The first step in getting started with affiliate marketing is to choose a niche market to serve. A niche refers to the particular area you will be working in. Even if you do not feel like you are an expert in any one area, choose a niche that you are interested in and you can position yourself as an expert fairly rapidly.
To figure out which area is right for you draw three large circles on a piece of paper. Think of a three circle Venn diagram, where the circles all come together in the middle. The first circle, the one on the left, will be where you write down all of your interests and passions. These can be things you do currently, or ones that you have not been involved with for many years. In my circle I listed things like photography, writing stories, walking, spending time with my dogs, and teaching people how to use a computer.
The circle on the right is for your life and work experiences. These are the things you have done throughout your life, whether by choice or circumstance. My list for this includes experience as a real estate broker and residential appraiser, teaching in the classroom, and being a step-parent. It also includes being a cancer survivor and surviving an earthquake and a hurricane. Whether we chose these experiences or they were thrust upon us, they still become a part of our life experience and who we are.
The third circle represents the market. This is the circle that pulls it all together, because we must choose a niche where there are people who are willing and able to spend money for information, products, and services. So how will you know that there is a market in the areas you are looking at? Go over to Google and search for products and services based on the niche you are considering. Competition is important here, and means that people are already spending money on this topic. Connect with the product creators and other experts to see how you and your online business will fit into what is already being offered.
Where all three of these circles intersect is known as the sweet spot. You may want to add even more to your three circles as you continue this process. If you are having difficulty with this part, ask the people who are the closest to you to tell you what it is that comes to mind when they think of you. My friends and family told me it was that I was willing to help them choose a computer and then get that computer up and running for them. They also said that they thought of me whenever they had something that needed to be written, whether it was for fun or for business. I was the one who would help them put their ideas together into writing, and would also edit the writing they had already done.
All of these factors came into play when I was deciding what area to focus on in my business. Each time I go into a new niche, I go back and draw the three circles again to see where I should focus my time and energy.