Of all the questions I get from novice website builders, “How to Pick a Niche Market” tops the list. I think what most new website builders really want to know is how to make money with a website. Making money with a website starts with knowing how to pick a profitable niche market.
If you already know how to make money with a website or you already know exactly what type of website you want to build and who you want to target to sell your products or service, this post is likely not for you.
But if you are like me and you have a wide variety of interests, you may have difficulty choosing a profitable niche market. That could be because it takes some thinking to nail down your number one over riding passion. I built a couple of websites early on in my online marketing career that went nowhere because I just didn’t have enough passion to pursue the niche.
I’ll tell you more a little later on in this training, (See “Think About the Business Side of Niche Marketing”) but I’ve since learned that I am very passionate about making money with my online business because once the money flows, the passion grows!
“Once the money flows, the passion grows!” ~Coach Rebecca
Why Is Passion Important?
Passion is one of those ambiguous kinds of words. You might have passion for your romantic partner but that’s not the same thing as having passion for a group of people or passion for a cause or passion for a subject.
When it comes to niche marketing websites, passion means you need identify what you really care about before you attempt to build a website. Passion is more than a casual interest or a hobby.
The reason you need to settle on your greatest passion is because slapping up a website is easy. With the right platform, you can set up a website in five minutes. Developing it with the volume of traffic you need to make money requires a passionate drive to succeed. If you are passionate about helping people, picking a subject that you have a lot of interest in will help you maintain that level of momentum.
I am a passionate person. I love coaching and helping people. But many people are not really passionate about anything. Ask them what they love to do and they might say, “I like to drink beer and shoot pool with my friends.” Or, “I like to watch TV.” But who makes a substantial living shooting pool? Who makes enough to support their family by watching TV all day?
It’s really hard to make money if your only passion is hanging out at pool halls. You could make a niche site about playing pool and sell pool tables and sticks but unless you are truly passionate about helping people learn to play pool, you’ll eventually run out of steam.
Watching TV might be better for making money. Millions of people watch TV. You could offer reviews of TV shows, TV subscriptions, TV antennas and televisions. You could sell equipment related to television viewing.
TV viewing is a pretty well saturated market. You could find it difficult to make a name for yourself against all the TV giants in the market. But if you had an angle and specialized your niche into something like “remote controlled antennas” or “antennas for people in remote areas”, you could make money from your interest in watching TV.
If you are really passionate about something whether or not it’s a hobby or a life calling, you could build a profitable website. But some hobbies like “collecting ceramic pigs” or collecting stuffed animals are not going to be wildly profitable. How do I know that?
Well when you think about choosing a niche for your website you have to do some research and think about the products in the niche. If you take a look at ceramic pigs, it’s not a hugely popular market and you are looking at $10-20 dollar item.
If you were to get your products from Amazon where affiliates are paid 6% commission, you’re looking at $.60-$1.20 in commission. You’d have to sell hundreds of ceramic pigs a day to make a decent living from a niche like that. You might make a few hundred dollars a year but you won’t make enough to quit your job.
A better approach to picking a good niche for your website is to have a genuine passion for helping people solve problems. Having a genuine passion for helping people solve a problem they have that is an urgent pain or a burning desire is one way you can pick a niche market for your website.
Here is a PARTIAL LIST of issues/problems people have to get you started thinking about your niche.
Here is a breakdown of a few of the big categories of problems from the list above into a couple of niches within the category. This is only a start to stimulate your creative brain cells! There are dozens of money-making niches in each of the above problem categories.
Think Market First and Product Second
When you’re building a website to make money, you have to think first in terms of market and second in terms of product. The idea is to discover a need in a big market that’s not being met adequately and then fill it. That’s what a niche is in the online market place.
Your target market could any group you can identify with like:
- Women or Men: Stay-at-home Moms/Dads, Parents, Single, Divorced. Widows/Widowers…
- Children: Boys, Girls, Toddlers, Teens…
- Seniors or Baby Boomers: Pre-retirees, Retirees…
- Young Adults: College Students, Young Marrieds, Young Singles…
- Career Professionals: Attorneys, Accountants, Financial Professionals, Builders, Realtors…
The niche for your website is your personal sweet spot. Your sweet spot is the intersection of where your passion, knowledge and ability to make money intersect.
Finding your sweet spot is pivotal to your success in internet business marketing. Why? Well, you could have a lot of passion for a subject and even some knowledge and experience but without knowing how to turn your passion into profit you will become a starving artist.
You could have a great deal of knowledge about a topic but without a passion and desire to make money you’ll be another ego-inflated blogger and you will fail as an online marketer.
You could be like a lot of internet marketing hucksters and have a real desire to make money but fail to learn about all of the intricacies of creating customer loyalty and eventually you’ll crash and burn.
When you can put a sincere desire (passion) to help people with a subject that you have some knowledge about and can make money from your helping effort, you have found your sweet spot.
