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How to Easily Find a Niche for Affiliate Marketing in 2022

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How to Easily Find a Niche for Affiliate Marketing in 2022

If you’re interested in affiliate marketing, the first step is to figure out which niche to create content in—and that’s something easier said than done.

However, what if I told you there is an easy way to find profitable affiliate niches passively without doing much (or any) extra work?

Well, you’re in luck! Today, I’m going to share what makes a good affiliate niche, how you can use Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar to find these niches, and some example niches I found with this method.

What makes a good affiliate marketing niche?

To find a good niche, you first have to know what you’re looking for. Ideally, a good affiliate niche has these:

  • Your own interest*
  • High-paying affiliates
  • Low competition
  • Enough interest to make it profitable

Sidenote.

*Regardless of how “good” a niche is, you can make almost anything work if you have enough passion and interest in it. There are ways (like creating courses or ebooks) to make more money out of a niche even if it doesn’t have great affiliates. And with enough dedication, you can rank for even the highest-competition keywords.

How much a “high-paying” affiliate pays depends on your goals. Personally, I look for affiliates that pay at least $20-$50 per sale or more. But if you’re just looking for a little side income, a smaller payout may be fine for your goals.

Additionally, I’ll accept a lower payment if the niche has low-competition keywords—meaning if the websites currently ranking in that niche are smaller affiliate sites without huge marketing budgets and a ton of already established backlinks.

Finally, a good affiliate niche has enough interest that it can be profitable. I determine interest by looking at how many people search for the main keywords in the niche per month.

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You can research all three of these things using Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. But rather than explain how to do that, I’m going to show you how to do this research almost passively—while you’re performing Google searches (which is something you’re likely doing anyway).

Download the Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar

Instead of manually doing all this research, you can have all the data you need right on the Google search results page any time you do a search.

Click here to add the Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar to your web browser. It looks like this:

Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar: options to toggle features above, text field to add URLs, and more

There’s a lot you can do with this fancy little widget. But what we’re most interested in for this guide is the “SERP tools” feature at the top. Go ahead and toggle it on.

"SERP tools" feature turned on

Now, when you perform a Google search, Ahrefs data will automatically populate not only for the keyword you’re searching but also for all the webpages ranking for that keyword.

Google SERP for "keyword"; data provided by Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar is also on the SERP

OK, let’s talk about how to use this information to find affiliate marketing niches.

Pay attention as you Google things

Your goal is to make it a habit of looking at this data any time you perform a Google search.

Searching for how to fix your washing machine? Look at the data. Searching for the closest Starbucks? Look at the data. Searching for the best hand soap with no added fragrances? You guessed it—look at the data.

But what are you looking for, you ask?

You’re looking for keywords that have websites with low Domain Rating (DR) scores ranking on page #1. For example, let’s say you Google “best hand soap without added fragrances.”

We can see the second-position result has a DR of just 6.

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Google SERP for "best hand soap without fragrances"; SEO Toolbar showing a result with DR of 6

DR is on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being the lowest and 100 being the highest. It’s worth noting that this scale is logarithmic—meaning it’s a lot more difficult to go from 60 to 70 than it is from 20 to 30, for example.

If we scroll down, another result has a DR of 11, which is also extremely low. This is a good sign if you want to find easy-to-rank-for affiliate keywords.

Note that DR isn’t a “ranking factor” because it’s just our metric created to quickly assess a website’s authority—it’s not a metric made by or used by Google.

However, seeing a website with a very low DR ranking on page #1 for a keyword tells us that keyword could be easy to rank for even with a brand-new website. So that’s what this technique is based on.

Of course, savvy readers may notice the search volume for “best hand soap without added fragrances” has a search volume of 0. While that doesn’t mean it truly never gets searched for (no keyword data is 100% accurate), it does mean it probably won’t bring in much income.

That’s where the next step comes in.

How to do competitive research on potential affiliate keywords

If you found a keyword with low-DR websites ranking on page #1 but that keyword doesn’t get much search volume, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

Simply take those low-DR websites and plug them into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

It will show you an overview of all the keywords a webpage is ranking for and an estimate of how much search traffic it’s getting. Click on the number under the Organic keywords section.

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Site Explorer overview for RandomProductReviews' article on hand soaps

From here, you’ll see all the keywords that specific page is ranking for on Google. Looks like it’s on page #1 (position #9) for the keyword “fragrance free hand soap”—which also happens to get 700 searches per month!

List of keywords with corresponding data like Volume, KD, etc

This is a good sign for you, affiliate site creator, because it means you can potentially create a site in this niche and rank for this keyword fairly easily.

