Okay, so here is the rub. There is no single or definable “Profitable Niche.” Asking for a single profitable niche would be like asking if there is a profitable car type or profitable movie genre. The truth is that profitable affiliate marketing relies on your content itself, and not the content or affiliate niche you choose.
There are several elements within your content that determine its niche affiliate success, they are:
- feature popularity,
- permanent popularity,
- transitional popularity,
- recurrent popularity,
- user engagement,
- user interest,
- organic user interest extension,
- organic tie-ins,
- and affiliate relevancy.
This article starts by defining and explaining all of these content factors. It then moves onto examples and methods regarding your content niche and how to find a profitable niche for affiliate marketing. Understanding the elements that affect your content will help you understand why the methods/examples in this article actually work.
The Content Elements That Make Any Niche Area More Profitable
It is not the niche area itself that helps you make more affiliate money. It is the content that you produce that creates the affiliate clicks.
Make no mistake, there are plenty of content principles, elements, and factors that draw in traffic, but they do not affect how profitable your affiliate niche is.
For example, sensationalism is a great way to get people to your website, but those same viewers do not click adverts. Another example is local news updates like school closures or the weather. These elements may draw people to your website, but those visitors will not click your adverts.
The elements/factors/principles listed below will ALL affect the type of traffic you receive and will affect how many affiliate link clickers you receive. Remember that your goal is not to attract traffic, but to attract the sort of traffic that clicks affiliate adverts.
Here is an explanation of each of the principles that will help you make more affiliate money within your chosen affiliate niche.
There are some things always popular, such as news, entertainment, and health content. Going for evergreen content is sometimes a good way to earn affiliate money over the long term. Going the evergreen route still requires a lot of work over the course of years, you cannot simply expect to load a website full of content and then sit back and watch the money roll in because that is not how it works.
Pop media, video games, celebrity news, Woke media content, and many more types of content are transitional. They move from one subject to another like the pendulum on a ticking clock and are often semi-related to each other. They are sometimes semi-evergreen. For example, they kept remaking the Freddy Kruger movies, which made reviews of the original movie take on a transitional popularity. This is because every time a new Freddy movie came out, content about the original movie became popular again.
Think in terms seasons, from winter to spring, or holiday seasons, or even sports seasons. Even things like World Cup and Euro Cup soccer become popular every four years. Things like video game bug fixes and game-breaking are often recurrent, especially now that people are happy to re-buy 20-year-old games. Targeting recurrently popularity content is a gamble because your content is ignored for most of the year(s), but it often leaves you poised to take the top spot when the popular topic comes around again.
How much does your audience actually engage with your content? For example, outside of social media, having a website that features just funny photos is not a money maker because even though people love the content, they are not engaging with it and ergo have no reason to move on to the adverts surrounding the images.
User interest is sometimes an extension of user engagement. For example, the user may be engaged in admiring your shed and how you built it, and that same person may show interest in finding out which tools you used, how much the tools cost, and so forth. Engagement and user interest are similar. Think of it this way, if a viewer enters your website with a question in mind, and your content answers the question, then that is user engagement. If your content prompts or answers further questions, then that is user interest.
Organic User Interest Extension
Going back to the shed example, the shed builder used a tool, and the viewer organically clicked an advert for that tool to see how expensive it was. An “Organic user interest extension” may be to add extra content about the tool. So instead of the viewer clicking the tool advert, the user clicks your article on your top five reviews of that power tool, and then have affiliate adverts for each tool you review.
Good Amazon affiliate websites are classic examples of organic tie-ins. This is where you discuss a product and then give links and adverts so people can buy it. Do not just opt for review websites, there are many ways you can suggest products with a variety of types of content without having to go down the review website route.
Probably the biggest problem with annoying affiliate adverts is the affiliate relevance. People think that if they have a popular website, then they can put high-priced adverts on their website, like car adverts, and make a fortune. When in fact the affiliate adverts have nothing to do with the content in hand or the users that are viewing it. Target demographics are important, but so is the relevancy of the content. For example, just because your content attracts rich viewers doesn't mean your affiliate adverts will sell high ticket price items unless the adverts themselves are strongly related to the content on your website.
8 Ways to Find a Profitable Niche
Below are actual examples of websites that have made money from affiliate advertising. Now that you understand the principles listed above, you will see how and why these examples worked. As a result, you should be able to come up with your own content niche, affiliate niche, and content strategy.
