choosing_affiliate_nicheThere’s a lot to consider when you’re first starting out as an affiliate marketer, and selecting your niche is an important decision that can help set you up for success.

If don’t know how to choose an affiliate niche, follow these steps:

Step 1: List Your Passions

One common misconception about affiliate marketing is that there is a giant list of perfect niches somewhere and you need to choose a certain type of site to be successful.

Don’t worry about what you think you should write about. Worry about what you want to write about. List 3-5 topics you’re genuinely interested in. Don’t do any research first, just write down what you love.

The truth is that almost any niche can be profitable if you take the right approach to setting up your site. You still need to be clear about how to develop a successful site plan, but there are products to sell in any industry, so literally any site topic can be used as a starting point.

Step 2: High Level Research

While any topic can be profitable, obviously some niches are better than other.

Keyword Research

Take your topic list and start to do some keyword research. You can find free tools on Google if you sign up for an adwords account, but the easiest way to get started is to leverage Jaaxy’s free trial for professional keyword research.

When you’re doing your keyword, you’re looking to find a balance between traffic potential and competition. If you’re using Jaaxy, take the ratio of the number of monthly searches to the QSR number. If you’re using Google, perform a google search for the exact keyword in quotes, and look at the number of results.

Competition Research

Now that you have a starting list of keywords, start Googling!

Take a sampling of small (under 1,000 monthly searches), medium (1,000-10,000 monthly searches), and large (over 10,000 monthly searches) for each topic and see what comes up in the search.

If the search results are consistently populated by “big-name” companies and blogs (amazon, wikipedia, professional newspapers, etc) you’ll have difficulty getting rankings. Instead look for results by smaller, lesser-known blogs and websites.

A good topic often has small websites showing up on the first page of search results.

Product Research

The last step of your initial research is to get a sense for what types of products you might offer. There are a few ways to get a quick sense of the landscape:

  1. Brainstorm products you use in the niche.
  2. Browse your competition to see what products they’re selling, and where those products are being offered.
  3. Browse affiliate networks to look for products that would be worth your time trying to market.

If you’re stuck on where to start, you can get some ideas from this list of affiliate programs beginners need to know about.

Remember, all of this research should only take 10-15 minutes per topic. It’s important not to spend too much time worrying over an exact niche just yet.

Once you’ve got your list of topics and introductory research, it’s time to move on to Part 2 of How to Choose and Affiliate Niche.