We’re all in the middle of a global pandemic, and let’s face it – that sucks. Let me guess, you’re at home, stuck in lockdown, and feeling miserable? Well, I hear you, but what would you say if I told you there might be an upside to being locked down? 

The great news is, being cooped up all day doesn’t have to be boring or unproductive – and you certainly don’t need to be broke either. Many individuals are using COVID’s enforced free time to pursue something they’ve always wanted to do. In this article, we’re going to look at how monetizing a blog can boost your cash flow, and we’ll also consider ten COVID-proof blogging niches.

Affiliate marketing, and why the micro-niche is your friend

One of the keys to successful affiliate marketing blogs is finding the right niche to work in – just accessing a huge market isn’t enough, because as weird as it sounds, it’s just too much ground for you to cover. You don’t need a vast readership to make lots of cash – what you need is high conversion numbers. 

Even though it sounds counter-intuitive, a massive marketplace isn’t a great thing for an affiliate blogger. What you really need to do is look for a micro-niche. That’s because if you search out a product that’s flying off shelves worldwide, it’s a pretty hit-and-miss affair trying to rank for such competitive keywords. 

On the other hand, if you find a highly specialized market – a true micro-niche with an identifiable, smaller fan base – it’s a lot easier to target your customers. The main advantage with a micro-niche is your conversion rates will head sky-high if you invest in great content and SEO – so you don’t need to generate a massive readership to make very good money indeed.

1- Video Games

  • Demographics: 59% male (avg. 33 years) / 41% female (avg. 44 years)
  • Industry size: $90 billion in the USA
  • Competition level: medium
  • 47% of US online shoppers bought games, books, music, and movies (excluding downloads)

The videogames industry is enormous. Hundreds of millions of people of all ages play on consoles, laptops, and PCs every day, and this figure soared even higher when many countries around the globe introduced strict lockdown measures to fight COVID-19. With so many hours to kill, even more people are consuming video-game related content, meaning it’s the ideal time to cash in on a gaming blog. 

Online gaming communities are vast, full of untapped niches, and they’re a great place to start looking for marketing opportunities. A great place to head if you want to do some research is Reddit, one of the most popular sites on the internet. Entire sections of Reddit revolve around particular games, platforms, and genres, some numbering in the millions. That represents a great source of high-conversion consumers. While there’s no shortage of existing video game blogs – because there’s a huge readership – but there’s always room for one more. 

2 – Sports

  • Demographics: Male 53% / Female 47%. Aged 18-25 -15%, 26-35 – 19%, 36-49 – 28%, 50-64 – 22%, 65+ 16%
  • Industry worth: $250 billion
  • Competition level: medium

Lockdown might prevent sports lovers from watching their favorite teams in stadia, but it certainly hasn’t dampened their buzz for the game. Fans can still watch many live sports on TV and online, while discussions on forums and social media have only gotten more popular during the pandemic.

 Every sport has online communities to research, and you can get a great idea of what sports-related items and products are hot. When you’re producing affiliate content for sports fans, you just have to stay current. 

3 – Pets

  • Demographics: 25-45 (60% men, %40 women)
  • Industry size: $105B in the USA
  • Competition level: low-medium

It’s worth considering from the get-go – if your blog becomes a money-spinner, you’re going to be working with content in that niche for many years. If you can, it’s good to try and find something where there are smaller interest groups but lots of available information, and it also helps if you have a doctorate to write about the subject or get vets to write your content. 

Pets are more of a labor of love than a hobby or fad for most people. It’s a longer-term commitment, and there’s plenty of stuff to learn once you become a pet owner. Pet toy niches are massive right now, and there are some fantastic affiliate opportunities to be had. Produce engaging, informative product reviews and articles for a cat or dog owner, for instance, and you’ve probably got yourself a reader for a good few years.

Everyone loves their pets. Online communities of pet lovers are among the most popular on the internet, and COVID-19 has boosted pet ownership, along with pet-related traffic. For instance, if you want to blog about cats, Allaboutcats is a great place to look; it’s packed with useful information, reviews, and guides. There are so many pet products, and it’s an excellent market for niches. If you prefer dogs, Dogster is the go-to blog for all things canine, and it’s sure to inspire. Pet-related hashtags are huge on Instagram, one of the best being #petslover, where you can find users posting pictures of their furry lockdown companions. 

Ahrefs Blog Statistics for We’re All About Cats 

4 – Fashion

  • 59% of US shoppers purchased clothing online between 2018 and 2019
  • Industry size: $368B in the USA
  • Competition level: medium-high

Competition level: medium-highPandemic or not, fashion will always be a talking point on the internet. People continually search the web for the latest trends to follow and buy, and blogs are the perfect place to find them. In the middle of a virus-related increase in online shopping, fashion content is well and truly in vogue. One of the reasons for that is a lack of social contact means you get fewer chances to check out what others are wearing, so news of impending or emerging fashion trends largely gets confined to the digital realm. In more normal times, celebs tend to lead the way with many trends, and COVID-19 has perhaps amplified that; hence fashion is a smoking hot topic on the internet. 

In terms of monetizing your new fashion blog, the sky is kind of the limit. Firstly, fashion is almost unrivaled in its potential for niches. Secondly, it’s one of the things on which many people spend much of their disposable income. Both those things add up to some pretty exciting affiliate publishing opportunities.

