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6 Amazon Keyword Research Strategies For [6 Figure] Income

Amazon Keyword Research Process

Below I outline 6 down and dirty strategies for finding products to promote through the Amazon Associates affiliate program.

These strategies can work for any affiliate program- helping you find low-competition/buyer-intention keywords you can rank for with my 1,500-word content formula

This is the process I've used to build and scale a 6-figure profit passive-income website.

As an internet-marketing obsessive, it's safe to say that I really enjoy keyword research.

I've spent countless nights hunched over my keyboard, Googling keyword research strategies, filtering through LongTailPro keyword lists, learning everything I could, and then feverishly applying it with my own creative takes on the process.

I'm a true-bred digital-marketer, in many senses.

Niche site publishing, in particular, is a bottomless pit for research and creative expression. And at the end of it, you're making money!

What could be better than that?

How I Do It

The bread and butter of my online income has come from buyer keyword research. Specifically, it relies on finding obscure products on Amazon and generating 1,500+ word content around them for as cheap as possible.

After all, I was essentially unemployed when I first began my general product review site. I didn't have a ton of cash to throw around- especially considering the cost of living in New York City.

I've gone through a variety of different keyword research strategies. Below I outline some of my favorites. 

Keyword Research Strategies

LongTailPro has been around for a very long time. It's an iconic SEO tool employed by nearly every internet marketer worth their salt. 

It's an incredibly thorough and dependable keyword research tool that pulls keyword data directly from Google's Keyword Planner. The way it works is you input a seed keyword like "sneakers" and it will reproduce a comprehensive list of all the related, long-tail keywords. 

Then, you can calculate how competitive these keywords are to rank using their proprietary Keyword Competitiveness algorithm. Check out their 7-day free trial if you're interested in experimenting with it.

(Matthew Woodward, one of my favorite internet marketers, provides a thorough run-through of LongTailPro's capabilities below.)

This tool was a game-changer for me when I was first starting out in keyword research. The competitiveness data helped me spot difficulty patterns in the keywords so I could begin to intuitively understand which niches made sense to target.

I also liked how easy it was to 'filter' the keywords.

For example, if I wanted to see "sneaker" keywords that included the keyword "asics" or "nike", the LongTailPro desktop app lets you quickly filter your list of keywords down to show only those long-tail keywords. 

You can also sort all your "sneaker" keywords by their competitiveness rating- helping you to isolate specific high-volume/low-competition terms that were easy to 'rank and bank' for. 

To this day it's my go-to keyword research tool because it is so thorough and dependable. While I also pay for Ahrefs, I find that its keyword research capabilities are a bit scattershot- often pulling in random or duplicate keywords. 

Also, since Ahrefs works in the cloud, as opposed to LongTailPro which has a cloud-based and desktop app, it's not as easy to see all the keyword data on one screen. The data is paginated and more difficult to filter. I primarily use LongTailPro's desktop application- it gives you all your keyword data on one screen and lets you one-click export it to Excel.

While all the other tools on this list are useful and have some interesting applications, LongTailPro is indispensable.  

2. The Scientific Seller Tool

In terms of finding good Amazon keywords, one tool I used a lot in the beginning was the free Scientific Seller keyword tool.

Scientific Seller Keyword Example

Basically, the way it works is you plug in a keyword and it spits back out related Amazon products.

I would use it by plugging in a precursor keyword like "digital" and it would produce hundreds of buyer keywords that began with the keyword "digital".

Use your imagination to think of precursor keywords like "digital", "manual", "power", "electric" and I guarantee you'll find hundreds of products to promote.

You can download this information into a spreadsheet and even get bulk keyword monthly search volume from a site like SearchVolume.io. Search volume will help you weed out insignificant volumes and prioritize meatier queries.

In all honesty, I would recommend subscribing to LongTailPro and using their desktop tool so you can also generate their Keyword Competitiveness Scores- these metrics will help you further clarify the best ranking opportunity for the keywords you've sourced. 

I've spent countless nights staring at LongTailPro data, downloading CSVs, and sorting through the keywords like a Goldrush panhandler. ​Because, really, that's what the right keywords are- pure gold.

3. Ahrefs Competitor Keyword Theft

Another strategy is to find general review sites and use the paid tool Ahrefs to explore their organic keyword ranking data.

This lets you pick through the, mainly, product keywords they rank for, examine their monthly search volume, and the Keyword Difficulty metric to determine how hard it is to rank for them.

This is a remarkably effective strategy, though it does require a paid subscription. 

Organic keywords using ahrefs

All you have to do is plug your competitor into the Site Explorer tool, click on Organic Keywords, and sort through the list. One hack I've discovered is if I search by the keyword "best" it will quickly show you all of the product reviews that they've done. As you can see in the example above, TheWireCutter.com ranks #1 for "best fidget spinner". 

4. Analyze Existing Amazon Commission Data

A fourth strategy is to examine your Amazon Associates reports and note all the weird and interesting ancillary products you've received commissions on. This is assuming you're already receiving commissions from Amazon Associates.

Amazon gives you commissions on anything the user buys within a 24 hour time span of clicking your link- so while they may not buy Product Y you're promoting, Product X that they did buy could be a golden keyword you've never even considered.

I keep a Google Sheet for all of these keywords- as I come across them I'll add them to the Sheet and eventually outsource a review write-up.

Install The Keywords Everywhere (Chrome Extension)

It's also useful to install the Keywords Everywhere extension for Chrome. This will provide search volume data across Google Search and even Amazon right beneath the search box, which is ultra convenient.

This way you can instantly spot check a keyword's search volume without having to run it through a dedicated tool like LongTailPro.

Keyword Everywhere Tool Extension

This tool is actually pretty incredible. The development team keeps expanding its feature set. 

For example, I just noticed that when I'm searching on YouTube, the type-ahead dropdown now includes keyword search volumes.

Pretty incredible. 

5. Amazon Pagination Strategy

Another process for discovering niche products on Amazon to promote is to type in a precursor keyword like "automatic", "digital", "manual" and search through specific Amazon categories like "Industrial & Scientific" or "Electronics". You'll find a slew of interesting products as you go through EVERY page.

You can even sort these products by price to find the most expensive items you can earn affiliate commissions from.

Amazon Keyword Research Strategy

The Amazon Category+ Keyword Research Process

  1. Choose a precursor keyword and input it into a category.
  2. Go through every product page and once you find an interesting product, search for it on Google, with Keywords Everywhere installed so you can see the specific search volume for that term and also see what the Search Engine Results Page looks like.
  3. Then search for it on Amazon in a separate tab so you can see how many of them are available to promote. You'll want to see multiple versions of the product from different manufacturers that have lots of reviews- not 2 or 3 of them with only a couple reviews.
  4. Collect the products and their keyword volume in a Google Sheet- this will help you begin to organize the products you wish to promote. 
  5. As you do this, you'll start to see patterns emerge. At this point I can eyeball a SERP and quickly understand how good the ranking potential is. In essence, if you see a lot of eCommerce pages for the product, pages with little content (i.e. less than 500 words), social media presence for product terms (Pinterest URLs, for example), it's an open opportunity to dominate this keyword vertical.

Now, since I run a general product review site, I'll promote products with only 1,000 monthly searches because I'm not basing my ENTIRE site around this one product. If you're looking to build a site around the product you're search for, obviously you'd want to see higher search volume than 1,000 monthly searches.

As an aside, I wouldn't recommend structuring a site that way. I think it's preferable to have a niche site in a category with multiple product types you can promote, alongside non-affiliate, 'informational' content that attracts links. But that's subject matter for a different post.

6. Scraping Niche eCommerce Stores 

Another fun strategy- one of my favorite ways of discovering obscure products is Googling for niche eCommerce stores. For example, on my general product review site I decided to cover every single eldercare product. No one covers those products so I knew that this would be a fruitful content focus. 

