Lesson1: What is a Niche?
Before we build an affiliate website, you have to decide on a niche.
What is a niche? A niche is a distinct segment of a market, in other words, an “audience”.
Instead of creating a general website that creates the content of any topics, you should focus on one niche for each website. This is important for SEO purposes and building your brand.
When choosing a niche that fits you, you should choose something that is ideally your passion or interest. You don’t need to be an expert, you can become an expert. So it could be something you want to learn more.
Here are a few things that you should expect to do for your selected niche:
(1) You are going to write content within your niche
(2) You are going to communicate with the audience in your niche
(3) You are going to choose products to promote within your niche
(4) You are going to help people within your niche.
Difference Between a Niche and a Category
The major difference between a niche and a category is that a niche is more specific.
A niche should have a big audience for great sales potential, but it should be narrow enough to have a clear target audience.
For example, relationships as a category are too broad or too general to be a niche for targeting. Instead, to be a good niche for targeting, you may narrow it down to be something like online dating advice for men. Not only is this easier to define a target audience, but also you can establish yourself as an expert in that specific aspect.
In the next lesson, I talk about how to evaluate if a niche is good for your business. There are some criteria for you to follow.
Lesson 2: How to Select a Niche?
There are so many niches you can target. But how do you know if a niche is good and profitable?
In this lesson, I’m going to give you some guidelines about this.
In general, a profitable niche should have the following characteristics. If your niche does not meet these criteria, it doesn’t mean you cannot make money with it, but it might be harder to monetise or the earning potential is limited.
Now let’s dive into each of these so you know exactly what they mean.
It takes a lot of time and effort to build a profitable website, so you want to make sure your niche is a sustainable long term business. Otherwise, you will need to start a new business constantly. That is not a good practice.
Therefore, do not choose a niche that is just a fad or a short term trend. When the fad dies down, your business will end too. A great business should always focus on the long term.
So when choosing a niche, always ask yourself if the niche has long term potential.
You should ask if the niche has a consistent demand. You want to get repeat customers. Acquiring a new customer is more difficult than monetising the existing ones.
If the customers in the niche have consistent needs, it means more profitable.
For example, for business-related niches, there might be consistent needs for training, consulting service or software. In the fitness niche, customers would need consistent workouts or supplements to reduce weight and maintain their body shape.
So to choose a niche for affiliate marketing business, always choose a niche with many products and services which have an ongoing demand. That way, you will have more stable traffic and revenue.
Commission Rate of Product or Services
You have to see the average commission rate for promoting the products or services in a niche. This is an important factor to consider. If the commission rate is too low, it means you cannot make a good amount of commission for your promotion efforts.
Usually, you can receive more commission from high-ticket offers. For some niches, you can receive a $200 to $400 commission for a sale. That means you only need a few sales to make a 5-figure income.
However, most high-ticket affiliate programs do not accept everyone. You have to submit applications before being admitted to the affiliate programs. Usually, they look for some established websites with a tremendous amount of traffic. But at least, you know there are such opportunities you can grab as you grow your website traffic.
Although some niches have huge audiences, it doesn’t mean it is profitable. You need to investigate if the people in the niche are willing to spend money.
So always ask these two questions:
- Are people willing to spend money in the niche?
- Do people obsess over this niche?
In a profitable niche, people should be willing and able to spend their money. For example, in the fitness niche, people are willing to spend money on products and services in order to lose weight. To them, losing weight means a lot of value to them.
Usually, people are willing to spend money to solve some painful problems. If the pain is not big enough, people are less likely to pay attention to it.
A profitable niche should have some popular existing products. Having successful existing products to promote is a positive sign.
Also, if there are many existing products, it means you have many choices for your affiliate marketing business. It’s hard to build a profitable business if there are just a few products for promotion.
While competition indicates the niche is profitable, it also means you need to compete with many people to get a sale. Since SEO is a key strategy for driving traffic to your website, the keywords in a competitive niche will be harder to rank.
For example, the money-making niche is very competitive. Usually, there are many affiliates promoting the same product. If your website is new, it will be quite difficult to rank for the product keywords at the beginning.
Of course, you can build up your site authority gradually, which I will talk about it in the later modules. But you should expect to compete with many other affiliate sites to get link clicks and sales.
