11 Reasons You’ll Continue To Fail at Niche Marketing in 2016 (and Beyond)

Filed in Affiliate Marketing, Niche Hacks by on December 22, 2015

So we’re approaching the end of another year.

Time really is flying.

Exactly 1 year ago, I predicted here on NicheHacks that you (yes, YOU) will continue to fail at niche marketing in 2015 (just like 2014).

And guess what, I was absolutely right.

But here’s the bad news - 2016 is going to be no different.

Lots of new marketers will come and conquer new niches. They’ll take advantage from Stuart’s hard work, download his report on 1781 niches, take action and change their lives.

But you’ll continue to fail.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing personal against you. But I can’t give you a false sense of hope just because it makes you feel good.

I’m not a fortune teller.

But I can see where you’re going (Hint: nowhere!)

Here’s why 2016 is going to be another year of failure and frustration for you as a niche marketer (unless you do something about it).

(Learn how to create a review website here)


1. You Still Don’t Use Lead Magnets for List Building

I must admit - you have learned from your mistakes.

Last year, you were not collecting emails at all (not a good idea).

This year, though, you’re all pumped up about list building since you’ve realized you can’t build a profitable and sustainable niche marketing business without an email list.

But there’s a small problem.

Not many people would find the “Get Free Email Updates” offer on your blog convincing enough to join your email list.

Smart marketers use highly targeted, well researched and tempting lead magnets or email list bribes to lure visitors to join their list. They use entry and exit intent popups, welcome screen opt-in boxes, post specific content upgrades and many other forms of lead magnets to attract subscribers.

You, however, just can’t find the time to create a list magnet (lame excuse).

So don’t be surprised if your email list remains in double digits throughout 2016.


(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)


2. You Don’t Follow Routines for Success

One of the biggest myths about the internet lifestyle, which attracts lazy people looking for ways to avoid hard work, is that it frees you from routines, and demands no discipline or hard work.

I know this is one of the reasons why you gave niche marketing a shot.

I have bad news for you.

Most of the successful bloggers and online entrepreneurs follow set routines when it comes to work. In fact, they work harder than most people do in 9-5 jobs.

They have a strong work ethic and consider their work as serious business (not just a shortcut to party lifestyle).

They do take advantage of the flexibility that the internet lifestyle offers. But they realize very well that without developing consistent routines, they can’t achieve much.

For example, Buffer, a hugely successful startup, encourages online entrepreneurs to develop routines.



Source: Buffer Blog

But I know this is all a bit too heartbreaking for you.

Because you only work when you feel inspired (no wonder you haven’t achieved much).




Aristotle"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

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3. You Have No Plans of Creating Your Own Product

You’re a niche marketer but you’re afraid to create your own product. You think creating your own product requires a huge mailing list, strong technical knowledge and LOTS of time.

And of course, you think everyone else already offers digital products so who’d buy from you?

James Johnson answered most of these questions (and some more) in his recent myth busting post about product creation for niche marketers.

Selz, a leading eCommerce app for selling digital products, conducted a detailed study on the different behaviors of aspiring entrepreneurs in Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. The study reveals some surprising stats. For example, just 11% of people use digital products to make money online. The rest are more interested in offering services and physical products.


selzstudy1Source: The Side Business Phenomenon

Clearly, the competition isn’t as stiff as you think.

Even if you have a small, but engaged, email list you can make money by selling digital products like eBooks, courses, training programs etc. It not only generates additional cash but also strengthens your brand image.

You don’t even need to be a technical expert to set up a digital product for sale on your blog. You can use tools like Selz and create attractive product widgets, fully integrated with mainstream payment processors (PayPal, Visa, Master Card etc.) and email marketing tools like MailChimp, AWeber and GetResponse.

Many others are already doing it.




But you’re happy just promoting other people’s products.

I don’t have a problem with this.

But just look at Stuart for inspiration. On top of his affiliate income, he has made more than $42,000 by selling his own products.

