If you know anything about affiliate marketing at all, you must know tha choosing your verticals and niches will make a huge difference to how easily you can generate profit with your affiliate marketing endeavors.
In fact, “choose the right niche” has always been one of the first lessons you learn when you start to study the subject. However, I have a bone to pick with this view as it misses a very, very crucial point.
It’s not about choosing the one right niche, it’s about choosing the right complimentary niches for affiliate promotions
While the mentors of old told you to “pick your niche” with good intent on their mind, they also unwittingly restricted your mindset to one that produces less profit.
You see, the biggest profits in affiliate marketing lie with upselling and cross selling across different, but complimentary niches. To learn more about this, see our article with the best email marketing tips for affiliate marketers.
In short, the secret is that you want to do your initial segmentation by niche. But then, utilizing automation, differentiate subscribers further, and based on that make offers for related verticals. This is where the really huge profits lie.
Consider this mindset shift
Instead of looking at the different niches as “what you do”, it’s more useful to see them as “entry points into your lists”, as well as “things my list is interested in.
What does this even mean? Well, you want to think of those niches as the reason or excuse that people signed up for your list. And just like you can have multiple lead-magnets and sign-up offers, you can always target multiple niches to join your list.
On the other hand, once people join your list, through the clever utilization of automation, events and segmentation you can ascertain what other things they are interested in. Other than what they signed up for originally that is.
So think of it this way. A given niche can be both an entry point in your list, as well a selling point. They might enter your list because they’re interested in your thoughts on Niche A, but you then promote a Niche B product, and they purchase that as well.
But, isn’t it better to specialize in one niche and build authority?
This is most definitely the case, and especially when you’re starting out. That saying “a jack of all trades, a master of none” resonates a bit here as well. So you definitely want to choose one niche as your primary niche to start out with.
That is, I’m not saying you should try to go from zero straight into becoming an authority on 5 different niches all at once. You probably want to start out by establishing yourself as an authority in one niche first, and then slowly add other ones as entry points and segments for your list.
However, you do want to acquaint yourself with those related niches right from the get go. Even if you only have one main entry point to start with, you want to know what niches are compatible for cross-selling purposes. There is no need to ignore the power of cross-selling and leave so much profit on the table.
Some points to consider for 2021
Things in marketing don’t really change that much to be honest. Most of the best niches 3 years ago are still a great choice today. While we would mention a few niches every year that we didn’t include in a previous year, the main niches are always ones that have a proven record over the years. You never have a niche come out of nowhere and take affiliate marketing by a storm.
With that said, let us take into consideration what is different in 2021. What you want to consider is that the circumstances of 2020 will impact 2021 in two major ways.
First, the past year has made people everywhere re-examine their priorities. People who made money in more traditional offline ways ended up hurting a lot. And they also saw that their friends who had skills connected to IT or internet activities were able to fare better in financially challenging times.
This has caused a lot more people to look into making money online, and there are a lot of niches that work in this direction. A lot of people are motivated to make money online, even if only as a side-hustle to give them future security. So expect such niches to be even more profitable in 2021.
The second thing to consider is the prediction being made by social scientists, historians and anthropologists. They are saying that people will probably overcompensate for that year of isolation, and want to blow off some steam with some compensatory hedonism. So expect that niches revolving around leisure activities are likely to get quite a boost in 2021 as well.
Money making niches
Isn’t it ironic that one of the best ways to make money online is by helping people make money? This has been a well-established leader for quite some time, and it’s not likely to change soon.
However, we are seeing some changes in terms of the types of niches that work for people getting into affiliate marketing.
Specifically, there has been an evolution away from general “make money online” niches, and more towards specific skills and methods.
Online education (how to make money selling courses)
We’ve been seeing this niche growing for a while now with some companies and personalities establishing themselves as authorities on the subject. There is actually now an increasing number of specialized companies that help people with creating courses.
And while course-making has been around since the earliest days of making-money online, there has been a very substantial shift to where this is now a niche of its own. It used to merely be a chapter inside of a “make money online” course where you’d learn a few tips on how to make and structure your course.
