One of the most important skills you can develop as an affiliate marketer is how to find niche product opportunities to incorporate into your site. The ability to identify quality niche products while staying away from spammy or potential scam products is key to building an air of authority and trust with your readers.
The good news is that, regardless of your specific niche, there are lots of opportunities to promote affiliate products. The relative ease for a business or informational content owner to create affiliate links (via one of the established tracking programs like Clickbank or LinkShare) means that there is always a wide variety of products available, and that this product set is constantly expanding.
How to Find Niche Product Opportunities
The rest of this article will focus on why you should use an affiliate network and how to get started searching for products within them.
What are the Top Affiliate Networks
There are a number of affiliate programs to choose from, but the largest number of products are concentrated with a few major networks.
- Commission Junction
Each of these networks offers link tracking and payment management for the affiliate programs you register for within the network.
Why to Use Affiliate Networks
Affiliate networks are the first place I look for new product opportunities, for three reasons.
- Large product base. The major affiliate networks act as extensive communities in their own right, each with thousands of products available to promote. Once you’re registered with the network, signing up for additional products is quick and painless, so its easy to add extra links and keep track of all your materials in sales all in one place.
- Existing reputation. The top networks have all been around for years. Over time, they’ve had the opportunity to refine their tracking technology and implement solid policies regarding payment distributions. This fact translates to less risk for you as the affiliate partner, since you can be confident that you’ll actually receive money for sales that originated from your site.
- Synergy with other products. By this I mean the ability to combine the ‘power’ of one sale with that of enough and meet initial barriers more quickly. There’s nothing more frustrating than signing up for a new affiliate program, getting a few sales, but not hitting the required payout mark. Money can sit for months or years before accruing enough to make a payment, and some programs even expire the credit after a set time period. Working with affiliate networks gets around this hurdle and gets you your payment more quickly.
How to Find Products within the Network
Given this background, the process of finding niche product opportunities within any of the above networks is fairly straightforward.
Once you sign up for an account, you usually just need to search for a desired product and click to join the program. This program will then be automatically added to your list of approved affiliate programs, and unique tracking links, ads, and banners created for you.
The only frustration with the system can come from the search functionality. To be most effective looking for products, it’s best to already know exactly what product you’re looking for.
Searching for a unique brand or domain name on the network is definitely your best choice.
If you don’t know the exact name, however, you’re better off browsing “from the outside in” to find relevant products, as not all programs are indexed and categorized according to the search terms you might select.
If this still doesn’t work, you should read my article on identifying affiliate products with Google to understand how to source potential products before you search on individual networks.