Everyone wants to write about iPhones and drones, but not many people want to write about "bedside commodes". ​

Googling for "eldercare products" turns up this site, ElderStore.com. You can see some interesting products here- "folding shopping carts", "laundry trolleys" and "skin protection sleeve". ​

All obscure, relatively high cost items, that I guarantee you no one in their right minds is writing about in any depth.

Scraping eCommerce Stores For Keyword Ideas

Final Thoughts

Strategic UpWork hiring and keyword research form the nuts and bolts of generating a lot of buyer-keyword, targeted content.

It's hiring and training writers at reasonable rates and having them produce quality content targeting specific keywords that creates an insane ROI (Return On Investment).

That's been my primary strategy so far- and it's worked well. I'm continuing to branch out, diversifying my online income as much as possible so that I never have to return to the 9-5, corporate slave-race for as long as I live. 

How To Create A Local Event Site For Passive Profit

People on conference

This next niche idea can be a really fun and lucrative one especially if you live in a big city.

The idea here is to create a local event site​ with a focused specialty or theme (music, tech, luxury, etc.) and monetize with sponsored content.

This post will examine the opportunity and discuss how best to approach it.  

Living in NYC, there's a lot to do. One way I figure out which events are worth going to is by relying on several NYC-themed event sites.

Some of my favorites include:

Keyword Research Example

To get a sense of the crazy traffic opportunity, check out some keyword research I did using VisitSacramento.com:

Things like "old sacramento" get 11,000 searches a month and "sacramento breweries" 1,500 a month.

There's clearly a lot of traffic opportunities- people looking for things to do in Sacramento.

Any city, really.

Video Walk-Through of This Niche

I shot a video examining this niche- including a site review of the 5 event sites above using Ahrefs. You can watch it below.

Audio Transcript

Indeed, these sites curate NYC-area events in different ways.

For example, Gary's Guide focuses on startup, entrepreneurship, business, venture capital, digital-media events.

The Printup List focuses on underground, cultural and musical events.

The Skint focuses on free and inexpensive events.

Guest of a Guest, by contrast, focuses on ultra-high-end events like invite-only parties and celebrity happenings.

Brooklyn Based caters to the Brooklyn hipster- not as high-end as Guest of a Guest.

In this way, these sites have discovered interesting ways of curating local area events that the big players like Meetup and Eventbrite just can't.

In the process, they develop a core following- an audience who routinely visit for updates and trust the resources the sites market to them.

Why Choose This Niche?

  • Fun opportunity to build a trusted, local community resource
  • Cheap to produce event guides
  • Easy to outsource research responsibilities
  • Unique monetization opportunities (recurring payments from businesses that want to access to your audience)
  • Returning visitors- once you're discovered, people come back over and over
  • Immunity to Google algorithm updates (SEO penalties, etc.)
  • Easy to create unique content for a dedicated audience
  • You can build an email list with this audience

Not Just Events

Guest of a Guest and Brooklyn Based are also interesting because they are not just event-based. They also editorialize on culture, food and fashion.

This is another interesting consideration- your event site could be a pure event list like Gary's Guide or, in addition, explore broader community affairs.

If you're going it alone, this might be a lot to take on- so perhaps curating events can be a good starting point.

It's important to understand that while these sites will often link to popular event ticketing platforms, it's to book the event- not to discover it.

So, don't be overwhelmed by a site like Meetup.com. While an excellent site and app, your human touch is a powerful competitive advantage. 

Word Of Mouth Power

And, think about this: whenever I go to an event from Gary's Guide, I often end up telling the host and other people at the event that I discovered the event on Gary's Guide- this word of mouth confers huge authority on his site.

This is an unorthodox, old-school way of getting traffic and building brand awareness. I've come to rely on these sites- Gary's Guide in particular.

It filters out all the noise from event platforms like Eventbrite, which is often plagued by spammy webinars and lacks effective filtering and discoverability options.

Gary's Guide, for example, succeeds despite not being mobile friendly and despite a somewhat cluttered interface because it organizes real-time event information in a clear and dependable way.

I know that every Monday its event list will be updated and that the wheat will be sorted from the chafe, so to speak.

While most of the events he lists can be found on EventBrite, it would take me hours to discover them as I sort through spammy nightclub promotions and 'financial freedom' webinars.

Is This Niche For you?

Think about where you live.

You might not be in a cultural hub like NYC, but could you provide value by becoming a one-stop resource for local area events? Could you niche down and curate tech events, cheap events, luxury events, cultural events?

Maybe you live in a remote location- you can still profile the activities of a nearby big city.

Cheap Content: The Holy Grail

Plus, since you're merely aggregating content (the events), it's really cheap to produce these event guides.

Once you figure out a process, you can even outsource a lot of it.

If you haven't read my other niche reports, one of my favorite recipes ​for building a successful online business is leveraging cheap content.

When I first started building sites, I was recently unemployed after the startup I was part of failed. So I was extremely cost-conscious. If you're on a budget, this could be a smart opportunity to pursue- this curated event lists won't take that long to do.

And you can even use a Virtual Asssistant to help compile them on a weekly basis once you figure out which resources you want to pull event info from. 

Become A VIP

And, think about this...

Once you get big enough, you'll start getting invited to ticketed events and even get VIP treatment.

This could become a really fun and lucrative niche with an added social benefit. 

VIP

With some diligence you can get traction with local users who want a Gary's Guide for their home town- a destination site that is a one-stop resource for the week's best events.

Once you get some traction and build up an email list- your audience will become extremely valuable to anyone who wants to regionally target their advertising. Say a new sushi restaurant is opening up in downtown Ohio- you can tacfully promote it to your audience in exchange for sponsorship.

Perhaps a musical act you love is coming to town- you might get free tickets for yourself and giveaway tickets for your audience just for promoting it in your newsletter and on your site.

An Alternative Approach

An alternative way of conceptualizing this site is to create a national resource for particular events.

For example, you could become the resource for legal seminars, the resource for veterinary events, the resource for event marketing professionals. It's definitely another method to consider.

Event Keyword Research

Below, I used Ahrefs.com to examine some of the U.S. event-related keyword volume.

This really isn't an SEO play, but it's interesting to see the searches that are being conducted- it might help prime your imagination.

How To Build An Event Site

First, I'd compile some examples of local event sites I like and research them scrupulously.

Then I'd examine WordPress themes and plugins to see what sort of event-specific technology there is to build this style of site.

Too often the local event sites I see don't invest in building a user interface specifically designed for event-style content.

This makes it cumbersome for users to navigate. If your event site is music-themed, you'd want to make it easy for readers to jump between categories like metal, punk, rock and roll, etc.

You could use WordPress Tags and Categories to help organize this content.

Another consideration- you don't want to copy event information and paste it on your site. Google frowns on this "duplicate content". I would consider either direct linking to the event page or including your own blurb.

Though, writing custom content for the hundreds of events you end up profiling is likely a tall and ultimately unnecessary order.

Since this isn't an SEO play right off the bat, my recommendation would be publishing event lists that direct-link to the event page every Monday morning and do this for a couple months.

You'll eventually discover what the best process is for you as you dive into the work.  

Niche Market Research

The Opportunity

The idea is to create a local (or even national) event guide site. With some hustle and creativity the opportunity is there to become a trusted resource for event-goers, whether you specialize in Kentucky-area concerts or national legal training seminars.

I really like this idea because over time you can become a trusted resource plus it uniquely lends itself to 'worth of mouth' marketing. I'd caution you to think through your niche before you start- it's important that you don't go too broad or too small.

For example, a site that focuses on metal music in Kansas- it feels a bit too small. You might want to expand up a category to rock and roll in general and treat metal as a sub niche.

On the other hand, a general Kansas event site might be too broad. It could be difficult to cover everything and you lose the opportunity to provide high-value to a focused segment of Kansas citizenry.

Overall- this is a fun niche, especially if you choose to cover something close to your heart. If you love the startup community, becoming a resource for Kansas entrepreneurs could be a really fun way of getting involved with that crowd.

