Anyone that is interested in getting started in Internet Marketing must do something right from the start if they want to be successful: pick a niche that they can actually make money in! This is something that most don’t do right.. and it causes them to get discouraged and eventually quit. Not everyone is going to be an affiliate or IM superstar but there are things you can do to improve the odds that you actually make money.

Forget worrying about SEO. Forget worrying about social media promotion. Forget worry about content. All of that comes AFTER you nail down a niche that has the potential to earn you real money. It doesn’t matter if you want to build a long term income source or make a quick buck.. selecting your niche comes before anything else.

A lot of people only focus on the income potential when selecting a niche and doing this is the fast path to failure! Yes, financial offers like payday loans and credit card offers pay very well but are you really going to be able to compete with the huge corporations and IM experts that dominate those niches? Would you rather promote a payday loan CPA offer that pays $250 and only get 1 sale a month or some other niche offer that pays $10.. but you get 500 sales a month. That is a HUGE difference and a great example of why the payout shouldn’t be the first thing you look at.

Things to consider when selecting a niche…


What do you do on a daily basis that you are passionate about?

It will be a lot of work in the beginning stages.. and throughout.. so you need to make sure that you pick a niche that you are going to enjoy working in every single day. What about foot fungus? Think that is a niche you would like to spend your days promoting? Of course not.. that would suck balls. What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time? Maybe you are big into health and fitness. Maybe you like to fish on the weekends. Maybe you are a huge sports fan of a particular sporting event or team.

Everyone is passionate about something. Hell, some people love porn and turn that love into a successful online business.. and they fap fap fap all the way to the bank! Make a list of everything you love to do.. and you instantly have a list of niches that you would enjoy working with every day. This way it won’t always feel like work.


What are you into?

You can also seek out niches by writing down everything that you would love to LEARN MORE ABOUT. Not everyone that starts promoting a niche is an expert on that topic. Look at many of the personal finance websites that have become very popular (and make millions of dollars a year).. they started off as blogs by an author that was interested in learning more about how to do things like save money for retirement.. cut costs.. save more money.. get a lower house payment.. get better credit scores.. etc.

They were not financial experts.. but they took that interest and turned it into something highly successful. They connected with people that had the same interest and curiosity. Write down anything that you would love to learn more about. Want to learn more about football? Interested in how to become an actor in Hollywood? Would you like to know more about operating a franchise business? There are unlimited ideas that can be sourced this way. Open your mind and write down anything that interests you.


Is it a micro niche that can be expanded into a larger niche?

You ideally want to identify a niche that has the potential to expand from a micro niche into a much larger niche. If your website grows in popularity that means you have the potential to expand your niche and offer even more products or services to your traffic.

Here is an example. Let’s assume you love health and fitness. You start a micro niche website about how guys can get 6 pack abs in 30 days. You are targeting males and you are targeting males that want to get ripped abs. All of your content is around ab exercises.. and all of the affiliate and CPA offers you promote are male ab guides and programs.

If you do well with this you can then expand.. add in leg workouts, chest workouts, arm workouts, full body workouts, etc. Now you have a much larger niche, allowing you to target a wider audience and sell more products. You can even then take it a step further and include women’s workouts.


Is there an audience for this niche?

This is where you have to put your personal interest and love for a topic to the side and get real. You might really like some particular craft or hobby but if only a few people in the world know about it you won’t have a large enough audience to market to. If it is something you are interested in then you know whether or not there is potential. Cross off anything that doesn’t have a worldwide global audience from your list. For example, someone that is into bass fishing in the US probably would want to alter that niche to bass fishing in general.. that opens the doors to bass fisherman worldwide.


Will you be able to get your website and offering in front of this audience several ways?

SEO is great because it can bring organic traffic and when you get ranked on top you will see huge ROI’s. But along with SEO how else can you bring traffic to your website? Social media is huge.. so search for large Twitter accounts with active followers, large active Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Pinterest boards and Google hangouts.. these are just some examples.

Are there a lot of newsletters and eBooks floating around? This is also a good indication that there is enough interest to move forward. Are there a lot of websites that accept guest bloggers in this niche? What are the monthly search volume for the main keywords in a niche? Don’t be scared of low search volume unless there is a very limited amount of keywords. If there are just a few possible keywords and they all have low search volume then cross it off. SEO, social media, guest blogging and PPC are all ways to drive traffic.


Are there websites dominating this niche?

Pull up Google and go crazy.. start typing every single keyword and keyword combination that you can think of in the search bar. Are there authority sites taking up the top of the search results? Is the same site on top for all the terms? If a huge authority site takes up the top results for all terms scratch it off your list. The money and time required to even TRY to compete probably isn’t worth it right away.

If there are unfamiliar random websites filling the top results for all the keywords you search for then that is a good sign that there isn’t one particular source controlling the rankings in the niche. Keep these on your list and keep going through the qualifying questions.


