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  1. #1
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    Next Steps
    Hi all,

    So i've finally got around to figuring out a niche and was hoping that I could get some advice for the next steps to take. I am sure there are tutorials for this, but I am not sure if I am just tired or not looking in the right spot but am not having much luck finding them.

    1 - I like sports but know this is too broad of a niche. I think I will focus on the sports collectible area (cards, autographs, memorabilia, etc). Is this still too broad of a topic or is it too small of a niche?

    2 - I have some web site skills, but am not sure if I should do a WordPress blog or a website? I think today's young crowd are more used to blogs, but I can see advantages to websites as well.

    3 - Once I have a website, domain and host, how do I sign up for affiliates? Will most places like Google deny me since I am just starting?

    4 - Should I go with PPC ads (if so any recommendations?), or should I go with commission based ads?

    Anyways thanks for any help for a transitioning newbie .

  2. #2
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    Sorry to bump but I see there have been lots of views but no help. Am I asking the wrong questions? Am I barking up the wrong tree? Any insight or helpful links is greatly appeciated .

    Thanks

  3. #3
    http and a telephoto
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    All of those questions are general questions that have been asked and have no real answer. You need to do research and see what will work best in your own situation. There are a lot of threads on each of your questions, so have a go at using the search button and enjoy reading and learning along the way.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Sports collectibles still seems like a HUGE niche to me. Unless you can do a comprehensive job in the niche you focus on, you won't be considered an authority. If it were me, I would narrow it down even further.

    When I say "authority", I'm not talking about Google (although that may come as well). I'm talking about users. When people think about your niche, you want them to think about your site. When people who are passionate about the niche talk about web site, you want them to talk about yours. When people post about the niche on forums, you want them to post about your site. When magazines do stories about the niche, you want them to mention your site. When people think about buying something in your niche, you want them to come to your site to decide what to buy. When all of that starts happening on a regular basis, you'll know that you're an authority.

    You won't become an authority with a superficial, general, sales-focused 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

  5. #5
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    Thank you very much! Finding a niche is really hard work. From everything I have read, it says do something you enjoy and are passionate about. I really enjoy all of the major sports (news, collectibles, memorbilia, autographs, fantasy sports, gambling, statistics, Olympic sports, etc). The problem seems that I can't narrow it down enough and still find enjoyment.

    Hope that makes sense, any suggestions are appreciated . Perhaps I could write about swimming?

  6. #6
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adammo
    Sorry to bump but I see there have been lots of views but no help. Am I asking the wrong questions? Am I barking up the wrong tree? Any insight or helpful links is greatly appeciated .
    Not asking the wrong questions, but the problem is that there are probably as many opinions as there are members here and many of us are reluctant to advise because we've found that what works for one doesn't necessarily work for someone else, and we wouldn't want to discourage you, no matter how hair brained your ideas may seem to us.

    In my opinion, one of the most difficult elements of affiliate marketing is that there is no "prescribed path to success". Sure, we can say do this, this and this and you'll be successful in very broad terms, the problem is that there really is no guarantee that you'll do any of the "this'es" the same way that I did (does this make any senses at all?). In other words "the world don't move to the beat of just one drum, What might be right for you, may not be right for some". (I'm sorry, I digress).

    Did I mention that one of the most difficult elements of affiliate marketing is that there is no "prescribed path to success"? Ah yes, did I also mention that it's probably the best part of affiliate marketing also. Every site is run by a pioneer. Who's to say that the path you choose is going to be less successful than mine, until you try. The real beauty and allure of this business is that it really is more art than science, so there's nothing stopping you from taking that model that everyone said would fail and making it a great success (that'll show us).

    So if you're still awake after reading all of that, I'll take a stab at answering your questions. Just keep in mind my ramblings above.

    Quote Originally Posted by adammo
    1 - I like sports but know this is too broad of a niche. I think I will focus on the sports collectible area (cards, autographs, memorabilia, etc). Is this still too broad of a topic or is it too small of a niche?
    1). I think sports collectibles is a great niche, especially if you can find merchants other than Ebay for products. Not that I have anything against Ebay, I just don't believe in putting all my nuts in one tree.

