If you’re new to internet marketing and want to start an online business you should consider choosing a good niche affiliate marketing program. There are several good reasons for this. Affiliate marketing is recession-proof, has very low overhead, few recurring costs and unlimited income potential.
Simplicity is another appealing feature of niche affiliate marketing. You don’t have to create your own product, there’s no need to build a website and you drastically limit the amount of technology you have to master. As a niche affiliate marketer your chief responsibility is to send targeted traffic to the vendor’s online sales page.
To fully capitalize on the opportunities presented by this attractive business model you need a sound strategy. Below I offer six practical suggestions to help you choose and ultimately succeed with your niche affiliate marketing program.
1. Pursue your interests.
If you’re a beginner I advise that you start with a niche that holds an interest for you. Don’t choose an affiliate program just because it pays a large commission. As a newcomer you may lose motivation trying to promote a product or service that doesn’t resonate with you.
Begin with hobbies and other favorite pastimes. This will make your work more enjoyable and your enthusiasm will be evident in your marketing content. Your message will be far more convincing to potential niche customers if you speak to them from your heart with some authority on the subject.
2. Choose a reputable affiliate manager.
Make sure the niche affiliate marketing program you select is managed by a company with a solid reputation. There are many affiliate managers recognized for their honesty in dealing with affiliate marketers and merchants. ClickBank, Commission Junction, Linkshare, ShareASale and Pepperjam are just a few of the companies that stand out for timely payment of commissions to affiliates and diligence in screening out dishonest merchants. I recommend you start with one of these or another affiliate manager held in equally high regard.
3. Investigate the vendor.
Once you’ve chosen an affiliate manager examine its roster of merchants to find which vendors have products of possible interest to your niche. Always investigate the business practices of a merchant whose product or service you contemplate marketing. Some vendors are notorious for withholding affiliate commissions and not responding to customer refund requests. Remember, the behavior of the vendor reflects upon you as an affiliate. Niche markets are small and very communicative. You don’t want your reputation tarnished by a merchant that considers customer service a low priority.
4. Find a profitable product.
First, study your chosen niche to better understand the needs of its members. Spend some time on blogs and forums that serve the niche. Know what they’re talking about, what concerns them and what fuels their passion. In the process you may discover a product or service to offer them that has been completely overlooked by your competitors.
Make sure the product you choose is profitable enough to justify your marketing efforts. This may seem obvious, but new marketers often focus on products that will never make them any real money. The niche may have a low demand for the item or there may be a healthy demand but the price is too low to allow a decent commission. Find a product that will reward you sufficiently for the time and energy you’ll spend bringing it to market. A good practice is to have a minimum acceptable commission and never go below that figure.
5. Pre-sell the product.
I want to strongly emphasize that as a niche affiliate marketer it is not your role to sell the product. That responsibility belongs to the merchant whose site is the final destination of the customer. Your function is to pre-sell the prospect by putting them into a buying mood before sending them to the vendor. You do this by providing helpful, useful and insightful information about the product.
Outline features and benefits while tastefully presenting the item as the solution to a problem or as a way to fulfill a need. A subtle approach establishes trust and raises the likelihood the prospect will click through to the merchant site to make a purchase. Again, leave the hard sell to the merchant.