Choosing your affiliate niche should not be a painful process. But creating your first affiliate website can be a very hard process. One of the first and critical challenges you’ll need to face is finding which niche to focus on.
So, what is a niche? A niche is a specific segment of the market that you are targeting. When people talk about the niche in regard to affiliate websites; they often refer to the ‘subject or topic’ of your site. So if they ask you what your niche is, they mean what subject are you focused on. You will understand later why niche, topic, or subject are used interchangeably in my later discussion.
In the meantime, let me give you salient tips on your journey to
Choosing your affiliate niche for your website
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As beginners, most of you will get stuck with the fact that you are not experienced enough to cover a specific subject. With all the best options seeming to have already been covered, a lot of you may find yourself in a deadlock. On the flip side, which I believe is a better dilemma, some may have too many interests and are engaged in a lot of activities that choosing the most viable among these becomes a brain-racking and stressful process.
Do not fret! I have walked that road before, and believe me, any idea can be profitable. Keep that in mind as we tackle your first challenge.
1: Set realistic expectations
As a newbie, do not expect your site to be flawless nor aspire to generate millions right away. Mastery and wealth will come in due time. The most important thing right now is to learn the ropes while generating enough revenue out of it.
Like all new ventures, expect failures or missteps along the way. Some of you may fail while choosing your affiliate niche at the wrong time or generate very little in too long a time, and so on and so forth. Again, this is expected.
In my case, I worked on almost ten websites, barely earning twenty dollars out of it, before I landed on the perfect one for me. By that, I mean generating my monthly five-digit revenues in a matter of four weeks!
Just to give you an idea, here are some of the topics that I have tried to focus on and miserably failed:
a. Popular game plushies
b. Belly fat exercise regimen
c. Antivirus software reviews
d. DIY cure for sprains
e. Products for horse owners
f. Combating the lack of ALDH2 activity (ALDH2 or aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 is an enzyme that is responsible for preventing heightened heart rate, headache, nausea, and a flushed face due to the severe intake of alcohol)
g. Creating a mobile app.
After several attempts, I realize that the right one, then, was staring me in the face, and this was VPN (Virtual Private Network). For those of you who are not tech-savvy, VPN is basically an extended network on the internet that allows you some degree of privacy and security when you share and receive documents, files, or heavier data across shared or public networks.
This brings me to my next point.
2: Persist and learn from your mistakes
Yes, expect failures but smart up every time you fail. Let the lessons show you how to be better, how to improve your current site, how to create another website that drives up traffic and profitability, and how to sniff out an opportunity right at your backyard.
During my years as a beginner, I was in a place where people extensively use VPN to get into Facebook, Netflix, and Twitter. What better niche, then, than one that I and millions of others were involved and vastly using at that time? As soon as I successfully targeted VPN, I was able to hit my first 10,000-dollar monthly revenue just by promoting subscriptions to it. I managed to achieve this in a matter of thirty days.
My point is, keep learning and do not give up. Keep your eyes open and your ear to the ground so that you can discern opportunity where others normally do not. Who knows? One might very well turn out to be your very first gold mine.
That said, I have already moved on to other niches and have long sold this VPN website for a good profit. If you feel that this is your niche, feel free to dive in. If not, what should be ok, choosing your affiliate niche journey will continue.
3: Choose the middle ground.
What does this mean? When picking a subject or niche, do not opt for one that is too general nor too specific.
General topics will overwhelm you with the vastness of its coverage that writing about it becomes too time-consuming. Narrow subjects, on the other hand, will push you toward the end too soon and you’ll find yourself wanting for related subjects to talk about. Between the two extremes, find your ideal middle ground.
Let me illustrate why broad topics are a no-no. Some examples of these general subjects are:
b. Health and Fitness
f. Starting a Business
i. Mental Health
k. Agriculture and Farming
All these are indeed popular subjects. However, these are too general and have many subtopics under it that you will end up using so much of your time and slaving over so many subpoints. This will also trap you to produce articles that are too distilled in content because of its wide coverage, making your brand blur amidst all the other websites. Unlike Buzzfeed of Mashable which hire professional writers who churn out more interesting and in-depth stuff, as a beginner and I suspect your own writer, this is too much of a burden.
Broad topics also do not target a clearly defined market. As a result, they are more difficult to rank or build on.
For example, Health and Fitness is not considered a niche but an overarching industry. There are so many smaller and more specific market segments under it that can be effectively targeted, ranked, and grown. So while you choosing your affiliate niche point is to not go too wide.
