Autopilot Profit Formula. Choosing a Product to Sell (Part#2)

Autopilot Profit Formula. Choosing a Product to Sell (Part#2)

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Topics: Affiliate marketing

Choosing a Product 

For each niche you come up with, you will also need to find some products that you can promote.
The following is a list of my favourite affiliate networks:
ClickBank
Market Health
Moreniche
SellHealth
Shareasale
Google Affiliate Network
Commission Junction

As you can see, a few of these are predominantly health supplement networks.

The reason I like promoting health supplements so much is a) they’re normallybought by people who are desperate to solve a particular problem (e.g. weight loss, nail fungus, teeth whitening etc)
and b) the payouts are usually quite high (anything from $30 up to $150 depending on the number of bottles the customer buys)
I also like Clickbank, but I don’t recommend it for this particular method (single product review sites). For Clickbank products you really need to build an authority site and a list (for best results), and that’s not something we’ll be going into in this ebook – we want to keep things simple for now!
If you want to get your site earning $1000 a month you really need to focus on products that pay $30 or more (over $50 would obviously be better as you would only need 20 sales per month).

Low competition affiliate programs
This is where the vast majority of the ‘easy’ money is. A hot product that gets lots of searches, but has little affiliate competition – yes, they do exist! But where are these ‘secret’ affiliate programs and how do you go about finding them?
Remember I told you in my introduction about my first ‘proper’ affiliate site? It was a review of a product called Hoodithin, and at the time the product was getting 12000 searches per month. Yet there were only 2 or 3 serious affiliates promoting it? The reason for this was that Hoodithin wasn’t advertised on any affiliate network – it had its own independent affiliate program. Most affiliates just didn’t know about the product, and when I made a site promoting it, my site went straight to page 1 of Google. Not because I had any great SEO skills (I didn’t), but because it had so little competition.
Needless to say, when this happens, other affiliates will eventually catch on and your competition will grow. However because you got in there first, it will be difficult for another affiliate to outrank you.

So how do you go about finding these affiliate programs?
Affiliate Directories
First of all you can check out affiliate directories. Few affiliates bother to do this (it’s quite time consuming to trawl through the thousands of listings), but it’s well worth it when you come up with a product that gets searches but is virtually untapped. Many of the products in these directories are independent affiliate programs that can’t be found on any network.
Here are the two main directories that I use:
http://www.affiliatescout.com
http://www.associateprograms.com

Use Google
Go to Google and type in a keyword, for example let’s say we type in ‘weight
loss pills’

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Just in that screenshot alone I can see a number of different products being promoted in the PPC ads – Alli, Forza T5, Adios, Slimpod, Fullfast (3 of those I’ve never even heard of).
Also you can see the following results:
Top 3 Weight Loss Pills
10 Best Weight Loss Pills
Click through to those affiliate sites, and I’ll bet you’d find some more ideas for products to promote.
Let’s try another keyword – this time we’ll look for ‘scar cream’:

Click Image to Enlarge

 As you can see, Google itself is a wealth of information!

How do you go about finding the affiliate programs for these products? It’s very simple – just click through to the merchant site and look for a link that says ‘Affiliates’, ‘Affiliate Program’, ‘Webmasters’ etc. More often than not, you’ll be able to find the affiliate page pretty easily, particularly if you’ve clicked through from an affiliate site.
If you find a merchant site being advertised through PPC it might be a little more difficult. Go back to Google and type in ‘product name’ + affiliate and see what comes up – if there is an affiliate program you should see it in the first few results. If not, then maybe the product doesn’t have an affiliate program and you should just go on to the next product.
Once you’ve found products for some of your chosen niches we need to analyse niche viability.

 Analysing Niche Viability

Ask yourself the following questions:
Are there enough searches?
How many searches do you need? How long is a piece of string!

It varies so much that it’s hard to give set figures, for instance 1000 searches a month in the ‘buy a private jet’ niche might be enough to make you a fortune, but you might need 1,000,000 in the ‘buy paperclips’ niche!

