As we all know, affiliate marketing is one of the few strategies that will help you make money online without much of capital, on the side as a part-time strategy. But are all the affiliate marketers successful? We hear contradictory stories on how affiliate marketing works, how much you can earn, how easy to make money and it can be quite baffling to know what is right. The truth is, like for any other business, being successful as an affiliate marketer is not easy unless you plan it well.
A key to making your Affiliate marketing career a successful venture is you to understand and take up a niche that suits you, your interests, skills and life experience.
What is a niche?
A niche is a well-defined segment of the broader market. In affiliate marketing, a niche most likely a website or a blog addressing problems or queries relevant to the well-defined community (i.e. market).
If you are looking for a large and successful venture in affiliate marketing, you have to look for your niche first, and then the products or services that is favoured by your contribution to that niche. In simple words, a niche is nothing but a specialized market catering to fewer consumers than the broader market. A good example would be organic produce niche in comparison to the other food products in the market.
Why choosing a hot niche is essential?
Every aspiring affiliate marketer thinks that all they have to do is sit back and relax after placing a few links and enjoy the additional income pouring in. However, the reality is far from being that easy. It is only a privileged few who have mastered the art of affiliate marketing, have already done the groundwork of establishing their reputation over the years.
Yes, affiliate marketing is not a short term wealth strategy. You have to dive into it for at least for six months to start seeing a financial gain. The truth is the most affiliate marketers start the journey with a hope of receiving an income by the end of a month, which is far from reality. You are unlikely to produce favourable results that fast with affiliate marketing. It is a long term game!
Given your niche businesses stand out from others and are more targeted to a set of individuals (a market), the affiliate marketing in that segment also bears a greater fruit to established businesses (affiliate marketing networks, for example, Amazon) than going with the usual flow. Having a niche helps the businesses to attract ideal clients while capitalizing on your talent pool and knowledge.
Therefore, for affiliate marketers, choosing a niche will give the undue advantage of capitalizing on their talent and knowledge base.
To give an example, if you are an ardent blogger on fashion, then your expertise lies in the area. You can choose an affiliate program in the clothing industry as you would have a better understanding of that market sector. Again clothing is a vast sector, and you have to further filter down to a particular segment that serves a specific target audience and is relatively familiar to you.
Finding the right niche for affiliate marketing
It can be quite a challenging task to find a niche in affiliate marketing that will be more familiar and profitable to you. And yet it is vital and has to be done with extreme care and patience to make your venture a successful one. Knowing and starting with the right niche will help you to tap into the right and an unsaturated market providing you with the much-needed edge for a successful journey.
Before finding the niche, you should ask yourself on whether you want the affiliate marketing to be your primary source of income or you just want it to be a supplement. Both are possible, and yet if you are new to the concept, we suggest you start taking baby steps, using affiliate marketing as an additional income source, until you can stabilize yourself.
So here are a few points to help you find the apt niche for you.
1. Know your interests
This is the first step that you need to do, whether you are starting your own business or you want to venture into affiliate marketing. It would be a good practice to list down ten different areas that interest you and which you are passionate to work in.
If you choose a business or a niche that does not share your passion, you will soon lose interest in building up your brand in that niche. Eventually, you will not find the drive in pursuing the venture if the niche is not of your importance.
Knowing what interests to you and what will keep you passionately involved are the best, and the must-do step in finding the niche.
Your hobbies can be a good starting point in finding a niche that will prove to be of interest to you. Also, when you use your hobby, you are using a niche that will be more familiar to you, thereby reducing the amount of time required on research.
For example, I love to cook, and if I were to have a blog on cooking and recipes, then an affiliate program promoting cookware or cooking appliances can be an excellent venue for me. If you don’t like the affiliate program, then you might find the work to be too strenuous.
To start with making a list of hobbies that you love and then look for affiliate programs that offer a chance to make money from the list. Then research the potential options to see which would be a better choice to pursue.
2. Lower the competition, better your chances of success.
This is probably the ideal scenario, where you find a niche with relatively lower competition. You can use the tools like SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner, etc. to see the competition in each niche and gauge out the opportunities. There are quite a few niches which generally have a lot of traffic and higher competition and yet pay you a good return. But if you look closely, you will be able to find a niche, a sub-category to these ever-popular niches, which can become your starting point in affiliate marketing.
You can use these smaller niches to build your brand and then move onto a broader spectrum after establishing yourself. A few methods you can use to find the competition level are,
a) The PPC bids can give a clear indication of the amount of interest and competition on a particular topic. Of course, the sector might hold minimal appeal if there is zero exposure or the bids are particularly low.
b) When you use the keywords for the niche you choose and conduct a search, you can find if major brands are popping up as results. If that is the case, then you are facing tough competition. However, if the first page of the search result has smaller and deep pages, then it is an opportunity worth exploring.
c) The inbound links on the ranked sites will help you know if it is a niche that is worthy of pursuing and if it will give a positive result.
