The COVID-19 pandemic spared no business, industry, or economy. Industries such as airlines, restaurants, movie theaters, and more have taken the impact much harder. But few industries found new opportunities despite the crisis.
Affiliate marketing is one of the industries where the effect of COVID-19 has been varied. Some niches were severely affected, while others have immense growth. These opportunities make it an attractive option for marketers.
For one, most affiliate marketing programs are free to join. Secondly, it’s open to anyone, and marketers can earn anywhere at any time. But it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. You need to learn how to choose a niche for affiliate marketing for unparalleled success.
What Is A Niche In Affiliate Marketing?
First of all, affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission for marketing another individual’s or company’s products.
So how does it work? There are three parties involved:
- Merchant: They can be a product creator, seller, or brand. For example, a SaaS company will use affiliate marketing to sell their marketing software.
- Affiliate: They create content to promote products to convince consumers to purchase them. If the consumer buys the product, the affiliate will receive a commission.
- Consumer: They are the ones that keep the business going. Affiliates promote the products via social media, blogs, websites, and other channels. That’s how they reach consumers. Sometimes, the affiliate will disclose that they’re receiving commission from the sale.
Affiliate marketing is an attractive option for those who want to boost their income online. So if you’re going to become an affiliate, there are things you need to consider.
First, you need to find a profitable niche.
But what is a niche?
A niche is a highly-specialized segment of a larger market with its own needs, preferences, and identity. This makes them unique from the rest.
Companies and marketers focus on niche markets to cater to a specific consumer. In doing so, they build loyalty and earn revenue.
For example, instead of merely offering general weight loss products, a marketer can focus on a specific niche by offering post-pregnancy weight loss products.
And in the food and recipe industry, a business might focus on a different niche and offer recipes specifically for vegans.
Some of the most common factors to consider when defining a niche includes:
- Price of the product or service: Is it a luxury product? Or is it affordable for the general public?
- Demographics: Gender, age, and income level of the target consumer
- Level of quality: Is it handmade? Or is it more economical?
- Psychographics: What are the target consumer’s values and interests?
- Geographics: Where are your target consumers located?
Finding the right niche is crucial in reaching out to a loyal and robust buyer’s market.
Why Is Identifying A Marketing Niche Important?
According to Charlene Walters, author of Own Your Other, a niche helps set your business apart from the competition. It helps your business stand out so that a certain target consumer will prefer it over the others.
Here are some more reasons why you need to identify a marketing niche:
- Reduced competition: The more you specialize in your products or services, the less competition you have. This means gaining access to an untapped market with less price competition.
- Focused business efforts: Since you’re targeting a specific market, you’ll be able to focus your efforts to cater to the customers’ specific needs.
For instance, if you sell clothes for children, you can offer different types of clothes. It’s impossible to please all of them. However, suppose you focus on selling mom (or dad) and baby matching clothes. In this case, it’ll be easier for you to focus your efforts on offering the best products for that market.
- Build industry expertise: When you focus on a specific niche, you’ll also be building your expertise. Your audience will consider you a specialist in a particular product or service. As a result, consumers are more likely to trust you and buy from you.
- Establish brand loyalty: If you decide to expand, consumers are more likely to trust your products and services over the competition.
What Are The Key Indicators For A Successful Niche Selection?
There are a plethora of niches you can choose from. And not all niches are profitable, especially with the current COVID-19 pandemic. While there are niches that rose to popularity due to the extraordinary times, some niches used to perform well are experiencing a lay-low.
For example, the health, supplement, and medical supplies niche have taken off, and niches that focus on food services had to be creative to stay afloat. That said, you need criteria for choosing a specific market.
A profitable niche is well-defined and must be targeted to a very specific audience. In doing so, you position your products and services as the go-to business for your target consumers.
To illustrate, below is a list of some of the specific niches within broader topics:
|Health||Finance||Fitness and Weight Loss|
|Skincare||Personal finance||Post-pregnancy weight loss|
|Back Pain||Investing||Personal training|
|Heart Problems||Tax tips||Senior workout tips|
Tip: Don’t be too specific that you’ll have a hard time expanding your business. Leave room for growth- think long term.
