Getting intimate with your niche: Do you need passion to succeed?

By Kim Ross
Getting intimate with your niche: Do you need passion to succeed?


For the average affiliate marketer out there, especially those just starting out, choosing a niche to promote often goes beyond whether there's enough demand and not too much competition.

If spending money on outsourcing isn't an option, there is a lot more riding on your ability to knuckle down, write engaging content, and get the job done.

But how well can you really do that if you're not particularly fond of the niche that, on paper at least, is most likely to give you the best return?

Yeast infections are a profitable niche, but does anyone out there jump out of bed in the morning, raring to go work on their yeast infection website?

I've read advice from many different experts stressing how vital it is that you choose to work in a niche you have a passion for. Realistically though, this is a lot easier said than done.

What I believe is more important is that you have a healthy relationship with your niche. An all-consuming passion isn't essential, and in some cases can be damaging. But you must develop a level of fondness.

The key term here is ‘healthy'.

Let's look at the risks you could be faced with when the dynamics between you and your niche are unhealthy.

Rose-tinted glasses: Your affection has gone too far

Scenario 1

I think you know the story here. You and your niche have had many good memories together, but times have changed now. The shine has worn off, the market gods are no longer aligned in your favor, and it's simply not bringing home the money.

You don't see it though, you refuse to believe it. How could this happen? You were meant to be together forever...

The danger here for some people is that their passion can sometimes overtake the cold hard facts. It's okay to love what you do, but make sure you can detach yourself enough to view your business objectively.

Scenario 2

You've been working successfully together for awhile now, things are going great. So great, that it's really time to branch out and ‘rinse and repeat' in other niches if you want to keep building your income.

How can you bear to spend time apart from your niche though?

Becoming too attached to your niche can prevent you from expanding your business and building your income.

Scenario 3

Your niche has been hugely kind to you. Money is pouring in and you're no longer the struggling newbie who has to do everything by his/herself. Outsourcing tasks is now possible, and with it the opportunity to speed things up and make more money faster.

The question is, can you really bring yourself to ‘let go' of your site, and trust someone else with it? Again, don't let your attachment get in the way of moving onwards and upwards.

Indifference towards your niche: Losing Focus

How is your IM site going?

Actually, I just can't seem to get started. I keep getting sidetracked with other things and I'm thinking of switching to a different niche.

On the other end of the spectrum, it's important not to let figures alone steer your choice of a niche - especially if you're the kind of person prone to procrastination.

It's a lot harder to stay focused, motivated, and undistracted from other ideas when you're really not that interested in what you're working on. As I said earlier, you don't need to be completely passionate about your niche, but it's definitely wise to have some interest or personal experience with it. This especially applies to newbies who are low on cash and need to do most of the key tasks themselves.

Not only is it a lot easier to write content that you are interested in, it will also help you go that extra mile to make your website a success.

And if you want to eventually turn your website into an authority site, then a healthy interest in the subject becomes even more important. It's pretty hard to put in the extra love necessary to take your site from good to great when you couldn't really care less whether people manage to stop their dog barking or whatever. Your site's visitors and email list will pick up on your lack of passion, making it virtually impossible to develop a relationship with them.

A healthy balance

No matter what niche you choose to promote products in, you'll always need a strong motivation to get started and to keep putting in the hours until you achieve your goals. Some people can enter a niche with just an all-round enthusiasm for everything to do with affiliate marketing, and that's enough to sustain their interest. For others, reminding themselves that they need to make more money is a strong incentive to switch on the computer. However, for many of us, these things aren't quite enough - and some interest in the niche is also pretty important. Then you can enjoy learning more about the topic while you work, which is an excellent way to ‘stay in the moment' and avoid getting distracted and sidetracked.

On the other hand, I firmly believe that an enormous ‘passion' for your niche isn't at all necessary, and can even cloud your judgment at times. Sure, it helps to love what you do, but at the same time, this is business - and you need to be able to keep a certain detachment to succeed.

Have you successfully worked in a niche you're uninterested in? Run into problems in a niche that you like a lot? Share your thoughts below.

