If you’ve been in the affiliate marketing game for more than 30 seconds, you know that the most important contributor to your success isn’t the products you sell or your skill at writing sales copy. The very first test of whether or not you can be successful in this area is also the most important. We’re talking, of course, about niche selection.
Niche selection is more complex today than it was even three or four years ago. The success and visibility of the big guys has brought in thousands upon thousands of other affiliate marketers, all trying to get their piece of the pie. That means competition, even in what you presume to be the narrowest niches.
Affiliate marketing success means doing niche selection right. In the process of selecting the right niche, there are three questions you need to ask:
1. Is there an identifiable need in this niche?
The best-selling affiliate products are ones that meet a specific need. If you can’t look at a niche and say, “this is the number one problem customers in this niche are trying to solve,” chances are it’s not a good niche. Need is at the center of demand, and if there is no need, there is no demand, and ultimately no affiliate sales.
2. Is there a truly functional solution to the need?
You must to be able to promise your customers a solution that works. You must to be able to address that need. (That is, your merchants be able to address that need if you are to properly market their solutions.) If there isn’t a genuine solution, your sales are going to be lackluster, at best, regardless of how good you are at selling.
3. Is the niche correctly sized?
This is a tough question to answer, but it’s one you need to consider before going forward. A large, underserved market is a valid opportunity. Most large markets aren’t underserved, however. A small pond that already has one or two big fish is no better. Go too small, of course, and you don’t really have an audience at all. Of these 3 key questions, this one is the one you’re going to struggle with the most. In many cases, it takes immersing yourself in a particular niche to really know how it’s being served or not.
Answer these three questions with a “yes,” and you’ve crossed your first major affiliate marketing hurdle.