R.O.EYE Guest Blog Post - Choosing a successful niche

Hello and thanks for reading the first of R.O.EYE’s guest blog posts which will be covering some tips and tricks for publishers looking to launch and grow successful affiliate campaigns. In this post we will be addressing the topic of niches, and more specifically how to choose one to promote.  eBay offers the ideal affiliate programme for targeting niches due to the sheer number and diversity of products it has on offer at any one time. No matter how weird or wonderful your niche idea, the likelihood is that eBay will sell it. This of course poses the dilemma of how do I choose one that will generate me earnings? The following sections will hopefully aid that decision by sharing our experiences of what has worked for successful publishers. Are you interested?

We have found that one of the most important factors in choosing a successful niche is whether the publisher is interested in it themselves. This usually links with an existing interest or hobby which means that much of the knowledge that is required to write content and optimise keywords is already known without the laborious task of researching product information. Some of the most successful publishers on the ePN started with, and continue to develop sites, that target their own personal interests. Because they already understand the target market well; motivation to develop is higher with the content and listings being more in depth and relevant to site visitor.    

Are they interested?

If you are interested in something it does not always necessarily mean that others will be. It is important that publishers carry out their own research to gauge the potential demand for a certain niche. Some of the publishers we work with do this in a number of ways but the most common and successful methods used include the following three techniques;

1)Use of the Google and eBay keywords tool highlight popular and alternative search terms associated with your niche 2) Search query the eBay site to establish the volume of listings associated with your niche. You can also use eBay Pulse which offers a daily a snapshot of popular searches and items on eBay. Each country has a relevant eBay Pulse page to so that you can view the appropriate results for your region. 3) Query your niche in the search engines to determine the amount of competition in that area through SEO and paid search.

By following these three techniques publishers have been able to determine the potential of their niche. If the idea fails in one of these areas then it is likely to be unsuccessful and not generate as much of an income. If the niche is too narrow then not enough people will be interested,  if it is too broad then the likelihood of good natural search rankings and low PPC click costs will be unachievable.

Market trends and Longevity

Many of the established niches tend to have high competition levels but fortunately there are always new fads and trends that mean niches are always developing and shrinking within each category. The most successful publishers in a niche are more often than not the ones who “got there first” and started targeting the niche before it took off. There can be an element of luck to this if they were in the right place at the right time but there are some indicators which publishers have used to ensure their timing is right and they are ahead of the game.

One indicator publishers have looked at is the product life cycle of a chosen niche. If the product is at its peak of maturity and popularity, before their site has even been developed then the expected volumes are likely to decline while they are chasing market share. The perfect example for such a product is the Nintendo Wii which has now gone through most of its unbelievable growth phase and the internet has already been saturated with Wii associated sites making it very difficult to compete. 

Another indicator is to keep up with the latest news on product developments and analyst predictions. This has worked particularly well for publishers targeting electronic niches as they have been able to find out months in advance when a new technology or product is being developed and the volumes it is expected to sell in. Of course not all of them work out as planned.

Still finding it difficult?

If you are still finding difficulty in choosing a niche that interests you or is not already saturated try and think outside the box. Anything you can think of can be quickly checked with a search query in eBay. By simply browsing the eBay category tree we have found niches that were unexpectedly popular. We had a quick browse and found that shoes for dogs, Viking collectibles and bonsai tree seeds all have potential.