When people discuss online or affiliate marketing, they often refer to something called a niche.
Dictionary.com defines the word as:
For our purposes, we will be discussing a niche as 3. A distinct segment of a market and 5. Pertaining to or intended for a market niche; having specific appeal.
Why it Matters
One of the first things we learn at Wealthy Affiliate is how to decide on a niche. This is vital to your success. If you have little interest in your subject, you will not be motivated to put in the time, energy and focus it takes to build a successful online marketing business.
This also applies if you already have a business and want to launch or improve your online presence. Not having a website in today’s marketplace is like not having a phone number. You will not get as much business nor will you have as many customers ready to buy.
Websites inform and guide consumer purchasing decisions thousands of times an hour. WIthout a website, you lose the chance to interact with potential shoppers or information seekers. In our modern economy, many shoppers simply will not patronize a business unless they can find more information about them online.
Today’s shoppers are fully aware of their power. Sites like Yelp, PlanetFeedback* and Google reviews can crush a business based on poor reviews. Many small businesses are terrified of this modern phenomenon because once a bad review hits the internet, it is there forever.
*PlanetFeedback.com is not currently operational. According to their site, they are not permanently shut down, simply reworking their platform to better serve consumers.
Choosing a niche and being dedicated to it can prevent this kind of backlash. As an aficionado of your chosen niche, you are far less likely to post something that your target readers will find dissatisfying or inaccurate.
No matter how versed you believe you are in your chosen niche, always include verifiable resources and check your facts and figures. Very few things can bring your site down faster than readers pointing out your errors for you.
Niched and Loaded
As They Live & Breathe
For some people, deciding on a niche is easy. They are already itching to explore the subject matter further and probably spend a great portion of their time immersed in their niche.
They may have already made attempts to create an income within the niche. For these people, niche selection is a no brainer. They are highly likely to succeed in their endeavor, with patience and the right training.
For others, it can be difficult. We live in a time when we are expected to go to college, get a degree, go get a job and work for someone. If we do well, we are rewarded with pay raises, bonuses, and career advancements.
Once upon a time, people worked for the same company for most if not all of their career. Now, job hopping is as common as McDonald’s. Loyalty is a rare thing between employer and employee. Workers are fully aware that they can be replaced within hours should they be released from their position.
In this environment, many people dream of doing what they love, but rarely have time, money or energy to do. They settle for collecting, hobbies or joining groups and organizations that match their suppressed passion. Deep down, they want to engage in their dream full time.
These people may have to think a bit before they realize exactly what their niche is, but once they do, it becomes their focus. These people are as likely to succeed -again with proper training and patience- as those who live their niche already.
Some aspiring affiliate marketers are so diverse in their passions and interests that choosing one niche over another is like deciding which child they love most. These people can have the most difficulty in maintaining focus on a single project. They are accustomed to juggling so many things that focusing on only one becomes almost impossible.
At Wealthy Affiliate, we are encouraged to explore our options. With the Starter account, you get two free websites on the SiteRubrix platform. This can allow you to start up more than one niche market site, and then gravitate to the one that appeals most. And if you upgrade to Premium, you get a mind-boggling 50 sites to work with (25 SR, 25 on your own domains).
Oh, the niche possibilities!
I personally have four sites at WA with one on my own domain. I only work on this one consistently for the moment. I know that the moment I branch out, my focus will be split and one or more of my sites may suffer.
For the over-niched, it becomes a matter of what matters most right now. Right now, I am in the process of working from home so I can continue to build my WA business until I don’t have to anymore. Due to my current immersion in the work from home market, I decided that this was the niche I would start with.
People like me can find success if we maintain focus and discipline ourselves. Patience is crucial. We become so eager to jump into our other areas of interest that we can become scattered. Production suffers which negatively affects forward progress.
The training modules at WA are an antidote to this trait. By following the tasks set before me, I can keep my attention trained upon this site, instead of wandering off to indulge in my love of gaming and herbalism.
Some people have the desire to break into affiliate marketing or home business, but have no idea what they should or can do. These are the ones that require the most encouragement. Their uncertainty is paralyzing. They want to make a move but have no clue what direction will work for them.
The nicheless may have to dip their toes into a few different niches before they find one that excites and motivates them. Then, its simply a matter of training, patience, and discipline. At some point, the chosen niche may begin to pale, in which case, any and everybody is free to jump ship or split off into another area of interest.