You’ll find that the more targeted you get then the easier it should be to make a sale, and the less searches you need to have. For that reason, we’re going to look for specific products in our niche and build a site based on one specific product.

If you can find a product that has at least 5000 searches a month for the product name AND a bunch of other keywords also related to the product then you might be on to a winner.
So head over to the Google Keyword Tool at
https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
Then you need to select the country you are targeting, so if you are outside of the US then click the ‘edit’ link shown on the image below (1) and up will pop a list of countries – you can either select just the United States or ‘All countries and territories’. Make sure that the language is set to English on the left.
Then enter your keyword into the box provided and type out the captcha characters which help to stop automated searches.
Let’s say our niche is ‘fat burners’ and I want to check if the product ‘Proactol’ gets searches:

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 As you can see, this could be a potential product as it gets 22,000 ‘exact match’ searches per month, and has other keywords that we could also try to rank for e.g. proactol reviews, proctol scam, buy proactol etc.
As much as possible you should be looking out for buyer keywords – now you could say that any keyword with the product name in it is a potential buyer keyword (which is true), but some buyer keywords are stronger than others.
Here are a few of the best ones:

  •  buy
  • where to buy
  • purchase
  • order
  • discount
  • sale
  • coupon
  • in stock
  • free shipping
  • overnight shipping
  • price
  • cost

Also colors, sizes, model numbers and specific model names (although these normally apply more to Amazon products which we won’t be targeting this time.)
We would then type ‘fat burners’ into the keyword tool to see what other related keywords we could write articles on. Here are just a few that came up:

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Lots of great ideas for articles for your site – ‘best fat burners’, ‘natural fatburners’, ‘fat burner foods’ – these are all keywords you can write informativearticles on for your site.
You now have an idea of traffic for your niche. If there aren’t that manysearches for the niche, or there aren’t any good products that are beingsearched for then you can just scrap that niche and move onto the next. Once you have an idea of search volume you can look at the trends.

Are the searches increasing, decreasing or static?
To check this, you should sign up for a free Google Adwords account. You don’tever have to actually use Adwords, but by having an account you can log in andsee some extra data that you wouldn’t see otherwise.
Once you have your account, just go to the Google Adwords keyword tool, clickon ‘Sign In’ up at the top right hand corner. Do your product name search again(making sure you’ve checked ‘exact match’.
This time you can see the search trends.

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Now click on the ‘Download’ button to download the CSV file and you’ll get the
searches for each of the keywords for the last 12 months.

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 This CSV file is very useful as it shows what months the searches are highest, which keywords are gaining momentum, and which are losing momentum. Sometimes a product that seems to be getting lots of searches (when you do the normal search which is the 12 month average figures) is actually declining in popularity. The best way to find this out is to check the trends.
If you find there’s a steep decline in searches, the product may have been just a ‘fad’ and could now be fading into obscurity. If the searches are steadily rising, you could be on to a winner.

 Are they buyers?
If people are not willing to spend money on the information or products in your niche then you are dead in the water, no matter how many searches people make per month!
There are a few ways to check for buyers:

 1. Are there products already selling in that niche?


Check on your competition, people who are already trying to sell to this niche – are they selling successfully? You can see how long they have been in business, check how much traffic they are getting by looking at their Alexa rating from Alexa.com, or check their traffic using Compete.com.

 2. Look for recurring paid adverts


The fact is that if someone is paying for an advert consistently then it’s likely they’re making sales. All you have to do is look at the Google PPC ads to find out what other affiliates are advertising. When you type a search term into Google then you can see all the PPC ads down the right-hand side. If you see only one or two ads, it’s safe to say that there probably isn’t much money to be made in that niche.
Just remember, there are thousands of new marketers trying PPC every day and these people will pay for ads in markets like this until they run out of money or move on, then another will step up and take their place. Therefore it’s a good idea to watch the ads over a number of days to see which ones are there long term. An ad that runs consistently for 30 days MUST be making money (otherwise they would be seriously out of pocket), so we can assume that the ad is profitable and the product is selling. If you see people advertising consistently then go visit their sites and see what they are selling, there is a good chance that it is what the niche wants and are willing to pay money for!

