Affiliate Marketing Verticals and Niches: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
Being a new affiliate requires you to make many crucial decisions. However, none may be more important than determining which affiliate marketing verticals and niches you want to promote.
If a profitable affiliate campaign was a house, your vertical would be the foundation and your niche would be the floors, walls and ceilings. You simply can’t construct your money-making mansion without first putting them in place.
Knowing your niche also ensures you’re prepared to sign up to MaxBounty, as it’s one of the most important parts of your network application along with traffic source details.
However, understanding what they are and how they differ can be confusing, especially as a beginner. Knowing how to choose one and what to look for can also seem daunting. It probably feels like you have to figure out what you want to go to school for and do for the rest of your life, except it’s your affiliate career.
Luckily, not only can you eventually pivot to other vertical or niches, the process of choosing one is less complicated than it seems. We promise you’ll agree with that notion by the time you finish reading this guide.
Before we get into how to find your niche, let’s first go over what a vertical and niche are and why they’re so important.
What are Affiliate Marketing Verticals and Niches?
Niches and verticals are often confused as the same thing. Although they are similar, each represents a different part of your campaign/promotion strategy. Therefore, it’s important to understand both and why they deserve their own attention.
A vertical is a broad category that represents the general area or field of your affiliate promotions, while a niche is a specialized subset of that vertical that relates more to actual offers as well as your angle.
If that’s also an unfamiliar term, know that your angle is essentially the messaging of your overall campaign. It’s how you’re going to hook people into converting a lead on the offer you’re promoting.
You can read more about angles here.
As for verticals, think of them as categories for those timeless base-level human desires: beauty, money, love, success. There are affiliate marketing verticals that directly relate to each of those, for instance: health, financial, dating and biz opp (business opportunity).
These foundational affiliate marketing verticals continue to bring affiliates success because they aim to provide solutions to human problems that will always exist.
However, since those categories are so broad, you need to narrow them down further. There’s no such thing as “money” or “financial” offer. However, there are European auto loan offers. That’s an example of a niche.
How to Find Your Vertical and Niche
Choosing a vertical and niche should be one of the first things you do as a beginner affiliate. Not only will it be necessary eventually, but doing so allows you to also:
- Determine your audience
- Choose a traffic source
- Apply to an affiliate network
- Look for specific campaign(s) to test
It’s so important that it’s one of the first questions we ask in our MaxBounty affiliate application. Not only that, but its answer holds the most weight when our affiliate management team reviews that application.
A clear plan is the number one thing every network wants to see in a new affiliate. That plan starts with your niche.
There are several ways you can approach finding a niche. These can work whether you’re looking for your very first one or you’re 10 years into affiliate marketing and need to freshen up your approach.
Here are our recommendations for the best methods for finding and choosing a profitable affiliate marketing niche.
Consider What You Know
A great starting point for determining both your vertical and niche is examining your current knowledge.
Take a moment and write out a list of your hobbies, interests, or passions. It’s likely that at least a couple of them are currently profitable verticals or niches in affiliate marketing.
Perhaps you’re a middle-aged fitness junkie who’s dedicated to compacting your workout into 30 minutes or less. Taking that passion and applying it to affiliate marketing could give you your vertical, niche, AND angle all at once.
What’s great about this approach is that it can also give you an immediate advantage over other affiliates who are less knowledgeable on the subject. You’re going to have a better understanding of the desires of your audience because you ARE your audience. This can be greatly beneficial when writing copy for a landing page or setting targeting options on ad platforms.
Affiliate marketing is highly competitive. Any advantage you can find is valuable and this approach can provide one.
Think of Your and Others’ Desires
Similar to how we suggested exploring a personal interest of yours to find a niche, you can also find inspiration in your own past or current experiences.
Maybe you’ve noticed a few extra wrinkles around your eyes lately or you’ve been suffering from severe FOMO on that newest tech gadget. Both of those problems can be solved with affiliate marketing niches in the form of skincare creams and e-commerce tech products.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be personal, but all affiliate marketing offers are inherently trying to solve some type of human-level problem because ultimately they are like any other product or service.
Talk to people in your life or ones you know online. You’ll be surprised how many great niche ideas you can find simply by discovering others’ desires.
Research Ideas Online
If looking inward or to your family and friends is leading nowhere, it’s time to go digital. The internet is certainly never scarce for information or inspiration.
There are several methods and online tools you can use that can help lead you to a niche that best suits you. Here are a few suggestions:
- Browse affiliate marketing forums like AffiliateFix and Warrior Forum to see what other affiliates are doing and what’s currently working.
- Use Google Search to perform raw searches on any topic to gain insight on if it could translate to affiliate marketing.
