As affiliate marketers I feel sometimes we don’t really pick niches based on the right metrics. Think about the last niche that you picked, how did you go about choosing it?
If you’re a smart affiliate, hopefully you picked an “evergreen niche” ie a niche that will be around for a long time. You also probably picked a niche that had some commercial viability, which is usually also a good idea.
However did you really drill down and think about how much effort you would need to maintain a website in the niche, and also how easy it would be to scale? Probably not.
I think this area is where most beginning to intermediate affiliates fail, and it’s a huge mistake that you mustn’t overlook.
So here are some thoughts I would like you to consider when building your next website.
How Hard Is It To Build Traffic?
If you had two websites with 10k visitors a day, but one was in the credit card niche while the other was about music/culture, which one would probably make more money? In most cases the website about credit cards would make more money as a visitor looking for their next credit card is worth more to advertisers than someone looking to listen to some music.
However from a traffic standpoint, which website is easier to grow? Obviously the website about music/culture would be easier to grow as you could build a large following on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc., whereas not many people really are hyped to follow social media accounts of websites about credit cards.
Also search engine traffic is easier to build and maintain for a website about music/culture. While there are super strong websites at the top of Google when it comes to credit cards, your music/culture website may be able to pick up a lot of long-tail keyword traffic without really any link building as the niche is likely not as competitive.
Furthermore a website about music/culture is likely to pick up a lot more natural backlinks, as those types of sites are the kind that other sites frequently link to, and you may not have to do any SEO or link building at all.
In contrast a credit card website is not likely to pick up a lot of natural links, and most likely would have to rely on paid links to get any traction with search engines as the competition is likely investing a lot into their SEO efforts as well.
Finally a site about music/culture likely would have more return visitors than a website about credit cards. Return readers can be monetized over and over again, so definitely consider this factor as well.
So again remember at the end of the day if we want to make money, we need to build traffic. So don’t discount a niche because maybe on the surface it seems the per user value wouldn’t be great. If there is potential to grow a lot of traffic fairly easily, it may be a much better option than some of the “high dollar value” niches.
How Hard Is It To Scale?
Another thing to consider when picking a niche is how hard is it to scale. Using our previous example of a credit card site, if you wanted to outsource the content, it may be fairly expensive to hire someone that can competently write an article about finance topics. You may have to pay $25-50+ per article to get content that is acceptable for such a site.
In contrast if you had a website about music, you may only have to pay someone $6-8 for a decent article. If you can find content this cheap and also have the budget, you could add tons and tons of articles every month and build a massive website. This of course leads to more search engine traffic, which again will lead to more money in your pocket.
Also if you plan on outsourcing say the social media for your websites, it’s much easier (and cheaper) to find someone to post about the latest hot song or celeb gossip than it is to find someone to post about complicated finance topics.
So again when choosing a niche, you really need to think about how difficult it is to scale as well as the upkeep required to keep the website traffic flowing.
Even though a niche may seem more profitable than others, the cost of upkeep and outsourcing may make it a less ideal choice than others.
Bottom line is don’t just pick niches based on what you think will yield you the highest CPC on Google AdSense or affiliate offer payouts.
Think about the larger picture and how much time and money it’s going to cost you to make the website work. I think if you really drill down and think about this, the way you pick niches may change drastically. It has for me, and I think it will for you as well.