Niche Marketing Traffic

How To Get Traffic

While organic traffic will come with time, a cool way of getting traffic in the beginning is alerting every event-owner that you list on your site that they've been included in your week-ahead roundup.

People who run events are desperate to fill them and are usually the ones reaching out to promote them.

By providing them free exposure, they'll doubtless be thankful and might do you a solid in return. Whether that's a backlink or free tickets- who knows.

The really beautiful thing about this niche is that people looking for events do so every week, even every day, so if your event lists are good, you'll get returning traffic.

Much of the early work will be promoting your site wherever it makes sense- telling your friends, posting on relevant Facebook Pages, community forums, writing local newspaper editors.

Wherever your potential audience is- be there. A good exercise would be to list out every potential community resource and figure out how you can best let them know about your site. I would caution not to do this too soon- you'll want to have a somewhat substantial amount of content on the site so that people will be comfortable linking to you.

They don't want to promote a flimsy site that they're unsure will continue to be updated. Once you begin hooking people, you'll be able to capture emails, and you'll see that people will continue returning to your site whenever they need an event update.

How To Make Money With Your Niche

How To Make Money

To understand how these types of sites make money, let's use Gary's Guide as an example.

Gary's Guide has a Classes section where he links to schools providing tech instruction- a natural fit for his audience.

The schools are probably paying him to be promoted. He also has a Deals section with various promotional offers.

Besides that, there's a Jobs section where he publicizes job opportunities with NYC startups. 

Recruitment firms doubtless firms see it as a worthwhile investment to sponsor job posts on Gary's Guide because it gets in front of tech professionals. All of these promotions are likely getting him money- people are happy to pay him because they want to be in front of his tech-enthusiast audience.

Members of this audience might be interested in signing up to learn web development, buying tickets to an upcoming new media panel discussion, or applying to be a CTO with a Manhattan startup.

When you think about monetizing, realize that the theme of your site attracts a target audience who third-party marketers might want to reach.

If you start a site curating beachcombing activities in Akron Ohio- you're not going to find many interested sponsors. But, if your site is a Gary's Guide for Los Angeles- that could be really big.

You won't make money as fast as if you followed some of my other guides that focus on affiliate marketing, but this style of site has its own unique advantages.

If you're consistent with quality content and guides, you'll get flocks of visitors who eagerly return to your site day after day to see what's happening around town.

This makes you immune to Google algorithm updates, affiliates dropping you from their program, or other common hazards of online marketing.

Pros

  • Opportunity to build a fun, local event resource that engages you with a community you're passionate about
  • Returning visitors means that a consistent traffic source
  • You aggregate content (events), so it's pretty cheap to produce and outsource
  • Good potential for an email list
  • Diverse monetization opportunities

Cons

  • Generally not a super-fast path to monetization
  • Not a strong SEO play- you'll have to hustle to get exposure, rather than wait to rank in the search engines

Publishing Listicles: The Secret To Viral Engagement

Newspaper or magazine from tablet pc

This next idea isn't so much a niche, more a style of site that I've long been a fan of.

It is: list/ranking sites.

These sites specialize in publishing long listicles. Some sites like Ranker.com publish lists on everything under the sun.

Others like Startups-List are more niche.

They list startups and categorize them by location and the type of service they provide.

Some of my favorite listicle sites:

While Ranker and Buzzfeed rank everything, my idea for the site is picking a niche and creating a rank-style site for it.

Watch My Walkthrough

Below I recorded a video discussing this viral-listicle site strategy.

I also examine some of the different listicle-style sites that I like and run them through Ahrefs to go under the hood on their keyword rankings.  

Why List Sites Work

  • Readers love them. A list is easy for people to skim and digest- they know if they click on the link to visit your site that they won't be hit with a wall of text. They'll get a quick and concise tabulation of the information they need. No sweat.
  • Lists are easy to create content for. Producing short, snappy blurbs is a cinch. You can, of course, produce long blurbs- but oftentimes the most popular style of list has 3-5 sentences or even less describing a representative image with a headline.
  • Outsourced content: Since the content isn't super complex, you can hire writers at discount prices to begin churning out this content.
  • Monetizing lists is easy. You can cleverly insert affiliate links and display ads throughout your list content as well as charging monthly fees to add a company or its product to a list.
  • Lists are longform. Because a list can have many items, it often swells to over 2,000 words, which helps it rank in the search engines. Since your list will be around a certain topic, that focus and the length will help boost its ranking potential for that keyword, getting you traffic, and passive income.
  • They can go viral. A fun list can get a lot of social shares, potentially raking in heaps of traffic. These social signals can also help you rank in Google.
  • They lend themselves to images- though you'll have to get savvy figuring out where and how to source images (you can ask permission; use free sources like UnSplash and Flickr; create your own in Canva; experiment with embedding from Twitter, Pinterest, etc.; or even paying for premium access on a site like iStock).

Example List Posts

The Smartest Professional Athletes

The smartest professional athletes include Rhodes Scholars, 1580 SAT scorers and Ivy League standouts whose book smarts and pure intelligence is equally as impressive as their athletic ability. Smart athletes come from all sports with members of the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB among those who could easil...

What Niche Should You Choose?

One of my favorite outside-the-box thinkers, James Altucher, references something called "idea sex".

Essentially, to come up with an original, potentially lucrative, idea you should try combining 2 different ideas.

So, try to combine the Ranker concept with a niche you could help disambiguate, a niche that you could publish lots of lists in.

3 Examples​

Try combining a listicle format with common passions, hobbies and lifestyles and see what you can come up with. Below I came up with 3 different ideas to get the ball rolling.

First Idea​

manager

One interesting concept would be Ranker + Career.

Imagine a list based site that produced content like the 20 worst jobs for 20 year olds; the 30 weirdest professions; the 50 best career books for millenials; the 100 worst jobs for 2017.

And on and on.

This content has the potential to go viral and you can easily insert some affiliate links as well display ads within this ultra-long content.

Buzzfeed is famous for these lists- but if you niche down a bit, you won't be competing head to head with them. You'd have your own core audience that jibes with your career content.

Second Idea​

A second idea would be Ranker + Geography. I live in Brooklyn, for instance, so I could create a site like BrooklynRanked.com.

I would rank the 50 best pizzerias, the 30 best chinese restaurants, the 50 best mechanics, the 75 best plastic surgeons- literally any service. 

map

You could determine ratings by aggregating Yelp and Google reviews. This review content can be harvested to generate 'composite' reviews of the service providers that contain lots of juicy keywords. ​

Brooklyn is actually fairly competitive- there's so much written about it. I'd instead choose a populated area that isn't as celebrated. Once you begin to get traction, you can charge service providers to be listed- and monetize with pay per call affiliate offers.

Another reason I like this particular approach is because there's little competition, in general, for these local-area queries and it's easy to quickly produce lots of content for these lists. It's one of my favorite recipes: low competition + cheap, scaleable content.

It is true that big players like Yelp and Angie's List do rank for these local terms- but there's enough traffic to go around, especially when you begin packaging your content in creative ways.

Third Idea​

store

A third idea: You could choose a specific industry, as well- Ranker + {Industry}.

For example, ranking the best lawyers by type in a given geography. There are lucrative payouts available if you can somehow get quality leads for law firms- i.e. sending traffic to their practice's pages. 

​Again, I'd try to be somewhat scientific about the ratings- you don't want to arbitrarily rank one lawyer above another without some justification. It's likely that you can use Yelp and other review resources to try to be somewhat objective about your list. 

List Keyword Research

Check out the table below- I compiled a list of phrases that begin with "list of", effectively capturing what sort of lists people are looking for.

This is merely for inspiration. If you produce a list of the 50 best business books for millenials, you'll (potentially) get organic traffic for the book titles themselves, and all sorts of queries related to millenial career and business concerns.

Not just trraffic from a Google query "list of books for millenials". Plus, these lists are really suited for social shares and hopefully going viral.

