It's totally possible to run a business and also be kind to the earth. In fact, that's the focus of this Niche of the Week!
The "green" niche is one of affiliate marketing's evergreen niches (pun only sort of intended). It's also quite vast — there are so many sub-niches within it, targeting different interests and lifestyles, from people who want to start growing their own food to those who want to reduce their impact on the planet. We've dived into this very large niche before; you can check out our featured post on green energy affiliate programs.
And of course, the green niche also intersects with another hugely popular niche: fashion. There are plenty of manufacturers that have introduced lines of high-quality, sustainable clothing, which you can find featured on sites such as the Ethical Fashion Blog and Moral Fibres. Sustainable clothing is made using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment, which mostly means natural fibers. Within this particular sub-niche, you'll also find organic clothing, which is our specific focus in this Niche of the Week!
Organic products, whether food or clothing, have to meet a stringent set of agricultural standards, which includes no synthetic pesticides. Most organic clothes and textiles are made from cotton, but it's far from the only choice (take, for example, bamboo clothing!). Organic cotton is gentler on your skin (making it a great choice for people with allergies and intense skin sensitivities) and healthier for the environment.
Popularity of Organic Clothing
How big is the market for organic clothes?
The latest market report on organic cotton showed that the industry is gaining back its popularity, after three consecutive years of decline (2012-2014).
According to the Textile Exchange 2016 market report, the industry remains stable with a market value of $15.76 billion USD in 2016. The stable growth was due to an increased market demand as well as improved connections between organic textile farmers and the textile supply chain.
More and more companies are also becoming environmentally aware and supporting organic cotton farming and natural textiles in general. The Textile Exchange group featured a total of 89 retail brands that uses 100% cotton in their products. These brands include huge names such as C&A, H&M, and Nike among others.
Google Trends reveals that search interest on the term “organic clothing” remains mostly stable (with a slight decline over the years, which matches up wth earlier data):
More importantly, the top 5 countries for the term “organic clothing” are also major economic and cultural powerhouses: Australia, Canada, the USA, the UK, and France. That's a good indicator there is money in marketing organic clothing affiliate products: These are affluent, well-developed nations that also feature some of the world's fashion capitals.
"Organic" Keyword Research
Pick out the essential keywords that will sustain traffic and conversions
The Internet is an endless source of wonder and information. However, without understanding the best ways to go about your research, you may end up with a lot of great information... that's totally irrelevant to your needs.
This is true with keyword research, especially if you are just starting out. Choosing which keywords to target and promote can be overwhelming for the new affiliate marketer.
Don't let it scare you. Keyword research can be time-consuming, but it isn't rocket science and it's not some giant mystery. It's just a matter of knowing where to look and having an idea of what your customer is looking for — that means knowing what phrases they're using to search for sites like your own.
An important part of keyword research is finding long-tail keywords, the ones that might be 4 or 5 or more words. Why? The more descriptive your keywords are, the better. There might be 100,000 sites out there targeting "organic clothing," but only a few that have focused on the far more specific keywords "organic clothing for adults" or "organic clothing for sensitive skin." It'll be a lot easier to rank for those long-tail keywords, and they help you target a specific audience, to boot.
Another thing to know is that good keywords should help you achieve your end goals: traffic + sales. You need to pick keywords that are not only topic-related but more so have high conversion rates.
So let’s start.
How to Gather Your Seed Keywords
You're probably not going to sit down and write out a list of perfect keywords on your first go-around. Even experienced affiliates know that finding keywords is a process of trial and error and there's lots of room to experiment! So you're better off starting with a very long list of possible keywords and narrowing it down from there. This is your seed keyword list, and here's how to go about creating it:
1. Jot down your ideas.
When I do my keyword research, I start by writing down all the keywords that I can think of when it comes to the topic. In this case, it's “organic clothes”. Here are some of the keywords in my list:
- Where to buy organic clothes
- Organic clothing
- 100% cotton clothes
- Organic clothing brands
- Where to shop for organic clothes
2. Gather keywords from Google search suggestions.
The next thing I do is to go to Google and type each keyword above to gather more keyword ideas. The great thing about “Googling” these days is you get a great list of suggested keywords even before you hit "enter." Take the example below:
As you can see, Google supplied me with several keywords related to my original queries. I will add these keywords to my list and repeat the process with the rest of the keywords.
