Comparing and Choosing Niche Site Types in 2021
Want to get your teeth into a niche site but not sure which style takes your fancy?
Delve deep into the world of niche site types to discover what’s on offer and how they suit your lifestyle.
Drive passive income with coupon sites, content blogs, and cashback comparison sites. Line your wallet with affiliate commissions from cashing in on collating unique products or reviewing cool gadgets.
Whatever your style of a niche site, we’re here to show you what you have to work with and how to go about it.
Read on to compare and choose niche site types. You’ll learn who they suit and the work you need to put in to really make them pop.
What Niche Site Types Exist?
To best succeed with your niche site idea, it’s wise to stick to a format.
It’s true that some niche affiliate marketing sites cover a lot of ground. However, it’s easier to become memorable and beat out the competition by doing one thing well, rather than doing several things just ‘fine’.
But which niche website types exist and what are they good for?
First, you have coupon and discount sites.
These niche sites list discount codes or provide coupons, which can be used to purchase products online or in-store.
When a visitor uses the coupon or discount code to purchase something, the niche site makes a commission from the sale.
You could also try building a content or blogging site.
These sites use written copy, videos, images, and other forms of content to cover a wealth of topics surrounding a particular niche. You’ll divulge useful information and answer common questions that your target audience may have.
The articles and visual content within these niche sites are peppered with affiliate links.
On some occasions, content and blogging sites simply embed anchor links within text or video. At other times, they may highlight affiliate products through listicle articles or solutions-focused content.
Next up, you have price comparison websites.
Price comparison sites compare the different price packages of products within the same category.
For example, a travel insurance price comparison site will compare different travel insurance packages, demonstrating what’s on offer for the price.
These sites make money through affiliate marketing. When a customer buys one of these packages through the website.
You can also try creating a review site.
Review sites take individual products and break down their quality via in-depth articles. These articles will often include a summary of the product and its uses, along with pros and cons.
These sites make money if customers purchase these items through the call-to-action on the page.
Lastly, you have unusual product sites.
On an unusual product site, you’ll find curated products that fit the niche.
For example, on a site for gadget-lovers, you’ll find lists, articles, and galleries of weird and wonderful gadgets.
These niche sites cash in when visitors purchase unusual products via the links on the site.
How to Choose a Niche Site Type?
If you’re stuck choosing a site type, you’ll need to consider which format works best for the niche audience you’re serving.
Here’s a quick guide on how to choose the right niche site type.
Know What Exists
As you’re aware, there are a few different niche site types, all listed above.
However, there are a few different ways to leverage each niche website format.
For example, you may run a discount or coupon website. Since a third of affiliate sales come through coupons, this is a smart way to attract your audience and generate income.
However, you can also add other features to your site. Why not try adding PPC (pay-per-click) advertisements?
While the use of PPC has reduced in the last 10 years, niche sites still utilize these money-making devices in sidebars and in-between content.
You could also try adding cashback or loyalty offers, since these mechanisms generate just under a third of affiliate sales.
With one niche site type, you have three ways to rake in affiliate income.
Play to Your Strengths
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel — use what you already have.
What keeps you engaged?
What are your strengths?
What do you already know?
What do you have time for?
What can you afford to outsource?
List your skills and try to match them to the appropriate niche site type.
For example, if you’re a strong writer, it makes sense to create a blogging site. If you’re great at finding deals, create a coupon site.
Make sure you think outside the box.
For example, if you’ve built yourself a solid social media following and your content gets lots of shares, you’re obviously good at creating shareable content. This is a great skill for someone creating an unusual product site.
Remember, don’t overburden yourself.
Content creation is the key to keeping these sites afloat and this often means spending a great deal of time on research. You may want to consider hiring extra writers and content creators to speed up the process.
Give the Audience What They Want
Audience research is imperative to understanding what kind of information your target niche is looking for.
By better understanding what your audience is searching for, you can meet them where they are.
For example, if you’re targeting home insurance buyers, they’re unlikely to want unusual home insurance products. It’s far more probable that this audience wants price comparison information and discounts.
Alternatively, say you’re targeting eco-conscious cosmetics buyers. This audience is likely to be looking for expertly-curated products or coupons for relevant products.
