4 Steps to finding your Niche for Blogging or any Online business
On a piece of paper, write down all the things you love talking about and the topics or things you are passionate about.
Shortlist a niche that you would love to learn more about for the next 1-3 years.
Research on the competition and whether you can beat the competition. Avoid highly competitive niches when you are just starting out.
Use tools to find out if you have enough audience that would read the content you are planning to create.
In this article, we're going to be talking about how to choose your niche for your online business. As you know, there are several ways in which you can monetize your site - whether you're going into an affiliate marketing business or maybe you want to create an info product like an (e-book or a tool) business, or maybe you just plan to create informational and helpful content for readers and wish to monetize through ads.
Really any kind of business that you go into, you're going to have to choose your niche at some point.
We're going to look at a few techniques and a few resources that you can use to choose your niche so you can have a bit of a scientific approach based on some data that you get.
Before we start looking for a niche
Before we jump into the techniques of finding the right niche for your online business, you got to know that I honestly think this is one of the biggest sticking points for most people who try to get started in an internet marketing or an online business - choosing their niche. I have been there when I was just starting out with my very first website.
A lot of people kind of get going and going and they just get into this niche research and they never find their way out of it and they never actually take any action beyond researching niches and looking at niches and I want to kind of predicate all of this with - you can always change in the future.
What I'm doing right now is in a very very different niche than what I started doing in my first online business. So, give yourself full permission that if you get going down a path and it doesn't work out for you, or you're not enjoying the niche for some reason; you have every right to start over with a new niche and just know that all your previous efforts are going to serve you in your new niche.
Now that we have made that clear, if you are just starting out and reading this series on passive income, the odds of you picking a niche that you're going to love and make money are very good.
So let's get this right the first time.
How do you find a niche?
Choose a Niche you are passionate about
The niche needs to be interesting to you. Now what are the things that interest you?
You need to choose a niche that is something you're passionate about.
Is it possible that you have one of your biggest problems and it is something that's going to take you one to five years in order to solve? That could be your niche.
Both of the ideas - following passion or basing your niche on your biggest problem stems from the idea that it's going to take a few years for you to really build your business and get momentum going, so it needs to be something that's going to be interesting to you.
It's going to need to be something you're going to be willing to dedicate hours and hours every day.
Writing content on this subject matter, you're gonna have to research this subject, you're probably going to read books in this subject. So if it's not interesting to you at all the odds of you kind of giving up someday because it gets boring are really really high.
Tbh, it won’t be statistically wrong to say that the highest percentage of people who fail to make money online are the ones who stop writing content because they thought they have written enough content and it’s not working.
This is a long-term game.
It HAS to be something that you're kind of excited about, so that's the first side of the niche
Who is going to be your reader/customer
Who you're going to be eventually selling products to?
If you are planning to earn money through affiliates, then who are the people you are recommending products to?
Never target the top of your niche
There is a reason why it is called “niche”.
Let’s look at some definitions of “niche”.
a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.
Example: "he believes he has found a niche in the market"
denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.
"other companies in this space had to adapt to being niche players"
Let’s look at some famous online subjects
Health, Fitness and Wellness
Business, Finance and Money
Love and Relationships
When you are just starting out, you never want to target the top of the niche because there are extremely strong players already, and to beat them will take a lot of time (if at all possible).
The right approach to starting an online business is that you want to dig deeper into the topic of your interest and find sub-niches that are have high interest and are not that competitive. This will make sure you start to get quick results within 8-12 months from the day you start (again, long-term game).
You don’t want to pick a niche that is too saturated.
Use your Skills and Knowledge in the niche
First thing I think you should do would be to take out a piece of paper and write down what you have experience in over the last 5-10-20 years of your life.
Maybe you've been in the workforce for a while, maybe you have been very successful in navigating through the corporate politics. Maybe you are really good in sales and know how to convert people. Maybe you have been in the event management business and have carved out a process that ensures seamless event management.
Write it down, write it all down. Because what happens when you do something for so long, you kind of forget that you have specialized knowledge. You might think “oh well everybody knows that” - they don't, they definitely don't.
Now ask yourself,
Am I passionate about this subject?
Do I like talking about it?
Would I like to write about it and learn more about the subject along the way?
Because that is very important - you gotta have interest that should survive at least 1 year for you to be successful in internet marketing and generating good active or passive income for yourself.
All you need to be able to write really good content on the topic and teach people who are one step behind you.
Pick a topic that you want to learn yourself
There might be a topic that you have some knowledge in but you are not an expert. You don’t really have to be an expert. It doesn’t have to be one of your top skills as well. Unless and until it is something that you would really like to learn overtime and eventually be kind of an expert in.
What do you do in your free time? What do you do when you get home from work?
Maybe you love woodworking. You may have just created one or two woodworks so far, but if this is something that you can spend hours and hours in a day, why not go all in? Write about it, Start a Youtube channel and link your videos to your articles … and stay consistent.
These are all very valid niches and you can build your online business around it.
Pick a Niche that is profitable
Finding a niche for your online business is not only based on what you are interested in so you could potentially build a niche business around it, but it's also about you looking into the marketplace at what's already working.
You don’t want to pick a niche that is too saturated.
