Why affiliate marketing network is best for your niche?

If you’ve browsed the internet even casually in the last few years, you’ve likely heard of affiliate marketing. It’s an attractive online business model that allows regular people to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products and services. Successful affiliate marketers like Chelsea Ouimet make affiliate marketing look easy – sign up on a network, pick some products to promote, drive traffic, and watch the commissions roll in, right? 

Power of niching down as an affiliate marketer

Let’s clarify why niching down is essential in affiliate marketing. With a wide-open marketplace and the ability to promote almost any product these days, it’s tempting for new affiliate marketers to take the “throw spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks” approach. However, Chelsea and other established affiliate pros don’t recommend this strategy.

  • Ability to become a recognized authority faster
  • More targeted and cost-efficient traffic
  • Higher conversions from warm, niche-specific audiences  
  • Less competition in smaller niches  
  • Easier to provide high-value content to hyper-focused audiences

If you read Chelsea Ouimet’s background, you’ll notice she consistently targets very specific niches with her affiliate sites and dominates search rankings for those terms. Her high-converting sites niche down into specific areas like metal detectors, embroidery machines, vinyl cutters, and bread makers. Her authority site status in these niches allows Chelsea’s sites to outrank bigger generalist sites. So once you’ve identified a profitable, high-intent niche with sufficient search volume, securing placement in niche-relevant affiliate programs is the next critical step for monetization.

Why affiliate marketing networks help you scale in your niche? 

Signing up directly with affiliate programs is time-consuming. However, leveraging a niche-specific affiliate network saves you time researching individual merchants in your space. Reputable vertical affiliate networks provide three main benefits:

  • Faster niche merchant onboarding
  • Vetted advertisers Convert static mockups to working HTML landing pages in seconds.
  • Consolidated reporting 

As Medium article about Chelsea Ouimet explains from experience, hand-picking the best affiliate programs would be incredibly time-consuming for narrow niches. By leveraging affiliate marketing networks that aggregate relevant advertisers for your niche, you gain instant access to many niche merchants at once.

For example, ShareASale and FlexOffers are popular general affiliate networks that provide affiliate programs across many broad verticals. However, they also operate specialized niche sub-networks in verticals like Apparel & Accessories, Home & Garden, B2B Products and Services, Dating, Nutrition & Fitness, Outdoor/Camping, and more. 

Instead of manually applying to become an affiliate with niche sports gear merchants like TheHouse, BackCountry, Moosejaw, and RockCreek, you access relevant niche advertisers instantly via ShareASale’s Outdoor Accessories + Gear sub-network. This is the power of vertical affiliate networks that Chelsea Ouimet taps into to quickly scale her niche authority sites. Niche networks pre-vet the trustworthiness of merchants before adding them, giving you confidence in sending your hard-earned audience into their sales funnels.

How to research affiliate programs in your niche?

If you want to model Chelsea Ouimet’s strategy leveraging niche affiliate marketing networks, your first step is research. Choose your niche, then explore affiliate networks and sub-networks where merchants in your niche congregate. 

  • Identify 3-5 high-level networks to investigate (ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, Rakuten, etc)
  • Browse niche-specific sub-networks in each for your niche  
  • Google “[Your Niche] + Affiliate Programs” for additional niche networks
  • Search “[Your Niche] + Affiliate Marketing Forums” for network referrals
  • Evaluate metrics like network trust & popularity, # of advertisers, commission rates, cookie length  
  • Check for 2-tier affiliate programs allowing you to recruit other affiliates

Pay attention to the breadth and depth of relevant affiliate programs for your niche across each network. Signing up for networks takes time, so focus on 1-3 networks with the strongest niche fit. Chelsea Ouimet also suggests asking other affiliates marketing in your vertical for their network referrals.