Can you realistically compete with the websites ranking currently?

Now you have to actually look at the site metrics for the websites that are ranking on top for the niches still left on your list. Use moz, ahrefs and any other link exporting tool to see what they are using to rank. Are they spamming their way to the top? Do they have a bunch of real authority links strengthening their rank? Or are there webistes with very little authority ranking on top? You want to focus on the niches that have weak sites ranking. There is a good chance they are ranking just based on good on page optimization. This will be easy to overtake with good on page as well as some strong links.

If you are just getting started with IM then you want to pick a niche that has those weak websites ranking on top. Having a successful first attempt will give you the experience and confidence to move forward and attempt more difficult niches later.


Do you personally have the work ethic required to be successful?

Everyone likes to think of making money online is the key to doing nothing and not really working. Checking email from a beach.. traveling all the time.. working a couple hours a day.. let’s get real. Sure that can happen to a select few.. but they work their ass off for years before reaching that level.

Be honest with yourself or you will be wasting your time. To really get momentum you are going to have to work a lot. Full time and then some. There are always people willing to work nonstop to get to the top.. if that isn’t you then IM is not for you. Be prepared to work long 12 hour or more days in the beginning. The harder you work in the beginning.. the better off you will be down the road.

Think of it like building a huge mansion. In the beginning it involves building the foundation.. back breaking shitty work.. but without it that fancy beautiful mansion would have never been built.


Can you write?

You are going to need to write a lot of content. The more content you can crank out the more long tail terms you can start to pull organic traffic from. You can’t just slap together a bunch of shitty content and expect it to work. If you have basic writing skills you will be fine.. and you will continue to improve as you write more.

If you can’t write then you will need to open your wallet and hire a good writer. Don’t get Fiverr quality articles.. and also avoid the $5 article BS in the marketplace. I don’t care what the “native” writers will tell you.. they suck. They read like shit and anyone visiting your site will leave if it reeks out crappy content.

In the beginning you want to save as much money as possible so it is best to learn to write. You can also ask family and friends if they want to write.. and you can exchange favors. Sister need some work done around her house? Do it in exchange for content. Just get creative.. and avoid crap content. That is a mistake so many people make trying to be cheap.


How many different sources of income can you identify in this potential niche?

Now you need to see what niches left on your list have potential to make decent money. There is no sense in pursuing a niche if there aren’t a lot of ways to make money. Save monetization options:

AdSense: Do your potential niches have high cost per clicks? Low CPC is ok if there are huge traffic numbers.. just like a high CPC isn’t good if there is low traffic volume. You need to find the sweet spot.

Affiliate Offers: Check and and see how many products there are to promote related to your niche. Be sure to actually look at the sales pages of these products.. do they look good? If they suck then they aren’t going to convert.

Direct Ad Space: If your niche is large you have the opportunity to sell direct ad space to companies that want to lock in a specific ad location for a long term. This is a good strategy to get some upfront money.

Related Offers: Are there any offers that are related to your niche that you could also include to earn even more money? For example, if you are a health and fitness blog and you promote workout offers you could also launch an affiliate program from a supplement store on your blog to earn even more money form the sale of supplements.

Sponsored Posts: You can offer to write reviews and sponsored posts for companies looking for exposure.


Is there enough diversification to keep you above water if shit hits the fan?

What if Google disappeared one day? Do you have ways to attract visitors without a search engine? Will your niche have enough diversification if one or two traffic sources or monetization options go away? This is where your initial research comes into play. You need to dig deep and think of everything mentioned so far.

With so many factors hopefully you can see why selecting the right niche is so important. This is why you see so many posts on the forums from people saying they haven’t made any money. If you start out with the wrong niche from the beginning you are doomed.


How many blog post topics can you think of in 5 minutes?

Set a time for 5 minutes (I’m not even joking). Start it and write down as many blog topics as you can until the timer goes off. If you stop writing and run out of ideas before the time expires then you know you have a dud.. cross it off your list.

You should be able to write topics down nonstop.. you need a niche that has a lot to write about. If not your content will start to sound the same to your readers and you will hate writing about the same thing all the time. This is a quick test to eliminate niches that don’t have enough to write about.

Once you have crossed out the duds set the timer to 15 minutes and continue your topic brainstorming. In the end the one with the most topics is going to have a major advantage. You then factor in the results from the other tests/tips above and you can easily pick a niche that is going to give you the best chance at being successful in this game.

There you have it. This is stuff you have to ask yourself before you put out the time and money in a new niche. A lot of it is common sense but many people overlook it and just see the potential payouts of an offer. Like I mentioned above.. a $250 payday loan offer sounds good but if you can only get one conversion a month it doesn’t seem so appealing.

Hopefully these tips help some noobs get started on the right foot with their IM journey. When you use common sense like this it will increase the chance that you have success and don’t get discouraged and quit like so many people do every day! Until next time..

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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