The first thing I want to make clear is that if you spend too much time on this step, you’ll never make it to step 2.
Most people REALLY over-analyze picking a niche, but it doesn’t have to be very difficult.
Just like list building as a whole, simpler is better.
All you really need to do is look for people that are desperate for help.
The point is that you want to get into a market with people who are DESPERATE for help.
For some people, they may need to make a little more money each month to cover the bills.
Others may have some marriage issues, and are facing a possible divorce if things don’t change.
Tens of millions of people are struggling with their weight, and despite trying every diet under the sun they just can’t keep the pounds off.
These are very different situations than someone who (for example) likes model trains. Not only will this market be fairly small, but these people aren’t going to be as passionate as someone facing a divorce.
To make it easy on you, there are really only three massively huge and desperate markets you should choose from. Those three are health, wealth, and relationships.
There are three main reasons why we want to get into these markets:
- They’re HUGE (millions and millions of people)
- They’re desperate (as we discussed earlier)
- There are dozens of possible solutions (meaning more products you can either create or promote as an affiliate).
A good example is weight loss for women under 30.
Your free gift can be report explaining a few fat-burning spices and herbs to help kick-start their metabolism.
Then you might promote a product that gives them a complete diet program to follow.
Later you might promote a product related to exercises for weight loss.
You get the idea.
How many generic weight loss products and programs are out there?
If I had to guess, I’d say it’s in the THOUSANDS.
Think about all of the products out there:
- Exercise programs (calisthenics, kettlebells, circuit training, etc.)
- Diets (low-carb, low-calorie, based on your blood type, etc.)
- Fat burning pills
And that’s not even counting the combinations, where a product uses both exercise and nutrition to help the person lose weight.
By the way, I don’t recommend the Internet Marketing niche, especially for beginners.
Why, you ask?
It is overly saturated, in my opinion, and almost everyone is on the lists of dozens of marketers, all trying to get their attention and sell them something on a daily basis.
Most of those emails are never even opened.
It is hard to get them to know, like and trust you.
Another thing is that these days people in IM expect to pay a lot less for products than in days gone by…
Meaning you have to sell a hell of a lot more to earn the same as you would with one or two sales in the health, wealth, and relationships niches.
People in the above niches usually have more disposable income and are prepared to pay more for good products.
You can often keep them on your list for years and even cross-sell stuff to them.
Such as a list related to Yoga will usually have many subscribers with weight and other health problems.
Of course, your first blog/domain could be in your own name (www.yourname.com) or similar, and you might use it to journal your goals and document your progress.
You will eventually have a number of blogs in order to maximize your income.
But there’s just a little bit more to choosing a niche than picking something in one of the above markets – health, wealth, and relationships.
To be successful, you can’t be a small fish in a big ocean. Instead, try to be the big fish in a small pond.
You may think that blogging about some large topic like beauty products is a good idea. After all, men and women spend hundreds of billions of dollars each and every year trying to look beautiful and attractive.
With all that money out there, doesn’t it just makes sense to shoot for some large business category?
The answer is… No!
Sure, there is a lot of money to be made in the beauty product category. However, there is so much money in that field that large companies sink tons of cash into dominating that niche.
There are literally thousands of blogs, websites and online businesses which have developed a respected position online selling beauty products.
So the competition is extremely large, very talented and knowledgeable about their field, and they have much more money than you do to spend on marketing and attracting customers.
The smartest way to choose a niche for your business is to do what the oil companies do… dig down deep.
Before I explain the proven and profitable system for selecting a market for your business, let’s define exactly what a niche is.
Niche Marketing Defined
BusinessDictionary.com (a great place to go online for defining business and marketing terms, by the way) has this to say about niche marketing:
“Concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well-defined segment of the population. As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond.”
That illustrates our example about beauty products perfectly. Your niche should not be some large market.
The more targeted you are when you’re selecting a focus for your business, the less competition that is out there.
Also, smaller niche markets tend to be closer to making a purchase decision.
