Niche affiliate sites are a great way to try and earn passive income. If you build something of quality, it can become a niche leader and potentially remain a consistent and dependable form of revenue for you. It may not be much depending on the industry you go into, but it is a great way to get started in affiliate marketing and to supplement income lost if one of your other sites ever gets penalized.
The blog post below walks you through one of the ways I recommend creating your first niche affiliate site from start to finish (and in great detail).
Note: I’d like to also note that I DO NOT recommend you pick a product and build a site around it. Pick a topic for an under-served audience and build a resource around that topic where you have products and services that provide solutions.
How to create a niche affiliate website:
- Pick your topic
- Do market research
- Find keywords to bring in your target market
- Discover affiliate programs that provide solutions for the content
- Market your content geographically
- Create a backup monetization plan
1. Pick Your Topic
For this post I’m going to pick the topic of international gifts in the gift giving space since there is a ton of opportunity that hasn’t been capitalized on yet. This includes organic search, in social media and niche content wise. The theme of the site will be a resource for real estate agents. Why am I choosing this?
Its not only because I’m the affiliate manager for the GiftBasketsOverseas.com program on ShareASale, but also because this is one of the many under-served niches in the space with volume and opportunity for you.
2. Do Market Research
The first part of research isn’t keywords, it’s knowing who you need to attract and why they’re looking for solutions. My goal in this scenario is to attract and provide solutions for real estate agents who deal with international clients. The clients buying property overseas probably have excess money and deal with real estate agents who also have disposable income since they’re focusing on a higher end market.
Once I’ve defined my target audience by also making assumptions about them, I create my list of things to research. Here are the three questions I’ll start with which should give me enough to find the market and build the site.
- What are the top ten countries buying property in the USA (you can flip this to “what are the top ten countries american’s are buying houses in?”).
- Which of these ten has gift giving as part of the culture and business transactions?
- Note: make sure this is legal in both your country and theirs.
- Where in the USA are they buying property?
- Is it city or state based mostly and which ones specifically.
- You could go down to zip codes as well.
When I researched question 1 and 3 China won. I also know by doing some research that the Chinese have a lot of culture, traditions and cultural superstitions about colors, numbers and symbols and those also apply to gift giving. I have not contacted my lawyer to find out if gift giving within this niche in the USA and China is legal, but that’s because I am not creating the site. You’ll need to do this on your own if you move forward with this specific niche site and target.
Now that I have my target group to read the site (real estate agents), they’re looking for gift ideas for their clients in XYZ city and they may be catering to foreign shoppers from China, I can begin to do my keyword or content research.
3. Find keywords to bring in your target market
There are a ton of keyword research tools out there, so use your favorite. When I did my research I discovered a lot about lucky symbols, the order of presenting a gift if there’s a group of people, the total value of the items, when it’s appropriate and not appropriate to send something and what is considered important cultural wise. This brings me to the content creation section.
Here are some possible articles I would create. Keep in mind, the goal is to have them for a real estate agent.
- What makes a good gift for new Chinese homeowners?
- What YOU need to know before giving a gift in China?
- Chinese gift giving culture and what to avoid
- Never send your client a gift with a 4 on it, here’s why.
- Holidays the Chinese expect you to send a gift for
- Should you include a dragon, a fish or a panda on a gift?
- Never give gifts that include 4s, 13s or sharp edges to the Chinese
- How to give the perfect business gift to someone from China
- 8 perfect gifts for Chinese clients moving to the USA
- Your guide to giving a perfect gift to a client in China
From an organic search perspective, these are extremely similar so I would not do all of them. I would create a list like above and then narrow them down so I can create a strong article that combines the similar themes. This way I don’t create content that competes with each other. I may make shorter versions of some of them for social media, but those will be no-indexed. I bolded four of the ideas above that can be combined to make a strong and easy to monetize article. Now we move onto the next step.
4. Discover Affiliate Programs That Provide Solutions for the Content
Now is the fun part. By combining the four bolded articles above into a guide or resource, GiftBasketsOverseas.com makes a great option for this content. They have a full datafeed of gift images that are perfect to use examples within your posts. You can also use deep links that automatically send the end user to a page that is all about sending a gift from the USA to China or even from the USA to a city within China if you want to be even more niche. The program also features banners specifically for sending gifts to China making it a perfect complement.
I’m fairly certain that if you write to their affiliate managers (hint hint me), we could create a version that specifically caters to real estate agents as well.
As you’re going through your content, look for when you mention specific things to note and can use an image or link as an example. i.e. if you mention lucky colors like red or gold. Add one of the large images from the datafeed as an example (with your affiliate link) here.
If your topic is geared towards agents who have clients in China that buy multiple properties throughout the year, then you may want to include a section about gift giving holidays and incorporate specific gifts that are appropriate around the Chinese New Year, Half Moon Festival and other holidays. You could include that this may show they appreciate their clients’ culture and can stay in good graces with them.
At the bottom of the post, include a wrap up with your affiliate links and possibly a large banner about sending gifts to China. This makes it so your reader has a call to action without having to scroll through your content to find the links again. If they bookmark the page as a resource, you now have your links in front of them when they’re ready to read again and hopefully are ready to send a gift.
5. Market Your Content Geographically
Since you know where the Chinese are buying in the US from your research and you know the real estate agents are probably in a higher income range and in specific regions, it’s time to get your content in front of them. Of course it needs optimized for the search engines, but look at affordable ad platforms like Facebook which offer ways to really target them in. Start by reading this post on how to make money with facebook advertising and then read below for a few basic targeting options if you try this niche. There is no guarantee this will work, but use it as a way to generate some ideas for your own strategy.
- International real estate
- Chinese language
Demographics: makes these higher.
- Net worth
- Real estate agent
- Licensed real estate agent
- Companies – If you know a specific company that focuses on international customers, target their employees with the right title.
- Narrow the ads to only show in zip codes, cities or areas where the real estate agents who cater to the foreign shoppers live. You may be able to exclude non relevant ones too.
That’s only one example of ways that you can bring people to your content. Think about questions that real estate agents, lawyers who do international work in China, IT consultants, shipping and export companies, etc… are asking. They go to search engines like Google for this advice and using your guide as a landing page could be a great way to get them to your site.
6. Create a backup monetization plan
Note: As a heads up, GiftBasketsOverseas.com has no plans to close their program. This part is in general and not aimed at my client.
As with anything, you need to have back up monetization plans. You never know if a program will close or something will happen where a new manager comes in and decides to no longer work with content sites. If that happens, then all of your work was done for nothing since you have no backup plan. That’s where affiliate management companies like mine come in. Contact me here if you’d like to talk and we can go over some other ways for you to monetize your sites so you have a backup plan if a program closes.
Also, click here to join the GiftBasketsOverseas.com program.