When you choose a broader niche with not proving value to existing web content, you will never be able to make a space for yourself but instead, become one in thousands. With lower competition, you have the opportunity to build a brand for yourself, and you can reach the target audience pretty easily too by providing detailed content.
3. Consistency in making money
Specific niches or products will always be popular and continue to remain so, irrespective of the number of affiliates working on it. The demand for these products will continue to move up and not down, hence offering you a revenue stream irrespective of the competition.
There are products which are popular only once and those which are popular during a season. For instance, a new electronic gadget will be popular until the next version comes up, Christmas decorations are a niche that will be favoured during the season, etc.
While these niches will help you make money, they would not provide a steady all year-round income stream. Therefore, ideally, you have to choose a niche that will certainly not lose interest shortly and is searched for all through the year.
Recently organic products are on a high, and they are sought throughout the year making it an evergreen niche where you can make money consistently. You can also explore niches related to wealth management, health management, fitness, romance, etc. which are always popular among the audiences.
While it is essential to find a niche that is closer to your heart, it is also equally important to find one that is profitable. Once you have the niches that make you passionate, you have to choose the ones that can help you make money consistently all through the year to be a successful affiliate marketer.
4. Longevity of the niche
It is not just enough to choose a niche where the competition is lower, but you also need to find a niche where there is more depth to the product/ service. This will ensure that there are new concepts and ideas to promote the products for a long time. With more content, you will have more chances of using many keywords and climb up the ranks faster too.
For instance, you can choose niches like cooking where there are more venues to explore and there is never a shortage of content and ideas. If your hobbies match up with your chosen niche, then you would have nothing more to worry about.
5. The audience you are targeting
Understanding the audience behaviour and choosing a target audience whom you can identify yourself with is an important factor in getting a suitable niche. If you happen to be a consumer of the niche product, then you are in luck as it would give you a better insight on customer preferences and what can appeal to the target audience.
You have to start by asking questions on your niche and finding answers. Once you know the kind of questions that pour in, you will be able to build content that can attract consumers of the niche and help you climb up the rankings in search engines. There are different forums where you can find questions related to your niche which you can use for developing content.
Also, choosing a niche where you are familiar with the terminology used by the audiences can help you garner better attention. When you are creating content for the niche, it is not just enough that it is informative, but it should also have the right words to capture the attention of the audience.
Your target audience plays a huge role in deciding on the niche that is most favourable to you.
6. View from a marketing standpoint
Looking at the market and other factors from a marketing standpoint can stir up things in your favour. Start by focusing on the kind of conversation you have every day, what you read on paper, what you listen from others, what you see and use, what makes you happy or sad, activities that you do, etc.
Once you have a list of these things, you can then sort out to know if what interests you interest others in the same perspective or not. And that will give you the perfect list of niches that you can further explore.
When you don the marketing cap, you know where the best opportunities for a marketing campaign lie, which is still unexplored and which can match with your interests as well. When you speak to people about their everyday habits online, you understand their online behaviour which helps you in making a better choice of a niche.
7. What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
Despite the lower competition levels and other aspects, you have to consider what will make you a unique affiliate marketer in the niche you have taken up. You have to ask yourself why customers should visit you and what kind of information you will be providing them with.
You have to think from a consumer perspective and understand what they would want to keep coming back to you. A simple copy-paste of information from other websites and half-baked reviews will not be enough to sell your content or your product.
You can look at bigger players like TripAdvisor to know what they have done uniquely to attract customers and replicate similar efforts in your affiliate marketing strategy.
Your unique selling proposition will go beyond the barriers to attract more consumers and make you a successful affiliate marketer.
8. Have more than one niche
Despite how strong your content is or how informative your blog is, if you are unable to reach the audience then your effort has inevitably failed. What you can do to cope up with such failures is to have more than one niche websites (business) to concentrate upon. With multiple niches on hand, even if one fails, you can focus on the others to help you out of the crux.
When choosing the affiliate programs beware of those that are safe with no adware relation, so that you stay protected as you climb up the ladder of affiliate marketing.
A few profitable niches that you might want to explore
Last but not the least here are a few examples of niche markets that you would want to tap into, for an easy reference.
- Health and wellness
- Surviving outdoors
And there are more.
Each of the niches mentioned above still has many unexplored venues, and you can use your passion to find the one that is genuinely your area of expertise. While the overall niche might have many affiliates, if you iterate further you will find a sub-niche that is unique, unexplored and which can bring in good money as well.
Researching on the niche that will best suit you may not happen instantly, and you might encounter a few dead ends before coming up with a profitable solution. Do not let the time taking to establish the business discourage you in any manner. Take your time and research thoroughly to find the niche that will take you on the road to success.
Affiliate marketing will not make you rich overnight. You need to have enough content to build upon your niche and start making money. With experience, you will soon become a seasoned pro in affiliate marketing.
To be a successful affiliate marketer, you have to find the right niche and also provide consistent and high-quality content in support of the same. The right combination of content and the niche is the key to succeed in affiliate marketing.