The people that make up these focused niches are very passionate about the goods and services that are marketed to them.
This makes selling much easier. It makes researching much easier to, since you have a narrow and pinpointed field, instead of a vast market to understand.
And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a large market to make a very good income online.
One of my favorite methods is to “niche it down” three times. So it’d look like this:
- Weight loss
- Weight loss for men
- Weight loss for men with kettlebells
- Weight loss for men over 40 with kettlebells
Do you see how that worked?
So instead of just trying to reach everyone who wants to lose weight, you’re trying to just help the men over 40 who want to burn fat by implementing kettlebell workouts.
You want the audience to feel like the product or service you’re promoting is 100%, without a doubt, designed to help them with their problems. Only then will you be able to establish yourself as an expert and build a trusting, loyal audience.
Granted- you can’t take this to the extreme.
Don’t expect to have a big market if you’re trying to reach men between 40 and 42 who want to lose weight with kettlebells and live in Nowheresville, Michigan.
You want to be specific, but don’t get so specific that nobody fits the bill!
So to sum it up:
- Pick a major market (health, wealth or relationships)
- “Niche it down” three times
- Confirm that there is a sizable market (a.k.a. you’re not too specific)
Being Seen as an Expert Is Easy
Another benefit of choosing a very specific niche, rather than a general one, is sometimes overlooked by beginning online marketers.
As I just mentioned, researching a small market is easier than researching a big one. That means there is a much quicker path to becoming an expert.
To recap …
- Researching and managing a smaller niche is easier than a large one.
- Your target market is passionate about what you have to offer.
- You face less competition.
- It is easier to be seen as an expert.
- Selling is easier versus a large niche, because your market is closer to making a buying decision.
Okay, now that you know the reasons for “niching down” when choosing a market for your business, let’s look at a couple of ways to uncover the perfect niche for you.
Brainstorming Ideas for Your Niche
Have you ever been part of a brainstorming session?
Big companies form brainstorming panels all the time. This is a process that can generate creative solutions and ideas. In a company setting, many smart and innovative business people are brought together.
Everyone is encouraged to think out loud and suggest as many ideas as possible. The idea is not to hide anything, and to share every possible thought you have on a particular subject, no matter how bizarre or crazy those thoughts may be.
You may be thinking, “I am my only business asset! There are no other people in my business but me. How can I brainstorm myself?”
It’s easy, you do exactly what big businesses do – you harness the ideas of a lot of people, even if you are the only person in your business.
You can do this by digesting information in print and online media. All of the work has been done for you. It just requires some time sorting through the information.
There are also some ways you can select a niche in the next few minutes. You don’t need any input from anyone else. You already have all of the required information, and you may not even know it.
So, how do you get started brainstorming for niche selection?
There are many ways to do this.
A few are listed below.
Use the following proven brainstorming tactics, and selecting a profitable niche for your blog or business is easy.
Head to the Nearest Bookstore or Magazine Rack
One really great way to use the opinions of a vast number of people is to go shopping for a magazine.
Take some time to visit your nearest bookstore, or the magazine section at your local supermarket.
Before a magazine is published, it’s owner does a lot of research. It costs a lot of money to produce, publish, ship and market magazines.
So when you see a magazine consistently offered for sale, you know that the topic it covers is one that is profitable.
You don’t even have to purchase any magazines using this niche marketing brainstorming method.
Look through the magazines you see, and jot down any niche markets that appeal to you.
Or go to https://www.magazines.com/magazines.html and check out the headlines for inspiration.
Going back to what I said about the beauty niche above…
Let’s say you’re interested in creating a site that has to do with beauty. You can drill the beauty category down into several different sub-categories.
You could choose hair care, skin care, fitness, organic beauty, cosmetics, or any number of niches related to beauty.
But these categories are still too broad to be profitable with small numbers of visitors. You need to drill down further.
Let’s say you decide to tackle the skin care demographic. Sub-categories of skin care might include eczema, acne, blackheads, wrinkles, age spots, psoriasis, and dry skin.
