If you’ve studied anything about home business conducted on the Internet, you know how important, even critical, it is to choose a specialized niche, one that you can compete in successfully.
Generally, you want to be involved in a niche that is vertically deep as opposed to horizontally broad.
If you don’t know what that means, here’s a simple explanation:
Every niche market has a different dynamic, a unique structure based on the various parts or segments of that niche.
In addition, each will have a different set of enthusiasts or niche participants. These folks will become your pool of prospects when you enter the niche with the idea of beginning a niche business.
Optimally, you would want to concentrate on depth rather than breadth of the market you’re in.
Wide or broad markets are usually serviced by large companies: Wal-Mart, Costco, Amazon, etc.
“Stack it high and sell it cheap” is the battle cry of such giants.
Chances are pretty good that you, as a small business owner, can’t profitably compete with these giants. Why?
They sell a broad range of products, and sell them cheap on very thin margins.
In order to make this business model work, these big boys have to sell great quantities of goods.
So often they stock thousands and thousands of products, things that will appeal to the masses.
Deep and narrow markets, on the other hand, tend to be ultra specialized. Online businesses that specialize tend to focus on one or a few subjects and only try to appeal to the enthusiasts or fans of those specific markets.
If you sell books, for instance, and were a specialist, you would do best if you drilled down into a very specialized niche and only sold within that one niche.
You wouldn’t try to compete with Amazon or B & N or other large retailers.
These guys sell every book title they can find.
Their market is extremely broad. Forget that. You can’t compete with them because their offerings are huge and their prices are cheap.
Instead, solo online operators should “go deep.”
Here’s an example: pick a book topic like “gardening” then go deeper. OK, “vegetable gardening”.
Don’t stop there, go deeper.
How about “organic vegetable gardening”?
Keep going deeper if you can – the deeper the better. OK, how about “organic vegetable gardening in a greenhouse”?
You see, the deeper you can go, the more specialized your audience.
Once in this very special niche, you can become the online resident expert by writing an ebook on the topic without 20 million competing web sites and online products as your competition.
How about a membership site specifically for folks that want to learn this skill (organic vegetable gardening in a greenhouse)?
Maybe the biggest advantage to deep niches is that you can easily target your customers with less expensive searches using long-tail keywords.
You know right off the bat that anyone searching on the phrase “greenhouse organic vegetable gardening” is going to be a prime candidate for your products and community of customers.
By niching down deep, you are creating a homogeneous audience – everyone’s interest in the niche is similar. When you go to make offers to this pool of prospects, they will all be interested in what you offer . . . and hopefully, your conversion rate on sales will be very high.
Now, let’s get back to the topic at hand: turning your hobby into an online business.
I would suggest that you seriously consider creating your business in a niche market that is related to your passion, past education, acquired skills, your interests, your formal training, and those things that you are good at doing.
Why? The reasons for emphasis on a niche that you know and understand include:
Your mastery of the subject matter (you understand it and can give competent advice),
Your ability to speak as an authority (from the “been there – done that” viewpoint),
Your enthusiasm and love of the subject (which is infectious and contagious to others),
When you love what you do, you are more likely to tolerate the unpleasant routines or mundane tasks of the business,
When you are motivated by the work itself and you find it challenging and inspiring, you will be more likely to stick around for the long term than if you’re not,
You will be able to identify your best customers, you’ll know where they gather, how to contact them, and relate to them so that you gain their trust and confidence (which is essential before they are going to give you their money),
You will probably already have a good grasp of the specialized knowledge of the field, the terminology, the products for sale and the competitors doing business in that space.
So in review, if you want to turn your hobby into an online business:
(1) concentrate on going deep into your market niche,
(2) don’t try to compete with the broad market sellers – the big boys, the big box stores, the established sellers to the masses
(3) choose a niche that you have experience in, education about, training for, knowledge of, etc., and
(4) make sure you have passion and zeal for the subject – it will show in everything you do.
We’ll expand on this topic a little more in the future . . . see you then!
To your online business success,