“A toast to bigger earnings”.
Excellent title, isn’t it?
But I’m not really sure if the bartending niche will raise the bar as far as earnings go. Not to offend all the great bartenders out there, but I didn’t even really think of bartending as much of a career until I did research for bartending affiliate programs.
Bartenders go by several names: the old-fashioned “barkeep,” barman, tapster, the trendy “alcohol chef,” and of course, mixologists. Whichever name you call them, the job is the same: creating and serving up tasty alcoholic beverages. It's often thought of as a backup gig, a second job — a transitional profession young adults take on to help pay for student loans. This is where this profession gets its reputation as something that you do while you’re waiting to make it big elsewhere.
That may still be true, but a lot has certainly changed in this field. If I were to judge bartending based on the websites about it, I would say it has turned into a craft of its own. Websites like TheTruthAboutBartending.com and BeABetterBartender.com both show the undoubtedly entertaining and surprisingly serious sides of being a bartender. The former site is enjoying immense popularity, with several thousand visits a month, while the latter is getting a few hundred.
The amount of traffic between the two sites may have a huge difference, but both *are* getting traffic each month, indicating there is a marked interest in the bartending niche.
A Shot or Double?
Yes, there is interest in the bartending niche. But is it substantial enough to make money?
I typically don’t have problems proving there is money to be gained from a niche. That’s because most of them belong to, or are related to, huge industries. I intended, while doing my research, to look at the service industry as a whole and see where bartending stands compared to other service-focused professions.
But first, I checked out Google Trends. There’s moderate interest in this topic, with most search requests coming from the United States and Philippines. Related inquiries are mostly on courses on bartending and how to get a bartending service.
Statista.com shows there are currently 614,000 bartenders employed in the US. That number is expected to grow to 696,000 by the year 2026. While it may be a transitional occupation, a lot of people, particularly the younger generation, are interested in working as a bartender. There's no standardized process for becoming a bartender, but most states do require some sort of certification, which means it's likely that aspiring bartenders will look for information about it, including classes they can take in person or online.
A blend of how-to and buyer-intent keywords is essential in any niche, and bartending is no exception.
This NOTW topic is not an original idea of mine. It actually came from a post on the Traffic Travis blog: The Bartending Niche: I'll Drink to That!. It was written over a year ago, so it’s great to refer to that and see how this niche and its keywords are doing now. It’s also nice to have a bit of an idea as far as target keywords go for this niche.
The keywords in the Traffic Travis posts are: bartending, bartending school, mixology. I typed in “bartending” in AffiloTools and this is what came up:
It’s a similar list, but with differing numbers — which is to be expected, as Traffic Travis and Affilotools use different sources. We are also looking at this niche a year after the Traffic Travis post, so there’s bound to be contrasting results.
“Bartending school” is still on the search results. It has a good monthly search volume and is moderately competitive. The same is true for “bartender school” and “bartender classes.” It only becomes competitive when you specify a city or state. That's not surprising, as these are keywords with buyer intent. Anyone looking to study bartending in a serious fashion will use those keywords when looking for classes in their area.
Other keywords to target are “how to be a bartender,” “online bartending school,” and “bartending 101.”
Always check out the Related Keywords tab in AffiloTools when doing keyword research for additional keywords to add to your list. Check out other sources too, such as Keyword Spy and Ubersuggest. Ubersuggest results for the same keyword are mostly for classes in various locations. Below is part of the results for the “bartending” keyword in Keyword Spy.
Bartending Affiliate Programs
A mix of bartending courses and online stores offering bartending tools.
The first affiliate program on this list is from ClickBank, but I can't find it in the Marketplace at all. You can sign up for the program from the Affiliates Page, though, so that's no problem. There's another bartending course, and the rest are online stores where you you can purchase tools you need to practice your bartending skills, and serve great drinks at home.
1. Rapid Bartender
About Rapid Bartender
“Master the art of mixing drinks” … right in the comfort of your home! RapidBartender.com offer eBooks teaching you how to mix drinks .
This is helpful to anyone who wants to learn to mix drinks for a living, or for entertaining at home.
How much can I make?
Affiliates earn 75% for every sale of the eBook. The eBook sells for USD$17. Minus the ClickBank fees, that would give you around USD$10 for each eBook sold.
2. Bartending College Online
About Bartending College Online
BartenderCollegeOnline.com claims to be the no. 1 online bartending school in the US. The site provides a full course on bartending, interactive tools like mobile flash cards and recipe books, and training videos to help you become the best bartender you possibly can be.
How much can I make?
Affiliates receive 25% for every course enrollment and 5% from merchandise sales. Commissions are paid through PayPal once you balance has reached a USD$100 past the 90-day chargeback period.
How do I apply?
Bartending School Online manages its own affiliate program so you need to sign up directly through the Affiliates Page.
FoodPairing does not offer a course on bartending. It doesn’t offer cocktail recipes either. The site provides members access to its food database and offers recommendations on which foods will pair well with particular drinks.