3. Look at magazines


Does this niche have a magazine? Or even better does it have multiple magazines that cater to it? Magazines rely on advertisement revenue to keep them going, and advertisers won’t pay consistently if they are not making sales (just like on PPC), so if people are not buying from the adverts the advertisers would leave and the magazine would be forced to stop.
Grab some back issues of magazines and see the kind of things people are advertising consistently in it, you might be able to sell similar things online.

4. Can I reach them?

 It is no use having a niche with plenty of searches and plenty of buyers, if you can’t reach them! This is the step where you start to think about exactly how you can reach out to people in your market…

5. Search Engine Competition

Will you be able to rank for the keywords you’ve chosen? The main keywords like ‘lose weight fast’ in the weight loss niche are virtually impossible to rank for – the sites on the front page for that term will have been  around for a long time and had a long time to build up pages, authority and links.
However product related keywords are often a lot less competitive, especially those with less searches. To analyse a keyword I recommend you download and install the free version of Traffic Travis.
When you open up the program, click on SEO Analysis > Analyse Keyword

 So type in one of the keywords, let’s say ‘proactol reviews’ which has 2900 searches a month, approximately 100 a day.
Then look at the results you get:

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Here is a breakdown of what they mean:

1. PR (Google Pagerank) – This is a value assigned to a page by Google based on how many other pages link to this page and the Pagerank of the pages linking to it. The higher the better for them, the worse for you –  for the keyword ‘proactol reviews’ you’ll see that there are 3 x PR 0’s and 3 x PR 1’s. This is a good sign.
2. The age of the domain, Google likes domains that have been around for awhile – for this keyword, there are a few domains that have been around for less than a year (again, a good sign for us).                                          3. BL – The number of links Yahoo is showing as pointing to this page, the more the better for them (quality matters too) but worse for you, this is the approximate number of links you are going to need to get to beat  them.
4. BLS – The number of links to the whole site. It also shows you which sites have the keyword in their title, description and H1 tag – as you can see, very few of these are properly optimized for the keyword
‘proactol reviews’.

 It also shows you which sites have the keyword in their title, description and H1 tag – as you can see, very few of these are properly optimized for the keyword ‘proactol reviews’. You need to look out for weak spots(pages you can outrank), and when you see that some of the pages are poorly optimized, have few backlinks, low PR, and are less than a year old then you’re in with a fighting chance.
Work through some of the product keywords for each niche and get an idea of which ones are just too tough to crack, and which should be easier.

6. Forums/Groups

Forums are great places to find people active in your niche who have problems that your product can solve. By getting involved in a forum you will get to know your market – what their needs are, what their wants are, the type of language they use, and so on. By gaining an understanding of your market, you will bebetter able to provide what they need.
You can search for forums using Google, just type in the main keyword plus ‘forum’ or you can search at Big-Boards.com which has a database of over 2000 forums and message boards. It will usually tell you at a glance how many members are joined up to it too, visit the site and look at the dates of the last posts to scope out how much activity there is. Also check out groups on Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites, along with Yahoo Groups and Google Groups.

 Assessing Your Niche For Profitability
Let’s see exactly how much potential the niche has – we need to assess:

How well current products sell

Many affiliate networks have ranking systems that allow you to see how well a site is performing, this gives you a general idea of how that niche performs.

How much products sell for

How much commission do you make per sale? You know roughly how easy it is to get traffic from your previous research, so you can see if it will be worth the effort. You should be looking at promoting products that make you at least $30 per sale. I like promoting health supplements as the commissions on these usually range from $30 up to $150 per sale.

How many products are selling in the market

The more products for sale in a market, the more profitable it is likely to be. Think of acai berry and colon cleansing products in the last few years – there have been literally thousands of products all claiming to do the same thing. There’s obviously a serious market for them.

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