Advertising a product or service is always tricky particularly in a niche so when it comes to monetising your site you need to first sit down and work out what products and services you wish to promote, who they are being aimed at and how you will target them.
Niche products don’t sell in their own niches
There is always exceptions to a rule but generally a product such as an SEO book will not do well being promoted on SEO sites. Tad recently posted that Aaron Wall SEO Book does not sell well on his site. Now you may have glanced to the right and spotted we are also promoting it so does it sell here? yes but we will explain why in a minute.
First lets take a look at Tad site, its aimed at Search engine optimisers who have some knowledge and can understand Tads’ musings this means the majority of his readership will read a wide range of SEO orientated blogs I wonder what product is promoted on those blogs?
Aarons book has completely saturated the market almost every SEO blog that runs advertising will have at some point dabbled with his book, their is not an intermediate level SEO that has not heard of it, many will have bought it, plenty have blogged about how great it is for people at all levels its the perfect book for some one who wants to cover all bases.
Why does it sell occasionally here, well its a really good book for starters but the focus of this blog is not search engine optimisation but monetising sites we occasionally mention SEO techniques and ideas and recommend our readers dabble. The SEO Book therefore is a niche product but in a niche different to our own we are introducing the product to a new readership not the over saturated readership in the SEO community.
Say hello to your neighbour niches
Now that we have worked out that selling niche products in their own niche does not work how do we choose what products to promote after all promoting cooking products on an SEO blog doesn’t seem to be any better then promoting an SEO book. Look at your blog or site does it fit into a niche so to continue our theme Tads’ blog is clearly an SEO blog, its got a very narrow focus now we need to think of niches around SEO, I’m not going to list them all but basically SEO niche neighbours a wide range of web services and development including but not limited to:
- Web development
- Web Hosting
- Online advertising
- Graphic Design
Their are loads of others but you are getting the idea all these separate niches have their own niche products what’s more finding them is easy enough look for the products that are saturating the market. This tactic doesn’t always work to go back to Tad blog he mentions that he promotes Dreamhost a hosting company (use promo code TIMSEO (monthly plan)) but once more he has not received a single sale this is an interesting one the company has a mixed reaction with the community but does offer one of the best deals in term of goodies they also have very good support but still have at times come in for criticism that said I have an account with them so they can’t be that bad.
So why does Dreamhosts not work for Tad? Well I think its simply that most SEO’s have hosting and its a long term thing its a lot of hassle to move hosts and Dreamhosts lack of dedicated servers does not make them the choice for those looking to expand. Would Tad be better promoting a different web hosting company? Possibly but Tad has a level of integrity which will ultimately drive through the promotions, when he promotes a product he is promoting something he knows works be it tool or service. While he would have more success promoting a service offering dedicated servers or resellers he has no experience of either (as far as I know).
Getting the products to the users
So how can we help Tad? Well lets first look at his current products he is promoting:
- Search marketing Standard – a publication for SEO and SEM
- SEO Book – Aarons book
- Web CEO – SEO software
- Dreamhost – Web hosting
I have used Tads’ affiliate links on the above and I encourage you to take a look in particular Search marketing standard and web CEO may be new to many of you. Remember they come with the Tad seal of approval!
I would be tempted to drop several of the programs here in particular the Dreamhost, SEOBook and possibly WebCEO. Not because they are not great programs or services just they are already saturating the market. So what would I replace them with?
- Directories have become quite a big bone of contention recently but their are still several good affiliate schemes out there BOTW has been getting a lot of press recently and we will be covering their scheme soon as an interesting case study.
- Web hosting, this is a odd one I find promoting web hosting takes a long time people as I said earlier do not change hosts often and when they do its normally to go up the chain so it makes sense to promote schemes with dedicated or semi-dedicated servers and reseller accounts.
- Domain names this is not the way to make a fortune but I find that many SEO’s are slowly becoming domainers hoarding domains so promoting a registrar might be the way to go I tend to promote 123reg a UK registrar but its a good idea to look at a more generic registrar, you could even have a go at being a domain reseller yourself with a company like Enom.
Of course affiliate programs are not the only way to go, do you know a Graphic designer, landing page designer, web developer why not offer them space to promote their products? these are the sort of people who often don’t have an affiliate scheme, they are also the perfect people to advertise on your site as few people will have come across them.
Aaron book does sell in the right audience
Through out this post I have repeated the mantra niche products fail in their own niche but this is not always the case. Even within a niche their is a diverse audience within a readership, a product that sells to the enthusiastic amateur may not do well for the pro and vice versa. Sometimes its a case of know thy audience for example a great place to sell Aarons book is on a website devoted to rookie and new SEOs apart from the fact they are impressionable folk they also haven’t been conditioned by the mass of adverts.
There are plenty of examples of niche products selling in their own niches but if your struggling with product sales have a look at what your selling and ask yourself how many times have you seen that product before?