No one person is an authority on everything, and claiming to be an expert on too many topics can erode rather than increase the trust people have in you and your expertise.
Business owners and marketers know this, which is why brands focus on establishing authority on the subjects most relevant to the products they sell. Affiliate marketers can do the same thing by choosing an affiliate marketing niche.
Read on to learn more about lucrative affiliate marketing niches and how to choose a niche that suits your expertise.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a marketing model in which a business pays an influencer or content creator a commission in exchange for marketing the business’s products or services. Most affiliate programs only pay for sales conversions, with the influencer or creator—known, in this case, as the “affiliate” or “affiliate marketer”—earning a percentage of each sale.
Businesses typically use affiliate links (which are unique, trackable URLs) or unique discount codes to attribute customer actions to specific affiliate partners. The most common types of affiliate marketing take the form of blog posts, social media posts, product reviews, and emails. The affiliates promote the business's products or services along with the unique affiliate link or code in their content, and when a customer clicks on the link or uses the code to make a purchase, the business attributes that purchase to the affiliate.
What is an affiliate marketing niche?
An affiliate marketing niche refers to a specific subject area or set of topics in which an affiliate marketer chooses to focus their marketing efforts. Typically, affiliates select niches based on a combination of pre-existing expertise and earning potential.
If you want to start making money with an affiliate marketing business, start by asking yourself what you are positioned to educate your audience about. Do you already have a number of social media followers or blog readers with a certain type of interest? Are you already an authority in a particular area? If so—and if your interest area is associated with affiliate opportunities—you might have identified a lucrative niche for your affiliate marketing efforts.
Why is it important to choose a niche for affiliate marketing?
If you’re looking to set yourself up as an affiliate marketer, having a niche can help you in the following ways:
- Connect with brands that want to pay you to market their products or services. If you have an established area of expertise and a proven track record of attracting followers in that field, you’ll find it easier to identify brands that may want to partner with you and will likely have more success when you approach them to propose a partnership. You may even find those brands approaching you once you’ve reached a degree of success.
- Find audiences that are willing to pay for those products and services. Having a niche makes it easier to attract audiences interested in your field, rather than having a scattershot approach to content creation.
- Build authority with your audiences. If your followers think of you as an expert in your field, they’re more likely to trust your word. And if they trust your word, they’re more likely to buy the products and services you promote.
Best niches for affiliate marketing
- Personal finance
- Health and wellness
- Cosmetics and beauty
- Home décor
Choosing the best affiliate marketing niche for you depends on your specific interests and the monetization potential of a subject area. Here are lucrative affiliate niches to help you get started:
Personal finance is an evergreen affiliate marketing vertical—from budgeting to paying taxes to planning for retirement, there’s no getting out of dealing with money. This means that there’s significant demand for online content in the financial education niche and investment niche. If you excel at making complex material approachable to a general audience, consider a niche in personal finance and financial planning guidance.
Having expert knowledge in this field will allow you to approach companies selling financial products, such as accounting software, budgeting apps, brokerage firms, and even banks, for affiliate partnerships.
The travel market is expected to grow after the lull of the pandemic, and travel purchases like plane tickets and resort stays are big-ticket items. If you’re interested in entering the travel niche, search global travel agencies for high-paying affiliate marketing programs and consider developing a sub-niche around a certain region or type of travel, such as hiking, beach vacations, or traveling in East Asia.
Many technology companies run high-paying affiliate marketing programs, and the technology market is expected to continue growing. Technology can be intimidating for a general readership, making it one of the best affiliate marketing niches for creators with a talent for producing approachable educational content. Niche topics include web hosting, podcasting software, and web design tips.
Pet care is an evergreen niche that many people want to see, sometimes even if they’re not pet owners themselves. After all, who doesn’t like cat videos and adorable photos of puppies?
Consider sub-niches like pet training, pet product reviews, or caring for particular pet types such as Rhodesian Ridgebacks or parakeets.
Health and wellness
The health and wellness niche is a broad market category, and it represents a lot of money. Global health and wellness markets are projected to grow significantly over the next decade—upward of $5 trillion by some estimates. The health niche includes topics like mental health, nutrition, and sleep hygiene, and the wellness niche can be broadly defined to include topics like relationship education or even online dating advice.
The fitness niche (or health and fitness niche) can be a profitable affiliate marketing niche for creators of any fitness level. If you have an interest in a specific fitness activity (like pickleball or ultrarunning) or specific knowledge about exercise science or physiology, consider creating inspiring and educational fitness content. You can use that content to promote products like exercise equipment, nutritional supplements, and online courses or exercise programs.
