fact, until this post, most of what I knew of forex and trading came from Hollywood films such as "Trading Places" (1983) and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" (2010).
But nevertheless, I found myself reading through websites like Forexmagnates and ForexMinute to learn more about how forex works and which forex affiliate programs would give me the biggest commissions for my effort.
There's a certain glamor or allure to the financial industry, and that includes forex -- wouldn’t you like to know if Forex is a hot niche for affiliates? Please keep reading. I promise you that I have a lot of new info to cover with this niche.
What is Forex?
The industry defined.
“The foreign exchange market (forex, FX, or currency market) is a global decentralized market for the trading of currencies. This includes all aspects of buying, selling and exchanging currencies at current or determined prices. In terms of volume of trading, it is by far the largest market in the world.”
OK, so right away we can tell that the niche is popular. It's been around a long time, too: the forex industry was born way back when the world relied on silver and gold as means of payment. But the world keeps changing all the time and so does the way we buy, sell and trade all kinds of goods. Today, the buy-sell-trade process has become more accessible, accurate, organized. It's a complex system now known as forex trading, where money literally never sleeps, because everyone can trade 24/7.
Popularity = Money?
Is there still money in the forex market, despite leaner times?
Let us take a look at some current reports on forex:
“Currency strategists drawing up their predictions for 2016 largely agree on some broad themes — the US dollar will get stronger, emerging market currencies will stay weak and China’s renminbi will depreciate gradually.”
“Market uncertainty about 2016 stems from the uncomfortable experiences of 2015 — the shocks of the Swiss franc being depegged and China’s renminbi devaluation, the choppy performance of the US economy and worries over deflation sapping global activity.”
Earlier this year, FT’s forecast about the market has materialized and it was backed up with several interesting data reported by Reuters:
“The days when close to $6 trillion changed hands on an average day may never return, industry observers say, as tighter bank regulation, the fading emerging market boom and secular slowdown in world growth and trade take their toll.”
“Data from CLS Bank, which offers the world's largest multilateral cash settlement service, showed average daily volume in January was $4.8 trillion, down 9 percent from a year earlier and a far cry from the near $6 trillion peak.”
But despite this fallout, Google Trends still shows a slight, slow general uptick in interest of late, along with the usual dips and peaks:
Additionally, the social share data is pretty much in line with Google Trends data, with some very popular sites and pages.
Using Buzzsumo, we can see that out of the top 5 trending pages about Forex, the first top 4 are all covering basic information on Forex and trading.
While the industry has fallen from its peak, people are still interested in learning about forex. One huge reason behind this is simple: The forex market is very lucrative. People are enticed by its money-making potential, since anyone can get into trading, with minimal capital and any kind of schedule, because the forex market is open for trading 24 hours a day. This is a niche where everyone’s goal is to earn money, and by that, they mean earning huge sums of money from forex.
How to do keyword research and spy on your competitor's keywords.
For our NOTW posts, we always do the keyword research. We will do the same for forex, but this time, we will also be looking at the competitor’s target keywords.
Why are we doing this? If you are an avid reader of NOTW, you may have already learned the basics of keyword research. They are all the same. You can refer to our latest NOTW posts on keyword research here and here for reference.
This time, we take a different approach to our keyword research. We will be considering the keywords your competitors are already using, plus the keywords that we get from the basic keyword research. Consider this as a crash course in advanced keyword research using our very own AffiloTools.
First, we need to know who our competitors are for this niche. To find them, just use Google. Enter any keyword related to forex. For example, I typed in “forex trading” on Google, and it gave me 29 million results.
Big numbers like that indicate interest in the topic, but that's not our concern here. Nor do you have to check all of the results. All that matters are the first 10 results, since these are the top websites ranking for the given keyword (in this case, "forex trading").
NOTE: The top 10 results start below the ads. With every search term in Google, you can expect to see several ads placed just below the search bar, as you can see above.
For the term “forex trading,” we have 4 ads under the search bar. Below that, you can see the top websites ranking for our search phrase. Just select one or two competitor sites to start.
These are two sites that I picked on the search results: GCI Online Trading (gcitrading.com) and Investopedia (investopedia.com). These sites are perfect examples of what an affiliate forex site looks like.
IMPORTANT: I have skipped Wikipedia since this site is already (automatically) considered an authority site. Most of the time it is very very hard and rare to outrank this type of site (other examples are Amazon and Ebay) -- but that doesn't mean that it’s impossible to outrank it, either. What I am saying is, this site is not really the type of competitor site we are looking for. Remember, we’re looking websites that are built for affiliate marketing or similar to that.
