Now that many people’s finances are getting even tighter due to the recession, the idea of making money online is getting even more attractive, and one of the first things many people hear about is something called “affiliate marketing.” While there is a enough information out there to overwhelm most people at first, the basic concept is fairly simple.
Market research is the first step in the process.
First, you must research markets you are interested in. This is your most important starting point, and you can do this by finding out what your potential customers are looking for. This is the essence of “keyword research” – finding the actual words or phrases people type into search engines to find answers to their problems, and you can be sure that if you do not do your research, you will regret it later.
By finding and using keywords that consumers are actively entering into the search engines, you will be able to help your websites and landing pages rank higher, generating a nonstop flood of organic, targeted traffic.
Keyword research doesn't have to be a difficult task, however. Start with the free Google Keyword Tool, which can be found by searching for “Google keyword tool external,” and enter in a keyword or phrase that identifies the product or niche that you are interested in promoting as an affiliate.
Click on “get keyword ideas” to generate a list of keywords and gauge the competitiveness of the the market by taking a look at the number of times people are searching for your main keywords per month.
What you want to do is find a market with existing demand that also has existing competition and products readily available, but not so competitive that ranking highly is next to impossible.
What's important here is that you remember there must be an audience for whatever you choose to market. Since you are an affiliate, your costs for entering a market are not very high, but it’s still a good idea to take the time to do niche research in order to avoid wasting your time.