In this post, Affiliate marketing: What is a niche?, we will look at why our website needs a niche and how that helps us earn affiliate commission money.
Sweaters are a niche, but a very broad one; it is hard to get traffic with broad niches. A pink sweater with pom-poms at the neck? That is niche…very specific and very niche.
This post was originally published May 10th, 2017 and has been updated to be current with new information. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Full disclosure is here.
Welcome to Fearless Affiliate.
My name is Irma and I help new bloggers to learn the ropes. There is a lot to take in that first year of blogging, from choosing a niche to changing your mindset from worker bee mentality to that of successful entrepreneur.
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A Niche is a “specific” Item That People Are Searching For
One definition of niche is: “a shallow recess, especially one in a wall to display a statue or other ornament.” This is what we want! We want our website to be how we display our passion to the world! Other words similar to niche are: alcove, compartment, and cubbyhole. Think of this when choosing a niche. You want a small cubby, not a broad category.
You may be so good at something that you are an authority on that subject.
That may be your niche and your way to earn money online. You can write blog posts that contain affiliate links to products. Someone reads your blog, clicks a link and you receive a commission. That is affiliate niche marketing.
Do not think that there is no one online who will want to read what you are writing.
There are millions of people online every day, searching for information or products. You may have exactly what people are looking for! You only need to be a step or two ahead of someone else to help them.
I started my website to help bloggers find legitimate and practical information on how to start a blog. Why that topic? Because I was having trouble sorting out the legit websites from the ones trying to make an easy dollar while providing me with “fluff”. I thought to myself that I could teach what I am learning to other new bloggers, and we will all learn together.
What Is Niche Marketing?
Niche marketing means that you are targeting (marketing to) a specific segment (niche) of the population.
For example, you may know a lot about training German Shepherd puppies because you have had several. You bring your “pro tips” to your blog posts, sharing your perspective on the subject.
You may think that no one would read your blog, but that would be a mistake. People who need answers (“why is my puppy chewing only my shoes??”) will look all over the internet for that one piece of advice that solves their problem.
And you may know something that others do not, or they cannot explain.
You bring your education and skills to your website. You may know a lot about camping equipment, chainsaws, or cast iron cookware, so you bring that information to your readers.
And people want to know what you know before they buy.
This is your specialty and it will be what sets you apart from similar websites. And for affiliate marketing, a niche is your bread and butter.Other websites may talk about any old camping gear. Your website talks about specific, high quality gear for a hike on the Pacific Coast Trail.
Hobbies make excellent niches
Did you learn how to paint from watching a video? Can you teach others how to paid from watching your videos? Then you have a viable niche!
Are you a good cook? You can teach people how to properly use a knife, or buy quality cookware, or how to chop an onion quickly and without tears.
Maybe you know a lot about barbecues. You can write review posts on which ones are better than others. Or where to get quality tools. Or how to grill a perfect steak, because barbecue is your passion and you’ve got skills! So share them already!
Or maybe you had to outfit your triplets for college in another part of the country. You can write about that.
Write about the things that you know about your hobby, and any tips you have for success.
Bonus points for instructional videos!
I have seen websites on all of these topics:
chainsaws; walking poles; creating a home teeth whitening kit; how to find the cheapest accommodations anywhere; collecting sea glass and what to make with it; how to help your teen apply for student loans and scholarships; women’s hair loss; and best green smoothies for different times of day. Yes, you can have a website dedicated to smoothies!
Related Post: Finding a Niche That Works For You.
Choose a topic that you will be able to write 10 to 30 different posts about.
That may sound daunting, but realistically you will be writing 1 to 2 posts per week, on one of three to five sub-topics of your niche.
Once you start really thinking about your niche topic, and research some competing websites, you will find lots to write about.
For the above example of smoothies, you can have sub topics like: greens, fruits, liquids, and add-ins and then write blog posts that fit into those sub topics.
Under greens you can write a blog post on each type of green and the pro’s and con’s using them in your smoothies.
Ditto for the other sub topics.
And you can still branch out from there into types of blenders, blenders vs stick blenders, what kind of knife for chopping, etc. etc. Really you are only limited by your imagination here.
For my blog, I write about blogging and my sub topics are Making Money Online (MMO), Pinterest, Traffic & SEO, Email Marketing, and Success Mindset because I want to share what I have learned on all of these topics and how they relate to earning an income online.
Can I Blog Without a Niche?
You sure can, but that will make searching for your website difficult. What would a person search for on Google in order to find your website? And could they find it again weeks or months later?
Consider adding an easy to monetize niche topic, like personal finance or pets, in to your website.
This makes it easier for your whole website to rank better with SEO, while allowing you to write about your passion.
Lifestyle blogs allow you talk about the things that matter most to you in your life. Pick your three favorite things to talk about and start writing!
There are plenty of blogs like this. Think makeup, style, and travel. Or cats, dogs, and teenagers. Another example might be RV travel with small children who are home-schooled. Or homesteading, disaster prepping, and raising a specific breed of dog. The possible combinations are limitless.
Related Post: 9 Reasons Your Blog Must Have A Niche
How Do I Find Blog Niche Ideas?
