If you’re just starting out learning about what’s involved in creating an affiliate site, developing a sound affiliate marketing business strategy might not be something that’s at the top of your list.
There’s so much information to learn, so many little things to do to get going, it can be tempting to dive into a new site without considering whether or not that site makes business sense.
Even before you decide on what type of affiliate marketing site you want to build, you should start with a solid analysis of the business opportunity it provides.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your affiliate business strategy:
With all of the talk about narrowing your topic down to a small niche, it can be easy to forget to evaluate whether that niche is an appropriate market size for your business goals.
While most new internet marketers choose topics that are too broad, a few go for a tiny sub-niche that doesn’t provide much traffic opportunity. After all, how are you supposed to know how many people search for left handed baseball gloves for toddlers?
I have two rules for a quick market evaluation:
- Do you think you could write 100 quality articles on the topic without being redundant?
- Can you come up with at least 50,000 monthly searches on related keywords?
While ultimately you’re going to want to have more than each of these numbers, if you can envision achieving it there’s a good chance you won’t have any problem with the market.
The other half of the market size equation is whether or not there’s a lot of competition in your niche.
If you’re just starting out, it might be hard to know how to pick out whether or not there’s a lot of other players in your space. One trick I use is to do a few quick Google searches for some of your target keywords. Outside of the “brand-name” results, how many of the top 20 results look like they’re well-developed sites?
For a more advanced version of this process, use a free backlink checker combined with a Google site search to determine the site size and popularity.
Another key component to developing a sound affiliate marketing business strategy is to know where the money’s coming from.
This is a crucial yet often overlooked step of the process. So many people focus on finding the right niche and assessing whether they could build a site to get ranked for that niche, without evaluating what people would want to buy after searching for those terms.
Some revenue opportunities are more obvious than others (think: “best pink iPhone cases” vs. “how to bury a pet”) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more subtle goldmines hiding beneath the surface.
In general, if you can find at few physical products and a few digital products that fit your niche right off the bat, you’re not going to have a problem coming up with revenue options later on. Click here to read more on finding affiliate product opportunities.
Another aspect most newbies overlook is the actual amount of resources required to build the site successfully.
Resources come in the form of both time and money, so make sure you set a budget and anticipated number of hours per week to allocate to your site before you begin.
Time Until Return
Finally, you need to understand how long it takes to build out a successful site.
Most sites are abandoned around the 2-4 month mark, and this lack of foresight and follow-through is one of the main reasons new affiliate sites fail.
If you only have 3 months to work on a site (for a summer sabbatical, for example) schedule your strategy around that constraint. You can even out the distribution of your posts over time, rather than create a 50 page site in a week and then never return to it.
All in all, the main point I want to make with this article is that whatever your goals for your site, you need to have a sound affiliate marketing business strategy to get there.
If you don’t know how to develop that strategy, or are stuck on where to begin, click here for a free training program.