This is helpful to bartenders, particularly to those serving in hotels or fine dining restaurants, where they would be asked for a drink that goes best with the main course.
How much can I make?
Undisclosed. The site does state on the Affiliates Page that the commission is per sale of a membership.
How do I apply?
FoodPairing also manages its own affiliate program. You can sign up as an affiliate through the Affiliates Page.
4. Golden Age Bartending
About Golden Age Bartending
Golden Age Bartending is an online store for bartenders and any one who is interested in having their own bar at home. They sell jiggers, bar spoons, and mixing glasses, along with other bartending equipment.
How much can I make?
5% for every sale. Prices on the site range from a few dollars to USD $50.
How do I apply?
You can register through the Affiliates Page.
5. New York Bar Store
About New York Bar Store
New York Bar Store is the more hip version of Golden Age Bartending. If you fancy some bar kits or want to dress up your bar New York-style, then this is the online store for you.
How much can I make?
10% for every sale.
Calling the Shots: Get People To Your Website
It’s not much of a party if you’re the only one at the bar. Here's a few suggestions for driving traffic to your bartending website.
Websites are like brick-and-mortar stores: You need to get people to visit them. Otherwise, there is not much point to it. Particularly if the point of setting up a shop, online or not, is to sell and earn. It’s the same for both a bar and a bartending website. You need to get people to order drinks — or learning programs, in the case of bartending websites.
Driving traffic to both physical and online stores is no walk in the park. (Or to a bar. Haha.) Physical stores have marketing strategies to get people, and so should you! Coming up with a marketing and link-building strategy early on may seem premature, but it makes the difference between a smooth transition from site building to driving traffic and gnawing at your nails, trying to figure out what to do once the website is up.
Here are some link-building and inbound marketing methods to try for a website in the bartending niche:
Social Media Marketing
Yes, one of my go-to inbound marketing methods. It’s challenging, but it’s free. Set up a Facebook page or create a Twitter account. Or do both. Then, engage users by posting relevant info on bartending.
One mistake marketers make when doing social media for business is sharing only information that is on their websites. Don’t limit yourself, or your website’s social media accounts, to just the content you've created. It’s going to seem to people like you’re only out to make a sale (and yes, you are out to make money, but that shouldn't be your only goal), and they will avoid your page (translating to unliking, unfollowing, or unfriending you).
Share interesting or entertaining bits of information from other bartending websites, including recipes and tips. Join other online communities and engage in conversation about bartending, bars and the service industry in general.
You can check out our blog post on 25 Online Marketing Courses That Will Make You a Better Affiliate Marketer for free marketing courses you can take, including lessons on social media marketing. SocialMediaExaminer.com is also a great resource.
If you’re a bartender, then writing about bartending won’t be as difficult as it would be for someone who is not engaged in the field at all. Your main worry should be trying to put your thoughts down on paper, whereas someone who is not in the same profession will have a double whammy: what to write and how to write it?
Either way, once you have a website up, you need to have a content strategy. This is not just about getting a new article published on your website every so often. It’s about writing down ideas for content, doing the research, getting the article done then publishing it on your website. You don’t have to have fresh content everyday, but a new article once or twice a week goes a long way toward keeping readers stopping by your website.
Having a good content strategy leads to a whole slew of other link-building methods, including getting mentioned by other websites in the niche, or getting a guest post slot on another website (usually one with more authority), which helps give your and your website’s online reputation a boost.
Amazon Kindle Traffic
Here’s another method where content plays a major role. With this method, though, you don’t have to twiddle your thumbs so much. You can have someone write an eBook to you. (For a fee, of course.) Still, once the eBook is out on Amazon, you can start to see traffic coming to your site through from the links placed within the book.
The eBook doesn’t also have to be long; it just needs to be engaging and informative. Make sure it refers back to relevant pages on your site for more information, or contains your affiliate links to products you’re promoting. You can sell it on Amazon (and make a bit on the side), or give it away for free.
If you’re not into putting the eBook out on Amazon, you can give it away on your website instead as an incentive for signing up to your newsletter series. Then, you can promote directly to a targeted market without having to worry about search engines and such.
Bartending Affiliate Programs: Cheers or Jeers?
The bartending niche, much like the profession itself, is fun but tough. Be ready for some serious work.
At the end of each NOTW are answers to the questions that really matter: Will I make money out of this? Is this niche for me? What should I look out for?
There’s money to be made in this niche, but just like any bartender, you need to put in the hours. There’s competition from established websites from actual bartenders, so you need to up your marketing strategy to level with their websites.
If you’re a bartender, then go out there, make your site and start earning more by sharing your experience and recommending products. If you’re not a bartender yourself, but you’re sold on going into this niche, then go right ahead. Just make sure you cover all your bases and have a solid marketing plan ready.
Running out of marketing ideas to promote your website? AffiloBlueprint has got it covered!