[Step by Step Guide] How To Use ShareASale to Find a Niche That's Profitable

We've previously talked about how to use Amazon's product category and ranking system to help you find a niche, but today we're going to explore how to do that on ShareASale.

ShareASale is different from Amazon, in that it isn't a B2C consumer marketplace.

Shoppers can't go to the ShareASale website and make purchases.

In other words—it's a site and a service set up exclusively for businesses and affiliates to work together.

It's been around since 2000, and is the marketplace lots of trustworthy brands use to connect with affiliates wanting to help sell their products.

Brands like Wayfair, Shutterfly, Gymboree, ModCloth, Cricut, and Reebok all use ShareASale.

And while the company itself decides what rate of commission they'll offer to affiliates who sell their products, the rates are often much higher than Amazon.

On Amazon, you have to sell 3,131 products or more each month just to get an 8.5% commission.

On ShareASale, most commissions fall in the 10% to 30% range, with some as high as 80%.

I'm an affiliate for Freshbooks via ShareASale, and can say that it's a decent platform to use.

So today we'll look at how to use this platform specifically to sort through product offerings to figure out what your next profitable niche should be.

 

 

What You'll Learn

  • How to identify ShareASale's most successful affiliate programs
  • How to uncover category-based products that sell well
  • What numbers to look at to make sure an affiliate product makes sense for your new site
  • How to find a new profitable niche you'd love to work on.

 

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

 

1. Understand Our Approach to Sorting Through ShareASale's Offerings

Since ShareASale has considerably fewer products than Amazon, it isn't as easy as taking the same top-down approach as we did when we were using Amazon to search for a cool new niche.

So what we'll focus on instead is first finding a small handful of cool products that sell well and resonate with a niche area you'd personally like to work with.

Then, with those few vague areas in mind, we'll search the rest of ShareASale to see if there are any other products that match up with the items on your original list to help you identify a profitable niche.

Note: Yes, you may only find a small number of products on ShareASale that match up well with a certain niche market. The idea is to get proof of profitability from this site and find a few products to start off with, so you can expand into other areas of niche profitability. 

 

2. Check Out the Top 100 For ShareASale's Most Successful Products

After you go through the signup process and log in as an affiliate, hover over the "Merchants" menu item on the top of the screen and click on "Search for Merchants" to the left.

 

merchants

 

In the center area, you'll see a section labeled "Popular."

Under that, click on the "Top 100 Power Rank." These are affiliate programs ShareASale's labeled as the most successful 100 programs on their platform... so you know they're selling... and selling well.

 

merchant search

 

Scroll through this list of 100 (it'll be on two pages—50 programs per page), and note down any program names that jump out at you for niches you think would be interesting to work in.

(Because, as Jawad points out, it is possible to turn even hobby interests into successful niche sites.)

For example, I wrote down:

  • Shutterfly
  • Gymboree
  • Wayfair
  • ModCloth
  • Identity Guard
  • iTech Deals
  • Reebok
  • Shop.MLB.com
  • Viator
  • The Snore Reliever Company
  • Weebly
  • Freshbooks
  • Nest Bedding
  • The Color Run
  • NBAStore.com
  • RoseGal
  • WP Engine
  • Fresh Direct

From these 18, I can already start to see some patterns I could latch on to: sports fans, runners, online businesses, or some niche where women's clothing would be relevant.

It's good to note the themes you see coming up, but don't get too attached to them yet.

For example, Viator is a really cool travel product, and there may be some wonderful travel-based commission programs on ShareASale outside of their top 100. I just don't know yet.

Tweet this to your followers.

 

3. Search by Keyword Based on Trends & Cool Programs You've Already Found

Navigate back to the main search screen by clicking on "Keyword" at the top of the PowerRank list.

Then, type in a keyword that relates to something you've found by browsing through the PowerRank list.

Since I mentioned that I thought Viator was cool but I didn't find anything else related to travel, I typed in "Travel."

 

keyword

 

Once you type in your keyword, make sure you actually click on the "Search" button to the right.

Then navigate back over to the results tab to see what results you come up with.

 

travel results

 

Wow, over 33,000 products and almost 800 merchants just related to the word "travel."

Now we're really starting to uncover the true power of what ShareASale has to offer.

If I were to start a travel website, I could work as an affiliate for luggage, hotels, destinations (like Florida or India, just to name a couple), and tour booking sites.

But what if I'd gone the route of following the ModCloth and RoseGal trend and searched "millennial women" in my first try?