Moving forward, we're going to focus on GCI Online Trading to search for keywords. We analyze its on-site and off-site keywords using the Backlink Analysis tool from AffiloTools.
To use this feature, go to AffiloTools and click SEO > Backlink Analysis in the menu. Once you’re in the Backlink Analysis tool, place the URL in the search bar, which is just above the page. Click the analyze button to start the search.
Now we have an overview report for GCI's backlinks:
The boxed section is what we need for our keyword research (and for our SEO efforts, which I will discuss later). We need the backlink data to analyze the number of backlinks for the site. Not only that, you can see all the sites that are linking back to GCI Online along with all the keywords and key phrases used as anchor text. The followed links are simply the percentage of the ‘do-follow’ links based on the total number of backlinks found. The domain information provides the total number of domains linking to GCI Online. The IP addresses are all the found IPs pointing back to GCI Online site. These IPs are based on the sites linking back (backlinks) to GCI Online.
Let us see GCI’s list of anchor texts below:
Most of its on-site anchor texts (inbound links) are branded keywords. In fact, the top keywords found in the anchor texts for GCI are all branded keywords: GCI Financial Ltd., GCI Financial, GCItrading.com. But you can see several important, non-branded keywords which they used as anchor texts:
|most reliable trading platform
|forex & CFD broker
|CFD trading | commodities | futures | metatrader
I have taken note of these keywords and compiled them in my Excel sheet. These keywords are now part of my suggestions list for forex.
Now, let us see GCI’s backlinks:
This is only a partial selection of the backlinks Affilotools found. But this one screenshot shows all the data that you will get when running the AffiloTools backlinks tool. You can discover the backlink URL, page authority, Alexa rank, site 1 (anchor text), and whether the link is no-follow or do-follow. At the moment, we will just be looking at the site 1 (anchor text column) since we are doing the keyword research.
These are all the non-branded keywords I have found and want to explore:
|the best broker in the world
|most reliable trading platform
|most trusted trading platform
|helpful trading software
|key to markets
Again, I have added these phrases to my list of keyword ideas. I now have a total of 13 keywords from the onsite keywords and the backlinks keywords for GCI:
most reliable trading platform
the best broker in the world
most trusted trading platform
forex & CFD broker
helpful trading software
key to markets
These 13 keywords are a good start, but you can find more by repeating the steps I have just shown you with a different site. Or, you can stick to the basic keyword research that we always teach you here on NOTW.
Once you are satisfied with your list of keyword ideas, I advise that you also re-run these keywords using the AffiloTools keyword research tool to see the level of competition for each, especially if you will be doing mostly SEO work for your site.
Forex Affiliate Programs
A list of the most popular affiliate programs
You won’t have a hard time finding affiliate programs in the forex niche. This niche is one of the most lucrative options and very high in demand. You certainly have a lot of choices when it comes to promoting forex trading affiliate programs.
However, since this niche is overcrowded with a lot of programs to choose from, do not get distracted by the payouts that these programs offer. Again, you must stay focused. We highly recommend that you start with a good sub-niche, especially if you’re new to affiliate marketing or forex, and stick to programs that fit in that sub-niche.
Another tip when choosing an affiliate program in forex: Base your choice on where you market is. For example, if your market is mostly from the US, then choose the affiliate programs that operate (or mostly operate) in the US market. Poke around at a few affiliate programs and you will notice that many programs specify the market or region they specialize in. You have to take note of this.
Below is a list of affiliate programs based on popularity. You may check each of these options but bear in mind our advice about choosing programs:
About Forex Affiliate
This site claims to be one the largest, highest-paying, and best affiliate programs out there. I have read a lot of reviews about this affiliate vendor in forums and blogs and it seems that Forex Affiliate is true to its claims. A lot of marketers love the payouts and benefits they get from this company, to the point that some have stopped looking for additional affiliate vendors. They're satisfied with their earnings from this company alone.
How much can I make?
Your commissions depend on the type of program you choose. The site offers Spreadshare, CPL, Lot Rebate, CPA Plan, and 2nd Tier.
Forex Affiliate doesn't disclose the commission rates from promoting these programs on the site, from but you can get an idea of how much you could earn by using the earnings calculator that the company provides on its website.
How do I apply?
You can sign up here.
About eToro Partners
eToro is one of the most popular programs in forex because a lot of affiliates claim it’s easy to promote the programs offered by this company. eToro has many useful and interactive promotion tools to boost conversions, which are very satisfactory based on user reviews. Affiliates also get 24/7 support available via email or phone.
How much can I make?
