Evaluating A Site’s Product Potential

This tutorial is part of an email course I’m developing on creating niche websites. So if it seems like it’s a tutorial out of the blue, that’s why. It makes more sense in the context of the email course, but I thought that my readers might get some use out of it even without the course itself.

While advertising is one part of monetizing a niche site, product sales are another. You can sell your own products, or you can sell other people’s products.

Right now, we’re not so interested in picking products to sell, as in simply evaluating whether it looks like the niche is one that has the potential to profit from product sales. Remember, we’re trying to pick the best niche to pursue out of our top three. We’ve already evaluated the potential for selling advertising on the site. Product potential is just one more aspect of evaluating the total potential of a niche topic.

So how do we decide if a particular niche topic has good product potential?

One simple way is to see if there are a good number of products already existing for the niche. The thinking goes, that existing products show a market demand for those products, especially if there are a large number of products.

We’re going to focus on other people’s products right now. You may actually sell your own product on your site, but making sure other people have products in the same niche tells us that there’s some existing market demand for products in that niche. The easiest place to check a niche is on the ClickBank Marketplace. ClickBank is a place for people to sell digital products (e.g. ebooks and software).

One of the reasons we use ClickBank as a first place to check for products is that it’s easy to search and, later, it’s easy to get a ClickBank account. Commission Junction is another marketplace for products and services, but you need an established website to get an account there, so we’ll wait on that until later in the process.

I’ll start with the keyword “golf swing”, to see what products are available. In the list that comes up, I see 7 or 8 good possibilities in the first page of results. Not every product that comes back will be a good match, but there are quite a few.

When I try “board games”, I see no good products on any of the results pages. This is not surprising, since the nature of the niche is that suitable products are not digital. We’ll search for non-digital possibilities later.

Trying “sewing patterns” at ClickBank, I get a couple of good possibilities in the first page.

So in terms of digital products, “golf swing” is the easiest niche to monetize with products. To find non-digital products, we’re going to search for affiliate programs offered by individual companies. We’ll use a site called Affiliate Scout to search for these programs.

At Affiliate Scout, “golf swing” returns 3 programs, “board games” returns 3 programs, and “sewing patterns” returns 0 programs. So a bit better for board games on direct affiliate programs.

Big sites like Amazon.com and Ebay.com also have their own affiliate programs, so you could search them for the topic keywords to see what sorts of products are available. Typically, every topic has a good number of results at both.

So in terms of basic product potential, I’d pick “golf swing” as the best of the niche topics, with “board games” coming in second.

We’ll see a bit later how to come to a final conclusion about which niche topic to go with, by combining the results of our various researches.

See you in the course!