A hefty part of the affiliate marketing process is placed into finding the right niche and products.

Once you’ve landed on a hot product you can put your skills into action but if those skills are being pushed on a mediocre product you’re wasting a lot of opportunity.

To aid with our discovery of niches and products we tend to rely on best seller lists, popularity/gravity (within the affiliate programs), and trends but there is one other that you may not be using which cuts through the hassle and gives you cold, hard data… trade & retail reports.

These reports give a breakdown of which industries are doing well which can be used in your line of work since it gives you a great idea of what people are buying.

1. Census.gov

The census has many great resources that break down retail trade; the site is a little difficult to navigate but the information is there for the picking. You’ll also find access to different types of reports that are equally valuable such as ones dedicated to just ecommerce.

See reports: http://www.census.gov/retail/index.html#mrts

2. WTO

The World Trade Organization’s efforts into understanding industries and trade is very, very thorough. If you have time to read 240+ pages (that sounds fun!) then you’ll certainly have a great deal of knowledge over the competition.

See 2014 report: http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/publications_e/wtr14_e.htm

3. World Economic Forum

For those that want a bit of light reading before bedtime you can take a look at WEF’s “Global Enabling Trade Report 2014” which covers 138 countries in areas like market access, transportation, communication, and administration. Did I mention it’s only 353 pages?

The report: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalEnablingTrade_Report_2014.pdf

There are many other sources out there that round up this information if you were to do a search for [your niche] + [trade/retail report]. See what you can find; it’s not the quickest way to find a new niche, per se, but by the time you’re done with it you’re knowledge of trade will be on the next level and that’ll help you think beyond the niche.

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