Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Focus: A Key to Affiliate Marketing Success

by David Cooper

At one time, the portion of the population who used the internet with frequency was an excited group of “hardcore” computer users excited at the dawning of a new era. They were looking for ways to spend their money online and almost any product might appeal to them. Of course, the small user base was able to choose from a relatively small number of offerings.

Things have changed. Increased web access has turned everyone from nine-year-old children to retired great-grandmothers into web surfers. Although the number of people willing to make online purchases continues to increase, the overall percentage of individuals comfortable with the process remains low. Along with the boom in users, there are now countless opportunities to spend online.

This confluence of events has transformed affiliate marketing. Back in the “old days,” a few decent web sites providing a series of product offerings could produce an income. In a mad scramble for maximum market penetration, affiliate marketers promoted as many items as possible. That “shotgun” strategy produced some revenues for awhile, but today the technique is horribly outdated.

In order to succeed within the changed parameters of affiliate marketing, wildly latching onto affiliate opportunities in hopes of finding “something” that works is doomed to fail. Instead, today’s affiliate marketer needs to focus his or her efforts.

Market research, carefully structured and “deeper” strategies, better products and superior sales techniques are essential. Instead of trying to attack every single market, the new route to success seems to be based upon finding smaller, hungry niche markets that are underserved and then effectively exploiting those market segments. Those who wander the vast plains of the internet randomly firing off sales pitches will invariably go home empty-handed. Those who carefully patrol closely defined areas with a precision marketing strategy, on the other hand, can generate enviable incomes.

As is the case in society at large, the generalist is being phased out in favor of the specialist. Developing a specialized expertise in discrete markets, understanding the demographic's preference and delivering in a way that meets their precise needs is the most likely route to affiliate marketing success.

Those who persist in trying to “throw it all up against the wall to see what sticks” will be outsold repeatedly by smart marketers who carefully focus their efforts on potentially lucrative niches within the larger marketplace.

Find good products that match well with specific market segments you can reach. Study those sectors and get a better understanding of how to sell to them. Take the time and make the effort to do more than throw products at them, hoping for the best. The more focused approach to affiliate marketing may require a bit more thought than the old shotgun approach, but with the growing number of internet users, profit potential is actually higher than ever for those who know how to isolate and exploit rip niches.

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to get focused. Very focused.

David Cooper is the editor of the Affiliate Marketing Articles Newsletter. David specializes in helping affiliate marketers focus their efforts to achieve affiliate marketing success. Subscribe to his FREE newsletter at:
http://www.affiliatemarketingarticles.com

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