Ask Kirsty

Ask Kirsty – Niche Selection Isn’t As Easy As It Sounds, Is It?

Been a while since I’ve had a good “Ask Kirsty” through, this one is an oldie… but a goodie. It’s the old and still painful niche selection problem!

Hi Kirsty,

I need some advice. Im new to affiliate marketing and have been reading as much as i can for the past few months. While reading, there have been 2 things that seem to be repeated quite often, 1) pick a subject you enjoy and have a passion for and 2) just do it.


So, keeping inline with the ‘just do it’ statement, i started searching for a niche/product to promote early on but i didnt really think about picking a topic that i enjoyed. I thought that once i saw the money coming in then that would motivate me anyway.


So i found a kitchen appliance product that didn’t have a lot of competition and got about 27k local exact search (according to Google keyword tool) ad went about creating the site. Im a web developer/designer career wise so enjoyed the site creation, but now im stuck. I need to write content for it, but i have no interest in this product and find it so mind numbingly boring that i can’t bring myself to do it everyday. When i do write content for the site (reviews for each product) i find myself writing the same thing over and over again for each product. its basically the same thing from different manufacturers! i cant afford to hire content writers so the sites come to a halt.


So, i guess i realised the hard way why its important to pick a topic that you enjoy, at least until you get enough experience and maybe make some money.


But here’s my problem. Everything that i have any interest in is so heavily saturated and overly competitive that i don’t think i can compete and it wont be worth the time and effort to get so little reward. For example, i enjoy playing video games, but thats to broad a market and very competitive anyway. i could dig deeper and go for sub sections of the games market to target a niche, but these niches don’t really get any searches so again, its not really worth the time or the effort.


Do you have a tips or ideas of where i can go from here?

Well, Abbid I can immediately pick up on more than one common mistake that you have made in all of this. Clearly you’ve already learned the hard way about needing to be interested in what you are promoting, so we’ll skip that one!

So the areas you need to look at again are: –

Basing your niche selection purely upon what the Google Keyword tool tells you.

It’s great to give you a rough idea, but it often over and under estimates actual traffic you might get from your search terms.  Bear in mind that the data you are seeing has been collated on an automatic basis. Whilst it is a good way to investigate possible traffic bearing areas, I think it is important to also realise that it is often innaccurate.

Basing your niche selection around a single keyword

It sounds to me like you are subscribing to the “exact match domain” school of affiliate marketing. Whilst this particular bit of advice has been floating around for a while and has been very useful I think it is a mistake to accept it as gospel, and the thinking of it as a formula to succeed is a woeful over simplification. Remember that on any domain, you will not only get traffic relating to your main search term but on many related search terms if you take the time to put up decent content.  I have a single product domain which Google reckons has 880 monthly searches. I get 2,000 visits per month to it because I’m not only ranking for that term but many other related terms thanks to my decent content.

Thinking you need an exact match domain

You don’t. Yes, try to get something attractive looking with at least one important keyword in it – but don’t let it be a rod for your back. This mistake wasn’t obvious from your question, I’m just guessing. However a lot of people reading this probably let exact match domain availability rule their progress too much, so I’ve included it 😉

Letting your pre-conceptions build a wall against progress

You’ve only been involved in affiliate marketing for a short time, but already you have a very rigid notion of what you “have” to do to find your niche. Whilst any bit of useful advice you get in this game should be heeded, do not treat it like gospel.

First of all, are you absolutely SURE there’s no search volume around the small and targeted niches you have been thinking of?  If they are interconnected I’d consider doing a site to house say 5 or 6 of these, approach one at a time and add others when ready.

Secondly, how can you know that areas are over saturated without actually trying?  On each and every over saturated niche I’ve ever entered I’ve quickly realised I’m one of the only people knocking about who is prepared to spend time producing quality, unique content.  Choose a small area and don’t take on the big boys, but don’t be put off by a little competition either.

Tips and Ideas

I want to be a little more helpful than picking holes in your reasoning, so here’s where I’d go from your current situation.

  • Game controller site?  Any other accessories people might buy that you’re an expert on? Most gaming consoles seem to have a plethora of add ons. If I was doing a site like that I’d create a comprehensive section covering each console brand and review main products. Then I’d also create a section for each major use or type of controller i.e. “flight simulator game controllers”  At first glance, there are an awful lot of authority sites in that area… but as I said before, put out some quality content and you will get traffic. Large authority sites are often unable to break out of a set “mould” in their content and structure. If you personalise your approach to how you would shop for these things yourself, I’m betting you’d get traffic.
  • Sit down and list absolutely everything that you’d enjoy shopping for online, and use one of them. Over simplified advice? Yeah, definately but it does sort of come back to the “just do it” phrase you alluded to at the start of this question. You will have to start somewhere, and even if it turns out not to have been the right place, you will learn something you can feed into your next attempt.
  • Do not get disheartened if what you try first does not work. You absolutely must try again. Affiliate marketing is not an easy thing to master, there will be false starts and you have to get over them to succeed. Acknowledge that at the start and you have a good chance of winning!!

I think I’ll leave it there… plenty to digest as the post approaches 1200 words!

Good luck 😉

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