Learning how to find a profitable niche market or markets is one of the key aspects of starting an online business. Because of that this is one of the best places to start and understand before embarking on your journey to make money online. If you take the time to really figure this out, this understanding can be transferable to other aspects of online entrepreneurship. You can apply your niche research skills to developing websites, Kindle books or independent ebooks, apps, training courses and material.
But before we dig into all of that, let’s answer the basic question, “What exactly is a niche market?” A niche market is simply a very targeted subsection of the market at large. For example, say your market is lumber. A niche within the lumber market could be oak, cherry, fir, cedar, etc. It is always possible to get very deep in the weeds with niches. For the lumber example, the next sub-section may be oak. There are further niches within oak, such as “oak planks,” “oak furniture,” “oak trees.” And this list could go on and on and become more and more specific. However, there are other aspects that are very important in choosing a niche other than specificity and we will get into those later.
How to generate Niche ideas
A nice way to begin brainstorming possible niches to look into is to use the strategy that Pat Flynn and Tyrone Shum have talked about on their blogs. This strategy is to write out 5 – 10 things in the following categories: Passion, Pain, Problem. Your “Passion” section should be things that you are very passionate about or at the very least interested in. Write out a list under this “Passion” section.
Next write out 5 – 10 things under the “Pain” section. These can be real or perceived pains. For example, back pain or fear of public speaking. People have all kinds of fears and and phobias.
The third category is “Problems.” This again can be any types of problem that you or people you know experience. Perhaps losing abdominal fat, finding the cheapest car insurance, how to run Windows on a Mac, how to set up a blog quickly, etc. This should be an easy category to come up with ideas for as you start thinking about you will see potential “Problems” to research on a daily basis from obstacles you encounter as well as hearing about other peoples obstacles through out daily conversation. So keep an ear out, you never know where you might discover your next money niche.
If you are still having a difficult time you can find other peoples problems via the internet. There are certain places where many people gather to post a problem they have in the form of questions. You can gather great insights from the questions they post that you can use to find new niches.
Ehow.com is one such site.
Another site worth checking out for the same purpose is yahoo answers
Various forums that are related to your larger market are another great source for finding potential niches within the “Problem” category. The reason being, because many people log onto forums to post a question about a certain problem they may be having in hopes of getting the advice from several if not many people on how to overcome the problem. Forums are great because they often display how many views and replies a certain thread within a forum has. This gives you valuable information on many other people are experiencing that particular problem.
Also don’t forget to give Amazon a try for exploring niches. Why Amazon? Well, Amazon passed eBay as the worlds largest and most popular online market place. Amazon is an amazing company that has branched out into many different areas beyond their original purpose as an online book marketplace. They now sell nearly everything and have one of the most advanced logistical systems in history. The reason Amazon is so useful for the purposes of niche idea generation is all the books they have listed. We can go to Amazon and visit their “Books” category. From their we can go onto the “Best Seller” category. From here you can browse the books and then click the “Look Inside” button and get some great ideas for subcategories for a potential niche. You can get most of these topics and ideas off what you find within the table of contents. It is worth noting that most of the useful books for our purposes here will be non-fiction books unless you are researching a niche for the purpose of writing a fiction book.
You can also browse the categories and sub-categories within Amazon’s books section to find something you are interested in.
You can also take a look at ClickBank.com to search for various niches that have accompanying info product that you could possibly market down the road. You can click on a category that you like and then sort everything by gravity. Gravity is basically a dataset that Clickbank uses to let people know wether a product is selling or not. It is best to stay away from anything lower than 7 because it probably will not sell well. You will see some on there that may be several hundred which means they are selling very good. This is a great sign, but you also want to take into account what kind of commission you would make from that product.
- 3 P’s
- Yahoo Answers
- Youtube.com (Second most-used search engine!)
Research And Evaluate Your Niche Ideas
How to do Niche Research
Now you have some experience generating niche ideas you have the first part down. The next part is evaluating whether your potential niches are worth targeting. You need to ensure your prospective niche is relevant. We can use Market Samurai’s PBR (Phrase to Broad Ratio) to aid in this determination.
We also need to determine if that niche will have enough traffic. If there is not enough people searching for your proposed niche, then you cannot monetize your website or eBook or product very well. Again, Market Samurai does a great job at showing us the amount of total searches these keywords are getting and additionally how much traffic you could expect by ranking number 1 in Google.
You will generally get approximately 40 – 50 percent of the total searches by being the first position on Google.
You also need to evaluate your competition. You will need to also evaluate the commercial value of a product.