The biggest accomplishment a website owner can have in 2021 is to have their site rank high on the Google search engine results page.
Once you’ve accomplished this you can count on Google to send you organic traffic directly to your site for you to monetize.
Building a niche website will help boost your quality score which in turn will help you reach the promised land, the top of the Google SERP.
We’re going to break down exactly how one builds a top-tier niche website and some of the most profitable niche sites you should be pursuing.
What is a Niche Website?
A niche site is a website with a specific focus on a particular topic or industry. Think about all the content out on the internet. There is no way one site can be an expert in everything.
Creating a niche site means the content can be more focused and more researched. Making you an expert in a specific field.
In order to choose the right niche, I always say you need to find your “sweet spot” by analyzing your interests and passion, current skill set, and life experience.
Although, keep in mind that you can choose a niche by simply doing research on the niche, and developing a winning content strategy.
Search engines favor websites that have quality content on their sites. Google’s algorithm knows that a site with a specific focus is more likely to have high-quality information and therefore creating a better user experience.
Think about it.
Anyone with a computer and wifi can create a website these days. That means the internet is inundated with content that is all over the place. Search engines don’t have time to parse through every random site. They need sites with good content that is focused on one specific thing.
How narrow your niche is will be completely up to you, the smaller and more focused the niche is, the less content and backlinks you need to rank.
One thing you can do is start out with a broad category, and try to narrow it down as much as you can, such as the example below.
Your site will need a high-quality score for your content to rank. While the equation used to calculate quality score is a bit of a mystery, we know that creating a site around a focused topic is a huge factor.
It’s simple, the more niche your website is the higher you will rank. The higher you rank the more traffic you will get. The more traffic you have the more you will make money and passive income through affiliate links.
Let’s Breakdown Topical Authority
We can’t discuss creating a niche site without discussing topical authority.
“Topical authority refers to a high level of expertise within a given niche demonstrated by providing a significant amount of in-depth content within that niche.”
You might be a little confused between a niche site and topical authority. The niche refers to the overarching category of the topics your site will discuss. Once you create a focused niche site the type of content you create will give you topical authority. By creating high-quality, clear, concise, educational content you will establish yourself as an expert in your field.
One way to improve your topical authority is to focus on a micro-niche. If you are an expert chef you won’t want a site that’s just about cooking. Your content will be too broad and the topic too competitive. You’ll have a lot more success if you focus on something like gluten-free pastries.
Let’s look at an example of a site with great topical authority here.
As you can see this site is all about Boston Terriers.
They could have chosen to create a site about dogs in general or even small dogs in general but they chose to focus on a specific breed and make themselves experts in that field.
By doing this they have become the authority for all things Boston Terrier and have tailored their content to fit into a specific niche. As a result, the search engine results page has ranked them high when you google Boston Terrier.
Looking at their website stats using Ahrefs, you can see that they are able to rank well on Google with fairly low DR.
Instead of finding content like, “Can, My Dog Eat Cherries” you’ll see content like “Can Boston Terriers Eat Cherries.” Targeting like this shoots this successful niche site straight to the top of the SERP.
Take a look at the example below.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about where you should specialize, don’t worry later on in this article I reveal some of the most profitable niches to go after and some affiliate programs that go along with them.
What Makes a Niche Site Successful
In order for your online business to be successful, you will need to do a few things. You can read my free step-by-step guide to starting your blog here. For now, let’s dive into what makes a niche site successful.
A great niche website has:
- A targeted focus on a specific topic
- High-quality content that is factual and easy to read
- Longevity, don’t expect to be an overnight success. The amount of time your site has existed is also a factor in determining quality score.
Now that we know what makes a niche site rank, let’s get into how you optimize your site to increase traffic and lock in passive income. Let’s get started.
How To Build a Niche Website.
1. Use a WordPress Builder
Creating a blog is so much easier than It used to be, with tools like Beaver Builder you can have a site up in a matter of hours.
You can read my BeaverBuilder review but what you need to know is that a tool like this will help you simply drag and drop to build niche websites.
Even though I have been doing this for over a decade I still love using this tool. You don’t need to learn to code or HTML to create a successful niche site.
Let’s face it your site will not be successful if it doesn’t look professional. Who would trust you to be an authority site if your page does not look good?
Simply find a site theme you like, hover over it, click install, and your whole site will look custom and well designed.
