New to Affiliate Marketing? Think small!

Stu Foster started a heated debate on niche marketing on the A4uforum this week. I agree with a lot of what he has said. If you are new to affiliate marketing, do not try and create a big website aimed at a mass market area. You will get eaten alive by the big boys. Instead, think small.

Thinking small does not mean you will earn small. Quite the contrary. Let’s look at this logically with two simple (fictional) examples:

Example 1: Go for the big bucks

Your eyes might see pound/dollar signs when you see the sort of commission that broadband providers pay. Commission rates start at about £12 per sale and go up to £45. You think to yourself, if I am going to go through the hassle of developing a website, creating compelling content and spending the time on SEO, I had might as well make it worth while and go for an industry that pays a decent amount.

Well, you are setting yourself a tough task. Every other new affiliate marketer is thinking the same thing and they all want a slice of the action. Many experienced affiliates are already established in broadband. There are countless broadband providers. Most of the big name comparison sites like uSwitch offer a broadband comparison. What’s my point? You will be competing against all of these for search engine traffic. There are only so many broadband key phrases to target and most have other affiliates and providers crawling all over them.

You might decide to forget SEO and go down the PPC route. Biding on broadband terms is incredibly expensive. If you are new to it, you are likely to spend more then you make.

So by targeting an industry like broadband, you are going to be fighting hard to get any decent traffic. So it does not matter that commission values a high, because you do not have enough quality traffic to convert.

Example 2: Think small

Thinking small is the clever approach. Find a niche market. Then see if you can hone in on a sub niche of that niche. The commission rates are likely to be small, but the competition is low, so with the right domain name and a bit of SEO effort, it is very possible that you can get to the first page of Google for that niche term. An example of a niche market might be organic clothing. A sub niche of that might be organic clothing from Surrey.

Traffic and commission payments are likely to be low, but you can repeat the process many times with other niches until you have a network of niche websites. You could develop niche sites that are different but related and then link to each other, which is good for rankings as they are relevant inbound links and good for your visitors as they can find other relevant information. Collectively you are likely to get more traffic then if you had one bigger, more mainstream website.

So I suggest forgetting about thinking big and do not focus on the gross commission rate. Think about what you can achieve within the time available to you and try and become an authority in a tightly focused niche, rather than just another affiliate going after the big bucks. Commission rates might be lower, but overall revenue is likely to be higher. 4 sales at £25 is £100. 500 sales at £1 is £500. £25 per sale sounds like a lot compared with £1. But obviously £500 total revenue is better then £100!


Great post. I couldn't agree more! Small niche keyword focused sites are the way forward for newbies.

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