In this article, I’m going to explain everything there is to know about how to find a profitable niche for affiliate marketing.
When you find the perfect niche, money starts rolling in with a minimal amount of effort. Then you can use the profits from your first project to scale into more sites in the exact same niche and start to blanket page one of the search engines.
It’s super easy to do this because you already have the blueprint from your experience with the first project. And then with all that money, your affiliate marketing starts to skyrocket. You can start to take more risks, test out new strategies, the sky’s the limit.
But when you don’t choose a niche properly, it’s a money pit. You toss some money at a project or a website that never gives you anything back, money that can never be recovered. Plus you waste all that time that went into it, and time can definitely never be recovered. Then you go back to your old job and the old girlfriend that cheated on you, and you start being that guy that comes into the bar way too early.
Check out my extensive course on finding a profitable niche if you want to really learn the skill
In this article, I’m gonna be going over the 12 major mistakes that people make when choosing a niche, and then I’m going to give you the tools to turn these mistakes intosuccesses.
After that, I’m going to show you three outside the box hacks for finding awesome niches that most people don’t know about.
Let’s get started. Now, before I get into the outside the box niche research hacks, I want to point out the 12 mistakes that people often make when choosing niches, and also give you 12 ways to fix these mistakes.
Mistake number 1
Your niche is too narrow.
If you choose a niche like table saws you’re eventually gonna run out of things to talk about on that site.
There’s only so many articles you can write about on table saws.
Well, what’s the problem with that?
You see SEO really starts to scale when you put in enough effort into your website project. When you built enough backlinks and enough content to be an authority in the niche, and then you can just about publish any new content and you’ll rank instantly. This is what I’d like to call authority mode.
When you don’t choose a big enough niche, you put in all that work and you get your website all the way to authoritive mode, and there’s just nothing more to talk about because you picked besttablesaw.com.
The solution to this is to go broad.
Instead of table saws, go for the umbrella, home improvement niche, with a branded domain. Then you can get into table saws if you want, you can get into belt sanders, you can get into whatever it is that manly men use to build houses.
The second mistake is that there’s no buyer intent in your niche.
Here’s the story.
When I was doing niche research for my first ever affiliate website, I decided to go after two things that I really like, yoga and travel.
And good for me, the research volume for the term yoga travel and very low competition.
But the problem was people searching for this keyword had no buyer mindset. They’re all just looking for information on yoga retreats or something like that.
I put yoga mat affiliate links all over the site and no one bought a thing.
You need to target niches that have some buyer intent behind them.
I call these oh (beep) niches.
Think of the big categories like health, wealth and relationships. In the health space, you have the weight loss niche, in the wealth space, you could get into crypto, or in relationships you could get into dating. And don’t worry about these niches being too hard.
Remember, if you create a broad weight loss website, you can niche down into the keto diet in your content. On your crypto site, you can get into crypto tax accounting software, where instead of dating, you’d get into Tinder.
You can always niche down smaller.
The third mistake is when your niche’s search volume is too low.
Being in a low search volume niche means less competition. Well, most of the time. You’re still not going to rank in the left-handed arthritis niche, but if you do , there’s no search volume.
It’s like throwing a party and no one shows up.
But how do you find non-competitive niches with search volume?
You avoid the problem altogether by once again, building a broad website.
If you build a site covering a broad category of topics, you can get into as many micro niches as you want. And yes, each of them by themselves might not have much search volume, but you can cover dozens of them and the search volume starts to add up, or you can even start with a difficult niche on your site. If it doesn’t work now, that’s fine, it will eventually when you
built up some authority.
Mistake number four is when you have no competitors at all.
What? Bro, what are you talking about, man? – Yes, I really meant that, you don’t wanna go when there’s zero competition.
Here’s some hard truth, unless you’re Elon, you’re probably not going be the first person to think about going into a niche. If no one is in your niche, it probably means there’s no money to be made.
What you need to do is Google your main keywords. Look for similar sites that you would want create yourself.
Competition is a good thing. It gives you a beacon to follow as you’re building your own project. Something to reverse engineer, as they’ve already done the right things to get them to page one.
On the other side of the coin, mistake number five is when you choose a niche that is too competitive.
You know you’re in a niche that’s too competitive when everyone ranking is a mega authority website that has a billion links. Google favors authority, and it’s going to be really hard to compete against these sites as a beginner.
My suggestion on how to deal with this is just a niche down a little bit more.
The fact of the matter is that the big guys really only target the big high volume keywords, and they’re going for your typical Amazon affiliate products. So dodge them.
Either go for more micro niche keywords or do some non-Amazon stuff, for example, SAS or info-product reviews.
To stay on track as you setup your affiliate marketing business we recommend using our step-by-step checklists to keep you on track and to keep tabs on your progress and not forget important steps.
Mistake number six is targeting a, your money, your life niche, also known as YMYL.
Super critical niches that could affect someone’s life such as medical or credit repair are considered YMYL. Google gives them harsher versions of their algorithms, and that’s gonna get increasingly difficult over time. So unless you’re a seasoned affiliate marketer, avoid YMYL niches.
That said, I feel like there’s a super fine gray line when it comes to the definition of YMYL. I’m big time into the fitness and diet niches, which are definitely related to health. And while they’re definitely challenging, I still think that these niches pay back what you put in.
