Michael Robichaud has been a full-time affiliate marketer since 2007 and has a background in sales, marketing and SEO. He has a network of over 300 websites in a variety of niches, many of them targeting the software and digital downloads niche. Michael’s most recent project is a network of software discount sites including SoftwareCoupons.com.
Can you make a prediction of the Top 3 software related affiliate marketing niches with the highest growth in 2016 & 2017?
There are a variety of product segments in the digital goods space that are seeing solid growth and should continue into 2016 & 2017.
1- Software that connects PC’s and Mobile – Since mobile is growing so rapidly consumers are searching for software that helps them connect or manage their mobile data and their PCs/Macs. A good example of software in this niche is Wondershare Dr. Fone for IOS. This software will recover lost data from an iPhone or iPad and is in high demand. Another merchant that is doing well in this space is BackupTrans. If you want to migrate from Android to iPhone and take your WhatsApp data, for example, with you, this app has a solution. This is a niche that will only continue to grow.
2- PC Speed Up & Optimization – The Speed Up your PC niche is nothing new but moving into 2016 & 2017 this niche will continue to grow and mature. The software in this niche has moved to more of an all-in-one solution that will fix your registry, clear cookies, optimize your system, scan for spyware/malware, optimize your disk and more. Some of the leaders in this niche are Iobit Advanced SystemCare Pro, iolo System Mechanic Pro and Auslogics BoostSpeed 8. As an affiliate, it would be mistake to overlook PC Speed Up & Optimization, it’s a huge niche that will have continuing demand in 2016 and beyond.
3- Video Editing Software – With the growth of online video, video editing software is becoming popular with a mass consumer audience. It used to be that you needed to be really techie to be a video editor but several software vendors have created really easy to use video editing software that is taking off in popularity. Some of the software that we have seen strong growth includes Movavi Video Suite and Wondershare Filmora. Everyone wants to show off their videos and the video editing software niche is poised to take advantage of videos popularity and grow rapidly.
From your point of view, what are the best methods and/or sources to convert traffic into sales?
I’ve always been a big fan of organic traffic from the search engines but this might be because of my SEO background. But I am quick to tell other affiliate marketers to not put all your eggs into one basket, meaning, don’t spend all your time and money on one website hoping that it will get traffic. Organic traffic is NOT a given and you don’t always get it. This is one of the reasons why I normally roll out a large number of websites in a given niche to increase my odds of getting the organic traffic.
Utilizing paid traffic from Adwords or Yahoo/Bing is always an option but can be tough as an affiliate marketer. As an affiliate we only get a small percentage of the sale and this can cause problems setting up a profitable PPC campaign taking into consideration the PPC costs these days. Some of the vendors also have restrictions on the terms you can bid upon using PPC advertising. I only recommend PPC to marketers that have a lot of experience configuring profitable PPC campaigns. PPC as an affiliate is not for newbies.
Mobile Banner Ads in my opinion has not shown itself to be a viable option for affiliate traffic. I have tested mobile banners on a few occasions and it was a crash and burn both times. Banners in general have really taken a dive in the last few years. So much so that I’ve taken banners off all my sites to remove the clutter. When you start looking at banner click through rates of 0.0013 you start to understand that people aren’t clicking on banners anymore.
What was the most successful affiliate project you’ve worked on and why?
Back in 2010, I targeted a specific software niche and rolled out 150 different video opt-in websites. The sole purpose of the sites were to grow an email marketing list within the niche. In the first 12 months I had over 100,000 email opt-ins and 250,000 after year two. If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “The Money is in the List”, this is very true for affiliate marketing. I still market regularly to these email lists and the traffic and conversions are impressive and profitable! My new project that includes SoftwareCoupons.com will shortly surpass my 2010 project in both affiliate revenue and traffic. Goes to show you that you’re only as good as your last accomplishment.
Do you have any advice for people new to affiliate marketing?
There are a few things I always try to say to people who are just starting out in affiliate marketing. First, have a clear well thought out strategy based upon solid research in the given niche you’re going after. Second, don’t put all your eggs in one basket–have a backup plan. Third, know where you’re going to get your traffic. And Fourth, you can’t do it all yourself. Outsource the components that either take up too much of your time or are outside of your expertise.