Stand Out from the Crowd
You need to know your competition to understand how to stand out.
Try the ‘Three O’s’ tactic to overthrow than your competition:
Outshine them: produce higher quality content, offer better products, give superior discounts, etc
Outproduce them: offer more content/discounts/coupons, more frequently
Outperform them: significantly improve SEO (search engine optimization) so that you rank higher on Google
It’s also vital that you differentiate from your competitors.
Often referred to as Daisy Chain Analysis, you need to analyze similarities between you and your competitors, especially in terms of the products you offer.
12% of sales get overwritten by competitive affiliate sites. This is most often within the same format, such as coupon vs. coupon sites.
To avoid this, try to offer unique products that nobody else is talking about and produce original content that separates you from the crowd.
Types of Affiliate Sites: How to Choose
Still, stuck on how to choose between affiliate site types?
Here’s a detailed rundown of how each site works best and for whom, with examples of how to put these strategies into action.
Coupon and Discount Sites
Coupon and discount sites target customers who are looking for money off their purchases, both online and offline.
In general, most websites are formatted similarly. The site will display lists of coupon codes, categorized under particular topics. Sometimes they’ll include pictures of a brand’s logo or a particular product, sometimes there will be a description.
To create a coupon or discount site for your niche, you’d need to curate relevant coupons, promo codes, and discount codes from an affiliate platform, like CJ Affiliate or Shareasale.
Monetization comes when visitors use these coupons or promo codes. You’ll receive a percentage of the sale as a commission.
While affiliate platforms make it easy to find coupons and discount codes all in one place, it’s your job to decipher the codes most relevant and appealing to your audience.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re providing unique offerings, rather than simply mirroring your competition.
If you’re wondering whether a coupon site is for you, ask yourself these questions:
Do You Have a Strong Niche Market?
The coupon and discount niche website type is extremely competitive.
You’ll need a rock-solid niche market with coupons that relate to their needs or you’ll be overshadowed by well-established generalist coupon sites like CouponFollow or RetailMeNot.
Consider that 46% of consumers complain that they need to search multiple places just to find the coupons they need.
If your niche audience doesn’t have one centralized location to source relevant discounts and coupons, you have a prime opportunity to provide one with a niche coupon or discount site.
Equally, it’s smart to research the types of coupons and promo codes your target audience are looking for.
For example, 88% of millennials and 92% of parents use paperless coupons. If your audience includes these personas, try offering digital coupons.
Can You Keep Up-To-Date With the Pace?
The coupon format is one of the most fast-paced affiliate site types.
Coupon and promo codes change weekly, and sometimes daily. Offers expire and new promotions replace the old.
You’ll need to continuously stay on top of expiration dates and you’ll need to offer new deals continuously to stay relevant.
How’s Your SEO Game?
49% of consumers say that they’d use more coupons and discounts if they were easier to find, showing that visibility is the key to success.
The problem is that while niche blog sites have lots of written content to boost SEO, coupon sites don’t have the same volume of text. This makes certain SEO tactics significantly harder.
You’ll still need to perform keyword research and insert these key terms into your site as much as possible, but you’ll need to find creative ways to do this. This is why many coupon sites add small descriptions to each discount code or coupon.
Pay particular attention to your technical SEO. A strong site architecture, website speed, and accelerated mobile pages are particularly helpful for pushing your coupon website above the competition.
Examples of Popular Niche Coupon Sites
Here are some examples of high quality coupon sites for you to review.
Combining the ‘Mom’ niche and the ‘grocery’ niche, CouponMom gets an enormous amount of organic traffic, with well over 100K visitors each month.
Notice how the site is well-organized into easily searchable categories. Not only do coupon and deal shoppers know where to head instantly, Google can index the site for relevant searches.
This pushes CouponMom up the rankings.
Also, notice how CouponMom uses PPC ads in the sidebars for extra income.
This coupon site is geared toward the ‘eco’ niche, offering discounts and voucher codes for all kinds of environmental products, from events to clothing.
Notice how Ethical Revolution uses product descriptions to help boost SEO with relevant keywords.
