SEO Tech

6 Best Niches for Affiliate Marketing in 2022 (Profitable and Uncompetitive)

6 Best Niches for Affiliate Marketing in 2022 (Profitable and Uncompetitive)


Everyone knows that niches like fitness, travel, and tech are lucrative affiliate marketing opportunities. But big, broad niches like these are also fiercely competitive, making it hard for new sites to compete. 

For example, you’re hardly likely to outrank the likes of TechRadar, Wired, and The Verge anytime soon with your generic “tech” affiliate site.

If you want to stand any chance at competing and getting traffic, you need to go narrower.

Here are a few affiliate niches that I think are crying out for a market leader:

  1. Vacuum cleaners
  2. Hotels with jacuzzis
  3. Travel car seats
  4. Golf equipment
  5. Headphones and earbuds
  6. Zero waste

You’re probably already thinking that this niche sucks if you hate cleaning as much as I hate cleaning. But with an estimated 69K monthly searches for “best vacuum cleaner,” according to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, one thing’s for sure: This is a high-ticket niche with plenty of traffic potential.

Even better, competition is relatively sparse.

Here’s a DR25 site getting an estimated 37.7K monthly organic visits:

Who are the current players?

Most of the obvious keywords like “best vacuum cleaner” and “best robot vacuum” are hypercompetitive, with SERPs dominated by brands like Wirecutter, Consumer Reports, and Good Housekeeping. But there are plenty of sites getting decent traffic from lower competition long-tail queries.

Here are a few of them:

Although the monthly organic traffic numbers for these sites aren’t astronomical, it’s mostly affiliate content attracting that traffic.

For example, ~83% of the organic traffic to Home Vacuum Zone goes to URLs containing the words “best,” “vs,” and “review”:

A vacuum reviews website with 80%+ of its traffic to affiliate posts.

It’s a similar story for Popular Vacuums, with 84% of traffic going to the same kinds of pages:

Another vacuum reviews website with 80%+ of its traffic to affiliate posts.

However, if you look at the sites themselves, you’ll realize that they’re far from anything special. Most of them are ugly and feature typical affiliate content from folks who haven’t used the products.

Example of a typical, ugly affiliate site in this niche.

There’s a serious opportunity to become the go-to resource for vacuum reviews for anyone willing to put in the effort and actually test some of these products.

How much can you earn?

Most of the affiliate programs for vacuum cleaners offer somewhere from 3% to 8% commission.

  • Amazon: 3%
  • Walmart: 4%
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: 7%
  • Target: up to 8%

That might not sound like much, especially at the lower end, but remember that vacuums are high-ticket items typically costing anywhere between $50 and $1,000. As a result, even a measly 3% commission from Amazon would net you between $1.50 and $30 a pop.

Promote Bed Bath & Beyond’s affiliate program, and that rises to $3.50-$70.

You only have to sell a few vacuums through your affiliate links to make bank here.

How to do keyword research for this niche

Besides reverse engineering some of the sites above in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, you’ll want to use a keyword research tool like Keywords Explorer to find three types of keywords:

  1. General comparison keywords. These follow the format “best [product type].” E.g., “best vacuum cleaner,” “best robot vacuum cleaner,” etc.
  2. Branded comparison keywords. These follow the format “product [a] vs product [b].” E.g., “roomba i3 vs i7,” “dyson hp02 vs hp04,” etc.
  3. Product review keywords. These follow the format “product [review].” E.g., “dyson v15 review,” “irobot roomba 692 review,” etc.

Here’s how to do it for this niche:

General comparison keywords

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter the terms “vacuum” and “vacuums”
  3. Go to Matching terms report
  4. Add the word “best” to the Include filter
  5. Set the KD filter to a maximum of 20 (optional – this filters for low-difficulty keywords)

General comparison keywords for the vacuum cleaner niche.

You can also add the word “for” to the Include filter to hone in on keywords aimed at a specific demographic or task that tends to be low competition.

Low competition general comparison keywords for the vacuum cleaner niche.

Branded comparison keywords

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter vacuum cleaner brands like “miele,” “roomba,” “dyson”
  3. Go to Matching terms report
  4. Add the word “vs” to the Include filter
  5. Set the KD filter to a maximum of 20 (optional – this filters for low-difficulty keywords)
Branded comparison keywords for the vacuum cleaner niche.

Product review keywords

The process here is the same as for branded comparison keywords. Just add the word “review” to the Include filter instead.

Product review keywords for the vacuum cleaner niche.

