In this lesson you’ll learn how to find yourself a profitable affiliate niche. For those who don’t know, when I say “niche” I'm talking about the general theme of the products you’ll be promoting as an affiliate marketer. So if I were promoting products like dating guides on a dating-advice site, I’d be in the dating niche.
You can’t pick a niche just because you like it. Don’t get me wrong, liking your niche is a very good thing, but you also have to know it’s going to make you money.
The last thing you want is to spend a lot of time and effort building an affiliate website only to find that there aren’t many profitable products you can promote.
So that’s where you should start: Find a niche that’s already full of profitable products, so you know it’s possible to make money there.
The most profitable products to promote as an affiliate are usually digital offerings, such as e-books or online training programs; They often allow you to earn 50-75 percent of the sale, which you just couldn’t do with physical products like clothing or toys.
That’s why we’re going to look for profitable niches in ClickBank: It’s one of the largest affiliate networks full of digital products, it’s easy to navigate, and you can use the “gravity” filter to see which ones are selling well and which aren’t.
You can look at physical merchandise down the line if you want to, but for now we’re just looking to see which topics have a good spread of products that sell.
When you’ve made your way to the ClickBank marketplace, you’ll see that there are a lot of broad categories listed down the left-hand-side.
If you click on any of these categories you’ll see even more subcategories you can browse through.
Because there are so many options, it pays to just start with something that looks interesting. After all, the more interested you are in a topic, the more naturally motivated you’ll be to do the work.
For my example, I’m going to look at “Diets and Weight Loss” in the “Health & Fitness” niche.
At this time, I can see 396 products in the “Diets and Weight Loss” subcategory alone:
That’s a lot of products! And not all of them will be profitable high-sellers, so it’s time to cut the fat… Weight-loss pun not intended…
Set the minimum gravity to 6 to remove products that aren't selling well.
Immediately, this has cut out 333 products that aren’t selling. I’m left with 63 profitable products in this subcategory.
This insider tip is borrowed from AffiloBlueprint, which is our leading affiliate marketing training course. You can check it out to get even more detailed niche research strategies.
Some categories will have a lot of products with a gravity of 6 or more, and some will have none at all. So if the niche you’re looking at doesn’t have any options, after you apply the gravity filter, just keep looking around.
From here, you want to hunt through the marketplace to find a topic that has a decent number of products with a gravity of 6 or more.
This isn't always as straightforward as just going through the sub-categories in ClickBank. For instance, you might find that there are quite a few products related to "detox," but they're scattered across a couple of different categories.
So you'll likely spend a little while digging through the categories and looking for topics that pop up quite regularly. A good way to find similar products that might be hiding in different categories is to use the search box at the top.
If I’m browsing in “Diets and Weight Loss,” for example, and I come across a “detox” fat-burning product…
...I might enter “detox” into the search to see how many other products like this there are with a gravity of 6 or more. In this case, there are 23.
This is why it’s a good idea to use the search sometimes: I might not have found all of these products by looking in any one category or subcategory. I can think of a few subcategories where detox products might be hanging out, but the search allows me to see them all at once.
At this point, I’m thinking “detox” looks like a promising niche because it has a lot of products that are already selling well. It’s clearly a niche that people are buying.
If you run a search and there are fewer than 10 products with the 6+ gravity, it might be best to pass and look for something else. It doesn’t mean that the niche would be impossible to make money with, it just might be harder than a niche with lots of products that are selling well.
Before I let myself think, “Yes! The detox niche is for me!” I want to look at the sales pages for these products to make sure that I have correctly understood what the niche topic is, and that most of the products are on-topic with that.
The top product in my search, for example, is a “computer detox” product, which doesn't fit with my original idea of detox dieting at all:
Thankfully though, on the front page of my search I can see at least 7 products that are relevant to the detox dieting niche I’d anticipated, like this one:
A lot of them look quite professional, and I know that they’re selling well enough, so at this point I’d feel fairly confident going ahead with the detox niche.
Not all niche research will be as quick and smooth as my example, which was mostly a case of “here’s one I prepared earlier.”
You might come across a few dead ends before you discover a great niche idea. Don’t be discouraged! Just make yourself a cup of tea or coffee or hot cocoa, and give yourself some time to look around and think.