Examples of these subtopics on this industry are:
a. Yoga exercises for kids
b. Safe weight-loss diets for young professionals
c. Vegan recipes for meat lovers
d. 10-minute meditation for executives
e. Keeping your skin healthy in your 50s
f. Debunking myths about running
g. How to prevent injuries in sports.
Any of these seven topics target a specific audience and can thus provide enough subtopics for you to write about, while, at the same time, enabling you to connect with a specific market segment.
In effective communication, the important thing is to know your audience and to speak their language. Always remember that for your website to be effective, which means for it to generate huge traffic and consequently rake up revenues, you must be able to successfully connect with and engage your target market.
For example, in choosing Health and Fitness, do not assume that, by this, the market you’re targeting is a homogeneous one. It’s not. A young professional who wants to do meditative yoga is a much different market from kids who are encouraged by their moms to try yoga as exercise, but they both fall under Health and Fitness.
So, if you think you picked a broad topic just like the twelve examples I have given above, I suggest you try to subdivide them into smaller kingdoms. This way, it’s more focused, and thus, more manageable for newbies like you.
Consider Yoga for kids, for example.
You will discover that there are a lot of products that cater to just this specific market segment. Examples of these products include Yoga dolls, colorful yoga mats, Yoga apps for kids, vibrant yoga cards, meditation songs for kids, kid-friendly meditation cushions, kids’ yoga outfits, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. You get the gist. By just focusing on this specific topic, you open a floodgate of possible affiliate links to your website.
For young professionals who are into meditative yoga, on the other hand, products that cater to them are way more sophisticated, and oftentimes, geared toward stress release, mental focus, physical strength, and many other concerns that are typified by their busy lifestyles. Examples of the products that speak to them are wellness retreats, 10-minute full yoga workout apps, office seats that enable executives to exercise their spine while doing computer work, innovative bracelets that generate mindfulness, books that promote good karmic energies, and so on and so forth.
So, let us now proceed to the other end of the spectrum: the narrow niche.
If you opt to target a very specific topic, chances are, you will end up with nothing interesting to talk about after several articles. Then, you are forced to stretch your content thinly, to the detriment of your website or brand.
Again, choose your middle ground wisely.
4: Choose that which inspires you. Some may call it passion.
In my many years of experience in creating affiliate websites, there is no quick and easy way or ‘trade secret’ to determining the right niche. Sure, there may be affiliate trainings and seminars available out there but, at this stage, it may not be worth spending time on as you may become overwhelmed.
I mentioned earlier that like all business start-ups, there will surely be peaks and valleys along the way. If you are not talking about a passion or interest of yours, it will be easy to get discouraged and quit. If you choose a niche just because it is trending not because it is what you particularly love to know or write about, the bumps in the journey will push you to doubt yourself or mull over why you are not achieving your goals. While you watch those hugely successful affiliate websites, you will tend to doubt whether you are good enough for your project.
Remember, the more distant you are about your chosen niche, the higher the chances of you giving up. So, choose carefully, pay attention to what your gut tells you, or as the cheesy cliché goes, ‘listen to your heart.’
I once established this affiliate website about cat repellant products several years ago. At that time, I discovered that my yard has become quite a haven for cat feces. Suddenly, I discover that neighborhood cats stop by at my lawn to defecate! It was becoming too troublesome and messy to clean up that I decided to buy some cat repellant sprinklers that were motion sensitive.
So what i learned?
I was getting more knowledgeable about these products that I decided to build up an affiliate website about it. It was not one of my quick-buck affiliate websites, but it slowly increased in traffic, and after several months, money started to pour in.
So, let me help you choose yours by inviting you to answer these questions:
- What topics do you love to read?
- Who do you like to connect with through your affiliate website?
- Is there a specific audience that you would like to support or assist?
- What products do you often purchase?
- What type of video content keep you up at night?
Even if you are a prolific SEO-savvy writer, which is a huge advantage since you are already armed with experience in engaging your readers, writing about something that speaks to you still takes you up a notch higher in the long journey ahead than if you write about a topic that you are not interested in or well-informed about.
Again, for starters and especially new writers, stick to what you are comfortable with and remember my first tip, your initial project does not have to be perfect.
Having said that, bear in mind, though, that passion can develop over time and this brings me to my next point.
5: Even without a passion, you can still be successful.
Definitely. Some of you may opt for a subject matter that has a good profit-making potential, pursue it with determination, and ultimately develop a deep interest in it. So, if you find that you do not have any interest in mind, that’s okay. You can still find success in this venture.
Here are some of my recommended sites for those of you who seek inspiration or reference about trending topics or products that may guide you to finding your niche:
- Amazon Best Sellers
- Twitter Search
- Google Trends
Do your homework. Research, research, research. See what generates interest and what sells. Check out other popular programs and sites that may be mined for brilliant ideas. Another way is to look up the popular hashtags and find out what subject matters are abuzz in the market.
