affiliate_niche_too_smallThere’s a lot of information out there about how to choose an affiliate niche and narrowing down a broad industry topic into a specific niche. The focus is almost always on how to refine your niche to be a small, reasonably-sized topic area and not a broader authority topic, but in this post I want to take a slightly different approach and discuss whether or not an affiliate niche can be too small.

Can a Niche Be Too Small?

In a word: yes.

While most people make the mistake of choosing a niche that is too big, it is possible to have a topic area that simply does not provide enough content to develop consistent posts, and does not scale well.

As a rule of thumb, I usually say that a niche may be too small (or at least not right for you) if you can’t easily come up with at least 10 posts to write on. You will, over time, need to write many more than 10 posts, but if you’re just starting out this is a reasonable number to get you started, and you’ll find that every post topic can lead to other post topics.

For example, imagine you wanted to create a site on “best goldfish for children.” While you could probably write a handful of posts on this topic, it doesn’t have a lot of room to scale as your site grows. You could provide affiliate links to relevant fish products, but even that seems like a bit of an extension of the topic at hand.

Instead, you may want to consider how you could broaden the topic over time. Rather than specifying that your site is about goldfish for children, it could be about best fish pets for children, or keeping fish as pets. While you can still start writing about goldfish, either of these topic areas would provide more flexibility to grow your site.

Is Your Affiliate Niche Too Small?

The easiest way to determine if your niche is too small is to think about how much material you could potentially write on it. You need your list of 10 topics to start, but also remember that over time you’ll be writing hundreds of articles for your site. While you don’t need specific article ideas for all those posts yet, you have to be able to imagine that it is, in fact, an achievable aim.

The other way to determine if your niche is too small is to research the keywords involved with that niche. When targeting market size, I look at the broad keywords rather than the long tail keywords, since they can give a quick glimpse into the subject world.

The reason I place keyword research as a secondary tactic in determining if your niche is too small is because the first and most important element is your ability to write on the topic. Chances are, if you could write lots of material on the topic, there are others out there looking for that material, and the breadth of sub-topics you’ll generate is enough to pull in significant traffic over time.

So what do you think: is your niche too small? If so you may want to check out my post on Choosing an Affiliate Niche or take a look at some free niche ideas to get a sense of how to think about niche topics.