Finding a profitable niche is vital to success.
When you narrow down your focus and go niche, instead of targeting everyone or a larger topic, you remove distractions and are able to concentrate on the problem you are going to solve for your audience.
Also, you will be saving time since you are not trying to cater to everyone. After all, if you plan on monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing, you’ll need to produce a considerable amount of time and effort producing content.
So, it makes sense to spend some time doing the research before deciding the niche for your blog or your affiliate marketing business.
Wondering which niche is best for affiliate marketing?
Affiliate Marketing Niches
Let’s start by defining what a niche is and what makes it profitable.
What is a Niche?
The term “niche” means a specialized segment of the market. In other words, a niche is a narrow topic within a significant industry.
This means that you are going to be building a website or blog for a particular interest group where your content is curated towards.
As an affiliate marketer, you will be making money by providing or promoting a solution that speaks to your particular audience.
After all, your business should provide a solution and add value to your audience. You want to establish yourself as a trusted source of information, an expert so to speak.
However, if you promote products that are not related to your niche, your audience is unlikely to perceive you as a professional in the field, affecting your credibility.
To learn more about how affiliate marketing works, check out Affiliate Marketing Explained – Business Model and Benefits blog post.
The Elements of a Profitable Niche
Before finding a niche, you need to know what are the qualities that make it profitable.
What is a profitable niche?
The main characteristics of a profitable niche in affiliate marketing are:
- Demand: A good search volume. If enough people are not interested, it’s not a sustainable niche.
- Topic-based: Instead of creating a product-focused niche, your goal is providing quality content and solving the problems of the target audience.
- No artificial distinctions: When narrowing down a topic or choosing a sub-niche, the distinction on the search term should be natural or specialised.
- Evergreen: To guarantee that your topic will be relevant in the future, the niche should be evergreen, i.e., it will never lose its demand completely.
- Monetizable: Diverse monetization options within a niche provides a higher and more consistent stream of income.
- Competition: Having enough competition that you know the niche is viable, but not too much that you won’t be able to make progress due to its competitiveness and the saturation in the market.
How to Find a Profitable Niche in Affiliate Marketing
Now that you know what a profitable niche looks like, let’s see how you can find such niches to start your own business.
1. Brainstorm Your Interests and Hobbies
You want to start the process of finding a profitable niche by brainstorming your interest and hobbies. After all, being passioned about a topic is a great motivator.
First up, pick up a piece of paper and list down all your hobbies.
It could be anything like photography, basketball, dancing, reading comics or whatever else you like doing.
You don’t need to be an expert in the topic. If you enjoy it, list it down!
For instance, here are some of the most popular hobbies among American dads:
Next, list down your top interests. Do your interests differ from your hobbies?
Interests are topics that you are knowledgeable about. Think of a subject that you can talk about for hours without needing much research. Your interests can be hobbies too, but it’s not always the case.
For example, I am interested in nutrition and know more than the average person, but cooking isn’t one of my hobbies.
Common topics include politics, history, investing, etc.
Insider Tip: Your search term (or niche) should be topic-focused, not product-focused. The latter is a competitive field and has a spammy feeling.
Before moving to step 2, you might want to narrow down the list. Since you are going to research each idea to see if it’s viable, you could cut down your list to your top 3 topics.
2. Research to Validate the Search Volume
Now, it’s time to evaluate each topic from a business perspective.
Here’s how you can validate the search volume of your topic:
- Google search: Validate the interest of others in your topic.
- Are people searching for this topic?
- Can I get traffic? Is there enough search volume?
- Are there magazines written on the topic?
- Can I find boutique shops on the topic?
- Are there YouTube channels with 1,000 subscribers that specialize in the topic?
- Related search queries: Depending on the search volume, find the broader topics or niche down.
- Is it too niche? Too small, too unknown, etc.
- Is my topic too broad or generic?
- Google trends: Consider the trends and seasonality of your topic. If your niche has a steady demand throughout the year, you can consider it an evergreen niche.
- Is your niche evergreen? I.e., does it have a consistent demand all year round?
- Is your topic a passing fad or viral product?
Insider Tip: When using Google trends tool, be accurate with the search term so it’s specific to your industry. For example, boxer the sports player or the dog breed?
For example, gardening is a broad topic, houseplants (or indoor gardening) is a narrower topic, and succulents is one step deeper (a niche). Kalanchöe, on the other hand, will be a sub-niche.
Outdoors gardening is seasonal, depends on the weather and plants life cycle. Although indoor gardening is not affected by seasons, it’s influenced by the life cycle of plants. This means that there’s not much to do in winter when succulents are dormant.
3. Evaluate Monetization for Your Niche
First of all, can I monetize the traffic?
If you can get traffic to your site, you can make money. However, not every topic has the same earning potential.