Google Trends is also a good place to start for a perspective of where the public interests lie. You will discover which topics are out of season and which ones are considered the rising stars. Have fun learning and follow through on the links that lead you deeper into an engaging topic.
I notice that equipping one’s home with smart technology is a hugely trending topic nowadays and its lifespan is sure to be long as the market is still beginning to mature. You may want to start here as there are so many products and brands to target with this specific niche which can make your life easier while you choosing your affiliate niche.
6: Any niche that interests you, no matter how odd, can generate profit
I said this before and I would like to explain further that if you are drawn to a certain niche, surely there are many others that are similarly drawn to it. It does not matter if it is not typical nor the trendiest, or if it is a seemingly bizarre subject matter. Know that there will be others who are interested in it as much as you do.
Even if you find that you cannot promote a product or service in your newly established site while you choosing your affiliate niche, there are still other ways to generate income out of it. You still can make money with display ads. Display advertising are those engaging text, image, or video pop-ops that urge viewers to click-through toward a landing page which, then, enables you to make a purchase. This will be discussed in my later segments.
Of course, display ads are just one of the many, many basic ways to earn money through your website. Imagine the possible products or services out there that you can order from the myriad drop-shipping websites such as Amazon. There are also many affiliate programs in the internet that it is impossible not to find an opportunity to market its goods or services via your affiliate website.
I know it may be a bit overwhelming for beginners like you but just to give you an idea of the boundless possibilities out there, click on these sample topics that made me money, and the affiliate websites that simply exploded.
What if you, after everything you’ve done, still find yourself not making money?
Don’t panic. All you need to do is go back to my second tip. Learn, adapt, and recalculate. For all you know, you are just steps away from completing a home run and all you need is to refine your strategy to attract traffic.
Let me cite an example. I’ve taken the liberty to check out offbeat affiliate websites while I’m writing this and came across one that focused on medieval implements. Honestly, how many do you think would be interested in these ancient metallic tools, but you’ll be surprised that these products, in fact, drive up substantial traffic, consequently making a lot of money through its affiliate website.
The last example of choosing your affiliate niche would be when you get stuck with a seemingly stupid topic that is difficult to sell. One instance, I got so addicted with those high-tech toilet seats and I wanted to have one for myself. I realize that the best brands were not affordable. So, I thought, why not make those my niche? If I am given a three percent commission on top of a USD 500 to USD 700 toilet product and each day, I make a good amount of sales, I earn a substantial income by just writing about a pooper! And then, I can proceed toward other creature comforts such as wireless shavers or motion-sensitive shower lighting and so on.
If you check Amazon, there are so many related products that I can talk about in this website. Think about how much money or recurring commissions this can generate by just posting reviews about each of these or promoting the tons of brands in line with your stories.
So, you see, you can grow, polish, recalibrate, and edit your affiliate website as you continue to expand your business. My advice is be brave and just begin with your best subject, and then, as you build knowledge and experience, you can always update or improve it.
This brings me to my sixth point.
7: Focus on traffic while you choosing your affiliate niche
Yes, ultimately, your goal should be to drive up traffic to your website. This is like your marketing portfolio. The more traffic you generate in your affiliate website, the easier for you to entice sponsors, advertisers, and other money-making programs to partner with you.
A common pitfall among newbies is to focus on making money and not putting effort while you choosing your affiliate niche. Putting so much emphasis on huge income-generation and neglecting all other considerations is the surefire way to jeopardizing your brand. And also your brand message. Most beginners are tempted to commit unethical acts such as becoming a promoter of products that are unreasonably expensive. Of course, the reason is only just so they can earn larger revenues.
In the short term, this may prove beneficial to you. But eventually, it will redound to your disadvantage because this practice will negatively affect your credibility. Remember, the market is a discerning one and authenticity is key to an effective affiliate website.
8: Finally, choose the best affiliate programs for your niche.
Here are some of the affiliate programs that you may want to visit as reference:
- Recurring Affiliate Programs
- Two-Tier Affiliate Programs
- High Paying Affiliate Programs
- High Ticket Affiliate Programs
Here is also a full list of affiliate programs that I’ve worked with and you’ll find here many more inspirations for finding your own preferences. I always suggest to try a wealthy affiliate.
Just look at what you can glean from these sites and find out what is available. Remember, as you expand your coverage, the more opportunities unravel before you. The more you become knowledgeable about affiliate marketing, the more ways you find in generating income from your site.