Top 5 Deadly Niches in Digital Marketing

Join the 1,000+ brands that trust us for their link building.

Digital marketing is growing rapidly and there are growth opportunities in many niches that are seeing less value in traditional print and direct marketing.

Digital resources like websites, social media, mobile apps, and email are where modern customers go to make informed decisions.

Ideally, you want to be in a growing niche that pays off. There are hundreds of client industries interested in digital marketing and many of them appear to have high earning potential.

In reality, most niches have moderate potential and often come with certain problems that SEOs want to avoid (i.e. high maintenance clients and limited marketing budgets).

When you’re looking for the best niches — the crème de la crème markets where the best SEOs compete with big bucks — then you’re looking for deadly niches. These are the top 5 deadly digital marketing niches for SEOs.

What Makes a Digital Marketing Niche “Deadly”

What makes a digital marketing niche deadly?

A digital marketing niche is “deadly” if it’s filled with high competition from experienced SEOs with big budgets. There are plenty of popular markets, but these 5 deadly ones are at the top of the totem pole in terms of competition and propensity to attract the best SEOs.

The usual characteristics that make any marketing niche competitive apply to these 5 deadly digital marketing niches as well: high search volume, strong competition, and big advertising spend (just assume you’ll see more of each). Ad competition is especially stiff.

These 5 niches are about making money and the niches’ products are highly profitable. You can center a digital business around very specialized products.

What makes these niches stand out from the rest is that you’ve got to apply solid SEO techniques and invest a lot of resources to rank well in them. Keyword research, big ad spend, great content, and cutting-edge digital marketing techniques based on optimization, conversion, social media, and email marketing.

And of course, don’t forget to build quality backlinks.

These are the 5 deadly digital marketing niches for SEOs:

1. Gambling and Casino

Gambling and casino are very competitive niches.

Online gambling and casinos have been at the forefront of digital marketing trends. There are sophisticated online gambling platforms that are in high demand and generate a ton of digital revenue.

Native advertising spend in the online gambling industry has increased a lot in the past decade which speaks to the growing competition surrounding this niche. There are big players with big budgets in this market that can afford a high amount of gambling backlinks.

The gambling and casino market is very broad and ranking for a specialized topic within this niche will be much easier than ranking for a competitive general keyword like “online gambling”. You’ll have to be creative and do your research when choosing a specialized target term (e.g. “online poker cashback programs”).

Look for specific keywords that indicate a user knows exactly what they want from the overall niche. Because gambling and casino is broad, try ranking for several refined keywords to gauge what niche has the greater potential over time. Get accustomed to trial and error.

There are ways to look into better bets with keywords you’ll go after.  KGR is one way to begin looking at easier targets when it comes to less competitive SERPs.

Some ranking ideas within this market include cashback programs, rakeback deals, books, casino bonuses, online casinos, live casinos, tournaments, and no deposits (free play).

2. Payday Loans

Payday loans is another very lucrative but competitive niche.

Payday loans is a very competitive and profitable niche. It’s not the best option for amateur marketers still learning the craft because it’s difficult to rank for, but it’s definitely worth mentioning.

Payday loans are expensive short-term loans that people need to cover immediate expenses in emergency situations or when they lack adequate income. These loans come with very high-interest rates and are usually due within two weeks.

Google banned payday businesses from advertising their high-interest loans in the SERPs in 2016, so digital marketers have been stepping in to fill that need in growing numbers. Payday loan companies need your internet marketing business more than ever, especially on social media.

It’s a good idea to utilize digital traffic sources that deploy accurate geotargeting methods (local PPC, social media). Payday loans attract specific demographics so targeting low-income zip codes, for example, would be a common ranking strategy for this niche.

It’s a difficult niche to rank for but conversions are high and you can make money.

Just make sure you’re aware of any regulations around promoting payday loans in your geographic market if you’re going to perform affiliate marketing activities (e.g. make sure your clients are licensed and related marketing sites are included in the license).

3. Adult

The adult niche would be very tough for a beginner SEO.

Here’s another extremely popular niche that’s filled with specialized opportunities. The adult e-commerce industry is hard, massive, and ever-growing (pun intended).

You can argue that the internet was built on adult content. It’s a gold mine for online marketers, filled with big players and big budgets. That’s why it’s one of the top deadly digital marketing niches.

There is a wide array of products in the adult niche from sex toys, apparel, accessories, sexual services, small business, and entertainment. You’ll need to perform extensive research to find the best sub-niches. Like casino and gambling, try ranking for several specialized categories to test which have the highest potential.

One way that adult ads boost traffic is because they target the psychology of adult website visitors and entice them with feelings of lust and instant gratification. You’ll want to consider the nature of your marketing ads to make sure they make sense psychologically. Find out what kind of visual styles and marketing language make for good ads.