2. Target The Best Keywords
Keyword research is one of the most valuable things you can do when you start your niche site.
You will waste a lot of time and money writing content that goes nowhere if there is no search volume for your content. In fact, a recent study showed that 90.63% of websites receive no traffic.
Try to focus on a niche that has great growth potential and plenty of content to write about.
That’s astonishing. You are likely here because you want to build a niche site in order to profit off of it. With no traffic coming to your site you’ll be hard-pressed to cash in on affiliate offers.
Search volume refers to the number of people actively looking for specific keywords per month. Long-tail keywords receive fewer searches but are more targeted and less competitive so they are sometimes worth exploring.
Using Ahrefs content gap tool you can input your site and your competitor’s site and it will give you a list of keyword ideas they are ranking for that you are missing out on.
You can try to go for low competition keywords but you need to make sure that there is still search volume for those words.
3. Master Link Building
Link building is imperative to helping you build a niche site. Link building helps establish the credibility of your content. Think about it, other authors don’t want to link to just random articles. The link to sites that have well-researched content that looks good to search engine algorithms.
The good thing about building a focused niche site is that you are able to rank on search engines with fewer links.
In this example, you can see that lower DR sites outrank sites with higher DR for the keyword “baby car seat” because they are more specific to content obout babies.
Here are some of my favorite link-building strategies you can use to build links to your website.
While it’s great to get backlinks for sites the real value is when you get a backlink from a site with a strong DA or domain authority. Basically a high-ranking site. This makes perfect sense if high-quality sites are linking to your content chances are your content is high quality as well. Manual outreach can help you access those high DA sites.
To do manual outreach you need to reach out to other site content creators or reporters. Using a program like HARO, Help a Reporter Out, is a great way to do it. This site pairs authors and reporters writing articles with you, an expert in your field. If your response gets selected you can count on a link in their article tying you to your quote.
Internal linking is just as important as inbound linking. Internal linking creates a directory for Google to follow and understand how your content all relates to one another. Simply put internal links are when you link a related piece of content from within your own site to another piece of content on your site.
Just in reading this guide you’ve probably seen some internal links on my site. Google favors me helping direct you to other pieces of content you might find helpful.
A bad site experience (and not one the algorithms favor) is when you have a high bounce rate and low time on page. This signals code red to Google that your content is not what people are looking for and therefore they stop sending traffic your way. Internal links help keep people clicking on your site and staying there for longer.
4. Have a Relevant Domain Name
Choosing a domain name is a huge part of making a profitable niche site. Once you secure a domain name it’s pretty permanent.
When I say choose a relevant domain, it’s important you understand your overall strategy before you decide to build your site.
For instance, if you plan on growing your site and add content beyond a small niche, or if your niche is too narrow, you might want to pick a broader domain that will allow you to expand but is still relevant to the core topic.
So, if you wanted to build a site that encompasses everything outdoor skating, but you wanted to start with a section on rollerblades in order to build topical authority, you might want to choose something like skateworld.com, rather than rollerblade.com
I like to use this website that helps me choose a domain name.
Since this is a name you pay for and will be synonymous with your site you want to spend a lot of time thinking through a few factors that will benefit your niche websites.
Strong domain names are:
- Concise and to the point
- Addresses specific keywords that are relevant to your website
- Two-three words
Let’s look back at our Boston terrier website example. You’ll notice the creator did not call it www.everythingthereistoknowaboutbostonterriers.com. He kept it short, with a specific keyword, (Boston Terrier), that defined his niche and to the point. www.bostonterriersociety.com embodies what the site is focused on and what you can expect to learn in a neat package.
5. Master SEO
Creating content that is search engine optimized is going to give you a big leg up when it comes to your site generating passive income.
I like to use SurferSEO to guide all of the content I put out. SurferSEO is a tool that lets you target specific keywords by comparing your writing to other high-ranking pieces of content.
I do have an in-depth review and tutorial on SurferSEO but the short of it is this tool outlines exactly how long your content needs to be and how many times it needs to reference certain keywords in order to compete with other high-ranking articles.
As you or your writer write in real-time, SurferSEO tells you exactly how long your content needs to be with the exact amount of keywords and headings to be successful.
6. Keep Content Fresh
You might have noticed that a lot of articles mention the year. For example, “Best Websites of 2021”. The reason why Google favors articles like this is because they have to be updated every year or else the content seems dated.
