Since I’ve been talking a lot about affiliate marketing lately, I’m sure that my readers would like to know more about one of the fundamental first steps in getting started which is:
How to find profitable niches.
Picking the right niches, or in other words “blog / website topic”, is a huge part of this thing and in case you were wondering; not every niche is right… for you.
I do believe with full confidence that any niche can make money online but I’m also sure that not everybody can pull off any niche.
In case this is a bit confusing to you, do not worry as I will be going through all this in this post I have for you today.
I have been in many niches, and most of them have failed (thus why I can tell you that not every niche is suited for everyone) but I do have some niches that I have stuck with and right now I am currently in 3 different niches online.
Which answers another question about this topic;
Yes you can be involved be in more than one niche.
But my main advice (especially if you’re just starting out) is to stick to one at first, make it work, then jump on to the next one.
This is not a rule, but more of a guideline.
If you’ve been wanting to do affiliate marketing for a while, then I am sure this is a topic that you either have thought about or will think about soon, so let’s just get to it and figure out;
But Wait; What Is “A Niche”?
A niche is often misunderstood. Sure it’s your “blog topic”, but a more efficient way to look at it is:
“A group of people looking / interested in something”.
Whatever your topic is about, it will be aimed at a certain type of people looking to do a certain type of thing i.e; a certain type of accomplishment.
My niche here is blogging and online business, so my blog is about just that and I write for people who want to learn about how to build a great online business (hopefully that’s what you’re doing here).
Therefore, my niche is “blogging” and “how to’s for affiliate marketers”.
Also, a common misconception about niches is this (for example):
- “Weight training” is not a niche (that is an industry).
- “how to get a 6 pack over 45 years old” is a niche.
You understand this concept?
A niche automatically means something that was “niched down” layers and layers in the chosen industry.
Sure you can target “weight training” in general, nothing is stopping you from doing so; but here are some issues you can expect with that:
01: Way too much competition:
You want to write about weight training?
Then you are in competition with established blogs with an army of writers and deep pockets like MensHealth.com.
Sites like this are a huge authority online and if you think you can outsmart them and become bigger than them, then you’re either incredibly naive or incredibly smart.
Sure it is possible, but it is going to take you a lot of time to get there.
Now if the time (and budget) you have is spent building out a specific niche and getting a name for yourself there, then you are likely to see traffic, rankings, success and money much, much sooner
I don’t know about you; but I’m doing this as “a business” so making money is surely one of my goals. I do sure like to eat and pay rent so starting to turn a profitable the earliest I can is a priority.
02: It’s tough to break through:
Attention and readership is what makes or breaks a blog.
I said this before and I will keep saying it;
You can have the best content, the best looking theme and the best of everything but if nobody is visiting, you have nothing.
Now, with picking a broad industry, you can expect just that. There’s just way more competitors out there taking the traffic away from you because they have been here longer than you (that’s one reason).
If, however, you establish yourself as the go-to source for a specific niche (in this case’ teaching 45+ men how to get a 6 pack), then you will find that you will have a lot of 45+ year old men coming into your site and reading your content.
Can you imagine how many over-45 men there are in the world that want to look just a bit better in their midsection? I’ve not see that data yet but I’m sure it’s in the hundreds of millions.
The reason this has a competitive advantage for you is that the bigger sites – let’s say MensHealth.com – can not just write about one specific thing because doing that will alienate their audience that go there for diet tips and “bedroom” tips.
Thus, you can come in with a lot of information (and great content) about a specific problem for a specific audience and that will put you in a far better position to succeed.
Maybe you won’t reach the level of readership an established site like Men’s Health has, but it’s more than possible you get a tiny fraction of all that and trust me; that is way more than enough.
Before I go on, I’d like to make sure you understood this point.
I may have ranted a bit here but it’s important for you to understand the difference between a niche and an industry.
You don’t have to take my advice on this, but I’d like to ask you to consider it and choose your niche wisely.
How To Find The Right Niche For YOU
I’ve talked about how not every niche is profitable for everybody so let me explain what that means exactly.
Fishing and golf accessories are some of the biggest niches to get into and they are the most profitable as well.
However, I am sure that if I go in any of those 2 niches, I will fall flat on my face and never make it past the first month.
Because I have no clue (or interest) in any of those topics and a golf club and fishing rod don’t look that much different to me (that’s how much I know about these two).
Which means; that since I am not genuinely interested about these two, I can’t possibly have the energy and patience to make it happen.
Now if you’re into fishing or golf , then this will be much easier for you because you know what you talking about and you genuinely like the topic.
On the other hand, you can still go with a niche you know nothing about but I promise you at some point you’re going to be miserable working on it, and I didn’t get into this business to be miserable.
Pick Your Niche Based On YOU
Now that we know that not all niches are a perfect fit for you, let’s first talk about; how to find a niche you like and second; how to find a niche that’s also profitable.
*Yes, every niche can be profitable but there are clear signals for which type of niche can make you more money in the short / long term.
How to find YOUR niche:
- What do you like?
- What are your hobbies?
- What are some things you just do “for fun”?
- What is the one thing everybody comes to you for advice?
- What is a new skill or hobby that you are currently learning and enjoying?
Anything that comes to mind when you answer these questions is a great place to start.
Whatever it is that popped into your mind with these questions is the niche for you and yes; with a bit of hard work, the right training, patience and consistency you can literally become the go-to source for that information on the whole world wide web.
