Find A Niche – Step One To Starting An Online Business

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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.

 

Step 1

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!

 

find a niche

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Take Inventory

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…

 

15 Responses to Find A Niche – Step One To Starting An Online Business

  1. Hi Louise
    Market first, product later is a good rule of thumb.As is research, research, research.
    When you check Amazon and ClickBank, look for best selling as well as typing in a keyword. I checked ClickBank and found products with no gravity under the keyword, but found a product that was fifth in best selling with the same keyword.
    Dee

  2. Hi Louise

    It is one of the hardest things for some people to do. As you say you have to make sure that if you are going with a certain niche that other people are also interested in that niche.

    You have to find one where there is enough searches that you can make some money from it.

    To YOUR success

    Sue

  3. Hi Louise,

    You are absolutely right, passion and interest are not enough. The niche has to be profitable in the first place.

    What I do when I have an idea and a few main keywords, is check if the niche generates money. That’s simple: I go to Google and seach for the keywords. If there at least 5 or 6 adwords ads (top or right on the page) on page 1, then it’s worth investigating further because people wouldn’t advertise if they didn’t make money. Conversely, if there are no ads, I drop either the keyword or the niche to save time.

    I look forward to further posts on this topic, especially to how you deal with buyer keywords. :-)

    Max

  4. Thanks Dee.
    Great tips for Amazon and Clickbank!

    Louise

  5. Hi Sue

    And if you find a niche that’s profitable and has huge competition, then you’ll be working extra hard to stand out and get noticed. Not impossible, mind you, but you have to be prepared to do the extra work needed.

    Thanks for the comment!
    Louise

  6. Hi Max,
    I do the same.

    I’m hoping to have a few short and sweet videos on keyword searching soon. So keep coming!

    Thanks for your feedback,
    Louise

  7. For me, the first niche was easy to pick, but I went in blindly and got wet all at once. I don’t recommend that, especially nowadays when there is so much competition everywhere. I’m still in that niche, and it keeps me terribly busy, but my challenge is to monetize it better. I hope you will be addressing that soon, too!
    Now, I have been searching for a new niche, and your advice is priceless for that job. I hope it goes better this time, by doing it right! I’d like to be well monetized from the start, as much as possible. Thanks for your help. Great blog!

  8. Hi Roberta,
    Yes, I will eventually get to monetizing. I’m still experimenting, looking for the right fit, myself.
    But as always, I will definitely share my tips and experiences.

    Thanks for your feedback & best wishes with your new niche!
    Louise

  9. Hey Louise,

    Monetizing a niche is very important if you plan on making an income. There has to be products available to offer to have a profitable niche. That is if you don’t make them yourself.

    Here is a list of some of the places you can look for products…

    offervault .com
    clickbank .com
    cbtopsites .com
    commissionjunction .com
    PayDotCom .com
    clixgalore .com
    shareasale .com
    cbengine .com

    If there are not enough products the niche most likely not worth pursuing.

    Hope this gives you some ideas.

    Dennis

  10. Hi Dennis,

    Thanks for popping by and for some handy tips on profitable niches! I’m already an affiliate at Clickbank and Commission Junction. And once I’ve completed the IBCX program, I’ll definitely explore the others.

    Have a great weekend!
    Louise

  11. [...] you followed my advice on Find A Niche, you should now have chosen your business niche. You are almost ready to start building your site [...]

  12. Hey Louise
    Just found your website. Looks like we have a lot in common. I know from personal experience that passion is not enough…. I spent 12 months trying to get a patricular niche I had chosen profitable. I had a great product, lots of traffic…. but limited number of buyers. It was very frustrating! I’ve learnt my lesson…. and am starting all over again with my new site.

    Good luck!
    Jack

  13. Hey Jack
    Thanks for visiting.
    You must be on the right track because you are at least getting lots of traffic.
    I say, if you enjoy the process, keep trying and learning until it works for you.

    I wish you a wonderful and profitable 2012!
    Louise

  14. [...] niche that's profitable before you start any part of your new online business. Here's how. start an online business – Google Blog Search This entry was posted in Earn Money Online and tagged Business, Find, Niche, Online, Start, [...]

  15. [...] Take a good look at what you’re selling or what service you are providing and specifically target that niche. While a thriving business is all about expanding those niche markets, it is important to have a [...]