Affiliate marketing is all about choosing the right niche! This article will tell you why you need to choose a niche, whether to choose a sub-niche, and which are the best affiliate niches in 2018.
One of the first things you want to decide when you are going to try affiliate marketing is what niche you want to specialise in.
Remember, affiliate marketing is a long game. It is about adding value. You won’t get anywhere by just spamming random links to Clickbank products here and there (though that hasn’t stopped some people from trying that!).
Instead, you want to focus on one or two niches. Get familiar with them. Understand the community. Listen to the problems people are having. Start adding value to people.
If you do this, then you will be way more successful in your marketing.
You might be wondering what an online marketing niche is. Basically it is just a topic, community or theme, usually around a problem or passion that people have.
The list of niches and sub-niches almost endless. One website I looked at had a list of 200 niches, and they were constantly adding to it.
Almost anything is a niche. The question is, which are the profitable niches with low competition, and which niches should you stay away from.
There are three really big niches that people sometimes refer to as the “super niches”.
Someone smart summarized these by saying something like “what people really want is to get paid, get laid and live forever!”. Which is funny and quite true!
These three are huge and they have always been and they probably always will be. I don’t have any hard figures but I’m pretty sure that Health is the biggest, followed by Wealth and then by Relationships.
A lot of people recommend that you pick one of those three super niches for affiliate marketing. I believe it is a bit more complex than that.
It is certainly true that those are big profitable niches with huge audiences, desperate for solutions to their problems. However, each of those is actually too big and varied to cover.
For example, “health” could mean anything. Losing weight? Sure, that’s a big one. But what about body building? Most of those guys want to gain weight, not lose it! So marketing weight loss products to them would be a waste of time.
Then there are people with a host of specific health problems like rashes, gout, eczema, and so on. Nobody without those problems would be interested in solutions to them, and people with those problems are probably focused mainly on solving those problems, rather than general health issues.
The same goes for money (crypto is very different to real estate which is very different to personal finance), and relationships (fixing a divorced marriage would be a very different market to the pickup artist market).
This is why people came up with the concept of the sub-niche. For a really broad niche like the big three, you need to specialize. So paleo would be a sub-niche of health, stock market investing would be a sub-niche of wealth, and seniors dating would be a sub-niche of relationships.
Some niches outside the big three are fine as niches on their own and don’t need to specialize much (e.g. dirt biking).
If you are going to go for one of the big three though, I would really recommend picking a sub-niche. Some people even go further and pick a sub-sub-niche! For example, you could do paleo for vegans, or real estate investing via flipping abandoned houses, or dating advice for Jewish seniors.
If you choose a sub-niche, you will have a smaller market, but your market will be focused and easier to understand. There will also be less competition in your area. This might make it a bit harder to get started at first but could give you a better relationship with your audience in the long run.
Some people say there are a fourth and a fifth super niche.
The fourth is Personal Development, which is often and interesting hybrid of the first three. Basically, how to succeed at everything in life. This might sound dubious but the people at the top are serious titans – think Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss. People who teach you how to do master yourself so you can do anything.
This is a pretty big and rewarding niche but it can be difficult to really stand out because it is hard to specialize and there are already massive players.
The fifth is Irrational Passions. This is really a collection of smaller niches that have people really obsessed with a particular hobby or pastime.
Golf is a classic example of irrational passions – people spend years and tens of thousands of dollars learning and improving at golf. Fishing is another example of a hobby that some people are crazy about and prepared to spend big money on.
Any niche where people are really passionate and prepared to spend a lot of money can be a good thing to go for. A couple of warnings though.
First, these people are often a bit crazy and have no time for fools. They can usually spot imposters and will turn on you if you are not authentic and really adding value. Also, it can be difficult to “import” products from other niches to them.
For example, if you really master the dating for professional women niche, then you could probably do pretty well marketing weight loss or healthy eating products to that niche. A lot of single professional women are probably very interested in their health and body.
But could you market healthy eating products to the golf crowd? Or model train collectors? Probably not. Just another thing to keep in mind.
This ties into a really important concept in marketing: lifetime customer value. This represents the total value you can get out of a customer over the entire life of your relationship with them.
Obviously, the longer the potential relationship, the larger the lifetime customer value.
Wealth has a potentially huge lifetime customer value – people always want more money. Many of the health sub-niches do as well, such as weight loss or fitness. But some health sub-niches such as health problems (curing baldness, or gout, or whatever) don’t.
Once that problem is cured, the customer has effectively disappeared from your market, because you’ve solved their specific problem. And that problem was the only reason you had a relationship with them.
Irrational passions can sometimes have a good lifetime customer value (such as golfers), depending on the particular hobby. Personal Development can have a huge LCV – just look at how many products, courses and seminars Tony Robbins has done – and the same people keep buying them!
There are other potentially lucrative niches for affiliate marketing. A surprisingly profitable one is DIY (Do It Yourself), such as renovations, repair, woodwork or metalwork, and so on. There are some products doing gangbusters on Clickbank in these sub-niches. This one is dominated by men.
Another one is home organisation – collecting, storing, discarding, and managing all the things in your home. This one appeals strongly to women (it is extremely important to understand the demographics of your market).
A really interesting approach for affiliate marketing however is not products at all, but tools – things people need to do whatever it is they do (in any niche). For example, web hosting is something that every blogger, marketer, small business or entrepreneur needs, no matter what they do or what niche they are in.
So you could promote web hosting from big web hosting companies. They often have lucrative affiliate programs that have made some bloggers and marketers very rich indeed.
There are also software services such as funnel builders, SEO tools, email autoresponders, and so on. These can be great because they have huge markets and they often pay recurring subscriptions (because they are delivered as a service month by month).
Recurring subscriptions can be great for maximizing your lifetime customer value. Some people get distracted trying to catch a $40 commission on Clickbank, when they could be earning $15 per month from a recurring software subscription. It might not seem like much at first, but $15 per month over a year or two is a lot more than $40.
A common question is whether you should go for high or low competition niches. Some people suggest to stay well away from super high competition niches and sub-niches such as weight loss or personal finance. The idea is that there are too many marketers in these areas so you would struggle to stand out.
There is some truth in this. But also consider – the reason there is competition is that there is a lot of money there! Marketers swarm on niches where there is money to be made. If there is no competition in a niche, it is usually a sign that there is no money to be made there.
Another thing to consider is if people in your niche actually have money and spend it. For example, people who are interested in real estate investing probably have money and are looking to spend it. After all, these are people looking to purchase properties worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are probably open to spending $50 on a book or course to learn how to do it properly.
However, if someone is interested in “cooking on a budget”, they are probably not very wealthy and not interested in spending much money at all.
Another thing to consider about niches is whether they are “evergreen” or not. Niches like weight loss or stock investing are considered “evergreen”: that means they have been around a while and will be around for a long while still. They will be around in 20 or maybe even 50 years.
But something like Bitcoin is a risk – it could be around in 10 years or it could be gone completely. Or something like buying and selling CDs is an even worse idea – that industry is heading straight to the morgue. So don’t go near it.
The most profitable online marketing niches are definitely evergreen niches, which have a lot of people with money who have burning problems that they need to solve.
Anyway I hope you got some interesting ideas for the best niches for affiliate marketing in 2018! Do you have any other ideas for profitable niches? I’d love to hear about them, please leave them in the comments below!