1 – Websites That Fail to Break Into the Big Time
You can probably name the biggest websites. They do not need to rely on affiliate advertising because they make most of their money from business donations and paid sponsorships. However, there are many affiliate-powered websites that make it through simply because some of their content resonated with viewers and acted as a gateway to the rest of the website.
Any long-time blogger will tell you that it is a single article that is super popular and that drives the rest of their website's popularity. Some people incorrectly call this their cornerstone content, but that is not the way it works. What happens is that you create a high number of simply fantastic pieces of content, and then see which draws the most attention. You then promote that piece of content with backlinks, social media mentions, and so forth.
In these cases, you are relying on feature popularity to drive traffic and clicks to your content. This means you can pick a popular or broad niche if you wish because your content marketing method stays the same no matter which niche you choose. For example, NerdWallet and eCheck.org simply chose “Finance” as their niche, and they are powered simply by affiliate advertising and nothing else. This is due to them having several high-performing web pages.
2 – The Woman Who Made Money Reviewing Kitchen Taps
A woman set up what is now considered a traditional Amazon affiliate website. She went over all the taps that she could find on Amazon and she reviewed every single one, including new pictures and YouTube videos. If new products were added on Amazon, she would review them and put them on her website.
She would then link back to the taps using affiliate links to Amazon. Where this doesn't seem like a popular enough niche or even a niche with enough user interest, she did have one thing going for her. If you were looking for a tap on Amazon, and you went on Google to get a second opinion on the tap, her website was bound to turn up on page one or two. Her website targeted people who had already decided to spend money on a tap and who were simply Google-ing a second opinion. As you can imagine, these are the perfect type of target audience that turns many types of unexciting content areas into profitable niches. To reiterate, people were not visiting her website to find taps, they were visiting Amazon. However, when they wanted to do more research into the taps they chose, they went to her taps website.
Even popular niche areas have their areas where you can dominate. Take the example of cheap indie horror movies that you can find kicking around copyright-free on torrent websites. You look up reviews of them, and you find a poorly produced YouTube video exposing the merits of this terrible indie movie. There are websites that have taken advantage of this and post reviews for said movies. People visit, they read the review, they then see the other content, and they end up clicking a movie link for a far superior movie. Indie horror websites do not make their money from affiliate sales for the crappy indie horror they review, they make their money from the more popular blockbuster stuff they affiliate link to.
The point is that no matter how oversaturated a niche area is, there is still room for you to squeeze in. You simply have to do it by starting with the more unpopular and unknown stuff, and then move your visitors on to your content that invites affiliate clicks.
3 – Most Gaming Websites Ever Have Transitional Popularity in Their Corner
When it comes to transitional popularity, gaming websites are the king. They feature content that is poured over for months and even years by loyal viewers. This is because games are very popular as they are released, and then a few weeks later after many reviews, and then there is a slow burn until the next discount season, at which point the game is popular again. Content around these games sees a similar pattern of popularity, which often peaks again as it transitions into the release of that game's sequel.
One may say that you need to keep your affiliate adverts very targeted if you want to make the most of transitional popularity, but that is not always the case. For example, female demographics who are interested in celebrity summer fashion may be just as interested in hair care, discount lingerie, efficient cars, and so forth. Content that is transitionary popular often has several offshoots you can exploit.
4 – When Stupidity Goes Full Circle
(Permanent Popularity/ Evergreen)
Exploiting full-circle stupidity is not easy. A good example of full-circle stupidity is the movie “The Lobster.” If people were able to appreciate the movie as a piece of quirky nonsense, a bit like a Fast and Furious movie, then that would be fine. However, the Lobster movie is just stupid and pretentious enough to convince intellectual people that it has meaning and a point to make. Like seeing the face of Mary in a burnt piece of toast, intellectuals misinterpret something stupid by overthinking, thereby causing other people to question if that was not the intention in the first place (aka. full-circle stupidity).
You can use full circle stupidity to drive affiliate sales through your own influence. At the very least, it may help you find a profitable niche. Here are a few examples of full-circle stupidity that they are brilliant.
A kid wrote a successful blog post about how if you use seven sheets of toilet roll when you wipe your bottom, then no germs will ever reach your fingers. This is such a dumb thing to write, and yet seems almost logical if you approach it without any form of critical thought. The full circle stupidity came when he sold hundreds of dollars' worth of ultra-thin ultra-cheap toilet roll through affiliate sales. The logic became, if you are going to use seven sheets per wipe, then it is best to buy thin and cheap sheets of toilet roll. The notion is so dumb that it is brilliant, and it worked to make him a lot of affiliate money.