The main reason for this shift has been the absolutely massive explosion of online-learning platforms such as Udemy, StackCommerce and Skillshare as well as LMS platforms like Teachable and Thinkific.
There are now people who are quitting their jobs to be a full-time course maker and just produce courses and this trend has been growing for a while.
And then, 2020 happened, and it introduced a massive boost to this trend
All of a sudden people were stuck at home and nothing to do except pick up skills from online courses. Many others were left trying to find new ways to make money so they decided to make online courses in whatever skill they’re good at.
As an affiliate you have a golden opportunity here. You can build an authority by giving great advice on how to produce a course. And at the same time you can promote and get commissions for referring people to LMS software and course platforms, video equipment that you recommend that they purchase on amazon, as well as any related products for any skills related to producing and marketing a course.
Niches regarding technical skills that apply to both making money online and advancing a career
The general trend we’re seeing is that things are becoming more specialized. Again, consider that “course-making” was merely just one of the topics covered inside “money making” niches, and now it is a separate niche itself. In the same way, we are also seeing this split happening with other specific skills becoming their own profitable little niches.
It used to be the case that if you were an affiliate marketer targeting people that want to make more money, you had to promote the idea of everyone becoming an “internet marketer”. However, people are increasingly starting to have a skill-based mindset, to where they’re focusing on acquiring specific skills that can help them earn more money.
The beauty of this shift is that you can target both people who want to create their own business or freelance, as well as people who are looking to increase their earning potential as part of building a career.
Some skills (niches) to watch out for are: videography, advertising, analytics (data science) and different coding and programming skills.
You will probably notice these are applicable to multiple types of people. A person may seek you out as an authority on advertising because they want to bring more people to their own business. Or they may want to learn more about advertising because they want to get a promotion at their job.
In either case, establishing yourself as an expert on advertising makes you appealing to both. And as an affiliate marketer you have a ton of things you can promote. Everything from advertising tools to courses and even related items such as pre-written ad packs and graphic packs.
Online-marketing for specific industries
Here’s a funny example that business-people will tell you about to illustrate a point. If you go ahead and create a general “booking app” you’ll see one level of success and results.
However, if you go ahead and create a “booking app for yoga studios” or a “booking app for hairstylists” you will see something amazing. You’ll be able to charge a lot more for an inferior app, just because you’re targeting a specific industry.
The same is true with online marketing. While you can still succeed with selling general advice on internet marketing, we have been seeing an obvious trend towards specialization. A lot of people are seeing success by specializing in specific industries.
So for example you might target martial arts studios and help them with marketing their classes. This kind of specialization does some amazing things. It leverages the effect where people are a lot more likely to listen to you if you specialize in their industry. Also it is likely that you will not have a lot of competition.
Sure, they can go to a general internet marketing expert and apply that to their business. However, they would rather hear from someone who gets the “specifics” of their industry. So if you’re that affiliate marketer who establishes themselves as a mentor to people in that industry, you will do very well.
When you recommend a marketing course that you think can work well “for yoga studios”, they’ll be much more likely to purchase based on your recommendation. And hey, you can always throw in an affiliate bonus. Perhaps a small guide on how to adapt a recommended product to their specific industry.
Online-marketing in general
While there has been a general move away from the general “online marketing” or “internet marketing” niches, we don’t expect it to drop off the list of great and super-profitable niches this year.
Whether you want to target a more general audience about general “online marketing” or you want to target and specialize in a specific skill or niche is a personal choice you would have to make based on your specific strengths and preferences.
This is a fast-rising newcomer that’s only going to get stronger in the years to come. People have been predicting that the “bitcoin craze” will peak any day now, and they have been predicting this for years. But it just keeps growing and it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere.
The year of 2021 might just be the time to get into this niche, if it interests you that is. You might just have enough time to establish yourself as an authority. Just get in while it is still a fast-growing niche with a super favorable ratio of customers vs affiliate marketers.