According to Keywords Explorer, there are an estimated 41K monthly searches for “hotels with jacuzzi in room” in the U.S. And the top-ranking page for this keyword gets an estimated 150K monthly visits:

Estimated traffic to the top-ranking page for 'hotels with jacuzzi in room.'

That’s an awful lot of people looking for hotels with jacuzzis, and there are also many searching for much the same thing in other less competitive ways.

Who are the current players?

Quite a few low-authority sites are getting decent traffic in this niche:

If we check the Top pages report for one of these sites, we see that pretty much all traffic goes to pages for specific locations:

Estimated traffic to location-focused hotels with jacuzzis posts.

Most of these pages are pretty much the same content-wise. They list a few hotels with hot tubs in the area, show a few photos, give a brief description, and link to an affiliate for “more information and prices.”

One of the current players in the hotels with jacuzzis niche.

Other sites in the niche do almost the same thing:

Another player in the hotels with jacuzzis niche.

As with vacuum reviews, none of these sites looks particularly nice or have much of a recognizable brand. They’re about as basic as it gets. This spells opportunity for any ambitious affiliate marketers out there.

How much can you earn?

Many travel sites are quite secretive about their commission rates, with some simply stating the percentage of commission you get on their commission. This isn’t particularly useful, as who knows what their commission is?

Nonetheless, here are a few popular travel sites with affiliate programs:

  • Agoda – 5% commission
  • Expedia – up to 6% commission
  • Hotels.com – 4% commission
  • TripAdvisor – 50% commission (on their commission)
  • Kayak – 50% commission (on their commission)
  • Booking.com – No commission rate is stated, but most of the current players in this niche are promoting this program.

How to do keyword research for this niche

Most of the opportunity in this niche comes from searches for hotels with jacuzzis in various cities and states. Here’s how to find these in Keywords Explorer:

  1. Enter “hotel” and “hotels”
  2. Go to Matching terms report
  3. Add “jacuzzi” and “hot tub” to the Include filter (make sure to select “Any word”)
  4. Set the KD filter to a maximum of 20 (optional – this filters for low-difficulty keywords)

It’s then simply a case of skimming the ideas for popular locations:

How to do keyword research for the hotels with jacuzzis niche.

You can also reverse engineer current players in Site Explorer, as these have pretty much done the work for you already.

Although this might sound like a super small niche, there are tens of thousands of searches for travel car seats every month. Just look at the traffic potential for “travel car seats” alone:

Estimated traffic potential for the keyword 'travel car seats' via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer.

Who are the current players?

Despite the seemingly limited nature of the niche, quite a few low-authority sites are attracting a good amount of monthly search traffic:

If we check the Top pages report for the first site (which gets the most traffic), we see that it has fewer than 100 pages in total. Yet it gets over 75K monthly organic visits:

Estimated traffic to one of the current players in the travel car seats niche.

Even more interestingly, over half of this traffic goes to just 29 affiliate pages with the words “best,” “review,” or “vs” in their URLs:

Estimated traffic to affiliate posts for one of the current players in the travel car seats niche.

Most of the other 70 pages are informational guides, such as this list of tips for flying with a car seat. This is a good sign, as it means you only need to create a handful of affiliate pages to attract targeted affiliate traffic.

How much can you earn?

Like in most niches, you can promote Amazon, which gives 3% commissions on baby products. There are also other superstores like Walmart that offer slightly higher commissions. But commissions really jump when you start looking at affiliate programs for specific brands and products.

Here are a few of the options available:

  • Amazon – 3% commission for baby products
  • Walmart – 4% commission
  • Saferide4kids.com – 10% commission
  • MiFold – 10% commission (with up to 12% for special offers)
  • Wayb.com – 10% commission

How to do keyword research for this niche

Like with vacuum reviews, you’re looking for three types of keywords to target in this niche: general comparisons, branded comparisons, and product reviews. Let’s look at how to find those in Keywords Explorer.

General comparison keywords

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter terms like “car seat,” “car seats,” “booster seat,” “booster seats,” etc
  3. Go to Matching terms report
  4. Add the word “best” to the Include filter
  5. Set the KD filter to a maximum of 20 (optional – this filters for low-difficulty keywords)

General comparison keywords for the travel car seats niche.

Branded comparisons

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter car seat brands like “uppababy” and “bugaloo”
  3. Go to Matching terms report
  4. Add the word “vs” to the Include filter
  5. Set the KD filter to a maximum of 20 (optional – this filters for low-difficulty keywords)

Branded comparison keywords for the travel car seat niche.

Product reviews

The process here is the same as for branded comparison keywords. Just add the word “review” to the Include filter instead.