But I know you won’t listen.




jerry west"You can't get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good." - Jerry West

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4. Your Blog Has SEO Loopholes

You’re a smart marketer so you know SEO is important for your business.

But going into 2016, your blog till has several SEO loopholes. And unless you fix them, you’re inviting Google’s wrath.

I even created a complete SEO checklist for you to use every time you publish a piece of content.

But you’re taking it a bit too lightly.

SEO is a lot more than just keywords and title tags.

For example, your site still doesn’t support mobile visitors. You’re not using a responsive website design, which is really a crime from a user experience point of view. More than 50% of all Google searches originate from mobile devices but you’re still ignoring mobile visitors.

Then your site has performance issues and security loopholes. Your page load speed is too slow and you haven’t strengthened your site’s technical SEO.

Google is tightening the screw on low quality blogs that offer poor user experience. And your blog might not be too far away from a Google penalty.



5. You Rely Completely on Google for Traffic

Yea I know you can’t build a niche marketing business without consistent search engine traffic.

But you’re taking it a bit too far.

More than 80% of all your traffic comes from Google, the majority of which never returns to your site after the first time.

You have no other sustainable traffic sources since you haven’t diversified your traffic channels. Your social media profiles aren’t active, you hardly ever guest blog and your email list isn’t big enough to send you any traffic.

You’re building your online empire on rented land. As a result, you’re at the mercy of Google and just one algorithm update away from disaster.


6. You’re Always Looking for Free Tools and Solutions

Ah! This one’s my favorite.

A few days back Stuart shared this funny update on the NicheHacks Facebook Mastermind group.




I know you’re one of them.

You’re looking for free stuff all the time, and not prepared to spend money on your business.

Ask any successful niche marketer and they’ll tell you that premium tools with proven success are worth every penny. That’s why smart marketers spend money on premium tools and make 100x more money than freebie hunters like you.




e3AkMVul_400x400"If you’re serious about building your marketing engine you need to invest in the right tools" - Ian Cleary (Razor Social)

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7. You’re Not Willing to Invest in Yourself

Have you ever seen a real world business consultant offer advice to conventional businesses with a physical presence for just $9.99?

Sound impossible, right? Those guys charge millions of dollars.

Then why do you find it so expensive when an online business consultant offers you his proven success strategy for just $7?

Does that make sense? Shouldn’t you be happy?

But no, you just want free advice because you’re not willing to invest in yourself. You don’t realize that, just like real world, you need certain skills to take your niche marketing business to the next level.

The people who’ve made money before you, have proven and tested methods that work every time. Those are genuine money making strategies.

Why do you expect them to tell you everything for free?

Grow up, and start valuing other people’s time. Invest in yourself by learning new skills and methods for success.



8. You Don’t Believe in Branding Your Niche Marketing Business

One of the secrets to successful niche marketing is careful and strong branding. Look at any leading niche site and you’d see the conscious effort they’ve put in to present a strong brand image.

A strong brand Image communicates trust, credibility, consistency and quality in every aspect of your business. When you focus on building a brand around your business, your blog visitors and customers are always sure about the value they’ll get from your content and your products.

And that is why Google loves brands as well.



Source: QuickSprout


You, unfortunately, haven’t focused on brand building at all. There’s nothing consistent about your blog, the products you promote and the content you create. Your brand signals are weak, and hardly anyone in your niche knows your blog by name.


9. You Don’t Spend Money on Marketing and Advertising

Effective content promotion and marketing is often the difference between successful and not so successful niche marketers. The top guys spend just 20% of their time creating content and 80% actually promoting it at the right places.

Just a couple of years back, you could just post an update on Facebook and, if it had the right ingredients, see it go viral. That’s how million dollar blogs like Viral Nova got their initial break.

But that doesn’t happen anymore.

Now you need to spend money on paid advertising channels to promote your content and products. Free marketing channels just don’t have that kind of reach any more.

That is why some of the top niche marketers strongly advocate using Facebook advertisements for content promotion.

But you’re still not ready to spend money on marketing. You think if your content is good enough, Google will promote you and people will find you themselves.

