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Starting a business as an Internet marketer can be rather intimidating. Aside from the rather vexing technical questions that manifest for just about everyone at some point along the way, there is the question of where, exactly, does one start? It's easy enough to say that the longest journeys begin with a single step but figuring out 
which first step to take can be a very perplexing affair. Affiliate marketing is one of the most
profitable and least expensive types of
marketing  businesses in which one can
work. It also provides a framework from which one can begin to understand the other aspects of marketing which are universal to any business. Understanding how to make an affiliate marketing business successful involves understanding how to select a market, how to advertise, how to enhance one's search engine visibility and how to increase one's conversion rates, Each of these lessons will apply to any affiliate marketing business as much as they will
apply to a business which sells its own

Going with One's Interests!
The best markets will be those in which the marketer themselves has a driving interest. This will make the entire affair of marketing, from writing sales copy to building a site to interacting with the customers on one's list much easier and more effective One should consider in which products they themselves have an interest. For instance, if one happens to have an interest in golf, then then would be a good place to start when trying to determine a good choice in niche markets. If one has an interest in socializing, perhaps dating would be a good choice. There are huge benefits that flow from selecting one's market in this way
For starters, it won't be a chore for
the marketer to do research in a field
in which they already have an
interest. If one happens to be a cat
lover, for instance, that individual
likely does a lot of reading about
cats and, in addition to the
information they already possess,
they will have no qualms about
increasing what they know through a
bit of research. This research, as we
will see, will be very important to the
building of one's site.
A good deal of customer service has
to do with being those customers
favorite "expert" on any given topic.
This role will be important when
dealing with customers via an email
list and when selecting products in which one's subscribers may have an interest. It's much easier to choose such products if one shares their customer's interests and knows, instinctively, how to separate a good product from a bad one. This will also help the marketer to speak with more credibility when addressing their customers. The perils of choosing a market in which one  hasn't an interest are myriad. From the get-go, one will be tasked with a great deal of research which may be very time-consuming. One will also find themselves building sites for subjects they may find tedious. When it comes time to find a product in which one's subscribers may have an interest, it will be that much more difficult to determine what products will make those customers want to buy. Going with one's interests is always the best move when getting started.

 Choosing a Niche!

Choosing one's niche market is
among the most vital strategic
decisions any Internet marketer will
make. Not only will one have to
choose a market, they'll have to
choose keywords within that market
to ensure that their page is as visible
as possible. Choosing this niche will
take time, consideration and some
research into how competitive any given niche is already.

Scouting out the Competition

Every market niche will have a certain amount of competition for the members of the demographic.
However, some niches will be over- saturated and others will be almost vacant of any marketers. It may seem instinctive to move into those least-marketed niches but one does So at their own peril. The most heavily-marketed niches, of course, entail their own risks.
The Very Popular Niches.
The most popular niches will likely
be dominated by very successful
marketers and, in particular, by
corporate sites which have almost
unlimited resources to spend in their
quest to stay on top. This makes
these very expensive where
advertising and just about everything
else is concerned, This situation
also makes these niches very
unfriendly to anyone looking to break
into them as a new marketer.One can determine how saturated a niche may be by using one of the various tools designed for this purpose. Most of them are available on the Internet and there are several different versions. What they do,essentially, is to scour for information related to a keyword or a keyword phrase. For instance, if one were to type ‘’golf+clubs" into one of these tools, it would return what the top ranking sites are for those keywords, how many pay-per-click advertisements there were for those keywords and a host of other vital.

Marketing  information.
This information is used to determine whether or not it's even worth one's effort to make an attempt at breaking in to a given market. The example given, golf+clubs" would likely be dominated by corporate entities which can outspend just about any independent Internet marketer.However, using the technique of niche marketing, one may do a search such as "golf+clubs+women', for instance, to see how much competition they might find in the market for women who are looking For a new set of golf clubs. In general, one should stick to keyword phrases rather than a single keyword. As an example, if one did a search for "golf" they would find a market that would be almost impossible to enter for anyone save for the largest corporate entities.

The Untapped Market.

Some beginner niche marketers make a very understandable mistake when selecting the first demographic to which they desire to market. When researching niches, they oftentimes search and search until they find that one niche that is apparently undiscovered by any other marketer. Oftentimes, that market has been discovered and the absence of any serious marketing efforts is rather by design on the part of the marketers.
When selecting a niche, one must
give some consideration to how
likely that niche is to part with their
money. A good example is college
students. If one were to write a very
good ebook that gave solid, useful
and time-tested information to
students on how to effectively take
notes during a lecture, they would
have reason to suspect that their
product might net them a large
amount of profit. However, this
might not actually be the case.