Hobby Keyword Research

I've also assembled a mega-list of hobbies. Use it as inspiration. Skimming the list- ice skating could be an interesting list site. You could profile the 50 best NHL skaters of all time, the 30 biggest Olympic ice skating fails in history, the 40 coolest ice skates ever. Lots of possibility and potential.

The Keyword Competitiveness score is beneath the table- it gives you a rough idea of how competitive it would be to rank for the primary keyword in the hobby list below. 

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.

Niche Market Research

The Opportunity

The idea here is to create a list-based site in a niche that helps organize scattered information. Startups List organizes startups by location and by their type of business.

The Worlds 50 Best specializes in restaurants. Wine Spectator has a subdomain just for its lists.

Lists are powerful for a variety of reasons, as I outlined above- but primarily they work because people like easily digestible content, they are relatively easy and cheap to create, utilize fun images, and have large social and SEO potential.

Before you dive in, make sure you think through how you'll monetize.

For example, a site that lists the best beaches- it would monetize with air travel offers. A site that lists out the best businesses in a local area will monetize by charging recurring fees for placement in the list and even pay per call opportunities through a platform like RingPartner.

Other niches might have more physical products to promote- for instance a sports-themed Ranker site could list the 25 best outdoor basketballs, the 30 most expensive tennis sneakers of all time, etc.

The niche you choose will influence how you monetize, how fast your site can monetize, and the sort of traffic you should focus on. For example, a site that lists the best legal practices in Iowa will have less social media potential than a site that ranks the most attractive women on Instagram. 

Niche Marketing Traffic

​​How to get traffic

Longform list content will get you rankings and search traffic in time if the keyword research is on point and the quality is good. Social media traffic can come with consistent promotion. 

Indeed, you'll want to figure out a content promotion process. Each piece of content you create should be subjected to a content promotion process.

Check out the content harvesting graphic below- this gives you a general idea of how you can convert your blog post into different formats and gradually build up a following across different social media channels.

Harvest Your Content

Content Harvesting NicheFacts Example

I won't lie, getting traffic can be a grind. The way I'd approach it is to focus on producing 20 3,000+ word posts targeting keywords I want to rank for and nailing down a content syndication process that I can at least partially outsource.

For example, if one of my posts is "The 30 Best Chinese Restaurants in Ohio", I'd have templates prepared in Canva to convert that post into a long infographic.

I'd have an Animoto template for converting it into a slideshow video. I'd have a template for converting it into a quiz.

This media collateral would then be published across different platforms. The hustle will be in getting noticed initially and cultivating incremental traffic over time.

Outreach and backlinks will be essential in this instance- high rankings for this search term will be the primary way you can justify charging business owners for listing placement and exposure. And backlinks are crucial to fortifying a strong organic search position.

How To Make Money With Your Niche

How to make money

Monetizing will depend on the niche you select. Broadly, you'll monetize with display ads, affiliate marketing, and potentially your own products. I can't emphasize enough- when you think about your niche, make sure you do a preliminary deep dive into the affiliate product promotion part of it​.

So, check Amazon for products in the niche that you can promote. You will be sorely disappointed if you think you'll gin up enough organic traffic in the first year to make a living from display ads.

Mintsense ran some math and determined that:

“In a nutshell, you need 100,000 visitors a day to make $100,000 a year from Google AdSense alone (with a CTR of 1% and CPC of $0.25).”​

That's a crazy amount of traffic. My own affiliate money site makes over 3x that much in a year with 3% of that traffic. ​

The commissions you're able to earn early on will help you persist through the grind of scaling your site into a true authority and discovering alternative monetization options as you and your site mature.

More advanced forms of monetization will be pay per call where you get paid when someone calls a number of a business; other types of lead generation- like people booking flights or submitting their email address to a business through your affiliate links; charging businesses to be listed or promoted on your ranking site.

How To Get Started


  1. Figure out the 'list angle' you want to take
  2. Choose a memorable domain name
  3. Do keyword research- I recommend using LongTailPro- figure out what people in the niche want to read about. But also be creative and publish fun content that you think will get traction on social
  4. Begin publishing and harvesting it for cross-platform promotion
  5. Once you've got 10-15 posts, figure out how you'll monetize: apply to Amazon Associates, use the Ad Inserter WordPress plugin to sprinkle AdSense throughout your content, for example.
  6. Capture emails
  7. Once you've got a working content creation process, consider hiring writers or virtual assistants to help you automate and scale
  8. Explore alternative affiliate programs and different monetization strategies

Pros

  • Fun, structured way to organize a site
  • Lends itself to structured, long-form content that search engines love
  • Can play well on social
  • Naturally incorporates images into lists

Cons

  • You'll have to figure out how to source images if your posts rely on them
  • Some niches will be easier to monetize than others- if there aren't a lot of products to promote, monetizing will require more patience and creativity

How To Monetize Obscure Hobbies With Invincible Content

Variety of physical activities

If you're despairing of finding a niche you can be passionate about that has the potential to earn you a six-figure yearly income, have no fear...

Below, I've assembled a massive list of the top hobbies with monthly search volumes and their Keyword Competitiveness calculated.

The goal here is to help you discover a lucrative hobby niche- whether it be a popular sport like tennis or something more arcane like beachcombing.

A Tale Of Two Niches

Tennis Niche Example

Tennis: Good Niche

Beachcombing Example

Beachcombing: Bad Niche

Obviously, some niches are better than others. In this post we'll dive into the hobby niche and examine some of the different opportunities. In a nutshell, when you evaluate a niche's potential, you want there to be search volume, problems to solve and products to promote.

So, in the case of beachcombing, it's really not a lucrative opportunity since it somewhat resembles seaside garbage collection.

It has a small search volume, few products to promote, and an audience who probably doesn't need a marketer to help them figure out how to comb a beach or buy a trash picker.

I've made the mistake, in the early days, of choosing niches (how to become a crossing guard) that are just lousy profit-making opportunities- so my advice comes from experience. 

As opposed to tennis, where​ there's a lot more volume, tons of expensive products to promote, and generally a more 'passionate' audience whose 'problems' primarily regard upping their athletic performance.

Though, you'll want to niche down a bit with tennis- it's such a popular topic that you'll have a tough time gaining traction if you don't laser-target a niche audience that's under-served by the ESPNs and Bleacher Reports of the world.

Monetization Options

Advertising

Display Ads Monetization

Display ads can be dynamically inserted throughout your content once you have some decent traffic on your site.  

Affiliate

Affiliate Monetization

You can market others' physical or information products to your audience in a variety of hobby niches.

Products

Physical Product Niche

Create your own physical or info product and capitalize on higher margins than display ads or affiliate marketing.

A good way to examine niches is to run the keyword "Tennis" through LongTailPro or a free tool like this one. I ran "Tennis" through LongTailPro and as you can see there are lots of sub-niches you can explore: "tennis rackets", "tennis bags", "tennis outfits", "tennis camps", "tennis coaches", etc. 

Tennis Keyword Research

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Besides just ranking in Google, there's opportunities on social media platforms to become the voice of the hobby. Even if you never rank in Google for your keyword, you can still own a portion of the audience's attention on a social media platform.

Let's take a look at this list of hobbies- scroll through and see if anything strikes you. (The Keyword Competitiveness score is explained beneath the table). 

List Of Hobbies

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Alternative Table Format

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.

Niche Facts Overview


  • Hobbies have passionate audiences, problems to solve, and oftentimes expensive products to market.
  • Choosing a hobby niche can be a conservative way to approach niche-marketing, ensuring that there will be an audience interested in your content, as long as it's good.
  • If you yourself are passionate about one of these hobbies, it's a great way to ensure you don't get bored or discouraged by the process of building and marketing your authority niche site.
  • Broad niches like "body building" and "tennis" have large sub-niches you can explore and build an audience around.

*If Google Trends doesn't load- just refresh the page.

Niche Market Research

The Opportunity

Hobbies are a great niche to consider building a site around. By their very nature they generally have engaged audiences who are typically involved employing some type of product. A tennis player has physical products like rackets, elbow braces, balls shoes, etc.

