#3 – Weed Out the Wrong Niches
Picking a good niche isn’t something you do in 10 minutes. It’s a process that you give time to thoroughly consider if you’re serious about building a highly profitable business because it’s going to require dedication by you, and just as importantly, a rabid audience that is ready, willing, and able to pay you for your information and guidance.
Let’s look at some reasons who you would want to weed out or narrow your choice of niches. Go through each niche idea you have and see if any of these reasons exist.
You can’t commit to writing, talking and leading the niche day after day. Many newbies hear instructions about keyword volume and price points of available products to promote, so they pick a random niche they personally have zero interest in.
Imagine you’re a man who loves golfing, but you pick the weight loss niche because some guru pointed out something about keyword volume and product availability. It happens – and the poor golf lover not only doesn’t know anything about weight loss, but he can’t imagine writing about it every day. This is a recipe for failure.
Another reason to weed out a topic is this: there’s not enough monetization opportunity. You want to investigate this to be sure there is money to be made in your niche topic. Ideally, you’ll pick a niche that provides both tangible and digital items you can promote (or create). Here’s an important clue: if a niche has lots of competition, chances are good that there is money in the niche. Beware of “undiscovered niches” because often there is little or no competition for a good reason. It’s not a money niche!
Examples of niches with multiple monetization opportunities might be:
- Weight loss – not only can you promote diet and exercise digital plans, but also food and weight scales, workout equipment, supplements, training regimens and more.
- Stress relief – not only can you promote digital eBooks on how to combat stress, but you can also sell products like aromatherapy machines, sleep and relaxation products and home spa products.
One more reason why you may want to cut a niche is if it’s overly trendy. Sometimes a topic is such a fad that it’s a waste of time trying to build an entire business around it. Your best approach is to fine “evergreen” niches that stay popular year round and for years to come.
It’s much better to have a “solution topic,” (a solution to a wide-spread problem) like stress relief, weight loss, training a dog, or finding the right mate, than it is to build a whole site around a trend, like rubber band bracelets or a fad diet. That doesn’t mean you can’t create a page somewhere online to profit from trendy topics – they often command a lot of traffic while the trend is hot – but reserve your major efforts for topics that are going to last for years to come.
If your niche idea is too broad, you can either eliminate it or narrow it down and see what sub-topic you can come up with for it. For example, just tackling the “diet niche” can be overwhelming.
But you might want to build a site about some specific aspect of the broader market like:
- Dieting for the over 50 woman
- Dieting post pregnancy
- Dieting for diabetics
- Eating right for newly wed couples
Once you whittle down the niches and feel confident that you could write about or lead a discussion on this topic for the long-term, and that the topic can easily be monetized with products, you’ll need to make a firm commitment to just one (if you’re left with more than one).
#4 – Compare What’s Left Over
This is where some of the traditional guru advice comes in handy. There will be times when your passion for two topics is equal and both provide great opportunities for profits.
That’s when you turn to things like keyword search volume so that you can see how prevalent the topic is being searched online. You want to use keyword tools to see what words and phrases people are using to find information in that niche, and how high the volume is.
You might be asking yourself, “What number am I looking for?” There is no set number. You can make a good income from volumes of 1,000 or 10,000 searches a month. Should you go with a niche where there’s only 10 searches per month? Probably not.
You want to look at typical conversion rates – anywhere from 3-30% – and compare that to the price of what you’ll be selling.
So if you were promoting an average of $100 items on your site, where you earned 50% of the sale (or $50), and you saw a search volume of about 1,000 for a good keyword phrase, then even at a low 3% rate, you could expect 30 sales per month @ $50 commission, which totals $1,500. This is only a very rough guide and not the best indicator of potential profit. It is never a sure thing!
You have to have everything in place for proper conversion. Online businesses aren’t a “build it and they will buy” scenario.
Reviews on Amazon can provide some insight into whether or not it’s a hot niche. It’s not just the bestseller’s list. You can look at products and tell to some degree, how they might be selling.
For example, if you start clicking on categories in Amazon, you might see something typical like coffeemakers with hundreds or thousands of reviews.
But keep clicking around and you might stumble on a niche that you didn’t realize was that popular. Click through on “chef tools” and you’ll see a comfort mat that has almost 1,000 reviews and sells for almost $60.
So that might be a niche for you, if you like cooking – not the mat, but maybe “comfort in the kitchen – for people who love to cook and everything you promote could be digital products about cooking (including ones you create) and tangible items that make things easier.
Available domains will be a factor in your decision, but please take time to play around with synonyms and phrases before you simply cross a niche off because your first domain idea is already taken. There are many, many great domain names (always get a dot com) available to register today in every niche – you just have to be a little creative. Domain name choice is a subject for another day.
For example, let’s say your niche will be diet for diabetics. Look for other words for diet, such as food, nutrition, diet plans, eating, meals, etc. Diabetics can be used as diabetes, too.
So you begin mixing and matching. You might try:
- DietForDiabetics.com – available at auction for over $1k
- FoodForDiabetics.com – taken
- NutritionForDiabetics.com – available at auction for over $3k
- EatingForDiabetics.com – available at the regular price
- DietPlansForDiabetics.com – taken
- MealsForDiabetics.com – taken
Then go through and switch diabetics to diabetes and see what you get there. Or switch words around:
- DiabeticMeals.com …etc.
Do as much as you can to see what’s available and then if necessary, wait a day or two to see if any other possibilities pop into your head, such as:
- DiabeticMealPlanner.com … and so on
If more than one of your niches meets all of the above criteria, then what do you do?
You ask yourself, “Which audience do I want to serve?”
That’s what online success is all about – rolling up your sleeves and being ready to help people – whether they’re looking for diet help, relationship tips, golf advice or health insight – they need solutions, and they’re relying on someone who cares to help them find it.
This simple requirement – where you feel empathy for your target audience and truly want to solve their problems – is how you develop a loyal fan base who will convert at the upper limit of typical conversion rates for you, instead of the bare minimum.
Remember that if you’re in a rush, you can easily choose the wrong niche, spend weeks or months trying to grow it, and still fail because it wasn’t right for you. It might be right for someone else – and this is why some people hit it big in a niche and others try it and see zero success.
Another thing you might want to do, if you’re still undecided, is spend some time looking at your competition. But only do this if you are the type who won’t succumb to intimidation, thinking, “Oh there’s already someone much better than I am out there.”
Always keep in mind that people want choices. That person you’re admiring might be a great joint venture partner for you one day. But your style and voice will be unique to you, and his or her non-audience will be thrilled to find your voice out on the Internet waiting to guide them.
Plus, think about how you yourself learn. When you want to learn online marketing, do you only listen to just one person? Or do you visit a few blogs, read a few people’s responses on forums, and follow different people on social networks who inspire and educate you?
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t pick the right niche the very first time. Even with the best research and intentions, sometimes we get into a niche and just don’t feel it’s right for us.
If this starts happening, make a decision to cut your losses and try again. Remember what it was that you didn’t like about that niche and look for the opposite in your next one.
You have to maintain a fine balance between abandoning niches at the drop of a hat just because you’re not making instant riches overnight, and wasting too much time chained to a niche that just isn’t going to work for you.
Your next step is to build a blog. As a newbie, this is one of the easiest platforms to create and rank in search engines, and it’s the perfect place to let your target audience get to know you as their new niche leader.
To your online business success! (You’ll find Part 1 here)