Product review keywords for the travel car seats niche.

The golf equipment market is worth an estimated $6.51 billion. So unsurprisingly, there are hundreds of thousands of monthly searches for the best golf equipment.

For example, there are 54K monthly searches just for “golf simulator,” and most of the top 10 results are affiliate posts listing top picks. Some are from relatively low-authority sites too:

Top-ranking pages for 'golf simulator.'

Who are the current players?

Like with previous niches, most of the current players are typical low-to-medium-end affiliate sites with “OK” content at best. Here are a few of them:

Besides Golfalot and MyGolfSpy, none seems to be testing products firsthand but rather researching tech specs and customer reviews.

Excerpt from a top-ranking affiliate post.

There’s nothing wrong with this per se. Golf equipment is seriously expensive so you can hardly expect your average affiliate marketer to review everything firsthand. Nonetheless, it seems there’s an opportunity for someone serious to come in and create the go-to site for golf equipment recommendations—either by reviewing products firsthand or going to town on the research.

How much can you earn?

Like most niches, you can promote Amazon, which offers a 4% commission rate on golf equipment. But commissions are way higher from dedicated online golf stores. Here are just a few of them:

Remember, golf equipment is expensive, so even commission rates of 4% can result in decent commissions.

How to do keyword research for this niche

Most of the opportunities revolve around the same three types of keywords we already covered. So let’s look at how to find them in this niche.

General comparison keywords

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter words like “golf,” “fairway wood,” “putter,” “putting,” “wedge,” etc
  3. Go to Matching terms report
  4. Add the word “best” to the Include filter
  5. Set the KD filter to a maximum of 20 (optional – this filters for low-difficulty keywords)

General comparison keywords for the golf equipment niche.

Branded comparisons

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter golf equipment brands like “callaway,” “pxg,” “srixon,” “taylormade,” “titleist,” etc
  3. Go to Matching terms report
  4. Add the word “vs” to the Include filter
  5. Set the KD filter to a maximum of 20 (optional – this filters for low-difficulty keywords)

Branded comparison keywords for the golf equipment niche.

Product reviews

The process here is the same as for branded comparison keywords. Just add the word “review” to the Include filter instead.

Product review keywords for the golf equipment niche.

5. Headphones and earbuds

As of 2019, the global earphones and headphones market is worth an estimated $25.1 billion. It’s also expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.3% from 2020 to 2027.

Unfortunately, affiliate marketers often overlook this niche because high-volume keywords like “best bluetooth headphones” are incredibly competitive. This keyword has a Keyword Difficulty (KD) score of 76, and huge brands like TechRadar and Wired dominate the SERP:

Top-ranking pages for 'best bluetooth headphones.'

But if you dig deeper, there are plenty of lower competition keywords with traffic potential to make this an interesting, low-hanging niche.

Who are the current players?

Most of the players in this niche focus on headphones but also review other audio equipment. Here are a few of them:

If you’re wondering why Headphonesty gets such a huge amount of traffic, it’s because most of its traffic goes to informational guides. This one on how to find a lost or stolen AirPod case gets an estimated 41K monthly search visits alone:

Estimated monthly organic traffic to a top-ranking post from a current player in the headphones niche.

However, it also gets plenty of traffic to affiliate pages.

In fact, URLs containing “best,” “review,” and “vs” get an estimated 209K monthly search visits:

Estimated traffic to affiliate posts for a top-ranking affiliate site in the headphones niche.

It’s a similar story for the other players. Headphones Pro Review gets an estimated 86K monthly search visits to the same kinds of pages—which is ~60% of its total traffic. And there are only 106 pages attracting this traffic too.

Estimated traffic to affiliate posts for a top-ranking affiliate site in the headphones niche

However, take a look at these sites, and it’s the same old story: They’re nothing special. With the exception of Headphonesty, most of the affiliate content is bog-standard stuff based on research rather than firsthand reviews. (You can always tell when this is the case, as the sites use stock product images only.)

This isn’t necessarily bad; some of these sites’ articles seem well-researched. But again, it presents an opportunity for an ambitious affiliate marketer to come along and steal the show.

How much can you earn?

Given that I’ve bought my last three pairs of headphones from Amazon, my purchasing habits lead me to believe that this is where most people buy headphones these days. Unfortunately, Amazon’s commission rate on headphones is just 3%.

Luckily, there are a few other affiliate programs with better commissions:

  • Target – up to 8%
  • 1more – 8%
  • B&H Photo Video – 8%
  • Adorama – 2% (yes, this is lower than Amazon, but they have a $500 average order size)
  • Walmart – 4%

Some of these sell other audio equipment too, so there’s plenty of scope to expand beyond headphones further down the line.