3. Check out the keywords in the top menu or category sections of online shops.
You probably ran across a few promising sites (or competitors) in your Google searches. Use them for additional research — take a look at what keywords they target! You will know if the site is optimized for keywords if you can spot highly relevant phrases in the site's top menu and category sections. Take this online store, for example:
I have boxed the keywords that I would look into for an affiliate website focusing on organic clothing. Notice the word "organic" only appears once in the three keywords, and "clothing" or "clothes" isn't there at all. You should target all kinds of keywords, not just variants of the same few words or phrases.
Aside from online stores, you may also check out the menus and navigation categories for forums in your niche to get more keyword ideas.
4. List brand names, too.
Your keyword ideas should not be limited to topics and information only — especially in a niche relating to fashion, brand names or product-related keywords will be important to success.
You can also use search engines to look for websites selling products related to your niche. I did a simple search for organic clothing stores and from just one page of Google results, I have a good list of companies selling organic clothes.
5. Make use of a keyword density tool.
Another way to gather keyword ideas is to find websites that are already ranking for the term "organic clothing" and looking at what other keywords the site focuses on.
Go to Google search and type “organic clothing” (with quotation marks, so you get exact matches). Pick the top 3 sites from the results to explore for even more keyword ideas.
In this case, the top site for the term “organic clothing” is this Wikipedia page. Then I used a free online keyword density tool to get all the top keywords from the Wikipedia page. These are the results:
There are several keywords that I could use for my site. The obvious picks are "organic cotton" and "organic cotton farming." I can also run another keyword density search to gather more keyword ideas from related pages.
6. Use AffiloTools.
An easier way to find keywords from an existing site is to go directly to AffiloTools. AffiloTools' keyword research tool can instantly gather all of the top keywords used on a site once you provide the URL, as seen below:
Once the results are in, you can view the list of keywords, complete with data such as local volume, CPC, competition, and sites indexed. You can select keywords for your website and compile them into a list in AffiloTools based on the competition data.
If you want to see even more keywords in Affilotools, you can switch the tab from the "keyword match" tab to the "related keywords" tab as shown:
This tab presents additional keywords based on the words and phrases you've entered in Affilotools. The keywords in this section may not be an exact match for the seed keywords entered and may be based on synonyms and associated terms.
For example, if the focus keyword in AffiloTools is "organic clothes," the related keywords section might turn up the key phrase such as "sustainable clothing," which is often linked to the organic movement.
The "keyword match" tab, on the other hand, provides you with more precise keywords based on the search terms. In the case of "organic clothes," the results will feature key variants and expanded phrases that use the terms "organic" and "clothing." such as "organic supplies," "where to buy organic clothing," and "organic clothing stores."
Organic Clothing Affiliate Programs
Is sustainable fashion the new "fashion"?
ClickBank is more for digital products, so for this week we cast our net over the entire Internet and pulled up these promising results for affiliate programs in the organic clothing niche:
One of the pioneers in organic clothing, Econscious works closely with its supply chain in order to guarantee it produces the finest organic materials.
How much can I make?
Affiliates earn 15% on each sale.
How do I apply?
You can apply as an affiliate at Performance Based Network.
About Yes It's Organic
This is a one-stop eco-shop. Yes It's Organic doesn't just offer clothing, like Econscious; you'll also find furniture and bedding products.
How much can I make?
Affiliates earn 5% on each sale.
How do I apply?
You may apply as an affiliate at Performance Based Network.
About From Babies With Love
From Babies With Love offers organic clothing that helps support children who have lost their parents from war, famine, disease, or poverty. All proceeds are donated to these children.
How much can I make?
Affiliates earn 6% on each sale.
How do I apply?
You may apply as an affiliate at Affiliate Window.
What started in 1995 as a small Australian brand with a vision of producing natural clothing is now a sustainable clothing empire with 500 retail shops all over the world.
