Where to get ideas for a niche website

Website ideas are all around you. Here are some ideas to get you in the right frame of mind so that you can see them. [UPDATED 2012.]

Let your mind roam. Play with ideas.

If you can, find a friend to bounce ideas off.

After years of earning a living from affiliate programs, my wife Joanna and I now see the world through a "Would that be an idea for a website?" filter.

Joanna may say something like, "That's a great idea."

I'll add: "Mmmmm. ThatsAGreatIdea.COM. I wonder if that would work? I wonder if anyone has bought that domain name?"

Then we're likely to branch off from there ... SillyIdeas.com? CrazyIdeas.com? FabulousIdeas.com?

We'll probably expand the theme ... FabulousFantasies.com? ... and so on. It's a little brainstorming game we sometimes play.

Here are good places you can look for website ideas for your next project...

    1. Start with your hobbies and interests. Find a quiet, peaceful spot and picture a typical day or typical week. What do you enjoy reading about and talking about? These are the most important topics to consider carefully because if you choose one of them, you'll find it easier to do the research and write the articles. Most important of all, you're more likely to enjoy the project.

    2. What about your job? Have you learned special skills you could share? You may be able to write a 20-page report you could sell to supplement your affiliate income.

    3. Consider your family, relatives, neighbors and friends. Sometimes ideas can be so close to us, so obvious, that we overlook them. Do you know someone who is an expert at something? Does a neighbor build wind chimes? Does a friend grow beautiful roses? Does a cousin ...? You could interview that person to acquire unique, useful, interesting facts for your website. You could make a video of your cousin showing how she... whatever.

    4. Look in your daily newspaper, magazines and on TV for ideas. Read the ads as well as the news. Read the sections you don't usually read.

    5. Visit forums in niches in which you are interested. Look for problems that need solving. Watch out for questions which keep appearing over and over again. Search Google for "anywordorphrase" +forum.

    6. Subscribe to email discussion lists - if you're lucky enough to find one in your niche. Look for problems that need solving. For example, LED Digest was a very popular discussion list about online business and marketing. LED Digest seems to have died, but you can still find ideas in the archives.

    7. Walk around your house, considering every item you see ... toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, perfume, teeth whitener, jewelry, wastepaper basket, cutlery, drawer liners, sheets, towels, carpet, rugs, desk, pens, etc, etc. Open the drawers, cupboards and boxes.

      Choose products you like, so that you can be genuinely enthusiastic about them. Try typing some of the words into Wordtracker. You may be amazed at the demand for ordinary products online.

    8. Turn your keyword research on its head. Instead of typing very specific, niche phrases into Wordtracker, type in a GENERAL, non-specific word. Good words to try include "ideas", "tips" and "problems". Also try "find", "where" and "how".

    9. Walk into a magazine store and see which magazine catches your eye. If you already have knowledge of the subject, you'll find website creation a lot easier and more fun. Each successful magazine is aimed at a niche market. Scan the article headings and index for ideas.

    10. Read the list of industries in the Yellow Pages ... Gardening, Removals, etc, etc.

    11. Think of seasonal topics. For example, Halloween, Easter, Valentine's Day, Super Bowl marketing, Christmas. Try searches in Google for "holidays and festivals".

    12. Slowly scan the subjects in our affiliate programs directory. Carefully consider the ones you're tempted to reject - the ones which nearly everyone else rejects, too. The ones which might be "too hard". If you do that, you'll have less competition.

    13. Regularly check new affiliate programs as they are listed in our directory. Consider building your websites quickly before most of your competitors even know the topic exists.

    14. Investigate the affiliate networks for website ideas. You'll find obscure programs not many affiliates know about.

    15. Look for consumables, items that need to be replaced frequently, such as cellphone batteries, vitamins, condoms, prescription drugs and inkjet cartridges. (Note: AdSense is not allowed on sites promoting pharmaceuticals.)

    16. Seek products for which there's a passionate demand. For example, someone who has bad breath will be very keen to find a product which solves the problem. In a similar way, people who collect things can be passionately eager to buy products. This is a very powerful idea. People who are desperate for an answer make excellent customers.

    17. Consider easily identified market segments, for example readers of all sorts of magazines. Wander around a store selling magazines for ideas, or browse an online magazine store.

    18. Consult Amazon.com for new website ideas. Look at the hot-selling books. You can also find website ideas at ClickBank and eBay. To find out what products are "on fire" at eBay, see eBay's What's Hot page and download the PDF report.

