How To Find Your Niche
Affiliate marketing is very formulaic. In the simplest terms the affiliate marketing success formula requires you to:
- Choose a niche
- Build an audience around the topic(s) of your niche
- Share valuable information with your audience that they’re looking for on that topic
- Help them find solutions to their problems on that topic and get paid for doing so
There’s no doubt that if you screw up the first step (choosing your niche) you’re more likely to fail.
One of the biggest misconceptions in affiliate marketing is that all you need to do is follow your passions and the money will come. I’m sorry to tell you that in most cases that’s not true. If it was, I would be getting paid for lying in a hammock on an exotic beach somewhere sipping Mai-Tai’s all day! But that’s not reality.
Instead of simply following your passions look for a niche or market that people are already making money in now. If you find such a niche that overlaps with your passions that’s even better! You should, at the very least, have an interest in that topic and/or some level of expertise in that niche as well.
So How Do You Find Your Niche?
I’m going to show you various ways to conduct niche research. The traditional way which relies on your personal observation and a bit of legwork.
Find Your Niche:
- Start with your own interests, hobbies, or any area you have expertise or interest in
- Look for competitors. Competition is good since it means others are already making money in that niche. I’ll tell you several ways on how to do this below
- If you’re curious as to what the three most lucrative and evergreen niche categories are they are, in no particular order, money, health, and relationships. These are things that are on everyone’s mind every day thus people will spend money on improving each of them. You don’t have to choose one of these topics but they’re a good place to start. If you do choose one of these topics you’ll need to drill down into them since they’re quite broad and cover many sub-topics. For example: health => mental health => depression => postpartum depression. If you choose just “health” you’ll never get found because you’ll be competing with way too many big players
- Listen to other people. Have you ever spoken to someone at work or in a social situation and been blown away by their passion for a particular topic? Genuine passion is unmistakable and it is often a great indicator of a potential niche market for you to explore. But again, it’s not necessarily about your passion; it’s about what others are passionate about and spend money on
- Look for competitors. One way is to check out the magazine racks. If you really think about it, magazines exist to cater to specific niche markets. If that niche market isn’t lucrative enough to pull in profitable advertising dollars, it will fail. So your research has been done for you with magazines!
- Another place to find competitors is to check out Google. Are people paying for ads for keywords on your topic or niche? You can find out by Googling your topics and looking for ads (that are clearly marked as such) at top of the page or right sidebar of the search results
- Check Google Keyword Planner to see how many searches per month are happening for keywords in your niche
- Go visit the bookstores before they’re all gone. Barnes and Noble is still around (I think). Take a look at the number of books on a specific topic. Also take note of the labels on the shelves and the categorization of broad topics. There is a ton of data looking right back at you. Plus, you can find plenty of magazines there too
- If you’re targeting the affluent market look for unique, exclusive, and hard-to-find products and services. You’ll find many of these right here on my website
- If you’re targeting the low end of the market look for solutions to problems instead of vanity products. The key is to look for things that have to buy rather than want to buy. (i.e. anti-anxiety, weight loss, diabetes control, phobias, fears, etc). Look for a topic that gets people emotionally charged with either a pain, a passion, or a frustration
- Pay attention to TV commercials. Television is a trend-driven medium. Notice not only what they’re selling to you but the angle their taking to get your attention and act on your impulses. There is a lot to be learned here because companies spend a ton of money on television ads to get it right
- Drill down into your market for sub-niches. Go an inch wide and a mile deep. Are there opportunities to expand your market once you pick a topic? Are there multiple products and services for sale in this niche?
- Go to ebay.com and amazon.com to see what’s hot over there. Amazon has simple tools that allow you to browse by subject, popularity, sales, and even analyze trends with their “Movers and Shakers” feature. It’s been awhile since I was on eBay but I believe they have similar features to help you scoop up valuable niche data
- Focus on one niche to start with and become a go-to person in that niche or topic. Don’t be a “jack of all trades – master of none”
- Go to clickbank.com which is the holy grail of digital information products. I say that because they really are the largest and most profitable digital retailer in the world. Their marketplace is loaded with tens of thousands of products that you can sort by market, popularity, price, longevity, etc. If you’re not making money on Clickbank right now you need to get started… now
- Follow the money. Do a little digging around on Google for what people are spending money on right now. Go where the money is flowing and set up shop
- Is the market or niche sustainable? Following trends is good for some quick cash but will that money flow last in the long run? Think about what happened to Beanie Babies. That trend flamed out and many collectors lost thousands of dollars left with worthless “investment” dolls
- Specialized information is always good too. i.e How to tie flies for fly fishing; or how to care for bonsai trees
- Take a stroll over to magazines.com. This website is a wonderful resource for finding a ton of niche markets. The magazines are even broken down into categories and ranked by popularity. This is a goldmine folks.
- Listen to what people are bitching about. People like to complain about all the problems they have in life. It’s annoying yes, but it can also provide you clues to what problems people are looking to solve to help simplify their lives. If one person has a problem, it’s likely that many other people share that problem. Think of it this way, wherever there is a problem, there is an opportunity. Solve it for them and make money. Then hang around to see what they will bitch about next.