Updating your content every year and the titles as well to include the most current year means your content is filled with the most up-to-date information.
Remember Google wants it’s users to have the best experience possible. This means they want readers to be able to access the latest information from reputable sources.
7. Join Affiliate Programs
Below I highlight some of the most profitable niche website ideas and a few affiliate programs that go with them. I want to first discuss why joining an affiliate program will help your niche website be successful.
It’s simple. You’re here to make money. Sure it’s great to put out helpful content as a resource for others to learn but at the end of the day, you want to monetize your blog. Ideally, you want your blog to turn into a passive income stream that requires very little maintenance.
Your online business needs to join an affiliate network or several affiliate programs related to your niche. Affiliate offers allow you to receive a commission when something is purchased as compensation for the conversion.
If you put in the time and resources to produce content that resulted in a sale for a company you should receive a kickback. Embedding an affiliate link into your articles ensures that happens.
When you place an affiliate link you will want to make sure that your page includes an affiliate disclosure. I have an easy disclosure template you can follow. You will also want your affiliate link to blend as seamlessly as possible into your content.
Many affiliate networks focus on a specific niche so by joining one you can access several offers in the same space. Try to be honest and objective with content you produce that has affiliate links. Your site will lose credibility if you’re lying just to push a product.
8.Good Web Hosting
Your niche site is only as good as the web hosting you use. Quality web hosting means your site will load quickly and stay up and running.
Besides ensuring your site is running efficiently, hosting is also responsible for the security of your site. After all the effort you’ve put into building a niche site the last thing you want is a breach of security.
Siteground is a great option: with a 99.9% uptime, you really can’t ask for more. There are plenty of other hosting platforms but Siteground offers affordable options with round-the-clock support.
Now that we’ve covered everything you need to have a successful niche site let’s dive into some money-making niche ideas and some programs you could be marketing.
The Most Profitable Niches:
Not all niches are created equally. You’ll find that some are extremely competitive as the payouts are a lot larger. You might want to pick a different niche if the keywords are hard to rank for or you can’t find at least 5 affiliate programs to promote within that niche.
A good niche should be one that has income-generating affiliate programs, keywords that receive a decent search volume, and is a topic you can speak to at a high level.
Here are some of my top ideas for money-making niches that have the potential for passive income and how to get started.
Chances are when you signed up for your last credit card you read several compare and contrast articles and maybe even watched a few YouTube videos. Understandably, credit card verbiage can be confusing and you want to make sure you’re signing up for the best one out there to maximize your points and lower your interest rate.
Did you know that Brian Kelly of The Points Guy, a credit card and travel recommendation site made $50 million in a year with that one site alone?
You see credit card affiliate links payout huge, with up to $200 per sign up. As you can imagine this niche is very competitive but their payouts make it worthwhile. This is a category definitely worth considering when building niche websites.
Programs We Recommend:
American Express or Amex is one of the top credit card affiliates offers out there. The card is pretty pricey to own and they have a long customer life cycle so as you can imagine this program has amazing payouts.
How much can you expect to make? Amax will pay affiliates up to $200 per approved application for their program.
When it comes to affiliate marketing that is a huge offer. Driving traffic to these types of sites can be hard as the competition is rather high. You can try to go after long-tail keywords that are low competition in order to get your foot in the door.
You can access the American Express affiliate program here.
All I need to say here is $405 commissions. That is insane. All for securing an approved application for this card.
If you’re interested in making money this program is one that’s worth promoting.
As you can probably guess, not just anyone can promote this offer. You will have to sign up with the affiliate network FlexOffers and then sign up specifically for this offer.
FlexOffers is a great example of an affiliate network with thousands of affiliate offers so once you sign up and are approved you can get access to even more offers in the space.
Once you are approved you can begin driving qualified traffic and cashing in on those sign-ups.
You can access the Luxury Card affiliate program here.
Upgrade Credit Card
At just $60 per commission, you might be wondering why I am even mentioning this program.
Well, I want to give you an idea for a low competition program. Keywords for the credit card program still receive a decent amount of searches but there aren’t as many articles written about it just yet.
When you think about targeting credit card programs you need to understand that for most programs you only get paid on approved applicants.
Keep that in mind as you do your keyword research. Keywords like “Best First Credit Card” might be less attractive to go after as someone applying for their first credit card has a higher chance of being denied.
The Upgrade Credit Card affiliate program is also hosted by the FlexOffers affiliate network so you will sign up for FlexOffers to access it.
