Ok, so Affiliate marketing is one of the best online business models for beginners. Its simple when compared others. There are different ways you can go about it but the 4 step process that it can be broken down into include 1) choosing an interest, 2) build a website around that intereste, 3) drive traffic to the website, and 4) earn revenue by promoting other people’s products.
Its simple but hard at the same time. The first thing I notice people have trouble with is choosing an interest that their website will be based around. You need to choose a niche.
A niche is what your target market segment is going to be. It will be what your website is based around. So if you like dogs you could go into the dog niche and target dog owners. You can do this with anything and the massive amount of options out there is what makes this so hard.
Choosing a niche is probably the first roadblock that you will hit when it comes to this business model. I know it was when I started out.
So how do you find a niche? This is a big decision because this is what all of your content is going to be based around for your site. Choosing the wrong niche not only could make it very difficult for you to make any money, but it also could make it very difficult when it comes down to writing content in of itself.
There is not necessarily a right or wrong way to choose a niche. But the advice I am going to give you is based off of how I choose my niche. I know this works for me and I see many other successful people that seem to choose their niches in the same way.
So What Is The First Step To Choosing A Niche?
Brainstorming is going to be the first step. Even if you already have a niche in mind I would still suggest that you go through this… because who knows, maybe there is a better niche out there for you that you just haven’t thought of yet.
In order to brainstorm for niches I have come up with my own simple activity that is pretty effective from my experience.
1) LOOK around for your niche
If someone were to walk into your house they would probably be able to get a good idea of what your interests are just by looking around. And this is going to be your starting point.
I want you to start by simply looking around your house. This is a great way to get ideas for niches that interest you, but that might not come to mind. Our dwellings are often full of items that belong to potential niches that are important to us in one way or another.
Many of the items we have bought for ourselves, which would mean that for some reason we like those items. Those particular items weren’t just purchased on a whim.
2) List 10 Items That Are Important To You
10 isn’t too much to ask and I’m sure that pretty much everyone is capable of listing at least 10 items. These items can be ANYTHING in your house that you feel are important. Take not though, I said “that you feel are important”. I don’t want you listing a bunch of things that don’t relate to who you are at all.
Let me give you an example of what I would choose…
As I look around my kitchen I see my tea collection in the corner. Tea is very important to me. Green tea, Ginger tea, and all sorts of herbal teas. I love tea and this is definitely a potential niche.
Then if I walk through my living room I see a set of dumbbells. Thats because I love to workout, weight training in particular. And weight training is a massive niche that could be a great choice.
If I go into my bedroom I see a carving of a Buddha on my dresser. That is because his teachings interest me and play a role in my life. A niche related to this could be meditation.
And I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. I am not looking for things in my house that are boring and plain, such as a light switch. I am looking for things that are important to me and that I have an interest in.
3) Narrow It Down To 5
Now I just want you to pick the 5 of the 10 things that you feel interest you more and are more important to you than the others. There is no right or wrong answer to what ones you keep and which you don’t.
This all depends on who you are and what you like.
Narrow The Niche Down If You Have Too
Now that you have 5 potential niches, its time to look at each one individually and see how narrow they are. And what I mean by narrow is “specific”.
When I choose a niche I don’t want it to be too specific, yet I don’t want it to be too broad either. I know there are people that do great jobs and make a lot of money focusing on micro- niches that are very specific, but thats just not the way I do it and not how I recommend starting out.
The reason I say that you don’t want to choose a niche that is too specific is because you are going to run out of content to write about for your site.
If you choose a laser focused micro-niche like “instant ginger tea”, you will probably run out of ideas to write about pretty fast. But you could always take this idea and open it up to a more broad niche. So you could broaden it to be “morning brewed beverages”, which would include coffee and tea, and maybe some other brews that are commonly consumed in the morning.
With a larger niche like morning brewed beverages you could write not only about tea and coffee, but also about all the different brewing systems that are out on the market.
But then of course you don’t want your niche to be too broad. Your niche website is going to be for a certain group of people, which is essentially what a niche is. It is a market segment of people.
So if you are going to be talking about coffee and tea, you probably shouldn’t be talking about whiskey and liquor. These two audiences wouldn’t necessarily go together.
