affiliate_competitionOne of the fundamental aspects of developing an online business is the ability to assess and evaluate your competition. Many individuals new to this process worry when they see a lot of competition for their topic area.

I take the opposite view. I think that having affiliate competition is a good thing, and one of the prime indicators of the potential for success. Here’s why:

Competition Validates the Market

The first and most important reason competition is a good thing is because it validates the market.

I hate to break it to you, but there are no untapped markets out there. There’s plenty of room for innovation in existing markets, yes, but chances are someone, somehow, is trying to promote a product or service to your market niche.

The fact that other people have built successful businesses within a given market is proof that there are individuals looking to spend money within your niche. So rather than shy away from competitors, take it as a sign of health and potential.

You Can Learn from Your Competition

I love browsing competitor’s sites. It always gives me a good sense of where I stand in the market and can often give me ideas or show me potential mistakes.

Competitor sites can help me develop ideas for individual blog posts, but more importantly they can help me develop a good site structure and layout, and possibly even think about product areas I hadn’t considered before.

They also help me avoid some common mistakes I might make in the industry. I can evaluate their sites with the eye of a critical but engaged customer, and see what types of product flows make sense, and which do not. This will help improve the content on my own site.

Affiliate Competition Shows Faith in the Product

Just as competition in general validates the ability to achieve success by proving that there is, in fact a market for your topic area, affiliate competition validates the worth of the individual products you’re trying to promote.

Think about it this way: if there were no other marketers trying to promote the same product as you, what would that say about the quality of the product? Unless the product or service is extremely new, it may be an indication that others view it as a low quality program and not worth promoting.

If that is the case, including a promotion for that product on your site could end up hurting you in the long run, by breaking the trust you’ve developed with your audience.

I hope this post helps clarify some of the major misconceptions that are out there about the role of competition in your site. If you want to read further, there’s a great post at Wealthy Affiliate with a slightly different approach on why competition doesn’t matter for niche selection.