Can you make money on a Fad and Should you as an affiliate?

One of the most common questions I get is “Which product should I market?” or “Should I be marketing Product X?”
Here are a few quick tips I have to share with you to help you reach that decision.

What is a Fad? According to wikipedia A fad is any form of behavior that develops among a large population and is collectively followed with enthusiasm for some period, generally as a result of the behavior’s being perceived as novel in some way. A fad is said to “catch on” when the number of people adopting it begins to increase rapidly. The behavior will normally fade quickly once the perception of novelty is gone.
The specific nature of the behavior associated with a fad can be of any type including language usage, apparel, financial investment, and even food. Apart from general novelty, fads may be driven by mass media programming, emotional excitement, peer pressure, or the desire of ‘being hip’.
Though the term trend may be used interchangeably with fad, a fad is generally considered a fleeting behavior whereas a trend is considered to be a behavior that evolves into a relatively permanent change.

Should you attempt to market a Fad product?
Yes, you should attempt to market a Fad product as long as you are doing so during the upswing and not the downswing of the product popularity. Keep in mind that this Fad will eventually fade so don’t build your whole business model around it. An example of  a Fad would be Diets or the Acai Berry craze that went on. There is always a new diet or super food around the corner and it is difficult to market a particular diet or super food that is only popular for a short amount of time.
When you consider the amount of work building a website and driving traffic  a fad is not a long term business solution. Sooner or later your website and product becomes obsolete replaced by the next new Fad. Then you have to start all over again to maintain your income.

When creating an affiliate based business you are better served to go after the long term income. The best way to determine if a product is a Fad or a Trend that will continue is to check out Google Insights –http://www.google.com/insights/search/

For my example I want to discuss the Kettlebell, a fitness tool that was brought to the United States by Dragon Door. Now at first glance you may think this is just another fitness fad.  But you didn’t do the research yet so lets take a look.

In this example we are looking at Kettlebells vs The Shake Weight using Google insights for search.

Google insights for Search

The red line is the “Shake Weight” which runs infomercials. But the Spike was caused by the product being featured as a joke on the Ellen day time talk show. See how quickly the spike occurred and you can also see that it is trending downward very sharply.

Now look at the Blue line which is Kettlebells. You can see steady growth in this particular product and it is a great for for an affiliate as a long term income maker. Not to mention forecasts – the dotted line shows a slight upswing ( no pun intended Kettlebell lovers) in the forecast as well as steady growth in popularity.

So Should you jump on the Fad bandwagon? Only if you want to continually build out sites and search out new traffic streams on a constant basis. As long as you are on the upswing side of a products popularity you have an opportunity to be among the first to make money with it and as you can see if you are one of the lucky few you can stand to make a good amount of money. You must be prepared – have a system in place to build out a website quickly and drive traffic fast before the downturn hits while still looking for that next “magic product”- oh and watch a lot of Daytime TV for that next big product being introduced!

From my own experience the fad is not the way to build out an affiliate business. It is just too much effort in something that will not sustain itself long term. Do your research on the product and see what the trends look like long term before investing your time, money and effort.
Let me know your experiences with Fads.

About Ginette

Search & Affiliate Marketing Strategist since 1993

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