As of this writing, Clickbank has 73 tennis information products you can promote.

A kayaker has physical products like paddles, life vests, carts, seats and the vessels themselves, though no Clickbank information products.

Perhaps there's a hobby out there that you enjoy- if you can monetize a passion, it's much less likely that you'll get discouraged during the grind. There's something to be said, though, for having a passion for the process of building and monetizing an authority site. In that case, the topic of your site is somewhat immaterial.

What I Did...

What I chose to do when choosing a niche was create a general review site- this means that I can dabble in any product (niche) vertical. While this enables me to publish and profit from any type of product, it also limits the site's ability to attract a core following because it doesn't have a true focus.

Though, mega product review sites like Consumer Reports and the WireCutter pull it off- but they also are physically reviewing the products they write-up, which is something that I've only done a handful of times.

It should be said, though, that I do strive to provide valuable information to my site's readers- publishing content that reflects the buyer experience of online reviewers who have actually purchased and use the products.

All that said- investigating the hobby angle can hopefully prime your imagination.

Niche Marketing Traffic

​​How to get traffic

SEO

Depending on the hobby, your approach will probably differ.

Some of these hobby niches will lend themselves to video, some to imagery, some to long-form content.

Some will have engaged audiences on Facebook that you can tap into for promotion purposes. Indeed, some will have greater keyword volume and more or less competition in the SERPs (search engine result pages).

These are all things you should investigate prior to selecting a niche.

A Quick Niche Exercise

Niches require vetting. In the near future, I'll be writing up a niche validation guide. In the meantime, you'll want to perform some research prior to diving into a niche.

Choose a niche right now, just as an exercise, and use the keyword to search social media: scour Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Quora, Facebook, Instagram. Begin documenting your findings in a spreadsheet- listing out communities, influencers, popular keywords, pain points.

Use LongTailPro or a free keyword research tool that shows search volume​ to see how popular a query it is. 

Go to Google Trends and research how the keyword is trending. ​Is it seasonal?

Try Googling it and finding forums- assess its popularity and its pain points.

Go on Amazon and see what products are available for sale in the niche- examine how many reviews they have. Do they have hundreds? Or do the primary products only have a couple?

Check out oDigger​ and Clickbank to see what sort of information products are out there. 

Google your keyword plus the word "affiliate" and see if you can dig up some affiliate programs for that keyword. For example, "tennis affiliate". ​

Find other niche sites and see what they're doing- this is a great way to help validate the niche, while also fueling your creative instinct regarding traffic acquisition.

Doing this sort of deep dive provides you some intimate knowledge regarding the niche. Maybe the people in the niche annoy the hell out of you and you realize it's not for you!

Or maybe you realize you've stumbled across a hobby you care about, that has lots of traffic and monetization opportunities.  

Back to the topic of getting traffic: your research might show you that a particular hobby has a huge Pinterest audience. Pinterest, then, would be a logical place to focus on getting traffic from. 

Social media can be a great traffic source, especially since search engine traffic can take months, if ever, to get flowing. That said, you'll always want to have a website.

Search traffic is the most passive way of receiving web visitors and these searchers are often the most engaged form of traffic you will find. Social media traffic can be fickle and it can require constant maintenance to upkeep (i.e. posting multiple times a day).

Though there are some automation and scheduling solutions you can use to drive traffic, especially once you have an audience. HootSuite, Buffer and ViralTag are options I've used. 

The Short Answer

The short answer here is that there's always an SEO play for any of these hobbies, but there will also be different opportunities for alternative traffic sources depending on the niche you choose.

Study the content harvesting graphic below- this gives you an idea of how you can multiply the reach of your content across channels by adapting it to different platforms.

How To Harvest Content For More Traffic

Content Harvesting NicheFacts Example
How To Make Money With Your Niche

How to make money

Depending on the hobby, this could be display ads, affiliate marketing, or your own products.

Display ads require tons of traffic- think at least a 1,000 a day before you see any decent money. Affiliate marketing will likely be your bread and butter, at least initially.

Though, as a caveat, say you're an ace tennis pro and you have an information product (a video course, an e-book) you're dying to promote- there's no reason you can't experiment selling it using paid traffic, rather than wait for SEO or social media traffic to trickle in.

That's a whole other conversation. If you're looking to learn about product validation, check out Patt Flynn's thoughts on the matter. LearnWorld also has some useful information if you're trying to create an online course. You can also validate a product by building out a landing page and sending traffic to it (link).

Back to the point- affiliate marketing is probably the best early play. Your initial research should have ensured that there are products to promote- you don't want to be left high and dry in a niche like beachcombing where the only products people use are $12 trash pickers, for example. 

The Amazon Associates affiliate program will doubtless have physical products your hobbyists use and sites like ClickBank will potentially have information products you can also market to your audience.

As well, ODigger, which is a search engine for affiliate programs, is another good resource to explore.

How To Get Started


  1. Use our hobby keyword list to help select a hobby niche
  2. Validate the hobby niche- make sure there is sizable search volume by running the primary keyword through a keyword tool like LongTailPro. Also ensure that there are products you can market to your audience- both physical and (ideally) informational.
  3. Choose a fun, brandable domain name
  4. Dive into keyword research- I recommend using LongTailPro to figure out what people are searching for and the content that will appeal to your audience.
  5. Start publishing content and then harvesting it for cross-platform promotion.
  6. Engage and interact with your audience- be where they hang out online, or even in person- become an authority in the space.
  7. Once you've got 10-15 posts, apply to Amazon Associates (if you aren't already enrolled) to get some money rolling in.
  8. Begin capturing emails from the get-go and marketing your content to your fan base.
  9. Consider hiring writers or virtual assistants to help you automate and scale.
  10. Investigate different affiliate programs and alternative monetization strategies. If you can profit from it, explore running Facebook Ads- capturing emails sending them down a profitable funnel. 

Pros

  • Opportunity to build a cross-channel brand for the hobby and subscriber base
  • Can be a great SEO play, especially if the hobby isn't extensively covered online
  • Hobbies have engaged audiences- especially if you can address their 'pain points'
  • A great opportunity to distinguish yourself by providing unique media, i.e., shooting videos, taking pictures of the hobby in action
  • Solid way to get started if you feel stuck choosing a niche

Cons

  • Some hobbies like beachcombing have no products, don't need a lot of explication- be careful you select a hobby that isn't a 'dead-end'
  • If a hobby is 'too niche', there might not be enough interest to scale up the opportunity- for example, pool bicycling might be narrow, but you could expand a category up into 'aquatic exercise'

How To Profit Promoting Obscure Technologies

Sine wave on oscilloscope screen

If you're an engineer or of a scientific bent, this is a great niche for you.

It's: Oscilloscopes.

I've made over a thousand dollars promoting expensive oscilloscopes on my review site.

I like them because they are ultra-expensive (some cost thousands of dollars), there's lots of obscure terms to get long-tail organic traffic for, and very few people write about them because they are incredibly complex tools.

This is a great recipe for a niche site: a high-end product that needs a search marketer to help provide some disambiguation + enhanced user experience.

What is an oscilloscope?

Rather than try to explain what an oscillscope is, I'll defer to Wikipedia:

“An oscilloscope, previously called an oscillograph, and informally known as a scope, CRO (for cathode-ray oscilloscope), or DSO (for the more modern digital storage oscilloscope), is a type of electronic test instrument that allows observation of constantly varying signal voltages, usually as a two-dimensional plot of one or more signals as a function of time. Other signals (such as sound or vibration) can be converted to voltages and displayed.”

Niche Facts Overview


  • Lots of search volume for a complex, expensive product.
  • Will require some scientific know-how if you want to do the niche justice. I suggest partnering with a university research lab.
  • A great SEO play and if you produce valuable (i.e. not just affiliate) content, you will attract links and shares- which will help rank you in a fairly noncompetitive niche.

*If Google Trends doesn't load- just refresh the page.

