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5 affiliate niches to earn money with while travel is in decline

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We’re witnessing an unprecedented event in human history. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, human behavior, mindsets, and ways of life are changing. In response to the viral outbreak, countries are imposing many necessary restrictions. Unfortunately, these restrictions result in dire consequences for businesses, both online and offline — travel being among one of most affected sectors.

We know that travel is sure to bounce back once things return to normal. But we want our affiliates to get through this stormy moment with minimal losses. That’s why we’ll walk you through the affiliate niches that you can profit from while the main sectors within the travel niche are experiencing a tough time.

In this post, we’ll provide a summary of the situation within the travel sector and discuss which niches you can opt for as back-up solutions. In addition, we’ll explain what you can do to tweak your travel affiliate campaigns for future success.

The current situation in the travel niche

With so many people on lockdown and sweeping travel bans imposed worldwide, the travel industry is experiencing a dramatic decline. This impacts the amount of money made and the amount of traffic and conversions in the travel niche.

Though many industries have witnessed a decrease in traffic, the travel niche has suffered the most—experiencing a drop of about 45%. The same is true regarding conversion rates within the niche, which dropped by over 40%.

The COVID-19 crisis has also exerted a negative influence on the CPA and CPC earnings of many webmasters. Most advertisers are cutting back on advertising costs, thus webmasters are reporting a drastic decrease in revenue for both models. The income from the CPA model plummeted due to the decrease in conversion rates, while the earnings from CPC were affected by the fall in click cost.

In the “COVID-19 Survival Kit for Travel Bloggers”, we’ve outlined the current market conditions, explained the influence of COVID-19 on CPA/CPC revenues, and shared tips on what can be done during this turbulent time.

How can webmasters respond to the downturn in travel?

Worrying, panicking, and doing guesswork has never helped anyone. But staying positive and keeping your options open is a proven way to turn the tide even in the most challenging situations.

If you used to rely solely on one income stream or niche, now is the time to take the situation in your stride and see what other doors there are to open. Let’s see what you can do to cope with the situation.

There are two main options to choose from:

  1. Diversify and choose another affiliate niche to make money with.
  2. Make the most of this quiet period to prepare for the next pinnacle in the travel niche and boost your expertise in affiliate marketing.

However, the best option is to do both. Then, when this overwhelming period is over, you’ll be on a roll in several niches and have several income streams.

No matter which option you choose, make money by helping people and providing solutions to their difficulties. It’s definitely not a good solution to take advantage of people during these challenging times, for instance, by promoting overpriced masks or hand sanitizers. Engaging in these underhanded practices will not bring you long-term rewards and cashing in on people’s fear and distress is just wrong.

What niches are better off now?

While the whole economy seems to be in depression, there are some niches that have experienced an uptick and, in all likelihood, will continue on this path, including:

  • Finance and Remote Work
  • Health, Fitness, and Well Being
  • Household Staples and Meals
  • Entertainment
  • Communication Software

Let’s have a closer look at what is trending in each of these niches.

1. Household staples and meals

These include essential products, such as food, beverage, household goods, etc. During difficult times, people stay focused on the essentials, and many under stay-at-home orders prefer ordering these items online.

Household staples and meals

What offers are in demand now?

  • Affiliate programs promoting grocery and meal delivery services

The best examples of these kinds of affiliate programs are: SunBasket, HelloFresh, Home Bistro, the Wine of the Month, Tesco Groceries, Walmart Grocery, etc.

2. Finance

People are becoming increasingly concerned about their financial well being in the face of the inevitable economic recession. The number of layoffs is increasing and people want to discover new ways to make money.

In addition, more and more employees are switching to remote work. Most of them feel directionless about how to organize their routine and map out their work processes from home.

2. Finance
2. Finance

What offers are in high demand now?

  • Affiliate programs promoting remote work, side-hustles, and qualification courses
  • Affiliate programs offering tools and knowledge to manage personal finances
  • Blogging and freelance writing affiliate programs
  • Online education platforms and courses
  • Investment offers
  • Insurance affiliate programs
  • Debt and credit affiliate programs

Here are some great examples of affiliate programs in this niche: Ally Invest, CreativeLive, Curadebt, American Debt enders, Money Metal, Motley Fool, Netquote, Workationing, SimpliLearn, Edureka, Pluralsight, BrainSensai, etc.

3. Health, fitness, and well being

It’s natural that, in times like this, this evergreen niche is becoming even more popular. People are trying to find ways to boost their immune system and stay fit from home. Many also stock up on medicine and have it delivered to their doors. Stress levels are soaring due to the pandemic, and being locked down doesn’t alleviate these feelings. Thus, many people are seeking psychological advice and support online.

3. Health, Fitness, and Well Being
3. Health, Fitness, and Well Being

What offers are in demand now?

  • Healthcare and insurance
  • Offers to promote alternative health practices, including acupuncture, supplements, homeopathy, etc.
  • Mental health programs
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Fitness and yoga

Here are some affiliate programs to boost your audience’ health and help them stay fit during the pandemic: Healthcare Market Exchange, eHealthInsurance, AXA ASSISTANCE – CZ, Fitbit, Iherb, Barefoot Yoga, Brilliant Yoga, Beachbody, Aaptiv, MyProtein, etc.

