Updated on July 16th, 2018
There are better ways to be on top of your game as an affiliate than running around with a divining rod.
Understanding current and future trends is the way to go.
Excitingly enough, you don’t need pseudoscience to reach your goals.
Finding a profitable source of long-term income can be relatively simple. Everyone would love to find THE endless money maker, but it doesn’t really exist.
Although evergreen niches are a thing, you always need to adapt or die. Hence why there are so few affiliates right now: most of them couldn’t adapt fast enough for the new Internet landscape. But you know there’s still money to be made, else no one would bother with affiliate marketing.
Here, let me boil down some tried and true methods to not only follow, but use trends to your advantage.
Read. A lot.
Some of the best advice I can give you to be aware of trends is to become a real news sponge.
Start by subscribing to popular newspapers and websites that deliver daily content. Most of them have free RSS feeds you can add directly to your browser, such as the RSS Feed Reader for Chrome.
Take the pulse of what’s going on in the world. Culture goes a long way and explains why I haven’t told you to subscribe to popular affiliate blogs right off the bat. Start by casting a wide net, then you can think to pinpoint specific sources of content.
If RSS feeds aren’t for you, there’s a lovely website I like to use: AffBuzz.com. There are dozens of quality publications all under the same roof with their most recent updates for easy consumption.
Reading is a fundamental tool. It’ll help you understand what others are doing and give you further ideas for your own projects.
Use our good ol’ friend Google
Google is the most powerful search engine on the planet.
The amount of data it has access to is mind-boggling, really.
Thankfully, Google is also somewhat generous in the sense that you get some free and extremely useful tools 24/7.
Google Trends allows you to see what’s buzzing on the world wide web in real time.
It’s also a great way to put specific keywords to the popularity test: simply type a keyword in the search bar, hit ‘Enter’ and you’ll be presented with stats, similar requests, geolocalisation and more.
Check Out TrendHunter
Ever been in need of fresh ideas? Then TrendHunter is for you.
The reason why I like this site is because it gives me valuable information about what’s making the rounds online.
Let’s say you’re looking for the latest buzz in computers. TrendHunter tells you what might be tomorrow’s big breakthrough.
It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you’re wondering how to invest for the future, you’ll end up visiting this site frequently.
Timing is an important factor for business. Having access to such information about trends is invaluable.
Consider Instagram’s Explore feature
With more than 800 million members, Instagram is a social media juggernaut.
If you want to keep up with trends, you don’t really have a choice but to add social media to your radar.
Instagram’s Explore tab enables you to see the most popular shared content using various hashtags.
Related searches can give you great ideas for your own content, plus you’ll get a general idea of what’s trending on social media.
Give BuzzSumo a try
BuzzSumo is one of the most useful sites to follow trends.
The platform displays the most shared content on social networks.
Here’s a quick example:
You can compare engagement levels on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit. You can also view backlinks for each individual post.
What I like most is to analyze which titles bring in the most clicks.
Use Answer the Public
This is a new tool I’ve started using lately. It’s a bit confusing at first, but Answer the Public delivers data you won’t find anywhere else.
Here’s a picture I generated for this article: link. I’m not including it here because it’s too big.
The site basically gives you ideas for your content, questions people might ask about a niche. You can also view prepositions, comparisons, alphabeticals and related searches.
All in all, Answer the Public is a unique ressource. It might not be as helpful to follow trends as the other stuff I’ve posted above, but it’s still an interesting option if you wish to think a bit outside the box.
Did I miss something? Don’t be shy to share your own tactics to follow trends like a pro in the comments below.