2. Targets Certain Passions or Problems
Another criterion of a profitable niche is that it is based on passions and solves problems.
Passion niches revolve around topics like travel, food, self-growth, etc. These sectors are broad, but you can dig deep and look for specific niches, as discussed above.
Additionally, a niche should also address problems or pain points. Why? Because people are more willing to spend to address their concerns. Some of the most prevalent problem niches include finance and healthcare.
For example, if you’re marketing healthcare products, consider your target consumers’ most significant pain points. What are they asking? What problems do they have?
3. Profitable or Competitive
There’s no point in getting into affiliate marketing if you’re not going to earn from it. That said, you need to know the profitability of a niche. The best place to start is by searching your main topic keywords on Google Search.
This will give you an idea of what your target consumers are searching for. To check its profitability, you can add these keywords to Google Keyword Planner to see the search volume and the cost-per-click (CPC) value.
You should check the CPC value of keywords to determine whether brands and businesses are willing to pay for them
Are they spending money to advertise products targeting these niche-specific keywords? If yes, then it’s a profitable niche.
A profitable niche for affiliate marketing should be evergreen – meaning it’ll be profitable throughout the year. Does your niche have staying power, or is it just a fad?
An evergreen niche will make money consistently for a long time. Here are some more reasons why you should choose evergreen niches:
- They make money year-round.
- Affiliate marketers don’t have to market them aggressively.
- Long-term potential for profit
So how do you find evergreen topics? One way is through Google Trends.
Simply choose your niche and see what the search trend shows. It’s normal for a topic to have a few ups and downs. But it should be pretty consistent.
You can also look into your own Google Analytics and other tools to gather data. Take a look at the size of your organic traffic and how it changes over time.
Steps In Finding Profitable Niches With Low Competition
Brainstorm using the HISS Framework
Finding profitable affiliate marketing niches is challenging. Thankfully, there are proven strategies to help refine your options. The key is to take a broad category and narrow it down to more specific sectors.
One of the easiest ways to do that is to use the HISS framework:
Note: It’s also a good idea to go with something you’re passionate about. You want a niche that you will not feel burdened to update and maintain.
List Your Hobbies
To be a successful affiliate, you need to exert time and effort. That said, it should be something you’re passionate about. If you’re looking for a profitable niche, start with your hobbies.
List down all your hobbies on a note app or a piece of paper. What do you love to do during your free time? It could be traveling, makeup, sports, or listening to music.
You don’t have to be an expert in your chosen hobbies. As long as you enjoy it, list it down.
Enumerate Your Interest
Aside from hobbies, you should also list the things you’re interested in.
But how is this different from your hobbies?
Your interests are things you’re generally knowledgeable about. Most likely, you already spent money on these things and have a good understanding of the customers’ mindset.
For example, you might be interested in mental health and have more knowledge about self-growth than an average person. However, this couldn’t be count as a hobby.
That said, list down topics you know by heart. Or topics that you can talk about for hours and will not mind doing additional research.
Search the Topic
Using your list of hobbies and interests, explore different keyword combinations. Doing so will help you determine what keywords consumers are using.
Google Trend is perhaps one of the best platforms to look at what’s trending locally and globally. All you have to do is simply write the keyword.
Here’s how to find profitable affiliate marketing niches using Google Trends
- Start by doing a general search with a keyword. It doesn’t have to be specific since the goal is to collect information. You can start looking into particular niches along the way.
- You can choose whether to research a “term” or “topic”. Topics are available for more popular, broader terms in the industry.
- Google Trends will give you an illustration to show whether the interest in your keyword is rising or decreasing in demand.
- You can also download the list of related topic suggestions to get more ideas for a niche. At times you’ll find a brand name in the list. You can use those to check if they have an affiliate program you can join.
Now it’s time to do a little more research. Look into the affiliate programs available for the niche of your choice. Gather information about:
- The number of affiliate programs available in this niche
- What is their commission structure?
- Is it a one-time commission or recurring payments?
- What is the product price, and how much commission can you expect from a single referral?
