Please note that affiliate links may be included in some posts.
With over 2.5 million monthly searches, tea is a $12 billion market in the United States (Source).
This is an interesting and potentially lucrative niche- especially if you’re comfortable thinking outside the box and putting in the work to build something significant.
Rather than build a junky Amazon affiliate site and just affiliate-linking to Lipton tea bags, you can have a lot of fun with this one. Because that’s what it’s about (and making fat stacks of automated cash).
This is partly an SEO play, partly a social media play. There’s a ton of search volume to cash in on and a lot of room for creativity with images and video. Let’s dive into this niche and examine the opportunity.
Niche Facts Overview
- Good SEO (i.e. free traffic) opportunity– tons of noncompetitive high/medium/low-volume keywords to pursue.
- Over 2.5 million monthly tea-related searches according to LongTailPro (using “green tea”, “tea” and “black tea” as the seed keywords).
- Opportunity to create gorgeous visual content across social media platforms (i.e. brewing tea on YouTube; steeping instructions on Pinterest; steaming matcha tea pictures on Instagram, etc.)
- Huge market: According to the Tea Association of the USA, in 2016, Americans drank nearly 84 billion servings of tea (more than 3.8 billion gallons) (Source).
- Tea diversity: About 80% of all tea drinkers were downing Black Tea, while 16% were drinking Green Tea, and the rest were drinking Oolong, White and Dark Tea (Source).
- The United States is one of the biggest markets- it’s the 3rd biggest tea importer (Russia and Pakistan are first and second) (Source).
- Millenials love it: Nearly 4 out of 5 people drink tea with millenials self-rating as the most likely (87%) to do so (Source).
- Opportunities to niche down into “iced teas” (18,100 searches a month), “green tea health benefits” (over 10,000 searches a month), oolong tea (60,500 searches a month), kombucha tea (33,100 searches a month), white tea (18,100 searches a month), etc. Check out full keyword list below.
*If Google Trends doesn’t load- just refresh the page.
Tea is a huge market. When I think of attacking this niche, my instinct is the long-tail.
That is, I want to see tons of low-competition, high-volume, buyer-intent keywords. Keywords I can create dominant, link-worthy content around.
I also want to see opportunities to disambiguate complex information- providing value to my readers. I want to see the opportunity to create original and high-quality content for not too much money to ensure long-term, positive content ROI.
The Best Approach
This niche checks those boxes and also offers the built-in opportunity to create gorgeous YouTube videos and Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter images- tea lends itself to photography and video.
If you’ve read my other reports, I recommend that when you create content, you should always focus on harvesting it to publish across different channels to maximize its reach. Check out the graphic below that explains how this is done.
How To Harvest Content For More Traffic
Content Harvesting Explained
- Basically, if you are writing content, you should consider turning it into a slideshow with software like Animoto, publish it to YouTube, and then embed it in the original post, and pin the video itself to Pinterest.
- You should also create images using Canva for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter using appropriate image dimensions.
- You can create a quiz around your content using a WordPress quiz plugin.
- All of this collateral content can also be emailed to your subscribers.
Indeed, you can go in a variety of directions with this niche. I would recommend examining the keyword volume data and choosing a strategy based on what people are searching for.
Check out a sampling of tea keywords below. (I included “ice t” in the results even though it probably, mostly, refers to the rapper.)
Tea Keyword Research (Full List)
What I Would Do
My initial instinct is to create a site that focuses on reviewing different styles of tea from different companies.
For example, “lapsang souchong” has a 5,400/month search volume according to LongTailPro (and a 14,800 search volume according to Keywords Everywhere as you can see below).
Regardless, there isn’t much competition. Whenever you see eCommerce pages like Adagio’s, Republic of Tea’s, and Harney’s at the top of the page, it indicates that there is a lack of quality content for that keyword. Another ranking page is from 2011- a full 6 years old at this point.
I hope you’re starting to understand my perspective on this opportunity- there are TONS of keywords in this vertical that you can own.
I would consider ordering lapsang souchong tea from every available brand, doing an unboxing video and a taste test for YouTube, and then a long 2,000+ word writeup, with my own images, all of which would be shared across my social media properties.
I would do this for every tea type with keyword volume- the aim being to rank in Google Search and YouTube Search for that query, and then affiliate-linking to where the different lapsang souchong teas could be purchased.
On The YouTube Side Of Things…
The above video is the third result for “lapsang souchong”. It’s the sort of video I would envision creating, aside from slideshow style videos that might serve their own purpose on more informational and non-review style content.
Truly, an opportunity to grow a large cross-channel subscriber base that you can monetize in a variety of different ways.
How to get traffic
As I covered above somewhat- you should be publishing rich, long-form content on your website, and publishing high-quality videos and images across various social media platforms.
An example post could be the “10 Best Lapsang Souchong Teas”- targeting the primary keyword (lapsang souchong) and you can snag some brand terms (i.e. the companies who sell the tea: Twinings, Taylors of Harrogate, Harney & Sons, Davidson’s Tea, etc.) as well as assorted long-tail traffic like “health benefits of lapsang souchong”, etc.
Tea Keyword Research (Curated List)
Check out a sampling of tea keywords with volumes greater than 720/month. Their Keyword Competitiveness (KC) is also calculated. The key for the KC calculations are below the table.