Personal improvement niches
This has been a huge money-maker for affiliates for quite some time, and those who got into the dating-advice niche in the early days of the internet made a lot of money doing it.
However, we currently find ourselves at a point where it almost seems like we might see somewhat of a reset with this niche.
As you know 2020 put dating on the back-burner. As of early 2021, in most countries, people still can’t engage in it normally. So marketers in this niche aren’t seeing a lot of traffic or sales.
However, if the experts are right, “when things get back to normal”, thing should get interesting. We should see an explosion of people compensating for lost time in dating. And if this is true expect the dating niche to once again see an exponential growth.
And this is not just growth back to how things used to be, but to a much higher level (if the experts are right about society swinging the pendulum once people no longer have to isolate and avoid people).
If you’re smart and get on this train early enough and start building up your list and authority now, you’ll be in a great position when that time comes.
This is another traditional niche that is still going strong. Unlike with dating here haven’t been any big (overall changes) to this niche due to the situation in 2020.
As a well-established niche with proven profitability potential expect this to remain a great safe bet when you’re choosing your niche.
To be sure, there have been changes in the types of programs that you could promote in 2020. However, overall this niche held up its profitability quite decently. Some changes had to be made obviously. Think promoting more “workout at home” vs “gym-based” programs, but overall this niche holds up strongly.
Overall, we don’t expect any massive upsets in this niche, either up or down. But that’s a good thing if you think you can do a good job in this niche. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and go for an “explosive new niche”. Niches with a proven track record are often a good choice for most affiliate marketers.
Do we even have to say anything about this one? It’s been one of the most profitable niches since forever, and we won’t see this changing in 2021. Another one of those good and proven evergreen niches that is unlikely to fail affiliate marketers anytime soon.
Don’t forget that the niches in this category are complimentary!
The main thing you need to know as an affiliate marketer? Most of your profits will come from clever segmentation and cross-selling. Sure, you can be super-profitable by becoming an authority figure in just one niche. But why leave money on the table?
As we talked about in the introduction before, you can choose one primary niche. And then still create tie-ins and segmentation for other related niches. This is especially easy for any niches that fall into the general “personal improvement” category.
You will find that a lot of people who want to have a better dating life will also be interested in improving their fitness, weight loss or muscle building – for obvious reasons. A lot of the people who are signing up for muscle-building courses are secretly doing it to improve their dating life.
So if you do a good job of getting a feel for their other interests, you will be able to automate those tie-ins. You might have an automation that detects when they have engaged with enough dating-type content. In turn, once they get enough “dating interest points” it will email them an offer for a dating course.
Lifestyle, Leisure & Hobbies
Let me tell you something. In 2020 I had to witness a bunch of hard-working list owners quit marketing and business outright. Most of them came from industries such as travel, tourism and other kinds of industries involving a physical experience.
If the experts are right, we should see a massive compensation in the coming period. That is, humans will want to compensate for that year of being locked up. Remember, they were prevented from engaging in any sort of fun hobbies, leisure and travel.
So we are probably going to see a nice bounce back in these industries. If the experts are right we might even see them swing to the other extreme due the over-compensatory effect. If that is the case, as an affiliate marketer you might want to consider this upcoming golden opportunity.
If you’ve been around enough affiliate marketers, you might have run into a few bragging how easy it is to make money from certain expensive hobbies. And let me tell you this, they’re not lying.
There are certain hobbies (golf being a prime example), where people are willing to pour a lot of money into their hobby. The best part about these kinds of niches? They tend to have the most generous commissions you will ever find in affiliate marketing.
We know plenty of affiliate marketers who’ve become extremely successful by specializing in the travel niche. If there’s one hobby that gets the most people to spend money, then that would be travel.
What makes it unique is that it attracts people of all walks of life. You have everything from the average family wanting to book the cheapest flight, all the way to the rich wanting to splurge on luxury. It involves anything from cruises, safaris to adventure trips.
And let me tell you – all of them can bring you a lot of profit. This is due to the sheer volume of humans who want to engage in travel.