You should also look into the number of searches for several keywords in your niche. Take advantage of search tools such as:
Get Ideas from Social Media
At this point, you may want to refine your niche even further. For example, you may have found that “weight loss” is a popular niche but want to narrow it down to a more specific category.
One of the best ways to do this is to use social media, like Pinterest or Instagram.
Let’s say you’re searching for “weight loss”. Those interested in this topic can go to Pinterest or Instagram to look for tips, videos, or products.
On Pinterest, the search for weight loss returns hundreds of images. But you can consider the different tags under the broad keyword to narrow down your search.
For example, you can choose “healthy dinner recipes for weight loss”.
Instead of covering “weight loss” which is a very broad topic, you can refine your niche targeted towards specific consumers.
PPP (Problems, Products, Profits)
To create a profitable affiliate marketing business, you need to identify the niche problems you can answer. What are your target consumers’ main pain points?
Then you need to present how your products will benefit your audience. How will your product solve their problems?
If you can successfully convince your audience that they need your products, you’ll make a profit through affiliate commissions.
The key is to build authority in your niche. You want your audience to think of you first when they come across your niche. To do that, you need to help your target market with their problems related to your niche.
Ask these questions:
- What are their pain points?
- What are their problems, and how can you help?
- How can you make it easy for them?
This will serve as a backbone to your content marketing strategy and as a way to attract target consumers for a profitable business.
So how do you identify your audience’s pain points? Here are some easy ways:
- Browse forums and other online communities. For instance, you can look into questions posted on Quora or the comment section on relevant websites.
- One-on-one conversations with your target market. Create a set of questions to help you discover their pain points.
- Look into your competitors. Identify your competition in your chosen niche and assess what problems they’re addressing. You can also look into your social media to see what their audience is saying.
To monetize your niche, you need to sell affiliate products. So browse the top products in your chosen category.
If you can’t find a lot of products, that’s not a good sign. Your niche needs to have enough affiliate products and services that you can create content around.
Additionally, they have millions of products to choose from, and their commissions are pretty good.
Want more options? You can also look into:
Note: You don’t need to have your own product or services. As an affiliate marketer, you can partner with advertisers, business owners, or site owners in your niche to generate commissions.
The main reason you want to join an affiliate program is to earn money, right? So aside from the product price, you also need to consider the commission rate. They usually range from 0% to 10%.
For example, on Amazon, luxury beauty products are at 10%. So if you sell a $65 organic facial serum, you’ll earn a $6.5 commission.
Take a look at this commission rate chart from Amazon.
|Product Category||Fixed Commission Income Rates|
|Luxury Beauty, Luxury Stores Beauty, Amazon Coins||10.00%|
|Digital Music, Physical Music, Handmade, Digital Videos||5.00%|
|Physical Books, Kitchen, Automotive||4.50%|
|Amazon Fire Tablet Devices, Amazon Kindle Devices, Amazon Fashion Women’s, Men’s & Kids Private Label, Luxury Stores Fashion, Apparel, Amazon Cloud Cam Devices, Fire TV Edition Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV Devices, Amazon Echo Devices, Ring Devices, Watches, Jewelry, Luggage, Shoes, and Handbags & Accessories||4.00%|
|Toys, Furniture, Home, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Pets Products, Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments, Business & Industrial Supplies, Outdoors, Tools, Sports, Baby Products||3.00%|
|PC, PC Components, DVD & Blu-Ray||2.50%|
|Televisions, Digital Video Games||2.00%|
|Amazon Fresh, Physical Video Games & Video Game Consoles, Grocery, Health & Personal Care||1.00%|
|Gift Cards; Wireless Service Plans; Alcoholic Beverages; Digital Kindle Products purchased as a subscription; Food prepared and delivered from a restaurant; Amazon Appstore, Prime Now, or Amazon Pay Places||0.00%|
|All Other Categories||4.00%|
Amazon is a great starting point, but they’re not the only marketplace out there. So consider your options and compare the commission rate for products and services.
Niche Keyword Validation
There is no such thing as the perfect niche. However, you can evaluate the profitability of your niche through keyword research.