You also don’t want to pick a niche that is so small, you don’t have enough people searching for what you are writing about.
Search Google and check Ads
Go to Google and search for relevant keywords that you think your target audience would type to reach your website. For example, if you are planning to write content about Beauty courses, you would type keywords like “beauty courses in California” or “online beauty courses”.
Look at the top of results, do you see ads? This means there are people and companies happily paying for these topics and advertising and making money.
However, there is one slight problem in this example. This is not a narrowed-down niche. It is very likely going to be very competitive.
However, how about “beauty courses in South Park Los Angeles”?
You just went from state level targeting to targeting a specific area within a city. If you create content around the topic of beauty courses, your chances of dominating this area with respect to beauty courses niche will be quite high as compared to targeting an entire state.
Keyword Research and Competitive Analysis
There is no good niche that already does not have any content on it.
Some are more competitive than others, but every niche has some competition.
You have got to understand your competition and know that you have found something that you can easily beat the competition as the competition is very low.
Keyword Research is basically any tool that you can type a keyword for, and it will tell you how many users around the world are searching for that exact same keywords per month. When you have this monthly number of users searching for your niche, you kind of have an idea of your target audience and the level of competition (High, Medium, Low) for you if you want to rank for that keyword.
I personally do not use any paid keyword research tools and although I do appreciate people who go way deep into it in order to find “quick wins”, I find that approach very counterproductive. These tools generally lead you to make incorrect assumptions about the target market.
What you basically need some sense of your audience in terms of the numbers and some sense of the competition. Because it is a proven fact that these keyword tools are almost never accurate anyway.
I recommend you download this tool called “Keywords Everywhere” which is a simple add on for your Chrome/Firefox. What this does is whenever you search anything on Google, it shows you the volume of users searching for that exact same keywords. It turns your Google search results page into a keyword research tool. Pretty cool right?
It also gives you suggestions of other related keywords so you can check them out to get even more ideas about the titles and topics for your articles.
Let’s search for a keyword on Google now.
Oh! So no one is actually searching for this keyword. Or, they don’t have enough data for this keyword.
Something interesting on the side of my screen though.
Now I know people are looking for “beauty college on crenshaw” which is a district in Los Angeles.
If you are picking a niche for “How to make money online”, you will find articles from Forbes and Entrepreneur.com. Now these articles may not be the best and you could potentially write more words than them and more valuable information than them, but there is a very thin chance for you to compete and rank for these keywords on a brand new website which has no authority (yet).
Niche it down a little bit and search again.
Look at the search results that come up now.
Look for low-quality results that show in top 10 results and know what you are dealing with before you start writing about a subject.
Signals of Low-Quality search results to look for
If the articles listed in the results are very old, you have an opening to place yourself in the results.
Forums in search results
If you see results from forums and Question Answer websites like Quora, you know you have a chance in getting that position from them.
If you have search results that is a mix of Authoritative and not-so-authoritative websites, that’s a win for you.
Related but not exactly what you searched for.
If you search for something like “Life hacks for Students”, and you get first 5 results exactly on point, and the next 5 are just tangentially related to the search term and showing results for “Life hacks for Moms”, you know that google is just placing these results in the search because it was not able to find more results that are exactly on point. You’ve got a win.
Articles with more than 3500 words perform much better than articles with just <1000 words. If you think about it, it is very obvious as more content gives you more keywords and your odds of ranking improves. Also it is more information to the reader. If you see the results have very thin content that is less than 1500 words, write a better article with 2500 or even better, 4000 words.
And, in general, you should always target at least 1500 words per article. Anything shorter than that is unlikely to rank well on Google especially when the competition in the niche is fierce.
Be aware of Google’s answers
If you create a website that tells calories of different food items, chances are you will never get visitors for your website. Because the user will get an answer straight away from Google search itself.
Do you think you can write a more helpful resource than the top 10 results? If yes, then this is the keyword topic on which you should write about. Go for it.
Should I avoid targeting Highly competitive niches?
Internet marketing business requires your long term commitment and consistency to become something that you eventually start making money from. When you are a new website and you start writing content, it would generally take about 8-12 months until you start seeing some traffic to your website. It’s just how it works. Google takes time to trust you, and it is actually good because it pushes people to stay consistent with writing helpful content and a new website cannot bypass your hard work when you are say 2 years old in the niche.
When you target a highly competitive niche, you are just going to extend this time until you see results and profitability, if at all you rank after years of work. The bigger question is, will you keep working on the niche for the next 5 years without seeing any traffic to your website? Very likely not. It is not at all motivating when you keep working and see not results.
When you find a niche that you are passionate about, and it is narrow enough that there is enough audience but a room for you to carve a space for yourself, you get results within 1 year of your work (Provided you follow the steps that are in this series of passive income).
So the approach is to go from bottom-to-top.
You start with targeting a small piece of the big pie, and once you have built some authority around that pie, you broaden your subject by going one level up from the subcategory that you are writing about. The authority that you build along the way will compound and help you gain more authority over the topic when you start talking about the broader topic with the selected niche.
You can ultimately build a business in doing something that you enjoy and it all starts with zeroing in on the niche that you are excited about and there are enough takers searching for things that you plan to write about.
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