The first stage of any affiliate website is to choose which niche to enter, and this is probably the most important stage too because if you choose the wrong niche all the work you do after may end up being wasted time. There’s no point in entering a niche that is impossible to rank for and likewise one where there’s no money to be made.
Let me tell you though, there are so many niches out there that will work for you as long as you take action and persist with it. We are looking for a niche that has a combination of high monthly searches, high value products and low competition. That would be the golden niche but if one of those metrics is very good it can make up for others, for example a niche with lower searches but very high value products could still be immensely profitable. The same applies to competition, if it won’t take much effort to rank then perhaps it may be worth your time to put the content up for it.
So let’s take a look at 4 methods of picking that lucrative niche:
1. Your brain
Things don’t have to get much more complicated than sitting down and brainstorming. This isn’t the most scientific method but you will be able to come up with some great ideas, if you are passionate about something then think about whether being an affiliate for products related to that niche could be profitable. There’s nothing better than combining your passion with generating income, if you practice a musical instrument or are passionate about some type of fitness training then note it down and investigate! That being said it’s not required and every single one of my affiliate sites are in niches I have no real personal interest in but I calculated that they could be profitable.
2. Browsing Amazon
Another slightly more scientific method is to head to Amazon.com (or the version in your own country) and click on some categories to find some popular (and hopefully high value products). Experiment by sorting by price and number of reviews and note down anything interesting for further investigation.
With all of your ideas noted down head over to the Google Keyword Planner Tool which is free to use. Once there we want to search for keywords with buyer intent, if you are building an affiliate website then examples of keywords we want to target would be your “best + your keyword” and “your keyword + reviews”. These are relatively easy to rank for when building a review site and are free from Google’s e-commerce bias when searching for a product keyword alone.
Once you enter your keywords into the tool it will bring back the results with local monthly search volume, CPC and competition. We are really only interested in the search volume as we are not doing Adsense. Check your keywords have a reasonable amount of searches per month, anything over 1000 is worth targeting but you could stretch as low as 500 or less if this product is particularly valuable (there are some products on Amazon worth over $30,000…just one sale per month could be $2000+ commission). Note down any keywords that meet the criteria.
3. Generating keywords from the Google Keyword Planner Tool
This is my preferred method and I’m going to offer you guys a real golden nugget here which I’m not sure many people know about. In order to generate a HUGE list of buyer intent keywords with decent search volume there is a little trick.
Leave the first 2 fields blank and choose a category, this can be anything and in the filter settings set the monthly searches to be 500 or higher (or whatever value you are looking for). Then set it to search only for keywords that contain “best” OR “reviews”. This will be bring back a nice list of buyer intent keywords for which we can potentially rank for in that category. You can repeat this process for as many categories as you like and build a nice spreadsheet of potential keywords to target.
The results of this search bring us 377 potential keywords to target as you can see below. All of these keywords have search volume and buyer intent, the only question marks are product price and top 10 competition.
Another favourite method is to check other review sites on SEMRush to reverse engineer which keywords they rank for and which ones you can potentially rank for too. You can input large review sites such as TopTenReviews.com and generate huge lists of potential keywords for further investigation. Use your imagination here and you can find some gems.
Now we have a nice list of niches/keywords to build sites around we must check whether they are worth investing our time into them.
Checking Product Values
That brings us to the next stage which is checking the product values on Amazon. The best practice is to search for this product and sort by number of reviews as we will be recommending the most popular products on our affiliate site because it is good for conversions. Note down a price range of the lowest and highest priced products that people are actually buying.
Checking the Competition
The final stage is to check the competition and there are plenty of keyword tools out there which will allow us to do this quickly and painlessly (or you can do it manually). I have used LongTailPro for a long time as it has a very good completion analyser. It will show you all kinds of useful data of the top 10 ranking sites such as Domain Authority, Page Authority and the number of backlinks. Note: be careful though because most affiliate sites use PBNs and will hide their backlinks from crawlers such as Moz, Majestic and ahrefs. This can be a slightly problematic when analysing competition so if you suspect this is the case then check for any signs of an easy SERP. This would include more legitimate sites ranking with low domain authority, weak pages (yahoo answers, livestrong, youtube videos, forums etc…) and low quality affiliate sites.
You should now have a nice list of potential keywords along with their search volume, product value and competition. It’s time to analyse this for opportunity, you can either do this manually or use a formula or keyword tool to do this for you. I now use AuthorityMetrics as I can easily input a long list of keywords and it will analyse everything from the competition to opportunity which allows me to easily and quickly see which keywords are going to be worth going for.
If you keep at it, you can accumulate a spreadsheet of niches that looks something like this:
Out of your list, pick a niche which looks profitable and not too difficult to rank for (if you have a huge PBN perhaps you can go for more competitive keywords).
The next step is to do further keyword research and get your content created, I will show you how to do this in part 2, so please stay tuned.
If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below and I will get back to you.
I rarely use Keyword Planner, but that’s a nifty little trick that I’m gonna have to try. Nice one!
Glad you like it Shawna and I can see from your blog that you’re killing it with Amazon too, congrats! 🙂
Hey Ben, I notice that kw research trick isn’t working any more?
Yeah that’s strange, probably just a temporary bug. Seems the filters aren’t working.
what do you like about authoritymetrics vs Long Tail Pro?
They are both good tools but for analysing keyword difficulty I feel authoritymetrics is more powerful.