Somebody made millions selling pet rocks, and somebody else went bust trying to sell camouflaged golf balls. So, consider the woman who made hundreds with affiliate adverts pointing to dog water purifying devices. Her website was chock full of health advice for humans. It included everything from the benefits of coconut oil to omega 3 tablets. However, rather than hosting adverts to the products for humans, she set her affiliate adverts to point to dog products with the same ingredients. Her most famous success was her mini-series on water pollution and water filtration, each having adverts for dog water purifiers on them. So popular was her promotion of said products that she even had the products mentioned by the comedian “Larry the Cable Guy,” as well as promoting a section of speaker Eban Pagan's business course. She hit upon the idea that where people may not believe whatever health advice you give them, they will still invest money in the same faulty ideas if it is for their beloved pet. So, where they may look at filtered water with a sceptical eye, they will pay to filter their dog's water. It is circular stupidity at its most rectangular.
5 – Driven By a Question and Sold on a Need
Take the example of the websites that offer the lyrics to a song. Somebody thinks of a song or hears a bit of it, and they Google a few words from the song. A website featuring the lyrics of the song shows up. The user looks at the lyrics, figures it is the song, and then follows the affiliate links to buy the song.
The same has been done by recipe websites that target people hunting for a certain ingredient, and then sell them on products that they can buy through affiliate links. For example, somebody looking to use up the last of their garlic may look up a garlic recipe on a website, see a recipe featuring a bread maker, and then click the affiliate link to the bread maker website.
Websites like Price Spy and Credit Karma are doing a very similar thing. They are targeting people who are already searching for a product and then offering them content about the product and an affiliate link to where they can buy that product.
6 – Exploiting Seasonal Issues
There are plenty of websites that host recurrently popular content, such as those that deal with Christmas and Easter. However, the best examples of this are the online trashy mags. These are online magazines that feature nothing of genuine intellectual content but do offer giddy and vicarious thrills and stories for people who are not looking to get invested in a story too deeply. It is easy reading at its best, and they feature articles such as “How to keep cool in Summer” and “Top 10 organic allergy cures” and “Adele is at it again.”
Where do people make money from affiliate adverts in these cases? They feature click-bait affiliate adverts with titles like “You won't believe what Macaulay Culkin is doing now” and “These Top 3 Fruits May Save Your Life.”
The people reading online trashy mags are not dumb or silly. They are often tired from a hard day's work or a day of caring for kids. They are too tired to concentrate, so they consume easy-reading trashy content, which makes them the right type of person to click on click-bait affiliate adverts.
7 – Mostly Every Amazon Affiliate Website Ever
(Organic user interest extension)
A typical Amazon affiliate website features reviews of Amazon products. Predictably, the review website says that all the products are great and encourages people to buy said products through the Amazon affiliate links. The viewer is supposed to read the reviews, click the advert and buy the product so that the website owner receives an affiliate payment.
Amazon affiliate websites work, albeit not as well as many people claim. They work, but people are well aware that your reviews are phoney and are only there to get them to click the adverts. However, there are many people who have already decided to buy a product and are simply visiting your website to further justify to themselves that they did all the research that was required so that they need not feel guilty about buying the product. In those cases, your viewer may well choose your advert as the portal to the product he or she wants.
If you want to narrow this down into a better “Organic user interest extension” area, then you break up your niche into other areas. For example, you have a tools website. Not only should you write content on the “Top 10 drills,” you also have links to your other articles about the:
• 10 Best Drill Bits
• 10 Best Drill Screwdrivers,
• The 10 Most Powerful Drills
• The 10 Cheapest Drills
• And So Forth…
You take what the user is already interested in, and you expand it and create content through that expansion. Then, as is probably obvious, but you also put your affiliate adverts into your content where appropriate (e.g. 10 cheapest drills has ten affiliate adverts for very cheap drills).
8 – The Drier Repair Website
Pick a niche where you can organically tie in your affiliate adverts. It is tricky but is possibly one of the most efficient and profitable methods on how to find a profitable niche.