    As far as it being too broad or too narrow? Who knows? You have to start somewhere, so why not start with a single sport or a single team and let it grow from there? You could actually start with a very broad memorabilia site fed by several smaller very specific micro sites, or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by adammo
    2 - I have some web site skills, but am not sure if I should do a WordPress blog or a website? I think today's young crowd are more used to blogs, but I can see advantages to websites as well.
    2). Who cares? Just make it visually appealing and provide users with a great online experience. Easy right? I've seen great sites and pathetic sights that use every platform and tool imaginable, it's not the medium that'll make you successful, it's what you put in to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by adammo
    3 - Once I have a website, domain and host, how do I sign up for affiliates? Will most places like Google deny me since I am just starting?
    3). Once your sites up and running make sure you have some relevant content that merchants can see when (if) they visit your site. The other sure fire road to acceptance is to start with merchants that have auto approval.

    Quote Originally Posted by adammo
    4 - Should I go with PPC ads (if so any recommendations?), or should I go with commission based ads?
    4). If I understand you correctly you're asking if you should monetize your site with Adsense type ads or affiliate links. There really is no reason that you can't do both, however you're looking at a difference between pennies per click vs. dollars per sell. This is another area where there are sooo many opinions that your head will explode.

    Join a couple of networks once you have a site to put in your profile and take a look around to see what type of merchants/products are available to monetize your site. Make your decision based on what's available to fit the niche you've chosen.

    I hope this helps, but keep in mind any useful information was purely accidental. The best advice I can give you is to just jump in with both feet and do it, make some mistakes and adjust. And by all means have fun. If it ain't fun it ain't worth doin'.

    Good luck.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  7. #7
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    Thanks! That was a very detailed post and gives me lots to think about. To be honest, I think I am just confused about where to go and how to promote products? Do I have to visit certain companies and offer to advertise for them? I should be able to put a good Wordsite website together and talk about different collectibles. I'm also really considering a swimming website as I did it for numerous years and have extensive knowledge.

    Also, how long does your website have to be active in order to be accepted? Thanks again!

    I really appreciate the help!

    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    Not asking the wrong questions, but the problem is that there are probably as many opinions as there are members here and many of us are reluctant to advise because we've found that what works for one doesn't necessarily work for someone else, and we wouldn't want to discourage you, no matter how hair brained your ideas may seem to us.

    In my opinion, one of the most difficult elements of affiliate marketing is that there is no "prescribed path to success". Sure, we can say do this, this and this and you'll be successful in very broad terms, the problem is that there really is no guarantee that you'll do any of the "this'es" the same way that I did (does this make any senses at all?). In other words "the world don't move to the beat of just one drum, What might be right for you, may not be right for some". (I'm sorry, I digress).

    Did I mention that one of the most difficult elements of affiliate marketing is that there is no "prescribed path to success"? Ah yes, did I also mention that it's probably the best part of affiliate marketing also. Every site is run by a pioneer. Who's to say that the path you choose is going to be less successful than mine, until you try. The real beauty and allure of this business is that it really is more art than science, so there's nothing stopping you from taking that model that everyone said would fail and making it a great success (that'll show us).

    So if you're still awake after reading all of that, I'll take a stab at answering your questions. Just keep in mind my ramblings above.

    1). I think sports collectibles is a great niche, especially if you can find merchants other than Ebay for products. Not that I have anything against Ebay, I just don't believe in putting all my nuts in one tree.

    As far as it being too broad or too narrow? Who knows? You have to start somewhere, so why not start with a single sport or a single team and let it grow from there? You could actually start with a very broad memorabilia site fed by several smaller very specific micro sites, or not.

    2). Who cares? Just make it visually appealing and provide users with a great online experience. Easy right? I've seen great sites and pathetic sights that use every platform and tool imaginable, it's not the medium that'll make you successful, it's what you put in to it.

    3). Once your sites up and running make sure you have some relevant content that merchants can see when (if) they visit your site. The other sure fire road to acceptance is to start with merchants that have auto approval.

    4). If I understand you correctly you're asking if you should monetize your site with Adsense type ads or affiliate links. There really is no reason that you can't do both, however you're looking at a difference between pennies per click vs. dollars per sell. This is another area where there are sooo many opinions that your head will explode.

