How to Choose your Affiliate Niche in Five Easy Steps
Do what you love.
That’s pretty good advice to keep in mind when you’re selecting your affiliate niche.
After all, if you’re not passionate about the product you’re promoting and knowledgeable about the niche you are doing business in, it will show in your content.
If there’s one thing that consumers can identify from a mile, it is uninspiring content. And if your content is dull and superfluous, viewers are unlikely to be engaged by it, which in turn will translate into fewer sales.
That’s why picking an affiliate niche that you like and know is crucial.
Having said that, passion alone is not sufficient. You also need to make sure that there’s a demand for what you’re promoting. Otherwise, your knowledge will go unused and your product recommendations will remain unheard.
What else you must consider?
There’s one more thing you must take into account, and that’s competition. Picking a niche with an extremely high number of affiliate programs may not work to your advantage, even if that niche is known to you and is profitable.
For instance, fashion and travel are both profitable niches, but the latter has a fewer number of affiliate programs. If you are passionate about both, you may want to consider entering the travel niche solely because the competition is relatively less stiff there.
Once you get some experience under your belt, going for niches with the tougher competition will happen naturally. The infographic created, the result of the meticulous research done by Nick, the main technical expert behind the Hosting Tribunal, points out that many affiliates work with two or more affiliate marketing networks. That helps them promote different products and face various degrees of competition.
Still, for starters, your shortlisted niche should meet the following criteria:
- You must have interest and expertise in it
- The niche should be profitable
- Competition should be low
This brings us to the all-important question: How can you find such a niche?
Well, this is the time for this blog post to shine. We’ll show you how to perform:
- Niche search – How to check if the selected niche is profitable and what are your chances of beating the competition.
- Keyword search – How to identify the right keywords people are searching in the chosen niche.
So, let’s dive in.
Step 1 – Identify a Few Niche Ideas
Grab a pencil and paper and write down some niche ideas that you are comfortable with. There’s only one rule here: Don’t be too generic.
Let’s say you know a lot about Windows OS and Windows optimization tool niche interests you.
However, this is a very broad category. Instead of listing it, narrow down your selection.
Think about the need you are going to satisfy? For example, if you want to help Windows users who’re facing Windows driver-related issues, you can list the niche Windows Driver Update tool.
If you are targeting only Windows 10 users, you can further limit your niche idea to Windows 10 Driver Update Tool.
You need to list a minimum of 5 – 8 niche ideas because it is possible that some of them may not be profitable or have stiff competition.
Once you have the list ready, it’s time to move to the second step.
Note: For reference, I’ll be using the niche idea “Iyengar yoga props”.
Step 2 – Research your Potential Niches
You will need to do a little research here. Thankfully, tools like Jaaxy or Google Ads Keyword Planner can provide you with the necessary information in a matter of a few seconds.
Select the tool you want to use, enter the first niche idea, and click the search button.
In the search results page, check whether the selected niche idea has a minimum of 1500 searches a month. If the average monthly searches are lower than 1500, the niche is not very popular and hence not very lucrative.
In case your main niche isn’t profitable, check if other variants of the shortlisted keyword meet or exceed the cut-off mark of 1500 monthly searches.
For instance, if my main niche idea, Iyengar Yoga props have fewer than 1500 monthly searches, I will check whether other variations of my primary keyword, such as Iyengar Yoga India props, BKS Iyengar Yoga props, Geeta Iyengar Yoga props, etc., have at least that many monthly searches.
If yes, I’ll consider them instead.
When you are checking the monthly average searches for your listed business niches through a keyword tool, you should also note down other popular keywords related to them. This list will come in handy when you sit down to write blog posts and other content.
For example, If I find that along with my main keyword, keywords like Iyengar Yoga India props, Iyengar Yoga equipment, and Geeta Iyengar Yoga props are also frequently used to search for information related to the selected niche, I’ll note them too.
While writing content, I’ll target these keywords, besides my principal keyword.
Step 3 – Check Competition
Once you have the name of the niches that are reasonably popular, it’s time to check how competitive they are.
Again, you’ll need a tool to get this data. You can use the domain authority checker. It tells you the Page Authority of a webpage, among other things, at a single click.
At this point, you may be thinking, “What is Page Authority and how relevant is it?”
Page Authority indicates the ability of a particular webpage to rank in Google. A webpage’s Page Authority is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. The lower the score the lesser the rank of that page on the search engine.
If the top 10 results for your keyword in Google search have a moderate Page Authority score, there’s a good chance that you can rank your site on the first page of Google search result page relatively quickly by following good SEO practices.
So how can you know the Page Authority score of your competitors?
Run a Google search using a keyword. Now copy the URL of the first site on the results page. Paste it into the tool you are using for checking the Page Authority and press enter. If Page Authority is 30 or lower, things are in your favor.
Now repeat this exercise for the other 9 pages listed on the Google first search result page. In case, three or more ranked pages have a Page Authority of 30 or less, you have a strong possibility of achieving the first-page rank for that particular keyword.
Step 4 – Do Keyword Research
You must identify at least 10 keywords for your content.
You may already have noted a few while searching the profitability of your niche. Now you need to identify some more.
Open your keyword tool and enter a term or a phrase related to your niche and click the search button.
The keyword tool is most likely to throw substantially more results than 10, but every keyword in the list may not be worth targeting.
You need to pick keywords that online users frequently use to search for information. I recommend you not to bother yourself with any keyword that has fewer than 40 monthly searchers.
Another thing you must take into consideration is QSR, which stands for Quoted Search Results. It gives you a precise idea about the number of competition pages present in Google for a specific keyword.
I recommend you pick keywords with a QSR score of fewer than 400. The keyword tool Jaaxy gives you QSR and monthly searches for every keyword that appears in the result list.
Here’s an example to help you understand better.
When I feed my primary keyword Iyengar Yoga props, I get related keywords such as Iyengar Yoga equipment, Iyengar Yoga DVD, Iyengar Yoga New York, Iyengar Yoga book, etc.
I’ll sift through the list and pick at least 10 such keywords with a minimum of 40 monthly searches and a QSR of under 400.
Once you have noted 10 keywords with a minimum of 40 monthly searches and a QSR of less than 400 for every affiliate niche, you’re ready to jump to the last step.
Step 5 – Analyze the Collected Data and Choose your Affiliate Niche
You’re now ready to pick the most suitable affiliate niche. As you’ve got all the necessary information with you, this won’t take more than a few minutes.
Go through the data and pick niches with solid numbers (1,500+ searches, low competition) and at least 10 other keywords. Look at the niches that meet this criterion and choose the one about which you are most passionate and have the best knowledge.
I will use my example to make things clearer. Let’s say, this is how my list looks after research.
- Iyengar Yoga Props – 3000 monthly searches, 4 pages in top 10 results on Google search page with Page Authority of 30 or lower. 10 or more related keywords with monthly searches of 40 or more and QSR of 400 or less.
- Iyengar Yoga Equipment – 1800 monthly searches, 2 pages in top 10 results on Google search page with Page Authority of 30 or lower. 10 or more related keywords with monthly searches of 40 or more and QSR of 400 or less.
- Geeta Iyengar Yoga Props – 650 monthly searches, 5 pages in top 10 results on Google search page with Page Authority of 30 or lower. Eight keywords with monthly searches of 40 or more and QSR of 400 or less.
So, which one of these should I pick? Iyengar Yoga Props?
Yes, you got it right. This is the one I like most, and it has great numbers all around, too.
You should pick an affiliate niche that interests you, that is profitable, and has relatively less competition. With the help of the tips listed in this article, you can easily identify such a niche.