One of the key aspects of a profitable website or blog is selecting the right niche. The choice of a niche makes a difference between blogging as a hobby and blogging as a business. The correctly hand-picked niche with lower competition and plenty of affiliate programs makes the entire process of building an online enterprise easier and faster. There is no secret that some people fail with online business before they even apply a monetization strategy. Rather often the failure is related to the wrong niche.
A website niche means a specific topic you are going to cover on your website. A niche automatically determines a target audience, people interested in the topic. Actually, niches are divided into sub-niches (also known sometimes as ‘niche within a niche’) making it easier for beginners.
The rule ‘the more the better’ doesn’t work in terms of a niche selection. The attempt to appeal to as many people as possible might fail because practically when you try to target everyone, you target no one in particular. Come on, vague and non-specific articles are not interesting at the very least; ok, they are useless. You need a niche (a particular subject) to provide value and send a message to your readers to get a response. The task is to establish authority within a chosen market, which leads to more visitors, more trust, and more referrals. From reviews of smoothies to software or golf, manifold options make you stuck on this step.
The major reasons are:
The worst thing ever is not to know what to write about. This might be an issue for a website with a broad niche; on the contrary, a narrower niche gives you a chance to focus on the specific needs and interests of your readers. Another important aspect is competition. If you have an open-ended budget and can hire a bunch of qualified writers — that is great.
Though, most bloggers and website owners are restricted in finances, so they prefer performing most of the job themselves. Actually, there is hardly ever a single niche without competition. But smaller niches allow you to build authority and monetize a website faster. You will spend less money on targeting the required audience. The more specific you are the faster you will convert your readers into customers.
Example: you love tennis and have some experience with this sport. OK, you can start a blog dedicated to sports or a blog focused on tennis. It is highly recommended to begin with a narrower topic, which can be later expanded into the broader one. When you target tennis lovers and prove your authority in this field, people will trust you and follow your advice in terms of tennis equipment and apparel, coaches, training programs, and tennis fitness. After a lapse of time, you may add other sports into your focus.
Yes, a niche site is focused on a narrower part of a market (or industry) with the purpose of monetization. There are many ways to make money through a website, including Google AdSense, affiliate programs, sponsored content, selling products, and services, etc. We will discuss monetization below but to tell the truth, the topic deserves a separate dedicated article. Today we will talk mostly about picking-up a profitable website niche for 2022.
You need not only an interesting niche but profitable too. All of us know that there is no 100% success guarantee in any business, including online business. So, let’s see what tools you can use to get some orientation while selecting a niche for your website.
When we discuss narrowing the topic, we mean a niche within a niche. Well, most niches actually represent industries. For example, travel, sport, and finance niches are industries. Tennis fitness improvement equipment is a niche within a niche with much lower competition and higher potential to earn money faster.
Finalizing the niche choice:
Pat Flynn in his book Will It Fly brings a formula of success: You + Idea + Execution = Success. Well, Pat knows the business well, so we won’t question his formula.
There are some evergreen niche ideas which you can consider as a start point, you can narrow them down to make them more specific. You can also consider some crossover ideas; if done correctly, it may expand your reach. Below you will find the list of the best profitable website niche ideas.
If you are specialized in finances it is great but not necessary to join the niche of finances. You may share your own experience of managing personal finances, loans, or investments. You may also consider a site focused on credit cards, narrowing it in the beginning to a sub-niche, such as special cards for college students. Some webmasters mastered affiliate programs and earn affiliate commissions promoting a specific type of credit card. For example, a well-known travel blogger Matthew Kepnes (Nomadic Matt), offers his readers several articles related to credit cards
Obviously, he joined several affiliate programs and benefits from content. It is worth noting that he provides quite fair reviews, highlighting the pros and cons of several cards and sharing his own experience of using them.