Take the example of the website that choose “Spin Drier Repair” as the niche area. That person did a fantastic job of showing diagnostics for each drier issue, from it shorting out to it making a knocking when turned on with a full load. The website also showed exactly how to fix your problem at home with just the tools in your house.
Then, as a brilliant and very profitable tie-in, the website offered the very replacement parts you needed via affiliate adverts. For example, the drier turns on and hums but doesn't start going, the website shows how to identify this problem, and how to fix it by showing how to replace a capacitor. At the bottom of the video/article, there are affiliate adverts for the very capacitor the viewer needs. As you can imagine, the viewership is very low, but the sheer weight of people who click the affiliate adverts and then buy is extraordinarily high.
If you are working hard and finding niches that relate to your personal knowledge (be it technical or otherwise), then try to veer towards niches where you can create organic tie-ins using your affiliate adverts.
9 – Where YouTube Influencers Are Getting it Right
If organic tie-ins are the golden goose of niches in the market, then user engagement related niches are the worst and hardest. To put it mildly, you need to create niche content that engages the user to such an extent that they will click your adverts. This is no easy task.
YouTube influencers have started hosting adverts to speciality products based on their video brand. For example, you can get a shirt or a mug with the YouTube video personality's brand or catchphrase. Viewers are engaged enough with the content that they will click and buy the products through the affiliate links.
Getting user interest and engagement is not super difficult, but it is difficult to tie it into whatever affiliate advertising you have going on your website. Currently, it is personality-driven niches that seem to dominate in the area of user engagement and affiliate performance.
Bonus Round – Easy Picking and Low Hanging Fruit
Since you probably visited this article with the hopes of finding a few easy marketing niches for your affiliate website, here are few pieces of low hanging fruit. The things you have learned in this article will help you pick a better niche and content strategy, but if you are looking for easy answers, then here are baby's first affiliate niche areas.
Modern cars are becoming too difficult to fix at home because you need a brand approved computer to interface with the car. However, motorbike repair is still pretty easy at home, and people will click affiliate links for spare parts and tools.
As given in the example earlier, a washing machine is very difficult to take apart and fix, but driers can be fixed using most of the tools you have lying around the house. It makes for very lucrative affiliate clicks if you can drive the correct type of traffic.
There are epic numbers of online grocery shoppers looking for food ideas and all they can find is poor quality recipe websites and Pinterest. This is an area where niche businesses seem to fail, and independent producers do relatively well. Well-crafted and well-thought-out food idea content will smash your competition because even though your competitors are very numerous, they are also terrible at creating good well-thought-out content.
Things to Help You Play With a Baby
People want ideas on how to play with their babies. When you have drawn them in, there is a whole range of things they are willing to buy, and a whole range of affiliate adverts they are willing to click.
Start an online business selling rodent toys, and you will struggle. However, host a website for pet owners and have rodent toy affiliate adverts, and you will do well. For some reason, people like looking at what they can buy their hamster/gerbil/rabbit/etc. but are not too keen on paying the over-inflated prices (so opt for PPC affiliate adverts).
Anything Pigeon, Reptile, or Insect-Related
This is one of those areas that is very under-served. There are high-quality websites on dogs, cats, horses, etc., but websites for pigeons, reptiles and/or insects/arachnids are pretty poor quality. If you can create top-quality content and offer organic tie-ins with your affiliate adverts, then it is like printing your own money.
Just like food ideas, there are thousands of online shoppers looking for gift ideas. Even a poor quality effort will get some traction. The only downside is that you need to be a fairly active blogger or website uploader to maintain your appeal. Plus, it is tricky getting people to subscribe, join your email newsletter, or come back for more.
Final Thought – What About Niche Saturation
You are going to run into people who say a profitable niche is a dream, and that niche market areas are at saturation point. To which you should reply, “Okay,” smile politely, and then get on with your life.
Even if market niches could be saturated, it wouldn't matter because you are only judged by the quality of your competition. After you have picked your niche, based on the many lessons you learned from this article, take a look around at what will be your competition. Even areas with high competition, such as news sites, entertainment sites, review sites, etc., are still pretty crappy.
The quality of the content your competitors are providing is pretty poor at the best of times. Even if you pick a high-traffic high-competition niche, all you have to do is make your content slightly better than the epic amounts of crap that clogs up the Internet.
Pick a niche based on the lessons you have learned in this article about content creation, and do not let silly ideas like “Niche saturation” and “Too much competition” shy you away from your niche area choice.