Keep dreaming.



10. You Still Write Thin, Short and Opinion Based Content

You know why no one ever shares your content? Because they don’t trust what you say. They don’t think you’re a liar, but they’re also not convinced you’re 100% right.

Why? Because your content is just your opinion. It’s not backed by research, it’s not deep enough and offers no proof of its credibility.

And it’s not just your readers who think like that. Google agrees with them. With every algorithm update, Google is tightening the screw on thin and low quality content.



Source: SerpIQ

The average length of the top ranked content in search results is more than 2000 words. Which means that thorough, deep and authentic content ranks higher.

Google loves what its users, and your readers, love.

Readers love content that is actionable, detailed, authentic and answers their questions.

Writing opinion based posts with no actionable insights or credible data references used to work a few years back.

But not anymore.




gYTAct4i_400x400"Instead of asking ourselves "is this content thin?" we should be asking ourselves "does it answer the question?" - Stephen Kenwright (SEW)

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11. You’re Too Shy to Sell to Your Email List

You think sending too many emails to your list will offend them, right? You’re basically afraid of being labelled as a sales guy by your subscribers.

Well, I’ve got news for you.

You’re not running a charity. Niche marketing is a business, and every business needs sales.

I’m not asking you to send a dozen sales emails every day.

But once you’ve established your authority through high value content and freebies, there’s absolutely nothing wrong in sending 6,7 or even 10 promotional emails spread across.

Your subscribers know that you promote products.

They’ll be fine with promotional emails as long as you promote the right products.

Just look at Stuart email marketing strategy. He sends multiple sales emails on every product launch.

Your subscribers need that push.

If you keep shying away from it, you’ll continue to lose money making opportunities.


(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)


Are You Ready To Turn Things Around in 2016?

The purpose of this rant was not to demotivate or ridicule you – not at all!

But there are times when a straight forward and honest reality check helps you wake up from your slumber and take advantage of the opportunities that are on offer.

The only thing that is stopping you from becoming the next niche marketing sensation is your own mind.

Instead of running after experts and looking for that one secret strategy that’ll make you a millionaire, start acting on the knowledge that you already have.

The more you try, the more you fail and the more you learn, the closer to success you’ll get.

So get your act together and prove me wrong.

Jawad Khan
Jawad Khan is a content marketing consultant and a freelance blogger for hire. Follow him on his blog, WritingMyDestiny, Twitter and Google+

Comments (26)

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  1. NicheHacks says:

    Love this article Jawad. Hopefully gives people a push to start taking things seriously in 2016.

  2. Clare says:

    This is a great article, Jawad. As usual with the content coming out of NicheHacks you've hit the nail on the head. I've worked for myself, from home, since 1998 and have just started looking into Internet Marketing. 2016 is when that is my full time job. Excellent kick in the ass for me - really appreciate posts like this. Thank you.

  3. James says:

    I totally agree that most people just look for the free stuff and they are not willing to invest in their business. And that's why they fail. They don't look at it as a business but instead a supposed way of getting rich quick for free.

    But the positive side of this is that those who are willing to put in the actual work will receive the benefits. It's like going to college. Those that are willing to sacrifice time and money to improve themselves are much more likely to succeed.

    This post is well thought out and covers some very good points. Great read.

  4. Vlad Sandu says:

    Brilliant article and straight forward, for me. I was mumbling around this niche for some years now. Feel good, to see great copywriter, doing a great job.

  5. Aaron says:

    Tough love. I found myself instinctively arguing with almost each item on the list then quickly realizing that I was just shying away from the hard work it would take to stay on top of all this. Guess that shows I'm still struggling to consistently be in the right mindset, but at least I'm cognizant of it now.

    • Dennis says:

      1) You are raping the whole passive part of affiliate marketing

      2) Many physical product niches are not suitable for list building and most people hate email optins.

      3) If you think Google traffic is not sustainable you're using outdated methods or doing it completely wrong.

      4) People want to escape the 9-5 routine, you're pushing them straight back in.