There is a vast majority of other possibilities to make a niche site about finances. Consider the topic of saving money as one of the biggest challenges for everyone is not earning but saving money. Here are just several examples:
Many of us strive to get a better living through continuous improvement. This is a growing industry: there are numerous training courses and life coaches, articles about positive life attitude, and better quality of life. If you understand the attitude of self-development and you are ready to share the knowledge with people, you’d better start building the website now as the competition is increasing continuously. Examples:
Humans are social creatures with feelings. Any kind of social connection, be it romance or friendship, is an interesting and sought-after topic. Examples:
A while ago lifestyle blogs were considered out of trend, but here they are on the top list once again. It is worth mentioning that lifestyle-oriented websites and blogs are often a crossover between two or three niches. Make sure that people are interested in the lifestyle you plan to share with them. Keep in mind, to generate traffic you should answer questions people have and help them to solve some problems; in other words, you have to add value to their lives.
One of the most influential but competitive niches. Proper keyword search might lead you to a narrower topic with less competition. It is clear that most of the beauty and fashion aspects are visual, so Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube channels will be a great addition to a website.
Daily routine and house chores make us bored, for relaxation we read celebrity gossip updates, show business news, and fun information of all kinds. Well, this niche is very competitive, if you decide on it, select a sub-niche wisely to stand out and be unique.
This is one of the evergreen and profitable niches because you cannot go on without food. As a food blogger, you may come up with several ideas. By the way, the food niche is presented well on Pinterest — people search Pinterest for ideas then they follow links to read articles or recipes on blogs.
We cannot ignore the pandemic situation that forced people to eat at home more than ever before. Many food blogs and cooking sites witnessed fantastic traffic growth in 2020. It can be a food-related platform specialized in kitchen supplies and device reviews. You must have heard about Wirecutter, a platform that offers reviews of almost all kitchen utensils and cooking supplies. You can make a similar site specialized on a specific type of products (all for bakery, blenders, choppers, etc.)
This is a huge niche with unlimited opportunities. Actually, it is impossible to cover all topics related to health and fitness, so select underrepresented and interesting for you sub-niche to focus on. In 2020, sales of fitness trackers, resistance bands, and home-gym equipment skyrocketed. This is a booming industry that provides infinite possibilities to make money. At the same time, Google takes health recommendations really seriously as many bloggers and webmasters often mislead their audiences and use platforms just for selling affiliate products of questionable quality.
Sports enthusiasts spend huge amounts on sport goods. You want a website to be profitable, so you may go with expensive sports such as golf, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, cycling, or tennis. See here, a tennis racket costs around $200, the price of tennis shoes is around $100, add here strings, apparel, etc. Golfing and kitesurfing require even more expensive equipment. When you build a niche site about a specific sport, you can make good money via affiliate marketing.
Trending and everlasting huge niche that can be divided into numerous categories dedicated to online education, study tips, courses, etc.
Another hot and always trending niche that resonates globally. Considered a natural process, parenting requires some skills and knowledge. Really, how to survive the early stages of parenthood without forums and blogs?
We want our kids to grow healthy and smart, creative and educated, so we surf all over the net searching for answers to our questions. You can write about baby care, share parenting tips and promote some products you consider useful. People want to know that they are not alone with numerous questions to be answered.
A very interesting and engaging niche for blogging. Although, quite crowded too. You have to be unique, offer and tell something different to make people interested. In current circumstances, influenced by COVID, you may focus on the best hotel discounts and so on.
People spend huge amounts on their pets in attempts to provide them with the best products (food, supplements, beds, etc.) and services (grooming, training, vet services, etc.). A website/blog can be focused on a specific breed or a particular type of product or service.
Let’s say, if I have a mastiff dog and know pretty much about mastiffs and their particular qualities and requirements, I would begin with a micro-niche site devoted to mastiffs.
Another nice option is pet accessories. Some high-tech gear (such as dog collars that turn into GPS tracking devices) for pets is really pricey, so the affiliate commission of 5-10% might result in significant earnings. For instance, with a 20% commission rate on a $150 pet gear you earn $30 per sale.