How much can I make?
Affiliates earn 6%-12% on each sale.
How do I apply?
You can apply as an affiliate at Rakuten Linkshare.
Marketing and Promotion
How to Push For Green
The next big step after getting your site up is to market it and build your online presence. You need people coming to your site regularly to read your latest articles and check out what products are available so they can make a purchase. It's best to have a good marketing strategy in place even before you've launched your website, so you won't lose time trying to decide what to do with your site now that you've built it.
Content is King in affiliate marketing — and it'll certainly be the ruler of your marketing campaign. You'll need to maintain quality articles and other useful information on your website to attract visitors. To grow your reach, you should also publish articles, e-Books, videos, and other content on social media and on other publishing platforms (including the Kindle marketplace and guest blogs). The more unique and valuable your articles are, the more people will read and share your content.
But to do that, you'll need to have a good content strategy in place. That means outlining when you'll publish, what you'll publish, and when everything is due, as well as a list of topics and keywords to target. A content calendar will help keep you on track.
Something else: This is absolutely a niche where you'll have to demonstrate your passion and expertise. So it'll definitely help if you understand the organic lifestyle or are starting your own journey to live "green."
Links to your website tell Google that other people find your website helpful and relevant. So a solid link-building strategy (to get those oh-so-important backlinks!) will be a crucial component of any campaign. The good news is that link-building goes hand-in-hand with a lot of other digital marketing tactics.
A great place to start building links is blog and forum commenting. Join in the discussion — see what other people are talking about! Answer their questions to prove your expertise, and when relevant and allowed, include a link back to a piece of content on your site. Make sure you follow the rules of the community or you'll find yourself whacked by the ban-hammer in no time. But you can also build backlinks through guest posting and even publishing eBoks on the Kindle marketplace.
However you go about it, always abide by the golden rule of link-building: Don't spam. No one likes a spammer, especially not Google.
Also, always put your audience first before search engines. Humans can read and understand; search engines can't. More and more, Google is rewarding sites that focus on the human element first and foremost.
If you are only after backlinks, social media is not the best choice of platform for marketing. All links posted on social media pages are set to "no-follow," which means Google ignores these links when it calculates how relevant a site is.
However, this does not mean that social media is totally useless. On the contrary, social media sites are a powerful way to drive traffic to your site and build an engaged community that cares about your product recommendations.
One great way to grow your reach is by posting your blog posts and other content on social media. Your followers will see what you've posted and if they like it, they'll share it with others, who may in turn "Like" your Facebook page or check out the rest of your website.
This is a tactic used by businesses in all kinds of industries, and an essential element of successful affiliate marketing, and I've seen it time and time again. So make sure you take the time to build up a social profile!
.For starters, you can check out our Facebook for Affiliates guide.
Organic Clothing Affiliate Programs: Yay or Nay?
Can the organic clothing niche also sustain profits for affiliates?
If you have a parenting blog, a lifestyle blog, or a "green" blog where you already promote sustainable products, then you could easily branch out and promote some of the products above. If you're getting consistent traffic already on your site, then it'll be easier for you to promote the products versus starting from scratch. If you are a newbie, don't be discouraged — just do your research and focus on having a really solid marketing strategy in place as soon as possible! Having a passion for this sub-niche will definitely help.
There is no doubt the organic clothing niche has earning potential, even if the commissions aren't quite as high as with digital products. (That said, I've seen lower commissions in niches before.) If you can get a steady stream of traffic to your website and convince them to make a purchase, you can make up for the comparatively lower commissions.
A good link building strategy is a must for any website, but all the more so if you're going to enter this niche. Expect and be prepared for the competition — really focus on targeting the most promising keywords.
I hope you enjoyed this week's Niche of the Week. I would love to hear your thoughts on this week's niche, so please leave your comments! And of course, don't forget to share it with your friends and associates using the "Share" buttons!
PS: If you're looking for a get-go marketing strategy for the organic niche (or for any niche site), you can check out our AffilloBlueprint, which is a complete tutorial course in affiliate marketing.