Research Your Affiliate Marketing Competition Before You Enter a Niche

  • Comments: 4
  • Written on: August 13th, 2008

This is the second post in a multi-post series on
how to dominate an affiliate marketing niche.
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Previous Installments: 
Select Affiliate Marketing Offers that Will Make You Money

Shoemoney Tools BetaBefore you start any new online or offline money making venture it’s a good idea to poke around and see what others are doing in the niche before you jump in with both feet.  By doing your homework first, you can save a LOT of time, money, and effort.

After I found a niche that satisfied my search criteria for multiple offers across several networks with good payouts, I needed to see how stiff the search engine competition was for organic traffic.

I pay $99 a month to subscribe to Shoemoney Tools (currently in beta at a discounted $99 rate).  You can do some of the same research I do using Shoemoney Tools by accessing other various websites on the web at no cost.  However, Shoemoney Tools has the APIs to query Google properly unlike many of the hack and slash tools on the web that get gummed up every time Google changes their algorithm.  This package is worth the price for its consistency alone IMO.

First, I did some keyword research using Shoemoney Tools to identify what keywords were common for my niche.  Not only does Shoemoney’s keyword research tool give me keywords, but it also gives me key phrases with the words in the order they are typed by visitors.  These small advantages are what can push you over the top with your SEO.

Little Competition in my Niche

Next, I did some Google searches on those keywords and phrases to identify what websites rank in the highest search engine spots for those keywords.

I was surprised to find that the niche I selected actually has little competition among affiliate marketers.  In fact, all but one of the results on the first page were for sites that had little or no monetization at all.  They were all genuine information websites there to serve their visitors.

This means I am going to have to really ratchet up my content to fit in with the top dogs.  On the other hand, the under commercialization of the niche means that the visitors should convert more easily because they are not being bombed with offers every second.

I spent some time on each of the top competitors’ websites and I quickly began to notice which sites rank for just a few keywords and which are really permeating the niche from every angle.

A HUGE Statistical Find

While I was looking at one of the more comprehensive competitor’s website, I found a GOLDMINE.  A lot of the sites in this niche are 1990’s era information pages built with some kind of out-of-the-box website design software.  The website holding the #1 result for my most critical search terms was nice enough to leave a counter link on the bottom of their home page to a public statistic page!

I now had the EXACT search terms and keywords, referring websites, traffic counts, and pages on their website that are bringing the most traffic.  This information is golden because now I can create pages that directly compete with their top pages and I know exactly how much traffic I can expect to get when I beat them.  I can use this information to focus my initial content generation and SEO efforts to drive immediate traffic to my new site ASAP. This is HUGE.

I used Shoemoney Tools backlink checking tool to find out that the same competitor is getting 20,000 visitors a month coming in primarily through 24 pages with only 270 backlinks elevating them in the search engines.  This should be a pretty easy target to go after, especially considering the SEO on the pages I am chasing is way out of date.

I now have all of the information I need to craft a website with specific content pages that should quickly rise to the top of search engine results and draw organic (free) traffic to my website.

What is Coming Tomorrow:

Tomorrow I will post about the three different methods of creating content for your new niche website.  I will cover what kind of content you need to have, how it should be constructed to rank in the search engines,and the ups and downs of buying your content or creating it yourself.

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  1. James Wilcox said on August 13th, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    When you tackle these kinds of campaigns and are going after a niche market, are you registering new domains to build the targeted websites on? This is something that I don’t really understand when doing affiliate promotion/marketing is the landing page or the “hook”.

  2. Thor Schrock said on August 13th, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    You have to be careful not to get affiliate marketing backwards. While I am going after a niche to make money, I am not going to make any income until I have a website that has consistent traffic. The best way to get consistent traffic is to create content that others find useful and will consume.

    Once you have the traffic, THEN you can monetize it. What I have done is to look where the opportunities for making money are, then I identified a niche that would respond to those offers. Now I need to develop a website in that niche that attracts traffic so I can take advantage of the money making opportunities.

    Landing pages are single page websites that are designed to intake traffic, send it to the affiliate marketing offer, and get it to convert into leads or sales. In my opinion landing pages are best used in paid-traffic situations (although you can use them with organic search as well). Paid traffic is buying advertising in one place to send visitors to another place – like the AdWords ads you see on the Google search results.

    I have a post scheduled in the series about how to pick the right domain and how to build a good content rich website on it.

  3. James Wilcox said on August 16th, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Are these the strategies you used in The Next Internet Millionaire?

  4. Thor Schrock said on August 16th, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    No, not directly. The strategies I learned there can certainly be applied to affiliate marketing and I have used them in the past.

    This formula is the same formula affiliate marketers have been using for years. My hope is that by putting it all together and using some of the latest tools available a process that previously took months to refine and hone can be executed for big money in a 30 day window.

    I have never executed on a niche this quickly myself, so in a lot of ways I am blogging about an experiment I am conducting. The underlying principals are sound, but it will be interesting to see just how far it can be pushed.

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