Everything related to DIY, crafts, and creativity might become a sub-niche for a website. By the way, one of the common problems that all of us face regularly is gift ideas. In our daily life, we deal with various holidays, anniversaries, and celebrations (birthdays, engagements, weddings, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, New Year, Christmas, etc.).
If you open Google you will find that ‘gift ideas’ is a very popular search. Let’s say, it is a bit underserved niche that offers unlimited possibilities, such as DIY birthday gifts; Mother’s day unique gifts, DIY Christmas decoration gifts, and so on. Home decoration is another evergreen topic.
People take home decoration seriously in an attempt to make the place not only attractive but comfortable and stylish. So, you can help your audience and offer practical solutions to turning homes into functional and beautiful spaces.
Again, modern times require modern solutions and provide new possibilities. More and more people want to learn how to make money online and seek passive income sources. Experienced webmasters and marketers are currently in high demand.
Choose a sub-niche that is familiar to you, share your experience, create a tutorial or an ebook, and organize webinars for your audience. Additionally, you may promote a web hosting service and useful digital marketing instruments via affiliate programs. Important: to stand out in this niche you need to prove your expertise – income reports and case studies are very useful to earn trust.
There are unlimited possibilities in this very competitive niche. If you are a tech guru search for an underserved sub-niche and move ahead. Many people want to learn more about the software or apps before downloading.
Many businesses offer SaaS (software as a service) products, from simple tools to complicated instruments for project management. You may use the trend to build a website specialized in software reviews and comparisons. Some SaaS businesses have affiliate programs, so you may benefit from promoting their products.
Well, this is a trending niche, crowded though. Even an amateur photographer might do well in this niche. We all care about making better shots even with our smartphones. Stock photography platforms are very popular, but not all people are ready to purchase photos. The majority prefer to upgrade their photography skills. You may start a niche site about photo equipment with reviews, tutorials, and guides, or a stock photography site (granted that you offer unique and professional images).
Online work and ‘work from home’ are trending not only in 2021: modern technologies allow earning money from the comfort of home, so more and more people look for solutions to simplify and facilitate their remote work. This includes not only software (such as video conference and webinar software) but hardware as well: additional displays, headphones with noise cancellation, lights, laptop stands, etc.
There are numerous affiliate programs for both hardware and software tools. Detailed reviews seasoned with personal experience and experts’ opinions might do very well. So, niche websites focused on remote work offer a great income opportunity. You may begin with the Amazon affiliate program as many people trust this platform and use it as a primary online shopping place.
There are almost no people who do not record videos, whether for their personal archives or business. Again, every year the number of YouTubers grows, so people are interested in equipment and tools to produce high-quality videos that will stand out in the crowded market. Similar to the ‘remote work’ topic, you may join the Amazon affiliate program or in-house affiliate programs of brand-manufactures. Add here audio and video editing software and various tutorials — you may earn pretty good commissions.
There are numerous streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, etc.) with an impressive customer base. People have a habit of searching for news and updates about new series and movies that appear almost every week. If you build a website around the best and upcoming series and movies, provide authentic reviews and updates on new series seasons, you may generate lots of traffic to be monetized. You can monetize your website via Google AdSense and affiliate programs.
Whether you are a car dealer or you simply like cars, this industry is a great place. Remember the time before purchasing your latest car. Undoubtedly, you surfed all over the Internet reading reviews about the preferred models.
Cars aren’t cheap toys, so people like reading articles, test-drive reports, and watching videos before making a decision to buy a specific model. If you have a chance to test-drive various cars, you can write authentic practical articles and reviews, share your personal experience and views.
First of all, you should realize that the success of your website depends not only on your interests but on the right sub-niche that matches the interests of the targeted audience. Besides, there are several major aspects influencing the development and profitability of your website (or blog): keyword research, SEO, analytics, and interaction with the audience.