    19. Keep a sharp eye on new ebooks and other products offered on the ClickBank network.

    20. Check out the big portals. Yahoo! and other large sites often have hot lists and popular searches. You'll spot seasonal changes and new trends. On Yahoo! check Marketplace and the Buzz Index. At CNet.com, see the Buzz Report.

    21. Get a list of valuable keywords and analyze them carefully. Valuable keywords are excellent for generating AdSense income to supplement your affiliate revenue. By the way, don't design a site purely for AdSense revenue. That's against the AdSense rules.

    22. Consider new trends, fads and fashions. Type "trends" and similar phrases into Google. See if you can catch the next trendy wave as your theme. Google Zeitgeist shows you "search patterns, trends, and surprises". Most of the popular searches involve celebrities but you'll probably spot the odd surprise. Gizmodo is a popular gadgets blog. Another popular site is TrendWatching.

    23. Look for high-demand topics. Subscribe to Wordtracker's free Top Keywords report and get a weekly report of the top 500 frequently searched words on the Internet. You can spot seasonal changes and hot new ideas for your site.

Shopping.com, where millions of shopping searches are done each week, has a Consumer Demand Index which reveals emerging trends and hot products.

   24. Dummies.com was NOT created by dummies. The For Dummies business has more than 150 million books in print, covering more than 1,300+ topics. Each topic is a market niche which has already been carefully researched before the book was launched. Each index gives you a heap of ideas for articles. If a Dummies book has been published in the niche, you can be certain there's a market out there. For heaps of website ideas in all sorts of niches, see Dummies.com.

   25. Social networks. Scan Digg, Twitter and other social networks and bookmarking sites to see what people are discussing. Be disciplined. You could waste weeks, months or years on "research" without actually doing anything productive.

   26. My favorite website idea ... Aim to get paid over and over again. Look for affiliate programs that pay you month after month, perhaps even year after year. Residual income programs, such as some for web hosting and autoresponders, automatically pay you every month.

Lifetime commission programs pay you every time "your" customer makes another purchase. I love these programs so much I set up a web site reviewing them: LifetimeCommissions.com.

    27. TOP TIP: Download the free Affiliate Masters Course and study the tips on how to dig up a topic that matches your interests. If you've already read it, print it out, re-read it and take notes. Make sure you've read the latest version. It describes what SiteSell's top 100 affiliates do. This is absolutely essential reading for all affiliates.

    28. Become interested in something. If, after your brainstorming sessions, you still haven't found a topic that interests you, try this. Throw yourself wholeheartedly into researching a topic. You'll find that the more you learn and become an authority on the subject, the more you'll become interested in it. As your depth of knowledge increases, the more interested you'll become.

      It works. Eventually, one day you'll realize with surprise that you're actually enjoying what you're doing.

   29. Consider promoting successful retailers. Study a list of the Internet's top 500 retailers. You can safely guarantee that these companies know how to sell. That's an excellent start. For more in-depth research, you can buy a Top 500 Guide.

    30. Be sure to read my Affiliate Program Tutorial for ideas on incorporating valuable keywords into your plans. This is most important if you want to maximize your income.

   31. In his article Choosing a niche for your online businesss Jay Stockwell shows you free tools and the strategies and techniques you can use to find a profitable niche.

   32. Still seeking ideas? Try the website 43Things. It's all about people's dreams and aspirations.

Before choosing your niche, you need to read this...

In Ken Evoy's famous FREE Affiliate Masters Course, he describes what his top 100 affiliates do. He also gives invaluable tips on how to choose the right niche for you.

These tips apply to ANY affiliate program.

Print it out, find a quiet spot and study it carefully. Do this, and you'll save yourself an awful lot of wasted time.

PLEASE do this. I've seen so many affiliates make a snap decision when choosing a topic, only to regret it after months of wasted work. Save yourself anguish. Read Ken's course BEFORE you choose your niche.

Download the free Affiliate Masters Course

UPDATED: August 12, 2012
December 22, 2005

Comments (58)

Said this on January 4, 2007 At 10:06 am
As always, great information. Thx Allan! BTW, Frank Mullen's course is not available
right now.
Internet Profits Blog

[That's a shame. It was good information. Thanks for letting me know. Allan.]
Mike U.
Said this on April 28, 2007 At 12:45 pm
Very interesting and useful article with a number of resources links.
Said this on May 18, 2007 At 06:35 pm
Thanks for sharing all of this great information and not keeping it to yourself! Someone like me who is on a budget truly appreciates the free tips you give!
Wendy Leal
Said this on September 8, 2007 At 08:42 pm
What a wonderful read! Thank you for taking the time to post this. It has given me a new outlook!
Vishal Mahadik
Said this on September 17, 2007 At 11:31 am
Thanks a lot for this information. I have just entered in the world of Aff. Mktg. Can you give me some idea as how to get started.