4. Entertainment and education

People are staying at home and tend to have a lot of extra time on their hands. Logically, they need something to use this time on. People want to be entertained and distracted from thoughts about the pandemic during their forced staycation.

Some of them opt for watching videos and playing games, while others prefer to delve deep into boosting their skills and knowledge.

4. Entertainment and education
4. Entertainment and education

 What offers are in demand now?

  • Gaming
  • Arts and crafts
  • Education
  • TV and movie streaming affiliate programs
  • EBook subscription offers

The examples of in-demand affiliate programs in the niche are Edx.org, Coursera, Udemy, SkillShare, Twitch, Astro Gaming, Fanatical, Go2Games, Movieaffiliates, Amazon Prime, Apple, Docudrama, Ebooks.com, Kobo, SuccessConsciousness, etc.

5. Communication software

With so many people starting remote work and studying, the demand for online communication software has spiked to an extraordinary degree.

5. Communication software
5. Communication software

 What offers are in demand now?

  • Offers which provide easy-to-implement communication and team management solutions. Examples of such affiliate programs are: Zoom, Slack, Sling, Wrike, etc.

How can you switch to a new niche?

There are two main ways you can start generating revenue in a new affiliate niche.

  • Use the same platform you used to run travel affiliate campaigns, but broaden the scope of topics and promote offers in a different niche.

For example, you don’t have to become a food blogger to start promoting grocery and meals delivery affiliate programs in the current situation. You can simply tell your audience about your social distancing experience and share how you’ve discovered to cope with the problems everyone is facing. For example, food delivery service reviews may be quite valuable to your audience.

However, if cooking is right down your alley, you can dive deeper into food-related content and share recipes, how-to articles, and cooking video tutorials. Why not blend travel and food blogging by creating content about the national dishes of the countries you’ve visited or are planning to visit?

The same is right about other niches. Thus, to promote finance-related offers, you don’t necessarily need to create a content-related website and limit yourself to this niche. This is because the problem of financial well being is one of the most topical issues and almost everyone seems interested in it, especially now.

For example, Expert Vagabond has published a post suggesting 38 creative side hustle ideas (with embedded affiliate links).

How can you switch to a new niche?
  • You can create a new website, blog, or social media profile and start from scratch in a new niche. However, bear in mind that the current situation requires quick solutions, which will generate revenue rapidly. This approach suits you if you have the skills and knowledge to launch new campaigns fast.

For example, you should know the ins and outs of Facebook paid promotion and use it to tweak your Facebook campaigns for a quick start. By contrast, if you pin all your hopes on organic reach, it’ll take months (if not years) you’re your campaigns to kick into high gear.

The success of your campaigns also depends on how fast you can perform competitive analysis and define the gaps that need to be filled and what is trending in your new niche. Another vital skill for a fast affiliate campaign launch is the ability to create viral, compelling content.

What can you do in the travel niche?

We’ve already mentioned that travel is currently in decline. But there is a silver lining. You have much time on your hands to think, learn, and improve.

So, make sure you put this time to good use and prepare for another pinnacle of travel. What can you do now to reap long-term rewards?

  1. Look for opportunities and leap at them. Discover new marketing channels, think of new travel topics that resonate with your audience, grow your email list, etc.
  2. Create top-notch content and keep it up-to-date. Find new content ideas for your blog and map out your user-generated content strategy. Read top travel bloggers to get inspiration and insight.
  3. Discover some new moneymaking solutions. We are so used to being in the rat race. Always time-poor, while making snap judgments on-the-spot decisions, quick fixes, and on-the-fly improvements instead of addressing the core of our problems. You’ve been putting it off for so long, so why not knuckle down into the world of digital marketing now? Find new ways to boost traffic, determine the trendiest queries that strike a chord with your audience, research new monetization models and affiliate programs, etc.
  4. Promote refundable products and provide actionable tips to those who are travelling.
  5. Boost your skills and knowledge. In our everyday social whirl, we often miss out on the chance to learn new things and fail to see how we can profit from education in the long run. Now, it’s time to remember that never-ending education is part and parcel of being a successful entrepreneur. So, make the most of the countless online courses and use this downturn to boost your expertise.
  6. Get ready for the deferred demand. Travel is currently on hold, but people will soon start travelling again. Start the built-up to your future affiliate campaigns. For example, start planning your Christmas campaigns, which is usually when you can hardly cope with the deluge of tasks. They say winners begin early.

To prepare for the future:

  • Build top-quality landing pages
  • Optimize your website and content for SEO
  • Boost your website conversion rates
  • Tap into the current trends

This is a challenging period for everyone. But don’t write travel affiliate marketing off. Crises happen. Markets fluctuate, then level off, hit the trough, and then bounce back.

The travel niche will do the same once everything is back to normal. People will always travel and roam the world as they have for years.

So, be optimistic, make the most of the time on your hands, polish your skills, and enhance your knowledge. Eventually, your diligence, patience, and grit will pay off tenfold.