For a new online entrepreneur, picking a niche can be exasperating. To some, it is the most intimidating part of the entire business building process.
Get this one step wrong, and you’ll be setting yourself up for a disaster where you don’t earn money, you don’t enjoy the work, and you waste an incredible amount of time putting effort into something that won’t pay off.
So it’s vital that you understand the correct elements of picking a niche that pairs passion and profits. There are very few marketers who come into this business without the goal of pursuing their passion.
But you hear so much static online about money that sometimes, it seems like passion takes a backseat to whatever topic makes the most money. At times, the focus on money can add clouded judgement about what topics are possible and appropriate for the new business owner.
“Someday,” you may think, “I’ll make enough money at this that I can then do something I love.”
I say, why wait?
You can start off on the right foot from the very beginning and not have to start from scratch one day with a new niche and a new dream.
There are 4 steps to picking a profitable niche that you’re going to learn. It requires some research, but have fun with this! Don’t do it all in one sitting – let your mind take time to savor the possibilities and engulf you in pondering and thinking about where you might take these options.
#1 – Start with a Simple Brain Dump
The best way to get started is to just do a quick and easy brainstorming session. Now is not the time to sort through and analyze your niches – just jot them down randomly – we’ll weed out the ones that aren’t a good fit shortly.
Start by looking at niches you already know you like. For instance, you might like:
- Playing certain video games
- Gardening vegetables
- Playing golf as a senior
- Making your own jewelry
- Cooking on the grill
- Traveling to Europe
- Playing guitar … etc.
All of those are potential niches based on what you know you already enjoy doing. Forget about whether or not you’re an expert – just jot down current passions and things about which you get excited and could explain to others.
Next, consider what you’ve always wanted to learn but don’t know. For example:
- You’ve always wanted to learn better photography
- You’ve always wished you knew how to crochet
- You find yourself drawn to the idea of living a sustainable lifestyle
All of those “I wish I knew” topics are potential niche markets for you. It is possible to share great information with others based upon the things you learn as a student of a particular specialized subject.
Sometimes, you can build a profitable niche based on experiences you’ve had in life, such as:
- Surviving a troubled relationship
- Enduring a major health crisis
- Flipping a real estate property for a profit
- Living in a foreign country for several years
- Preparing for the bar exam in your state
- Losing 75 pounds and keeping the weight off
Or, maybe you know someone else who is going through something – it doesn’t have to be directly related to you. For example,
- Maybe your best friend is dealing with infertility
- You have a good friend who can’t figure out how to meet the right women
- A sibling of yours suffers from panic and anxiety attacks and you’ve been a support to her
There are niche markets all around you. Once you start training yourself to look for them, you start to see a world full of possibilities.
Don’t worry about lacking expertise. Some of the best blogs and leaders are those who track their journey from the very beginning and provide a “case study” dialogue. Did you know that sometimes, for an audience, it can be intimidating learning from an expert?
It feels safer and more relaxed learning from someone who knows what you’re going through and who can empathize with you easily. Even if you’re not going through the exact same thing, understand that there’s no such thing as saturation if you position yourself correctly in a specific niche.
People like learning from multiple sources!
You have a unique style and personality from other leaders in that niche. When people learn and search for solutions, they typically look in several places, not just one.
An additional thought about brainstorming niches … sometimes a good place to begin is with your education, knowledge, and former training in specific areas. People who are educated and trained in narrow but important subjects have an advantage in some niches over others that haven’t had the training.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to transferring your education and experience to a niche market. You will have a built-in advantage and a particular perspective that only comes with having studied and actually done something that you teach to others.
#2 – Research Thriving Niche Markets
Another way you can come up with profitable niche markets is to see what’s being talked about by the media and related products that are bought in the marketplaces. This is easy because the research is basically completed, just waiting for you to discover it, mostly online.
Magazine covers at the book store or grocery store can show you a wealth of information. So for example – if you picked up a recent edition of “Woman’s World” (or even just glanced at the cover on the newsstand), you would see the following topics being covered:
- Juicing for pain
- Food for Alzheimer’s prevention
- Inflammation and weight gain
- High blood pressure
- End cravings while dieting
- Anti aging tea
- Stress relief
- Body makeovers
- Success tips
Those are a lot of niches that yes, are very narrow in some ways – such as food for Alzheimer’s – but it’s a sign that people are into the memory niche, and you can be, too. If you don’t want to be quite so narrow in your focus, instead of choosing “juicing for pain” you could jot down “pain relief” as your niche.
News sites also provide a wonderful account of what’s being followed in the real world. Let’s take four of the top news and information sites and look at what we can find there.
On FoxNews.com, in the health section, you discover topics like marriage quality influencing heart disease, obesity and exercise. Under the lifestyle section, you learn about hidden costs when buying a home, the key to online successful dating, and favorite vegetarian meals of celebrities.
On CNN.com, you learn about Bitcoin as a currency, comfort food weight loss, and diabetes and dental health. You can separate these combined topics or keep them combined if you want.
On DrudgeReport.com, you might see a news story about riots or bio-terror and start thinking about the “prepper” or survivalist niche.
There’s a story about electronics like tablets selling more than toys for kids. You also see a story about the price of electricity rising, so a niche about saving money or becoming self sufficient might be an idea.
On HuffingtonPost.com, you see stories about retiring abroad, the key to creativity, in-office workouts, remembering dreams, habits of mentally healthy people, etc.
Online marketplaces can give you some insight into what sells well with consumers. You can look at top sellers at ClickBank.com, JVZoo.com, and Amazon.com to pinpoint some possible niches.
Let’s look at them one by one.
ClickBank’s marketplace shows some of the top niches as:
- Fat loss
- Men’s dating
- Make money online
- Potty training
JVZoo.com’s marketplace shows some of the following topics selling well:
- Social media mastery
- Kindle publishing
Amazon.com is a great place to research both tangible and digital niche markets. You can go to http://www.amazon.com/bestsellers and look through each category to see what’s selling.
You can also look at hot new releases, top rated, movers and shakers and “most wished for.” These lists are updated hourly, so they’re as current as you can get, which will serve you well.
Click on a category and you can drill down further. Click on “Book”s, for example and you can look in self-help. You can see that people want to know about:
- Being an introvert
- Marriage help
- Success tips
After you do a quick brainstorm and some fundamental research, you might have a very healthy, long list or a short one of about 5 niche markets you could possibly get into.
Next, it’s time to cut more from your list. Don’t be hesitant about cutting niches. They’re always there if you ever want to branch out and add another income stream, but you have to start somewhere with one niche, so avoid combining them just because you don’t want to give one up – keep in mind that this first niche decision is really only temporary.
This is the end of Part 1 – “How to Find Profitable Niches.” You’ll find Part 2 here.
To your online business success!