A niche website requires thorough planning to be considered as a business. Yes, you need traffic (a lot of traffic), high-quality unique content, and a monetization strategy. But all these aspects come after the right topic. You need to consider the financial potential of the topic from the very beginning.
Despite the current complicated situation it is still possible to make living from a niche website in 2022. Indeed, some niches are occupied by huge businesses that are difficult if ever possible to compete with.
For that you can establish your authority in a micro-niche, generating traffic and building relationships and trust with your audience; step-by-step you can expand into neighboring sub-niches, getting more recognizable. In 2022 niche websites are ranked higher in search engines than general websites.
Once you generate 50k+ visits per month, you can use display ads for passive income. You have probably heard about Google AdSense, but there are other platforms out there with much higher rates (Mediavine and AdThrive).
No need to remind you about the importance of keywords. It takes plenty of time to find keywords with high search volume and low competition/difficulty score. Use SEO tools to ease the task, for example, Ahrefs or SeCockpit, to generate more traffic to your website. Webmasters, whether they like or dislike AdSense (and similar platforms), cannot reach a common ground. Some do not like to overcrowd their websites or blogs; they’d better keep some space empty.
On the contrary, others won’t skip a chance to get an extra payment. The good thing is that you do not promote or sell any product; the platform just uses the allocated space to place advertisements. The idea is about collecting ad clicks. Do not worry, the service picks out only ads relevant to your niche; besides, you can manage and customize ads.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective methods to make money online. Consider a bunch of high-priced and topic-related products to promote.
You may choose in-house (brand-specific) affiliate programs or join affiliate networks (for example, ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, or Amazon Associates). Affiliate networks are sort of intermediaries between advertisers (brands, manufacturers) and publishers (marketers and webmasters). You may find 1 500+ advertisers on a single affiliate network. Compare instruments and tools offered by affiliate networks, their lists of advertisers, commission rates, payout options, and schedules, and select the most suitable one.
This method implies that you charge readers to access some special content. You are probably well aware that some publications offer free access to a limited number of articles (The New York Times). Membership can be used instead of selling an e-book — in both cases, readers get access to specific (more valuable) content.
This is clear: a business pays you for custom-made content published on your website/blog. It can be video content, a review, or a long article. In some cases, brands ask you to publish a ready (in-house written) article. Rates vary significantly. You should consider the amount of required work, your authority and popularity in the industry, and a value. Some platforms (for example, BuzzFeed) charge $100 000 for publishing sponsored content.
When you are an expert in a specific field, you can make money through teaching others: consulting and coaching services, tutorials, webinars, and e-books. If you have knowledge and experience to share, you have a great chance to monetize your niche site offering online courses/PDF downloads/ podcasts/videos.
The free space on the website can bring money too. It is worth a try to find advertisers to place a banner on your website. It is a good idea to find brands/services working in the same niche. Otherwise, your platform would seem strange and unconvincing. Imagine, you build a website about sports gear, but there is a couple of bright banners for mother and baby care. You may offer space on the right sidebar, at the bottom of the page, and even pop-ups. Rates depend on the popularity and traffic of your platform; usually, the price is negotiated for every specific case. Sometimes webmasters and advertisers make a deal for a monthly payment; in other cases, a PPC (pay-per-click) model is applied.
Keyword traffic + content with affiliate links to products with high commission rates = profitable website
Now that you are almost ready to make a new niche site, there is an important aspect to discuss. It is your content plan, aka content strategy. Content strategy is necessary to make your niche website high-ranked in Google and valuable for readers. Consider the following aspects to let your niche website stand out in the long run.
You should make a schedule for posting articles (1 per day, 2-3 a week, once a month). There are no rules on how many posts should be on a website — there can be 20 or 2 000 posts. Experienced webmasters recommend posting a ‘pillar’ article (the longer and more valuable one) per around 10 other smaller articles. Split content into several categories: this way you simplify a reader’s experience on your website and organize your platform.
