How to Choose a Niche for Affiliate Marketing

What is a niche in affiliate marketing? A niche is a topic that interests a group of people. Just think if you had to write a research paper. Your main topic would be your niche because that is what you’re interested in writing about.

Back when I was in high school, my English teacher assigned my class this twelve page research paper (BLEH!).

 

When she asked me what topic I chose, I told her I wanted to write about crime. What aspects of crime I was I interested in? I rambled on about gangs and gun violence and drugs and how teenagers end up in jail.

 

She looked at me, bewildered, and said, “That’s too broad. You need to narrow it down.”

 

Of course I chose a broad topic! How else did she expect me to go on for twelve freaking pages? Her answer was, go deep not wide.

 

Instead of crime, I opted for juvenile crime. The topic was still too broad, so I wrote my research paper on causes of juvenile crime.

 

Likewise, when newbie affiliates select their niches, they sometimes fall into what I like to call the Research Paper Trap. They don’t know where to begin because their topic of interest encompasses so much.

 

Don’t fall into the Research Paper Trap! Dig deeper into your topic until you have a specific niche to write about.

 

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Not All Advice Is Golden

You now know to go specific instead of broad, but that’s only part of the equation. If you don’t have a definite direction in mind, choosing a niche can be tricky.

 

Over the years, I’ve heard a plethora of bad advice in regards to how to choose a niche.

 

  • “Just choose something you like.” OK, does that mean I should make “hot men” my niche? Seriously, don’t just pick a random thing you like. I’ll touch on this a little more in a bit.
  • “You can’t make money promoting X because it’s too competitive.” False. Almost every niche is at least somewhat competitive. Affiliate marketing training will show you how to get around this.
  • “You can’t make money promoting X because it’s not popular enough.” False. There is a market for almost anything you could ever think of. Affiliate marketing training will help you in this situation, too.
  • “Affiliate Alfred over there is making the big bucks doing X. Just do what Affiliate Alfred is doing!” Absolutely frigging not. One person’s opportunity is not everyone’s opportunity. Don’t chase after money when considering a niche.

 

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How to Choose a Niche for Affiliate Marketing

Since I had a hard time choosing a niche in the beginning, I’m going to talk about what worked best for me.

 

Choosing a niche isn’t an exact science, though, so I don’t want you to think that this is the only way. This is just my unique perspective.

 

If I had to start all over again, I would first find out what industry I wanted to work in, NOT what products I wanted to sell.

 

If you’re just starting out and you don’t know what niche you want to pursue, I advise you to look at what industry you want to work in. For example, if your dream is to own a restaurant that sells dynamite fish tacos, do something food related.

 

If you’ve worked in an office your entire adult life but you’re an avid tennis player, selling tennis gear might be your niche. After all, affiliate marketing isn’t just about making money- it’s also about building a knowledge base related to your industry.

 

When I first started affiliate marketing, I had no idea what industry I wanted to work in. My lack of direction in life made choosing a niche difficult.


I made lists of my hobbies and interests just like I was instructed to do, but I didn’t feel passionate about building a website around anything from that list.

 

The next list I made was a real game changer. I wrote down exactly what I wanted to get out of affiliate marketing. It looked like this:

1. Make a full-time income from my website.
2. Help people make money online.
3. Sell products that have been around for a long time; trustworthy.
4. No storing or shipping physical products.
5. Brand is based around me; my personality.
6. Sell products that are educational; teach a useful skill.
7.No boring, factual product reviews; get to use sense of humor

 

This list helped me to conclude that I needed to work in the Internet education industry because it met all seven of my requirements. Going off of this information, I decided to get my foot in the door to the affiliate marketing world by making referrals for Wealthy Affiliate.

 

It’s is a training program that educates people on how to use the Internet to make money. Today, I’m still happily promoting Wealthy Affiliate.

 

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Shiny Object Syndrome

You may have heard of shiny object syndrome before. That’s where you jump from opportunity to opportunity in hopes of finding the one that will make you rich. People do this a lot with niches.

 

Shiny object syndrome will ruin your chances of success because you’ll be a beginner at many things but an expert at nothing. Therefore, as an amateur affiliate marketer, it’s beneficial to find a niche that is a good fit for you and stick to products within your area of expertise.

 

When people around me found out I was in the Internet business, they invited me to sell products like makeup, clothing, jewelry, and weight loss supplements.

 

Those things have nothing to do with Internet education, so I politely turned them down. I don’t regret passing on those opportunities because a couple years later and I have real experience in one area- Internet education.

 

Today, all those people with shiny object syndrome are still hopping from opportunity to opportunity. Had they found a niche and stuck to it, they could have been fairly knowledgeable by now and had a thriving business.

 

Shiny object syndrome is a real problem among people who want to make money online, but you can avoid it by staying focused on a niche that is a good match for you.