You can earn 25% on revenue shares, or up to $200 USD for CPA. Aside from this, the company also offers a variety of rewards and benefits, which are listed here.
How do I apply?
You can sign up here.
3. Ava Partner
About Ava Partner
Ava Partner won the best affiliate program of 2015 from JFEX. If you are looking for an established company, then you may want to check out this vendor, as the site is considered a pioneer in online trading. The reviews about this affiliate are mixed, though. Some find success, while others find the offers and benefits to be lower than other affiliate programs.
How much can I make?
The payout for revenue share is 25% and you can earn around $200 USD per referral.
How do I apply?
You can sign up here.
How to Market the Exchange
There really isn’t a right or wrong turn when it comes to marketing. However, what helps the most in achieving good and (more importantly) high-converting results is knowing your “buying market.”
For any niche you promote, you need to spend time researching for your keywords, knowing where your market is and how your market behaves. The right keywords will help you target the right market, and in turn, will lead to a high conversion rate. But this is just the first part. You also need to make sure that you also have the right content, which helps you get more sales.
You can use almost ANY kind of marketing tactic imaginable so long as you know your market. However, of course, to be able to make it into the top search results, you need to do quality work, especially with your content. This is time-consuming and challenging, but it’s a must!
Having said that, I won’t be recommending any marketing techniques for the forex niche, but I will be showing you how you can adapt your competitor’s marketing techniques by simply looking at their traffic (very similar to what I have shown you with the keyword research). This is another way to use and adapt your competitor’s data for your website. This strategy is good for marketers who have already used every marketing tactic in the book on their site but still have not seen any conversions happening. (Sounds familiar? )
For this task, I will be using the SimilarWeb website analysis tool to get the skinny on my competition. I love this tool (it's one of my most-used tools for SEO) simply because all the data I need is available in one place. This tool provides you information on the site’s audience, traffic sources, traffic destination, website content, and website competitors.
I will be using GCI Online again as an example. Since we will focus more on how this website is marketed online, we will only check the traffic sources information for this site. Traffic shares for GCI Online are as follows:
What the Graph Shows:
1. Content matters A LOT.
The site is doing well on organic search (it's the top traffic share) even though it barely uses SEO on its website and on its backlinks (remember the site only has few non-branded keywords linking to it). Additionally, direct traffic is the second- largest traffic share. This tells us that the site has a lot of good articles published. As we always say, “content is king,” and search engines, especially Google, love websites with great content.
2. Social media is a must.
I have been reviewing websites a lot lately, and I noticed that one of the largest sources of traffic (aside from search engine referrals) is social media. This is the case with GCI Online. Social referrals take the no. 3 spot for traffic shares. GCI may have been spending less time and effort on social media than other tactics, but social still accounts for 10.30% of site traffic.
3. When you’re promoting in a very competitive niche, you need to experiment with paid ads.
Though paid ads and PPC make up a very small percentage, when it comes to traffic, this small percentage still matters a lot, especially for a very competitive niche like forex. GCI Online uses paid ads and PPC. The paid ads are set up with Google Display Network; the site’s PPC traffic comes from Google, Yahoo, and surprisingly, two specialized search networks: Qwant and Duckduckgo.
4. Partnerships or placing a link on similar sites help.
We can see that GCI has referral traffic as well. This means another website has placed a link that leads back to GCI site. How do you get a backlink on another site? You can use guest posting, article submission, or blog commenting, or even send the site owner an email about a possible partnership. For partnerships, another site will place your logo (with a backlink) under the Partners section of the site.
5. Run an autoresponder.
While GCI gets only a tiny portion of its traffic from email newsletters (0.84 percent), it is important to note that setting up your own autoresponder to build your list over time saves you a LOT of costs later on. Do not waste the traffic you get to your site. An autoresponder will help you keep in touch with the people who are interested in your site after they leave, allowing you to send out email newsletters with good information and product promotions that they may be interested in.
Forex Affiliate Programs
Capital gains or major losses?
In my opinion, I would give the forex niche a go based on the fact that it appears to be evergreen. There have been some ups and downs, but as anyone who is familiar with stocks will remind you, the market always fluctuates. We might not see peak interest levels again for a long time, but despite the fallout in the trading market, a lot of people are still interested in learning about and getting into the trading system (we’ve seen evidence of this interest using Google Trends and Buzzsumo).
Did you learn something from this article? If you enjoyed reading our latest NOTW post, I highly recommend you check out AffiloBlueprint, our step-by-step lesson in affiliate marketing. This is a good course in helping you build your very own affiliate marketing business.