Are you making the one big mistake that can stop you from getting rich in affiliate marketing? That mistake is being a “generalist.”
A generalist tries to sell products to a broad audience. When you cast a wide net, you make it harder to target your scattered audience with offers.
Niche marketing is the solution.
In this guide, you’re going to learn what that means and how to find a niche market/product you can serve. You’ll also learn the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing niche marketing as your central strategy.
Niche Definition: What Is a Niche Market, Exactly?
A niche market is a market segment identified by a unique set of needs or preferences. These needs may follow from the purchaser’s budget, location, interests, attitude toward the product, or other factors.
Customers in these narrow markets typically have more brand loyalty to businesses because they have unique needs that aren’t served by the rest of the market. That can make them a more receptive target audience for your chosen niche product.
Niche markets are everywhere in online commerce. Nearly every market you can sell to has several that appeal to a narrow, but enthusiastic, segment. Let’s dive deeper into some examples.
Niche Market Examples
It’s not hard to recognize a niche market when you understand what you’re looking for. As an example, here are a list of markets, and some niche market examples in them that do a healthy amount of business:
Health & Fitness
- Muscle gain
- Weight loss
- Large dogs
- Large dog toys
- Large dog nutrition
All the examples in this list of niches are included because the product or service they involve meets a more specific need than the rest of the market.
That’s just the beginning. You could niche down even further. For example, you could focus on a specific breed of dog or manufacturer of electronics.
What matters is understanding and serving your niche..
Bodybuilders are a very different target audience than weight watchers. Making either one of them your target market is going to require you to promote different products, and approach your marketing differently.
These niche site ideas have made quite a few people rich, but they aren’t necessarily right for you. Let’s look at how you can find your niche market products.
How to Find Your Niche Market
Now that you know how to define a niche, it’s time to start looking for one.
Finding the right niche market can be complicated. It’s personal and has a lot to do with your unique talents. There is a right way to go about choosing your customer base and niche product. I’ve laid out a process below that can speed it up.
I’ll start with four steps that can point you to your niche and explain each one in more detail.
- Start with your interests
- Research the niche
- Research the customers
- Test, acclimate, and adjust
1. Start With Your Interests
Having an interest in your niche market is a natural advantage because enthusiasm is a powerful tool when you’re selling anything.
It motivates you to learn more and gives you a personal insight into what your readers want and which businesses they trust. That means it will be easier for you to answer questions like:
- What problem can I solve for my niche?
- What do I understand about this niche market that my competitors don’t?
- What need can I meet that other businesses can’t?
- Who is my ideal reader in this niche?
Trust me when I say:
If researching a product bores you to your core, you won’t compete at the same level as the other businesses trying to promote those products..
2. Research the Niche
You need to think carefully about any niche market before you enter it. It can help to understand where to search in the first place. When you’re exploring, you also want to know what to look for and avoid.
Where to Find One
Starting with your interests, you can begin researching niche markets and the businesses that sell in them. There are three primary sources that you can use to begin your search.
- Online marketplaces: Flippa, Empire Flippers, and other online website brokering businesses can offer you insight into which ones are worthwhile.
Check out the cost of various sites to determine what building in a niche market might be worth. You can also list out the most valuable sites so that you can research them later. The most valuable sites are the ones that are most worth reverse-engineering.
- Affiliate networks: Joining (or even just browsing) an affiliate network will help you understand what has the most in-demand products. A lot of offers with generous commissions means you’re on the right track.
- Local affiliates: Consider taking a high-competition niche market and localizing it to create some room for yourself.
Once you’ve determined what’s viable, you should consider what to look for in a niche, and what you should avoid.
What to Look for in a Niche:
- Profitability: Look for excellent affiliate commission potential. You should be able to find product or service offers with either high commissions (10-30% per sale), or recurring arrangements that let you collect on your sales for years.
- Rankability: How well can you rank a website in the niche? To find out, examine keywords in the niche. If the keywords are high competition, you know that it will be a pain. Focus on ones with low and medium competition keywords, particularly at the start.
