In the course of my weekly Niche of the Week posts, I've realized that there are a lot of things I am genuinely interested in. There are also things that I equally do not care about, like this week's niche: soccer.
Before some of the estimated 3 billion soccer fans out there trample me, let me clarify that I don't hate soccer. I simply don't care for it. I've watched my fair share of it, and of basketball, gymnastics, synchronized swimming, boxing and figure skating. But none of them really interest me in the same way that coffee or makeup do.
But I am definitely on the minority here because this sport is one of the, if not THE most popular sport in the world. It is so popular that it has given way to "football culture" ("football" being the preferred international term for the sport), a reference to the way soccer has been deeply rooted in the culture and way of life of countries like the United Kingdom and Brazil.
The soccer niche is a big niche with lots of income potential. Your website can have information on the latest soccer news, and you can feature a soccer or soccer-related item every day. You can also make your site a "learn how to play soccer" website.
It's best to decide what sub-niche you'll focus on before moving onto keyword research. You can also look at the affiliate programs and the products while you decide on a sub-niche. Doing this can actually help you decide, but be sure to have done your niche research before searching for your target keywords.
The Game Starter: "Soccer" Keywords
You need to decide on which sub-niche in the soccer niche you'll go in to because your keywords need to be from that specific sub-niche. You'll be targeting "soccer" as a keyword for sure, whichever sub-niche you go into. It's a good keyword, with high monthly search results and mostly low-competition variations.
The "soccer" keywords that refer to soccer equipment and clothing tend to be high in competition. These are the keywords you'll be targeting if you're going to promote soccer online stores, or recommend products on your site.
"Learn soccer" keywords have good monthly global searches and the competitions are from low to moderate. You can also focus on keywords like "soccer drills" or "soccer positions."
You can check the keywords used on the sales pages of the products you'll promote and look those up too. Maybe you can use them. You can also check out Ubersuggest for more keyword suggestions and variations.
Soccer Affiliate Programs
There are some soccer affiliate programs in ClickBank, mostly products about how to learn soccer. If you choose to go for the "learn soccer" sub-niche, make sure to check out the products in the ClickBank Marketplace.
However, I was not satisfied with the products in ClickBank. Most have low gravity, so I decided to look at other ones on the web. There are online stores that sell soccer equipment and clothing. There are also online schools that teach aspiring soccer players how to play the game.
WorldSoccerShop.com is one the online stores I was referring to. It sells everything and anything to do with soccer : jerseys, footwear, protective gear, even memorabilia and posters.
Affiliates earn 8 percent commission for each sale. You can join the affiliate program through Affiliate Technology, AffiliateTraction, or LinkShare.
Soccer Loco is another online store that sells everything to do with soccer: equipment, clothing, and footwear. It doesn't have memorabilia or posters for sale, but through local "team rooms," you can purchase gear specific to a U.S. soccer team.
The affiliate program is through Commission Junction and offers a tiered commission from 8 percent to 10 percent. The higher your sales, the bigger the commission.
Soccer.com isn't much different from Soccer Loco and World Soccer Shop. However, it does offer training DVDs and books. The affiliate program is managed by AffiliateTraction but you can also join as an affiliate through Commission Junction and LinkShare. Affiliates earn 7.5 percent commission for each sale.
There are a lot more online stores dedicated to selling soccer merchandise and there are more general online sports stores that offer related products. You can search for these soccer affiliate programs online.
Now, let's move on to the "learn soccer" sub-niche. I came across several programs, but I am not so easily pleased. I want a professional-looking sales page and website coupled with relatively higher commissions. Below are some of the programs you can expect from this sub-niche:
Soccer Drills Tips is not exactly for people wanting to learn soccer. It's more a guide for coaches who teach young people soccer. The site manages its own affiliate program and provides affiliates with 60 percent commission for each sale.
Soccer Tutor not only provides training through DVD, books and software: the site also sells soccer equipment. Like Soccer Drills Tips, the site manages its own affiliate network so you need to apply as an affiliate by going to the website. Affiliates enjoy a 40 percent commission for each sale. The program also pays affiliates USD $25 for every referral.
Academy Soccer Coach is a UK-based soccer affiliate program that provides interactive session templates and coaching software to members. The site manages its own affiliate program and provides affiliates with 40 percent commission per sale, just like with Soccer Tutor.
Give a Shout Out to All Soccer Fans
Once you've done the niche research and completed your keyword list, the next step is to create the content and get the site up. But before you plunge into that wonderful world of content creation, take a few minutes and consider what link building and inbound marketing methods you will use to get traffic into your site.
You don't have to spend overly much time on this. Just write down a draft of what methods you'll use so that you'll have an idea of what kind of link-building strategy you'll have once the site is up and running. This helps you move smoothly along from site building to driving traffic to your site. Below are some link building methods you can try for the soccer niche:
Social Media Marketing
I've mentioned a few times on the Niche of the Week blogs that people who share a common ailment or a common interest tend to bond together for mutual support. This is certainly true for soccer fans.
You can build a page for your soccer site and then join the various soccer groups on Facebook, or follow soccer fans in Twitter and share soccer trivia and game info with them.
Social media sites are a great place to engage your target market. Similar to forum and blog commenting, social media marketing is not just about getting backlinks. It’s about building your site's reputation and yours too within the community.
Soccer has a long history, and for most of its fans, it is a way of life. You need to keep your site updated with the current soccer news. If your area has a local soccer team, then you can feature them on your website and provide regular updates on game schedules, team standings and such.
Informative content brings in users and updated articles help to bring back users to your site, so it's important that you have a good content strategy planned out. A good content strategy ensures you are able to properly plan, research and publish content on your site, leaving you with enough time to focus on link building.
Don't let all that content go to waste! Make sure that once you have a couple of articles on your site, you submit the link to your RSS feed to Web 2.0 sites, FeedShark and similar outlets.
RSS feed submission works similar to article marketing in that you share your content out there so that others can use it and share it with each other. This means more backlinks and more exposure for your site.
Go for the Goal!
There's a huge potential to earn in the soccer niche but there's considerable competition too, so you need to make sure that you do your research. It's a big niche, too: You can choose to make your site a local soccer site, or an international one. You can make it a site promoting various soccer products while providing the latest news on soccer, or it can be about a site on how to learn soccer.
The commissions from these soccer affiliate programs are far from the highest I've seen but they are not so bad. Whichever kind of soccer site you decide on, make sure you've got a solid idea of what your sub-niche is and who your target market is. A solid content and link-building strategy can make all the difference in reaching your income goals.
I hope you enjoyed this week's niche! Please make sure to share it with everyone using the Share button below! I love to hear from you so please make sure to leave your comments!