 

Your Main Takeaways

  • What is a niche in affiliate marketing? A niche is a topic that interests a group of people. Building a website is akin to writing a research paper: you’re going to have to pick a topic and stick to it.
  • Don’t go super broad in hopes of creating more content. Narrow your niche down until you’re looking at something specific that you’d enjoy thoroughly researching and writing about.
  • How to choose a niche for affiliate marketing: start with an industry or career path you want to pursue. (This isn’t the only way to choose a niche, but it’s the way that worked for me.)
  • If you don’t know what career path you want to pursue, make a list of requirements you must have to be happy and select a niche that meets all those requirements.
  • Don’t focus on all the niches you could build a website around; focus on what niche you should build your website around. Only sell products/services that fall under your area of expertise/chosen industry.
  • Shiny object syndrome is a common problem where people jump from one opportunity to the next looking to get rich (but never actually get rich!). You will find more success in being an expert in one thing than being a beginner at many things!

 

Connect with Me

If you liked this post, please leave me a comment in the comments box below. It helps me out a lot! I’ll also leave you a couple links. One is to my Wealthy Affiliate profile, and the other is to a training resource so you can get your own website up and running.

 

If you need to contact me, please send an email to KalieTheBlogger@KalieSays.com. And, as always, thank you for reading!

 

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14 thoughts on “How to Choose a Niche for Affiliate Marketing

  1. Hi, thank you for this very interesting take on choosing a niche. It was one of the hardest decision that I have to make as well.

    May I ask you for advice? I have chosen Travel as the industry that I’m going to work with. It is indeed a very competitive area. Do you have any tips or tricks to be successful in the area that is very crowded?

    Thanks

    • Hello and thank you for your insightful question.

      If I was in the travel industry, I wouldn’t worry about how competitive it is because here at Wealthy Affiliate, we know how to find those non-competitive keywords. If you haven’t already signed up for a Jaaxy account, I would highly recommend it.

      I did a couple keyword searches for you, and it looks like “best places to travel in…” followed by any month of the year is fairly non-competitive. That’s 12 posts for you right there!

      I hope this was helpful! Take care,
      Kalie

  2. I think you hit some sound advice here – especially when you used the phrase, ‘go deep not wide’

    It really does sum it up when coming to choose a niche and a lot of people simply over complicate the process.

    I know one friend of mine who wanted to make his own business and he wanted a slogan for his shop. He was the same, over thinking and over complicating it for no reason!

    Think simple and do not let your mind wander to a wider scope, and you will find your niche!

    Your school teacher had some great advice 🙂

    Thanks for the information!

    Chris

    • Hi, Chris.

      Thank you for commenting. I wrote this post because despite all the material written on how to choose a niche, people still struggle with it. I hope many people read this post and benefit from it!

      Take Care,
      Kalie

  3. I just want to share my thoughts about competition. When I first started on my niche, everyone said that it is competitive but I push forth with my blog anyway.

    What I found out later is that the true competition lies on the keyword research level. If you can find low competition long tail keywords, your blog has better chance of being seen online.

    For me, that’s how you beat competitors when it comes to organic search and that’s where most people should focus at the beginning.

    • Exactly! You’re never going to find a niche that has zero competition. Anything you could ever think of or like or know about is a niche and has competition.

  4. My first niche was something I loved, but when I wrote about it, my inner perfectionist took over. Because of this little demon, it would take me weeks to write a single post or I would procrastinate because I wasn’t in the perfect mood for writing about it.

    After a year of struggle, I chose another niche, one I cared about, but not too much. Actually, I chose it because I knew I could easily write about it. I didn’t care if it was profitable or not. I just wanted to learn from the experience. And I have!

    • I happen to love my niche, but I’m not that much of a perfectionist. I used to feel bad about not caring too much, but now it feels like a gift. I just whip out a post, make a few corrections, and ask others if there’s anything glaringly wrong with it. It works surprisingly well!

  5. Hi Kalie

    This is a really useful breakdown of what to think about when picking a niche. I think if you are just starting out, it is especially important you pick something you can write about comfortably – if your post feels awkward to write, it’s going to be picked up by the reader…

    • I run into that from time to time. If it feels awkward, I know I haven’t done my research thoroughly enough. At that point, I just ask someone who knows more than me. Good comment, very relevant!

  6. Hello and thanks for sharing, your post is very awesome and filled with a lot of great information. I agree with what you say. Some people are a jack at all trades and a ace of none. In other words they know a little of everything and is not a master of none and so it is with finding a niche, stick with that niche and perfect it, in this way you will become and expert and a master of your niche. Thanks again for sharing.

    • I was a jack of all trades for a while, but now I am finally becoming an expert at building websites. Thanks for your insightful comment

  7. Hey Kalie:

    Thank you. Those are all very good pointers on how to choose a niche that you can make your own.

    I think one other thing is important: you have to LIKE writing about that niche…and you have to have something to say which isn’t just a repeat of what everybody else in your niche says.

    One cool exercise. Try to see if you can write 5 posts about your intended niche. Okay. Now write 5 more. Still going strong? Hmmm…maybe it’s time to start a blog. Now, write another 5. By the time you’ve repeated the five-post exercise six times, you will be pretty sure about your feelings about this niche you’ve selected.

    If you bomb out anywhere along the line, that’s okay. It just means that either you have to tweak the parameters of the niche (expand it so you have more stuff to write about, maybe, or refine it so that your posts aren’t all over the place).

    You can always choose a new niche that lets you recycle or repurpose the posts you’ve already done, you know.

    My own feeling is that rather than getting paralyzed analyzing it all, it might be a good thing to just start somewhere and grow it.

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