The power of affiliate marketing starts with you. When you endorse a product or service, you make it much easier for people to take the plunge and buy.
Aside from supporting valuable products, affiliate marketing can benefit both affiliates and customers (in some niches). To make money online as an affiliate marketer, you need to find a lucrative niche that makes sense for you.
So what are the best affiliate marketing niches for you to earn the most passive income? We’re here to help you answer that question, but first, let’s look at affiliate marketing.
What is affiliate marketing?
The affiliate promotes a product and receives a commission for each sale.
Video viewers, readers, and even friends are the people who click on an affiliate link and buy something. Sometimes they also get a discount.
The seller creates an affiliate or referral program to get more affiliates on board.
Depending on the niche, the level of involvement of the two parties changes.
Consumers generally know that some brands in the beauty industry offer discounts through their partners. Therefore, they will sometimes take a detour to link to a partner site and get a better deal.
On the other hand, in the SaaS industry, the competition among software vendors is so intense that they will try to give you ( the affiliate) the most attractive offer so that you promote their tool over others – because it’s worth it.
Here are five steps to help you find the best affiliate marketing niche for you:
1. Research niches
A niche generally describes an industry with similar products or services that piques the interest of a specific group of people.
Start with industries for which you are already active and known. List the tools and services you use most often and find valuable. Is Canva your first choice for creating designs for your social media posts? These are the “graphic design apps” for you. Are you crazy about Grammarly? This is the super-competitive “blogging tools” section.
Pinterest and Amazon’s extensive department directory are other classic sources you can use for brainstorming.
Remember to focus on niche ideas and sub-niches that align with your expertise and audience. If you focus on a popular niche that is also targeted, you can present yourself as an expert and build more trust by creating tutorials and blogging. This way, you can grow your online business in a targeted way and maximize your payouts.
During this research phase, you should also pay attention to what’s hot. The most effective way to do this is with keyword research using a tool. Identify the top trends and related keywords that will help you research.
Let us say you specialize in a micro-niche that is already losing relevance. In this case, you should search for related keywords and trending words to find related terms but more profitable niches. This was the experience of many affiliate marketers when the first pandemic hit and the world economy as a whole caved in.
2. Check Market Trends
Just because there’s a niche does not mean people are actively looking for it. You can use Google Trends to find out what consumers need and how their preferences change over time:
Here is an example of a seemingly up-and-down trend that has maintained its influence and interest over five years.
This way, you can prioritize which niches to target first, saving you time in the long run.
Once you have a better idea of what general industries you want to target for your affiliate marketing strategy, you can start looking at trends in your specific industry.
Industry analysis gives you an accurate view of general industry traffic, the most successful websites, and even device distribution, so you know when to up your mobile game.
The tool also provides an excellent starting list of industry players that may have affiliate programs. Run these market trend analyses regularly when a new economic, social or political change could impact monthly traffic and interest.
3. Evaluate the profitability of niches.
However, not all niches are created equal. Competing industries can yield huge profits, but it can take years to achieve a top 10 position on the Google search engine results page (SERP) or YouTube listings.
There is also one profitable niche with active customers who buy repeatedly. This allows you to sell more and increase your revenue as an affiliate marketer.
So it’s the niches with a low competition where you can compete more easily. And the fewer resources there are on these topics, the greater the chance that someone will buy your link.
Let us take a look at a number of potential niches and evaluate how you can profit from them:
Makeup & skincare: do you need the best niche for affiliate aff marketing that always attracts customers? The beauty industry, in general, is constantly growing. Most brands have set up an affiliate marketing system for their eCommerce stores, including big names like AVON, Yves Rocher, and Elizabeth Arden.
Photography: Ah, the niche that is always there. There is always another topic that needs to be covered, so you will never run out of ideas in this area. Plus, both professionals and amateur photographers in the photography community are always looking for reviews on quality gear and resources. Of course, this requires real expertise and knowledge to gain trust.
Maternity wear (or any other niche market with a transient but strong demand): Think of those moments when people are pushed to buy. Motherhood and early parenthood are two such periods when consumers are looking for the best solutions and need an answer as soon as possible. There will always be new people active in these niches despite these temporary needs.
Garage fitness equipment: the wellness and weight loss community is alive and well and loves videos. If you ever feel like you can’t keep up on Google, turn to YouTube and be there first. Someone is already way ahead of you in this game. This shows that you can consider many monetization options if you think the SERP is already full.
Plant-based recipes: Do not limit yourself to product-oriented niches. A recipe website gives you plenty of room to add products and services. This is also one of the niches that few other affiliate marketers will think of, so you have plenty of room to get started.
Pet care: another versatile and in-demand niche where you can experiment with content formats and topics. You can try blog posts, videos, and social media posts to compare pet supplies, write how-to articles, or mention a product in a fun way.
Once you have narrowed down your list of niches, it’s time to evaluate their profitability factors:
How much commission you will receive: Here, you can take a quick look at the money brands from a particular niche are offering online or compare it to the general market value.
Let us say you use an affiliate network like ShareASale or CJ. In this case, you’ll have access to merchant ratings that estimate what commission rate you’ll receive and how often you can expect one, based on data from other affiliates.
How much traffic an industry can really bring you: For this point, you need to look at keywords you can target and what their monthly search volume is.
4. Check the keywords
In actual SEO keyword research, there are two important factors to consider:
Keyword volume: this shows how many people search for a particular keyword each month and gives you a rough idea of your expected traffic. Long-tail keywords have lower search volume, but that does not mean you are missing out on sales. These low search volume keywords are also very specific. So when someone searches for it, they are usually well-informed about a topic and ready to buy something.
Keyword Difficulty: High-difficulty keywords are virtually impossible to rank in search engines, especially if you have just started your affiliate marketing blog. By keeping track of a keyword’s difficulty, you can compare similar keywords and choose the easier ones to rank for.
To get started, create an initial list of keywords. You can check with Amazon to see what keywords sellers are using in their product titles or enter an initial keyword into a keyword research tool like Ahrefs or Semrush.
The keyword generator will give you a comprehensive list of related and trending keywords and search queries. Compare the volume and trend of each keyword before including them in your final affiliate marketing keywords table. Then, prioritize these keywords based on search volume, actual click-through rates, paid versus organic clicks, SERP competition, etc.
5. Take a look at your potential competitors.
Run your website through any competitive analysis tool to find new competitors and gain insights into their strategies.
This is what you should focus on:
- Your competitors are forgoing any type of content (e.g., videos, Instagram, evergreen blogs, etc.).
- How high their website’s authority is and how they get their backlinks.
- Whether their articles are high quality or if you can easily write something much better.
- How big the company is in terms of employees, budget, and resources (you can use LinkedIn and Crunchbase to get a quick look at the company’s size).
- If there is an original angle, you can bring it to your niche.
- What other monetization and marketing strategies are competitors using?
These benchmarks will help you assess whether it’s worth pursuing a niche or if the competitive landscape is out of reach for you right now.
Conclusion: Find your marketing niche.
But what if you are looking for affiliates yourself?
This digital marketing intelligence platform also works if you look for new referral opportunities (and links) for your brand. Analyze the suitability of prospective affiliates by examining their traffic sources, top keywords, paid efforts, and audience engagement.
Review your partners’ outbound traffic to identify competitors who are already receiving traffic from them. You can use this information to find better-performing referral opportunities (through traffic quality) or renegotiate your current affiliate partnerships and programs.