Which brings me to my next point, the seventh mistake I see people make is choosing aniche with a poor return on investment, also known as ROI.
Some niches seriously bring in a significant amount of income compared to the effort it takes to rank in them. Generally, technology niches are like this, especially laptop review sites and the like.
Identifying bad ROI niches takes a little bit of experience to identify, but don’t
worry, I’m going to tell you a trick later in this article to show you what I do to uncover bad ROI niches.
Mistake number eight is when your niche is only monetizable with a crappy affiliate program, such as Amazon associates.
Amazon’s commissions are garbage. Their highest category is only 15%, but most of the time people are in niches like furniture, home improvement and technology, when you’re only looking at 2% to 3%.
Additionally, they continuously slash commission rates. They’ve done it twice since I’ve been an affiliate marketer, and the last time was smack inthe middle of the peak of the pandemic.
They don’t give a doodoo about their affiliates. I’m very serious about this. On the bright side, there’s plenty of other affiliate networks to choose from.
Probably the best affiliate network I’ve ever worked with is Fanfuel.
If you’re in the nutrition and fitness niche, this is where you want to be.
They give you 40% commission rates depending on the product, and these commissions are lifetime. Meaning if you refer them a customer, you get a commission on that customer’s purchases for life.
Share-A-Sale is another great network with tons of products and it’s not limited to the health and fitness space, and they too have much tastier conversion rates than Amazon.
Mistake number nine is when you find a good niche but it’s getting less and less popular over time.
So no matter what you do, even if you do the best marketing on the planet,
you’re fighting a losing battle and your search volume will shrink over time. It’s like investing into a plummeting stock.
The solution here is to always run your niche ideas in Google trends.
Toss your main keyword into Google trends, and if that’s flat or increasing, then you’re good. But the trend is heading down, then you missed the boat.
Mistake number 10 is very similar, you found a trending niche, but it’s just a fad.
Certain niches may look like a good idea because there’s relatively low competition and everyone is hyped up and talking about the subject. But be aware because the hype could deflate if your niche is actually just a fad.
To avoid getting trapped into a fad niche takes a little bit of experience and common sense.
Diets are always fads. The Atkins diet, the paleo diet, the keto diet. They all peak and they all start to detrend eventually.
That said, I still do recommend getting in on fad niches and even diet and niches if you can get in at the beginning of the trend. I’ve made most of my affiliate money on the diet niche, so I’d be a hypocrite if I said to avoid it. But a lot of the times spotting a trend as a fad isn’t so obvious. Maybe we thought we’d be using fidgets spinners forever.
Now, mistake number 11 is going for a niche that requires frequent updates.
Some niches like gaming are super fast paced and dynamic. Different games are coming out all the time. A new graphic card comes out every week. If you want to be in a niche like this, you need to stay on the ball too, which is fine if you’re super passionate about the niche. But even if you are, a high maintenance niche is gonna affect your ability to scale.
My advice is to stay out of niches like these. Get into something more stable like knitting that probably hasn’t changed since the dinosaurs. I’m joking, don’t go into the knitting niche seriously.
The last mistake I’ll discuss before getting into the niche research hacks is getting into an expert niche.
Always remember that you’re gonna need to write or hire content producers to write for your website. If you’re in a super specialty niche like ballet or learning physics online, you’re gonna have a very hard time finding writers, especially a writer that’s okay with a 6 cents per word salary.
So unless you’re the writer yourself and you just really wanna write about the subject, hard pass.
Okay, we’ve gone over what to avoid doing and what to do instead. Here’s some outside the box niche research hacks that you probably never heard of before.
The first thing you need to know that when it comes to niche research, website marketplaces are your best friend. Just think about it, if a website is up for sale, in order to attract buyers, they need to be transparent about their website, their niche and their earnings.
Empire Flippers is a place where I typically go to both buy and sell websites.
The problem is, if you just went there to window shop, you need to put down a deposit in order to see listing details.
However, Flippa doesn’t require deposit to view their listings and
you can get exposure to plenty of good niches by getting acquainted with their
So what are you looking for when you’re going through these listings?
What constitutes a diamond in the rough niche?
First, look at the earnings. Does the niche make the money that you want to make on your next project?
Next, this is a great indicator for ROI, Look at the number of links a website has compared to how much money it makes.
This gives you a feel for how much you’ll need to invest to create your own site in this niche. You can also look at the volume of published content they’ve produced, another indicator of ROI.
My next suggestion for niche research is to simply ask your affiliate manager.
Whenever you sign up to a new affiliate program, make friends with your affiliate manager on day one, especially if they represent a network that covers multiple products. Now, I don’t mean that you need to become BFFs with them, but be on good enough terms to be able to call or email and ask them, “hey, we’re about to start a new project, can you tell me what products
and niches are doing well right now with SEO traffic”. No one on the planet knows niches better than affiliate managers.
If you’re still in search of new ideas, sit down and ask yourself, what websites do I just love? What websites do I read every day? What websites do I wish I owned myself? Then just make a similar website or go more niche than them, or better yet go bigger than them just making sure to look at what products they are recommending, because they’ve already done the hard work for you.