    Join a couple of networks once you have a site to put in your profile and take a look around to see what type of merchants/products are available to monetize your site. Make your decision based on what's available to fit the niche you've chosen.

    I hope this helps, but keep in mind any useful information was purely accidental. The best advice I can give you is to just jump in with both feet and do it, make some mistakes and adjust. And by all means have fun. If it ain't fun it ain't worth doin'.

    Good luck.

    -rematt

  8. #8
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    There are dozens of places to find merchants. In general they will accept a new site application. I suggest applying first and if you aren't accepted contact the company directly and inquire from there.

    HTH

  9. #9
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    As to where to go, most merchants are at networks, some top ones:

    http://www.cj.com
    http://www.linkshare.com
    http://www.shareasale.com/
    http://www.google.com/ads/affiliatenetwork/
    http://www.avantlink.com/

    and there are more. They have lots of merchants to choose from. First sign up with those networks and then once accepted look for merchants you like, think will work and apply. Some will automatically accept, some will take a look at your site first, some will deny.

    Then you have some big companies running their own program like Amazon and ebay -

    https://affiliate-program.amazon.com...ding/main.html
    https://www.ebaypartnernetwork.com/f...-US/index.html

  10. #10
    CPA Network Rep Essociate's Avatar
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    if you can post on this forum, you can use wordpress so it is a good way to launch a site about sports topics. use a mix of adsense and networks, but don't go too crazy with the banners when you are gettiing rolling. build your audience with quality unique content etc..

  11. #11
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    Thank you again everyone .

    So I have two ideas floating around that I think I can do:

    1 - A site on Sports collectibles (cards, autographs, etc.)
    2 - A site on swimming (drills, sets, news, etc.)

    I've read quite a bit about determining a good niche to go with but most make reference to an Overture search tool. But to me this looks to be inactive?

    Are there any other good method to determine if your niche would have a good audience/potential profit?

    Thanks!!

  12. #12
    Full Member lintlin's Avatar
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    Google the "thirty day challenge" and do it. That will answer each and every one of your questions.

    Good luck!

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Are there any other good method to determine if your niche would have a good audience/potential profit?
    If it was the niche that determined your success or failure we could all succeed. It isn't the niche, it's what you do with it. That's up to you. There is no road map, there is only try and try some more.

    As rematt said:
    Just make it visually appealing and provide users with a great online experience. Easy right? I've seen great sites and pathetic sights that use every platform and tool imaginable, it's not the medium that'll make you successful, it's what you put in to it.
    It's not the niche or the medium or any specific program that determines your success, it is you and what you put out there for the people to see. Build a usable, useful site primarily then monetize it in the ways that work best for you.

  14. #14
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    Thank you all again. I know I am pressing my luck, but I just have one last question.

    As shown above I think I have narrowed my choices down to two niches that I feel good about. My plan right now is to use commission based advertisements. But what happens if I sign up for a merchant site and nothing relevant pops up? For example, what if I create a swimming website, get accepted to one of the sites above, but find that there are no swimming related campaigns?

    Perhaps this is not possible, but it's hard to know since you need a website to be accepted to view the merchants lists .

    Hope that makes sense!

  15. #15
    Member niche's Avatar
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    Sometimes it's not about doing research into supply and demand. In a niche like sports collectibles, you can be certain that there is a market for this
    I would suggest you get things going. Build the website. Start getting your links. The rest of it you'll learn as you go. I did
    [URL="http://www.affiliatemarketingintro.com"]Affiliate Marketing Basics[/URL]

  16. #16
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    Once you start, make sure you track everything. Sign up for Google AdWords so you can use their tracking/reporting Analytics tool. You will also have access to their keyword tool which is a good replacement for the Overture tool you mentioned. You don't have to spend money showing ads to use these tools so it is worth signing up.

    Building a site and monetizing it is not hard. Getting traffic - lots of targeted traffic - is hard. Build a site about what you are interested in and start testing ways to get traffic. Don't buy any traffic at first because you have lots to learn yet and you will just blow through lots of money. Spend most of your time thinking about how you will get traffic. Once you have traffic coming in, then you can test different links, programs, ads, designs, colors, placements, etc... The analytics tool will tell you where people are coming from and where they go on your site. Your affiliate and ad reports will tell you if they are clicking on anything and making purchases.

