Find A Niche – Step One To Starting An Online Business
|October 6, 2011||Posted by Louise under Online Business Ideas|
You’ve read a few ebooks, possibly visited a few forums on Internet Marketing. You want to be in control of your own career and your income and the home online business option seems like the right fit. But you’re probably wondering how to setup an online business. How and where do you start? Step 1: You Find A Niche.
Find A Niche
Ok. Sounds pretty logical. You didn’t need me to tell you the obvious. But most beginners get stuck on what niche to choose. They either take forever picking one or they don’t give it much thought and pick anything. Either way, if you don’t know what to look for, you could be choosing a niche that doesn’t attract traffic or worse, buyers. Without these, you won’t be leaving your day job anytime soon!
By now, you’ve probably been advised repeatedly to follow your interests. But that’s not enough. It’s only part of the winning equation. You also have to make sure the niche has good profit potential.
So, don’t limit your choices. Take an inventory of your passions, your education and work background, and your life experience. Brainstorm. Title several columns on a paper or computer document with the labels above (passions, education, work, life experience, and any other category that’s logical to you). Go back to childhood and jot down everything that pops in your head. Don’t revise, edit or overthink during this process.
When you’re done, read over what you splattered on the paper or document and make associations. How can you use these results together towards some niche topics? Again, brainstorm and come up with a list of possible niches you can explore.
You Don’t Have To Be An Expert
Remember, you don’t have to be an expert in that niche. Obviously, it helps if you have some knowledge of the topic matter, but your interest can help carry you towards becoming knowledgeable enough to help others or to be a source of useful information.
Now, The Research
Now that you’ve listed several choices, you have to determine if they are profitable. Taking these extra steps will determine if you are indeed starting a business or simply a hobby.
At this stage, your research should answer these questions:
1) Are people searching online for this topic? If so, then you are increasing your chances for traffic. And you need traffic to make sales. Most importantly, discover which keywords for your topics are being used.
2) Is the niche profitable? That is, can it be associated with products or services that benefit your readers? If so, then you help your chances at making sales and providing yourself a healthy income. For instance, you could run an informative site on the raw food lifestyle. A quick search could reveal that you can monetize your site by offering recipe books, certain raw food products, and water filters. You could possibly create a membership support site.
3) How long is the niche’s shelf-life? Will it last long-term? Is it seasonal, such as a Christmas, Halloween or Mother’s Day related niche? Or is it a short-term trend? If you are looking to start a long-term year-long online business, then a topic on decorating for Christmas or on snow-shoeing would be a mistake.
Using certain keyword tools like Market Samurai (free version or paid), the Google Keyword Tool (free), Wordtracker (free trial or paid), and other resources like Amazon.com and Clickbank’s marketplace can help you find answers. I will show you how to use some of these in a future posts. So, make sure to check back.
What Niche Should You Choose?
By researching and answering the above questions, you whittle down your niche choices to a select few. Do more research if necessary, but choose one. You can revisit the other options later, once you have more internet marketing experience. By then, you’ll also be approaching them from a different perspective, which could lead to visualizing new opportunities.
If you didn’t catch it in that last paragraph, I’ll repeat this tidbit of advice: I strongly suggest you only start with one niche. Get used to the basics of running an online business. Once these are second nature and possibly you’ve outsourced some tasks to others, you’ll have more time and know-how to venture in new directions.
Before you start building your site, posting articles, or shopping for affiliate products to promote, you want to research and make sure you have a business niche that’s right for you and for its market. To do this, you need to review your interests, background and skills and brainstorm on possible niche topics.
Then, you research each topic to pinpoint which of them has an active market and profit potential, helping you find a winner niche suitable for your online business.
Read about weird and wacky online businesses that work.
So, how about you? Are you stuck on what niche to choose? Or if you have a niche, how did you decide? Do you have any other suggestions? Leave a comment below.
Keep moving forward…