This was a wealth of helpful information, thanks. In the first section you described how you found your niche. Any more suggestions on how I would find a niche that would be profitable? I understand you probably want to find something that you can write good content on, but what steps would you take to make sure to validate that it will be a good niche to work on? Thanks for any help Tom.
I would probably rely mostly on Amazon as an affiliate – talk about products you use while using an affiliate link. You don’t necessarily have to focus your entire content on reviewing products, just mention them in your articles and your experience with them – how they helped you. Amazon is good for obvious reasons – super high conversions and most products already have lots of reviews which is very valuable as an affiliate.
For example, the content on Super Weddings is useful whether you're organizing a wedding today or next year. All the content on the site is created accordingly. To make things easier for the audience, it is separated into categories to make it very convenient for the reader to find what they're looking for. This, of course, is also very good for SEO.
Never use AdSense on your affiliate marketing pages. You will potentially earn much more from a click on an affiliate link than on an advert. If you publish any clickable link on a page also containing a link to an affiliate pre sales or sales page, then you are diluting your potential income from that page. Why pass up the chance of a $47 sale to get a 20 cent click on an AdSense ad? That is not an exaggeration, yet some people do that!
Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ad will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.