Choosing a niche for your online business
There is ONE thing that will really influence the amount of money you make online and that is choosing the correct Niche. For those of you who do not know what a niche is; a niche is the topic or subject your website or blog will focus on. When starting an online business (website/blog), you need to decide upfront what topics you will cover and what related content you will offer to your readers. In this post I will hopefully give you enough to help you choose a niche or at least help steer your mind in the right direction when it comes to choosing your niche. Your future readers are busy people and in most cases they will be looking for specific information regarding a specific topic. If you’re the one providing the information they want and you can help them with what they need. You’ve got a winning Niche or topic for your online business,
Choosing your Passion or Hobby as your Niche
Choosing your Passion or Hobby as your Niche is the number one recommendation made by many online business coaches and successful bloggers. Basically, they teach; if you want to be successful online you should be following your passions or your interests (your hobbies or sporting activities). If you are passionate about something you will have lots to share and in most cases will have the experience to be successful in that particluar Niche. As far as I’m concerned, this could also be the worst advice you can get. Not all Niches are the best fit for your affiliate marketing business.
You need to remember…
You want to be an affiliate marketer to make money online.
The simple fact is that some Niches may be popular and they may attract a huge following of readers, but they may not necessarily bring in the money you hope to earn in affiliate commissions. For example: Some hobbies like “Snail Racing” or “Frog Jumping” won’t have affiliate products to market and even if you find an affiliate product, finding people to buy these types of products online will be difficult.
If your hobby or passion is something like Painting, Sculpturing or even Origami (Japanese Paper Folding), there is a market for you, but income potential is limited. I personally know a very successful marketer who earns very well in the ‘Learn to Paint Niche’, but it took him a long time to establish himself and his success is due to his ‘video based painting lessons’ (selling his own products). Some of the more obscure niches can work out, but it won’t be easy to make life changing affiliate commissions and more often than not, people give up when they don’t get results.
Note: I have mentioned the pitfalls of choosing your Hobby or Passions as a Niche; let me also reinstate the fact that it could be a very good idea for you to follow this path. On the opposite side of the fence to “Snail Racing etc” your interest may very well lie within a Niche that has massive income potential. Hobbies/Sports like Martial Arts, Fishing, Remote Controlled Vehicles, Cooking, Gardening etc all have huge potential for success for affiliate marketers. So long as a Niche has a big following and the type of people following these Niches are prepared to spend money on products, you can bet there’s money to be made as an affiliate.
Choosing what you are already and expert in
While it would be great to have a niche related to your passions, many of you will probably be better off starting an Affiliate Business in a Niche you have experience in. Let’s say you are the “Snail Racing” guy (or gal), but you’re also an Accountant; you would probably do better in some Financial Niche than in the Snail Racing niche. Most people have spent their lives acquiring skills in order to earn a living doing the regular 9-5, get up and go to work routine. You may hate your job, but so long as you don’t hate the skills you acquired, you could turn this into a very successful online business. Teach what you know to others, share your experiences with them and monetise your blog with relevant affiliate offers. People will respond well to what you have to offer if its apparent that you know what you are talking about.
I for one am very passionate about food and cooking. I worked in the Food and Beverage industry for approximately 15-years in management, and as a self taught chef. I have even setup a restaurant from the ground up; basically taking an wreckage of a restaurant and turning it into a fine dining restaurant (think Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares). It would have been the perfect Niche for me, except at the time, I didn’t think of it (because I was coached differently). By the time I realised it, I was too far down the path, building my business in the Make Money Online Sub Niche’s to turn around (which, by the way, I’m enjoying now).
Choosing a new Niche – Learning Something New
Let’s go back to the Snail Racing Guy (the Accountant), whose Hobby isn’t going to work out, and who dislikes accounting so much he doesn’t want to see another Journal or ledger entry ever again. If you’re this guy; you could always learn something new and use this as your Niche. There are many people ‘out there’ (myself included) that have gone this route and it’s not for the feint hearted. Fact is most people getting started trying to make money online fall into the broader ‘Make Money Online’ Niche by default. The problem here is that complete novices are setting up niche websites, trying to teach other novices ‘How to make money online’, when they themselves aren’t making anything.