Cosmetics and beauty
The beauty and cosmetics niche remains popular with affiliate marketers, and although there’s a lot of competition in the space, it can still be a profitable area for creators with a unique point of view. For example, makeup aficionados with a particular interest in goth makeup, prosthetics, or educating their followers on the best cosmetics to use with particular skin conditions, might find a smaller but loyal following.
Beauty shoppers are particularly likely to purchase products based on influencer recommendations, which motivates beauty brands to invest in affiliate marketing programs and can translate to high conversion rates for creators with loyal followings.
Like beauty and cosmetics, home décor can have a powerful visual impact. This makes it a good option for creators with followings on highly visual platforms like Instagram and TikTok. If you have a passion for interior decorating, consider building a following around a unique aesthetic like unicorn-core or suburban house plant jungle.
The food niche can include recipe blogging, kitchen equipment reviews, wine pairing advice, or meal planning guidance forpeople with specific dietary needs like soy allergies or alpha-gal syndrome. As an increasing number of consumers make choices based on environmental concerns, education about how to reduce the carbon footprint of your grocery list may also become a more popular subcategory.
The gaming niche is historically profitable. Amazon Games, for example, pays a commission rate that is twice as high as the second-most-popular category. Gaming experts can review new games or gaming equipment or publish online video tutorials to help other gamers improve their skills.
How to choose the best niche for affiliate marketing
Considering both personal interests and monetization potential can help you find the best affiliate niche for your marketing efforts. Here’s how to investigate both:
1. Start with your interests
Beginning writers are often told to “write what they know,” not to stifle creativity, but because the best art is a reimagining of a real experience. The same is true for aspiring affiliate marketers. No matter what you do, chances are you’re probably already an expert on something—whether it’s winged eyeliner, CrossFit, Flemish painters, or lap steel guitar.
Start by making a list of all of your interests and areas of expertise. Because people tend to self-teach in the areas that interest them, there will probably be a lot of overlap between the two. Next, identify both broad niches and sub-categories related to your list. For example, if you’re a winged eyeliner pro, you might include sub-niches like “eye makeup application” and broad niches like “cosmetics and beauty.” You can also consider related sub-niches where your skills might translate, such as festival makeup or costume prosthetics.
2. Check popularity
The next step is to see which of your interests have significant followings online. One popular method is to use Google Keyword Planner to view monthly search volumes for a specific term as well as related sub-niches.
Although there’s no exact threshold for search volumes you should consider, look for core keywords (broad topic categories like “makeup” or “fashion”) that have at least 10,000 monthly searches, and then hone in on sub-categories (like “winged eyeliner for festivals”) that have at least 100 searches per month.
You can also pay attention to the “competition” number, which refers to how much it typically costs to win an ad click for a particular category. If you don’t already have authority with an audience in a competitive affiliate marketing niche, a high competition score can suggest that it will be difficult for you to build one (and that using Google Ads to attract audiences will be expensive). If you already have a following in the niche or if you are confident in your ability to organically build one, however, a high competition score can be good news: Because brands expect to pay a lot to advertise in these categories, you may be able to earn higher commission rates.
You can also use social media to check competition rates. For example, Instagram can help you identify popular hashtags associated with a certain category and show you how many people follow each.
3. Explore monetization options
Next, you can browse affiliate marketing programs and affiliate marketing networks to get a sense of the monetization potential of the niches you’re considering. Some affiliate marketing programs publish a list of commission payments by product category, so you can see what percentage of proceeds you might be able to earn per sale for product types associated with your niche. Amazon, for example, publishes top sellers by category, so you can also get a sense of how much these products are earning.
You can explore monetization options by joining an affiliate network and reviewing commission structures and information. Affiliate networks are typically free for affiliates to join, and commission structures vary by platform. You can browse platforms to get a sense of average rates as well as whether merchants relevant to your category are participating in the affiliate marketing programs.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, consult industry market projections to get a sense of the long-term growth potential of a particular affiliate marketing niche. Niches with lower search volumes and competition rates but strong industry growth projections can offer you the chance to build authority and capture market share in an emerging sector.
Affiliate marketing niches FAQ
How do you know if you’ve chosen the right niche?
If you’re successfully attracting followers, finding affiliate marketing partners, and earning commissions, you’ve chosen the right niche. If not, you may have chosen a niche with low profitability or high competition rates, or one that isn’t appropriate for your audiences.
What is the most profitable niche for affiliate marketing?
The most profitable niche for your affiliate marketing business depends on your ability to inspire purchases of a particular type of product, as well as how much businesses are willing to pay to affiliates in that field. Some profitable niches include finance, technology, beauty, and health.
Can you focus on multiple affiliate marketing niches at the same time?
Yes. It is possible to focus on multiple affiliate marketing niches at once. If the niches aren’t related, you may need to separate your marketing efforts and maintain separate social media profiles and affiliate marketing websites.