How to Setup an Affiliate Marketing Business – Part 2/7


Affiliate marketing is a great way to build a business regularly and persistently. There’s no room for pie in the sky attitudes in this business. If you hope to get rich quickly, this is not your gig.

The key to affiliate marketing success is choosing the right niche, for several reasons. First, it has to be a topic that will continue to hold your attention because you’ll be writing about it for many years. Secondly, it needs to be a section of the market where there are enough products for you to promote.

I believe it’s necessary for both of these components to be present if you want to build a long-term successful affiliate marketing business. Affiliate businesses cannot thrive unless there is an ample amount of products to promote on a continuous basis, and marketers like what they are doing!

Likewise, if you choose a niche that you aren’t passionate about, you’ll find it hard to write about it for five years or longer. Chances are you won’t stick with it, and that means all the hard work you put into the business model is wasted when you walk away to try something new.

This is why I don’t recommend you become an affiliate marketer just for the sake of making money! You’re creating this business to HELP people – always remember that. However, you can’t help people if you aren’t enthusiastic about the work you’re doing, so be sure you pick something that you LOVE!

Ask Three Questions

How to Setup an Affiliate Marketing Business – Part 2/7There are three questions that will help you define whether or not a niche is worthy of consideration. Ask yourself:

1. Do I have a long-term interest in this area?

Is this something you can write about on a daily basis? Your website will need consistent updating with new information – especially if you want people to perceive you as an authority figure.

2. Do people spend money?

Are there buyers? How often do they spend money? Are companies advertising in this niche? Are there magazines available on the topic? Check Google – are people buying pay per click ads? If so, it means there is an audience for this niche.

3. Are there enough products to promote?

You need products to promote otherwise your business will not last. Make sure there are enough products to sustain your business for five years, at the bare minimum.

What Are the Top Affiliate Marketing Niches?

Some affiliate marketers decide early on that they are going to sell digital products and tangible items. This allows them to make more money because they combine the two, instead of settling on one in particular.

Some niches do quite well within the marketplace; here are a few worth mentioning:

  • Relationships are one of the best niches with people wanting to meet compatible matches or to save existing relationships. Unfortunately, there are not many tangible items to promote for this niche.
  • Money is another niche offering digital products to promote, and people are constantly searching for them online. There is no shortage of interest in the money niche.
  • Diet is a niche that’s suitable for both male and female, in many age groups – plus it offers massive opportunities to sell both digital and tangible products. You’ll find digital courses to help with weight loss, and many of them cater to a targeted audience.

If you want to promote tangible items, look to Amazon where you’ll find treadmills, elliptical machines and DVD exercises that you can pair up with a product review of a digital course.

  • Self-help is another popular niche. People are always looking for stress and anxiety relief. You could couple an information course with items from Amazon like candles, supplements, and massage gadgets.
  • Insomnia is popular because sleep disorders are very common and this niche provides digital and tangible product opportunities for you to promote. Think along the lines of better bedding, sleep masks and white noise machines that you can couple with a digital course.

Additionally, you’ll find a variety of products to promote within the coffee, parenting, pet and household item niches.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you which niche to pick for your affiliate marketing business. Only you understand where your interests lie and what topic excites you the most.

Once you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to establish your home on the Internet. Should you use Squidoo or start a WordPress blog? I will answer these questions (and more) in Part 3 of the series, so stay tuned!

Which niche did you choose and why? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Thanks for reading,
- Bonnie

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About Bonnie Gean

Bonnie Gean is a full-time writer and Internet marketer with over 20 years experience in home-business. She shares the goods on building community and in-depth product reviews.

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  1. Bonnie – Really solid piece! I’m glad I found you/it. Or did it find me? :-)
    Looking forward to the next.

  2. Happiness – Health and Wealth.

    There is also the Sex&Gambling niche that is evergreen but that is like the “dark side” that many people shy from.

    I think it is really important to have a passion for the people who are in that niche and to devote oneself to serve it.

    I serve the opportunity market because I am an opportunity driven person and I embrace the good, the bad and the ugly of that niche.

    Thank you for making that post because so many people miss this critical step: Define Your Target Market.

    To your success
    Renaud Gagne recently posted…How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business in 2014My Profile

  3. Hi, Bonnie…I think this is one of THE best posts on affiliate marketing basics that I’ve read.

    I’ve been dabbling in affiliate marketing for several years, making a little money here and there, but would like to “crank it up” in 2014.

    After reading this post, I realized that I’ve been going at it a little backwards–choosing niches for sales potential rather than my passion for them, which would explain why I end up petering out on them before they bring me steady, decent income.

    It was helpful that you said to make sure there were enough products to sustain you for at least five years, as well as enough passion to sustain you for that long. I don’t think enough people think of this before diving in.
    Becky recently posted…Are you thinking about opening an Etsy shop?My Profile

    • Thank you Becky. There is a ton of information for a person to learn (regarding affiliate marketing) so I am glad to help any way I can.

      Don’t beat yourself up too badly, Becky. I imagine there are many more people who follow the same path (chasing after the money, instead of working from their passion) and as a result, they don’t get the results they want and give up on affiliate marketing – claiming it doesn’t work.

      If you pick a niche that makes you sprint out of bed in the morning because you can’t wait to get your hands in there and do the work to help people, this is a sure sign that you chose a winner! :)

  4. An interesting post I must say. Its obvious that a newbie needs to really access or go through the details provided by this post for success. I see the details provided here as basics but successful affiliate marketing requires a lot skills beyond what has been highlighted in this post.

