How To Find Your Profitable Niche For Affiliate Marketing
So you know you want to try your hand at affiliate marketing but have no idea where to start...
Before you're able to start an affiliate site, you need to know which niche you'll be comfortable writing about in the long term, as well as having a level of confidence about the profitability from your decided venture.
Here's how to get started with finding your very own profitable niche.
1. Brainstorm your initial list of niches
When most people are stuck coming up with an idea, what do they do?
When you're starting any new business venture, there are many useful things to have beforehand - relevant knowledge, spare money in the bank, people you can rely on for support.
The most crucial thing however, that will help you drive your career and ultimate success, is much more fundamental than that.
Having real passion about a subject really helps to keep you going to progress your knowledge and improve your business. If you're not passionate about your niche, how far do you think you'll get before giving up or simply devolve to boredom?
There's a simple method to figuring out which niche might be up your street.
Write out a list of every passion, interest or hobby you could possibly build a blog around.
It's easy to say you can't think of anything or you're not interested in anything but in my experience, this is never true.
Whatever topic springs to mind, no matter how unlikely it might seem at first, write it down.
A good place to start in a pinch are the evergreen niches such as Wealth, Health and Romance, as these will always be profitable and so are great topics to consider. People will forever be reading and writing about dieting, how to make money or how to find their next love interest.
If you're really struggling to think of a suitable niche and need a hint to get started, here's a small list of the niches I came up with when I first began my foray into affiliate marketing:
- Passive Income
- Video Games
- Travelling The World
Try to come up with as many niches as possible that interest you and you'll have taken the vital first step.
At the very least, 15 different niches should suffice before the next step: narrowing down those choices.
2. Narrow down your options
Now that you've got a wide range of topics to choose from, you'd be hard-pressed to write about them all!
So the next step is to narrow down your options based on various sensible criteria to a strong set of a few comfortable niches.
As well as passion, there are other meaningful factors that can contribute to the success of your affiliate niche.
You might want to consider the following questions about each of your potential niches.
Can you write about this niche in the long term?
This is a large part of why having passion about your niche is so vital.
You need to be able to write about your chosen topic consistently for a fair amount of time. And even if you're not currently knowledgeable about the subject, passion will drive you to learn and prosper.
If you can't write at least 100 articles about the subject in the long term, you're going to find it hard to gain traction online and develop long-lasting relationships with your readers.
Pick a niche you're confident won't leave you bored or lacking related things to write about.
Is this niche profitable?
If you're looking to make some serious passive income with affiliate marketing, you need a niche that'll give you a strong change of bringing that money in.
There are a few sub-questions to this that'll help you evaluate which of your niches might be the most lucrative.
What are the average monthly searches for this niche?
Naturally, you'll want a steady stream of visitors to your site to make it a viable business opportunity.
A quick way to check your potential site traffic is to use Google Keyword Planner.
Let's say your niche is 'tennis'.
It'd clearly be useful to check for keywords that would likely be present in user searches regarding tennis.
Here's the results of a keyword search of 'how to play tennis'.
You'll usually want to aim for topics that provide average monthly searches of 1K to 10K but try to get at least 1K minimum. Higher volumes of traffic will help to sustain your userbase in the long term.
You can also check if topics might be too competitive. That doesn't mean to say you should completely avoid keywords that are 'high' as there can be other factors at play here.
But it gives a good indicator on what the safer, low-competition keywords might be.
How competitive is this niche?
While some competition is good (it proves somewhat that your niche is viable), you ideally don't want overly stiff competition in your niche.
It's much easier to become profitable in your niche if you're not having to fight tooth and nail for your userbase.
Take a look at your competitor sites and ask yourself if you could improve on them in some way.
A great way to find your competition is to Google search the same keywords you'd want to rank for. This should reveal a list of sites that also write similar content in your niche.
Maybe you could write better content, market it more sensibly or create a better user experience for site visitors. Or find a gap in the market that your competitors aren't currently covering.
It's also worthwhile to see what products your competitors are recommending. Doing this will confirm that there are products you could potentially promote whilst giving you a sense of how the niche could be monetised.
Are there any relevant products you can promote?
If you can't find products worth promoting, it's pretty hard to call yourself an affiliate marketer. After all, you can't be an affiliate if there's nothing to affiliate with.
However, this is out of your control if the niche is bare and there isn't much invested interest in the subject.
As a last-ditch attempt, you can browse through products related to your niche by visiting an affiliate network such as Clickbank. Products are organised by category so it's an easy way to check for relevant products.
With any luck, you'll be able to find products you can imagine yourself recommending to your readers and that they'll genuinely want to use.
If you're still struggling to find products though, you might want drop this niche off your list.
Do the related affiliate programs provide high returns?
Assuming you've managed to find some relevant affiliate programs for your niche, you'll want to evaluate them for profitability.
Think about the following:
- What is the sale price of the product? (the higher the better)
- Are the commission rates high enough to make a profit?
- Can you imagine yourself recommending these effectively to your userbase?
When you can find products that will excite your readers and have high commission rates that will ensure they generate good profit margins, this points to a strong niche worth investing your time in.
For bonus points, look for affiliate programs that offer long-lived cookies with recurring commissions. For a converted user that signs up to a recommended product once, you'll receive a kickback every month they continue to subscribe.
That said, there's an important reason I've chosen this list-pruning technique for last.
It's common for newbie affiliates to only aim for lucrative programs, despite warning signs that these might not be suitable for their readership.
Where possible, it's a much better and more honest choice to promote the affiliate programs that'll generate large profits but only if they'll provide a decent benefit for your users as well.
3. The final decision
By following these steps, you should've now narrowed down your initial list to only a few niches.
And now you might be left with a tough choice...
But once you've gotten to this stage, really any of these niches should be viable.
The niches that remain should be profitable, not too competitive and have enough monthly searches to give you the traffic boost to make your site successful.
If you still can't decide, think about your biggest passion amongst these topics and what you'd be the happiest writing about.
Remember to keep your other final niches for the future - there's no reason you can't create other affiliate sites if you're successful with your first venture and fancy doing it all over again!
Becoming an affiliate marketer is a job, but there's no reason you can't have fun while doing it.