A Framework For Niche Selection

Every time you want to start a niche site, there's usually one thing stopping you...

Niche selection.

It can halt your efforts in an instant and leave you questioning whether it's "worth it." When in reality, it's all about making a decision using a specific framework.

Today, let's talk about using a framework to choose the topic of your next affiliate site. I'm not an expert at this, nor do I want to be.

Being a niche site selector is not my goal. My goal is to keep earning more with my current projects. This isn't about dabbling, it's about making money.

Start with 1 site, then once it's earning. Use what you know with the next sites. But don't start a new niche unless you absolutely have to. The only time when it might be a good idea to start a new site is if you didn't research it properly and you're targeting all the wrong keywords. Which can happen, of course.

With all that said, the first thing every potential affiliate needs is a niche. It's the first step!

I want this short guide to be a one-stop shop for you in terms of getting off the runway in the best path possible. Choosing a niche can leave people in sweat, but there are only 5 considerations that you'll have to base your decision on.

Let's start with number 1.

Follow Your Passion or the Money?

This is always the first consideration. You're actually asking yourself "Can I live with this decision?"

Here's my way of solving this issue, I try to find something right in the middle. Between following your passion and the money. Something that can make you happy and rich at the same time.

Seriously, entrepreneurship works like building a home. If you build your home in a bad neighborhood - it's your fault. If you can build your house in any area, then why not place it in the area you're most happy with.

The zone in the middle is what I like to call the "Fun Zone." If you're in a place where you're unsure of a niche, ask yourself if you'd think it would be fun to research it.

The reason why I talk about researching vs writing is because you don't have to write the content on your site. If best selling authors can have ghost writers, so can you.

How Narrow or Wide Should a Niche Be?

Keyword research is the starting ground for many site owners. Once you've narrowed down a few, I find myself question the width of the niche.

When in reality, I should be thinking about niche depth. Where in the customer lifecycle does this 'low competition' keyword sit?

What I mean by niche depth is the ability to continue selling to this particular market beyond this product.

Here's what I ask myself, when I'm faced with the question of niche depth:

  • How old are these people?
  • Do they buy/share in groups?
  • Do they hang out together?

This should give you an idea of how much depth a market has and how many ways you can reach them.

Is It Easily Outsourced? 

This is a really important part actually. In order to make things easier for yourself, you need to find people that can easily write high quality content. This means choosing a niche that's not overly complicated.

I like to outsource from day 1. It doesn't mean that I don't know anything about the niche though. I carefully research and write out points that I'd like the writer to go over. Starting in a very technical niche makes it difficult to find subject matter experts in.

Unless you intend on using this blog to start a service, then it makes sense to start with easily outsourced content around product reviews and guides.

It's important that in your journey of online business, you learn to provide directions to people you don't see physically. You probably won't even talk to them on the phone, see their face or anything like that. You'll need to explain your expectations with words and video.

But once you start, you'll realize how addicting it is.

Can I Work On This For 2 Years?

I chose the word "work" for an important reason.

It's not about interest, it's about work. Work is what makes money, not interests. People don't expect you to show up to your workplace unenergized, so you can't expect to show up building your niche site unenergized either.

Make sure that the thought of starting in this niche would give you energy. It's amazing the things you can accomplish if you stick to 1 thing consistently for a long period of time.

You want to choose a niche that you can grow into. Usually, this is something that I don't know a whole lot about, but I know that could come in handy for the future or is just something I want to learn more about. Learning so much about the topic that you'd be considered an expert, when compared to 99% of the world.

Does This Niche Require A Face? 

In reality, every starter site should have a face. Even if it's not yours. Although it's always ideal to just use a picture of your own face but apply a pen name. This way you won't get caught using a fake profile.

It happens, trust me.

Think about whether or not you can/want to be the face of the brand. You don't want to lie about your history, but you also don't want to be completely hidden either. At the beginning, when you place your face on your niche site. It gives you a sense of responsibility and attaches you to your site in a more personal manner.

Your site can be written by an avatar or you can brand it personally. There isn't a wrong choice, but it helps to know whether or not you're prepared to represent the brand if need be.

What's My Deadline?

Every decision needs a deadline, right?

I would not dedicate more than 3 days to decide. I know that might sound very little, but it shouldn't take you that long to decide which niche to enter. This is after the research, of course. Once you've gathered up a fair amount of candidates, then give yourself 3 days only to decide.

Too much selection can cause overwhelm. Try to stick to 6 candidates, then narrow them down to 3 and then 1.

From there, you should have made your decision. These questions are meant to reduce the anxiety you may feel from choosing a niche. Try to remember that it's more important to just start and depending on how much you're willing to put yourself out there, the competition doesn't matter either.

What If I Can't Even Find A Niche?

If you can't find a niche or you just aren't sure where to start, head over to our affiliate site area. These are starter affiliate sites with all the research done for you and should give you an idea of where to start.

If you're keen on starting and conducting the research yourself, I'd recommend these two podcasts episodes:

Episode 6: Finding Ideas For Your Niche
Episode 7: Digging Deeper into Niche Ideas

One strategy called 'brain dumping' is very useful when you can't find a niche. It's where you take every idea you have for niches and write them all down.

It's simple enough and you should be able to think of at least 10-20. Then ask yourself the following:

  • What are you a subject matter expert in?
  • Which products do you see being advertised often? Both online and on TV.
  • What's a trending niche or product?
  • Which categories offer the best commissions and can you think of sub-niches within those?
  • Are there any local bookstores around you? Go and look at the magazine section.
  • Is there are a good range of prices in the niche?

Some of you might be stuck on the keyword analysis and we've written plenty around that on our blog. But, as I said earlier, pay special attention to the keywords placement in the buying cycle. Meaning the closer you get your affiliate link to the buying process, the better. People often times searching for "best X" or "X vs Y" already know a bit about the product and are right on the edge of making a buying decision.

What Happens After I Choose My Niche?

It's time to start thinking about how you'll get traffic to your site and how you can make sure it's set up for success.

2-1-Grow

This is just a simple way of getting started once you've got your niche selected. Think of the 2 traffic sources you'll be utilizing (most likely SEO and social media), and then 1 monetization method and 1 growth domain.

Your monetization method will usually be Amazon since the product selection is so vast there.

Your growth domain is simply a domain that tells people what your site is about and whether it's the right place for them at that moment. It needs to be something that you can expand upon so you're not stuck talking about a certain product type the entire time. It also helps with trustworthiness and the ability to attract links naturally.

So there you have it! A full niche selection guide from A to Z. Was it shorter than you expected?

Good.

You should be blowing past this decision as fast as possible.

Remember that this shouldn't be a stressful decision, the faster you decide this, the faster you'll be able to start earning revenue from your content. Ultimately your goal should be to have one task, accomplish it and then move on to the next duty. At this point, it's niche selection so I hope you take a leap of faith and use those questions to help you decide the best path.

Don't worry if it's not the right path either, you'll learn a ton along the way.

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