    • You’re absolutely right, William. These are the basics and it’s also #2 in a 7-part series.

      Even after I finish the entire series, there will be plenty more to learn about affiliate marketing, but a newbie HAS to start somewhere.
      Bonnie Gean recently posted…Happy Holidays!My Profile

  5. Hi Bonnie, it seems we share a similar passion – Affiliate Marketing. I would like to start by saying that I like your very informative articles. To date your have build followed the logical knowledge route with your consecutive articles on Affiliate Marketing and is curious to know if you plan publish an article on the DNA of landing pages (How to convert visitors into clients)? I am asking the question as this is the area where most affiliate marketers gets stuck and is very interested in getting other peoples opinions on this topic.
    Affiliate Debonair recently posted…Off-Page SEO FactorsMy Profile

    • I’ve already posted a series on building a list, but I didn’t go in depth of landing pages – though I agree that one is necessary for affiliate marketers. Hopefully in 2014 I can publish one! :)

  6. I can’t really say that I have found my niche yet. I just write blog posts related to topics that interest me and see where they take me, lol. Great post!
    TimothyTorrents recently posted…Tis’ The Season to Be Snotty…My Profile

  7. Bonnie, nice add on to part 1. Very interesting stuff and very well written and conceived. Onward to the rest of the parts!

  8. Bonnie,
    1) Excellent information that you have give us–some thought provoking fodder for us newbies.
    2) Have you ever written on the Amazon Kindle platform? If yes, what software did you use to format your ebook?

    Ron Kincaid

  9. Bonnie,

    This is an excellent article! You hit the nail on the head with this one. This series is not only beneficial to newbie affiliates, but more seasoned affiliates as well.
    Cynthia Dixon recently posted…How to Become Popular on the Internet Just the Way You AreMy Profile

    • Unfortunately, there are plenty of marketers who get this part wrong and end up changing to do something else. You have to love what you’re doing if you hope to make it a long term business. Sadly, too many newbies rush into it.

  10. Hi Bonnie,
    Like many I put the cart (the money angle) before the horse – now I believe I have the horse (the enthusiasm) in front where he can do some good. Something tells me if I can keep him happy providing value, I’ll eventually be happily filling the cart.
    Marilyn Thompson recently posted…Blog Ping Test Results – Week ThreeMy Profile

  11. Thank you Bonnie! I totally agree about keeping it to something that can hold your interest. One of my niches I am already losing focus in and haven’t written a single thing in months.Might need to go back and find my love for it again.
    Misty Spears recently posted…Are Niche Sites as Profitable as the Guru’s Claim?My Profile

  12. Self help, finances, yoga, quilting are probably my top niches …. but 1 at a time with focus will be the key for me, I don’t want to spread myself too thin early on!!
    Tamsin recently posted…What Did The Dalai Lama’s Cat Have To Say?My Profile

  13. Loved the post Bonnie. I have not read the other part, will in just a minute.

    I think you did a great job covering affiliate marketing. Best to me was that you said, “Do people spend money”. That seems to be such an overlooked aspect when people are getting into new niches.

    And even more importantly, having a passion for the niche. Just today, a customer I’ve been helping was doing a niche that he now realizes he doesn’t like and doesn’t want to do. Sure hard to find success in something you dread doing.

    Pet Caskets? Never would have thought of that. Ya, might be a tough one to get excited about. Course might be less competition.

    Awesome series :)
    Ron Killian recently posted…7 Tips To High Profit Email MarketingMy Profile

  14. I haven’t found mine yet, but I’m newer to blogging. I would do Amazon, but it’s not allowed in my state :(
    Tammy Doiel recently posted…Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party, Week 8My Profile

    • There are other affiliate marketing companies, such as Commission Junction and Clickbank. While they don’t offer tangible items, you can still create an affiliate marketing business using something other than Amazon.

  15. I like to create and help others but personal being rich isn’t key to my life..A little more income sure does come in handy.

    Coffee is on
    peppylady (Dora) recently posted…It’s All In The Poop.My Profile

  16. Thanks Bonnie, great tips. I agree that the niche is the most important and it’s also essential to have an interest in the subject and products you are going to promote. I love online business and travel, so these are my two main niches because I will never get bored of reading and writing about these topics.
    Oana recently posted…Two Simple Ways To Make Money Online During CollegeMy Profile

  17. When I first realised you could make money online with niche marketing – I bounced from one thing to another. Yes I did the yeast infections and baby things. Relationships was one I stuck with for a while – it was almost cathartic. I agree, it helps a LOT if you have an interest in the topic you are writing about.
    I do regret getting rid of my main site when I set up MLBO. Probably for the best, because it did get bitten by a Panda on the second round (the guy who picked up the site left my analytics code on!) The site has now gone forever, but it taught me so much!
    Jan Kearney recently posted…How to Use Pinterest for Local Business MarketingMy Profile

  18. Hi Bonnie,

    Interesting and educational article, like all of what I have read written by you. Affiliate marketing is something which I need to engage in a lot more, since it is such a great source of income.

    At the moment I am working on developing my health niche site to share the knowledge I acquired over the years in the field. The 7-day Challenge is a great idea, and I am glad to be part of it. Focusing on the How To part demand for information will help me see what the market wants, rather what I want to share.

    Best wishes,

    Galina St George recently posted…How to Lose Weight Using Magnesium OilMy Profile

    • I totally agree, Galina! Don’t be afraid to check out health products that you could sell through your health niche site!

      If you’re going to be writing about it all week long, you might as well set it up for affiliate sales too!

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