Donald Johnson 14 years ago
I personally never go for a niche I know a lot about. I like reading up on new ideas so the content I write (if Im writing my articles) feels new and exciting for me. Picking a niche I know little about, or better yet nothing about is a positive thing in my eyes. It allows me to become passively knowledgeable about several topics which I greatly enjoy =)

I am generally passionate about the article marketing niche since its the first niche I got commissions in. I feel its a really good branching off niche, one that once I know a lot about I can use for my sites and to enhance the articles I have for those sites. Its win-win for me. I really like those win-win situations, dont you? ;-)
Neo Kanobi 14 years ago
Kim once again you hit the nail right in the head. So true everything you said and very motivating seeing that these are common patterns that happens to most of us.

Thanks again for your motivational posting. Keep up the great job !!!!

Paul Ramon 14 years ago
I fully agree Mark. I'm a procrastinator and interested in a million different things, so it is easy to get side tracked when you have no real "feeling" for the niche.
Also, even if you outsource your writing, it makes it difficult to give good instructions to your ghost writer, if you do not understand your target group, their pain or problems and the solutions they are looking for.
Excellent article, and good advice for those starting out.
Another element I would like to add is to choose one niche, and focus on that one niche till the main work is done (a decent amount of articles, a choice of affliate programs or products to promote, subscription box and newsletters up and running, ...) before adding another niche.
Wish you well,
Ben Neki 14 years ago
Very good article the part about procrastination described me to a tee! I know I'll need to be focused to get things done.
Dan 14 years ago
Hi Mark,
Read from numerous sources about multiple niches and I personally found that if a topic is of little interest to me I would get bored therefore I've chosen to focused for at least the time being only a few niches that either I have a good deal of knowledge or would like to acquire better undertanding of. Wisom I've read is to create dozens in not a hundred or so mini niche website but I just don't find that I can get motivated to create a niche in a subject I care very little about.

lawmacs 14 years ago
I really like scenario two sometimes we get so much attach to some things that we cannot let go and this sometimes can be very negative it can actually stop us from progressing.
Gerry Lacuarta 14 years ago
There are two paths to niche blogging..

One path is driven by passion and interest on the niche. In this path, blogging becomes fun.

The other is driven by profit. In this path, blogging becomes work.

Marlene Wheeler 14 years ago
This was very helpful. I'm new at everything but determined to succeed at affiliate marketing, however, I have found myself coming up with excuses to find more "important" things to do, and I have big distractions. 1. Just got a new boat and love to go fishing. 2. Sitting long periods at my computer has given me lower back aches, and just the idea of spending hours sitting makes me cringe; yes I got an "ergo" chair, didn't help much, standing at my computer seems to help though.

joe hughes rebecca evart 14 years ago
all ihad I gave to the first program.... so your telling me there's no way to make some money at this time to open other doors to more
James Pruitt 14 years ago
I think it depends on how you want to approach the niche. if you want a set it and forget it business, then passion is not necessary. for blogging, which really takes a lot of attention and effort initially, I think passion for the niche is a must. My blog posts just would not be as good if I wasn't passionate about my topics.

I personally think that you should follow passions for the first site, just to keep you going when things are not working, especially if you are in a niche proven to be an evergreen money maker. Often, its not the niche,but how people approach it that determines whether it is profitable or not.

I see your point about choosing one that you are interested in, but not super passionate about. however, I find that my writing is better in niches that I am personally interested in. this increases my conversions and adds genuine flavor to my site.

Maybe it is just me, but I can tell by reading the content if someone is passionate about their niche, or just trying to make a buck. usually the ones that are just out to make money wont ever see me again.
Francisco Acosta Reyes 14 years ago
In human nature one the hardest things to accept is when you're wrong. People just refuse to accept it. Once a month people should try to analyze the whole concept of their ebusiness. I think that is called strategic thinking. They should spend probably an entire weekend thinking about the pros and the cons of their entire ebusiness concept. Are they on the right track? How do you know you're on the right tack? Did you accomplish the month goals? Do you need to refocus your internet marketing strategy? Does your site needs a major facelift?
Trey - Swollen Thumb Entertainment 14 years ago
Well, in the many months that I've been blogging, the thing that I've discovered is that there needs to be some kind of payoff for the work that you put in. Whether the payoff is in the form of money, social interaction, or whatever, you must get some kind of enjoyment out of what you do. Because otherwise, the quality of your writing will suffer for it.
megachile 14 years ago
Some good points made in the above post. I dont particularly feel much passion for any of the niches that I am in. It does make sitting down to write content difficult sometimes.