Keyword Competitiveness Scores
- 0-10 (No Competition),
- 10-20 (Extremely Low Competition),
- 20-30 (Low Competition),
- 30-40 (Moderate Competition),
- 40-50 (Somewhat High Competition),
- 60-70 (Very High Competition),
- 70-100 (Don’t Even Think About It).
*Read more about their scoring.
A YouTube channel will be a valuable source of traffic on YouTube and for your other online properties. Keep in mind, the purpose of your YouTube channel isn’t necessarily to monetize it with ads. Honestly, it takes a ton of views to earn anything of significance.
A YouTube audience will take time to cultivate. Indeed, all of this will.
But, over time, as your audience grows, you’ll reap the rewards of having a developed a cross-channel presence- it will enable you to do some really fun and interesting things with your audience.
As mentioned in The Opportunity section- you’ll want to produce videos steeping and tasting the tea. Check out how other channels have done it- you can get by using an iPhone/Android to shoot these videos to start.
Pinterest/Instagram/Facebook are other visual mediums that you grow your audience on. I would recommend seeing what others are doing in the tea space, deriving inspiration, and figuring out your own approach to providing engaging content.
You might even consider chopping your YouTube video up a bit into shorter clips that function as gifs and testing how that plays on different social media channels.
How to make money
This will be an affiliate play- you’ll start of with Amazon just to get the ball rolling, but check out ShareASale, LinkShare, there are a variety of tea shops you can promote.
I collected several affiliate programs below, but there are many others out there.
- Teavana Affiliate Program
- Stash Tea Affiliate Program
- Teatulia Affiliate Program
- TeaVivre Teas and Teawares Affiliate Program
- Craft Of Tea Affiliate Program
There are definitely a bunch of tea affiliate opportunities available in this niche- you’ll have to do your own research as you get deep into it. You’ll want to investigate the commission rates and the Earnings Per (hundred) Clicks (EPC).
Some will even have subscription tea services- this means you will either earn a recurring commissions for buyers you refer, or higher up-front payments for these high lifetime value customers.
The Amazon affiliate program will probably be your first affiliate program- below are some of the top searches on amazon for tea-related products.
Top Amazon Tea Searches
- tea accessories
- tea assorted
- tea assortment
- tea bags
- tea bags for loose tea
- tea ball
- tea candles
- tea cup
- tea infuser
- tea kettle
*According to KeywordTool.io
Sponsored Posts and Ad Sales
Over time, as your tea authority site grows, you’ll be contacted by brands that want to work with you to connect to your subscriber base. Perhaps they want to advertise on your site or pay you to review their tea.
With larger quantities of traffic, you can experiment with display ads. Generally, you don’t mix affiliate content with display ads.
In all honesty, most of my experience is with affiliate marketing- I’ve always considered display ads a personal nuisance and with the proliferation of Ad Blockers, some of which are even natively integrated into browsers, it just never spiked my interest.
But there are people who crush it with AdSense- but generally you’ll need tons of traffic and a knack for testing Ad placements. Though services like Ezoic will automatically split test and optimize your ad placements for you.
Your Own Product (eCommerce)
You can create your own tea blend. After you get a sense of the tea market, you’ll spot some gaps your product can fill. Perhaps you formulate a blend for hangovers, or one for expectant mothers. I guarantee that once you’re neck-deep in the tea niche you’ll start thinking up some interesting ideas.
As you build a list, there will be opportunities to promote compatible goods and services to your audience. They could be subscription tea services, for example.
Or you could join the Brookstone affiliate program and delve into their tea product line. One important note, Amazon’s affiliate program doesn’t let you email its affiliate links- they will ban your account for that!
But, other affiliate programs will let you email their affiliate links- you’ll need to always read the fine print when you join an affiliate program regarding promotional restrictions.
The goal with email marketing is to forge trust with your audience- alerting them to your new content, as well as soliciting feedback from them. Not just hitting them up for money.
How To Get Started
- Figure out the ‘tea angle’ you want to take
- Choose a fun, brandable domain name
- Dive into keyword research- I recommend using LongTailPro
- Start publishing content and then harvesting it for cross-platform promotion (you’ll obviously need to create some social media accounts)
- Once you’ve got 10-15 posts, apply to Amazon Associates (if you aren’t already enrolled) to get some revenue rolling in
- With some organic and social media traffic, begin capturing emails
- Once you’ve got a solid content creation process, consider hiring writers or virtual assistants to help you automate and scale
- Investigate different affiliate programs and alternative monetization strategies
Top Ranking Tea Content
Read More Of My Niche Reports
Absolutely killer search engine traffic in this niche. Yeah, there’s competition- there will always be, if it’s worth it.
It’s true, the affiliate products are not high-ticket, unless you end up reviewing Breville tea makers (I have one and love it), but there’s truly opportunity to diversify revenue and establish a brand presence across all the major social media channels.
Once you figure out how to harvest content effectively and dice it up across each platform (perhaps even hiring out this process), you’ll start getting some serious traction.
- Opportunity to build a cross-channel brand and subscriber base
- Great SEO play (tons of brands/types of tea)
- A fun niche- if you like tea
- Great if you like shooting videos, taking pictures
- Tea isn’t the most expensive product to promote
- Bad if you don’t like shooting videos, taking pictures