A well-known internet marketer, John Reese, when talking about brainstorming products to sell, used to say “go where the money already is”. By that, he meant “see what sells well already, then look for an angle or competitive advantage”.
That notion is based on the idea that it’s easier to sell things that you know people are already clamoring to buy, rather than first trying to figure out what people will buy.
Based on this idea, we can tap into some resources to see “what’s hot”, then use that as the basis for our topical website.
Article directories are collections of user-submitted articles intended for webmasters to use as content on their websites. In return for ‘free’ content, the webmaster must include the ‘author bio’ and link back to the author’s site. This gives the writer exposure, traffic, and backlinks in exchange for their articles.
With some of the larger article directories housing millions of articles, and receiving thousands of visitors daily, and the ability to sort by a number of views, they act like ‘popularity contests’ for subjects and niche topics. Browsing by topic, we can get a good sense of what topics, ideas, etc., are already popular. Niches that have a high number of articles are a good sign that other webmasters have seen promise in the niche. And since these niches have already been categorized, it makes it easy to browse around and find strong niche site ideas.
Visit Online Marketplaces
Sites like eBay, Shopping.com, and Amazon are all places where you can find top selling physical products, and like an article directory, everything is smoothly categorized so that it's easy to find related products. Remember to look for categories with products that are at a high enough price point to deliver you a good commission, have handy accessories at lower prices and are well-liked enough to be an easy sell.
Check Affiliate Marketplaces
Affiliate marketplaces contain categorized listings of a lot of digital & physical products, which in-depth statistics that make it easy for you to make an informed decision.
In essence, you can literally ‘cheat’ by seeing not just what’s hot and where money is being spent, but see the actual products & categories that are being sold successfully through affiliate marketing.
Watch The Media
Spend a little time at your local bookstore and browse through their collection of magazines. Look at the advertisements for magazines that you're interested in. After all, affiliate marketing has a similar business model as a print magazine – great content supported by advertising. The same idea applies to TV shows and other websites. Find out what’s being sold to people you want to target. If there’s advertising, there’s a chance for you.