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Market Research - Affiliate Marketing For Beginners

Sep 12, 2008
A critical phase in setting up any business in general and an online business in particular, is conducting the right kind of market research from the very beginning.

2 Critical Characteristics

The most common approach is to find a group of people who share a common interest. This is called a niche. The niche must have two important characteristics. One is that there has to be a large number of people with defined needs and wants and the other is there have to be products and services available to satisfy those wants and needs.

Keyword Research-separate browsers from buyers

The most common way people search on the Web is by typing in words that describe what they are looking for. These words are called "keywords" and can consist of a single generic term "shoes" or can be made up of several words, "light summer shoes". Whatever the composition of the keywords, your task is to research and create a list of keywords based on the number of people looking and using the terms for the product or service you want to market. This will ensure that you develop a business that will have known steady demand and that you will be offering products and services people want and need.

Keyword Tools

How do you to that? You use certain tools that will give you data to look at. One key tool is called Wordtracker. They offer a free trial product you can use to see how it works. Another is the Google Adword tool. The trick is to start with a generic term, "shoes" for example, and then look at the list of related keywords that the tool returns. From there you can mine down using words on the list, "shoes" can lead you to "summer shoes" for example. Repeat the process and see what returns come up. Invariably with a retail product, brand names will appear and search numbers will show you what the daily search rate is along with monthly search rates from a list of all the search engines.

The real pros in internet marketing like to see about 100,000 searches in any given month for a generic term related to the product or service they are interested in.

As you mine down your keyword list you should end up with 100 to 200 keywords in your category that you will use to grow and develop your business. The standard for a niche is to see if you can find a term that gets 80 searches a day on the low end with not more than 30,000 web pages devoted to that product or service for that niche. That allows for you to find a way to compete and establish yourself as you start out.

Market Information Sources

Once you have determined what your market is, who your customer is and how you will reach you niche, you will want to confirm that your online business has a future. For that there are a number of sources that will help you in staying on top of your market. Among them are Online Publishes Association, a non-profit industry trade association that generates online advertising and media consumption data; ClickZNetwork, a great source of news and information in the interactive marketing sector; PRWEb.com the largest online press release newswire and eBay marketplace that publishes transaction trends on eBay.

Setting up Google alerts in your niche area and tracking them on Google reader is another great way to stay on top of you market.

Whatever you chose as your business, the proper market research in the early phase of your business development will make the difference between success and failure. So give it the time and effort it deserves as you set out to make your mark in affiliate marketing. Affliate marketing for beginners is a process of trial and error. You can minimize the time and cost with a the right approach and making the right decisions early on.

May Your Travels Be Prosperous.
About the Author
Over the past 20 years Claude Pelanne has worked in a series of startup ventures including some of the first commercial webcasts. He is an internet marketer and serial entrepreneur. Feel free to distribute this article in any form as long as you include the resource box. For tips and resources to get into internet marketing visit cpelanne and claudepelanne
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