Now that you’ve read and digested all the niche site ideas and major aspects of monetization, you need to settle it. Several friendly, industry-oriented forums might be very beneficial prior to setting up your new website. Visit Warrior Forum, WickedFire, BlackHatWorld, or AffiliateFix — they are great platforms (and there are many other forums) for exchanging thoughts and experience, getting all the recent updates, and making new friends. Additionally, it’s great to learn different opinions on various subjects. By the way, professional forums are great platforms to promote your business. An accurate and well-formed post can increase your traffic and take your site to a higher level. Some platforms allow using links in your signature or placing a link to the relevant content. Anyway, make sure to read rules and general policies before joining any specific forum. And if you know other great marketing forums and communities, just let us know.
As Forbes tells, Jon Dykstra is a Canadian lawyer who was once asked by his employer to promote their business via blogging and content marketing. Inspired by the results, Jon turned his attention to building niche websites, and eventually, he had to choose between his career as a lawyer and webmaster. As you have probably guessed already, Jon opted for an online career.
First of all, Jon notes that Facebook is still one of the significant traffic sources to one of his niche websites. He reveals though that Facebook ads cost him around $1 500 monthly.
The screenshots below demonstrate income details from 8 niche sites. Actually, Jon runs several other websites, but he posts income reports "merely to demonstrate that niche sites can be a good business".
The major share of revenue is from display ads and also, but to a lesser degree, from affiliate programs. At the same time, Jon shares his expenses for 8 niche websites — numbers are impressive too:
His expenses include hosting ($2 069), Nitropack ($32), SurferSEO ($59), Amazon AWS ($110), VAs ($5 200), Cloudfare ($200), Ahrefs ($179), Shutterstock photos ($800), Facebook Ads (around $1 500) and some other paid tools and instruments.
Interestingly, Jon doesn’t include content costs into total expenses:
Jon explains why he doesn’t include content costs into expenses: considerable content costs represent an investment for the future growth of a website. The value of a site is calculated usually as a difference between the revenue and expenses. So, many sites ‘for sale’ are undervalued because the content cost is included in expenses; therefore the net income is reduced. So, Jon believes that content costs should be considered separately, out of website expenses.
And below there is one more screenshot of ad earnings:
According to Jon, three factors determine your success with niche websites:
Runnerclick is another example of a great niche website. There are tons of product reviews with customer-oriented keywords. The website has grown pretty fast due to link-building efforts. The custom design of the site with interactive images is extremely attractive and inspiring. By the way, all Amazon affiliate links are seamlessly integrated into content.
There are no official income reports, but the content and call-to-actions are so cool, so the affiliate revenue might exceed 70k a month.
BabyGearLab is a perfect niche-within-niche website: attractive theme design and website structure, valuable content with well-integrated affiliate links. Detailed useful reviews generate targeted traffic. Maybe the numbers below don’t seem impressive, but this is a huge industry with a ready-to-buy customer base. Conversion rates are probably quite high.
According to rough estimation, we can figure out the following:
It seems that most of the traffic is organic. Notice, the top-ranked post is 8 800 words (a giant piece-of-work). Again, there are no official income reports but it is very likely 30k+ based on traffic data.
Selecting the right niche for your website is one of the toughest challenges you might face. Almost any niche might be considered profitable given that you have done your homework (keywords and SEO) and applied the right monetization strategy.
Whatever sub-niche you choose, there are always nuances in terms of generating traffic and making your website noticeable and unique. Passive income online does not mean “lazy” or “with no efforts”, instead, it means you work hard on creating a profitable business that brings a return and rewards for all the hard work.
If you think of your website as a business, you have to find the perfect combo of SEO, unique valuable content, display ads, and affiliate products that will attract people to your platform.