If you want to succeed with your affiliate marketing business, you have to focus on ROI. If you have a fuzzy idea of what return on investment means, you’re playing the game wrong.
Picking the Right Affiliate Program to Promote all Boils Down to ROI
You have to pay attention to two components of ROI. The first component is very obvious. This is return on investment. Put simply, how do you get the most return for every dollar you spend on your business.
Return on effort (ROE) simply means getting as much money from an activity while putting in as little time and effort into it. Put it another way, how do I maximize my income while minimizing my effort? For every minute I spend on doing something, how do I maximize the amount of dollars coming out of that activity?
Both these factors must be at play. You always have to constantly filter all your affiliate marketing decisions through these principles. Otherwise, you’re not going to make much money in this game.
The Answer? Put a Heavy Focus on the Commercial Value of Your Niche
How do you make sure that you’re always hitting ROE and ROI targets? Very simple. To maximize your ROI and ROE, you need to pick the right niche first, then pick the right affiliate program.
A lot of people get the order wrong. They often build their whole business around an affiliate program when it turns out that the niche they’re targeting is simply too hard, too saturated or too fragmented for them to turn a steady profit.
Follow the steps below and you will be well on your way to maximizing ROI and ROE. Spend less time, make more money.
The Niche Selection Process
Step #1: Identify your personal interests
Off the top of your head, list down all the topics and themes you are personally passionate about.
Ask yourself, “If I wasn’t getting paid anything, what would I talk about?” You need to do this because you don’t want to hit a point where you lose passion. You can’t run on fumes.
Step #2: Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to find the commercial value of keywords related to your niche
Enter your topics into Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner tool. This tool will tell you the average cost per click of keywords related to those topics. Don’t pick niches that are very, very expensive, nor should you pick niches that are very, very cheap. Pick something in the middle.
You want to pick a commercially attractive niche to make sure there’s enough affiliate programs that cater to that niche. But, you’re picking the middle of the road because you don’t want extreme competition and saturation on one end, and little to no demand on the other end.
Step #3: Use Google Keyword Planner tool (GKPT) to find search volume
GKPT will tell you the rough monthly search volume for keywords related to your niches. Again, just like with the previous step, pick something in the middle. Not too much traffic, not too little either.
When you pick niches that have very high levels of demand, you might have too much competition. On the other hand, if it doesn’t have enough demand, then it may not be worth pursuing because you’re not going to make that much money.
Step #4: Use Google Search to find competition level
At this point, enter all the keywords related to niches that remain on your list into Google’s main search box. Your searches will return a list of websites targeting the keyword you searched for.
Cross off your list niches that have too much competition. This is comparative so take off the top 20-30% in terms of competition. Avoid targeting saturated niches. You don’t want to build a website and put in all that time and effort only to find out that there’s too much competition.
Step #5: Check keywords on social media platforms to determine coverage
Enter your remaining niches’ keywords onto social media platforms and look if there are enough Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, hashtags, and other indications of social media interest.
Pick niches that already have a decent amount of interest on social media because you would want to build your website or promote your affiliate links on areas on social media that are dedicated to your niche.
Step #6: Check Google Trends to make sure your niche is stable or growing in demand
This is crucial. You don’t want to build your online empire on a niche that is on its way out. Use Google Trends and enter your search terms for your niches.
Do you see the arrow going up or going slightly up over time? Or do you see it flat lining or even dipping downward? If you see a flat line or if you see it decreasing in popularity over time, scratch that niche off your list.
Focus only on niches that are picking up popularity over a longer period of time, you can at least give yourself some market stability.