As Vera and I continue to discuss Affiliate Niche Ideas for her to dive into Affiliate Marketing full-time, you may have noticed that "niche research" or even keyword research haven't even come up yet. In fact, in her last post, Vera said:
"I think when many of us think about researching a niche our knee jerk reaction is to start with keyword research. It’s sooooo refreshing that we didn’t start that way and almost seems odd to me (lol!)"
In Part Two, Brainstorming Affiliate Niche Ideas, I talked about "the reality check" of an affiliate business model, suggested another niche brainstorming exercise, and shared an idea for her affiliate niche - based on her personality, her passions, and her true mission in life.
If you missed any of the conversation so far, here's a quick link list:
- Vera: Affiliate Marketing: Intro & First Question
- Lynn (Me): Affiliate Niche Selection
- Vera: She Says To Dream Bigger!
- Lynn (Me): Brainstorming Affiliate Niche Ideas (Part 2)
- Vera: Taking A Deeper Look
In my last post I gave Vera this affiliate niche blogging idea:
This was not based on keyword research, or niche research, but was based solely on Vera's personality and passions. It's a topic that would be well-aligned with who she is as a person, and the people she truly wants to serve in this world.
You may recall that I started a niche affiliate blog a couple years ago, also with no research upfront, which you can read about here:
Isn't Keyword Research Necessary?
It is. But not necessarily at this stage of the process. If you KNOW you have a market, or that you have a message that will be well received - and that it's a buying market - that's all you really need to know upfront. The keyword research will come into play when you're ready to brainstorm topic ideas & create content.
Suggested reading on this topic:
There's so much more to a successful niche blog these days than just SEO. While you need to target keyword phrases your market is using so they can easily find you in the search results, there are many other (easy!) ways to reach your market online now too.
I know this may be backwards from what you've heard or been taught by others in the past. But you may have also heard that you should choose your niche based on keyword research and competition analysis - and pick a topic with high profit potential and low competition. Which often leads you to choosing a niche for your online business that you could care less about!
Passion Trumps Research.
Again, If you KNOW you have a market, or that you have a message that will be well received - and that it's a buying market - that's all you really need to know upfront.
With my low carb blog for example, I knew I had a unique angle in the market. I don't cook. LOL. I'm constantly traveling or on-the-go, so I share ways to eat low carb conveniently. I didn't bother with "niche research" (upfront) because I knew "travel" and "weight loss" were both obviously successful buying markets online. Duh.
In fact, buying market or not, this is truth: If you can build up a huge audience, and a loyal readership (and social media following)... you can monetize your affiliate blog. Period. The options will be endless if you have an audience. Merchants and Advertisers will be coming to YOU wanting to get exposure to your readers.
So there ya go.
Vera loved my Affiliate Niche suggestion! ...Now what?
Blogging as a "spiritual adventurist" is right up her alley. It's in line with her mission in life, with her true passion, and with who she is as a person - and the people she can best serve in this world. If you've been following our conversation, I'm sure you would agree.
Once she got excited about the idea, and agreed it was a perfect choice for her, we brainstormed available domain names. I happen to be pretty good at this.
SpiritualAdventurist.com was already taken, so I suggested one of these three: BoldSpirituality.com, AdventurousHearts.com, or FaithAdventurist.com - she liked the last one best. The idea being that she can use this blog to discuss expanding your faith, the journey to peace & joy through faith, discovering your calling, stepping out in faith, her missions of course, and to motivate and inspire people on a spiritual level. If you know Vera, you know this is the very core of who she is as a person.
That domain leaves her open to be "adventurous" too, which is one of the things she said she really wanted and needed in her life: FUN. She can travel, try new things, and take photos and share her experiences along the way - tying them in with her inspiring messages, of course.
She took immediate action and registered FaithAdventurist.com.
In her last post, Vera said:
So here’s my next question to you Lynn…
When you say this, “helps people get way outside their mental comfort zone and embrace life more fully” I actually start having a vision of retreats as well, but for now I want to focus solely on affiliate marketing. I need this peace in this time of my life, that’s why I don’t even want to create products or do any coaching.
Do you think it’s unrealistic to not include product development and it’s ok to focus just on affiliate marketing for this kind of venture?
Absolutely! You're putting the cart before the horse anyway.
Your initial goal is to create content and build a readership. Period. Down the road you may very well want to include products and services, as a means of serving your market even better, but to start you simply want to get your message out there and start engaging your target market with your topics.
This may seem backwards to you too! Usually when you think about starting an online business, the initial research and brainstorming includes... How am I going to make money with this blog? Right?
In my next post in this ongoing series, we'll walk through the actual set-up of Vera's new niche affiliate blog. The nitty gritty details n stuff. But let's fast forward for a second so you (and Vera!) can start to see the potential here...
This is Vera's homework. And yours too!
Imagine your target market. Who are they? Who do you most want to help, and how? What types of products and services do they use, or would you recommend, relevant to your blog topic? Which merchants and brands would interest them?
Don't let this exercise stump you! (It's really not that hard.)
Let's say you have an affiliate blog all about kitchen gadgets. How can you serve THAT market?! Easy. They want the coolest gadgets, they want the best deals, and they need help making an informed buying decision.
Ideally you are your own target market. That being the case, what do you search for online? What products do you use and love? What recommendations do you make to your friends or peers, or topical online groups where you participate?
First, forget whether there's an affiliate program or not. Just brainstorm freely about products, brands, merchants, services, etc.
I'll close there for now, and we'll see what Vera comes up with.
This is fun, don't you agree? I would love to hear your thoughts, so be sure to leave a comment below if you have a question or want to add to the discussion...
p.s. I don't offer private coaching or personal consulting by phone or email. What I'm doing with Vera here publicly is our way of helping as many other people through this process as possible. If you would like for me to work with YOU personally, hands-on, in your business or in the setup of your online business, see:
You'll learn about my Private Mastermind Group at that link, which is only $37/month, and where I help people choose the RIGHT niche, set up their online business, get traffic and make sales, and all the little technical details in between.