Content and Blogging Sites
If you're comfortable writing long-form content, creating videos, or curating visual content, content and blogging sites are a good format for your niche site.
The aim of a content or blogging niche site is to educate, entertain, and/or inform.
Some niche content sites provide target-specific high-quality content that helps your target niche solve problems by offering relevant information and guides, and by answering common questions.
Other niche content sites focus on entertaining the audience with funny content or insightful opinions.
While content and blogging sites most often comprise long-form written content, some content sites may also include images and video content. In fact, some niche content sites, such as photography or artwork content sites, may focus predominantly on visual content over written content.
To make money with a content site, you’ll add links to products within your content. That could be an anchor link in your written copy or an embedded link in a video.
When visitors click on the link and purchase the product, you’ll get a percentage of the sale.
If you’re wondering whether a content site is for you, ask yourself these questions:
Are You Ready to Create Mountains of Content?
To stay relevant, you need to frequently update your site with new content.
This may mean writing regular blogs yourself, or outsourcing the work to external content creators. Either way, you’ll need mountains of high-quality content churning out regularly or you’ll fall down Google rankings, labeled as ‘irrelevant’.
As Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group explains, “Those who publish more often are getting better results".
Ideally, small websites need three to four blogs a week to boost organic traffic. If you’re a bigger website, you’ll need four to five blogs at the minimum.
In short, the more content you have, the more sales you’ll get.
Are You Prepared to Outshine the Competition?
To really excel with a content blog, you’ll need to produce unique content that outperforms the competition and provides your target audience with something more than they can find elsewhere.
Creating a content site is no mean feat — it’s a highly-competitive format.
Make sure you’re producing SEO-driven content that provides high-quality information for your target audience.
To outrank your competition, try researching the top questions within your niche and build a strong keyword strategy to implement while answering those questions.
Have You Got a Strong Readership Potential?
Most people read blogs for three reasons:
To be entertained
For information on trends within their job industry
When putting together your content, ask yourself which of these three motivations is likely to drive your audience to read your blog.
If your niche is ‘marketing for artists,’ your audience is far more likely to be looking to learn, rather than to be entertained.
On the flip side, if your niche is ‘labrador lovers,’ your audience is probably looking to be entertained rather than educated.
Are You Niche Enough?
As mentioned, blogging and content sites have huge competition.
One way to filter out the competition is to niche down to target a very specific audience with a micro niche blog.
For example, rather than writing a blog about karate where you have to compete with all karate blogs, try writing a niche blog about karate for wheelchair users.
In terms of SEO, you won’t have to compete with all the other generic karate websites as your micro niche blog would be targeting more specific keywords.
What’s more, you’ll target the types of questions asked specifically by wheelchair users. Wheelchair users who want to do karate are going to pick your blog over a generic blog, as it’s more relevant to their needs.
Examples of Popular Niche Blogging Sites
Here are a few popular niche blogging sites to review.
Notice how niche the site’s audience is. By niching down to combine ‘fitness’ and ‘nerds,’ this micro niche site offers advice for getting fit to the atypical fitness audience.
By combining fitness topics with a particular subset of the population, NerdFitness is far more appealing to its micro niche than a generic fitness website.
This is why NerdFitness makes $100K a month.
Well Kept Wallet
Offering financial advice, Well Kept Wallet covers three main topics: making money, saving money, and paying off debt.
When you look at the sheer volume of articles on this niche blogging site, you can start to understand how Well Kept Wallet makes $17.7K+ a month. It has over 225 articles on making money alone.
Price Comparison Sites
Price comparison sites are fairly straightforward. The idea is to compare prices of similar products within the same niche.
Some niche websites offer customizable functionality to increase convenience for the shopper. This could mean anything from filtering results by specifications or filling out on-page quizzes for personalized solutions.
Not all niches suit price comparison websites, but if yours does, it can be a profitable venture.
Consider that 63% of shoppers will do a quick price search before buying. This means that consumers are primed to search for deals. If you can offer them the best deals with a convenient route to purchase, you’ll be golden.
You make money with a price comparison site by embedding affiliate links to the products you’re comparing. When visitors buy one of your comparison products, you get a cut of the sale.
