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I thought it would be important to include a post here about choosing a niche or how to choose a niche. Some aspiring online entrepreneurs still make the mistake of developing a product and then looking for or trying to find a market for it.
So if you're doing it that way then I'm telling you now that you're doing it backwards.
If you've been doing your research, then you've heard many online entrepreneurs say; "Find a market first, find out what they want, then give it to them."
Yes, this is easier said than done but it can and has been done.
Believe it or not, most of the work has already been done for you.
Hopefully you already know what a niche is before you continue reading this but, just in case, I explain it pretty well in another post properly titled: What is a niche? Read that one before continuing this one, it'll help in your understanding of the niche choosing process.
Brainstorming Ideas for a Niche
When brainstorming ideas, try the following process.
To begin with, make yourself aware of any trends and / or current events that is going on in the world today. Go to news sites, social media, video type of sites such as YouTube, etc.
Sometimes you'll find that something you read or see will stick with you too.
Take notes, or record your thoughts on a voice recorder, whatever is most convenient for you at the time.
At some point, you'll have a few ideas that you want to research and look deeper into. You want to make sure that there's a good market for what you have in mind, before you even think about creating a product.
Now go to sites like BuzzSumo, where you can check out viral trends on any topic. Search through forums, Reddit, Quora, Q&A sites, and more. Doing this type of research will help you gain even more ideas and find out what people want to know more about, are asking about, are interested in, etc ..
When narrowing down your ideas, start looking at sub-niches. Great places to go to would be eBay and Amazon. When you're on one of these sites, select a category (using the topics you've gathered from looking at the previous sites), then look for sub-niches (aka sub-categories).
Be as specific as you can with your niche selection.
Once you have some potential sub-niches to work with, you want to see how much of a market there is in each particular niche.
Just because you found a sub-niche that you believe is popular does not mean people are spending money on it.
Amazon is a great place to find out what exists for any given sub-niche. Chances are, the more books and courses there are written on a subject, the more that particular market spends on that particular topic.
In this example (above) I specify "books" in the search bar as the category (or niche) to search. Then I entered "crafts" as the sub-niche.
As you can see, the results revealed that there are WAY too many books on the topic. This means the niche is not targeted enough. It's too "mainstream."
Now look at the example below where I'm still in the "books" category but this time I chose "rug latch" as a sub-category. The possibilities in this one are way better. Here we can suspect that:
(1) This sub-niche may be targeted enough; spirit
(2) This sub-niche may spend more money.
Now you want to scope out this option a little further.
You want to be as certain as you possibly can be about your niche being big enough and focused.
For this, you can use keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner or UberSuggest. Enter your niche and see how many times that keyword and any other related keywords have been searched for.
When looking at the number of searches, you want to see a good amount but not too many. A low number means there's not enough people searching your keyword and having way too many searches can mean that the competition is too high.
Don't get me wrong, competition is a good thing because it shows that others may be making money in that niche - but it may be harder to rank for.
Remember, at this point you're just trying to get a snapshot or a peek at the market.
Google Trends is another awesome place you can use in your research. There's a lot of extremely useful information in there.
Like I said before, the work is already done for you. You just need to put it to use.
There are other good sites you can use as well that are helpful when looking for niche ideas and researching its money making potentials. Especially for helping to narrow down a niche and to discover other important information about the market.
Check to see what digital products are being sold in your target niche. You can do this type of research at sites like Clickbank.
If you want to see how your competitor's sales pages have evolved over time, the Wayback Machine is a great place to go to.
Another helpful thing you can do is check to see how many magazines, if any, there are in your niche.
For this, you can go to any site that sells magazines, such as Magazines.com. These sites have a subscriptions category. At each site, you can search by category and look for magazines in your niche.
The more magazines you find that are in your niche, the better. Well .. up to a point.
Let me give you an example of what I mean;
Fishing has a lot of magazines, but it's not a good niche by itself. It would need to be more targeted. But in that case you can niche down by looking at the types of magazines there are in that topic and look for more targeted sub-niche ideas within that topic.
Ok, by now you should have a pretty good idea as to what niche market you want to test or get into. And by knowing what kinds of informational products are selling, you can start to formulate the content your going to test or start.
During your testing phase or the beginning stages of your business, pay attention to your opt-in percentage. If it's too low, it may mean that your squeeze page copy needs to be tweaked or perhaps this market is not made up of enough buyers.
Now if your traffic and opt-ins are both good, it's time to start thinking about a product. Yes, you have not created a product yet. Up until this point you've just been doing your research.
Your product, of course, will ideally be relevant to the content they have signed up for in the first place.
If you already have an email list, you can also send out an email simply asking them what they want, or try to determine their wants and needs from carefully constructed survey questions. Keep in mind that sometimes people say one thing and do another. The only way you get 100% certainty is when people vote with their wallet.
Once you confirm that a niche will be profitable, with this approach you already have a pre-built list that keeps getting bigger and bigger by the time you're ready to launch your product.
So there you have it.
There are plenty of sites you can use for research in addition to the ones I mentioned here. These sites will help you research practically any niche market effectively. Once you get the hang of this process, you'll be able to conduct your niche researches much quicker and easier.
After all, time is money.