While it was a niche that was hard hit in 2020, this looks like another niche where we can expect a reset. Then we can expect a bounce back and perhaps even an overcompensation. That means if you get in on time you might just get to ride that profitable wave.
Now this one stands out from the rest because it was not impacted during “the 2020 situation”. If anything, people being stuck at home helped this niche grow in 2020. So, a lot of affiliate marketers saw decent profits from this niche.
The thing is however that gaming has been on the affiliate marketers’ radar for a couple of years. And it has been growing decently well for a while. To be sure, it’s not as explosive as some of the other new-comers. However, it is establishing itself as one of those pillar niches that will be here to stay.
Another newcomer that has been growing over the past couple of years just like gaming. And just like gaming this has been a nice steady growth towards becoming a niche that is likely to become a steady classic over time.
Whether we’re talking about yoga, dance, photography, fishing or pilates – there are plenty of niches with a high-quality demand. Now, most of these happen to fall into the category of niches that were severely impacted in 2020. However, that brings up two points.
Firstly, these were good quality niches to cater to before 2020. And secondly, if the predictions are correct they should see quite the explosion in 2021. That is, these niches may perhaps even become even more profitable than before.
Consider that while not as high-ticket as the “expensive hobbies”, most of these activities make up for it in volume. You just have to think about everything you can promote. And that is easy if you adopt the right mindset.
Your job as a mentor (affiliate marketer) is to connect them to all the services and products that will enrich their experience with the activity. And that goes with anything from promoting specific subscription programs and courses, all the way to different equipment and accessories.
Home & family niches
People and families are willing to invest in their home and family life, And we’ve seen quite a few affiliate marketers making great profit by specializing in these niches.
Consider that you have a lot of good niches in here, and that includes home décor, home security, baby products, solar energy, gardening, farming and pets.
If you want to look at something stable that isn’t going away anytime soon, you might want to consider exploring the different home & family niches.
And note that all of these niches are very complimentary
With most other niche categories you will generally need to pick one primary niche, and add the other niches as entry points over-time. This is because it isn’t easy to establish yourself as an authority in a niche. So it’s wise to initially create authority in one, and only cross-promote offers for the others. Then, over time you can add those niches as actual entry points as well.
This is a lot easier with the home & family niches. You will find that you can actually choose several niches as entry points right from the get-go, and you will find it a lot easier to cross-promote offers. This is because anyone investing in their home & family life in one way, is quite likely to invest in other ways.
Affiliate marketers need a friend who understands them
Wanna hear an inside secret? There is one hidden reason why Emercury became successful and it’s not just the obvious one. Sure we have all those raving 5-star reviews. And yes, we’re famous for the hands-on approach we have with anyone that signs up.
Everyone raves about how joining Emercury is almost like getting your own personal team of mentors. You get a team that wants to see you get as profitable with email marketing as possible. And while that is true, it’s not our only secret.
In truth, affiliate marketers are one of the main reasons why Emercury is a success story. There was a time when email sending services weren’t all that fond of affiliates (and many still aren’t). However, we here at Emercury welcomed all affiliates with open arms at a time when affiliate marketing wasn’t very popular. This is because Emercury was originally built by affiliate marketers for affiliate marketers.
And since then, affiliate marketers have been a huge part of our success story. In fact, huge affiliate marketers are moving their massive lists to Emercury on a weekly basis. And it isn’t that we have to do anything special to attract affiliate marketers.
It is simply the fact that we truly “get” affiliate marketing like nobody else, and affiliate marketers can tell
We’re not a bunch of software engineers producing “an app that sends email”. We actually live the affiliate marketing life, as you might tell by all the invites we get to speak at conferences around the world.
Our commitment to helping you deliver to your audience will not change any time soon. You can see this from the pledge we just made in our announcement on the importance of email marketing.
If you want to get a feel for the Emercury experience, consider booking a free demo with our team. We’d love to show you around, and see how we can help you make the most out of affiliate marketing. Your success stories are the main reason we do this.