 

millenial women

 

With only two results and not much to really round out a niche with, I'd obviously have to either think of that trend from another angle (like "women's fashion") or leave that idea to pick up on another trend altogether.

 

4. Browse by Category to Uncover More Niche Affiliate Program Options

If you didn't have the best luck searching by keyword.

Or if you just want to continue to round things out in a couple of your uncovered niches with new ideas, browse through ShareASale's affiliate programs based on the broad categories they've already outlined.

Just click on the "Browse By Category" tab and click on the category you see that resonates most with your original list of items.

 

category

 

Travel aside, based on the other programs I noted down while I was searching through the top 100 list, I could check out these categories for more ideas:

  • Accessories (to go with those clothing websites I thought were a dud)
  • Art/Music/Photography (to go with Shutterfly)
  • Business
  • General Web Services
  • Home & Garden
  • Sports/Fitness

Tweet this to your followers.

 

5. Run Some Numbers To Make Sure The ShareASale Niche You've Uncovered is Worthwhile

Now it's time for the not so fun part... which is running numbers.

While it's awesome that ShareASale's affiliate programs offer much higher commission rates (or some awesome flat fees), don't get hung up on just that.

You need to also consider data points like return rates and how long the cookies last.

 

finding data

Find the commission offered and cookie duration under the "Commission Structure" and "Cookie" labels in the affiliate program listing. To see how often refunds are requested, click on the "Stats" tab and look at the "Reversal" percentage.

 

So even if a company offers a $100 commission fee each time you sell one of their products, if their cookies only last for 12 days, that may not actually be enough time for a potential customer to decide if that purchase is worthwhile for them.

Especially since we tend to take more time thinking about higher-priced purchases than we do thinking about buying a $13 book from Amazon.

Another red flag would be if 20% of the people who buy a product are returning it or asking for a refund within a seven-day time span.

It might be something you could stomach profit-wise as an affiliate, but if you market a product to your niche site fans that one in five people are not happy with?

It's not going to bode well for your niche site or your fan base in general.

My personal rules of thumb would be to make sure the cookies last for a minimum of 30 days and that return rates are 5% or less.

 

6. Compile At Least Five Products That Meet Your Requirements

If you're going by my rules of thumb, make sure the new niche you've uncovered has at least five ShareASale products that have cookies greater than 30 days,.

Return rates of less than 5%, and offer a commission you feel good about.

Ideally, it'd be higher than Amazon's 8.5%, but that's up to you.

When you have at least five solid products that sell well and that customers are happy with (the more the better, of course).

You can feel confident that you've found something with a recurring customer market that will be willing to read your site and make purchases based on your recommendations.

Tweet this to your followers.

 

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

 

Find a Niche You'll Love Today

The truth of the matter is, finding a cool new niche to start working and making money in doesn't take much time.

Even if you got super technical, used a spreadsheet to track different data pieces, and explored every possibility that piqued your interest on ShareASale, you could have a new, awesome niche (or two) within an hour.

In fact, finding a niche is the easy part.

It's the work you've got to do after you determine your niche to lay a foundation to successfully grow your profits.

If that's where you're at, consider joining NicheHacks' members-only area, where you get advanced reports on more niches than you could possibly imagine, checklists, cheat sheets, and tools and resources to help you grow your revenue quicker than you'd previously imagined.

 

CLICK HERE TO GET ACCESS TO 150+ NICHE REPORTS

Chelsea Baldwin
Chelsea has a background in journalism and IT, and besides writing for NicheHacks, she's the founder of Copy Power, a business and a website that helps business owners figure out how to get remembered online via copywriting.

She excels in the topic of SEO but can write on a wide range of topics of which you can discover by clicking on her name.

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Alex says:

    Apart from the cookie period, other important factors to determine if it is profitable, will be the number of times people are searching for it on the internet and the keyword competitiveness and the conversion rate you will be able to realize on your website.

  2. Thanks for the info on Shareasale - going to check it out.

  3. Harry says:

    Nice post, I have just signed up to share a sale and was looking for something like this.

    You could say that it's kind of like a click bank style program for physical products and professional software.

  4. Dave says:

    The commissions on SAS are terrible at best 2 to 5 percent.... my traffic is worth much more than a handout from the merchants on SAS

    • NicheHacks says:

      Depends on the merchant. I've never been paid as low as 2% for ANY affiliate program. You can choose which companies to work with. Avoid any paying such low rates unless you have massive volume.

  5. Loretta says:

    I love ShareaSale but their system definitely took some getting used to, bit of a learning curve in there, so this will be really helpful for newbies.