You can access the Upgrade Credit Card affiliate program here.
As this industry grows exponentially the affiliate marketing offers grow as well.
This niche is great to go after because there are so many different subcategories to market. From dog treats to carriers, to medication the list of supplies needed for spoiled pets is ever-growing.
Below you’ll find some of the best pet affiliates on the market.
Programs We Recommend:
Chewy came onto the scene in 2011 and has already amassed a $10 billion empire.
This one-stop-shop has everything a pet owner would need from start to finish including medications. The best part is this website is not limited to just dogs and cats they sell everything you could need for almost any pet.
Their products are researched and reviewed before they ever make it onto the site. This means it is not hard to convert customers to purchase their high-quality products.
You can expect to make $15 every time you get a new customer to purchase from the site. New is considered anyone that has not purchased from the site since 2012.
To access the Chewy.com affiliate program you can join Partnerize or CJ Affiliates. You’ll only want to sign up for one of these programs. Combining these offers with the steps above will have you monetizing your niche site in no time.
You can access the Chewy affiliate program here.
We all know there is almost nothing you can’t find on Amazon. Including a ton of pet products. With Amazon, Prime users get packages within 2 days, and with millions of products available, you will not have a hard time finding something to promote.
Amazon Associates is Amazon’s affiliate program. This program definitely has its pros and cons. Pros include the sheer volume of products you can promote here. Cons are the commissions.
A retail giant like Amazon simply doesn’t have to pay affiliates very much. You can expect to receive 3% of sales made through your link.
Now if your website is getting a ton of traffic like it should using my tips, you can still make a lot of money here.
You can access the Amazon Associates program here.
Ollie is a premier dog food brand. People are becoming more and more concerned about what chemicals and fillers might be added to their dogs’ food. Ollie is a healthy fresh dog food meal subscription that is delivered to your door.
Ollie is a trendy brand so promoting it through social media could also be a way to drive traffic.
The Ollie affiliate program has decent payouts. You can expect to make up to $60 per sale which is more than I’ve seen in other dog food offers.
You can access the Ollie affiliate program here.
A web hosting service allows you to publish your site to the public. A good web hosting service is something that people need help determining as it’s something that can be slightly complex and costly.
As an affiliate of web hosting products, you can help break down the pros and cons of each service and help advise readers on which is the best to go for.
Entire online businesses are solely at the mercy of the quality of their web host and so it’s not a decision to make lightly
This is a great niche to go after because it’s a topic Google search receives a lot of hits for. Make sure to conduct keyword research and write content that is helpful and informative.
Programs We Recommend
SiteGround is an affordable web hosting program that has solutions to provide world-class security and personalized service. SiteGround is a smaller hosting company so users get more one-on-one attention.
An interesting factor in the SiteGround affiliate program is your payout amount goes up the more sales you land.
For example, 1-5 sales a month will make you $50 per sale. If you are able to scale that to 11-20 sales a month your payout leaps to $100 per sale. This model incentives affiliates to get into additional tiers in order to make more money.
You can access the SiteGround affiliate program here.
You might be wondering what happens if someone uses your affiliate link to make a purchase but then requests a refund. Well, you won’t get paid out.
With WP Engine you won’t have to worry about that as they’re a leading hosting site and have the highest quality product.
To sweeten the deal they pay affiliates $200 per sale which is an industry-leading amount. Not only that for every 5 sales you make they will throw in an additional $100.
You’ll also receive marketing materials so you don’t have to create them yourself which is great because when you’re just getting started you might not have the knowledge or resources to make your own.
You can access the WP Engine affiliate program here.
With dedicated firewalls and two-factor authenticators, Cloudways is one of the best ways to host your site. Users can expect 24/7 support to ensure their sites are running effectively.
The Cloudways affiliate program is a great way to make money.
One thing that sets the program apart from others is that you can the option to choose between a one-time payout per sale or a hybrid model in which you get paid out at a lower rate but continue to make 7% lifetime commission
If you’re looking to get into affiliate marketing to establish passive income programs with recurring programs is the way to go.
Web Hosting is a great niche market for anyone that promotes WordPress or blog creation and advice.
You can access the Cloudways affiliate program here.
SaaS or software as a service is a great niche idea that is full of affiliate offers. Because SaaS products are web-based they are often easy to track conversion for and are billed as recurring subscriptions.