    The general rule in most markets is lots of clicks to get a sale.... so again, focus on getting lots of targeted traffic. Be unique, solve a problem, match yourself to an audience, build lots of quality content, find high traffic places to post good ads for your site, etc... Test, tweak, test, tweak, repeat....
    [URL=http://www.investeverymonth.com]InvestEveryMonth.com[/URL] - Build Wealth

  17. #17
    Member Anat's Avatar
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    Also, you can have more than one website. I have several hundreds by now. Why limit yourself to blog or site, when you can have both? why do just one niche when you can do several?

    In my experience, some sites do really well, while others fail - with lots of sites around, I can afford to experiment and see what works best for me.

    Good luck!

  18. #18
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    Thanks again everyone, there is alot of good info here to help me get started. I'm used to doing things in a similar fashion to how others have done them...hence so many questions. It seems like affiliate marketing is alot of learning on your own .

    I don't know if this is a question that can be asked, but can anyone show me some examples of sites they have created and have had good success? It just helps me get a better idea of how to set up my site in terms of gettign the ball rolling.

    My last question is on article marketing. The only thing I worry about with setting up my own web site is the time involved. I think I have enough time, but am wondering if article writing is better suited for me. Can you still make money writing articles? My thinking was that you could not put commission based links on sites like squidoo.

    Thanks again!

  19. #19
    http and a telephoto
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    No one will show you their sites here, for many reasons. And there is a whole thread about article marketing:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=124926
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    No one will show you their sites here, for many reasons. And there is a whole thread about article marketing:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=124926
    I kind of figured it would be something that many would not want to share, but you never know .

    Thanks for the link!

  21. #21
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    Hi all,

    Based on some keyword searches and such, I think I have narrowed down some of my areas of interests to the following niches:

    skates (hockey skates seems low)
    hockey sticks
    hockey jerseys
    nfl jerseys
    exercise equipment
    golf equipment
    golf balls
    ladies golf clubs (golf clubs seem to popular)

    Can anyone tell me if any of these areas are a decent path for a newbie starting off? I'm curious if some of the above niches are too difficult to get my foot in the door so to speak.

    Thank you.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    adammo, as much as people would like to help you, none of us can predict the future. Any niche is what you make of it. There is no recipe for success, but wondering instead of doing is a recipe for failure.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy
    adammo, as much as people would like to help you, none of us can predict the future. Any niche is what you make of it. There is no recipe for success, but wondering instead of doing is a recipe for failure.
    Very true...well i'll ust give it a shot. Any idea how picky CJ and linkshare sites are? I'm wondering how much content i'd need before being accepted. My biggest worry is purchasing a domain and hosting for Niche A only to find out that all along I should have gone with Niche B
    Last edited by adammo; October 21st, 2009 at 07:10 PM.

  24. #24
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adammo
    skates (hockey skates seems low)
    hockey sticks
    hockey jerseys
    nfl jerseys
    exercise equipment
    golf equipment
    golf balls
    ladies golf clubs (golf clubs seem to popular)
    Several of those (which I colored red) seem just downright boring, and I can't imagine a "niche" foruming around it. When is the last time you heard about someone having a spirited discussion about hockey sticks?

    Ladies Golf is certainly a good one. It's a niche that people within the niche can be passionate about, that should be large enough to support a site, and that would have enough products to tie in. I'm not sure I would focus just on clubs, but that's certainly a good section for a ladies golf site.
    Michael Coley
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     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

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Several of those (which I colored red) seem just downright boring, and I can't imagine a "niche" foruming around it. When is the last time you heard about someone having a spirited discussion about hockey sticks?

    Ladies Golf is certainly a good one. It's a niche that people within the niche can be passionate about, that should be large enough to support a site, and that would have enough products to tie in. I'm not sure I would focus just on clubs, but that's certainly a good section for a ladies golf site.
    Thanks Michael for your opinions, much appreciated!

    Would you think a better idea for a niche to be hockey equipment instead of hockey sticks? Perhaps it's becuase i'm in Canada, but I think there are alot of hockey parents always looking for equipment for their children. Perhaps I could build a site based around that?

    Thanks again for your input.

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