If you’re wondering whether a price comparison website would suit your niche, ask yourself these questions:
Are You Prepared to Generate Research-Heavy Content?
When you head to a price comparison website, you most often find the content displayed in a comparison chart. This may lead you to believe that comparison websites aren’t content-heavy.
You’d be wrong. Posting prices isn’t enough.
Most profitable price comparison niche sites create in-depth reviews, downloadable templates, actionable guides, and how-to articles to explain the concepts behind the products they’re comparing.
For example, if a price comparison website compares loans, you’ll likely find guides that explain how different types of loans work.
On the one hand, this content is aimed at helping to build trust with the audience. The content should be backed by accurate research as to arm your niche audience with correct and trustworthy information.
On the other hand, this long-form content serves to boost your SEO. These guides and resources should be rich with keywords and targeted at answering the questions your audience commonly search.
Do You Have the Web Skills to Make the User Experience Convenient?
Convenience is the number one reason that customers use price comparison websites.
If you want customers to use your site, you need to make it user-friendly.
The best price comparison sites allow users to tailor their searches to their specifications and filter the results by their priorities.
You’ll need to design your website with user experience in mind, so consider adding on-page questionnaires, advanced search functionalities, and customizable filters.
Do You Have a Unique Angle?
Certain niches are dominated by price comparison websites, while other sectors don’t have any.
Take insurance, for example. 72% of consumers have used a price comparison website to research insurance. If you’re looking to start a price comparison website to offer insurance comparisons, you’ll have a lot of competition.
However, as Jessica Galletley, Senior Financial Services Analyst at Mintel puts it:
“Price comparison websites dominate the insurance market, but are less prevalent in other areas of financial services. More needs to be done to improve the search journey for products like current accounts and credit cards, such as by offering better filtering tools and capturing consumer preferences.”
Examples of Popular Price Comparison Sites
Here are a few examples of some profitable price comparison sites for your review.
The Zebra makes it convenient to compare car insurance quotes from different providers.
Notice how user-friendly the website is.
Customers enter the website and immediately answer questions about their background and preferences so that The Zebra can provide personalized quotes, specific to the visitor. That way, visitors aren’t seeing irrelevant and unhelpful information
Driving insane volumes of organic traffic, Gadgets 360 has found a strong niche for price comparisons that sees over 65 million visitors a month.
Offering price comparisons on different electronic products, the site makes it super easy to compare the products you’re interested in.
Where most gadget sites offer reviews on products, Gadgets 360 doesn’t really have any price comparison competitors in its niche.
92% of consumers read at least one review to inform their buying decision. In this sense, there’s a robust market for review sites, since people want to learn about the quality of products before making a purchase.
Niche review sites have reviews for particular sectors, product types, and target audiences. They feature articles that go into depth about the quality, pricing, service, and utility of products and services.
Most review sites make money by adding CTA (Call-To-Action) links on the reviews, such as ‘Buy Now’ buttons. When a visitor clicks the button and completes the sale, the review site takes a percentage of the sale. Some review sites may also use affiliate discounts and promo codes.
If you’re thinking about building a review site for your specific niche, ask yourself these questions:
Are You up for Testing and Researching Products?
The background work on a review site is cumbersome.
To be able to understand how a product or service works, you need to either test it yourself or perform a lot of research to get to the bottom of its functionality and quality.
If you’re testing the products yourself, you’ll need to spend time building a relationship with the brand to get samples of the product. Either that or you dish out cash upfront to buy your own with the goal of making the money back in affiliate sales from your article.
Alternatively, you’ll need to research the product in depth. This takes a lot of time as you’ll need to consult as many sources as possible, as well as digging into consumer reviews.
How Do You Feel About Creating Product Review Videos?
While written product reviews are the conventional way to generate affiliate income on review sites, the video has become increasingly popular.
Nearly two-thirds of shoppers say online videos have given them ideas and inspiration for their purchases.
What’s more, videos are the most shareable form of content. In this sense, product review videos work well to promote your website on social media.
Examples of Popular Product Review Sites
Here are a few stellar product review sites to give you a sense of what you should be doing.
