The concept of making money through blogging has been the source of scorn for many marketers in recent years. As users have become increasingly savvy to advertising, phishing scams and untrustworthy links, long gone are the days are slapping content on a site paired with AdSense and hoping for the best.
However, the recent resurgence of affiliate marketing is bringing old bloggers out of the woodwork and new blood into the blogosphere. While the days of keyword-stuffed, spammy sites are dying, the abundance of bloggers making passive income with niche and review sites coupled with Amazon Affiliates signals a new era of making money online.
Even those of us without the slightest marketing experience understand the principles of a niche site.
Pick a niche. Create content. Drive traffic. Profit. Repeat.
Yet it’s the choice of niche that will ultimately make or break your blog. How so?
When starting a blog, coming up with a topic is arguably the most difficult and most important aspect of the site itself.
Who’s going to be searching for my site?
Where’s the traffic going to come from?
What’s my potential for growth?
All are worthwhile questions, the answer to which requires some homework on your part. Whether you’re dedicated to starting an affiliate blog or are simply toying with the idea, consider the niches you could potentially profit from and how to choose one you could realistically tackle.
Low (or No) Competition
The poster child for modern affiliate marketing is Pat Flynn, who managed to create an affiliate blog which generated over $700 in less than three months. While this may not seem particularly impressive, consider that Flynn currently earns millions of dollars annually in what he refers to as “smart passive income.” His success started with the aforementioned niche site, what focused on the topic of security guard training.
Flynn was able to dominate this niche because it was of relatively low competition (not a lot of sites competing in his space) and search volume (less than 10,000 unique searches per month).
In order to pick a successful niche, you have to think outside the box and consider a topic that may not be the most enthralling but provides opportunities for you to dominate related keywords in Google.
For example, it’d be much easier to rank for “intermittent fasting diet plan” versus “weight loss” (which has millions of related searches) or “supplements for getting ripped” instead of “diet pills.” In short, it pays to get specific.
The Right Price
Among the mistakes many marketers make when choosing a niche is picking a related affiliate product with too low of a price point.
For example, Amazon Associates pays out a mere 4% in commission for your initial sales. Now, consider the difference between the $4 payout for an affiliate product costing $100 versus a forty cent pay out for a product costing $10.
Bear in mind that different affiliate programs offer different payouts which may increase over time; however, such numbers reveal that making significant income from blogging requires quite a bit of traffic.
Is it Blog-worthy?
On that note, you can’t hope to start a successful affiliate blog in 2016 without having worthwhile content. Could your site sustain multiple relevant blog posts per week concerning your niche? Would people actually be inclined to read and share them?
This is where picking a niche gets incredibly tricky. While it’s easy to write about products in the weight loss niche, for example, the market is incredibly competitive. Meanwhile, hobbyists may enjoy writing about gaming or guitar-playing; however, there’s less earning potential with such blogs.
The dream of making money online doesn’t have to be a dream, granted you’ve done your homework regarding your niche. If it’s low competition, well-priced and buzzworthy, go for it.