When people are searching for something on the internet, something to help them in their lives or that meets a need, they are usually specific about it.
What they are searching for can be your little corner of the internet.
Think about how you search on Google. Usually it is specific and brief.
No one wants to type a long string of words into Google because that nets a huge variety of answers.
The more specific the search term, the more likely you will get an answer that helps you. That is what everyone wants from a search engine…specific answers.
Examples of niches include:
Training a dog
Archery as a hobby
Decade specific music (70’s, 80’s, 90’s, early aughts etc)
Recent popular niches are nootropics (smart drugs), homesteading, or beard oil.
Some past trending niches that are still popular are adult coloring books, prepping, and matte lipstick.
If you want to “niche down” you will get even more specific: not just training a dog, but training a specific breed or dog. Or training a puppy vs teaching an old dog a new trick. Or training a specific breed of puppy. See how that works?
The more specific, the smaller and more dedicated the audience. Your website will weed out the people looking for generic information. Your website traffic will be targeted to that specific topic, and that means that your potential customers will be able to find you easier.
What you are left with are people who are truly interested in what you have to say. They searched for something specific and found you.
Apples come in many varieties, like niches!
If you wanted to write a blog about apples, you could have topics like: apples I like, apples I hate, and apples through history. Or eating apples, cooking apples, and apples for carving. That last one is based on those dried apple faces or shrunken apple heads that are a hobby for some people. Seriously Google it!
You can research sub topics for each of these three categories and have tons on new content quite easily. Go to other blogs about apples and see what they have to say. Research varieties on google, and that should spark some ideas. Ask your friends what they know about apples…seriously, you will be amazed at how much content you can write about a single subject.
An example of a niche that everyone thought of…
My favorite example of a niche is the take-out coffee cup lid. Back in the 80’s there were only standard plastic lids for coffee cups, with no tab or opening to sip out of. If you wanted to drink out of your cup, you took the lid off. Or you ripped a hole in the top.
Someone got wise to this and created a lid with a small crescent shape on one edge, with a notch on either side so that you could rip a semi-circle shaped hole in your cup. It was messy, but it was easier than ripping a random shape which could result in coffee dribbling out the sides and down your white shirt. Because you are always wearing white when you spill on yourself. At some point, these lids became the only ones the companies bought, because they are the lids that customers wanted.
I heard a lot of people say “I thought of that!”
years ago when it came to the first really good take out coffee cup lids. Alas, those people did not pursue their brainstorms and turn it into an income. Sigh.
So yes, if you can imagine, coffee cup lids became a niche market. Over the years, the cups have developed, so that now we have lids with a push button on top. Or you get a lid with a regular sippy hole in the top and a stopper to keep your beverage inside the cup. Super handy. And now there are websites dedicated to advertising new and interesting ways to tote your hot beverages around.
What started as one person solving a problem
became more people adapting that solution into what we have today. Niches change and there is always room for improvement, supplementation or just a complete overhaul.
And can you imagine how much business the first of these retailers got when they set up a website to sell their products? The sky was the limit there. And anyone can do this. Anyone. That means you. You do not have to create a product first. Create the website, write some content, then brainstorm how you can promote a product that fits your niche. Can you see how lucrative this can be? Now is the time for your niche website!Necessity is the mother of invention - PlatoClick To Tweet
Niches change and evolve
The thing about this example is, a lot of different people have gotten into the take out coffee cup lid niche. The cups have evolved and the types of lids have evolved as well, and now there are many varieties as the many people have come up with all kinds of creative ways to make it easier to drink coffee while driving!
In this case, the more people who got into this niche, the more varied and useful the end products became. Yay!
What began as one person solving one problem, became an industry of many people finding new ways to solve this problem, as well as employment for many, many people.
Your Specific Corner of the Internet
People have probably been telling you your whole life that you are so good at something. Teaching…fixing…training…creating…painting…something. And you are good at it because you have an affinity; an innate ability to think about and discuss this subject. That is your niche.
Some popular website niches are:
- Personal Finance
- Children and Family
- Inspiration and Self-Help
- Beauty and Fashion
- Outdoors (camping and hiking)
As you can see, there is an infinite number of niches that you can find within the broad categories. Sign up for my newsletter to get a free printable list of 16 niches that work well with affiliate marketing.
Whether you want to earn money on your website as an affiliate marketer, or if you just want to share and help, you can start a blog.
Related Post: How to Start a Blog and Make Money Online
I hope that I have inspired you to think about what your niche might be. And as far as Affiliate Marketing: What is a niche?
I hope that I have given you enough reasons to consider having a specific niche on your website. Please consider sharing your gifts and talents with the world. We are all waiting for your information and inspiration!
Many of the websites that you visit were also just a spark of an idea once upon a time. Now they inspire people daily! That can be your legacy.
Are you ready to start your blog and/or side hustle? Now is the time to create your own future and future income. Please sign up for my weekly newsletter of tips and free stuff for bloggers, like my passive income checklists. See if a blogging “side hustle” is right for you!
Happy blogging and follow me on Pinterest!
I hope that you have enjoyed this post, and please share it with anyone that you think can benefit from it. Our success benefits everyone! And sharing is caring 🙂
Until next time, happy blogging!