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It is very important to research the affiliate marketing income potential of any niche market you are thinking of targeting. This will save you time in the long run.
After all, when would you rather find out the income potential of your latest affiliate marketing idea isn’t what you had hoped? After you spend a lot of time creating your niche blog for that niche market? No. Much better to do some serious research before you waste time on a dead-end idea. Here are 5 methods to do that research so you can enter your new niche market with confidence:
1. Find Relevant Affiliate Programs with High Income Potential
Before entering any niche market as an affiliate, it pays to become an expert in all the affiliate products the people in that niche market would be interested in. Ideally you will have many good affiliate products to choose from at different price points.
One way to find affiliate programs is to add the words “affiliate program” to the end of popular search terms in the niche market you are considering.
For example, you could search on “dog training affiliate program” or “video game affiliate programs”. You would find plenty of opportunities in those niches.
You can also go to any merchant website in your niche market and look for an “Affiliate Program” link in the footer of their website.
You would find those merchant websites by searching Google on your keyword phrases without the “affiliate program” extension.
The one affiliate program you can join that has products you can promote in virtually any niche is the Amazon Affiliate Program (also referred to as the Amazon Associates Program):
Although commission percentages are relatively low at Amazon, the trust factor Amazon has with people is very high. That means higher conversions and more sales.
You also get credit for anything your referral buys at Amazon within 24 hours, not just the product you refer them to on Amazon.
This works because Amazon sells everything under the sun, and when you send people to Amazon they may just decide to purchase something else they need as long as they are there anyway.
Amazon is just one example. Most companies have affiliate programs these days.
Another way to find affiliate programs is with Affiliate Networks, where you can join hundreds of affiliate programs all under one roof (more on that below).
Disclaimer: Results can vary from person to person. There is no guarantee you will achieve any kind of specific result using the information presented here.
2. Google Ads as an Affiliate Marketing Income Potential Indicator
Type your keyword phrases into Google.
In addition to looking for affiliate programs, pay particular attention to the ads that show up in the results (typically at the top and right hand side of the search results).
People are paying good money to get their ads to show up there (google.com/adwords). This means they are probably making money on whatever they are offering.
If you want to be more certain they are really making money, try doing the same search every week for a month or two to see if those ads keep showing up. If they do then their product or online strategy is likely making them money.
Google Ads are expensive and nobody would continue running them for long if they weren’t making money from them.
3. Evaluate Competitor Websites
Spend some time exploring the search results that are of most interest to you. Visit those websites and try and determine how those websites are making money.
If they are linking to other sites that sell something, chances are they are making money from those relationships (probably as an Affiliate).
With URL masking techniques, it isn’t always obvious when a link to another site is an affiliate link. In this case, simply take note of what the sites being linked to are selling.
Then do another search on “<merchant name> affiliate program” or “<product name> affiliate program” to find out how to sign up for their affiliate program.
If the merchants or products you find in your searches don’t have affiliate programs, you may be able to find competing products that do. Try searching on a generic name for the product or product category (using the “affiliate program” extension).
Searching for affiliate programs on Google sometimes has the advantage of turning up private affiliate programs, which can often be the most lucrative.
Private means you can only join them from the website where the products are sold, or a related site owned by that same company, rather than from an affiliate network, which we will discuss next.
4. Affiliate Network Searches
One way to easily find products with affiliate programs is to join some of the larger affiliate networks. Then search for products you can promote from their dashboard. They have affiliate products for virtually any niche market you can imagine.
Affiliate networks typically require you to specify the website or blog you will promote the products on.
That is a good reason to make creating a basic blog or website your first priority.
If you want to get a head start on creating your first website, go to Wealthy Affiliate to create one for free (and get some free basic training to get it set up and optimized for earning affiliate income).
Then try joining some of these networks (there is no cost to join affiliate networks). Here are a few well known Affiliate Networks:
(Note: these are also places where you can find affiliates for your own products if you decide to go that route).
There are many others. You will find well-known brands that run their affiliate programs through networks like these. Not all of them advertise that fact from their own websites.
In that case your Google searches may not locate those affiliate programs. That is where searching inside the affiliate network dashboards comes in.
You will find there are big differences in the competing networks. Some have lots of well known brands and lots of physical products you can promote, but the commissions are generally quite low (e.g. many are between 5% and 15%).
Other networks have less well known products, but many digital download or online only products/services where the commissions are much higher (and can often be recurring monthly commissions).
Affiliate networks are “transparent marketplaces”, which means they report on metrics to help you understand how much income other affiliates have been making on a particular affiliate program.
This helps you to choose the affiliate programs with the most income potential.
Metrics like EPC (average earnings per hundred clicks) will help you understand that it isn’t all about the commission percentage. Sites that have a higher conversion rate can make you more money even if their commission percentage is lower.
Higher EPC also means those products are probably more popular, which means they may be a better fit for your target market. The metrics provided by the affiliate networks will help you to make decisions with that in mind.
5. Search Where Your Niche Market Lives
While the above examples are great places to search out any subject area or niche, other search engines may be more relevant for you.
For example, social networking sites like Twitter have search engines (just type “Twitter search” in Google to find it). If you think your target market is likely to hang out there, then you can try your key search terms there.
If your target market loves free videos, try your search terms on YouTube. Find out what kinds of videos people are producing in your area of interest. Wherever you think your target market tends to hangout is a good place to search for ideas.
Avoid “Analysis Paralysis”
While doing some research before you begin is good, the most important thing is to begin. Don’t expect to hatch the Perfect Plan on your first try.
If the blogging option resonates with you as a good starting point, then simply creating a basic blog is the first step.
It just makes sense to do that at Wealthy Affiliate if you are focused on affiliate marketing income potential. You can host your own domains there, or create free blogs on their blogging platform.
You will find the affiliate training and helpful community at Wealthy Affiliate will make all the difference. Check out the Wealthy Affiliate Review right here on this blog.