Keyword research is a method to help you understand what your target consumers are searching for.
Find keywords with a high search volume. Use keyword research tools to check the keyword trend as well as review competition for the niche. Here are some of the best ones:
- AdWords Keyword Planner: This is a free tool, perfect for getting started. It gathers data straight from Google and will give you insights on search volume, competition, CPC value, etc.
- Keywords Everywhere: This keyword research tool is a browser add-on for Chrome or Firefox. It shows you insights for searches per month, CPC, and competition for 15+ websites.
- Google Trends: This is another free tool that helps track trending keywords. As previously mentioned, you can use Google Trends to check the consistency of a niche.
- KWFinder: This tool helps you find hundreds of keywords with low SEO difficulty and high search volume. Some of the insights they provide include searches per month, CPC, and PPC.
- UberSuggest: Use this keyword research tool for finding new, related keywords. You can also use it to gain insight into your competitor by simply entering their domain.
By now, you’ve narrowed down your niche options. It’s time to take a look at your competition.
Finding an untapped niche is very unlikely. That said, you don’t want a niche with zero competition – it could be a sign that it is unprofitable. Some healthy competition is ideal so check at least the top 10 search results for your keywords.
Start by searching on Google. Then create a list of competitor sites. You can also use the keyword research tools listed above since they will provide a list of competitor sites. Take your time in analyzing their website, products, social media, etc.
Here are a few key questions to ask:
- Am I competing with big companies? You want to be at least in the top 10 search results. That said, evaluate how big your competition is. Are they a large organization with huge budgets, editors, or marketing staff?
- What is their domain authority? Use authority checker tools like Moz, Semrush, or Wordstream. If they are too strong, then it is best to target other keywords for your niche.
Additionally, check your competitor’s domain age. If the authority site has been around for years and is still up to date, then it’s best to avoid competition as a complete newbie. Consider newer sites to compete with.
- Can I publish better, more informative content? Commit to creating and publishing the best content related to your niche. Read your competitor’s blog, social media posts, and other content. Is it informative or conversational? Are they using images and videos? Lastly, check their average word count for different articles as well.
Start Selling Product
After going through all these processes to find a profitable niche, the final step is to start selling!
Dip your toes into the sea of affiliate marketing programs. Here are some of the best programs you can check out:
- Amazon Associates: As previously mentioned, Amazon is one of the best platforms to get started. They have a vast marketplace. Your job is to simply bring new clients from your website or other external sources to the Amazon site. It’s a great way to get started and build authority.
- Clickbank: They are a popular choice among affiliates with its 6 million digital products. What makes this affiliate program attractive is its high commissions – as high as 75%!
- Fiverr Affiliate Program: Anyone can join Fiverr’s affiliate program – no website required. Affiliates earn a commission by referring products and services that are available on the platform. Best of all, Fiverr offers a generous commission plan of up to $150.
- Bluehost: It powers over 2 million websites and is well-recommended by WordPress. Commissions start at $65, and they offer a tiered commission. This means the more sales you make, the higher your overall payout.
- Affiliaxe: Another top choice for affiliates since it offers access to a variety of products and services. This means you can choose your niche to get the best results. Best of all, you’ll have access to your Affiliate Manager to help you boost traffic and maximize profit.
Top Niches For Affiliate Marketing In 2021
All the tips listed above will help you find the best affiliate niche.
We have listed the top evergreen verticals that are performing well during COVID-19. You will find several sub-niches under each evergreen that you can start exploring.
- Fitness and Weightloss
- Dating and Relationships
- Health & Beauty
- E-commerce (without travel)
- e-Sports / iGaming
- Hobbies and education
- Home appliances
- Utilities and VPN
- Crypto offers
- Food and grocery delivery
Affiliate marketing is definitely an attractive and growing business for those who want to earn extra bucks online. But it doesn’t happen overnight. To make significant profits, you need to take action, study the trends, and discover other marketing techniques to keep up with the ever-changing world.
The first step is finding a niche. Keep in mind that you’re affiliating products on your platform, so choose a profitable niche that will ultimately be of value to your audience.
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