A niche is a specific market segment that you can target. You will be looking to target a specific group of people with your affiliate marketing who have a similar need, problem or interest. You will have to offer them something that will satisfy their needs or passions.
The narrower your niche, the less competition you will have, but the trick is to find one that will be profitable. By now, the best domain names are probably already taken for your highly popular niches and to rank well in them, you will really have to work hard to attract visitors. There are however plenty of sub niches that you can explore, and in this article we will guide you in how to find them.
Obviously you can pick any niche you want, but there are some factors you will have to consider when brainstorming your possibilities.
* Go for your passion - although this is not an absolute must, it is always easier to work in a niche on something that you are really passionate about and that you actually know something about. People are very good at discerning whether something feels sincere or fake. If you find something that you think may work, be sure to cultivate a passion for it!
* Expensive or cheap - marketing a $7 ebook versus a $200 camera takes the same amount of effort, but the more expensive product is going to give you more profit.
* Competition - too much competition in a specific niche will lower your chances of making a profit.
* Demand - if there is not a high need for the product, you will struggle to make a profit
* Advertising – the more advertisers in the same niche, the higher the cpc for your ads
* Evergreen - you can follow a trend, but if your niche is something that is likely to go out of fashion in a year, it may not be worth your effort.
Step 1: Brainstorm a Topic
First, you have to find a topic that people like and some inspiration. The best way to see what people like is to have a look at the top most visited sites on the internet, and there is no better place to do this than Quantcast.com. Here's how:
* Click "Explore" at the top of the page and select "Top 100"
* Browse through the list and see which sites are really doing well. Ignore the obvious huge sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Wikipedia - but see if there is some sort of recurring theme in the topic or types of people these sites target.
* Look for inspiration - for instance, you have "eater.com" at spot 246, which may get you thinking - food, restaurants. Is that a niche you may want to get into?
* Think about different angles to the topic you are considering
* Go to sites like Quora.com or even Ask.com and type a keyword to see which questions people ask on the topic. For “food”, for instance, you will get a question like “what are the best of ethnic junk foods?” or “what are the popular street foods where you live?” That would be a niche right there - street foods from around the world. Whether it is a good one, will need some more research.
Step 2: Research the topic keywords
To know whether you have a good topic, you need to do some keyword research. SEMRush has a great keyword tool that will give you valuable insights. Simply type a keyword combination into the search box and SEMRush would display some interesting data on it.
* The first thing you need to look at is the volume – how many searches does this keyword get per month? This would indicate whether or not there is sufficient demand for the keyword.
* Look at the average CPC – the higher the cost per click, the more affiliate options and offers you will have, as advertising competition will be quite high in this niche. For street food, for instance, your CPC is only $0.14, while a CPC for web hosting is $25.
* Look at related keywords – are there other keywords in that niche that get more searches or have a higher CPC?
* Look at the top 10 other sites that rank for this keyword and copy their urls (you will use it in step 3)
* Keep doing searches like this until you are satisfied to have found a very promising niche.
Step 3: Research the Competition
The more authoritative the sites that rank for a specific keyword, the lower your chances to rank for it in an organic search. Which is why you need to research the page authority of the sites that rank for it. Go to the Open Site Explorer at Moz.com and paste the URL of the first site in the list you copied from SEMrush. If you find three pages from your top 10 that have a PA (Page Authority) of 35/100 or less, you will have a better chance to rank for the keyword more quickly.
Step 4: Check for monetization options
A good way to see if affiliate marketing in your niche would be profitable is to head over to Clickbank.com. Although Clickbank is not the only way to monetize your site, it is a good place to get started if you want to see how well you will be able to monetize your niche with affiliate offers.
Go to Clickbank’s marketplace and pick a category or type your keyword in the search box. Have a look at the offers, their popularity and the amount of money you will get per sale to give you an idea how well your niche may be monetized. Keep in mind that this exercise is not about making Clickbank your only affiliate marketing option – it is just to see how well you will be able to monetize your niche. You can obviously try out other affiliate programs as well.
More Tips and Tools
After following these 4 steps, you will have a pretty clear idea whether you have a niche in mind that can actually work for you. Now you just need to pick a SEO-friendly domain name related to your main keyword and get decent hosting from a reputable service such as Hostgator, Bluehost, 1&1 Hosting or WPEngine.
Remember that your site design will also highly influence its success, so be sure to get your brand right from the start. We recommend using a service such as 99Designs where you get to host a design contest and choose between the designs of a large group of excellent designers. In the meantime, you can go sign up for all the different affiliate programs that you are planning to monetize your site with.