Are you ready to get your hands on affiliate marketing?

If you are, then you’ve probably hit a roadblock: choosing a niche. Most likely, you’ve asked yourself a lot of questions. Which niche should I pursue? Will it make money? What if I choose the wrong niche?

Don’t worry. It’s okay if you’re overwhelmed and unsure. Every online marketer has experienced these feelings when they started. While it is indeed challenging to choose the right niche, it doesn’t have to be complicated. At this point, forget about keyword research. Forget about monitoring the competition.

There’s one simple trick that can wipe all your doubts away.

Here’s what you should do: find the intersection between what you love, what you’re good at and what makes money.
Simple, right?

What Makes Money(1)

Consider this as one of the most important brainstorming sessions you’ll ever do in your affiliate marketing career.

Now, let’s break this technique into easy, actionable steps.

What You Love

“Find your passion.” This is probably the most cliché advice you’ll find online —whether you’re finding a new job or starting a new blog.

Is this advice really applicable in affiliate marketing? Yes. In a big way.  Most especially if this is your first affiliate marketing venture.

Starting with something you love allows you to be more confident. If you’re selling something you actually believe in, it will reflect on everything you do: writing landing pages, promoting your niche sites on social media, sending your newsletters. Darren Rowse of Problogger believes choosing a topic you’re passionate about makes you more credible and genuine to readers and potential customers.

Notice that most of the hugely popular and financially successful websites were born out of passion. Peter Cashmore started Mashable because he loved learning about computers and technology. Now, the company is valued at $11.2 million. Arriana Huffington started The Huffington Post because she’s a passionate writer. The Huffington Post is one of the top earning websites worldwide and is earning more than $20K daily.

 To do: List all the topics that you love to talk about. Don’t censor yourself. Just write the things that would come to mind.

If you’re drawing a blank, think about the topics that you talk about the most. Also, pay attention to what gets you excited or what triggers your curiosity. Do you like to look at interior designs? Are you curious as to how hydroponic aquariums are maintained?

It’s okay if you write topics that are too generic.  Remember the goal is to simply let the topics you love surface.

Give yourself five to 10 minutes to complete this activity.

What You’re Good At

This is the trickier part. You might ask yourself: Am I really good at something? The sad truth is that sometimes you don’t know your own talents. Maybe you’re feeling insecure. Maybe you haven’t really gotten feedback about your work.

In order for you to find the niche that you could commit to in the next few months, you have to identify your skills.

Why do you need to find out what you’re good at?

It decreases the learning curve. If you’re already proficient in setting up WordPress sites, or reformatting your own computer, then you’ll spend less time learning these technical skills.

You’ll be more confident. Starting an authority or niche site on something that you know like the back of your hand will give you a boost of confidence. This confidence will reflect on everything you do from writing the sales copy to talking about your products over the phone.

To do: Compile a list of things you’re good at. This might take a lot longer than the list of the things you love. If you feel stuck, here are some ideas:

  • Ask your friends and family member about your most valuable skill. Or something that you have done for them exceptionally well. For example, my friend is really good at negotiating prices for her writing services. I, on the other hand, am good at connecting two random ideas and turn it into a solution.
  • Think about the compliments that you usually get. Do people compliment your PowerPoint presentations? Or do they like the way you speak?

Keep in mind that the skills you’ve identified in this section will not necessarily translate into which niche site you should pursue. This exercise allows you to recognize your strengths and use them to your advantage.

Let’s say you are articulate and have a soothing voice. Having this as a skill can greatly work to your advantage over other affiliate marketers because you’ll sound great during webinars and podcasts!

Having an inventory of your skills allows you to focus on your strengths and identify areas you could improve on.

What Makes Money

Most online marketers start with lucrative niches. They identify a niche or a subniche that is highly profitable and start from there.

While there is nothing wrong with this strategy, focusing too much on the economic aspects might not provide enough motivation.

Now, that you’ve identified what you love and what you’re good at. It’s time to know which niches make money. Unlike the first two things that mostly depend on your inner wisdom, this part usually requires considerable amount of time and research.

So, how can you tell if a niche is making money?

Luckily, many successful affiliate marketers have answered that question. In his course The Authority Site Blueprint, Ian Mason shares 10 high-paying niches in affiliate marketing. If 10 niches aren’t enough, he also compiled 60 of the most lucrative affiliate niches in his free PDF.

This list should be enough to get you started.

The Intersection

Now, take a look at the lists you’ve created under What You Love, What You’re Good At and What Makes Money. Do you have a topic that you love and you’re also good at? Is it profitable? Do you see a pattern?

By identifying the intersection, you’ll know which niches and subniches you really care about. You can then focus on doing an in-depth research.

Note: Some of the topics you love might be too generic. For example, you simply listed “family”. What are the topics you love under this category? Do you love to talk about parenting skills, family vacations, or finding the right home for a family? Based on the Free 60 Lucrative Niches PDF, some of the lucrative niches that you can further explore are “home security and DIY home security”, “commercial real estate”, or “wedding planners and event planners.” While these niches are not exactly about family, they revolve around homes and relationship.

The Reverse Process

If you find the above technique tedious, you can actually reverse the process so that you can choose your niche faster. This time start with What Makes Money. Browse the list of 60 lucrative niches. As you go over each niche, ask this question first: Do I love this topic? Or would I love to know more about it? If the answer is no, go ahead and cross it out.

The next question is: Do I have past experience or skill that is related to this niche? If the answer is no, you can also cross it out. This is basically an elimination process. By asking these questions, you’ll eliminate niches that you find uninteresting and know nothing about. You’ll narrow down your options and focus on the niches that matter to you.

What’s Next?

Choosing which niche to pursue is probably one of the hardest and the most important decision you’re going to make. After all what comes next will depend largely on your chosen niche. Doing this simple exercise can help clear your mind and help you focus.

What are other strategies do you have when choosing a niche?

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