If you’ve done the research above and made your decision based on the data, chances are you’ve found yourself a good niche. However, there are some extra things you might want to consider before locking it in:
It’s important to think to yourself, “Will these kinds of products always be popular?”
Some products, like last season’s iPhone, will only sell for so long before the demand drops off. Obama ‘08 bumper stickers might have been big sellers in 2008, but they certainly wouldn’t be now...
Also, some products might be selling well now, but their popularity might be seasonal. The Halloween costume niche, for example, is only going to work during the few weeks leading up to Halloween itself.
To make affiliate marketing worth your while, you really want something that’ll be profitable year-round, for many years to come.
You can usually make an educated guess just by applying some logic, but if you want to be sure, try running your niche through Google Trends. For example, if I enter “detox” and set it to show results from the past 12 months, I can see that it’s had consistent interest year-round with a January spike (probably due to New Year's Resolutions).
If I change my search to show me the past few years, I can see that interest has been steadily growing, which is also a great sign.
Another thing you might want to consider before settling on a niche is: How many people are searching for this topic in Google?
It’s great if a lot of people are searching for your niche topic in Google for a couple of reasons: It proves that the niche is in high demand, and it means it’ll be easier to use SEO (search engine optimization) to get traffic to your website after you build it.
It’s quite easy to check how many people are searching for a topic in Google too, just head to AffiloTools (free access for Affilorama members).
Once you’re in AffiloTools, navigate to the keyword research module.
Search for very broad and generic phrases related to your niche idea. Using my “detox” example from earlier, I’d enter phrases like “detox,” “detox diet,” and “detox cleanse.”
In these results, I can immediately see that there are several terms getting more than 1,000 monthly searches, which is a great sign.
If you can find at least 10 phrases with at least 1,000 monthly searches like this, consider it proof that there’s strong interest in the niche, and you’ll be able to use SEO down the line to get traffic to your site.
A final thing to consider before settling on a niche is: Do you like it? I know I said earlier that liking a niche isn’t enough — it also has to be profitable — and that’s true. But it’s always easier if you do like your topic as well.
If your niche absolutely bores your brains out, or you are against it for some reason, you’ll need the motivation of Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption to finish your website. (For those who don’t know, the character dug his way out of prison over 17 years with a rock hammer.)
Dude was motivated, but it doesn’t have to be that hard for you. You can pick a niche you like.
Having at least some interest in your niche will also make it easier for you to understand your future audience, which will be helpful when you’re trying to market your site and your products.
So if you’re looking at a niche you’ve come up with, and you really don’t want to go ahead with it, try searching again to see if there's something you’d like more. There will always be more than one option.
By this stage you should have a general niche topic, such as “detox diet” or “puppy training,” with a handful of relevant ClickBank products that have a gravity score of 6 or more.
If you don’t have the above, then you need to run back through this lesson, picking a different niche and products. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you complete the niche research process properly!
If you’re a bit of a dynamo, then you might have found multiple promising niches. In this scenario, you can pick which one to continue with based on the following criteria:
If there’s one that you like a lot more than the others, go for that. Say you just LOVE puppies, for example, but the thought of detox dieting makes you sick — go for the puppy training niche. The closer your affinity with the niche, the more likely you’ll be to stick it out.
If you like them all equally or just still can’t decide, look to the one with the most products with a gravity of 6 or more in ClickBank. So if “detox diets” has more affiliate products than “puppy training,” and you feel about the same level of enthusiasm, go for “detox diets.” This approach gives you more shots at promoting profitable products.
Go forth and conquer! Use the ClickBank marketplace and this lesson to find a great niche for you. Remember, the most important thing is to pick a niche with lots of high-selling products you could promote, but it’s also nice if you like the topic too.
If all this seems like too much work, and you'd prefer some “done for you” research and product selection in some of the web’s most lucrative niches, check out AffiloJetpack. AffiloJetpack offers niches and products that have been pre-screened and selected for their profitability.
Finally, if you are eager to fast-track the whole affiliate marketing process, I’d suggest checking out this free lesson to really cut to the chase: “The fastest way to get started online.”
If you have any questions or comments at all, don’t hesitate to post them in the comments section below. :)