- Search for broader verticals on Quora.com to discover specialized topics within that vertical in the form of user submitted questions and conversations.
- Use an online tool like answerthepublic.com to see what’s currently trending in specific parts of the world.
Review your Niche
Just because an idea seems great in your head doesn’t mean it’s going to make you money. It’s important to do the proper research to ensure you’re going down a profitable path.
Once you believe you have found a profitable niche, here’s some tools and resources you can utilize to determine if you’re correct.
Look for competition
Finding a niche that no one’s ever thought of before probably sounds great on paper. No competition means all those clicks and leads will go directly to you, right? However if no one else is doing it, it’s likely because it doesn’t have much potential to make you money.
Although oversaturation certainly exists, it’s important that there are other affiliates out there promoting the same niche as you or at the very least something similar.
We suggest browsing the same affiliate marketing forums mentioned above as well as any affiliate marketing Facebook groups, subreddits, etc.. If you aren’t able to find any discussions relating to your niche, you may have chosen something too obscure.
Ensure there’s an audience
If your niche has a limited online audience, there simply isn’t going to be enough people out there interested in it to generate you earnings.
Here are a few ways you can double check that there’s real interest in your niche.
- Use Google Trends to ensure people are searching for what you hope to sell them, and to what extent. This is also helpful for comparing multiple niches if you have a few ideas to choose from.
- Look for relevant forums on your niche. If you’re thinking of promoting travel offers to honeymooners, finding something like this online would be reassuring.
- Search for Facebook Groups or other social media communities that contain people who are passionate/have interest in your niche. Find out what drives them and what improvements they’re craving.
Check for affiliate offers
If you’re not currently an affiliate at any network, you’ll want to make sure that the niche you’ve chosen actually has some corresponding affiliate offers.
Our #1 recommendation for how to do this is to go to OfferVault.com. If you didn’t already utilize this affiliate marketing offer aggregator site as inspiration for your niche, now’s the time to explore their search tool.
Offervault contains a large portion of all current affiliate marketing offers, as well as additional info like CPA rates and what networks they belong to.
If you can’t find a few offers on their site that relate to your niche, it’s likely you’ve chosen something with too narrow of an audience.
It pairs well with a preferred traffic source(s)
Certain niches perform better with different traffic types. This can be for a variety of reasons, such as a higher volume of a type of user being found on one traffic source over another or 3rd party restrictions limiting who you can target.
You may not have a traffic source in mind yet, and that’s okay. However, if you do, we recommend doing some additional research through all the methods we mentioned above to ensure your niche and traffic source are a realistic combination.
Examples of Affiliate Marketing Verticals and Niches
To conclude this guide, here are a list of niches within a few of the most consistent and stable verticals in affiliate marketing. Although there are more than what we’ve listed, these ones are considered some of the most reliable.
Once you have found your niche and reviewed it for profitability, we recommend you then start researching traffic sources. We obviously suggest you start with MaxBounty’s very own Traffic Source Guide.
E-commerce is such a broad vertical because nearly any product-based offer can be considered e-commerce. You’ll also find frequent crossover with other verticals. However, this level of diversity can be beneficial for finding something that best suits your interests.
It’s also probably worth noting that people are spending more money online than ever before. E-commerce has never been more popular.
- E-security software (antivirus programs)
- Tech products
- Pet products
With COVID-19 travel restrictions beginning to lift across the globe, the travel vertical is once again returning to its lucrative roots.
Experts are expecting people to satisfy their new craving for adventure after being stuck in their homes for much of 2020 and 2021.
- Wedding/Honeymoon travel
- Family vacations
- Flight bookings
- Hotel bookings
- City Tours
If there’s one vertical that is guaranteed to never go out of style, it might be dating. Love is always fashionable.
With as many as 1 in 3 people dating online, there are massive amounts of volume available as long as you can find the right niche to dodge oversaturation.
- Religion-based dating
- Seniors dating
- Active lifestyle dating
- Profession-based dating
- Ethnic group-based dating
Similar to dating, finance is an evergreen vertical because money and financial stability will always be an important part of our lives.
The rise in popularity of FinTech (Financial Technology) products and services is further evolving opportunities for affiliate marketers in this vertical.
- Credit Card Loans
- Car Loans
- FinTech: Cryptocurrency
- Mortgage/Home ownership
Health is another vertical that offers a lot of diversity in terms of niches and affiliate offers. It’s also one that changes quickly, so make sure you do your research to ensure the niche you’ve chosen can make you money right now.
- Mental Health
- Health insurance
- Fitness programs
- Weight loss/Diet
- Natural remedies
Sign up to become a MaxBounty affiliate today.