Basically, some niches are more profitable than others, regardless of the amount of traffic (visitors) they get.
Check if you can monetize your search terms (topics or niche ideas) on ClickBank.
In case you are not familiar with it, ClickBank is an affiliate marketing platform – you can learn more about it by clicking the hyperlink.
Back to the platform, I use ClickBank to evaluate the monetization of a niche because of how many users are on the platform. You can find alternatives on the link above!
To get started, you are going to search into their database, by choosing the category that your niche belongs to.
Essentially, the result will give you products that you could sell for your niche.
After performing the search, sort your results by “Gravity,” a metric that shows how well the affiliate product sells.
Then, take a look at the search results and evaluate the products. Are there any affiliate products that look like a good opportunity?
This method is a useful way to scout potential niches and see if there are products or services that people will actually pay money for.
The goal here is to find products within a niche that aren’t hard to sell.
If you don’t find anything good, you can try other affiliate networks or another topic from your list.
For some examples, you can check the Top 12 Affiliate Marketing Niches with Affiliate Programs – it has a list of niches and also affiliate products that you can promote within them.
Next, are there diverse monetization opportunities?
- Affiliate marketing.
- Info products.
- Lead generation.
Insider Tip: At least, you should aim for 2 or more monetization opportunities within your niche to guarantee diverse streams of income.
4. Assess Competition for Your Topic
Once you know which are valuable niche options, it’s time to assess the competition.
Search for your topic on Google and assess the results:
- Are there many authoritative sites on the first page?
- Do forums show up?
- Can you find good articles answering your search term or subject?
Having competition is a good indicator, it means that there’s demand. Therefore, the niche is viable.
But, too much competition means that the market is saturated and it will be harder to establish yourself as an authority and make progress.
However, nowadays the level of competition is high in many niches, and entrepreneurs still succeed. There are many factors that will influence your success.
If the niche is too competitive to get traffic…
- Search for related terms with poor results.
- Is there a less competitive search term or sub-niche?
Use Google Keyword Planner to find related search terms, assess demand (traffic volume estimate) and how competitive your keywords are.
This tool will allow you to contrast your research. Still, don’t just rely on the tool and ignore the rest of the steps to find a profitable niche.
Neil Patel, a reputable internet marketer, suggests double-checking your niche on Google Adwords. There, you can find keywords in your new niche that are exploding with growth and high bids.
What is the typical cost per click of keywords in your niche?
Finding out that number gives you an insight into what the competition is like. After all, you are going to be driving traffic to your site, probably using ads.
5. Consider Your Expertise and Decide on Your Niche
After doing all that necessary research, it’s time to consider your expertise on the subject and decide which niche you are going for.
No previous knowledge is required in affiliate marketing is such an inaccurate statement.
Your content should have a purpose: to help your audience solve a problem.
If you want to share valuable content with your audience, you definitely need some proficiency in the subject.
Start by considering:
- YMYL: Does your topic fall into the Your Money Your Life category? Google doesn’t want to show results that could negatively affect the life and money of the users. So, being a professional in the field may be necessary to work on the health and finance niches.
- Expertise: What is your level of knowledge in the matter? The goal is to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. You don’t need to have a thorough education on the matter. But, you should gain the required insights to serve your audience.
Once you have determined your level of expertise, which niche option appeals to you the most? What are you passionate about?
Some niches might be more profitable than others, but it won’t matter if you burn out from doing something you don’t enjoy in the first place.
Building an audience and monetizing it with affiliate marketing is a long-term game.
So, if your interest in a niche fades away after several months, it’s likely that you won’t see any revenue at all from your affiliate marketing venture.
- Will I enjoy writing about this topic a year from now?
- Can I write 200 blog posts* for this niche without losing interest?
- How passionate am I to put in the work to produce content day after day without seeing any rewards for my work?
*A common amount of blog posts for small websites.
If your answer is an yes, then go for it!
Mere passion with no research to back it up doesn’t equal money on the table. Also, there’s no perfect choice or such a thing as a perfect niche.
Ultimately, you filter out the niches that you know you have an affinity for. Then, you see if you can come up with a more focused sub-niche that you can give a shot at.
By following these steps to find a profitable niche, you have validated your passion, hobby or interest.
While there is an endless list of niches in affiliate marketing, there are several that are proven to be more promising in terms of their track record for making money.
So, which are the most profitable niches?
Check our Top 12 Affiliate Marketing Niches with Affiliate Programs blog post to get a better insight on possible niches and affiliate products.
Now that you’ve found a profitable affiliate-marketing niche, it’s time to start selling.
The success of an affiliate business rests on its ability to sell products.
If you don’t sell, you don’t make money!
And if you’re just starting out, check our Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – How to Start in 7 Steps blog post.
What strategies have you used to be a profitable niche in affiliate marketing?