The first step for your affiliate marketing business is to choose an interest area or identify a niche. How do you actually find affiliate marketing niche ideas? When you pick a new niche and start promoting products or services related to that niche, think of it that you are starting a new company or opening a new store and it is for the long haul. Time and efforts will have to be invested in building up the business.
Where to Start
If there is a particular area that you are passionate about, that is a very good starting point. This is because you need to be prepared to deal with your niche area for some time; it takes a good 2 to 3 months’ of continual work on your website, building up related contents before you start to rank well. You want to be an authority on a niche area, where you provide valuable information to your internet audience, with solutions which will solve their problems.
Clickbank is one of the biggest Affiliate Marketing network platform and they have listed 23 broad categories of niches you can work on, such as Games, Health & Fitness, Cooking Food & Wine and Sports etc. When you drill down further on category Health & Fitness, you get:
So there is really a wide number of topics, interest ideas and niches you can pick. If you are passionate about golf, you can pick that, if you enjoy cooking, choose something related to cooking, baking etc.
But exactly what constitutes a good niche. In my view, any niche is a good niche as long as that is something you are going to enjoy researching, writing, discussing, reading, reviewing. However, I would like to offer some guidelines in preparation for the other key steps in Affiliate Marketing:
- a niche must not be too general. Health & Fitness is too broad and even Exercise & Fitness is too broad. Go deeper like Fitness for the Retired, Nutrition for Women above 60 etc
- pick a niche which you are somewhat familiar with. This is going to cut down substantially time and efforts required on your part
- there are some niches which may have a longer “shelf life” but I think you own passion and interests around the niche are more important
Bear in mind a niche is really a group of people looking for something, information to solve problems around a particular topic. You want to be a provider of that information or solutions. Currently there is the global craze on PokemonGo, and I am pretty sure the Pokemon trainers are looking for solutions to be the greatest trainers, I wonder if there is some good affiliate product to promote!
Must the Niche be Profitable?
Ultimately you want to generate revenue from your affiliate marketing website, so being able to monetize is important. You should at least research around if you have a good audience to target for the chosen niche. However, I won’t launch into a business planning mode, carrying out market sizing research and estimating your market share.
There are over 3 billion internet users now and it is a huge market. Do an initial study and focus your energy on good contents, rank your website, drive traffic and success will come your way.
Build An Authority Around the Niche
To me, this is ultimately the goal you want to achieve in any niche. With keyword research and the SEO steps to get top Google rankings, soon you will have great traffic coming to your site. Your aim is to build credibility and branding around the niche, that users trust that you have the best solutions to their problems and revisit your website again and again.
The users and hopefully customers will start to refer your website to others and traffic will grow. Other websites will reference to your website and traffic will further multiply.
All this takes time, and patience is a great virtue here. It takes time to rank on Google and it takes time to build your contents, especially quality contents. It also takes discipline and dedication which is why a niche which you are passionate about will make the process enjoyable instead.
Affiliate Marketing Networks
After you have picked your niche and do your keyword research, you want to look around for affiliate programs to promote their products or services. Digital products (ebooks, online training programs) usually pay higher commissions compared to physical products as physical goods do have overheads like inventory, warehousing etc.
Google “affiliate marketing network” and you will find a number of affiliate programs out there. I have mentioned Clickbank, there are also Commission Junction, Amazon and many others. These providers of products or services are known as the vendors. I have personally promoted for Clickbank and Amazon before. Amazon is growing leaps and bounds and has overtaken Walmart in terms of market capitalization. Look around within Amazon and explore niche ideas. For example, if I have a niche on toys & games, I can promote this.
The good vendors typically have great supporting tools called the affiliate tools, they will provide codes for banners, swipe email samples for email marketing and even training programs on how to promote their products. It pays to understand what you are promoting and if the vendors are credible and the products are reliable and useful, as much as you understand them to be.
Clickbank itself provides some useful training videos and this one is on Niche, watch the video for a quick summary of my post.
As usual, kindly leave me comments below or contact me if I can be of help in any way on this topic.