      5) Nope I won't continue to fail as I never failed at IM

      What this post shows me is that you're completely disconnected from your freedom seeking audience.

      • NicheHacks says:

        1. Affiliate marketing can be passive if done correctly. Most in the IM niche (which most of my audience are a part of) are not doing it correctly and are relying on launches.

        2. Every night is suitable for list building, some you just need to be smarter and think more outside the box than others.

        3. If you do it whitehat with top quality content and outreach then yeah it's more reliable but still you don't control it, have no influence over when your site will rank if ever, and can't guarantee it. But with paid traffic you pay for it and it comes for example.

        4. How is Jawad pushing them back in?

        5. You are the minority. Most people cannot crack IM.

        Did this post touch a nerve with you? That was the aim. 😉

        • Dennis says:

          1 That whole list of things doesn't sound very passive to me.

          2 It's not worth it, you chase people away that could've bought directly

          3 Nonsense, even with grey hat it's predictable, shows you have no clue about SEO, I ain't saying it will last for a life time, but everything can be rebuild

          4 They want to escape 9 to 5 and with this list it sounds like an awful lot of (mostly unneccesary) work

          5 Everyone can crack IM, it's no rocket science at all, the only problem is that most people are not prepared to invest decently I know that I make every dollar back x times, most people who start don't. That's what is holidng them back.

          The post title doesn't apply to me.

          • Dennis says:

            Paid traffic is a guaranteed way to go broke for beginners with 4% affiliate commissions, worst advice to give to starters., and no most of your audience does not rely on product launches at all, get to know your audience before you invite guest writers.

            You need to simplify the process for your visitors, instead you over throw them with redundant information. Have a look at Niche Pursuits and see how they approach it, I think you can learn a lot from him.

          • NicheHacks says:

            1. Passive income requires lots of work up front before it happens in almost every instance. There's no straight to passive income without work. This is the real world.

            2. I'd rather people become a life long customer than buy once. Businesses thrive on repeat customers not one off sales. On and offline.

            3. I don't do SEO. Don't care for something so unpredictable and n on guaranteed. Chasing Google traffic is the last thing I want to waste my time on. I'd prefer not to be rebuilding things every few months and just have it working consistently and forever.

            4,. News flash: hard work is required to run a BUSINESS. Especially in the beginning. Anyone who says it isn't is not in the real world and being dishonest.

            5. Not everyone can crack IM just like not everyone can learn to play guiatar or speak french or anything ese that must be learned but given the low barriers to entry and endless options to make money everyone has a fair shot at it.

            6. If the post title doesn't apply to you why are you reading it in the first place let alone commenting on it three times?

            7. Paid traffic is not a guaranteed way to go broke. You start small and build up. Test ad track. It's how most people, new or not, usually start with it.

            8. 4% affiliate commissions? Not everyone is getting 4% commissions.

            9. I think I know my audience far better than anyone especially you seeing as I've been working closely with them for 2 years, surveying them, studying them, running polls, combing through data and analytics and FB topics.

            And I didn't say product launches...I said affiliate launches. Read the start of the sentence. We're talking about affiliate marketing. And yes they ARE mostly in the IM and health niches promoting affiliate product launches.

            10. Again James is NOT a guest writer he's been on the writing team for over 1 year now. He knows exactly what the audience here is at NH just like I do...and you don't.

            You know what I've sold most as as an affiliate over the past 2 years?

            Products on product creation and launches. There's a HUGE demand for it here on NH. In recent surveys up to 25% of my audience said they were trying to launch their own digital products. So the post is fine.

            11. Niche Pursuits is a great website I agree but I don't think we could possibly simplify the process here any further. We've literally covered EVERYTHING from finding a niche (we've even revealed 1000s of them, literally) to building a site, traffic, monetizing, email marketing and beyond.

            This post is simply the kick many people needed to take action in 2016...as seen by the many positive comments on the post.

