Affiliate Programs, Keyword Lists, and Niche Research for Tax Related Stuff
Originally I wanted to base this post just doing niche research for tax software. My last post was about the camping niche, and it was just way too broad for me to cover in one post.
This time I felt that tax software was a too narrow. Hey, taxes aren’t going anywhere, and tax software really is amazing at helping most people sort through their taxes every damn year. However, I didn’t find a lot of high traffic keywords that I would really feel comfortable targeting. There were plenty of low competition ones, but they were all very specific tax related questions, which, unless you are a savvy CPA, you might have trouble with.
The other bad news is that for some reason “taxes” is on a downtrend.
Still, I think this could be a good niche for some people that are familiar with tax codes and like the idea of running a small side project niche site. It’s very seasonal, so you could probably take a break for a few months a year. I also think there’s a lot of potential to outsource most of the content work since writing about tax code doesn’t require a lot of “pizzaz”
Top 3 Affiliate Programs
There are a wide range of affiliate agreements in my top 3 picks.
- Signup URL: https://turbotax.intuit.com/affiliates
- Focus: Federal + State tax filing software
- Commissions: 10%-15%, $1 for free edition
Comments: This is probably the most widely known and used tax software out there. That means brand trust, and high conversions. They are currently offering free Federal AND State tax returns, but I’m not sure how long that will last.
Free Tax USA
- Signup URL: http://www.freetaxusa.com/affiliates
- Focus: Federal + State tax filing software
- Commissions: 50%
Comments: Focus on the free Federal taxes will be a good incentive to sign up. Their website doesn’t look as nice as Turbo Tax, but is still alright looking and it’s simple to navigate. 50% commissions on anything sold sure beats the 15% that TT is paying.
Drake Software + 1040.com
- Signup URL: http://www.drakesoftware.com
- Focus: Software for tax preparers, business tax software, individual tax software
- Commissions: 20%, 80%, Private Label Pricing
Comments: I always like to include a unique affiliate program, and this one certainly fits that category. There are a few options of being an affiliate here. You can be a normal “referrer” affiliate and ear 20% commissions. You can also become a “partner affiliate” for a whopping 80% commissions, though this does come with a fee (see link for details). You also have the option to become a white label partner and basically name your own price. This will cost you a hefty $23k to get started. However, the earning potential and unique branding opportunity definitely stands out.
Other Affiliate Programs
- unknown commission %
- Note: Turbox Tax competitor
- 20%-30% commissions
- unknown commission %
- Note: For filing back taxes
- Note 2: I have heard bad feedback about flexoffers support
- $2 per referral
One Price Taxes
- 30% base commission, 120 day cookie
- 20% commissions
- Notes: Subscription based service for small businesses calculating sales tax
Tax Software Keywords Breakdown
Top 10 Low Competition Keywords (Searches/QSR)
- filing taxes when working overseas (79/0)
- best retirement states taxes (309/2)
- working after retirement tax (8/2)
- tax software tax preparers (605/15)
- Georgia tax help (56/24)
- income tax software Canada (242/40)
- who needs to get 1099 form (107/0)
- energy efficient appliances tax credit (100/27)
- are gold coins taxable (32/2)
- its tax audit statute limitations (82/0)
Top 10 High Traffic Keywords (Searches/QSR)
- income tax refund (32157/229)
- small business tax preparation (10327/288)
- IRS tax refund status (8152/118)
- professional tax software (5365/134)
- tax refund anticipation loan (3021/293)
- payroll tax software (1068/149)
- small business tax help (709/269)
- back tax help (560/180)
- social security retirement taxes (345/37)
- NYC real estate taxes (466/72)
Why Is This Different From Google’s Number?
Though Google’s Keyword Tool has improved in recent years, it still gives inflated (inaccurate) traffic numbers. The keyword tool I use takes data from a variety of search engines, not just Google. Remember that Bing + Yahoo own 30% of the search market.
Other Great Keywords
- maryland retirement taxes
- small business tax deductions checklist
- energy efficient appliances tax credit
- military retirement tax
- best canadian tax software
- tax software for business
- home business tax software
- canadian tax preparation software
- federal income tax software
- small business tax forms
- early retirement tax
- corporation tax software
- small business tax software
- canada tax software
- buy tax software
- small business tax strategies
- small business tax tips
- small business taxes
- small business tax breaks
- small business tax credit
- small business tax planning
Affiliate Marketing Action Plan For Tax Related Stuff
Everyone hates doing taxes, and everyone must do them. So if you can help people, there’s definitely a way to make money in this niche. Plus, you have a real long term opportunity to grow your site if this is something you find interesting. Spending 10 years making a sweet tax website probably isn’t a big deal because it’s not like taxes are going out of style.
An obvious and potentially very lucrative sub-niche would be small business taxes. I think a lot of small business owners either don’t understand tax code or simply don’t want to dedicate the time to figure it out. You probably noticed a lot of the search terms above have to do with small businesses.
Writing content to target very specific longtail keywords is going to be a great source of traffic. One of my fears would be that this traffic isn’t necessarily going to be responsive to tax software. If they wanted it, they probably would have got it already.
Still, Adsense is always an option.
Another cool thing to look into would be referrals for local tax agents. When I was overseas I had to speak directly to a specific type of tax person that could figure out my money situation since I hadn’t paid taxes on any of my online earnings for 2 years.
Speaking of which, and other awesome source of traffic is going to be specific tax situations for individuals. Tax code is hard to navigate and people will go to Google for answers.
Oh, and another awesome source of longtail keywords is going to be local state (US) tax law.
My big question mark here is how to monetize it all with affiliate programs. I didn’t find any personally, but do know of a girl that received affiliate links from a local tax agency. I don’t know how to find them, but if you could team up with a company (maybe send out some emails) that was affiliate-savvy, this would be an awesome way to make commissions.
For me? I am confused by taxes and hate doing them. If I were to do a site like this I’d outsource everything, but I have a feeling that a professional CPA that writes about taxes for a living is going to come with a big price tag per article.
This is purely anecdotal, but just last week a buddy of mine posted that his friend was making money by referring people to her local tax office on Facebook. It wasn't clear whether she had an affiliate link, referral code, or it was word of mouth, but if you end up doing a tax related affiliate site, check with your local CPAs and see if anyone runs an affiliate program. Lots of times these guys don't really know how to reach out to affiliates, so it would be worth your time to investigate.
PS. Don't forget that there seems to be an increasing trend in search interest for tax refunds. Try to capitalize on that.
Need Extra Help?
What do you think about the potential for a niche site about taxes?
photo credit: John Morgan