Please note I no longer manage this program. Please contact the affiliate manager through the website contact information directly.
The tickets niche is a very interesting one to look at for affiliate marketers, especially if you have a new website or are just starting out. Yes, you have huge brands for major terms, but because of the ticket industry and the red tape that exists in those large brands, you can more easily compete and win. That is exactly why ticket affiliate programs are the perfect way to move in and start to take over.
This post will walk you through why it is a good niche, how to begin entering in and then ways to expand and grow your business based on the sub-niche you move into.
Why Tickets Are an Untapped Niche
(please note, every site I link to below in this post is an advertisement or I have a direct advertising relationship with the site and store.)
The main reason why tickets are an untapped niche is that you always have a new hit performer, in demand broadway show, artist launching a tour and people looking for last minute or sold out seats to a fight or sporting event. With all of this happening regularly, you also have red tape stopping bid brands from being first to market with their content and pages. That is where your opportunity exists.
When you hear about a show going to broadway for example, large sites may do a quick “OMG, it’s going to broadway” post or share a press release, but they won’t be producing a detailed post until it is in production and/or in previews and they have seen it. Their little teaser posts may rank for a quick run, but they will fall because they are thin content. The same goes with a performer whose touring and just announced the name of the tour.
By being first to market, giving a history of the show or why it was created, even having a section about why the tour or show is named for something are all good topics to include in your outline. Next think about how you can benefit a potential ticket shopper by creating pages about where to sit in the venue for a concert, or even creating a properly optimized tour calendar for the search engines.
By having these cool fun-facts, interesting content and useful sections, your site can be the go-to resource before the big brands move in. By being a resource, you can attract backlinks, new readers and also get the answer boxes in Google searches since you are first to share this information and you’ve shared it well.
This content is also directly relevant for ticket searches and fans. I used to do this with my broadway blog and it is what made it work, before I burned out on writing about shows and showtunes. I even had some celebrities come to the site, share, respond and comment which was cool.
Remember, you do not have to go through editorial, venue and PR restrictions and approvals as well as other red tape. That means you can create your content (fact checking of course) and get it optimized for whatever terms and phrases you want. It is much easier than you think and there are always new things to write about so writers’ block is less of an issue.
How to Enter Into the Niche
The first thing to do is figure out what your main theme is. Broadway, Rappers, MMA fights, Rodeos, etc… Then think about going a bit more niche. Is it gay pop culture stars like Cher, Madonna or Britney Spears instead of just Pop Music and pop culture. Maybe specific MMA Fights by weight class or fighters, you could even try Rodeo’s in Eastern Texas including Houston, Katy and into parts of Louisiana.
Next start researching SEO modifiers for these. Sold out, backstage, meet and greet, VIP, discount, sale, coupon, pre-release, presale, etc… All of these will change based on the audience. To find the phrasing people will use, start by going to the main site for the performer and see the exact phrases they use. i.e. Lady Gaga calls her fans “little monsters”. A pre-release keyword might be “little monster presale” and “code” because the site specifically says use code. People tend to use the phrase the site will have “promo” vs. “invite” vs. “code”. I am making this example for Lady Gaga up and don’t know for sure what they used.
Now start thinking about how to attract an audience. If you’re writing about rodeo, incorporate the specific star or draw for the event. Now add in the city, town or venue name. Tickets to XY rodeo in Houston at insert venue name. If it is a fight ticket, Tickets to Sold Out Insert Fighter in Vegas or Discount Code for Insert Fighter Fight in Insert City. If there are lots of tickets or it won’t be sold out, you could try discounts, coupons, deals for, etc… for your modifiers.
Last, begin building out the copy. You’ll want to follow search engine best practices but also focus on getting the answer boxes.
Answer boxes are the boxes on top of a Google search result. In many cases, giving a quick question and answer at the very beginning of your post (or towards the beginning) and using plain HTML, ordered and unordered lists and tables tends to work. It could be simply answering questions like “Where can I find tickets to tonight’s sold out xyz….” or “How can I get backstage passes for XYZ in ABC”. To see example of these, try typing in “recipe for XYZ” or “how do I make…” and you’ll see them live. You can also try “tour dates for….” or comparison terms which would generate a table answer box.
Next continue through the copy and provide a resource that fans and journalists would both enjoy, want to share and reference. This is how you build relevance, get them to subscribe to your newsletter and also want to share your content with other fans. Now tie your affiliate links throughout the post in relevant places. This program which I currently manage offers a full datafeed and will soon have a ticket engine to let you have a custom shop directly within your site or even on the specific post.
Ways to Expand and Grow
Once your site starts to grow based on tickets, you can now begin expanding your company both vertically and horizontally. Here are a few ways.
- Tshirts and fan gear – if you’re writing about football and have an audience dedicated to specific teams, try opening a team gear shop. You’ll find tons of programs like Fanatics (I do not manage this one) which carry jersies and other team gear.
- Accessories not related – people love to party and tailgate, so try incorporating products for these traditions. If you know it’s an event with tailgating, find portable grills and other items that can be used and create a guide incorporating them in that you can funnel your traffic into.
- Party or event supplies – not everyone can get a ticket for an event opening you up to themed party supplies. Creating a separate post featuring themed foods, party supplies or other things to set a mood while watching the event (when you can’t be there in person) is a great way to monetize horizontally.
- Music or audio – if you’re promoting a performer, selling their newest releases or limited edition downloads can always be a good option too.
- Complementary products – if you know they are music fans and there is a good app or service that also has an audience match, you may want to try promoting that and see how well your audience reacts.
- If you have a newsletter list, you can upload that to Facebook, Google and other channels to remarket each time a new or similar tour, event or something else starts. This is a lot easier if you have city data. If you don’t have city data, you can promote tickets as well as packages that will stream it to their homes or even fan gear and party supplies. Now you’re providing a resource for each.
- Try splitting your audience. Facebook is great because you can get an actual breakdown of your audience by using segments. If you create a carousel that has one tile for tickets, one for gear, one for more info, one for streaming the event, one for gear, etc… you can try to segment this out and tag them differently based on what they clicked on.
Ticket affiliate programs are a huge missed opportunity and one you should really consider if you want to try a new niche. I cover ways to incorporate them into everything from a travel or city based blog to wedding sites in this post about how to make money promoting tickets online. If you’d like to give my client’s Ticket affiliate program a try, click here as we’d love to have you as a partner.