So with those examples in mind, I want you to go through each of your niches that you listed and either narrow or expand them. Again, there is no right or wrong answer for this. And if you are unsure of whether yours is too narrow or broad, leave a comment below for me.
Make Sure That Your Niche Has Money Making Potential
With this business model there are lots of ways you can monetize your site. But 2 of the most popular ways, and the only 2 ways that I use, are affiliate marketing and advertising.
Advertising is nothing you need to worry about. You can do this pretty much no matter what on any site. So this isn’t a limiting factor when determining your niche. But affiliate marketing is.
With affiliate marketing you are promoting products within your content. For example if you write a review on a Keurig coffee maker, you can put a link in it so that people can buy it on Amazon, and you will be paid a commission for referring them to buy it.
For you to be able to monetize your site via affiliate marketing you need to make sure there are products in your niche.
Using my of the niche of “morning brew beverages” there are lots of products. There are hundreds of coffee brewers, tea brewers, tea bags, different coffees, mugs, thermoses, etc.
For each of your niches you need to make sure there are products that are related to them. Chances are, there probably are, but if not then I would suggest staying away from those niches.
Another test of profitability
Another great way to see if a niche is profitable is to look in magazines. Go to your local Walmart and take a look in the magazine isle.
If there is a magazine focused on (or related to) the niche in mind then there is definitely some serious money to be made in that niche. If companies are willing to publish magazines about it then they are profiting from it.
This isn’t a surefire way to find a profitable niche because not all profitable niches have magazines about them. But if there is a magazine about a niche then it is pretty much guaranteed to be profitable
Looking To The Future
It is very important to try to forecast the future of your niche.
Is your niche still going to be around in a month? A Year? 5 Years???
Some niches are what you could call “fads”. They pop up, are extremely popular for a while, and then disappear. These can be profitable in the short term. I am not saying that you should avoid niches like these forever. But when you are just starting out I would suggest that you do avoid them for now.
To see check on the popularity of your niches over time, you can use Google Trends, which is free to used.
Using it is simple. All you need to do is type in some search terms that are related to your niche. You are going to want to use search terms that apply to your niche as much as possible.
So sticking with my example, I could search the term “coffee machine” on Google Trends. This is just to give me a general idea of how popular things are in my niche.
As you can see from the screenshot I took below, this search term shows a steady increase over the past 5 years.
Here is a closer look for you…
And that is just one search term that relates to my niche. You can search as many as you want that relate to your niche and I suggest doing multiple just to get a better idea of the future popularity.
To me it seems that my “morning brew beverages” passes this test as I would have guessed. Its a niche that has been around for a while and I see no signs of it going away.
But like I said, be careful, because there are fad-niches that will come and go without notice.
Just to give you an example of a niche that you should NOT get into, check out this fad…
We all know what a selfie stick is right? Its one of those stupid sticks that you hold your phone with so that you can take your own picture. They are still around today, but I would still classify this niche as a major fad.
If you take a look at Google Trends and the search term selfie stick, here is what you see…
As you can see there was a major spike in late 2014 for this selfie sticks. They got insanely popular for a while, yet they have been dying off ever since.
This is a niche that you would not want to get into right now. If you would have got into this niche in early 2014, you could have rode out the major wave of traffic it got. But now its too late.
Ok, so the first thing I suggest when it comes to finding a niche is to do some brainstorming by looking around your house. There are many ways you can do your brainstorming, but I have found this to be very effective. Often you will realize niches that you are interested in that you wouldn’t otherwise think of.
I suggest that you come up with at least 10 possible niches using this method. After that take out the 5 ones that are of less interest to you. So now you have 5 niches that hopefully have your interest and that you know about, or would like to know more about.
After this you need to make sure your niches are not too broad nor too narrow. With the content you will be creating in your niche you want to target a specific audience, but you don’t want to be too specific where you will run out of content to create.
Then you will need to make sure that your niches have the potential to be profitable. The number one thing I look for here is the products that are in your niche. You are going to want to make sure there is a good range of products that you can write about and make money off of.
Lastly, you are also going to want to make sure that your niche’s future looks bright. You don’t want to get into a niche that is dying off and that no one will care about in the future. You want a niche that is going to grow preferably.
And that is it. Don’t rush this process. Choosing a niche is very important and is something that people rush into all too often. You are going to be spending a lot of time with this niche so make this count.
I hope this helps you out!