This article will provide the keys on how to pick a niche for affiliate marketing.
Choosing the right niche is an essential step in your affiliate marketing journey because it can potentially make or break your business. Most people understand just how crucial this step is.
Unfortunately, this makes some of you over analyze everything and end up not making a decision. While it requires careful consideration, it should not take you several hours to decide.
WHAT IS A NICHE?
Before we dive deeper into the subject, a basic understanding of what exactly we are dealing with is essential.
Put simply, a niche is a segment of the population. A niche represents a particular population segment or a group of people with similar likes, dislikes, needs, problems and wants.
When you pick a niche, you are defining your market. Who do you want to target with content and eventually your product recommendations ? Which group of people’s problems are you going to solve?
The more specific and focused your niche is, the better.
For example, “sports” is a niche, but “endurance sports” is an even more focused niche. “New triathletes competing in their first sprint triathlon” is an even better niche.
It is important to keep in mind that your business cannot be all things to everyone. You need to set your sights on something specific. Focus on a specific set of clearly defined individuals. This is the only way you can concentrate all your efforts efficiently and achieve the best results.
In the example above, the last niche is the most laser-focused niche, therefore it has the potential to yield the best results.
WHICH NICHE SHOULD YOU PICK?
This is the million-dollar question.
This simple question is the number one reason why most aspiring affiliate marketers fail to even get a foot in the door because they end up over-analyzing everything without ever making a decision.
It is probably the main reason why you are reading this article right now. So, which niche should you pick?
The truth is, there is no bad niche. Someone somewhere will always be willing to buy what you are selling. This means that when it comes to picking a niche, there are no bad decisions.
Different people go about choosing their desired niches in different ways. It is a good idea to be aware of all the options you have so that you can make a more informed decision for yourself. Here is an outline of the different schools of thought:
- What are You Passionate About?
- What Have You Researched Lately?
- What Do You Do for A Living?
Let’s look at each one of these bullets in more detail.
1. Picking something you are passionate about: This is the most popular school of thought. Many people recommend picking something you love and are truly passionate about and then converting that to your niche of choice for your affiliate marketing business.
The logic behind it is very sound: Since you will be interacting with this particular niche every day and creating content for it over several months, it is important that you are actually passionate about it. This is the only way you will not get bored with it or abandon it when things don’t go as you planned.
If you pick a niche that you are passionate about, researching solutions to problems affecting the users in this niche and recommending products to them will not be a chore. Instead, it will be something you love and enjoy doing. Picking a niche you are passionate about has several other benefits:
- Endurance: As mentioned earlier, it is difficult to get bored with a niche you love. To be successful, you need to create content for your niche for a long time. Working on a niche you are passionate about is the only way you will be able to endure.
- Knowledge: By picking a niche you are passionate about, you begin to take advantage of the vast knowledge about it that you already have. This reduces the amount of learning and research time that you will need to invest in a particular topic.
- Authority: This is the only way to become an almost immediate authority. The fact that you know so much about the niche will show in your writing. People will trust you, and you will be fast on your way to achieving success.
Here is a pretty cool video explaining the benefits of picking a niche you are passionate about, along with a few more golden tidbits:
If you do not have any hobbies or passions, do not worry. Not all hope is lost yet. In today’s information-driven society, anyone can easily become an expert in any subject that they would like. We have unlimited access to tons of information, and direct access to literally the entirety of all human civilization knowledge. With a little hard work and dedication, you can learn enough in a relatively short period of time to become a subject matter expert.
2. What have you researched lately?: What personal problems have you tried to solve by searching online? What answers have you been seeking?
Can you remember a particular problem that you needed to literally hunt for the solution across several websites for? This may be what you need to create content for and become an authority on.
Have you recently bought a product that you did tonnes research on? What did you discover? What have you learned from using the product? Can you write a review?
It is in these simple ways that you can potentially strike gold in a niche. Harness the recent research you have been doing online and turn that into a business. Imagine having a resource for someone else searching for those same things. If you could answer all of their questions in one place, how helpful would that be?
