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Is Affiliate Marketing Too Competitive?

Four million people search Google every minute, and some of them are searching for information in a niche area that you can write about

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

You may be dreaming about making big bucks while you sleep, but affiliate marketing is not a walk in the park. Yes, affiliate marketing can seem like easy money from the outside looking in.

Still, the reality is that there is some competition among affiliate marketers, and you have to put in the work to get your slice of the pie. You won’t be able to build a life of financial freedom from affiliate income by merely mentioning a handful of products and putting affiliate links on your website. With that said, you can make some decent money from affiliate marketing.

Research has shown that fewer than 10% of affiliates generate 90% of total conversions and sales; this means that only a few specific affiliate marketers drive most of the entire affiliate sales. Let’s start with the basics.

What is Affiliate Marketing? On his Smart Passive Income website, Pat Flynn defines affiliate marketing as: “Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a percentage of sales by promoting products from others. You select a product you have an affinity with, promote it to others, and earn a profit for each sale that you make.” It’s passive income, meaning you make money even at times when you’re not actively doing anything to make it.

Affiliate Marketing Through Amazon. If you plan to promote consumer products, such as tools, books, toys, and household items, there’s no question; the most prominent affiliate network is Amazon. With the Amazon Associates affiliate program, you can promote any of the products they sell on their platform. It is open to anyone. You just need to sign up and generate a custom affiliate link to Amazon products. If a buyer purchases through your link, you earn a small commission.

Competition Is Good. Don’t worry too much about lots of competition in affiliate marketing. It means that the sector is thriving and growing, and therefore, there are many opportunities. When there is a significant number of competition in your niche, there are tons of blogs where you can guest post and comments, several social media pages and forums where you can join in discussions, several websites to get backlinks with, and more networking opportunities. 

Even within a niche, you can set yourself apart by not doing what everyone else is doing. Create a niche within a niche by differentiating yourself, don’t try to fit in. Provide value to people, and they will buy the products you’re telling them about. Help people and stand apart from other marketers with your branding. Success will follow.

Finding a Niche. What exactly is a niche? It is a highly-specialised market. New affiliate marketers are advised to get started on the road to their first round of income, even if it may be small, by finding a niche with less than 30,000 competing in “quotes.” When you enclose a particular term in quotation marks, it forces Google to match a term exactly. 

You have to be careful, though. If you choose a term with meager search results to be the focus of your website or your affiliate marketing push or something obscure, you run the genuine risk of having very few people market your products to. And consequently, your odds of earning money will be low.

You want to aim for niches that don’t attract a lot of attention from your competitors yet generate interest among a target audience. You could also seek to identify a sub-niche of a broad niche. Many potentially lucrative niches have primarily gone undetected. 

There are multiple online sources you can use to help you identify a niche. One of these is Quantcast. Using their Explore button, you can view the top 100 sites based on visitor engagement. It’s best to scroll way down through the list to see some of the less competitive niches.

Quora is another great forum for identifying trends in topics people are talking about or searching for. You can do your search in Quora to see how many questions people are asking about a topic you may have in mind to use as your niche. It’s an excellent way to gauge trends and the level of interest in your case.

Another way to assess the level of competition within a niche is by looking at the cost per click of related keywords. The Google AdWords Keyword Planner can help with this. If you search for new keywords and hit the Get Ideas button, the number of monthly searches will tell you how much traffic your keyword gets. That will help you to focus on a niche that isn’t hugely popular yet generates some interest.

Leveraging Your Niche. Often when you’re starting, the best niches are the ones that you have a personal interest in and know well, in part because it will make it easy for you to develop content regularly. Ideas will come to you naturally, and the way you discuss it will make you feel authentic to readers or viewers. You can think of your hobbies, interests or activities. That can be a great way to get started and experiment at the beginning to determine what works and what doesn’t. It also means the options for niches are practically endless. 

You don’t have to dominate your niche to make a comfortable income, and if you add your unique twist to the topic, you may eventually be seen as an expert. To do this successfully, you need to define the characteristics or demographics of your target audience. This will help you to give them real value consistently, so they stick with you for the long-haul and buy the products you recommend. 

Always see yourself through their eyes. Mainly if they are coming to your website to learn about the topic you’re discussing, you are the knowledgeable person they rely on. You need to point them in the right direction and guide them carefully as they explore the topic. Create helpful content, and you’ll build a stable relationship with your audience.

Conduct Keyword Research. Test the results you get for some general root keywords related to people’s pain points. Think about words like “problem”, “solution”, “remove”, “ease”, etc. Consider anything that involves solving a problem. In this tool, every time you look up a word, bypass the results at the top of the list and scroll to about midway in the list until you see a term that catches your eye. Meanwhile, your competitors are likely to pursue the results at the top of the list. Check how many competing pages in Google use  “all in the title” for the term you’ve selected.

Getting Website Traffic. If you want to obtain more traffic to your website, you will need to do some research. Try to find markets that have demand, allowing you to sell lots of products eventually, yet they have not caught the attention of large numbers of other affiliate marketers. Your strategy should focus on weighing the number of searches versus competing pages based on “all in the title.” With this type of search, only results containing all of the specified words in the title tag will be returned.

The fundamental consideration is your inbound strategy. This strategy determines the number of visitors that will come to your website and the number of sales you will generate.

Blog or Website Content. Writing content to get free backlinks to your website is an essential strategy. It is necessary to know that if you simply develop a website or blog without any articles pointing back to it, it’s no help to you at all. Here are some tips to help you get noticed by becoming skilled in writing articles and creating videos: 

  • Read. Article ideas often emerge as you read, and your creativity is spurred on. Reading books will help you to write tons of articles that will connect with your readers. You may have thought you could simply copy and paste videos to video services. That is not the case with affiliate marketing in 2020. Even if your keywords are trending, your video still will end up at the bottom of the list. Try to come up with a video that’s powerful and unique. Avoid creating videos that are carbon copies of many other videos that are already out there. It is best to put yourself on camera as a critical strategy for making your videos like none other. 

Here are some other essential steps to take when creating videos:

  • Select the most relevant keyword and include it in whatever you say in the video.
  • Make a great first impression. Dress the part, remembering you want to be seen as professional.
  • Briefly introduce yourself and describe your online business.
  • How-to videos are always popular, so try your hand at creating one. You can also use a PowerPoint presentation you’ve made. If you follow all the guidelines mentioned within these steps, your video should be found when people do organic searches. You’re not done, though. It’s best to make follow-up videos and publish them online using video services.

Four million people search Google every minute, and some of them are searching for information in a niche area that you can write about. While there are affiliate marketers who rank well in organic searches, for broad keywords, you can be at the top of the list for longtail keywords that many other affiliate marketers have never even thought about. Once searchers land on your website, keep them interested in invaluable content that puts you head and shoulders above the rest. Make sure your content, with your affiliate links, is more helpful to your audience than anyone else’s, and you’re on your way to affiliate marketing success.

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Written By

As an SEO expert, Nabil loves learning and writing about digital marketing and how every aspect of digital marketing is connected with each other while making sure to keep their advertising costs as low as possible. He mostly helps small-medium sized businesses. Follow him on Twitter.

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