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  1. #1
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    What does my target market want?
    HI - I created a niche content site late summer of 2007. It's specifically focused at giving help to people designing a key area of their kitchen. I've listened to my stats and created pages around what folks were searching for. I think I've cornered a market that will grow slowly but surely.

    A kitchen-related website has lots of possibilities to speak to other interests of the visitor. However, I'm finding lots of keywords looking for "how to build" and "plans"

    I'm thinking this: I've got a do-it-your selfer market that's probably very frugal (not good for an affiliate!). I'm planning on pulling ads for coffees, gourmet cookies, high-end appliances and replacing them with a heavier, coupon-based approach for whatever this target market will purchase online.

    Here's a freebie: the most click-throughs were for the Fingerhut and Montgomery Ward programs - we're talking pretty practical people. I also had a lot of click-thrus for a company that sold stain-your-own furniture, but they fell out of favor with CJ... Obviously, I'm not converting and am looking for advice to what this target market would want.

    I would appreciate some fresh eyes looking at this - thank you....

    -Sweet Iowa
    Last edited by sweetiowa; January 31st, 2008 at 12:18 AM. Reason: additional info

  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    Remember sweetiowa it's not just about clicks it's about conversions. People can "click" for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it's just curiosity. What you want to watch is what % of those clicks turn into sales. That will tell you whether those merchants are doing a good job once your click arrives.

    Also...

    The EPC (earnings for 100 clicks) will tell you whether the program you choose pays well enough to be worth your time. Just because a merchant attracts clicks doesn't tell you if you can make good money with those clicks. EPC will factor in commission AND conversion.

    But don't go by what the Network tells you the EPC for a merchant is. Figure out your own. Your traffic may do better or worse than what other affiliates do with the same merchant.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    His thread was kind of spammy, but Andrew Wee did make some very good points about how to understand what your target market wants.

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew wee
    Instead, be a consumer of your product, and this means more than just buying a jar of that skin tightening cream.
    Go into the appropriate forums.
    If you go to the forums related to your niche, you'll find the types of challenges, questions, and problems that people in that niche face. Those are the issues to address. Become an authority. Help people around the challenges. Help them find answers to their questions (especially if the answer is a product that you conveniently have a link to). Help them solve their problems (often with a product) rather than just trying to sell products. But don't spam the forums. If your site becomes this authority, consumers will post links to your site.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Lanadili's Avatar
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    I've also found that it helps to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. Go to the merchants websites that you promote and go through the process of buying something. You don't have to actually buy anything, but it's good to see what kind of process your visitors will go through if they do decide to buy something. Do they accept all major credit cards? What is their shipping costs? Do they make the checkout process easy or hard? You'd be surprised at what some merchants put visitors through to checkout, which can be a turn-off. They might offer low costs on the products, but have an outrageous shipping cost.

  5. #5
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    Michael - thanks for the link - I picked out the material I needed. It's a good start. My original post was basically wondering out loud, "...hmmm, what would do-it-your-selfers buy online?"

    It sounds like everything I learn through research will be hard-won.

    At least I have a bit of a different attitude, now. I do think I have great content and am really helping my visitor, but I ignorantly thought slapping up some banners and text links would get people clicking away at them.

    For anyone catching this thread, one of the best tips I picked up from Michael's link I will quote Rick from SiteSell:

    "Use 'content' with links to your solutions and you'll be learning what they want and identifying where they are in the buying cycle. You'll also learn how to move them down that buying cycle...

    "Would you like to quit your day job? Then click on this link. I might know something that can help you."

    "Would you like to work at home? Here's some folks that are doing just that."

    "Need some extra money. Who doesn't right? Here's something that works for me."

    "Is being over-weight making you feel awful? Here's some things you can do about it."

    among other tips....
    Last edited by sweetiowa; January 31st, 2008 at 08:24 PM. Reason: credit author

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanadili
    I've also found that it helps to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. Go to the merchants websites that you promote and go through the process of buying something. You don't have to actually buy anything, but it's good to see what kind of process your visitors will go through if they do decide to buy something. Do they accept all major credit cards? What is their shipping costs? Do they make the checkout process easy or hard? You'd be surprised at what some merchants put visitors through to checkout, which can be a turn-off. They might offer low costs on the products, but have an outrageous shipping cost.
    Just to deviate a little from this thread's topic, I want to know how I can inform potential buyers/affiliates to keep from promoting a merchant with poor terms/service. I really had a bad expirience recently buying sth from a certain website. And surely if a merchant takes a whole month to deliver stuff, you will lose potential return customers.

  7. #7
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tess
    I want to know how I can inform potential buyers/affiliates to keep from promoting a merchant with poor terms/service.
    Find & promote merchants with good quality & service.
    Focus your attention on the positives.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  8. #8
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    Wow. I spent the weekend digging through my traffic logs looking at search phrases and pages visited. I realized:

    1) I was targeting the wrong segment of a market
    2) Discovered additional market segments that are attracted to my site

    And this was done through examining my search phrase logs and a "connect-the-dots" approach.

