Affiliate marketing is impossible until you choose a quality niche.
In this article I'm going to share with you the simple 3 step process I use every time I hunt for new niches to target.
NOTE: This process was outlined originally by Brian Dean of Quicksprout.com. I learned so much from that website over the years and I have used this process many times since I learned it from them and I wanted to share it with you here. Also, be sure to check out some of the other killer content at Quicksprout.com!
Before I go into the mechanics and tools involved with finding a niche, lets talk briefly about what makes a good niche.
What Makes a Good Affiliate Niche?
There are several "boxes" that need checked when validating a niche to pursue. I highly recommend that you make sure that your niche checks all of them before you invest the time energy and money into pursuing it further.
Remember, you will be investing a lot of time and energy into this process so you want to get this part right!
Here are the factors that make a niche worth pursuing as an affiliate.
#1 Has an audience that is willing and able to spend money.
It doesn't matter how much content or value you create if the audience you serve can't eventually buy something. You are investing time, energy and money into this so it's necessary that you get something in return. If you want to create what I call a "digital diary," and never make a penny, good for you. This article applies to people who are looking at content creation as a source of revenue. It can and should also provide personal satisfaction and fulfillment BUT revenue is key.
#2 Has an audience that is large enough to fulfill your goals
Just because there is a niche that is able and willing to buy from you doesn't mean that it is big enough to merit your time. Set big goals and make sure that you don't jump into a niche that has a low ceiling for opportunity.
#3 Is a market that is well defined and not saturated.
You've most likely heard the saying, "there are riches in the niches." As the internet expands, niches that once performed start to become flooded with competition. What was once a profitable niche for the early adopters can become diluted by competitors and profits begin to decrease exponentially over time. So, what makes something "saturated"? This depends, but the best way to do this is with tools. Some are free and some are paid. I will get into this process shortly. Just keep in mind as you go through the 3 step process that a niche needs to have people who are willing to buy AND is defined enough that you can actually get a piece of it without investing a decade into creating content.
#4 Covers a topic that you are passionate and interested in.
Some articles write this factor as "optional," but for me, it is mandatory. Everyone has something that they are passionate about. There IS profit in your passions somewhere if you look hard enough, I promise. It's not always easy, but you will be very happy that you took the time and energy here on the frontend. Again, it takes passion to create commitment and it takes commitment to create great content and it takes great content to create affiliate income. Some of you can get by on your rock solid passion of the process (I admit, I can write about almost anything and still stay excited because the process of internet marketing excites me on its own) but 99% of people need to be passionate about their topic in order to stick with it. You will also find that content just pours out of you when you're interested in it. Your readers will know if you're passionate or not and passion sells!
Step #1 Review Top Websites at Quantcast.com.
Quantcast will show you the most popular sites online. This is a great place to start if you’re in the brainstorming phase.
Here is the direct link —> https://www.quantcast.com/top-sites
Don’t worry about the big pages on the top 100 like Reddit, Yahoo, Yelp etc.
We can’t emulate these. More power too you if you want to try, but that isn’t in the spirit of what I’m trying to teach you.
You’re going to look at the sites further down. I recommend starting at around 10,000 rank. Pay attention to the niches that start to appear. Sites ranked this high are generating revenue (or the owners should be slapped if they aren’t).
Step #2 Review Affiliate Products at Clickbank.com.
Click bank has a massive amount of merchants with products they are looking to have affiliates promote.
You aren’t looking for products to promote per se. You are looking for inspiration.
I have discovered a lot of niche site ideas simply from the affiliate products I see listed on Clickbank.
One example is an affiliate program for an info product that includes hundreds of blueprints for woodworking projects.
Seeing this might inspire you to create content related to this niche. Again, this exercise isn’t about finding an affiliate just yet, but if you find something that you think could be your core product and you could create content for it, by all means, pursue it!
Step #3 Look at Cost Per Click Data on Google AdWords
Head over to Google AdWords, log in, and under Tools and Analysis, choose Keyword Planner.
NOTE: The Google Adwords area has a massive amount of features. There are people who dedicate their lives to mastering Google. Don't become overwhelmed by the array of options. For this exercise, you only need to concern yourself with the keyword planner.
You will want to click on “Search For New Keyword Ad Group Ideas” and enter some keywords related to your niche: woodworking, fishing, etc.
Ignore the boxes asking for landing page and anything other than
Next, click on Get Ideas, then click on Keyword Ideas and notice the suggested bid.
The suggested bid is how much an AdWords advertiser will pay for one click in AdWords for people searching for a particular keyword.
You’re obviously not going to be targeting broad keywords so just because something has a high cost per click doesn't make it a worthy niche to pursue.
What you're really looking for is demand for a particular keyword.
The higher this cost-per-click, the more affiliate offers and affiliate options you will generally have.
In the example below I typed in "Bonsai Trees." This seemed like a fun hobby idea and I wanted to see how much money might be in it.
Clearly people are searching for "bonsai tree" an awful lot.
The suggested bid is rather low though. This leads me to assume this might not be an extremely profitable niche to pursue. It doesn't completely rule it out of course. I could easily sell just one product to this niche and really do well if I can position myself right.
Next, I tried "Netflix Reviews." My thought process here was perhaps there was an opportunity for a niche blog that revolved around reviewing recent Netflix titles.
In this example, the suggested bid was much higher. The searches for that exact keyword phrase were much smaller, but there were a lot of other keywords that seemed to make this a niche worth considering.
I'm not going to pursue it and I recommend that you don't either (just might end up with a lot of competitors who are reading this and decide to skip the process and take the leg work done already).
This process is "simple," but takes a lot of work. Don't rush niche selection! Choose a topic that you can see yourself creating content in for some time to come. Finding that nice overlap of passion and financial incentive is what this process is all about.
Happy niche hunting!