Hard to believe but true.
Just remember; there are billions and billions of people connected to the web and millions more are joining each and every single day with the advancements of technology like the Facebook initiative.
Also remember that while it is possible and it sure would be amazing if you could reach billions of people through your blog, you do not need billions to become successful with blogging and affiliate marketing.
All you need is a tight niche audience that loves what you do and they trust your recommendations and you’re in the money.
So; have you found your niche?
You don’t have to rush this or make this a big deal. Don’t worry, you can easily get started and if (for some reason) you find out you’re not enjoying your niche, then pick another one.
Nobody will judge and most of us started out in niches we hate as well. My first niche was food and I never had an interest in blogging about food so that project was quickly abandoned.
It took me 4 niches to get into “the zone” and find a niche I like so don’t give up if you don’t stick with your initial niche.
Obviously it is possible that you pick one you enjoy from the get go, I’m just saying that if you don’t, it’s ok.
As you will see further down in this post, it is really easy to get started within a niche (over and over again).
How To Know If A Niche Is Profitable
One easy way to find out whether a niche is profitable or not is to find products (that are related to the niche) that are selling well.
If your niche is more on the “physical good” end like “gardening supplies” for example, then your first step should be to go over to Amazon.com and see what products there are and how they are selling.
Obviously, there are a lot of gardening supplies on Amazon that sell well but that may not be the case for the niche you pick.
Just do your research, find the products you want to promote and also see if people are leaving reviews about these products.
This will tell you if a product is popular as a lot of reviews = lots of sales and you’ll also get a general feedback whether a product is good or not.
Once you find
good great products, you can also do reviews for them and get them ranked in minutes, but that’s another topic I discuss in detail here.
If you do find a lot of products and it’s clear that the niche is selling well and people are loving the products, then all you have to do is join the Amazon Associates network and get to work.
You will find valuable information about on how to get started in the free 10-day Wealthy Affiliate video course.
If, like myself, your niche falls more on the “digital goods” end of the spectrum (like ebooks, courses and such), then my advice would be to join sites that sell these products (like JvZoo, Clickbank and ShareASale) and do the same process as we talked about with Amazon.
There’s a lot of great affiliate programs out there so you will find something that is relatable to your niche for sure.
One thing you can do as well is a Google search for “your niche + affiliate program”. This will show you a whole list of sites, vendors, and stores that will allow you to join them as an affiliate.
Keep in mind that all we are looking for is an audience that typically wants to buy something!
Having a blog simply about cats will get you a lot of traffic, but that doesn’t generally mean they have a cat and want to buy products that are for cats.
It may just mean somebody likes cats and want to see some funny pics and videos.
What To Do Next (Once You Find Your Profitable Niche)
The next step for you is to get started, and I know this may seem daunting if you’re a beginner but I assure you it’s lots of fun and it’s easy as well (if you follow the following advice.)
You need a website to get started so that is a must. Please if you think that affiliate marketing can be done without a website, then think again.
You need a website. Period.
Now, back in the day it wasn’t easy at all to “build a website” but today we have advanced tool such as WA’s SiteBuilder platform which will allow you to get started with a website in just a few minutes.
But, before we build the website, we need to figure out a domain name.
I won’t go into detail about how to choose the correct domain name but this guide should help you out.
Once you pick one it is time to register it with a domain registrar.
I have used GoDaddy and NameCheap it the past but I have since moved all my domains (and I do have a lot) to SiteDomains which is the best value for money and it also comes with training and free hosting.
Again I won’t go into much detail about how to set up a website here as that’s a totally different blog post in itself but if you go with SiteDomains, then I am sure you can follow the easy step-by-step training provided.
What To Expect In Your First Few Months Working Within A Niche
Now that you have your niche chosen, and a great website set up, it’s time for the final stages of this “thing” and now, the hard work starts.
Just because you chose a niche and built a great looking website, it does not mean that you’re automatically going to make money. I wish it was that easy as I would be starting 10 websites a day.
No, it actually involves work and that work is:
- Creating content that gets ranked,
- Researching keywords to target with your next post,
- Engaging with your readers and the comments they leave you,
- Creating graphic design work for your blog (try Canva for that),
- Building up a great social media channel,
- Checking up on stats,
- Building an email list,
- and so on.
This may seem like a job only fit for professionals but it’s not that.
With the right training and the right amount of motivation and effort, you can become a master at the things mentioned above just as any other newbie-turned-pro blogger did.
Just understand that this business takes patience. If you have the idea of making money online with ease, then affiliate marketing is not for you.
As I talk about in my ebook; it took me months to make my first sale and it was only cents ($0.87c) to be exact but the feeling those $0.87c gave me was enough to keep forging ahead and building a real, profitable business online.
You can download the book for free here if you’d like to know more.
For the first few months of your site’s life, you probably won’t see much happening and that may be discouraging but I promise you; the work you’re doing today will pay off later.
Just look at this how long I had to wait for this blog you’re reading right now to become “successful” (and I still have a lot more to go).
Read: “Proof Success Takes Time“.
I hope this guide has given you enough information on how to find a profitable niche for affiliate marketing and also what to do once you have a niche in mind.
If you have any questions, be sure to let me know as it’s my pleasure to help people like you get started online. I look forward to seeing you again and thank you for stopping by.