Ranging in price from $250 to $25,000 (roughly), there's a lot of affiliate income to be made in this niche. Let's take a look at some of the search traffic for the term "oscilloscope".

Oscilloscope Keyword Research

As you can see, there's lots of search volume for primary and long-tail keywords. As well, Amazon is rife with similar searches- for both the scopes themselves, plus accessory equipment and brand terms like "Rigol". 

Top Amazon O-Scope Searches

  • oscilloscope
  • oscilloscope probe
  • oscilloscope kit
  • oscilloscope leads
  • oscilloscope usb
  • oscilloscope automotive
  • rigol oscilloscope
  • digital oscilloscope
  • oscilloscope multimeter

*According to Scientific Seller

Leveling Up

It would be easy to create a junky oscilloscope affiliate site and make some money, but the real win here will be providing true value. How do you do that? Think outside the box.

For example, you could contact your local university's engineering department and see if they'd be willing to demonstrate some oscilloscopes for you. You could shoot video of these demonstrations and even pay the staff to do some write-ups for your site.

In fact, some of the top-ranking pages for oscilloscope keywords are YouTube videos- so publishing written and video content will be a powerful traffic acquisition strategy.

Check out this Bucknell college website- their oscilloscope page, while rich on information, looks like it's from 1995 (Source):

As a search marketer, when I see pages like this, I see a golden opportunity to provide solid information and enhanced user experience, while earning myself passive affiliate income.

Down the line you can even request oscilloscopes to review from Rigol and Tekton, perhaps donating them to an engineering university department in exchange for video and written content.

Niche Market Research

The Opportunity

Create an oscilloscope authority site that is monetized with affiliate links. It will provide instructional information alongside product reviews.

This content stands a fair chance of ranking very quickly if it's done well- and you can capitalize on YouTube search traffic by publishing explainer video content. 

While a somewhat small niche, this could be incredibly lucrative- you can go a bit broader into a more general category of ​scientific equipment, or build out this site and let it mature and earn over the long-term as part of your passive income site portfolio.

Niche Marketing Traffic

​​How to get traffic

This will be an SEO play- you'll be creating long-form, detailed content, both affiliate and informational, to help searchers understand how to use and how to buy one of these devices.

I recommend focusing on on-page SEO and producing YouTube videos- this dual-pronged approach will diversify your traffic acquisition and help you see some quick earnings wins.

You can even publish your video across different video-sharing platforms to get extra traffic from your content.

Backlinko is a great resource for on-page SEO:

On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page (2016 Update)

When it comes to on-page SEO, I'm sure you've heard enough about meta tags and keyword density for one lifetime. If you're looking for some practical strategies that you can use on your site today, then you'll love this infographic. It's a simple checklist that will bring in more search engine traffic from every piece ...

I also recommend harvesting your content- essentially transforming written content into different media types, and publishing across social media platforms for enhanced reach.

Check out the graphic below for how it works:

Content Harvesting NicheFacts Example

This will get you trickles of referral traffic and increase your discoverability, which will help you earn links over time, which will help rank you in Google, and get you traffic that makes you money.

How To Make Money With Your Niche

How to make money

Affiliate Marketing

Starting out, I'd use Amazon Associates to monetize.

You can discover niche stores in ShareASale and LinkShare that might offer different oscilloscopes with, perhaps, better commission rates than Amazon offers.

Amazon will convert better than any other physical product affiliate, for the most part- though you will get sales from niche oscilloscope stores, depending on how much you 'warm' your traffic up to purchasing that particular product.

Affiliate Programs


There are more- you just have to Google around a bit or search within an affiliate network.

How To Get Started


  1. Do some due diligence on oscilloscopes before diving in- document the different sites, see how you can add value to this niche.
  2. Use LongTailPro or a free keyword research tool like keywordshitter.com to see where the search volume is- this will help orient your content publication efforts.
  3. Pick a brandable domain name.
  4. Figure out how you want to organize your content- you can split content between product reviews and informational 'how-to' style articles. Use WordPress tags and categories intelligently to help curate your site's user experience.
  5. Begin publishing content and figuring out a content harvesting process you can follow for all the content you create.

Available Domains

  • OscilloscopeWeb.com
  • ProOscilloscope.com
  • OscilloscopeTV.com
  • AllOscilloscope.com

Pros

  • High-ticket product
  • Low SEO competition
  • Lots of buyer keywords

Cons

  • ​​Complex product
  • A somewhat small niche (though you can expand broader into 'scientific equipment')​

Content Curation: Make A Living Curating YouTube Content

youtube logo

If you love YouTube, this one is for you.

The idea here is that you will develop a content site that profiles and curates YouTube content.

There are a couple different directions you could go:

  1. YouTube News: Report on YouTube channels & personalities
  2. YouTube Curation: A YouTube video curation site
  3. YouTube Hybrid: Curating a genre of video + profiling the genre's top YouTubers

The beauty of this niche is that 75% of the content work is done for you. You'll be leveraging existing content (YouTube videos) and creating 300+ word posts that are fun and informative writeups that supplement the video.

In this way, you can tap into massive keyword search volume for both YouTube and non-YouTube-related queries. Here's an example of a post that follows this process:

CRAZIEST Military Training Exercises!

Origins Explained presents some of the craziest - and most challenging - military training exercises carried out around the world. Israeli Skyscraper Rappel The Israeli Defense forces are trained to deal with any number of situations, hence this "baptism by night." Soldiers must take turns des

You make money from Display Ads and Affiliate Marketing- all of it on a passive basis. ​Read on for more specifics of how this will work. 

Niche Facts Overview


  • Lots of low-competition search traffic for YouTubers and their channels.
  • YouTube has over a billion users and thousands of popular creators- tons of niches to explore and drive Google search traffic to. 
  • Leveraging existing videos supplies a free content source that you can add value to with informative, cheaply outsourced write-ups.
  • You'll need to add value to the video content- especially in the YouTube Curation model to ensure search traffics 'sticks' to your site, rather than bouncing straight to YouTube.
  • Bottom Line: A potentially fun project, though unless you choose a niche with affiliate products, this is more of a Display Ad play.

*If Google Trends doesn't load- just refresh the page.

Diving In...

This is an exciting opportunity. Just writing it up has me half-convinced that I want to start a YouTube Curation-style site.

Let's examine the different strategies and see which one might work for you. The first is YouTube News. 

YouTube News

With the YouTube News stratgy, the idea is to profile and report on celebrity YouTubers like Pewdiepie, MarkiPlier and somewhat lesser-known entertainers. It could also examine YouTube policies, analyze algorithm updates, and become an important industry site with strong editorial content. 

You'll get traffic in the beginning as you profile smaller channels that ​have thousands of searches a month, but no one else writing about them!

As I discuss a bit later- you can definitely niche down. So, you might profile the science-fiction community on YouTube, or the car community- the list is endless. ​

The King Of YouTube:​

An example of a general YouTube news site is TubeFilter.com.

TubeFilter Example

TubeFilter is a general news-style site that describes themselves this way:

The web is full of great storytelling. As you’ve probably noticed, there are a lot of excellent programs just clicks away, but too often they get lost in the online video fray. Tubefilter helps you discover and keep track of the industry events and programming worth caring about.

As of this writing, Ahrefs.com reports that they rank #2 in Google for "rhett and link", a popular YouTube channel, that gets 79,000 searches a month. They also rank #5 for "how to basic", another popular YouTube channel, that gets 37,000 searches a month.

You can begin to see the potential of this niche. Not to beat a dead horse, but there's tons of volume and not a lot of competition. In essence, that's been my primary approach to making money online- finding the 'white spaces' and filling them in. 

Examining The Keywords

As you can see in the table below, there's a boatload of Google organic search traffic to be had by generating content around celebrity YouTubers.

I grabbed a list of the top 500 or so YouTubers from SocialBlade and provided the Keyword Competitiveness score from LongTailPro (check out the scoring key below the table).