  6. Tom says:

    Nice, point 2 really resonate with me, routines are SO important for long term success 🙂


    • Dennis says:

      Depends on the type of business you choose to run.

      • Mike says:

        Work is work. Doesn't matter what business or what you do. As both an entrepreneur and employee, to get things done you have to get things done. And/or get others to get things done for you.

        Things such as website development, keyword research, researching and writing articles, tweaking themes, graphics, social media, recognizing and blocking hackers, updating plugins, and etc... all take time and effort.

        I run my own 55 niche websites and manage client websites. It takes discipline and time to manage everything. Is it a corporate 9 to 5 job. No. Doesn't matter when or where I do it. It is a lifestyle business? Yes. It doesn't matter when or where I do it, long as it gets done.


        • NicheHacks says:

          55 sites? How do you keep up?

        • Lando Duarte says:


          Just wanted to say that I think you're absolutely incredible for running your own 55 niche websites. It lets some of us newbies realize what is potentially out there if we are willing to work hard for it! I would be ecstatic to run ONE successful niche business. Please know that you have motivated at least one person with this comment. Keep the great comments coming. You might speak to the next Michael Jordan of niche marketing and be the inspiration that ignites his fuel propelling him to success.

  7. dennis says:

    There's obviously a big difference between working upfront to enjoy the benefits later vs continously busy with maintaining a list, updating your website, keeping track of your social media accounts and all that. I don't do any of that and still my sites make money.

    You write about rebuilding sites every few months? Sorry but my basic niche sites are three years old and never penalized so I think you have some learning to do about greyhat SEO.

    Everyone CAN crack IM if they follow the right people to guide them and are prepared to invest money into it. Don't make it sound hard, it's dead easy once you know how, people like you make it difficult by having a site with hundreds of pages but few actionable plans. I think you make most of your money from this site isn't it?

    Everyone starting out receive 4% commissions and most people will go broke before they've seen a first profit, sure if you have a steady job you virtually can't really go broke but PPC is way more difficult than SEO.

    If you knew your audience well your site content would show it, the fact that you have to have someone to write a post about 'why you will fail again' says enough. You only write such posts when you think the majority if your readers do fail, it's your job to make them succeed and you do a real poor job at that.

    I wouldve fired James after the first post he wrote, simply cause his type of posts don't help anyone, it's the kind of content I would expect on Neil Patels site, useless or on something like theguardian as it never go's indepth but only talks about vague concepts, again actionable steps are missing out completely while that's what beginners need, you need to take them by the hand but with each post you fail at that.

    You may have covered how to build a site but what you lack at is explaining proper keyword research. Have you ever suggested 'Term Explorer' to your audience? I couldn't find it in your kw research section, instead you only talk about kw research but you don't write about how to analyze competition, while that's what counts most and brings in the money.

    Do you teach anything about how to get traffic without spending all day on social media, Reddit, and that kind of sites? Traffic is what makes or breaks it. But you say you don't want to benefit from the largest free traffic provider in the world, classic mistake pal, especially for starters. Once again, my sites still rank after three years using PBN's. (Yes I also had a few sites deindexed and that forced me to create better PBN sites, however I never had my whole network deindex like HeroRank - NichePursuits) and I know very well why they got massively deindexed. You know why as well?
    Because they took shortcuts with poor hosting and left tons of footprints during the process, THAT's WHY.

    Now you talk about PPC, do you have any guides on PPC here, did you link to any site that teaches PPC in that post? I don't think so.

    The 3 most crucial things you are ignoring almost completely and you come up with a whole list of reasons why people fail that have little to do with the real reason behind their failures, which is a proper mentor!

    Seriously pal, I appreciate your blog and the time you put into breaking down niches and providing inspiration when deciding on a niche, I even linked to you from one of my actionable articles in case people look for a niche. I don't get a lot of traffic to that site but sometimes I point my clients at those guides. But actionable things are missing here completely. I can turn a noob into a money maker in 3 months time if they follow my plan of action, and no they won't tank with the next Google update.