There is no preconceived “correct” niche for everybody. Some will have similar interests but they will approach from different angles. This is why Wealthy Affiliate is so valuable. The training gives you the confidence to branch into whatever niche works for you, and change up if you feel the need.
Make it Worthwhile
Value Can’t Be Bought
I mentioned that you must be passionate about your niche and why. The other side of that equation is helping others. In your niche, you must be able to provide a solution to your reader’s question. The finer points of monetizing and gaining revenue will follow, but you have to start by providing value to the reader. They have to find your site worth viewing, otherwise, you will become lost in the flood of mass information on the internet.
Your content is the essence of your niche, but it has to come from relevant searches. Dropping your link all over the web may get you a few clicks, but nothing near the traffic required to sustain you financially.
Keywords are the building blocks of your content. When readers go online, they are usually looking for something. They type whatever they’re looking for into a search engine, like Google, Bing or Yahoo!.
If you have incorporated popular keywords into your content, your site will be among the results of the reader’s keyword search. If your content is compelling enough, the reader is likely to click your link and browse your content.
At WA we have a keyword tool called Jaaxy that shows us which keywords are popular. This tool allows us to narrow down keywords that are relevant to our niches and minimizes the risk of writing a lot of content that will most likely not be seen.
With Jaaxy we can search for keywords and keyword terms that are trending on Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. We can then take that keyword and incorporate it into our content.
The trick is to make sure the keywords matter to your niche. I cannot expect niche relevant traffic if I use coffee as a keyword unless I am discussing a business opportunity or a work from home gig about coffee. This is why you have to know and love your niche.
Training on using Jaaxy and maximizing your keywords is included in Premium memberships at Wealthy Affiliate. An overview of the tool is available to Starter members.
Once you have your keywords and you are ready to write your content or make your video, decide how you will present your message. I have always lived by the KISS idea.
Keep It Simple Sally
The immediacy of the internet has severely diminished the browsing public’s attention span. If you do not catch their interest within 7 seconds, they are most likely gone to another site, lost in social media, or off to order pizza. This is another reason why you have to know your niche.
Readers who share your passion are your target audience. You also want to reach those who are just looking. They may have friends or family that may be riveted by your content, in which case, they will pass it along.
To do this, you must use engaging headlines and captivating descriptions. Knowing your niche makes it possible to refine your hooks to grab the browsing eye. Once they click, it is all up to your content. Loving your niche will allow you to create compelling quality content that will speak to your readers.
And when you can do that, you are succeeding in your niche.
Keep It Coming
The Right Foot
Once you get readers, don’t disappoint them. The process of creating content should be easy if you know and love your niche. If you feel stuck, do a keyword search. At Wealthy Affiliate, we are taught the Alphabet Soup method, which can be used with Jaaxy or Google. As long as you have a passion for your niche, ideas should come easy.
You never know what will inspire you. I went out to eat with my family and got two reviews out of it. I got the idea for this post by reading a site on keywords.
Put It Out There
Having an idea and translating it into words or video is not exactly on the same road. If you feel nervous about how you will be received, read up on some other blogs or news sites that are relevant to your niche. Check out your social media. Talk to friends.
Getting off on the right foot means you can produce quality content relevant to your niche and continue to do so for the long term.
The Other Foot
Along with producing niche relevant content, you will find yourself looking at other options for your affiliate marketing site. Once you have an audience, pertinent links and referrals on your site will begin getting clicks.
This can lead to revenue. In the long term, this revenue can supplement or replace your current #WageLife income. #WAHLife is then yours for the taking.
The Best Part
The best part of all of this is multifold.
First, you are providing value, information and help to your readers. They come to your site for information and the longer you provide it, the bigger your audience
Second, you are building something that will endure. Remember, once something hits the web, it is there forever. Sites may come and go, but content gets shared over and over again. If you build a site that gains exponential value and gains a strong following, you can then sell it, and retire.
Or move on to another site.
Last and perhaps most important, you are finally pursuing your passion. This grants a sense of peace and well being that no job can compare to. Knowing, loving and living your niche creates a joy within that a paycheck just cannot duplicate. It’s like winning the lottery on a monthly basis for the rest of your life.
One More Thing
By the way, following your passion does not mean abandon your responsibilities. Bills still need to be paid. I have a few gigs for the moment and this site is dedicated to helping others keep the income flowing while they build their future. Don’t drop the ball to catch a falling star.
Are you seeking an alternative or supplemental income stream? Are you already in affiliate marketing and want help nailing down and living your niche?
Follow me to Wealthy Affiliate and I will personally assist you through the process of living your passion.