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Niche marketing - The affiliate angle

If you're just dipping your toes into the waters of Niche Marketing for the first time then Affiliate marketing is the ultimate low risk choice to get you started.

Affiliate programmes cost nothing to join and present an almost infinite choice of products and services from which to build a niche business.

If you're not familiar with Affiliate marketing, let me quickly explain.

An Affiliate acts as an independent "middle man" between a Merchant and consumer by introducing new prospects and customers to the Merchant. In return the Merchant pays a commission to the Affiliate on all sales that result from his or her introductions.

OK. So now you know what Affiliate Marketing is, how do you find suitable affiliate programmes for you niche?

Here are a couple of options to get you started - Search Engines and Affiliate Networks.

Search Engines

Go to www.Google.com and type in your Niche description e.g. "low carb diet" followed by a plus sign (+) and the word "affiliate" - the search query should look like this :

low carb diet+affiliate.

In the results you will get all the pages with the term "low carb diet" and the term "affiliate".

Go through the first and second pages and list all of the sites that show relevant products with affiliate programmes. Hopefully this will give you 10 or more affiliate programmes to choose from.

You could also repeat this exercise on www.Yahoo.com to give your self more options.

Affiliate Networks

An Affiliate Network acts as "middleman" between Merchants and Affiliates, providing a centralised service where Merchants can list details of their products and Affiliate programmes, providing Affiliates with a broad and varied selection of products and services to promote.

Here are some highly reputable networks you should visit to find suitable niche products and services to add to your list of prospective Affiliate programmes :

• ClickBank - http://www.clickbank.com - specialises in downloadable digital products.

• Commission Junction - http://www.cj.com - probably the most popular affiliate network has a broad range of mainly physical products. CJ has a gate way to the "Be Free" another huge network.

• LinkShare - http://www.linkshare.com - runs the largest pay for performance affiliate marketing network on the Internet.

• clixGalore - http://www.clixgalore.com - one of the larger affiliate networks with over 4500 Affiliate programmes to choose from.

• Digital River - https://www.regnow.com - specialises in software products including games, anti-virus and anti-spam titles.

Add all the relevant programmes to list of those you gleaned from the Search Engine(s).

Selecting Niche Affiliate Programmes

Be selective in your choice of affiliate programme. Don't just signup for all of the programmes you have listed, visit each site and check each one out and make sure you "read each Merchant's terms carefully".

Here are some points for you to consider when deciding which programmes to promote:

• Commission rates - rates vary considerably, check them out to make sure get the best deal possible.

• Commission type - does the Merchant pay on a pay per lead, pay per click or pay per sale?

• Frequency of payment - most important. Payment frequency can be weekly, two weekly, monthly, quarterly - I've even seen six monthly.

• Minimum payout - what is the minimum commission amount the merchant is prepared to pay out on. You don't get paid until the amount reaches that minimum.

• Cookie duration - cookies are set to capture your referral code and expire after a specific amount of time. Make sure you get the longest time possible. Very few of your referrals will buy on the first visit, you want enough time for your referral to visit again so that you get the commission.

• Minimum traffic requirement - you don't want to find out that your account has been terminated because you aren't sending enough traffic to the Merchant's site.

• Are sales tools available - it's in the Merchant's interest to help you as much as possible. If they provide sales and marketing tools it makes getting started a lot quicker and shows that the Merchant values their Affiliates.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. As I said earlier, check all the terms carefully, then select and sign up for the programmes which best suit your niche theme and you're ready to start promoting.

Copyright © 2005, André Anthony Niche Market Know-How


About the author
André Anthony owns and operates Niche Market Know-How a resource for beginning Niche Marketers. Visit http://www.nichemarketknowhow.com today to find strategies, tips, tools, products and resources for effective niche marketing. Get his Niche Market Know-how Mini Course here: http://www.nichemarketknowhow.com/course.htm

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