    3 Keypoints:

    - Easy to rank keywords (hint: Term Explorer)
    - Lengthy content around those keywords
    - Solid backlinks (this can be PBN links yes)

    That's all there is to succeed

    I could show you some PBN sites if I wanted too, and if I didn't tell you that it are PBN sites you wouldn't even know, a pale comparison to the crap what's being sold at IM forums, I compare, but you could teach people to build a PBN their selves, however I doubt you even know yourself how to properly analyze domains for a PBN.

    • NicheHacks says:

      Have absolutely no interest in building or teaching anyone to build a PBN. This isn't a blackhat SEO blog. I told you I don't even do SEO. Not worth my time and effort.

      None of my writers will be getting fired. Because they are great writers, knowledgeable and know what they are talking about. None of them are talking about PBNs or other things they don't know about...they stick to what they do know.

      Earlier you were singing Spencers praise now you're saying his tool is the worst ever. Lovely.

      Everyone starys out with 4% commissions? Maybe on Amazon. A large bulk of my audience are in the IM and health niches as I said...so using Clickbank and JVZOO etc. No 4% commissions there. Not even 40%. 75-100% mostly.

      Anyone who's reliant on gaming the system using dodgy SEO practices that can come back to haunt them and doesn't have an email list or repeat customers does NOT have a business. They have something that makes them money and can vanish overnight. Sure you can rebuild it but you're starting from scratch.

      Give me a real business, diverse traffic sources, with a loyal audience, a customer list, and repeat sales any day.

      • Dennis says:

        Spencer can be good at explaining things, that doesn't mean that he is also a good tool developer, but how would you know. It's not like you want your visitors to succeed.

        Yes maybe on Amazon and it seems this site only talks about Amazon 99% of the time.

        Look at what you're talking about, dodgy SEO practices. You know what's real dodgy? Selling digital products from people that create something quickly to make a fast buck. Only the lowest scum on earth would promote such 'digital' products.

        A real business based on ripping off people and benefiting from vulnerable serial buyers who can't help their selves but click 'buy now' again. I bet you're real proud of yourself to support some audience.

        You turned into nothing better than all those other fake gurus, I pity your readers that don't know any better and are being pushed in that direction like it's the ONLY PROPER way to make money online. Go stand in a corner and be ashamed of yourself.

        • NicheHacks says:

          Many of the NH tribe have succeeded THANKS to NicheHacks.

          We don't talk much about Amazon here at all, hardly any posts on it.

          I don't sell digital products from people who make crap products so I'm not worried. I sell from trusted vendors, guys who's products have made me money and are reputable. I rarely promote anyone I don't know or haven't bought from before.

          In fact in 2015 almost all the promos I did were from a handful of vendors. Like 6 or 7 at most if I'm not mistaken.

          No one is being ripped off, they are being offered solutions to their problems. They want to make money online I show them products which can help them achieve that. Many times because those products worked for me or I have seen plenty of success stories from them.

          There are definitely serial buyers. On the internet and off. That's a problem they need to sort out themselves, nothing to do with me or any other online marketers. No one is forcing anyone to do anything.

          Pushed in what direction? What's the only proper way?

  8. dennis says:

    I will email you my site one of these days, I'm redoing a few things and moving it to a new domain and will have someone proofread the content and perhaps change the tone a bit. Once it's ready I'll let you know and than you can decide whether to link to it or to rewrite my content and publish it on your own site as it will help your visitors a lot. Others would sell this kind of information, I never charge money for information.

    You know what's the problem these days? Everyone sees theirselves as an expert and as a result the market gets overflooded with nonsense and wrong information. That's why you never see me participating in product launches, I simply don't want to attach my name to poor products. Quick example is LongTailPro, the worse software ever released.

  9. Thanks for great post here. I'll read it carefully!

  10. Mike says:

    Thanks for a kick in the pants and a reminder about why some of my niche sites are under performing.

    And Stuart, pay no attention to the haters. Keep up the good work and doing what you are doing. You are changing lives for those that want to pay attention and do the work.

    Mike D.