Niche Marketing: Searching for a Profitable Niche
“I want to know exactly how this ‘niche’ research you talk about can be done successfully. How do you find a ‘niche’? How do you know when a ‘niche’ is a ‘niche,’ not just a ploy? How do you know when it is full or partially full once you have found it?” — Rev. Robert L. Autry, Truth For Family Living
You can find this procedure covered in greater detail in my article “Starting an E-Business on a Shoestring Step 1. Define a Unique E-Business Niche” and in Ken Evoy’s Make Your Content PRE Sell! Action Guide, included as part of his Site Build It! program. But in brief, here’s the procedure:
- Look to yourself.
- In which fields do you have expert knowledge? What do you enjoy? Where’s your passion? If you were to pick a field that you have no interest in, it’ll be hard to keep at it week after week, month after month as your online business is developing. And you need to find a field where you have knowledge you can share with people as you build content on your website. Your expertise is the “value added” element that brings excellence to the site.
- Make lists of the keywords that describe these fields.
- Use Wordtracker to expand your list with synonyms and related words. If you have several possible fields, list all the keywords and synonyms you can think of. Now you might have a list of 100 to 200 keywords and phrases.
- Assess Internet supply and demand for each of these keywords.
- Run these keywords through a tool that will tell you both their supply (how many websites are listed when these keywords are searched) and their demand (how many times these keywords are searched for). Such tools can be found within Site Build It! as well as Product Idea Evaluator (P.I.P.E.). Now, sort by a ratio of demand / supply. What you’re looking for are keywords with good demand but low supply. That is, there is a demonstrated interest since a lot of people are searching, but not too many websites supplying information on this theme.
- Determine PPC Prices of Keywords.
- Consider the keywords that show the greatest potential and check the keyword prices for these words on Google AdWords and Overture. Look for products that are offered via an affiliate program that pay fairly high commissions or that you could sell in an online store. Your business idea needs to have some profit potential or you’ll be working for nothing. Hopefully, by this time, however, you will have found some promising fields.
- Survey the Competition.
- Look at your potential competition on the Internet. How can you do it better, offer a new twist, and provide excellence where you now find only mediocrity? An old copyright date is a sign that a competing site is no longer being actively maintained. With many sites, “the lights are on but nobody’s home.”
If you do your research carefully and persistently you’ll probably find some niches that have potential, but are either unfilled (not likely these days) or underfilled (very likely).
The next steps are to build content pages designed to attract “free” (organic or natural) search engine traffic to your site. This phase will probably take a number of months. Gradually, your site will rise in the search engines and begin to get enough traffic that you can monetize the site and begin to earn some money. None of this is easy, of course, nor for the faint of heart. But the persistent and creative person can succeed — sometimes spectacularly.