The reasons for this may not be
apparent on the surface. After all,
this would seem like the perfect
product. Every college student has
lectures, most college students are
interested in getting decent grades-
or so one would think--and most
college students do struggle from
time to time with the college experience. Add to that the fact that most college students enjoy a good deal of disposable income and it would seem that there's no reason that this ebook shouldn't be flying off the digital shelves. It would seem that way until one did their research, that is Most college students, while they do harbor an interest in their grades, harbor more of an interest in partying. Getting them to part with their money is not hard for the local tavern or the local nightclub but it is very difficult for those who want to sell them something related to school, especially when one considers that they're likely already putting themselves into tens of thousands of dollars in debt due to school expenses. One might find that this niche for products to help students get more out of their lectures is completely untapped without realizing that this is the case because students aren't willing to spend any money on such products and, thus, there's no reason for a marketer to invest their time and money in trying to win over those customers.

Identifying the Good Clients.

Sometimes, identifying the good clients can be very counter intuitive. Another example gives some insight in to what separates successful marketers from the unsuccessful.  As an example, imagine two men that walk into a fashionable briefcase store. One of them is carrying a top-of-the-line briefcase
which is in excellent condition and which represents the very latest fashion. His friend, who has clearly been dragged into the store by his comrade, possibly a bit against his will, is carrying a ratty briefcase that hasn't been in style since the 1980's. As he looks about the store, there is little spark in his eyes when he looks at the products and he has all the characteristics of a man who sincerely wishes he were somewhere else. The men are approached by the salesperson. If the salesperson is skilled and successful, most people would reason that he would approach the man with the beat-up briefcase and see if he could help him find something new; something more like his friend's briefcase. 
A successful salesperson, however, would see beyond the obvious and approach the man with the new briefcase. Understanding why this would be the case reveals a lot about choosing a market. The man with the new briefcase is a better choice in customers because that man obviously enjoys spending money on briefcases! Though he may have a top-of-the-line model, there's likely something available in the store that he would find very tempting. While his friend would be a very hard sell, the briefcase fan would be an easy sell and, of course, the sales person could possibly interest his friend in getting in on the fun in more than a visceral fashion. this plays to the concept of up-selling to some degree and will be explored in great detail later on Selecting a good niche market can be done in the same fashion as the briefcase salesperson selected which customer to target for his pitch. Look for those markets where people actually spend money. This will tend to move one's efforts toward upscale clientele, such as golfers, in many cases and,oftentimes, these individuals are actually looking to spend, rather than to save, money which makes them very disable.

The Perfect Blend.
The best possible niche will be one where the members of that niche desire to spend money and in which there is enough competition to reveal that there is money to be made in catering to their needs. There will not, however, be so much competition that one will have to make a huge investment to even break in to that niche. Where there is too much competition there is certainly a lot of money to be made but it will likely take resources far beyond those of any independent Internet marketer to even be seen. In those markets where there is competition, one's goal will have to be to set themselves apart from what competition exists. This is a tricky affair and requires some creative thinking. Fortunately, there is at present a happy coming together of various forces on the Internet which makes this affair much easier than it has been in the past. Search engine optimization is one of the most important-possibly the most important-aspect of becoming a successful Internet marketer. In the past, search engine optimization required a tricky use of coding, keywords and other very technical endeavors to achieve. Today, the axiom is "content is king" and creating good content for a web-page is something well-within marketers. This effort will benefit from following all of the advice already given in regard to selecting one's niche.

If one is going with their interests, it's likely that they're capable of generating their content, at least at first, all on their own which will make the cost of starting a website very inexpensive. It's also likely that the marketer will also enjoy creating this content and, just as one can tell if a salesperson is smiling on the phone, a reader can tell if content was created with enthusiasm or simplyan ulterior capitalist motive.

At the same time that content has become the driving force in determining search engine visibility, there have come on the market a whole host of software packages designed to make the affair of managing one's content very easy. Where one used to be required to manually construct every Internet page by working from a template, there are now many content management systems that require only that the page designer input the content. The software does the rest. This makes it possible for the site owner to create hundreds of pages in the same amount of time that used to allow on to create only 10 or 20.

There are also numerous tools available that assist one in creating content with keyword density percentages that are favorable to search engine optimization efforts. Add to this that there are many sites where one can contract the generation of content for affordable prices and there has never been a better time to be a niche marketer. Now that the niche has been selected, it's time to select the affiliate programs and to build the page.