Affiliate Marketing & Programs
 

Diversification & moving outside of your core marketing niche

 

Most people who get into online marketing generally do so with something that already interests them. Long time poker players become poker affiliates and long time card collectors start selling collectibles on EBay.
It makes perfect sense that you’re going to be more successful promoting a product or service that you love and are passionate about yourself. I don’t think a long time home builder would do very well selling skin care products on the internet but I bet they would be great at promoting home improvement and home care products.


People who take on a new business venture are naturally drawn to things they love or know best. Something you know and love is a perfect starting point for your first try at online marketing. But don’t let it be the only thing you try. The world is a dynamic place and things change all the time and by having all your time and effort in just one area or industry you are putting yourself at a natural disadvantage.


If you are at all familiar with the stock market and investing then you know all to well the importance of diversity. Diversity in the stock market means owning stock in companies from many different industries and fields. If the auto industry crashes, at least you have stock in horse drawn carriages to make up for the loss. Get it? The point is to have your money spread across many different industries so that you are at less risk when something goes wrong. The same concept applies to online marketing and the world of affiliating. You need to promote and be involved in a variety of products and services so that you are taken care of in the event one or more of the industries you are involved with becomes obsolete or is victim to some uncontrollable factor.


How can a lack of diversity affect me?


If you are making thousands of dollars in a seemingly untouchable industry then it might be hard for you to see how something could go wrong. Let’s say for example you are promoting Blu-Ray discs and have the best website on the internet for finding information on and purchasing Blu-Ray discs. Sony’s Blu-Ray is the recent winner in a format war with Toshiba’s High Definition DVD and the sky is the limit for Blu-Ray. What happens when six months from now Phillips releases a new disc format that is five times cheaper than Blu-Ray and provides double the picture and sound clarity? Unlikely as this particular scenario may be, the example provides you with a glimpse at the kinds of earth shattering things that can happen that might threaten your affiliate business.


Once your affiliate business is established, use your time and money to branch out into other industries. You will strengthen your portfolio, make more money and protect yourself when things go bad in other industries.


Harnessing other things you are interested in


Most likely you’ve started your affiliate business with something you are already familiar with. By diversifying you are going to need to tackle some new things that you are not so knowledgeable about. This is not as hard as it sounds though. If you love to mountain bike then maybe you have created a webpage devoted to mountain bike products. Mountain biking however can’t be your only interest in life. Let’s take a look at your other interests and see how you might turn them into profitable businesses:


Mountain Biking


You already have a successful website devoted to mountain bike products. Lets take a brake from mountain biking and diversify your affiliate portfolio!


NHL Hockey


You are a raging Boston Bruins fan and you follow NHL hockey religiously. Turn your love for the game into a high powered fan website that promotes fantasy products, NHL merchandise and even sells NHL event tickets.


Visiting State Parks


You and your family loves to visit state parks. In fact, whenever you go on a long vacation you make it a point to find a new state park to explore. Take your passion for State Parks and create a website that reviews state parks across the country. In addition to offering great information to your guests, you can provide links to discount travel packages and other services that they might find useful while traveling.


Above are just a few examples of how to turn your other interests into possible business ventures. Remember that anything you are interested in or passionate about is going to be easier to make a living out of than something you have no idea about. Don’t let that stop you though! There are many lucrative and profitable industries that you should get involved in. If you avoid other programs or industries simply because you know nothing about them then you are making a grave mistake.


I know blue widgets, how do I sell green widgets?


Sometimes your other interests may not be the best to turn into business plans. Maybe they’re in industries that don’t have much profit potential or you simply can’t create enough good content to make a viable business plan out of them. That’s okay; you don’t have to turn all your interests into your job. Sometimes it’s worth diving into something completely unknown to harness the profit potential it holds. Here are some tips for starting an online marketing venture in something you are not familiar with:



  • Use the Internet: The reason you have become an Internet marketer is because of the great potential and usefulness the Internet offers as a whole. Use the great power of the internet to become knowledgeable about the industry you seek to enter. After all, if you plan on promoting this industry through the Internet, I will offer a wager that you certainly can find some information about it on the Internet!



  • Network: Join affiliate forums and get to know people who are already promoting or involved with the particular industry you are interested in. They can provide you with valuable information that will help get your venture started.



  • Buy a book: My career as an affiliate started with the purchase of a book on how to use Macromedia Dreamweaver. I haven’t looked back since that purchase. Go to Barnes and Noble or Borders and buy a book. Shut off the computer for a week and read up on your new interest. When you are done with the first one go back and buy another book. You will reach a tipping point with your new venture where you simply can’t get enough information. Once you have reached that point you are well on your way to starting a business in something that only a short time ago you knew nothing about.


By affiliating for a wide variety of industries and companies you put yourself in a naturally strong position. Outside environmental factors that are out of your control won’t bring your income to a screeching halt and once successful programs that go bankrupt won’t leave you hungry at the end of the month. One thing to remember is that companies come and go. One day you might be making $500 a day in referral fees for an investment company. The next day that companies owner could be charged with fraud, the company goes out of business and all of the sudden your $500 a day income stream is gone. Affiliating for several companies across several industries will make it so you never have to worry about one single problem ruining your business.


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