Now you have a list of smaller niches that you can begin to narrow down.
Acne might still be too broad. You can drill down even more by targeting teenage acne, infant acne, and adult acne.
While you want to find niches that are narrow enough for you to dominate, you don’t want to choose niches that have too little traffic available.
Go to your favorite search engine, like Google, and search for things like “how to get rid of acne.” This is obviously a niche desperately seeking a solution.
If you drill down too much, like targeting “blackheads,” you might find it’s an annoyance, but maybe not something people are desperate enough to spend money solving.
You should verify that your idea gets a decent level of search volume by using a keyword tool like WordTracker or Google Keyword Planner.
When you look for the niche on Google, see if there are plenty of AdWords ads on the top of the search results.
If so, this means people are making money in this niche.
Type a word, any word, into the Google search engine.
Don’t hit enter!
What do you see?
Google displays a list of possible phrases that you may be looking for.
This auto-complete feature is based on popular search requests from previous users.
That means that when you type in any word, the possible questions or phrases Google creates based on that word have been typed in many times by web surfers.
Any time you can come up with an original slant on an idea that’s already churning profits online, you’re poised for instant success.
Picking a Niche that Suits Your Passions
Working in any niche can be more challenging when you don’t like what you’re doing. But when you love what you’re doing, you wake up in the mornings with the energy and the enthusiasm to get to work.
Take a few minutes and consider which niches might fit with your passions.
Look at your existing hobbies. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? What do you spend your money on?
Taking a moment to consider what you love doing will help you decide which niche is the best fit for you. Or maybe you recently discovered niche you’re passionate about. What do you do then?
Begin reading and researching. Fully immerse yourself in your chosen niche. Sign up for every email list that you can. It pays off in big ways to know the current issues and events in your niche.
Spend time browsing websites – both of experts and amateurs alike. Blogs are a great way to learn about what’s happening in the niche industry you plan to use for your business.
Search blog directories for your category by going to a search engine and typing in “blog directories.” Then choose a blog directory and browse it by category.
By now, you probably have a list of potential niches just waiting for you to tap into.
If so, it’s time to trim that list. Par it down to your top three. These three should be your main choices – the niches you have the most interest in.
Don’t just go by income level (although you should consider that, too).
Just remember when your niche interests you, it shows to your customers and when you’re only in it for the profit you can make, that shows too.
Choose a niche that you can earn an income in and gain personal satisfaction from.
Understanding Your Ideal Audience
The best way to stand out in a niche is to have a very specific, ideal audience in mind.
Because there may be hundreds of blogs already about how to achieve a flat stomach.
However, if your ideal target audience is new, like vegetarian mothers wanting to get a flat stomach, then they will always come to you over other sources.
The key is to define your audience and then get really, really clear on what they want. This can help you come up with some great niche, content and product ideas!
Think about the answers to these questions:
- What problems are they having?
- What is the one area where they are not being serviced?
- If they could solve just one problem tomorrow, as it relates to your niche market, what would that solution be?
A lot of successful entrepreneurs, online and off, got that way by solving their own problems first.
Chances are the issues in your life are being experienced by a lot of other people.
If your niche market applies to your own life in some way, you may just need to answer your own problems in order to understand the needs of others.
Always remember to think from your prospect’s point of view, not your own.
Don’t think about building products.
Think about offering solutions.
And never forget that every single purchasing decision any human being makes is based on one of 2 subconscious factors:
1) Avoiding Pain
2) Providing Pleasure
When you decide to eat something, it could be that you are avoiding the pain of hunger, and eventual starvation, and also that you are providing the pleasure of tasting one of your favorite foods.
When talking to your audience, focus on the pleasures they are trying to attain, and how they are trying to alleviate pain.
When you think about your niche market, imagine a single, specific person.
Identify the age, demographic, gender, intelligence level and all other applicable metrics that make up your “perfect customer”.
Market to that single individual rather than an audience, and your niche marketing efforts will be successful.