Diorex’s How to measure a niche post.
In the comments of my Affiliate Playbook post, I posted a link to SEO Blackhat’s list of 140 popular niches, by the looks of my outbound traffic, you guys were very intrigued by this.
Wanted to re-link to it for those who might not have seen it and follow-up with some comments about things to avoid or look for in a new niche.
· If you read the name of the niche and a few keywords dont pop-into your head immediately, you should probably not pursue it. Just about any product or niche will have hundred or possibly thousands of keywords, but if you cannot come up with the 5-10 high volume searches immediately, I would say move on.
· Follow-up this brief brainstorms with Google searches and pay attention to the ads. Are you going to be competing against common every day brand names or a bunch of mom and pops? I would discount the top 3 names and focus on how hard it is going to be to break into the second tier positions. Don’t let 1 or 2 brand names scare you, but if you look in 5th position and it is a fortune 500 company, then I might be tempted to move on.
· You do not want to be competing against the manufacturers of the product, even if they are not brand names, if there are no affiliates in the space that is probably a bad sign. The reverse is true, if it almost entirely affiliates (like ringtones) then it is probably pretty crowded and as a little guy without a white label/special payout you are already off to a bad start
· Is is it a product you know anything about? I dont think that unmarried college age guys are going to be rockstars at promoting a menopause product or even a baby shower list. Look to your life experiences for things you naturally know a little bit about. Sure you can learn, but why set yourself up for a longer more difficult road.
· By the same token, I would also avoid things that have enormous keyword lists. Ringtones, DVDs, Books etc. It just means a ton of optimization and a much more difficult road to start with. If you are looking at more than 5-10 ad copies to start, move on. Try to group your keywords for similar themes, it makes testing easier and testing is where you should be making your money.
Stuff to look for:
· Products that are not actually a product. If someone needs to pay for shipping or merchant might be out of stock or it cannot be shipped to the buyer quickly enough, then you may lose sales despite bringing a ready buyer to a merchant.
· An established affiliate program – if you are having to explain what an affiliate program is to a merchant you are on a slippery slope. You don’t want to be the beta tester.
· At least 2-3 affiliate programs that might compete against you and bid for your services. If you are the 800 lb. gorilla in a one affiliate program space you dont have nearly the leverage as if there were 2-3 others competing for your attention.
· Possibility to rev share. Subscriptions are great like Shoemoney preaches. Services where almost 100% of the revenue is profit are great. If it is a high dollar product with a low margin, you are only going to get a small sliver of the sale price.
· A payout that is north of $10. You simply cannot scale nickel clicks and a $2 payout. You are subject to even small fluctuations in search engine pricing or competition.
· Areas where you can find 2-3 really good URLs available. Short, sweet and keyword rich. Probably 50% or more of your success is going to be related to the URL, no reason not to consider what you might use before you start. I have heard lots of stories of people building everything they need and then looking for a good URL. Thats the wrong order. If $50-$100 to register a bunch of URLs is more than you can invest, I dont know how realistic your success chances are.
I am going to leave you with this thought, I have shared many times before. If you are picking a niche because you hear “so and so” is making a killing in it without regard for any of the above factors then you are setting yourself up for failure. You should be entering a niche because you have some sort of advantage or knowledge rather than because you are following the pack.
I am sure there are lots more things others can add to these lists based upon personal experience – feel free to share em.
This entry was posted on December 1, 2007 at 8:22 pm and is filed under PPC, paid search. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.