Pick one vertical and run with it

One of the biggest mistakes I made early on was trying to run too many offers. Its easy to get pulled in many different directions with affiliate marketing. You might even have some success with in a particular niche and think it would be best to try to duplicate that success in other niches. But I have found the best thing is to pick a niche, and stick with it as much as possible.

A great strategy is to pick a certain vertical market and scale that market until you have tapped every traffic source, researched every possibly converting keyword, optimized every site, owned tons of domains, and basically became the #1 expert on marketing that niche on the Internet.  If you look at many of the really successful guys in our industry, they heavily invested in one vertical.   Sure you always want some diversification in case it completely dries up, but you can spread the risk around by having different offers and clients in the same vertical.

Here’s an example. Say you had an interest in chiropractors. These guys spend a ton on advertising (check out the back of a phone book), and are in every city. You could find local chiropractors in your area and set up local lead gen or CPA offers for their business. Once you honed your techniques you could branch out to other areas in the state, then region, then nationally. Travel to all the chiropractor trade shows, set up a booth, advertise in their publications and journals, etc. Eventually you could become the #1 “go to” Internet Marketer for that field so any chiropractor who even thought of marketing would think of your company.  This is a long term business strategy that is very profitable.

The great thing about become a dominant expert in a certain niche is the longer you do it, the cheaper your costs are and the more profit you can make.  This lets you dominate your competition even more and is a powerful snowball effect.    So if you are struggling to find your way in affiliate marketing, maybe its time to stop trying so many different things and stick with just one.

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Posted in Affiliate Marketing, General, Lead Generation by cdfnetworks on 08|25|09
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Comment by Kiley
2009-08-25 16:40:52

Another good post, Chad! From the sound of it, you, like myself, are concentrating more and more on offline/local. Best of luck!

Comment by TatianaTatto
2009-08-25 20:17:43

We agree– As a network trend we find that affiliates who work with one or two specific niches are more successful than the ones who are all over the place.

Comment by andrew wee
2009-08-26 11:33:47

Yep, a number of internet marketers who’ve done this successfully include:
Yanik Silver who started out teaching dentists how to better market themselves.
and Joe Polish who started out running his own carpet cleaning company and later started a biz training other cleaning business owners how to market themselves more effectively.

Comment by Chad Frederiksen
2009-08-27 00:02:47

Thanks for the examples Andrew!

2009-08-26 15:24:13


What a great post. This is the kind of post you want to print out and keep in front of you all the time.

This post couldn’t have come at a better time. 2008 was my first big year in affiliate marketing. Now, I’m totally struggling to generate any type of consistent income from affiliate marketing. My existing niche/offer has dried out. Others scrub or just don’t last long enough for me to scale them. I’m jumping from one niche to the other and nothing seems to be sticking. Totally losing my focus and faith completely.

On a bright side, the other day I was with a local mortgage broker in his office applying for a mortgage on my first investment property. He saw my professional qualification and asked me if I can develop a website for him and possible market his business. I didn’t entertain his proposal so much because I didn’t want to take time away from my affiliate marketing efforts (since now I’m even struggling more to get back in the game). But I think I should definitely call him back. This might turn out to be a great opportunity for me.


Comment by Chad Frederiksen
2009-08-27 00:04:40

Just keep at, something will hit.

Sounds like the mortgage guy could be a good opportunity, especially if the housing market starts coming back.

Comment by Trevor
2009-09-26 04:40:11

Chad you have built a great site here.
I don’t read online marketing blogs much since most are garbage, but your site is great and your ideas are fresh.

Thank you for the sound advice


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Comment by Baron Garbis
2009-08-28 03:06:59

Thank you Chad for this post.very inspiring.I guess we all need the moral boost and direction to focus in this economical times.I always read and print your posts.please keep on posting hints ideas that we internet marketers can use in our businesses.thank you again.

2009-08-28 16:08:19

[...] It’s so easy to get sidetracked and spread yourself too thin, thinking if what you’re doing in one target market works, then why not multiply it in a bunch of different niches. Chad from CDFnetworks talks about the power of focusing on one niche, scaling it and mastering it. Pick One Vertical and Run With It. [...]

Comment by Aluminum Briefcase
2009-09-03 19:09:18

I would have to disagree with this concept. Focusing too much on one niche can be a recipe for failure. I am involved in several niches, but my main niche was hit hard by the recession. If I had been focusing on that niche exclusively I would be screwed. Luckily I have a strong presence in several niches. So once the one niche took a hit, I focused more time on my other niches.

At the very beginning you can’t be sure what niche is going to work well for you. So it is a good idea to experiment in several niches to determine where the most potential is.

2009-09-06 03:46:29

Aluminum Briefcase, I agree it is good to be diversified. I am in a consumer driven niche as well that was hard hit by the recession. But I got kind of complacent in the good times and tried to expand to other niches. Then the recession hit and I dug deep in the niche and uncovered some great additional opportunities. I think what Chad is saying is try to maximize each niche first versus just jumping from niche to niche once they start making money. Great post Chad!

2009-09-18 16:11:25

[...] Pick one vertical and run with it “One of the biggest mistakes I made early on was trying to run too many offers. You might even have some success with in a particular niche and think it would be best to try to duplicate that success in other niches. But I have found the best thing is to pick a niche, and stick with it as much as possible.” [...]

Comment by Idiot Proof Diet
2009-09-19 18:34:25

You are absolutely right, when you said just stick to one thing rather than going for many different things. Affiliate marketing is the best tool from which you can tap some good money. Hence the proper and concentrated approach will do the wonders.

I enjoyed reading your post, thanks pal.

Comment by darknight
2009-10-03 06:45:04

OK, let the dr. of doom lay it on you cool cats… we are in a volatile industry… hmmm WHAT OTHER INDUSTRIES ARE VOLATILE THAT HAVE BEEN AROUND SUCCESSFULLY FOR DECADES ???!!!!

The answer is…. Commodity, options, currency and futures trading. ALL volatile, every changing enviroments

SOOOO, borrow from those disciplines the skills and knowledge of risk management, diversification, trends and cycles, position sizing; run your business as a successful trading firm. One that plans to be around for decades and knows you CAN NOT predict the future. Since, what we do IS A GAMBLE, but it can be an intelligent gamble.

Check out a man by the name of “Van Tharp” or any good source on futures or options trading and managing a futures or options trading account NOT stocks… there is a reason for this.

Enjoy and as we say on the trading floor “KEEP YOUR GUN-POWDER DRY” :)

p.s. for you avid doers… check out a concept called “risk of ruin” ;)

The DarkNight

Comment by ATV Auction
2009-10-05 19:09:48

While it is good to fully exploit a niche, it is not wise to put all your eggs in one basket. If you are over-relying on one niche, you could lose everything in a heartbeat. I prefer to establish a strong foothold in 2 or 3 niches instead.

2009-10-20 05:31:10

[...] programs or freebies.  You will undoubtedly lose focus.The most successful CPA internet marketers find one niche and become an expert at promoting it.google_ad_client = “pub-2941637122112958″; [...]

2009-12-30 16:51:53

[...] Pick one vertical and run with it – A huge part of my current overall business strategy. [...]

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