Research is a dirty word. It just sounds like work. And not the type of work you leap out of bed in the morning for but rather tedious, monotonous, ‘staring at pie charts and pivot tables all day’ type of work.
Why Should You Carry On Reading?
So, why should you carry on reading about research, the activity that makes everyone, except the most avid number crunchers, running in the opposite direction? Simply because market research is the key that unlocks what you really want – a financially successful affiliate site.
Let’s just quickly list some reasons why you should at least be a little bit interested in market research if you’re a serious affiliate marketer.
- Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know
- The answer to your problem is sometimes closer than you think
- Missed opportunities can sometimes be measured in fractions
- The truth is sometimes a lot better than you imagine
- Educating yourself is never a waste of time
Now if you’re looking at this list and thinking to yourself this guy has been dosing too heavily on ZenHabits (an inspiring site that I personally recommend busy affiliates take time to read!) this does relate back to internet marketing and I’ll explain why.
1 – Sometimes You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
A lot of the time research uncovers new areas of thought you might not have considered before. An example of how this works is Google’s Wonder wheel, where search results will display related tangents you can explore. For example, you might be researching health forums to get ideas for new keywords you can target. As you browse the forums, you come across forum categories dedicated to different types of diet pills, something which you may not have even been aware of before.
A free Affilorama lesson on market research used the example of exploring the ‘scrapbooking’ niche and how a keyword research tool like Traffic Travis can uncover a lot of variations on the word and their relative popularity based on the number of searches. You might not have realized how popular ‘digital scrapbooking’ is.
Research can lead to those ‘eureka moments’ where it suddenly dawns on you that you’ve been blissfully unaware of hidden goldmines and easier ways of doing things.
2 – The Answer To Your Problem Is Sometimes Closer Than You Think
While your situation may not be as dire as Captain Scott’s demise so close to base camp, it is true that our problems may have a solution nearby – we just can’t see it right now. Research uncovers options that we never knew existed.
For example, the problem of not knowing where most of your traffic is coming from can be easily fixed using a free tool like Google Analytics, which can give daily reporting on traffic sources. Yawn, I know all about GA. Sure but what if you’d never heard of it. This little gem might be a massive revelation.
Another example might be wanting to know which of your hoplinks performs the best, so you can copy that winning strategy across your site. If you shouted out “ClickBank Tracking Ids” then congratulations, that bit of research is within your reticular activating system, but if you’d never heard of them, this might just be the solution that you thought was miles away but is in fact a simple five-minute job.
3 – Missed Opportunities Can Sometimes Be Measured In Fractions
When planes almost crash they refer to it as a ‘near miss’. Alternatively, you could refer to them as a ‘near hit’. The point is that opportunities in affiliate marketing can sneak past us when we’re looking the other way. We can be so close yet completely oblivious to them, missing a lucrative sub-niche that is taking off, while we bang our head squeezing the life out of our current sales model.
Fortunately planes rarely crash because they have sophisticated radar systems that let them know what’s around them at all times. With marketing research you can do the same. For example, when was the last time you explored the buzz of the marketplace using a tool like Google Trends or Twitters Trending Topics? You can just about see the little green blips on your screen, green blips of opportunity!
4 – The Truth Is Sometimes A Lot Better Than You Imagine
It’s been said that 80% of what we worry about never happens. Whether that’s true in your case I don’t know but I think the words of Dale Carnegie are timely: “Stop worrying and start living”. When we don’t research and find out the truth, we end up living in fear, fear of the unknown.
For example, a lot of affiliate marketers will warn you away from getting into the weight loss niche. “You’ll never make it”, “It’s a waste of time, I’ve tried it and didn’t get anywhere” or my favorite: “There’s not enough to go round”.
You could listen to these scare mongers, or you could research it for yourself. For example, you could start off building up a big keyword list using Traffic Travis. Pick out some phrases you think might be worth targeting and load them into the Market Strength Analysis tool found at Affilorama.
The Market Strength Analysis tool takes a lot of the pain out research because it automatically takes into account several factors to determine actual competitiveness of a keyword phrase. It even suggests other phrases you might want to consider that are more achievable.
You might find the reality is actually a lot better than you thought. We had one member use Traffic Travis to find out that the phrase “cure ovarian cysts” was not as competitive as she had imagined it would be. Within 2 weeks she was ranking number 3 on Yahoo! for that keyword.
5 – Educating Yourself Is Never A Waste Of Time
If you’ve spent hours doing market research and for some reason you didn’t make any extra sales from it, you’ve still gained. Educating yourself by doing research on the internet is all about the ongoing learning journey. You’d be amazed how a little research can serve you well for a long time to come.
Researching the IM niche has led to some creating their own products, that they have then gone on to sell. Or research into a health niche has helped some discover selling opportunities in their own neighborhood, or improving their own health. And it all started with a little market research.
So don’t shy away from market research. There are plenty of tools out there to help you do a lot of the ‘boring’ stuff, and what you uncover could be worth the time you spend on it, many times over.
About the author
Simon Slade is the CEO of Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal that offers free video training, education, and affiliate tools to both beginning and advanced affiliate marketers.
AffiliateTips would like to thank Simon for taking the time to share his valuable knowledge with our readers. Affilorama is a great site and definately worth a visit.