    One set of my phrases was, "how to make..." "how to build" "looking for plans" That tells me I've got woodworkers, do-it-your-selfers, people that are looking for advice (high traffic to my how-to page backed this up).

    Another set of phrases looking for "design" "ideas" "layout" - not to stereotype, but that tells me I have housewives in the planning stages.
    (I realized that mid-upper income visitors would probably NOT be my market, because they would just pay a kitchen designer for services and not do the legwork themselves).

    That could also tell me I have kitchen designers at my site looking for ideas (and I really do not know what those people would buy).

    YAHOOO! There's all kinds of things I can sell these people, power tools, lighting, new furniture.... I've decided to test different offers on my coupon page like baby gear/children's sites to figure out how young my audience is, along with discount stores (because I think I have a frugal market).

    Also to add, I had started a forum that flopped, so I removed it. Over a few months, I had enough emails in my box of people seeking advice from me that I turned it into an FAQ section. Hoping this will strengthen the view of my website as a true resource.

    (I thought sharing my trial and error process would be helpful to others in my newbie boat).
    Last edited by sweetiowa; February 3rd, 2008 at 09:11 PM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
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    Affiliate programs provide some target market info
    I've been applying to new affiliate programs since I have rethought my target market. A few of them (not very many) are providing me some profile info on their target market: telling me who their are, what their income range is, the best time of the year to sell to these people.

    That is gold. I wish more affiliate programs would graciously hand this to me!

    Some of this info is in welcome emails, and some is in their newsletters...

    -Sweet Iowa

  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Generally, you can (1) pick something to monetize then figure out ways to best get visitors (my preference if I can help it) -or- (2) get visitors and figure out ways to monetize them (your situation).

    Chicken or egg thing I guess.

    I've got a do-it-your selfer market that's probably very frugal (not good for an affiliate!). I'm planning on pulling ads for coffees, gourmet cookies, high-end appliances and replacing them with a heavier, coupon-based approach for whatever this target market will purchase online.
    If you've got do-it-yourself'ers, I agree with the focuing less on gourmet, high-end stuff. However, couponing probably wouldn't be my primary focus if I were in your shoes. If they are DIYers, fulfill their direct needs. What do DIYers need... what are they hunting for... projects, plans, tools, ideas, materials, learning books, how-to articles. You said you built something for a specific area of a kitchen, you might expand that into all kitchen areas.

    If you had a how to article, for example, on how to mount a tv in your kitchen, you might set yourself apart from your competitors (how to books and Lowes/Home Depot guides) by listing in your how-to articles where people can buy their materials for this project online... TheNerds (SAS) sells TV ceiling mounts and cables... Vanns sells TVs...

    One big drawback to DIY articles is getting started - most articles say what to do, yours will too, but it can also say...
    Step 4: Go here and buy this tv mount

    And give them creative ideas... like instead of mounting a tv, mount a computer (sell 'em), get a wireless keyboard (sell those) and buy a sling box (sell that too) so they can also shoot their cable or satellite signal (sell that too) into the kitchen's computer - now they have internet access and tv in their kitchen...

    I'd say to construct a site that's project based with a second layer of products pages that support the projects. Each project describes how-to DIY stuff but links out often to the product pages that they'd need to complete the project...

    Shoot, make product pages for everything under the sun. Every project you plan is loaded with links to these shopping pages... a comparison page for tape measures even... article idea: basic tools every DIY needs.

    Everytime you make a new project, you make new product pages for everything they'd need. As time passes, some projects materials will already be built (like the tape measure page when you do other projects that require a tape measure).

    You can run with some ideas... check out these tape measures... they have ones for your favorite sports teams:
    http://www.goldencan.com/help/FindMe...tape%20measure

    Did you know that Vanns (SAS) sells sink garbage disposals?

    Know how many merchants sell kitchen faucets?
    http://www.goldencan.com/help/FindMe...tchen%20faucet

    What about an article on installing a kitchen backsplash...
    http://www.goldencan.com/help/FindMe...n%20Backsplash

    How about we caulk some stuff:
    http://www.goldencan.com/help/FindMe...dencanst=caulk

    SweetIowa, the ideas flow like a river here once you put your mind to it, they're coming at me at blinding light speed.

    I think you could spend years on the themed depth available to you here on this kind of site.

    You are getting them to visit you now and they are hungry for DIY information. Feed their hunger. Give them what they want, they'll swallow it, maybe even gulp it down.

    Good luck to you!

  11. #11
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Hey Sweet Iowa! We remodeled our kitchen a few years ago and while our budget was not frugal I did try to keep costs down by buying as many products online as possible, including faucets, sink, light switch plates, cabinet hardware and lighting fixtures. There are lots of merchants in those niches with affiliate programs and some do offer coupons. One resource that might help you get a better idea of the range of budgets for kitchen remodelers is the kitchen forum at gardenweb.com. I found that to be my best resource for sources and design ideas when I was remodeling.

    Best of luck to you!

  12. #12
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    Thank you for your generous sharing of information! I'm off to put it to work.... Sweet Iowa

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