[Click on the "Beginners" link at the top left of this page and look for my free Affiliate Program Tutorial. I wrote it with someone like you in mind. Allan.]
Said this on September 28, 2007 At 02:58 am
thanks we created latenite.picsent.com because of your article!
Said this on November 29, 2007 At 12:30 am
Thanks for your help. I've created a website with the motivation of your article:
Thanks for all of your help.
Nick | Celebrity Pic Finder
Said this on May 10, 2008 At 10:35 pm
Great article. Thanks.
Said this on May 30, 2008 At 01:19 am
Said this on July 28, 2008 At 06:37 pm
Hey I'm creating a new site and googled for some good ideas and here I am! I think these are very good, I am even telling my folks about this site! I give this site nothing but rave reviews! My Site is www.freewebs.com/sugarsierra

[Thank you! I'm glad you find AssociatePrograms.com useful. Allan.]
Michael Murphy
Said this on August 11, 2008 At 05:03 am
I set up www.thisisglossop.co.uk with inspiration from this article!

[Well done. You've made a good start. Allan.]
Sheila H
Said this on August 25, 2008 At 07:17 pm
Hi there Allan,

I just discovered your site and it is AMAZING !! So much information, tips and help all in one place and FREE.
Thank you for having this site and caring about people enough to help in this way. For Newbies especially, there is so much to learn and it can be overwhelming but your site makes things much easier.

Always keep this site going and know that you are very much appreciated !!

Thanks again and keep up the great work!

[Thanks. I really appreciate the feedback. Allan.]
Gary G
Said this on October 5, 2008 At 09:58 am
I found your tips very useful. I would also like to mention that you should sometimes talk to person who is least likely to make a website by him/herself. Ask what he/she wants: there probably are not such service yet. I hope this is not shameless self-promotion but please visit my site, I have wrote some website ideas there: http://badass-website-ideas.blogspot.com. They are free for everyone to use.
Said this on October 26, 2008 At 04:24 pm
your ideas are very usful for what i'm doing
exept its not going onto google and its not finished.
Said this on October 28, 2008 At 01:43 pm
I've got a hobby that I'm passionate about and could write page after page after page on -- however, I've done some research and there aren't many affiliate opportunities in this niche so I can make money. Is this a subject worth pursuing? Any suggestions?

[There don't need to be a LOT of affiliate opportunities in the niche. Even if there was only one good affiliate program in that niche, you should be able to make money with it. Also, you can look for RELATED products. Think about the type of people who are interested in this hobby and ask yourself what else they would be interested in. Another option is to write and sell your own report aimed at people who are interested in this niche or create a membership site. Allan.]
Said this on November 19, 2008 At 01:56 am
Here are some niches that you can choose from so you can build your affiliate niche stores; I will list a few keywords after each niche idea for you to get started right away.

plr articles, private label rights articles, plr, content, keywords, niche ideas, resale products
Said this on December 12, 2008 At 03:07 pm
Great Ideas! Thanks for the tips!
Said this on December 20, 2008 At 12:37 pm

Amanpreet Singh Khurana blog, where you can find the latest and innovative cool web site ideas. These ideas are made to be stolen and uses cutting edge technologies. Please leave your comments/suggestions
Said this on December 27, 2008 At 02:44 am
thanks . learned some great new brainstorming tips.
Said this on January 12, 2009 At 04:08 pm
Said this on January 21, 2009 At 01:43 pm
THis is good, I am writing from Ghana, West Africa, but of course the net knows no limit. Choosing a niche has been one big problem since the past 3 years. I love internet marketing but it seems the market for that has expired.

Any new ideas in that area. Pls advice with a twist that can cut it. Thanks.

