If you’re a marketer, in a marketing-adjacent field or simply looking for ways to earn money online, you’ve likely gotten wind of the earning potential of affiliate marketing.
Many people think of affiliate marketing as a way to make money while you sleep. A lazy way to keep your bank account flush while you plug away at whatever your day job is. Insert a few links to products into your personal blog and call it a day.
Unfortunately, there’s a little more to it. For one, you’ll need to find an affiliate marketing niche that makes sense for you.
You will have to know what you are writing about and who you’re writing for. Also any problems your target audience might have that you can help them solve.
In this post, I’m sharing tips to help you find your niche.
First, Understand How Affiliate Marketing Works
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning an income on commission. So, say you set up an affiliate relationship with a company like Amazon. You’ll plug in links (as naturally as possible) to camping gear or eye creams or televisions–whatever. Every time someone clicks on your links and then buys a product, you’ll get a small percentage of that sale.
You are functioning as an advertiser for a company and facilitating a sale. You’ll need to be a good storyteller, salesperson, and copywriter to pull this off.
Ultimately, you only get paid if your marketing efforts are effective. Finding an affiliate marketing niche that works for you demands that you’ll be able to sell products on behalf of your partner company.
How Do You Find an Affiliate Marketing Niche?
This may be obvious, but the best niche for affiliate marketing is one you are already passionate about. You’re going to be far more effective promoting products that align with your philosophy and set of values. Here’s the thing – even if you’re just writing online, a genuine interest in a topic, even if you don’t have a Ph.D., really shines through.
Consider your hobbies and areas of professional expertise. These are the spots where you’ll find the best fit.
There are a few more things you can do to whittle down your affiliate marketing niche criteria.
Find a topic you can write about multiple times a week. This means you have new things to say, an angle of your own, and genuinely get joy from following the happenings within this space. Again, it needs to be something that you find interesting.
Your niche should be something that easily fits into an authoritative website. And finally, your site needs to be able to fit affiliate links into content naturally. Stuffing links or forcing awkward anchor text into the mix isn’t going to cut it.
Get the Pulse on What’s Hot
Take advantage of the countless marketing tools available these days. Google Trends, Buzzsumo, and others come with analytics that helps you figure out what’s trending.
This way, you can base at least a good portion of your blog posts on the things people want to learn more about.
Now you don’t want to simply chase after the next hottest thing – think of all the brands out there awkwardly using phrases like “woke bae,” et al.
But you need to keep up with current events, changes in your niche, and learn about the products that people are interested in. The extra effort gives you an edge over your competitors who don’t use all the available tools.
When you start to get better at spotting new trends, you can start to anticipate what your audience really wants to know. Take those topics and dive deeper, learn what people are asking, and in time, you might become a trendsetter yourself.
The next step is to promote those “hot items” on your own blog, using high ranking keywords.
Speaking of Keywords
Like any content marketing, keywords play a major role in how Google views your website. To find the right keywords, you should look at Google AdWords’ keyword planner
Start by searching for new keywords to get search volume data. You’ll see a whole list of data, monthly search volume, competition, and suggested bids.
The higher the cost-per-click and the steeper the competition, the harder it will be to rank for keywords. If you’re blogging in a vague affiliate marketing niche – i.e., searching for terms like “healthy eating ideas,” the competition will be pretty stiff.
Instead, consider employing long tail search terms like “convenient meals for vegans” or “low sugar apple pie recipes.” This narrows the scope and helps you find the right people.
If you prefer you could use a keyword tool instead of the keyword planner. A good keyword tool will provide you with the number of searches per month, the traffic you can expect if you rank on the first page of Google and the number of competing websites for a particular keyword. There may be a small cost per month but it will save you time.
Authenticity Pays off in an Affiliate Marketing Niche
Think there’s no room for authenticity in affiliate marketing? Well, that’s a logical train of thought, but it’s also not entirely accurate. Sure, there are thousands of blogs stuffed to the gills with links that seem just a tad disingenuous, but there’s room for honesty even if you are taking a cut.
Back to the above point, if you’re passionate about a niche, reviewing and recommending products will come naturally.
We’d advise avoiding promoting products that you don’t feel good about. This means products that are low quality or contain ingredients or materials that go against who you are as a brand.
A vegan recipe website shouldn’t be reviewing products with considerable amounts of processed ingredients or trace amounts of animal products. The audience will find this site to be untrustworthy.
Since we’re talking affiliate marketing niches here, it’s wise to remember; we’re not thinking super broad.
A niche is a small part of a broader market, so playing into the hyper-targeted needs of a more selective group can help you make more money than going generally. Whatever your passion, there are sure to be countless products to promote within that space.
That said if you don’t have an existing blog or website and have yet to choose a niche, do some research before blindly picking something to write about.
You want to choose something you have a passion for, but also can write about in a way that addresses an existing audience. Solve problems, be approachable, and make sure your affiliate partners make sense.
Stick Your Links in Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is content that never gets old. Not only do you want to choose an evergreen affiliate marketing niche, but you’ll want to create several evergreen posts within that niche. Rather than current events and trends, evergreen content tends to remain useful even as time changes.
Evergreen content doesn’t always get the most clicks right off the bat. Instead, it’s more of a slow burn, and tends to be popular over long periods of time.
While there’s a lot of evergreen articles and blogs, delivering useful content on a regular basis and optimizing for SEO is sure to attract the right people over time. Just don’t expect to get rich on affiliate links overnight. Patience pays.
Some Products Work Better Than Others
In general, most people want to tap into their highest potential. They want to be more attractive, richer, more in control of their lives.
So with that in mind, there are certain niche areas that work better than others. Think nutrition and diet, weight loss, beauty products, and self-help apps or books.
So, if you have a blog that focuses on things like furthering your career or looking and feeling great, there are plenty of opportunities to cash in on the affiliate space.
Pair these certain items with genuine advice or a compelling narrative, and you’re sure to get some sweet affiliate dollars headed your way.
Additionally, things like pets, sports, and romance are consistently appealing niches, given their evergreen appeal. Basically, you’re in the clear if you’re not choosing a trend as a niche. Explore trends within established perennial niches, and you should do well.
Find a Program That Matches Your Affiliate Marketing Niche
Finally, once you’ve figured out an affiliate marketing niche that can work for you, it’s time to dive deeper and find a program with products to actually promote. It’s worth spending some time in the process.
Some of the bigger names include ClickBank, Google Affiliates, LinkShare and Amazon Affiliates, but there are several others, both large and small. Problogger offers a nice rundown of the bigger names in the affiliate space and can be a good place to start doing research.
Look at what the program provides. Find out if it helps you set things up, if there’s a support system for new affiliate marketers, or if you’ll be waiting days for a response.
Ready to Start Making Money?
There’s a lot that goes into finding the right affiliate marketing niche, but taking the time to do some research and choosing a niche that you truly care about are the first steps toward doing affiliate marketing the right way.
Obviously, there’s no easy solution for finding the recipe for affiliate linking success. But, great content, the right keywords, plus authenticity and products people want – well, that should just about do it.
Learn more about making money online. See how I started making a passive income myself through affiliate marketing and what I learned along the way.