You’re going to hear the term “Find your niche” regularly as you delve deeper into the world of affiliate marketing.
If you’re not sure what a niche is then it’s basically a subset of a wider market.
For instance, hiking boots are a niche in the footwear market. Energy drinks are a niche of the food and drinks industry. Think of a niche as a subcategory.
So, in this lesson, we’ll take a look at some popular niches and ways of conducting some research.
If you have arrived on this page directly without reading any of the previous articles, then this post is one of a series of articles for affiliate marketing beginners. This article covers Lesson 4 of a series of 7.
Why research a niche?
Many affiliate marketers will tell you to focus on topics you know well or for which you have a passion. That’s all well and good, but if you want to make affiliate commissions, then the topic needs to have a target audience.
It makes sense to find that niches that combine audience potential with as little competition as possible. That’s where it pays to do some research in advance.
I read an amusing analogy where an author likened a niche without a target audience to building a beautiful hotel on the moon.
You don’t want to be spending a lot of time creating content only to find that there aren’t too many profitable products you can promote.
Popular subject areas
Health, Wealth and Relationships are generally considered the Big 3 “evergreen” categories to drill down into and find niches.
My own list is:
- Business, Jobs and Careers
- Finance, Wealth and Making Money
- Food and Drink
- Gambling and Gaming
- Health, Fitness and Nutrition
- Relationships and Dating
- Software Solutions
- Travel and Tourism
Of course, there are plenty of people marketing products and services outside of these niches and doing well at it, but make sure you do some research first.
You’ll need to look at keywords for your niche area to see the potential of where you can rank. Research should factor in the size of the potential audience and the level of competition.
What are Keywords?
Keywords are the ideas and topics that relate to your content. They are going to be important because that’s what people use on search engines to find content.
What are the best tools for keyword research?
Any of the following tools will do a great job for you:
By the way, tools of this nature aren’t just for researching the viability of a niche. It’s advisable to use them for checking keywords against every individual piece of content you intend to write. It will make a massive difference in the amount of traffic you’ll receive.
All the tools come with a free trial (except Ahrefs, who charge for the privilege). If you decide to upgrade to a full plan, then I’ll warn you that Moz and Ahrefs come with a hefty monthly price tag.
To demonstrate keyword research here, we’re going to use Mangools. Mangools is a suite of five SEO and Analysis products. It’s comfortably the cheapest of the tools we’ve listed but really powerful and arguably the most user-friendly.
Our Example Keyword Scenario
We’re going to call our example affiliate marketer Alf. Alf’s passions are fishing and travel and he’s decided to set up a blog for fishing trips. Geographically, he’s decided to zone in on Australia (his home country) as his target market.
Researching Keywords with Mangools
Alf is going to head over to Mangools and do some research. We’ve put a little video together on researching keywords with Mangools.
The information Alf gets from tool is:
- The top keywords for his niche
- A bunch of “LongTail” keywords he can target for increased traffic
- The level of competition
- Who are the competitors?
- How top competitors are getting high rankings
- The cost of paid advertising for key terms
How might Alf use this intel?
Alf can use the intel in any number of ways, but the information would be particularly useful in helping:
- Decide his niche area
- Defining the headlines and content, he is going to create on his blog
- Creating adverts
- Decide an advertising strategy and budget
- Create Headline Pins on Pinterest
- Analyse competitors
- Optimise his website for search engines
If you want to test out these reports for your niche, go ahead and create a free trial account on Mangools.
Other Research Tools
There are other research tools you might also want to try out to increase your understanding of the value of a niche.
A free tool from Google, Trends is useful for seeking out trending topics and comparing two different terms.
If you enter keywords in the search bar, Trends provides more than five years of data for that keyword.
Google Keyword Planner
With Google’s Keyword Planner (available within Google Adwords), you can find new keyword ideas for your Search Network campaigns that are relevant to your product, service and target customers.
The results will indicate the search popularity for specific keywords and phrases.
The autocomplete element of the Google search, known as Google Suggest is also a valuable tool in the Google prism.
If you head over to Google.com and begin entering a keyword, Google will make suggestions as you are typing.
The suggestions are useful as the aggregated data is from previous searches. It helps you get a feel for what and how people are searching.
I hope this helped provide some introductory tips on researching a niche. Feel free to give feedback or drop any questions in the comments below.
Ready for the Next Lesson?
In the next instalment of A Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing, we’ll take a look at how to start affiliate marketing with the focus on setting up a website.