Ah, yes, the elusive niche. The profitable niche must be some kind of rare species on the verge of extinction, or is it? Finding a good niche will require research, creativity, and experimentation. Here is a guide to finding a niche for your online affiliate marketing.
A good way to find a niche is to browse the catalog of affiliate products you can sell. If a product doesn’t exist, you can always create it. Creating a product is risky and possibly rewarding, but that is a discussion for another time. If a product already exists, though, it suggests that the market demand exists, which can save you time. If you are using the Clickbank affiliate program, you can search for products by “high gravity”, which means that many affiliates are selling and there is a high demand for that product. If you are using Amazon, look for bestsellers. Some people recommend looking for “low gravity” products so that you have less competition selling the product, but you really need to know how to do market research and assess demand if you take that route.
Once you have a couple of ideas for products that you might want to sell, think about the related niche customers. Here you really should try to understand the psychology of a potential customer. What do they want? Why would they pay money? Let’s say you found a couple dieting programs to promote. The niche is health and fitness. What do dieters want? They want to look good, attract dates, boost self-confidence, and so on. Do they want this badly enough to pay money for it? What you really want is a niche where customers are desperate for solutions and willing to pay for them. Think of desperate people - trying to get women, quitting smoking, making money, to name a few.
Here’s another example. Suppose you are interested in the mp3 or music niche. You could try to sell mp3s or ringtones to consumers, but these people are not desperate or willing to pay money - they could just download most music illegally. Instead of focusing on consumers, think about the producers - people who make music. There are music students, garage band members and other people who dream of making it big in music. They would want to pay for ways to produce or record mp3s, distribute them, and more. These people are much more desperate (starving artist anyone?) and willing to pay for solutions, in some cases.
Now that you have a general niche and product, you should do some further market research. Try going to Quora and searching for questions related to your niche. What kinds of questions are people asking? What do they really crave? What are the most common problems they need solutions to?
Then head over to a search traffic tool. You can use Google Trends or may favorite Seo Book Keyword Tool (all free). Type in search terms related to your vertical, service or product. Google trends gives you a qualitative idea of how many people are interested in your niche. Seo Book provides quantitative estimates of how many people search for your niche or product. At this point, while you are assessing market demand, you are also doing some preliminary keyword research to figure out what keywords to target later on in your marketing campaigns.
Finally, you need to check out your competition in your niche. Enter your preliminary keywords related to your product, or even a question such as “how do I get a six pack?” into Google, using quotes. See how many search results there are. Also note how many pages of Adwords you see. This gives you an idea of how competitive the niche is. You want to target a niche with the most searches and fewest competitors.
Another thing to keep in mind is to look for niches where you have an interest or expertise. This may make it easier for you to market the product. However, don’t limit yourself. What you want is money. If you can make money selling the most boring product, go for it.
Don’t forget to be creative. Popular niches such as dating or fitness or over-saturated. However, if you can think of any new twists, like dating for nerds, or how to fit in a smaller wedding dress, you might be able to capture a good niche with low competition.
This should give you a basic idea of how to find a marketing niche. In the end, though, you need to have a list of a couple of niches, and then test them out, either with small PPC campaigns if you have the money, or a free method like article method, and figure out which niches are the most profitable. Then, you want to fully develop your marketing effort for the most profitable niches.
As a last note, once you find working niches, you can decide to expand by going broad or deep in your niches. For example, if you go into dating, you could go deep and also market wedding rings, adult entertainment, marriage advice, or anything related to relationships. On the other hand, you could decide to start up a new niche about pets, then dieting, and cover a broad base. The decision is up to you.