5 – Food

  • An estimated 49% of Americans go on a diet each year
  • The diet industry alone is worth approximately $72B in the USA
  • Competition level: medium

Everybody needs to eat, right? Yet, there’s more than necessity behind the rise in popularity of food-related content, and the whole internet ‘foodisphere’ is extremely niche-rich. Some people want to read and watch recipe videos that keep things convenient and quick, while others want to learn the techniques of the world’s best chefs or secrets from hotel kitchens. There’s almost no limit to the scope for foodie niches. For instance, you can look at the latest diets and health fads, like veganism, keto, and paleo, and then narrow them down further. Maybe your little corner of the ‘foodiverse’ could be Paleo Meals in Five Minutes, for example, or How to Have Fun When You’re on a Keto Diet

Then there are kitchen gadgets – the whole food preparation thing brings thousands of machines, cookers, and devices to the market, and many of them are very niche indeed. Give Introducing Juicing a go or try your hand at Mind-Bending Blending – what have you got to lose? Affiliate blogs are all about conquering one little corner of a smaller market. The beauty of that is you don’t need to be a big player to make big bucks. 

Even at the best of times, food is massive across all forms of media, but with large areas of the world in lockdown, there’s limited or non-existent capacity in restaurants and cafes. However, that also means there’s never been a better time to write about home cooking. 

6 – Arts and Crafts

  • Global industry worth: $44 billion
  • Demographics: 72% of crafters are women, and 42% have children
  • Competition level: low-medium

With so many people confined to their homes because of COVID-19, arts and craft blogs are surging in popularity. They’ve become a prime source of readers for aspiring bloggers and an invaluable resource for parents with bored kids. 

7 – Finance

  • US financial advice industry worth: $57 billion
  • Demographics: 75% of Americans don’t use a professional financial advisor
  • Competition level: low

Finance is big business, and even without the pandemic, people are always on the lookout for ways to save cash. That might mean switching bank accounts, changing an electricity provider, or even shopping for better credit card interest rates – but there are some exciting niches with almost cult status for how to manage money. Check out the FIRE Movement, for example – it’s got a huge fanbase, and it’s an excellent place to start narrowing down niches even further. 

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused global mass unemployment and salary cuts, which negatively impacted the finances of many people. Consequently, finance blogs like NerdWallet have seen an increase in activity, because it’s full of ideas for managing finances and tips for saving cash. Blogging about money is always a reliable option because people know the key to improving their financial situation is learning more about the topic. 

8 – Coupons

  • In the USA during 2017, consumers redeemed $47 billion in digital coupons
  • 90% of shoppers use coupons last year
  • Competition level: medium

Let’s face it; one of the most significant changes brought about by COVID-19 has been in the way we shop. We’ve been forced to go online to do many of the things we’d usually do on a shopping trip at the weekend, and that’s set to continue for a good while yet.

It’s not just that more people are online shopping, though. They’re generally doing that with less money too. The pandemic has been hard on jobs, and that’s left many people strapped for cash and looking to save money any way they can. That’s why coupons present tremendous affiliate marketing opportunities right now. Sites like koopy.com are full of ways to reduce your weekly grocery bill and offers for fashions, computer games, and more.

9 – Health and Fitness

  • Fitness industry worth: $82.5 billion
  • Demographic example: 81% of millennials exercise
  • Competition level: medium

The US fitness industry is currently worth over $32.5 billion, and that’s only ever going to be a massive draw for affiliate marketers. If you want to start narrowing down a niche, activewear alone generates more than $44 billion, with Americans in love with sports clothing – and the outlook for specialist blogs in that area is positive

Staying fit and keeping healthy is a top priority for many people; hence health and fitness blogs are always popular. During the pandemic, they’ve attracted even larger audiences. It’s harder to get out and exercise like we used to. Gyms almost the world over are closed, and fitness fanatics need to find new ways and new equipment for getting exercise done indoors. People read blogs to learn about keeping fit and how to manage their diet when it’s harder to stay active. 

10 – Music and Movies

  • Home video and streaming was worth $96 billion in the USA last year
  • The US music industry was worth $21.5 billion, and 56% of that came from streaming
  • Competition level: medium

The TV and video industry is projected to earn $324 billion in revenue in 2020. COVID-19 has seen more people than ever binge-watching films and TV or blasting out music on their living room speaker, so there has never been a better time to start a music or movies based affiliate marketing blog. Check out 10 great movie affiliate programs to promote here.

Don’t want to build an affiliate blog from scratch? You don’t have to!

The hardest part of getting affiliate marketing gigs can be convincing companies to let you try. Depending on where you look, many schemes and websites have pretty strict policies for vetting potential partners, and it can be almost impossible to get a foothold if you lack experience – but that’s not to say there aren’t some ways in.

Affiliate marketing networks are where new and established bloggers go to find money-making opportunities. Different sites have differing requirements, but there are some pretty newbie-friendly options if you know where to look. Amazon’s affiliate marketing program is one of the biggest and most popular options, though ClickBank is a great place to try if you’re interested in electronics niches, and it pays out weekly. The eBay Partner Network is another great way to get involved with affiliate marketing. Almost every product and niche item gets sold on eBay, and you can even look at second-hand merchandise. If neither of those two options grabs you, FlexOffers is a very newbie-friendly network with a great range of products, and it’s relatively easy to get signed up.

Whatever route you decide to take, you will need one thing if you’re going to make some money – and that’s readers. The trouble with blogging is it takes a lot of promotion and time to build a readership, and that’s not ideal if you want to start making some cash immediately. If you don’t want to cover all the hard yards that lead to a large audience, you could try looking for an established website or blog that fits the market you intend to target. At Flippa there are a massive range of established blogs and websites for sale – for all budget levels. Buying an established site or blog means you can get started right away as soon as you’ve identified the ideal niche. So, what are you waiting for, anyway? Get creating!

Doron Wolffberg

Doron Wolffberg

Doron Wolffberg is a co-founder at Cliverse Media – Cliverse Media owns and operates some of the web's favorite brands across a range of interests: pets, fitness, music that collectively receive millions of visitors per month.