There is often a certain hesitation that many people encounter before beginning their online business. It is related to not wanting to make a mistake when selecting their niche. You can’t really move forward and build a site, or blog, and create products based on your knowledge if you haven’t yet made your niche selection.
The sheer number of factors you need to consider when choosing a niche presents a daunting task for many new online entrepreneurs. Right of the bat, your main concern should be profitability. Why go to any effort at all if there’s not going to be a monetary return for you?
There are 5 basic points you should analyze before finalizing your decision as to which niche(s) you will be targeting. Nothing you do can guarantee success, but these tasks will allow you to mitigate some, or even most, of the risk.
#1: Don’t Worry About Competition
One of the biggest ‘non-issues’ people worry about is competition. There are people who will throw up their hands and walk away if anyone else has ever covered a topic before. And some who will walk away if a certain number of sites exist (whatever number they’ve made up to depict too much competition).
The reason they’re overly concerned with this is because many ‘guru’ marketers have in the past promoted way too many courses teaching people to only target low hanging fruit and avoid saturated niches.
The truth is that most consumers prefer to learn from and follow many people in a niche they’re interested in. I’ll bet even you do it! If you’re interested in a topic, like fasting for instance, you don’t land on one person’s blog and vow to only learn from them and no one else, do you?
No! The fact is, you will look up many people and companies to learn from – you might buy two, three or even more books on Amazon to read about it. You’ll hit up YouTube and start watching all kinds of related videos to get differing insight and opinions on the topic.
We love to learn from many people for several reasons. First, they have different teaching styles. Some people are brash, some coddle you – others give advice daily while some release big information less often.
Some use text in a blog that you can read, while others publish videos or stream live from their social media pages. There are some who prefer to teach through podcasts too!
Your opinion and insight doesn’t have to be better than someone else’s. It just has to resonate with that one person who prefers your teaching style over someone else’s. As long as the information you’re providing is helpful, don’t be afraid to compete with anyone and everyone.
There are some people who love self help topics so much that they fall all over themselves whenever Tony Robbins speaks. However, there are also those who can’t stand listening to him. How boring would it be if there was only one person available for us to learn from for each topic we want to know more about?
So, ease up on your self-doubt, put away your tools that calculate the competition and understand that there is plenty of room for everyone, regardless of your experience, your appearance, your income level, or any other measurement you might be using to talk yourself out of making the leap into a niche you’re truly enthusiastic about.
#2: Drill Your Niche Down From Broad To Narrow
Now that you know there’s no such thing as too much competition, your next priority is to consider whether you want to take a broad approach to your niche or drill it down a bit.
But when you drill it down, how much is too much? You want to dig just the right amount of depth because if you go too narrow, you might whittle your audience down to almost nothing, making it hard for you to profit from your efforts.
Now let’s take a look at exactly how a niche is drilled down. For this example, we’ll start with the diet niche. A diagram of the thinking process would look something like this:
Diet -> Fasting -> Intermittent Fasting -> 5:2 Diet -> 5:2 Diet for Women
-> 5:2 Diet for Women Over 40 -> 5:2 Diet for Vegetarian Women Over 40
This is a typical way to drill down a niche. You can certainly do whatever level of depth you want, but it’s important not to go too detailed because then you could end up excluding a large demographic from your audience.
Drilling down to fasting excludes other kinds of dieters who don’t want to fast, but that’s fine because there are many people who want to learn about this method of losing weight.
Going into the ‘5:2’ fasting method eliminates everyone wanting to do the ‘16/8’ method, the ‘eat-stop-eat’ method, and the ‘alternate day fasting’ method. As soon as you added women into the niche, it excluded all men, too.
So, as you can see, the narrower (niched down) you get, the more potential customers you’re weeding out. As long as that demographic stays large enough, and you can use common sense to gauge it, you don’t need a statistician to configure numbers for you, you’re good to go.
Keep in mind that your site can start out broad, and then have drilled-down categories in the sidebar, where each category drills down even farther into individual blog posts that cover the narrowest of topics.
So, you could start a ‘Best Diets For Weight Loss’ blog that serves as an umbrella for a huge number of diet plans. In the sidebar, you might have the following categories:
• Keto Diet
• Vegetarian Diet
• Paleo Diet
• 1200 Calorie Diet
• Low Carb Diet
• Fasting Diet
• Mediterranean Diet…and so on
In each category, you can create specific blog posts covering all of the narrow slants under that diet, including a blog post titled: The 5:2 Fasting Diet for Vegetarian Women Over 40.
Before you choose an approach, be sure to keep in mind that if you have a broad topic, your audience will expect ongoing content that covers a wide variety of subjects.
Your consumer who is interested in learning about diets will be disappointed if they land on your site and see nothing about low carb because you’re too bogged down in writing about fasting, calories and plant-based diets.
