Choosing the right niche for your new website could mean the difference between raking in the cash and not making any money.
The good news about websites is that you can always start over. Even if you swing and miss the first time around, there are always future opportunities to knock it out of the park.
But wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easy way to find a profitable niche out of the gate?
Stephan Spencer shared some insights into this topic in the past, and his thoughts still ring true.
What do people ask you about? What have you studied extensively? What do you love to do?
These are very important questions to ask, and will help you to navigate the sometimes challenging activity of picking a niche.
Here are some additional steps you can take to narrow down a niche topic for your new website.
Step #1 – Keyword & Competitive Research
Putting some numbers behind your hunches might be just the thing that will make your ideas concrete.
After all, if there’s nobody searching for the topic you’re looking to start a site on, it’s pretty much a dud idea.
Now, keyword research can sound really complex and can frustrate people who aren’t numbers-oriented, so let’s make this as simple as possible.
Go to Google’s External Keyword Tool, enter your keyword, and check:
- Whether your keyword has at least 2,000 global searches per month or not (you can still make something work with 1,000 searches, but this can be harder).
- How competitive the keyword is. The lower the better.
This activity will give you an idea how viable your chosen niche is, and should also provide you with long-tail keyword ideas.
You may need to go back to the drawing board if your topic has less than 1,000 searches per month, or if the keyword is highly competitive.
But this still doesn’t give you an idea of how competitive the niche really is. What you need to do is run a search in Google for your niche keyword.
This will allow you to see the kinds of pages that are ranking, and will also alert you to any competitors using AdWords to promote their product or site.
If it seems like the organic results are relatively low value and you could easily create better content, then you may be on to something.
Also remember to check the image and video results for additional intel. x
Step #2 – Understand Your Target Audience
Let’s assume you’ve found a keyword with low competition and a relatively high volume of monthly searches.
Your niche topic probably looks really attractive right about now, but there’s still more work to do. The main thing to focus on now is to get to know your target audience.
A target audience with no buying power won’t do you much good, no matter how many visitors you get to your website.
Furthermore, you could go and make a product you think your audience would want, and not get any purchases because of inadequate research.
So, how do you get to know your prospects? This is actually pretty straightforward, and there are many ways of going about it.
Consider doing the following:
- Interact with your audience on relevant forums and social media groups.
- Study blog comments on competitor websites.
- Attend the same conferences, events, and trade shows your target audience attends.
- Check out the blogs, magazines and other publications your prospective visitors read and subscribe to.
- Survey your target audience. You don’t need a website to set up and send people to a survey with a tool like Survey Monkey.
- Once you’ve established a bit of a rapport, jump on Skype with your target visitors and have a real conversation with them.
It’s possible to ask a lot of different questions and get responses that aren’t terribly helpful, so there’s one question in particular you should prioritize:
What is your biggest challenge to do with _______ right now? (Where the blank is your chosen topic, obviously).
The answer to this question will give you the insights you need to create an effective niche website as well as information products that matter.
Step #3 – Reverse Engineer Profitable Niches
If you’ve made it this far, then you might have found a profitable niche already. If so, congratulations!
If not, just know that it’s also possible to find valid niches by reverse engineering.
If you want to pursue passion rather than profit, then these options may not prove terribly exciting. Neither is wrong or right; it just depends on the situation.
Here are several sites you can explore for inspiration:
- ClickBank: if you go to the marketplace, you can see a myriad of products organized by category. There are many sub-niches that exist within each category, plus it’s easy to find the most successful products within any given niche.
- Amazon: these days, you can find virtually anything on Amazon. By clicking on the dropdown menu on the search bar (marked “All”), you can easily find profitable niches. Then, if you go to any one of those category pages, you will find additional sub-niche ideas all along the left sidebar.
- Flippa: you probably didn’t even think to look here, but here’s the thing; you can find plenty of sites in a variety of niches that are selling for something. If people are vying for specific sites, it’s pretty clear that there is money to be made in those niches. Just keep in mind that some sites in the listings are worthless, while others are actually making a good chunk of money.
- Find A Forum: looking for popular niche-related forums? Well, this site only adds active ones to their database, so you can rest assured if people are going crazy over specific subjects that there is also a profitable niche to serve. Just keep in mind that you still need to do competitive analysis after finding a niche that you want to run with.
All things considered, even if you happen to build a site around a niche with no monetary potential, at least you’ll learn from the experience and be able to do something better and quicker next time.
But if you follow the steps mentioned here, you can find an endless supply of niches to explore, and having options is always nice when we’re talking about money.
Test and validate your ideas, and if they don’t work out, don’t fear moving onto the next thing.