Another way to navigate this niche is to go after the most profitable countries like the U.S., Germany, France, Australia, and the U.K.

Some less competitive countries with decent traffic include Canada, Brazil, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

This is a very profitable niche and could be a great online business opportunity for you. However, great reward often comes with great risk. Be careful when attacking this niche because there are murky waters with sharks, spammers, hackers, and fraudulent activity.

If you’re in the adult niche, definitely check out our backlinks for adult sites.

4. Real Estate

Real estate is a competitive but lucrative niche.

The real estate market is huge and growing. Home prices will continue to steadily rise and inventory will remain scarce. This means digital marketing pros like you will continue making money.

This niche relies heavily on the leads generation business (see: top lead gen niches) which means marketing websites need to be visible and rank as high as possible in the SERPs. More and more home buyers and real estate investors are preferring to research and make decisions using digital resources and communication methods like online marketplaces, social media, and mobile devices.

There is a shift toward digitization and real estate agents are looking for ways to utilize internet marketing and even run their own online businesses. Digital marketing will have an increasing influence in this industry in lieu of traditional methods.

There are many opportunities to rank in local or regional areas. Suburbs are expanding and new subdivisions, planned neighborhoods, and adult retirement communities are popping up everywhere.

Local SEO tactics and real estate keywords are crucial (e.g. “homes for sale near me”). Optimize your property listings for local relevance in Google and realize there will be a lot of competition. Explore informational keywords surrounding real estate investment like legal, financial, and demographic info.

There is a lot of market research on what potential home buyers want in a new home and expect from real estate websites. These surveys can help you identify niches in the market. Consider the importance of quality photos, videos, virtual tours, agent profiles, and comparison information on your websites.

5. Finance (Credit Cards to Cryptocurrency)

Credit and loans niche is great for lead gen due to high demand.

Finance and fintech is another deadly market with lots of specialized niches to attack. It’s also a challenging digital marketing niche to grow a small business and make money.

Keep in mind there are lots of established giants who will seek to outspend any competition. Financial services companies know how to leverage capital to their advantage. But if there’s a will, there’s a way. You can make money if you want it bad enough.

You’ll need to choose digital marketing strategies that will deliver results quickly if you want to compete in this niche. Consider everything at your disposal.

There are also regulations around what can and can’t be promoted in digital marketing efforts, so many high-traffic keywords will be out of reach. You’ll have to carve out influence in one of the many sub-niches.

For example, consider credit cards and cryptocurrency. Two valuable sub-niches worth looking into.

Many people qualify for credit cards and almost all of them will begin their buying journey on informative websites that review products and deliver promos. You’ve probably seen these types of sites before. They are essentially affiliate marketing sites that direct potential customers to financial institutions and credit card issuers.

Cryptocurrency is a field with a lot of potential but there isn’t much public understanding of the technology yet. You’ll want to do a lot of research and sound like an expert when targeting this niche.

You can look into how cryptocurrency will transform business in the future or focus on ultra-niche areas like crypto tax accounting and crypto tax affiliate programs (ideas that aren’t usually associated with cryptocurrency).

Read more about the best affiliate programs for SEOs.

There is also a ton of interest in financial planning, growth hacking trends, investing, and financial independence. Social media is filled with these topics. Target keywords that people want to talk about. Individuals are interested in money and how it will improve their lives.

Deadly Digital Marketing Niches Wrap-Up

It will be difficult for a small business to start out in these 5 deadly digital marketing niches. They are highly competitive and filled with big-budget spenders. But that doesn’t mean you can’t grow a business and make money.

This is where you will sharpen your digital marketing SEO strategies and utilize research tools and search engines to the best of your abilities. Niche specialization, keyword research, ad spend, link building, and great content will be your bread and butter for ranking higher.

Getting into these 5 digital marketing niches may not be for the faint of heart, but one will gain a lot of valuable business experience by competing in them. You’ll need to be confident in your marketing skills and willing to learn from your mistakes.

Learn more about finding the right niche in our niche research article.

Got any questions or comments? Leave them below!

Contributing Author: Brian Kihneman

Header image for Nicholas Altimore.Article by:
Nicholas Altimore

Hey I'm Nick, the Founder/Director here at SirLinksalot. I have a passion for building online businesses and taking websites to the next level with the help of my amazing link building team.

Questions or Comments?

We are active in our Facebook Group seven days a week and would love to hear from you. Ask us questions, learn from other group members, and share your knowledge.

Join the discussion on Facebook →

Ready To Start Building Your Rankings?

Your link building journey to the top of Google starts today!

Apply for Managed Link Building to get a free analysis and game plan, or order backlinks a la carte.

Link building services that work.

Learning Resources



Live SEO Support