How to do keyword research for this niche

It’s the same old story with this niche; you’re looking at targeting general comparison, branded comparison, and product review keywords. Here’s how to find them.

General comparison keywords

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter words like “earbuds,” “earpods,” “headphones,” “headsets,” etc
  3. Go to Matching terms report
  4. Add the word “best” to the Include filter
  5. Set the KD filter to a maximum of 20 (optional – this filters for low-difficulty keyword

General comparison keywords for the headphones niche.

You’ll notice that many of the low-difficulty keywords here relate to the best headphones for a specific task or certain type of person. So you might want to add “for” to the Include filter to hone in on these.

General comparison keywords for the headphones niche including the word 'for.'

TIP

If you see a lot of keywords like “best buy headphones” and “best buy wireless earbuds,” add the word “buy” to the Exclude filter to clean up the report.

Branded comparisons

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter headphone brands like “1more,” “airpods,” “beats,” “jabra,” “skullcandy,” etc
  3. Go to Matching terms report
  4. Add the word “vs” to the Include filter
  5. Set the KD filter to a maximum of 20 (optional – this filters for low-difficulty keywords)

Branded comparison keywords for the headphones niche.

Product reviews

The process here is the same as for branded comparison keywords. Just add the word “review” to the Include filter instead.

Product review keywords for the headphones niche.

Interest in living a more sustainable zero-waste lifestyle has ballooned in recent years, and so have searches for zero-waste products. Here’s the trend for “zero waste products” since 2004 via Google Trends:

Google Trends graph for the keyword 'zero waste products.'

That said, this isn’t the biggest niche ever. However, it still has decent earning potential and isn’t overly competitive.

Who are the current players?

Here are a few of the folks in this niche:

If we check the Top pages report for one of these sites, Sustainable Jungle, we see that it’s getting ~75% of its traffic to affiliate pages:

Estimated monthly organic traffic to affiliate posts on a current player in the zero-waste niche.

However, most of that traffic goes to just one page about the best online thrift stores. There are still some affiliate links in this post. But even if we ignore it, the site is still getting ~27K monthly visitors to other affiliate posts.

In terms of the content itself, it’s the same old story: The affiliate reviews are seemingly all based on research rather than firsthand experience. This once again presents an opportunity to easily beat the competition when it comes to content quality by reviewing products yourself.

It would probably also be quite easy to get many zero-waste brands to send you products to review for free—especially once you’ve built a bit of a following.

How much can you earn?

The best thing about this niche is that tons of eco-friendly brands with affiliate programs offer generous commissions. Here are just a few of them:

How to do keyword research for this niche

You guessed it; it’s all about those general comparison, branded comparison, and review keywords.

General comparison keywords

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter words like “eco friendly,” “plastic free,” “zero waste,” etc
  3. Go to Matching terms report
  4. Add the word “best” to the Include filter
  5. Set the KD filter to a maximum of 20 (optional – this filters for low-difficulty keywords)

General comparison keywords for the zero-waste niche.

Branded comparisons

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter golf equipment brands like “who gives a crap,” “reel,” “cloudpaper,” etc
  3. Go to Matching terms report
  4. Add the word “vs” to the Include filter
  5. Set the KD filter to a maximum of 20 (optional – this filters for low-difficulty keywords)

Branded comparison keywords for the zero-waste niche.

Product reviews

The process here is the same as for branded comparison keywords. Just add the word “review” to the Include filter instead.

Product review keywords for the zero-waste niche.

How to find more affiliate niches

Most of the niches above were found using Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, a searchable database of billions of pages. Just search for pages with the word “best” in their titles and add these filters:

  • English
  • Website traffic: 10K+
  • Website traffic value: 20K+
  • DR: 20 max
  • Filter explicit results
  • Filter for one page per domain

Sidenote.

Thanks to everyone’s favorite YouTuber, Sam Oh, for this tip.

Here’s what the results look like:

Searching for affiliate niches in Content Explorer.

It’s then simply a case of sifting through the results looking for affiliate niches.

For example, this is how I found the golf equipment niche:

Example of an affiliate niche found in Content Explorer.

You can find hundreds of lucrative niches using this method; it just takes a bit of time.

Final thoughts

Most of these niches might seem relatively narrow and limiting, but that’s a good thing. It means you won’t be competing with and struggling to outrank the big players. And remember, you can expand and broaden your horizons once you build some authority.

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter.





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