[By "Internet marketing" I assume you mean the "How to make money on the Internet" niche. First, make money OUTSIDE that niche. Prove you can do it. Then show people how you did it. People love to see real proof. Push the angle that you're from Ghana. That would make you unusual and interesting. Allan.]
Said this on January 24, 2009 At 01:19 pm
Just what I was looking for! Thank you for the information you have given Allan. Most are stingy with such knowledge. Which is understandable. I have been attempting to place myself in some state of zenlike consciousness for a marketable website idea?? HaHaHa..
Said this on February 2, 2009 At 02:41 pm
Thanks for the great information...as always!
Said this on February 9, 2009 At 01:06 am
Thanks for the cool ideas you got me thinking now
Said this on February 28, 2009 At 06:06 am
Another update: Shopping.com uses http://www.shopping.com/top_searches for their consumer rating index and it really is a great resource. Thanks Allan! :)
Said this on April 16, 2009 At 06:20 pm
Thanks very much for all of the useful information and helpful links.

It's not often that i continue reading articles until the very end but it was exactly the information i was looking for and very well written so i kept reading.

Thanks Again
Said this on May 2, 2009 At 01:29 pm
This is an excellent post for brainstorming niches! Thanks, Allan.

I never thought to look at the Dummies books, for instance.

You could also flick through catalogs (or even catalogs.com), and read ads. ALL ads you see, from newspapers, to the junk that falls through your mailbox.

And once you find a niche, don't forget to check search volumes, competitors, and keyword costs - that way you'll quickly see what is in demand and affordable.
Said this on May 22, 2009 At 12:22 pm
Really an excellent and informative posts. Really it requires some sort of special brain for thinking to such a level.

[No special brain required - just a few years of experience! Allan.]
Said this on May 22, 2009 At 12:23 pm
The value of this post can't be expressed in words.
Said this on June 28, 2009 At 04:16 pm
Idea is perfect, implemented in many sites
Said this on August 5, 2009 At 02:19 am
Some good tips here and i have used them myself in the past. Good article.
Said this on September 27, 2009 At 01:58 am
Thanks so much for this. You are a genius. Seriously. I just got about 10 new site ideas from the "Dummies" book series suggestion alone. One of those "I can't believe I didn't think of that before" moments. Thanks!
Said this on November 18, 2009 At 09:20 am
This is such great information. I opened my first website in Sept through the commission ritual course and while I didn't make any money, I did learn how to upload, and set it up, although, I must have done something wrong.
Said this on November 25, 2009 At 02:38 am
indeed a very good informative article. Will implement its strategies in my business
Said this on November 30, 2009 At 12:30 pm
to long didnt want to read it. u should have mad it shorter a lot shorter
Said this on January 13, 2010 At 02:13 pm
Thanks very much for this.
Said this on January 31, 2010 At 12:30 am
Very good list of resources, including some new ones I hadnt seen yet. thanks for this excellent effort.
Said this on March 13, 2010 At 01:49 pm
Loved the article! It's rare to see such a indepth one.
Said this on April 18, 2010 At 02:02 pm
Great article, but I would love to see more case studies as we are doing.
Said this on May 26, 2010 At 11:37 pm
Very useful tips and hints in this article which we read sometime ago. Based on that we got a quick idea to make website is-cheater.com. But more would come to be sure. Thanks you so much for opening those blocked channels in the grey matter.
Said this on June 30, 2010 At 03:34 pm
Very useful tips you have here. I feel like my blog right now is too broad and I need to focus down the scope a little bit. I'm having trouble cometting to a specific topic though. Hopefully trying some of these ideas will help
Said this on July 8, 2010 At 07:34 pm
thanks for your tips, and I think hobby and work relatived is the good field to build a niche website.
Said this on August 18, 2010 At 08:55 pm
I have been following your tutorials for weeks now. Though I have not found the Niche yet, I must say reading your articles fills me with confidence to carry on. Keep up the good work.Thanks
Said this on September 10, 2010 At 06:34 am
Thank you for good information on finding niches, I found few tips and ideas useful to follow up.
Said this on September 24, 2010 At 11:17 am
Nice list. Have shared it on stumbleupon for my followers to read. Hope some of them will do something with their best idea.
Said this on November 25, 2010 At 04:53 am
Nice post! Thanks for sharing with us.
Said this on July 29, 2011 At 04:37 am
Great article, but I would love to see more case studies as we are doing.
Said this on August 25, 2011 At 12:23 pm

I have a idea for a website that i am sure would be a home run. not a facebook but it would have a million sorry millions of users. i am not computer savvy so i would need help setting it up without my idea being stolen. where would i need to look for help with this.

Said this on August 25, 2011 At 09:17 pm
Richard, That would be a good question to ask on our affiliate forum. It might generate a useful discussion. The link is at the top of the page.
Said this on October 3, 2011 At 10:22 am

Thanks for this post, it helped me a lot.

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