On the other hand, the lack of attachment helps me to move on when things are not working. I also agree that by not becomming to controlling of your websites, it makes growth easier as you wont be so bothered about having someone else (eg staff members) take care of the site for you.
David Trevino 14 years ago
I believe as a business person you should not be passionate about what you are selling. You should be passionate about internet marketing but not about your products.

Internet marketing is all about finding markets that are buying. So when you find a hot market you sell what they want to them.

So you find a hot market and have a great product for that market and you are making money.

What are you going to do for the next hot market ? Are you going to be passionate about another product ?

How many passions can you handle at the same time ?

Can you turn off your passion for one product and turn it on for another product ? Can you have multiple passions for several products at the same time ?

What are you going to do ? Be passionate about one product only ?

(Well this is possible especially if you are the creater of that product.)

But as affiliate marketers you are concerened about what sells. Not what you are passionate about.

The only thing I care about in the products that I sell is that they are good quality products for my customers.

I don't care if it's a dog training product or a yoga training product. If I find in my market research a hot market for something I will look for the best product for that market.

But my passion is focused on marketing and not focused on products. (let me clarify something. I draw the line with smut products)

Just my thoughts
Dave Trevino

Mandeep 14 years ago
In order to make a successful, you have to love what you write about. It will help you write better content and stay focused. Also, it can be a factor in staying motivated to keep going. If you do not like your blogs topic, you are more than likely going to grow tired of it.
Jimmy Ryder 14 years ago
I agree it is always helpful to find a niche that you are interested then it makes it a fun adventure... then the challenges along the way with any project just becomes a minor bump. I like to pick a niche that I feel that I a making a contribution and the bonus is making money, which is a buy product of a job well done... you just gotta be persistent and never give up...
Margaret Meyer 14 years ago
Nice post! I am sure we have all heard the phrase, "It's not personal. It's business." I think you make a great point in mentioning that being too tied up in a niche can cloud one's judgment. Sometimes instead of making the best business decisions, we can let our emotions cloud our judgment.

On the other hand, I know that I have a much easier time marketing products that I believe in. I agree that there is certainly a balance to be maintained-- remaining objective while still being passionate about your business.
Mandeep 14 years ago
Sometimes people are interested in the subject they write about and have a lot of ideas however, time becomes a problem or there are other problems that prevent them from constantly updating the information. Anyways, thanks for the great information.
Kim Ross 14 years ago
Reading all of the comments here illustrates clearly that this is a topic that will always be contested! There certainly is no right or wrong approach that you can take, and at the end of the day you've got to do what works best for you - it is up to you to assess just how well your approach is working, and it seems like everyone here is tuned into that :)
Tinh 14 years ago
I can not go without passion and motivation too :-)
hermawan hayashi rockefeller 14 years ago
for choose niche have to our hobby, or like. before have a money --> write article
have a money --> making squeeze page with ppc or leads
if dont like niche but its profitable --> shooting through the affiliate website with ppc
iam newbie but isit alright miss Kim?
Alston Morgan 14 years ago
Tell me the truth, someone , anyone, do people really make money on the web? ?
I am out of a job for ten months and I never receive a check.
filoyana 14 years ago
Hi,Mark, i am really lost and i don't know from where to start , i don't know from where to start,shall i find the niche to promote or bilt the website? and how i find traffic for my website.
I am trying to learn for a long time but not yet start the affiliate marketing. anybody help me??
Vee Sweeney 14 years ago
Passion does have a lot to do with it, but you are right in the sense that a person can get too attached to their niche and not be willing to hire help if they can. I also think that when people are marketing a niche that they don't have passion about and they are also not seeing the money roll in, that equals instant giving up. Sometimes people need to go back to the basics and have an understanding that affiliate marketing does not equal instant money. If they have that understanding, they can also learn to respect their niche on a different level, which in turn will keep the passion going.