But one keyword doesn’t make an entire niche. Luckily, you’ve already uncovered everything you need for keyword research—simply change the drop-down box at the top from “Prefix” to “domain with all its subdomains.”

Drop-down options showing “domain with all its subdomains” selected

Now you’ll be able to see all the keywords this website ranks for. This means you’ll see all the keywords a low-DR site is able to reach page #1 with.

List of keywords with corresponding data like SF, Volume, etc

Normally, if you find a website in a specific niche, you’ll find keywords related to that niche. In this case, the website is about random product reviews, so it’s less targeted.

Let’s go back to that Google search page for “best hand soap without added fragrances” and take the other result that has a DR of 11 to see if that gives more targeted data.

Organic keywords report results for withoutfragrance.com article on best unscented hand soaps

Much better! Now we can see tons of keywords in the “fragrance free” niche that have a low-DR website ranking on page #1.

From here, it’s up to you to decide if this niche is interesting to you or not. But that’s beyond the scope of this article.

Final thoughts

Now you know an easy way to find affiliate marketing niche opportunities without putting in any extra effort beyond what you’ll normally do in a day.

Simply perform your Google searches and make it a habit of looking at the ranking pages’ DR scores. Whenever you see a keyword with low-DR results, you know it’s time to dig in.

Itching for more? Check out some of our other affiliate marketing guides:

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SEO

8 Pillar Page Examples to Get Inspired By

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8 Pillar Page Examples to Get Inspired By

Pillar pages are high-level introductions to a topic. They then link to other pages, which are usually more detailed guides about parts of the main topic.

Altogether, they form a content hub.

Example of a content hub

But not all pillar pages look the same. 

In this guide, we’ll look at eight examples of pillar pages to get your creative juices flowing.

Excerpt of beginner's guide to SEO by Ahrefs

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 1,200
Backlinks: 6,900
Referring domains: 899

Overview of Ahrefs' beginner's guide to SEO in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This is our very own pillar page, covering the broad topic of search engine optimization (SEO)

Why I like it

Besides the fact that I’m biased, I like the custom design we created for this page, which makes it different from the articles on our blog. 

Even though the design is custom, our pillar page is still a pretty classic “hub and spoke” style pillar page. We’ve broken the topic down neatly into six different chapters and internally linked to guides we’ve created about them. There are also custom animations when you hover over each chapter:

Examples of chapters in the SEO guide

We’ve also added a glossary section that comes with a custom illustration of the SERPs. We have explanations of what each element means, with internal links to more detailed content:

Custom illustration of the SERP

Finally, it links to another “pillar page”: our SEO glossary

Takeaway

Consider creating a custom design for your pillar page so that it stands out. 

Excerpt of Doctor Diet's ketogenic diet guide

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 92,200
Backlinks: 21,600
Referring domains: 1,700

Overview of Diet Doctor's ketogenic diet guide in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Diet Doctor is a health company focusing on low-carb diets. Its pillar page is a comprehensive guide on the keto diet. 

Why I like it

On the surface, it doesn’t exactly look like a pillar page; it looks like every other post on the Diet Doctor site. But that’s perfectly fine. It’s simply a different approach—you don’t have to call out the fact that it’s a pillar page. 

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Diet Doctor’s guide is split into 10 different sections with links to its own resources. The links bring you to different types of content (not just blog posts but videos too).

Video course about keto diet for beginners

Unlike the classic pillar page, Diet Doctor’s guide goes into enough detail for anyone who is casually researching the keto diet. But it also links to further resources for anyone who’s interested in doing additional research.

Takeaway

Pillar pages need not always just be text and links. Make it multimedia: You can add videos and images and even link to your own multimedia resources (e.g., a video course).

Excerpt of Wine Folly's beginner's guide to wine

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 5,600
Backlinks: 2,800
Referring domains: 247

Overview of Wine Folly's beginner's guide to wine in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Wine Folly is a content site devoted to wine knowledge and appreciation. Its pillar page, as expected, is about wine. 

Why I like it

Wine Folly’s pillar page is a classic example of a “hub and spoke” style pillar page—split into multiple sections, with some supporting text, and then internal links to other resources that support each subsection. 

Supporting text and links to other resources

This page doesn’t just serve as a pillar page for ranking purposes, though. Given that it ranks well and receives quite a significant amount of search traffic, the page also has a call to action (CTA) to Wine Folly’s book:

Short description of book; below that, CTA encouraging site visitor to purchase it

Takeaway

While most websites design pillar pages for ranking, you can also use them for other purposes: capture email addresses, sell a book, pitch your product, etc. 