Although your passion might not be directly related to the profitability of a niche, it’s an important factor in achieving success. Your niche could be anything, but at the core of your niche selection it should be something that you “like”.
If you’re not genuinely interested in a niche, you will not have the incentive to create content for your business. On the other hand, if you’re passionate about a niche, you’ll have the motivation to learn more about it, talk to your audience and create content for it. In other words, you will not give up easily but devote time and effort in the long term.
Actually, doing affiliate marketing should be fun. It shouldn’t feel like a job. Instead, you should be able to make money from your passion.
All in all, make sure you consider all the factors above before choosing a niche. But don’t spend too much time choosing a niche. I don’t want you to fall into the trap of procrastination.
Because in case you regret choosing a niche, you can always change it later. Ultimately, taking action is more important.
Tools and Resource
Lesson 3: Brainstorm Niche Ideas
In this lesson, I’m going to talk about how to research niches for your business. I will go to the below platforms to do research:
YouTube is a fantastic way to do research. Just go to YouTube and type in some keywords of the topic you are interested in. For example, if you are looking into the weight loss niche, you can search keywords like “lose weight”.
Take note of the suggested keywords that pop up in the search bar because you may discover some smaller niches with lower competition.
On the search result page, you can see what kind of videos has the most views. And you will know specifically what topics or keywords people are searching for. You can then narrow down your niche further to better target your audience. Because weight loss might be a bit too broad. You may want to focus on either weight-loss food or weight loss exercise.
Moreover, another way that I like to do is to search [Keyword in your niche + Product Review] on YouTube. You can see what other affiliate marketers in your niche are promoting and the number of views would signal how popular the product or niche is. You can then go and join the same affiliate program and make a similar video for promotion later.
ClickBank is one of the largest affiliate marketplaces online. There are thousands of affiliate programs to join. Therefore, ClickBank is an excellent tool for niche research.
See the category column here, you will see categories and sub-categories. These are all the niches you can choose.
The gravity score tells you how well the product converts. I would recommend looking for niches on ClickBank with multiple products that have a gravity score of above 30.
However, please note that while products with higher gravity scores are more hot selling, it also means the competition is more intense.
If you are not very familiar with a niche, you can also click on the affiliate offers to read the sales pages. It will give you an idea of how to promote it.
Amazon is an excellent place to find niche ideas. Amazon is the largest online marketplace in the world where you can find any kind of products. It is also the largest eBook marketplace.
You can check the kindle ebooks on Amazon here.
Look at the books category on the left-hand column. All these are potential niches you can target.
By looking at the number of reviews for eBooks, you can get a sense of how popular it is and what topics are usually covered. Generally, 1 in every 50-100 buyers will leave a review. So you can do the calculation of how many people have bought a certain book. If a book of certain niche interests you, you can buy it for content ideas as well.
Apart from searching the kindle ebooks on Amazon, you can also search for the best selling physical products on Amazon and see what kind of products are the most popular in a certain niche.
Actually, Amazon has an affiliate program, which is called Amazon Associates Program. You can join and promote any products on Amazon and make a commission.
For example, if your niche is skincare, these are some popular products you can promote.
Google is the largest search engine in the world. It’s going to be your website’s major traffic source.
Apart from that, it’s also a great tool for researching niche ideas. If you already have a niche in mind, say skincare. You can simply google [Skin Care + Affiliate Programs] to see if there’re products that you can promote.
Moreover, you can also use Google to look for other affiliate marketers of a niche. Simply search [Niche Keyword + Blog], you will then find the blogs promoting products in your niche.
Usually, there are newsletters to subscribe to their websites. You can subscribe to their email list and see what they are promoting and how they communicate with the audience.
In that way, you can learn and model what other successful affiliate marketers are doing in your niche. And you will have an idea of what you need to do to make money in that niche.
Google also offers another great tool to help you gauge the popularity of a certain niche. That is Google Trend.
You won’t want to select a niche that is on a downward trend. So make sure you confirm the niche you are going to choose is on a popular trend. Simply type in some keywords of your niche in the google trend and see if there is a consistent demand.
In the next module. I will talk about how to build an affiliate site from scratch, which will become your valuable digital asset.