Obviously, some keywords like Burno Mars, Playstation and League Of Legends are not themselves keywords you'd want to compete for- though they could be topically interesting, depending on the genre of YouTube channels and videos you choose to report on.

For example, you could report on professional video gamers- that could be a really fun play if you're a gamer. Plus you could do affiliate promotions for video games and gaming services. It's also a fit for YouTube Curation, which I explore more in depth below. 

Top YouTuber Keyword Research

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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.

If you've ever Googled your favorite YouTuber, you've likely seen that outside of YouTube itself, they have a very limited online presence. Most haven't focused on developing cross-channel awareness.

While there aren't many naturally-occurring products to promote, you can monetize with Display Ads and tap into this targeted traffic. SocialBlade offers YouTube consulting and tax services, which is another revenue opportunity.

This could also be an opportunity for someone who has a successful Amazon affiliate site and wants to diversify into Google AdSense to utilize their existing know-how to spin out a quality fan site.

You might want to niche down with this one. As you can imagine, there are about a billion different genres of YouTube channels, whether it be ASMR videos or videos of Asian women eating large quantities of food.

Popular YouTube Categories


  • Auto & Vehicles
  • Comedy
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Film
  • Gaming
  • How To & Style
  • Music
  • News & Politics
  • Nonprofit & Activism
  • People & Blogs
  • Pets & Animals
  • Science & Technology
  • Shows
  • Sports
  • Travel

YouTube Curation

The other idea I like is YouTube curation.

The concept is to curate YouTube videos, organizing them for optimal user experience, while doing write-ups to provide added value and capture search traffic. 

An awesome example of this is TacticalClips.com.

Tactical Clips Example

In their words:

We are an online web publishing portal publishing videos of Special Forces missions, guns, gears, vehicles & aircraft reviews, real battle footage from all over the world, self defense instructions etc.

So, they leverage really cool YouTube videos- some of which it appears they've made themselves, but many are not their own. Their site organizes this video content and provides commentary below the fold.

This commentary enables them to get organic traffic. Plus, the third-party video content is a no-cost resource that enables them to cheaply produce compelling content.

Plugging their site into Ahrefs.com, I see that they are ranking #5 in Google for "danish special forces", #5 for "russian survival rifle", #3 for "pse crossbow ar15", which is a product query. The point is, they rank for some interesting long-tail keywords- all of it supported by video content they didn't even create!

What I would do

If I were approaching the YouTube Curation model specifically, I would hire and train rewriters to summarize YouTube videos to get organic traffic. You could easily mass scale this opportunity.

Once you get a good writer or two, imagine sending off 100 videos to be summarized, having a Virtual Assistant post them for you, and then monetizing this flow of free, organic traffic with Display Ads and Affiliate Marketing (if there are products in the niche).

What you'll need to do is focus on a genre of YouTube video. Below I picked off a bunch of 'hobbies' from Not So Boring Life as a starter list to prime your imagination. Ideally, you'll want there to be solid organic traffic for the genre of video you choose and affiliate products to promote.

Hobby Keyword Research

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Perusing the list, bodybuilding looks interesting- you could summarize body-building workouts, profile popular YouTube fitness celebrities, monetize protein powder reviews and gym equipment demonstrations.

I have worked with a bodybuilding trainer and go to the gym regularly, so this niche speaks to me somewhat. I'm not super deep into it, but I know how rabid the fan base is and how much content you can create around types of exercises and equipment. ​

It's endless.

Badminton is also interesting- you could profile famous matches, outline how-to-play guides, profile popular players that are both on and off of YouTube.

Use your imagination! 

YouTube Hybrid

You could also combine strategies- it could be a curation site that also targets organic traffic from YouTube entertainer keywords.

While you won't be able to tap into as many YouTube performer keywords, it's a solid traffic acquisition strategy to consider if the curation model is what primarily appeals to you. 

Niche Market Research

The opportunity

In a nutshell, you're leveraging the existing popularity and search volume of YouTube content, but capitalizing on it within Google Search. 

It provides a ready-made content source (the videos) to curate and add value. I love it because the cost of content will be really cheap and it lends itself to mass-scaling. 

A great Display Ad play, with some affiliate, too, if you choose the right YouTube Curation-style niche. 

You have to provide value, though- there needs to be a reason that users stay on your site rather than just subscribing to the YouTube creator's channel and forgetting about you.

Another thing you should consider- YouTube channels are sometimes removed. So, if you depend too much on one creator, your whole site would basically glitch if  the video links break. 

Niche Marketing Traffic

​​How to get traffic

SEO

This will be an SEO play- whether you choose the News, Curation or the Hybrid option.

For the News model, first make a list of all the relevant YouTubers to profile and figure out how you want to profile them.

Perhaps you create a Wikipedia-style resource page like this one for Pewdiepie. Perhaps you create Buzzfeed-style content like "The 10 Craziest Pewdiepie moments" with YouTube and Twitter embeds. IGCritic provides an example of that style of content.

Indeed, you can blend dry, informational resource content with viral-style content that could get you social shares.

There are some YouTube channels that report on YouTube drama like DramaAlert. It might be a good place to get some inspiration from.

YouTube News Channel

With YouTube Curation, I'd recommend choosing a niche with search volume and figure out how you want to organize your content.

Then, I'd do about 15 posts myself- figuring out the best format for adding curative value to the YouTube videos I choose to profile.

I'd then hire a writer to begin churning out this content. If you're a newbie, you might not appreciate how important it is to be able to scale content creation. Discovering a process to automate content that acquires passive traffic is the means of funding a passive-income lifestyle. 

This particular niche market is made for content automation and could be a goldmine if you pull it off right. ​

How To Make Money With Your Niche

How to make money

Affiliate Marketing + Display Ads

Display Ads and Affiliate Marketing will be your primary revenue generation models.

As I previously mentioned, there's opportunities to offer YouTube consulting services, whether you provide them or you do a lead-generation partnership with a digital media agency, that's up to you.

This isn't as fast a money-making opportunity as marketing high-ticket items like in the fitness equipment niche, but it's honestly a pretty cool strategy.

Because you're not paying to create video content, your content costs will be extremely low. If you can add value to the niche you choose by organizing the video content and providing informative writeups, you'll get a nice flow of traffic that you can passively monetize.

Domain Name Ideas

  • TubeThink.com
  • TubeAnswers.com
  • TubeMinds.com
  • IntelligentTube.com
  • TubeLeaf.com
  • WatchRider.com

How To Get Started


  1. ​Choose from News, Curation or Hybrid style and do some research to figure out your approach
  2. Choose a fun domain name (be careful not to include "YouTube" in the domain name
  3. Think through tags and categories- these will be crucial to deploy strategically so that you can serve your user curated content.
  4. Do 15-20 posts yourself, first, before considering outsourcing and beginning to automate the content creation process. 
  5. You can begin monetizing with Amazon Associates and once you have some traffic, say a 1,000 visits a day, you could consider using Ad Inserter to add AdSense to your site. 

Pros

  • Easy SEO traffic
  • Cheap rewritten content + free compelling video embeds
  • Fun topic
  • Active reader base
  • Can be monetized with display ads and affiliate (depending on the niche)

Cons

  • Affiliate options can be somewhat limited​ depending on the niche
  • If you depend on a channel, and it's delisted from YouTube, your site can be compromised.

The Tea Niche: How To Start An Online Tea Shop

Glass teapot with blooming tea flower on wooden table

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.

Niche Market Research

The Opportunity

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 reportsI 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 NicheFacts Example

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. ​

lapsang souchong niche example

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.

Niche Marketing Traffic

​​How to get traffic

SEO

​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.

Video Marketing

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. 

Social Media​

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 With Your Niche

How to make money

Affiliate Marketing

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.

Affiliate Programs


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. 

Display Ads

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.

