(Yes, I know my title ends with a preposition; but it’s my blog and I can make grammatical errors if I want.)
In my last installment I told you how to find products to promote in your affiliate marketing business. Now it’s time to investigate the next step, finding someone to sell products to (Oops! I did it again!). And keep in mind that these two steps do not necessarily need to take place in this order; finding your audience or “niche” can be your first step if you prefer.
In Internet affiliate marketing the term “niche” (pronounced “neesh” outside of the US) refers to a targeted group of potential customers, typically a subset of a larger and less well defined group. For example, people searching for “jazz guitar lessons” would be a tighter niche than people searching for “guitar lessons”. And capturing those searchers is what this Internet affiliate marketing is all about; to wit…
A Google search for “guitar lessons” (using the quotes to closely define the search) turns up 2,460,000 competing pages. Your efforts as an Internet affiliate marketer will focus on rising to the top of Google’s search results (getting on page 1) and the fewer competitors the easier it will be to do that. Winning a top spot for “guitar lessons” is highly unlikely.
A search for “jazz guitar lessons” produces only 31,900 competing pages; there’s a Google rankings battle you have a chance to compete in! Let’s look at a few other potential related niches and their search results:
- Online guitar lessons: 259,000 (3,000)
- Online jazz guitar lessons: 133,000 (35)
- Free online jazz guitar lessons: 63,400 (<10)
- Free online jazz guitar lessons for beginners: 0 (0)
Based on the information I’ve given you thus far it would appear that winning a Google top ranking for “free online jazz guitar lessons for beginners” would be a cakewalk—and in fact it would. However, the numbers in parentheses shed another important light on the niche selection process; they are the number of inquiries for that search term each day. And as you can see, no one searches for that term so getting Google’s #1 ranking would be meaningless to your bank account (though admittedly a boost for your ego). You can find numbers of searches as well as competition data and a host of other valuable information by visiting Google’s Free Keyword Tool here: Google Keyword Tool.
Now I have to go sell some cars or cut the grass or something, so I’m going to cut this post short. But there’s plenty more to learn regarding niche selection, so stay tuned for part two.