You have to be able to plan strategically with your content and keep it up to date constantly. So, if it’s too overwhelming to meet all of your follower’s needs, consider narrowing down a bit so you’re able to deliver content that meets the needs of all of your readers consistently.
#3: Gauge The Profitability Of Your Niche
Profitability is on everyone’s mind when they’re just starting a new business branch online. You want the money to start flowing fast, and lots of it! There are a few different ways you can measure the profit potential of a niche.
First, know that digital products can be lucrative. They’re the kind of product a customer can get instantly by clicking a buy button and downloading directly to their computer to consume.
So, you want to be looking to see if your niche has products on sites like ClickBank, for example. Of course, if there are none, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. If consumers buy courses or books on the topic, you could create your own content, or use private label rights content (PLR) to do it.
Tangible products are another area of profitability. In the fitness niche, for example, you might have digital courses that teach people how to exercise, eliminate fat and get toned, but more money comes in the form of commissions from the promotion of machines they’ll be using, protein powder, calipers to measure fat, scales and more.
Services, like coaching or doing things for others that they don’t want to do themselves, is another way to make money in a niche. If you want to help someone achieve success, you could be a sort of ‘life coach’ for them – or help analyze someone’s efforts to improve their relationships, for example.
Look at price points and frequency of purchases, too. Whenever you find a program that the consumer will be renewing regularly (monthly or annually) it provides even more profit potential for you to consider.
Regarding the price of the product, you might instinctively worry about promoting high ticket items, but you will need to sell fewer of them to equal the dollar volume of sales you’d have to make of a small commission item.
Understand that unless you’re selling services or using paid ads for traffic, it will take a little time to gain traction in any niche because your site has to get indexed (found) in the search engines, like Google. Stay consistent and always be building up your content and following.
#4: Don’t Wait To Know Everything Before Starting
Worrying about not measuring up to your competitors in terms of knowledge is quite common for new online entrepreneurs. They don’t want to step foot in the arena unless they have all of the answers ahead of time.
However, nobody has all of the knowledge they need in every situation. The key is to be a good learner and sharer – someone who, when asked a question they don’t know the answer to, is willing to go out and research the subject to find an answer they can share.
That’s all it takes – willingness and the ability to uncover things people want to know. This is actually part of what’s thrilling about being a niche leader. You’re always discovering new things and broadening your knowledge base about your chosen topic.
Wouldn’t it be extremely boring if you woke up day after day and already knew everything there was to know about the subject matter. Embrace your starting point and understand that there’s no shame or humiliation in saying, “I’m not sure about that – let me get an answer and get back to you”.
But make sure you’re not just waiting around for questions to be asked before you embark on a learning adventure. You should always have time carved out in your schedule for diving into niche topics and learning interesting, new, or trending details to showcase to your followers.
Stay abreast of news stories, read consumer or trade magazines in your niche, study the competition to see what they’re talking about, and lurk in forums and on social media to see what the latest buzz is.
When you find information to distribute to your audience, don’t be afraid to share your opinion on it, too. People want to know what you think of it – even if you disagree with what someone else is saying.
Put a twist on it if you can or want to. If some news comes up about how getting 8 hours of sleep a night helps you lose weight, you can pass that information along to your audience.
But then add your own take on ways they can achieve that slumber if they don’t already know. Give your own personal bedtime routine hacks, if you have any, that might help them. Experiment with new methods of getting to sleep and share a daily account about what worked and what didn’t.
#5: Longevity Issues to Consider
There are a few things you have to keep in mind in terms of adopting this niche for the long haul. Unless you plan on flipping your site to someone else, chances are you’re hoping this will grow into a formidable business branch for years to come.
But will you run out of information to share? There are some niches, like health, which are always evolving. Sometimes it’s because of technology and sometimes because of new knowledge that’s gained that wasn’t known before.
Then you might find something such as how to store water that has you scrambling for new topics to cover after a few months. Maybe you covered rain barrels and treating water, you did product reviews and a how-to series, and now you’re all out of ideas.
You want to make sure that the niche you choose isn’t difficult for you to garner ideas with. Before you begin, brainstorm some of the categories that fall under the overall umbrella of your niche topic, and write out lists of possible things to cover.
Will you be able to find something new a couple of months from now? How about a year from now? It’s helpful, depending on how much creativity you have or lack, to pick a niche that makes things easy for you in terms of brainstorming topics to blog about.
Will you get bored with the niche? Or feel some other negative emotion if you are having to tend to a site on this topic all of the time? What if it’s a depressing niche and you have to write about it day after day?
It’s important for you to feel excited about work and not dread facing it every morning. So, pick a niche that truly makes you feel fulfilled, or happy, whenever you share your thoughts, ideas, and opinions with your audience.