A Niche Is A Group Of People With Problems
A niche in internet marketing represents a group of people who have specific problems,needs and desires that you can relate to. Social membership sites like LinkedIn were started to solve a problem for professionals who want to connect to gain referrals for their service.
SproutSocial.com was started to help people who have websites be more intelligent and profitable with their social media connections. Sites like ELance, iWriter and INeedArticles were started to help people with websites get quality articles for their websites. Each of those websites are niched in the broader “Make Money Online” market.
In each of the above examples, the passion of the website developer motivated them to think about problems and create solutions for a niche in their market. Their product or service provides solutions for a very distinct niche market of people that they have a passion for and want to connect with.
Why You Need a Niche
If you are just starting out as a “solo-preneuer” it’s likely that you don’t have a lot of money to build your brand. It takes money to compete and become a big player in the major business industries.
Maybe you have passion, knowledge and experience in cooking. Do you really think you can compete with big names in the food industry like Martha Stewart and FoodNetwork.com if your website is a big potpourri of everything in the world about food? Get real. Anyone unknown in the market will have a tough time competing when they are just starting.
FoodNetwork.com shows up first when you type “food” into most search engines. But here’s an idea. Ree Drumond started a blog with her recipes, pictures and stories about her family and she is in the number two spot for “food” search on Google. She makes money with ad sponsors and her own books.
Ree found a way to make money with a blog website. She created a special niche called, “The Pioneer Woman”. She found a niche with family-oriented women who appreciate her sincere, down home style and family values. She turned her passion for food and her family values into a profitable blog enterprise. (Stay tuned; my interview with Ree Drumond is coming soon!)
How to Niche
When you think of a niche for a website, think of breaking down a very big topic into smaller topics and even smaller topics much like you would do if you were creating an outline.
Here is an example.
Let’s say you really love animals. You love big animals, small animals, flying animals, crawling animals and swimming animals. You could put up a website that is “All About Every Animal On The Planet.com” but unless you are a celebrity like Jack Hannah, that would be far too broad of a market category to compete and make money in.
When you are considering a niche, you need to think about two things. 1) what does your customer want and 2) how will you make money by helping them. Successful online business developers always think about what their buying customers want most. That’s how they create their niche in the market place.
You’re not likely to make money giving people information with a niche about white rhinos because rhinos are not a problem or a need that millions of people will spend money on everyday to fix. For sure they won’t spend money repeatedly.
So instead, you want to find a niche in the big category of Animals like “pets” that presents a problem for pet owners. “Pets” is one of those evergreen categories where there will always be a need for products and solutions to problems.
Your niche could be “AllAboutDogs” but that’s still too big. So think about narrowing your niche down even further into something like “how to train your German Shepherd.” With that as your specialty, you might find a domain name like, GermanShepherdAdvice or RaisingGermanShepherds.
On your website you could build information about care, training, health and obedience relating to German Shepherds. In each of those areas you could review and offer products like books, leashes, collars, dog food, dog treats, command whistles, training programs, obedience schools, dog dishes, grooming supplies, toys for German Shepherds, dog beds and so forth. You could offer products on your website that people who love German Shepherds as much as you do (your passion) are likely to buy repeatedly.
And, with “how to train your German Shepherd” as your niche, you could become an authority on the subject of German Shepherds which means you can stand out in a crowded marketplace.
With a narrower niche, you can compete easier in the market place. In other words, you have a better shot at becoming a bigger player and branding yourself as an expert in your niche which means you will find it easier to draw traffic to your website.
Think About The Business Side of Niche Marketing
Whatever website niche you end up choosing needs to be something that you have researched and have:
- working knowledge of
- interest in
- ability to monetize
Your niche is not going to work for you unless you can make money with it. So is passion important? Yes. But if I can’t make money, I need to re-think my niche. (I’m more passionate about making money than I am about helping people find bow ties with matching argyle socks. LOL )
Is knowledge important? Yes. But with the internet, I can easily gain more knowledge. The more you write about a subject, the more knowledge you will gain and the easier it will be to write content for your site.
You can make money with a blog website niche on almost anything but some niches are more profitable than others. Here are a few questions to consider before you settle in on your website niche:
- How many sales per month at your average product price point will it take to make a decent profit (in your eyes)?
- Can you see your niche branching off into other related niches?
- Is this a niche you really like and can relate to a big market of people with the same interest or is it just one item that you like?
- Are a lot of people already buying products and services in your niche?
- Are people likely to buy repeatedly in your niche?
Check Out This Great Video About How to Pick a Profitable Niche!
The last piece of information I have to help you pick a niche market for your website is a great video: How to Pick a Profitable Niche. It’s only 8 minutes and I promise it’s well worth your time.
For a little more information on how to pick a niche market for your website, you can read my tutorial here. Show Me the Money.
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