Email Marketing

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


  1. Figure out the 'tea angle' you want to take
  2. Choose a fun, brandable domain name
  3. Dive into keyword research- I recommend using LongTailPro
  4. Start publishing content and then harvesting it for cross-platform promotion (you'll obviously need to create some social media accounts)
  5. Once you've got 10-15 posts, apply to Amazon Associates (if you aren't already enrolled) to get some revenue rolling in
  6. With some organic and social media traffic, begin capturing emails
  7. Once you've got a solid content creation process, consider hiring writers or virtual assistants to help you automate and scale
  8. Investigate different affiliate programs and alternative monetization strategies

Additional Resources

Top Ranking Tea Content

Available Domains

  • TeaEngine.com
  • TeaLists.com
  • TeaAssist.com
  • TeaJump.com
  • WiredTea.com
  • WideTea.com
  • TeaEffect.com

Final Thoughts

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. 

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Tea isn't the most expensive product to promote​
  • Bad if you don't like shooting videos, taking pictures

[Case Study] How To Make Money Online Promoting Hardware

set of working tools

One word: pliers.

This is honestly a pretty awesome niche. Unless you're a carpenter or machinist, you'd be surprised how many different types of pliers there are.

From snap ring pliers and needle-nosed pliers, to flat nose pliers and electrician pliers- there are a lot of specialty hand tools out there for different industries.

This niche is just dying for someone to help disambiguate it a bit and generate recurring affiliate revenue for themselves.

Update

I first published this niche report focusing on pliers, but it really applies to any type of hardware: hammers, wrenches, drills, etc. Read on with that in mind- though I focus on pliers just understand that you can apply these strategies to any hardware item, whether you niche down to a type of tool, or you specialize in something more general.

Home Depot Keyword Research

To get a sense of all the hardware keywords out there- I extracted 1,000 of Home Depot's top-performing keywords.

Use this table to brainstorm the tools niche. Below, I'm going to use pliers as a niche example.

Niche Overview


  • Low SEO competition means easy rankings for free organic traffic
  • 150,000 monthly search volume for phrases containing the keyword "plier" according to LongTailPro
  • Easy monetization (Amazon, Ebay, Home Depot affiliates) + drop shipping down the line
  • Great opportunity to shoot unboxing videos, create media across YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and build a true brand
  • Great niche for a beginner to taste success

Search Trends

Niche Market Research

The opportunity

There's a ton of search volume, little competition, and high buyer intention. Running my own general product & service review site, I've reviewed every type of plier you can imagine.

There are some larger tool review sites that cover pliers, but none that offer dedicated, quality coverage.

What you'll often find are Amazon and Home Depot eCommerce product pages ranking for 5-figure search volume terms.

Check out the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) below- a 12,100 monthly search volume with Amazon and Home Depot product pages ranking at the top. This indicates low competition:

Plier Niche

Your task will be to build an authority site that reviews different types of pliers from different brands and assesses their quality.

There are tons of different pliers out there:​

Niche Marketing Traffic

​​How to get traffic

SEO

This will primarily be an SEO play- you'll want to produce longform review content on your website structured around different plier types. I'd recommend actually buying the pliers from Amazon, shooting short video reviews, and including an in depth writeup.

For example, for "snap ring plier", I'd create something epic- perhaps the "10 best snap ring pliers", making it 10,000 words at least, with all of the on-page SEO strategies to ensure you DOMINATE this keyword vertical.

There is a bit of a keyword volume discrepancy between LongTailPro and Keywords Everywhere regarding "snap ring plier", whether it's 9,900/month or 12,100/month- but it doesn't really matter.

There's evidently tons of volume as you can see in the downloadable table below. I only included keywords with search volumes greater than 590- there's thousands and thousands of more keywords available in this niche. I'd recommend subscribing to LongTailPro and investigating it yourself. 

Check out some of the top plier keywords and their LongTailPro Keyword Competitiveness ​rating (Avg. KC) below.

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).

You'll find it pretty easy to rank on the first page of the SERPs for 'secondary' keyword terms like "best Irwin Tools plier" or "water pump plier reviews" a few months in. And over time, as your site gets more authority, you'll begin edging up the rankings for primary keywords like "water pump plier".

One quick pro tip: include the plier model numbers in your review- people search by model number, as well.

My instinct is to create content across all channels- your primary resource might be written review content, but you can easily shoot a short unboxing video for YouTube, take some photos and create some cool images for Pinterest and Twitter (using recommended image dimensions), and generate referral traffic that way, as well.

Here's a cool infographic I created using a Canva template:

Slip Joint Pliers Buying Guides
Not just affiliate content...

Besides just affiliate content, you'll want to create some informational content, as well. This will get you search traffic, help earn you backlinks from quality sites, that are oftentimes leery of linking to affiliate content, which will increase your search rankings. As well, you can use this content to deep-link into your site.

An example, mega-informational post could be "How To Use Every Type Of Plier Ever". This post would describe how to use every type of plier imaginable- you can deep link to your own review content, use other people's videos- it would be an ongoing project that would attract backlinks naturally and eventually rank for a ton of long-tail keywords.

Guest Posting

You might be able to discover some guest posting opportunities- especially if you are producing original and high-quality content. People will want you to write for them- this will expose you to a wider audience and get you referral traffic and backlinks.

Email Marketing

Creating rich, original content (ie actually buying and demonstrating the pliers) will help convince your readers to sign up. I'd encourage you to solicit feedback from your readers about what to review next. Plus, it's a good recurring traffic source if you set up an autoresponder alerting your readers to new content.

Referral traffic

Producing images and videos will get you traffic from Google Image Search, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter- wherever you choose to publish the images.

How To Make Money With Your Niche

How to make money

Affiliate Marketing

This will be a strong Amazon affiliate play. I'd recommend applying to the Home Depot affiliate program, as well- though it might be best to approach them when you have some rankings you can show them.

I'm currently planning on re-applying (I was initially rejected) to the Home Depot affiliate program, citing my strong rankings across range of different products.

For diversification purposes, you can layer in some affiliate links to Ebay, Jet.com and Walmart, but Amazon will convert the best.

Top 10 Amazon.com Plier Searches

  • pliers
  • pliers and cutters
  • pliers and pouch
  • pliers and wrench set
  • pliers angle
  • pliers for jewelry making
  • pliers holder
  • pliers organizer
  • pliers rack
  • pliers set

*According to KeywordTool.io

Drop-Shipping

Eventually you can experiment with drop-shipping- you can recoup higher margins than affiliate marketing.

Sponsored Posts

Once you get some acclaim, product creators will find you and request reviews of their products. It's left to your discretion how you handle that aspect of your online business.

Product Creation

Once you've been doing your site for awhile, you might discover an opportunity to create your own plier​. Or perhaps you bundle a bunch of existing pliers into a set that you can sell on Amazon. 

How To Get Started


  1. Choose a fun, brandable domain name
  2. Keyword research- I use both LongTailPro and Ahrefs for keyword research. This will help you figure out the keywords to target.
  3. Buy up some pliers from Amazon when you're ready to begin (you can always return or re-sell them)
  4. Shoot unboxing videos and writeup your reviews.
  5. You'll want to apply to the Amazon Associates affiliate program once you have a website up and running for best chances of getting accepted.
  6. Publish and promote your material across different platforms.
  7. Over time, you will make money, if your content is good. You honestly don't even need to promote it because the SEO competition is so weak. Though I'd recommend marketing your content cross platform. 

Additional Resources

Top Ranking Plier Content

Available Domains

Final Thoughts

The products don't cost much, so your commissions might be low on a per-item basis, but you can make up for this with volume of sales on high-search-volume terms. If I were just starting out, this is a project I'd love to take on.

This doesn't need to be a life's work- I'd imagine 2 months of work could establish a really solid baseline. Especially if you follow my advice and make all your content epic and produce content cross-channel.

Pros

  • Low compeition
  • High buyer intention
  • Great SEO play (free traffic)
  • Great for beginners
  • Opportunity for advanced monetization (drop-shipping, product creation, etc.)

Cons

  • A lot of the pliers aren't that expensive- so commissions will be somewhat low on them, but you can make that up by volume.