3. What do you do for a living?: Leveraging what you do every day in your 9 to 5 is another excellent way to pick a niche. There are several benefits to this approach. First, you are already and expert. Second, you have unlimited topics to write about. Every day at work will have introduced a new challenge, situation or topic you can create content around.
You will be able to project knowledge and authority from day one. This may make it easier for you to establish that all important brand! Your research time for creating content may be down to zero. After all, your daily work experiences will be the “research” you need to perform.
There are thousands of very successful affiliate marketers that fall into this category. Welders and plumbers have started very successful affiliate marketing blogs. Web designers and coders are also very successful using their 9 to 5 jobs as niches. But anyone can use their day job as a niche.
The problem with this approach is that very few of us truly love what we do in our day jobs. Most of us cannot see ourselves dedicating extra hours to our professional jobs in the form of blogging AFTER we leave work. Many people hate their 9 to 5 and are trying affiliate marketing in order to get away from it.
If you are one of the fortunate few that absolutely loves what they do, then go for it. Make “what you do” your niche. You will be well ahead of the curve.
If you want more info, check out this article by Neil Patel on how to pick a niche.
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A BAD NICHE?
There is no such thing as a bad niche. The most important thing in affiliate marketing is traffic. You can make money with any niche as long as you have traffic. At minimum, you can put up ads and make passive income off your website.
Having said that, it is true that there are some niches that are not super suited to affiliate marketing. For example, it is quite difficult to monetize a restaurant review site with affiliate links. However, do not worry too much about that. The internet is packed full of opportunity, and you can always monetize your business in some way as long as you have traffic.
One last thing I will say about this is that the first niche you pick will not be your last. Get started and learn. Don’t over think things. There are so many people that get stuck in the niche picking phase and never get off the ground. Don’t be that person. Use what I show you here and make a decision. It does not have to be perfect.
WHAT ABOUT COMPETITION?
There is competition in every niche. This competition comes in different levels, from a broad scope to a more targeted and focused level.
Generally speaking, there is almost no way you will be able to compete as a new arrival in a broad niche.
For example, if you pick something as broad as golf or dog training to be your niche, you will soon realize that there are very many other long-established businesses who basically control everything to do with the niche. It is nearly impossible to compete with them.
However, if you pick a more focused niche, you have a better chance of success regardless of competition.
Think about it this way; the fact that there is one coffee shop in your neighborhood does not mean that starting another one will lead to failure.
However, going after the bigger and more established companies will not only be expensive but also riskier and with a higher chance of failure. This is exactly what you need to be thinking about when picking a niche for affiliate marketing. Make wise and well-thought-out strategic decisions to ensure the highest chances of success.
Here is a very informative infographic tying it all together!
So what have we learned so far? How can you pick the perfect niche for affiliate marketing? In summary:
- A niche is a segment of the population that defines your target market.
- Picking a niche is an essential initial step in ensuring the eventual success of your affiliate marketing. As a rule of thumb, the more focused and narrow the niche is, the better.
- There is no such thing as a bad niche
- If you want to make money off your niche, always keep a close eye on traffic numbers and work to constantly increase them.
- There is competition in every niche.
- Pick your battles wisely. Competition on a broad niche is tougher to beat than when it is within a more focused and narrow niche.
- Finally, this cannot be stressed enough: the more focused your niche of choice is, the better. Even if you choose to forget everything else that you have read in this article, always remember this point.
There are many schools of thought on how to pick a niche. There are essentially 3 ways to go. Check out the questions below and see which approach will suit you best in picking a niche:
- What are you passionate about?
- What have you researched lately?
- What do you do for a living?
I tried to give you some clear and actionable steps in picking your niche.
If it is the first time you do this, do not worry. You cannot make a bad decision.
Also know that you will pick many different niches over time. Do not get hung up with the “perfect” niche. There is no such thing.
If you pick something and decide later you don’t like it, you can change it. Remember that after all, you are your own boss!
Just get started!
Do you need help picking a niche? Do you need help to get you started with Affiliate Marketing?
Please leave me questions or comments below. Do you have any good advice on how to pick a niche? I’d love to hear it.
To Your Affiliate Success!