Excerpt of A-Z directory of yoga poses

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 11,100
Backlinks: 3,400
Referring domains: 457

Overview of Yoga Journal's A-Z directory of yoga poses in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Yoga Journal is an online and offline magazine. Its pillar page is an A-Z directory of yoga poses.

Why I like it

Yoga Journal’s pillar page is straightforward and simple. List down all possible yoga poses (in both their English and Sanskrit names) in a table form and link to them. 

List of yoga poses in table form

Since it’s listed in alphabetical order, it’s useful for anyone who knows the name of a particular pose and is interested in learning more. 

What I also like is that Yoga Journal has added an extra column on the type of pose each yoga pose belongs to. If we click on any of the pose types, we’re directed to a category page where you can find similar kinds of poses: 

Examples of standing yoga poses (in grid format)

Takeaway

The A-Z format can be a good format for your pillar page if the broad topic you’re targeting fits the style (e.g., dance moves, freestyle football tricks, etc.).

Excerpt of Atlassian's guide to agile development

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 115,200
Backlinks: 3,200
Referring domains: 860

Overview of Atlassian's guide to agile development in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Atlassian is a software company. You’ve probably heard of its products: Jira, Confluence, Trello, etc. Its pillar page is on agile development.

Why I like it

Atlassian’s pillar page is split into different topics related to agile development. It then has internal links to each topic—both as a sticky table of contents and card-style widgets after the introduction: 

Sticky table of contents
Card-style widgets

I also like the “Up next” feature at the bottom of the pillar page, which makes it seem like an online book rather than a page. 

Example of "Up next" feature

Takeaway

Consider adding a table of contents to your pillar page. 

Excerpt of Muscle and Strength's workout routines database

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 114,400
Backlinks: 2,900
Referring domains: 592

Overview of Muscle and Strength's workout routines database in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Muscle and Strength’s pillar page is a massive database linking to various categories of workouts. 

Why I like it

Calling it a pillar page seems to be an understatement. Muscle and Strength’s free workouts page appears to be more like a website. 

When you open the page, you’ll see that it’s neatly split into multiple categories, such as “workouts for men,” “workouts for women,” “biceps,” “abs,” etc. 

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Workout categories (in grid format)

Clicking through to any of them leads us to a category page containing all sorts of workouts:

Types of workouts for men (in grid format)

Compared to the other pillar pages on this list, where they’re linking to other subpages, Muscle and Strength’s pillar page links to other category pages, which then link to their subpages, i.e., its massive archive of free workouts.

Takeaway

Content databases, such as the one above, are a huge undertaking for a pillar page but can be worth it if the broad topic you’re targeting fits a format like this. Ideally, the topic should be about something where the content for it is ever-growing (e.g., workout plans, recipes, email templates, etc.).

Excerpt of Tofugu's guide to learning Japanese

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 39,100
Backlinks: 1,100
Referring domains: 308

Overview of Tofugu's guide to learning Japanese in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Tofugu is a site about learning Japanese. And its pillar page is about, well, learning Japanese.

Why I like it

This is an incredible (and yes, ridiculously good) guide to learning Japanese from scratch. It covers every stage you’ll go through as a complete beginner—from knowing no Japanese to having intermediate proficiency in the language. 

Unlike other pillar pages where information is usually scarce and simply links out to further resources, this page holds nothing back. Under each section, there is great detail about what that section is, why it’s important, how it works, and even an estimated time of how long that stage takes to complete. 

Another interesting aspect is how Tofugu has structured its internal links as active CTAs. Rather than “Learn more” or “Read more,” it’s all about encouraging users to do a task and completing that stage. 

CTA encouraging user to head to the next task of learning to read hiragana

Takeaway

Two takeaways here:

  • Pillar pages can be ridiculously comprehensive. It depends on the topic you’re targeting and how competitive it is.
  • CTAs can be more exciting than merely just “Read more.”
Excerpt of Zapier's guide to working remotely

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 890
Backlinks: 4,100
Referring domains: 1,100

Overview of Zapier's guide to working remotely in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Zapier allows users to connect multiple software products together via “zaps.” It’s a 100% remote company, and its pillar page is about remote work. 

Why I like it

Zapier’s pillar page is basically like Wine Folly’s pillar page. Break a topic into subsections, add a couple of links of text, and then add internal links to further resources. 

In the examples above, we’ve seen all sorts of execution for pillar pages. There are those with custom designs and others that are crazily comprehensive.

But sometimes, all a pillar page needs is a simple design with links. 

Takeaway

If you already have a bunch of existing content on your website, you can create a simple pillar page like this to organize your content for your readers. 

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Keep learning

Inspired by these examples and want to create your own pillar page? Learn how to successfully do so with these two guides:

Any questions or comments? Let me know on Twitter.  



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