If you were to build a niche website in this space you can expect to make around 20% of the sales amount in commissions. That’s huge as some of these products are pretty pricey.
If you don’t have experience with using any of these products or industries, you’re going to have a hard time drumming up traffic to come to your site. These products can be pretty complex and you’ll likely use many of them as you build a site in any niche.
Let’s take a look at some of the best Saas Affiliate offers available to you.
Programs We Recommend
Moosend is an email marketing service that lets users drag and drop content into an email editor to deliver professional results.
Through Moosend you can send highly personalized emails and then follow up with users via their data and how they interact with your site.
I recommend Moonsend as an affiliate because they pay you 30% commissions for life. That means as long as someone you referred is a customer you’ll continue to make passive income.
Moonsend even has a 90-day cookie window so even if someone clicked on your link and doesn’t convert for 3 more months you’ll still get paid.
You can access the Moosend affiliate program here.
Canva has made it possible for anyone to be a graphic designer. This affordable program is simple to use and lets anyone create professional designs without touching any Adobe products.
In fact, I know people that have full-time jobs as graphic designers and all they do is use Canva. What I am trying to say is this product is crucial to many people’s business which makes it very easy to promote.
You can expect to make $36 for every sign-up you send to Canva. The amount of people you can sign up with your link is uncapped so you can scale to the moon. Your affiliate link can be promoted through your website or even just through your social media if you have a large enough following.
Did you know you can do affiliate marketing without having a website at all? You really just need a way to drive traffic to your link.
You can access the Canva affiliate program here.
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing solution and CRM. You can manage all of your customers and their journey through this service.
As an affiliate, you receive a minimum of 20% commission for every person that joins. You also get incentivized bonuses.
According to their site, “If they pay $100 this month, you earn $20 dollars. If they pay $1000 a month, you get $200 — every month, for as long as they stay an ActiveCampaign customer. The more customers you refer, and the longer they stick around, the more you can earn, up to a 30% commission.”
You can access the ActiveCampaign affiliate program here.
Affiliate offers in the dating niche are some of the most lucrative and oldest in the industry. When it comes to niche ideas you’ll find dating to be competitive as the payouts are high and the traffic reoccurring.
A lot of dating sites are subscription-based meaning they make money off of their customers for a long period of time. This allows them to pay good money for these valuable customers.
The dating niche also encompasses adult offers which is a multi-billion dollar industry people are always looking to spend money in.
Programs We Recommend
Match.com is the largest dating website in the US. With 30 million visitors every month the site stands out as one of the best to go after.
In order to participate in Match.com’s affiliate program, you will have to join the CJ affiliate network. Once approved you can start promoting their many dating offers.
You might want to focus on promoting Match.com over other offers as they payout affiliates 75% commissions and you can earn up to 25% in bonuses.
Match.com has three subscription plans:
- 3 Months – $27.99/month – $42 commission
- 6 Months – $23.99/month – $72 commission
- 12 Months – $20.99/month – $126 commission
You can access the Match.com affiliate program here.
eHarmony is known as one of the most wholesome dating sites where users often find a love that lasts a lifetime. Can you really put a price on that? Due to the site’s success, they have been able to charge a higher rate for their service. This is great news for you as an affiliate because it means they have the margins to pay very well.
You can expect to earn 20% – 50% commission on every sign-up you drive to harmony.
To sign up for the eHarmony affiliate program you simply join the CJ affiliate network. Remember a successful niche is one that has multiple offers you can promote. The CJ Network is a one-stop-shop where you can access many offers in this space.
You can access the eHarmony affiliate program here.
You’ll sometimes find that targeted offers convert better. Makes sense right? If you see an ad for a product for a specific demographic you fit into it might speak to you more. OurTime is a great offer for this.
OurTime is a site that focuses on dating predominantly for older people. While anyone can join the site you can quickly tell they cater to an older generation open to finding love maybe for a second or third time.
You will make 50% commissions on this offer with a 4-month cookie window.
You can access the OurTime affiliate program here.
This article should have shown you the exact steps you need to take to create a niche site that generates long-term income. Keep your site focused on keywords that relate to your industry in order to gain topical authority and drive the most amount of traffic.
I hope your eyes were opened to some highly profitable niche ideas and programs that you can apply to be a part of. Remember your niche should have at least 5 offers you can promote in order for it to be worth pursuing.
Good luck and happy marketing.