- “Oh Shit” Urgency: Niche markets that meet an urgent need are great. These have a high impact on people’s lives—the things that make them say, “oh shit, I need to make a change.” Weight-loss, dating, and certain non-life-threatening medical issues (like snoring) are excellent examples.
What to Avoid in a Niche:
Particular niches are more difficult for a variety of reasons. You should try to avoid the ones that are:
- High-maintenance: Avoid any niche that may change rapidly due to technology, fads, or other issues. If you need to update your website frequently to catch up, that’s lost time you could be using to build something more significant.
- Low-cost products: Cheaper products are often developed with meager margins. They’re rarely lucrative for anyone except those who have massive networks to move products at scale.
- YMYL sub-niches: Your-Money-Your-Life is a subset of “oh shit” niche markets that involve financial advice or acute (for example, pain control) medical treatment. Google audits these niches with live searchers, and they aren’t the only ones. Regulators and industry associations also take an interest in these niches, and violating rules could open you up to legal problems.
3. Research the Customers
At this stage, you’ll have found some strong niche markets that have potential. Now, you need to understand the motivations of the customers in that market.
The keyword research you did while estimating rankability will also be helpful here, but there are some actions you can take beyond keyword research to find out what a particular niche market customer is like and what they want.
- Research what works for your competitors: Track down the niche’s biggest sites and look at what they have in common. You want to find ways to do better, but you should also be taking inventory of what’s working already.
- Go to their communities: Take advantage of forums, Facebook pages, subreddits, and other online hangouts to learn about your customers. Take note of the features that excite them the most. Examine what benefits the top features offer to the niche market, and make sure to list out the terms they use to describe those features.
- Do personal interviews: Try to find and speak to an example of your ideal customer. Have a long conversation, and ask them any remaining questions you have about what motivates them to buy.
4. Test, Acclimate and Adjust
Even if you’ve done everything else right, testing is a necessity. You won’t know if you understand or enjoy a niche market until you’ve spent some time in it.
Keep track of the amount of time you’re using to get started and the sales that you’re making and the rate conversions happen..
If you aren’t accomplishing as much as you’d like, there are some steps you can take to adjust things without giving up all the work that you’ve already put in.
- Narrow the niche market down even further: Success may be a matter of targeting an even smaller niche. If a certain kind of topic is driving all of your conversions, consider dedicating your site to that topic alone.
- Focus on your best traffic source: If one source (such as a specific social media site or SEO) accounts for most of your traffic, double-down on serving that traffic, and invest in improving that source.
- Improve your conversions: You can do well with a small amount of traffic if potential customers convert more reliably. If you’re still committed to a niche without a lot of traffic, clear the page of distracting elements and optimize your conversion rate.
What Is Niche Marketing?
Niche marketing (“nicheing” to some) is the name given to the marketing strategy of focusing on very specific niche markets. Is it worth it? That’s not an easy question to answer. You should consider the advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Niche Marketing
- Less competition: You can avoid competing with large retailer brands by focusing on only a narrow segment. Their advertising won’t target your customers directly.
- Sharper insights: Focusing on a narrow segment will give you more insight into that segment’s precise needs. This can allow you to become and position yourself as a specialist to certain brands.
- Launchpad into other niche markets: Gaining credibility in one niche market can easily launch into other niche markets. For example, if you rock the pet food niche, you can quickly build, network, and promote sites that focus on pet toys or training classes.
Disadvantages of Niche Marketing
- Smaller markets: By definition, niche marketing serves a small segment of one market. The segment gets smaller and smaller as you refine your market down. Brand loyalty in these markets can work against you if your product isn’t popular yet.
- Harder to find advice: It can be harder to figure out how to create a niche website. Most of the easy-to-find guides online focus on general advice. You may end up finding weird niche marketing tips on the second or third-page results.
- Vulnerable to market changes: Sudden changes in the market can sink a niche overnight. Remember fidget spinners? Moviepass? Many affiliate sites were named for these products,…