Guys, I’m talking from experience here; this is the path I followed – It is what I was taught in the very first online course I ever bought. Yes, 6-years later I’m in a position where I now know what I’m talking about (enough to be considered an expert in my circles). I know WordPress relatively well; I can hand-code HTML4 (still learning HTML5 & CSS) and I can hold my own when it comes to discussing and implementing SEO methods. I know how to setup and secure WordPress, I have my own web-hosting company, and gained the skills to run that too along the way. But all this takes time…
What I’m suggesting here is that it’s perfectly fine to go out and learn something new for your Affiliate Marketing Business. However, be warned that it can be a long road ahead, especially if you venture into the broader “Make Money Online” Niches. The competition in this Niche is high and you are competing with ‘real experts’ with years of experience and massive marketing budgets. If I were to learn something new again, I’d probably go after something more fun, with way less competition or a much smaller learning curve.
If you are going to go into something new, do your homework more thoroughly than I did. Don’t just go with the flow as it could take considerable time to get ahead. Make sure that whatever you intend learning will put you in a position to market good quality products or services to buyers that are willing to spend money in those Niches.
11 Popular Niches for Affiliate Marketing
There are hundreds, if not thousands of good niches one can use to build a very successful affiliate marketing business online. However, there are a few that stand out when it comes to the amount of money you can make with them. These niches have massive earning potential because they tend to help people overcome real life issues. If people are serious or passionate about a topic and/or this topic is related to helping them achieve something or overcome something, it is a winner.
- WEIGHT LOSS
- DIET & NUTRITION
- DATING AND RELATIONSHIPS
- MAKE MONEY ONLINE
- BODY BUILDING
- PET TRAINING
Remember that you need to drill down into more specific sub-niches…
I’m going to give you an example of what I mean by drilling down into a Sub-Niche, using ‘BODY BUILDING and the primary niche. Sub-Niche’s within this category could include, Six-Pack ABS; Build Bigger Arms; Protein Supplements for Men etc etc..
The more specific you target your initial sub-niche, the better. Once established you can start adding on related sub-niches and eventually get back to covering the broader topic in general.
A Final Word on the Make Money Online Niches
As already mentioned and as is apparent by the content on my blog, I am focusing within the ‘Make Money Online Niches’. My sub-niches or focus areas are WordPress, Blogging, Search Engine Optimisation and Affiliate Marketing. These are all related Sub-Niches which relate well with one another. I will be adding listing building and Social Media Marketing to my blog in the near future, but again, these are related Sub-Niches which will help my readers build their related blog or Affiliate Marketing Businesses. Of all the Niche’s, the Sub-Niches within the Make Money Online Niche are simply the best (in my opinion), but this isn’t an easy niche to tackle as a newbie. You can learn as you go along and post about your journey on your blog. Be honest with your readers and while it may take a considerable amount of effort and time this is a great niche to be in. The simple fact is that in order to be successful in this Niche (or any other), you need to be the expert and you need to know more than your readers to be considered an expert.
Being an expert doesn’t mean that you have to know every single thing about a topic. However, you do need to know a considerable amount more than your readers. Furthermore, the information you share should also be comparative, if not better than what is being offered by others within the same Niche as yours. Again, you don’t have to be the top most authority figure, but you do need to know what you are talking about.
Conclusion: How to choose a niche doesn’t have to be complicated. The easiest way to drill down and choose a sub-niche, of value is to first visit your local supermarket, News Agent or Book Store and check out which magazines on sale. Make notes on what magazines are available and more importantly make notes on what topics are discussed or mentioned on the magazine covers. Read the table(s) of content too, if you have the time and make notes. The topics or articles in these magazines have been researched in depth by the magazine(s) publishers and are thus brilliant ideas for your Niche selection. Once you have your list, it’s time to do a little online research, which I’ll cover in a future post.