Finding an Affiliate Marketing Niche
If you can master the art of finding and developing strong site niches, you’ll be well on your way to uncovering free traffic and making your site successful. While it may seem daunting at first, the good news is that finding a niche doesn’t have to be difficult.
Here are a few key points to keep in mind when you’re trying to decide on your niche:
Niche Markets are Small
The number 1 mistake most novice marketers make is choosing a site topic that is far too broad. While most people understand that an industry-level term (such as ‘travel’, or ‘health’) is too broad, they don’t quite grasp just how small a good niche can be.
Many people only narrow their focus one-level. For example, instead of ‘travel’ or ‘health,’ they might refine the niche to ‘Italy travel’ or ‘leeping fit.’
Although this level of refinement is slightly more specific, it still has a long way to go before it becomes a niche.
Narrow Your Choice
I recommend that when you’re trying to understand a niche, keep adding prepositional phrases to your topic until the topic is extremely well-refined.
For example, “travel” becomes “travel to italy”, which in turn might be turned into “travel to italy for study abroad,” or, even better, “travel to italy for study abroad in the arts.”
Can a Niche Be Too Small?
If you follow the steps above, you’ll come up with a narrow niche, but if you’re not used to thinking about niche-size, it’s easy to wonder if you’ve found a topic that’s too specific.
Usually, the answer is no. Always choose the narrow topic to start, because it’s better to cover a small topic thoroughly than begin a large topic and be unable to do it justice. Plus, you can always worry about expanding your topic later (years later) if you get stuck.
When you’re thinking about a niche, take a moment to list a few topics that come to mind. If you can easily list a dozen or more post-topics, you’ll have an easy time coming up with content as you move forward.
A Good Affiliate Marketing Niche Represents Consumer Interest
The process of outlining who forms part of your target market should occur before you’ve decided on a niche, not after. While you don’t need to know every detail before you start building your site, some consideration is necessary.
Try to develop a firm grasp of one or two prospective reader-profiles can help focus your site and ultimately lead to more success.
Find a Niche with Related Products
You’ll have a hard time converting customers if there’s not a direct link between your site topic and the types of products you’re trying to sell. It doesn’t matter how ‘sexy’ an affiliate program might look, your personal top paying affiliate program is going to depend upon your site.
The good news is that there are affiliate products out there for almost anything, but you want to have an idea of the products you’ll be promoting before you begin your site. Be sure to investigate commission rates and average sale prices.
For the travel example above, it’s easy to assume their are ample travel products out there (and there are!) but you should have a more intimate knowledge than just a hunch. Investigate a little further and find that the best commissions in travel usually relate to hotels, cruises, and activities, rather than books, flights and car rentals.
Understand Your Consumer
As you’re thinking about a niche, remember that there are real people on the other end of the screen. You should write about a niche because you want to help that consumer base understand something, and eventually provide them with information to make a purchase…when they’re ready.
The customer life-cycle can be long (most consumers have an average of 7 touch-points before they buy a product), so you’ll be more successful converting your readers if you find a niche that is further along in that process.
I hope this page gives you a good overview of affiliate niches and how to begin the process of developing a niche with a strong potential for profitability. I cover the topic of choosing an affiliate marketing niche in more detail in my 2-part series: How to Choose an Affiliate Niche.
If you’re just getting into affiliate marketing and are having trouble figuring out how to find a good niche, or even just where to start in general, you might want to consider a comprehensive affiliate training course to help get started.