The Luxury Travel Expert
This website reviews luxury properties all over the world and has over 200K visitors each month. Notice how each review goes into intense detail.
Every review has a video and an entire gallery of images, along with a lengthy spiel outlining the pros and cons, tips, best times to visit, instructions to get there, and a summary verdict.
The Good Trade
The Good Trade details the product performance of a wealth of eco-friendly products and has over 600K monthly visitors.
Since 60% of consumers want product reviews that show detailed product performance information, The Good Trade appeals directly to its audience with thorough rundowns of how each product fares.
Unusual Product Sites
Unusual product sites or niche product sites showcase a curation of products that follow a particular theme.
Sometimes these websites feature wacky gadgets and odd curiosities that are curated to entertain the audience or inspire ideas for unusual gifts. Websites like odditymall and WTF Gadgets fall under this category.
In other cases, these websites follow a particular theme or niche, bringing together products that appeal to a specific target audience. When customers search for unique or expert products related to a specific niche, they’ll be able to find galleries or curated lists that bring all related products to one centralized website.
Making money with unusual product websites is pretty simple. You post links and images of affiliate products and net a percentage of the sale when visitors click through and buy them.
If you’re considering creating your own unusual product site, consider these questions:
Are You a Trendspotter?
You’ll need to keep up-to-date with the latest trends in your niche, offering new and exciting products regularly. It’s no good to simply curate a few products at the start and let these fester.
You’ll need to keep an eye on what your audience is into and find products that match their interests.
Make sure your products relate to the searches that your audience are performing by doing keyword research and investigating your competitors.
This keeps your products relevant to your target audience’s current interests while also boosting SEO, keeping you at the top of Google.
If you’re out of touch and not offering gadgets that appeal to your target audience at the current moment, you’ll slip down the Google rankings.
If you’re unsure which new products to add, test them.
Add a bunch of new products related to your niche and analyze sales figures to work out which types of products sell best.
Do You Have Knowledge in a Particular Niche?
It’s far easier to traverse a niche if you have an understanding of it.
If you’re passionate about vintage sneakers, you’re far more likely to know which kinds of sneakers your audience are interested in seeing.
Equally, if you’re a mom of a newborn, you’re far more qualified to know which products newborn moms are hankering for.
Pick a niche that you have some expertise in and explore all angles of that sector to discover which kinds of products you could put forward.
For example, say you’re building a website for unique vegan products. You don’t have to stick solely to vegan food. You could offer vegan clothing, vegan gifts, vegan cookbooks, vegan supplements, and much more.
How’s Your Social Media Marketing?
Unusual product sites are built on shareability. You want to pique your audience’s interest enough that they share your peculiar and curious products with their own audiences.
One of the best ways to promote your unusual product site and encourage sharing is through cross-posting. This is when you post the same content across a variety of platforms, such as your website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.
Try creating short videos that show off your top 10 products in a certain category or demonstrate how they’re used.
Craft funny, entertaining, or emotional images that your audience will want to repost.
If you want a highly successful unusual product website, you’ll need a rock-solid social media strategy. If you’re not cut out for it, consider hiring outside help.
Examples of Popular Unusual Product Sites
If you’re hoping to create an unusual product site, you’ll want to check out these popular examples.
WTFGadgets curates weird and wonderful gadgets, toys, and gifts.
The website has a simple layout, featuring galleries of products under different category headers. When you click through to a product, you get a product description which helps boost the site’s SEO.
Teacher Toolkit is a successful niche site that’s less about products and more about offering niche affiliate resources.
Since there’s no need for images, the website lists books, workshops, training opportunities, and resources that help teachers develop their professional skills.
Got a better understanding of the different types of niche sites? Now’s the time to choose the type of affiliate site that suits you, and get building.
Remember that while niche sites are great for passive income, you’ll need to update content regularly to outperform your competition.
That’s why it's smart to pick a niche topic you’re actually passionate about. You don’t want to be stuck writing on a niche that bores you to tears.
Equally, it’s wise to choose a niche website type that plays to your strengths. Don’t start a blog unless you consider yourself a wordsmith. Don’t start a price comparison site if you truly hate research.
If you need help figuring out which niche site is for you, you can read more about each niche site type in our guide.