How To Find Your Niche Market: The Complete Guide
- Why am I worth listening to?
- What is a niche market?
- Why should you find a niche?
- 1. What are you passionate about or deeply interested in?
- 2. What are your strengths?
- 3. What do you have past experience in?
- 4. Is your niche idea part of The Big 3: health, wealth or relationships?
- 5. Is there competition? (Good!)
- 6. Are people actively looking for a solution to a problem or desire?
- 4. Are There Already Passionate Tribes?
- 5. Is It Solving a Desperate Problem?
- 7. Is It An Evergreen Topic? (Not a Trend)
- What If You’re Still Undecided?
Right here, right now, you’re about to learn how to pick a niche market.
It doesn’t matter if you’re starting a blog, coaching practice, affiliate marketing website or other online business…
And it doesn’t matter if you’re a total beginner or if you want to improve your existing business…
This simple test will allow you to easily find a good starting point and niche.
You probably have some good ideas for your future business already. You want it to be about something that you are interested in or have a passion for, don’t you? Yet you know that passion isn’t enough. You also need your business to be profitable so it pays the bills, allows you to quit your job, and gives you the lifestyle you want.
Before I launched my own successful online business, I remember how difficult it was just to get started. I wanted to find something that would be profitable, yet not completely overloaded with competition already. I wasted months stuck in procrastination, unable to decide on one idea to focus on, because I didn’t want to waste my time on something that I wasn’t sure would be successful.
That’s why I created this Niche Profit Test. This simple guide (that you’re reading now) is what I wish I’d had when I was starting out. These 7 questions will guide you by the hand to choose your own profitable niche market.
Want to know the best part? These questions will be fun to answer because they help you understand yourself better, while at the same time building a rock solid foundation for your business.
So that’s what I promise you. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be clear on exactly WHO your target audience and customer should be. This means you’ll be free of the indecision, procrastination or creative block you may have struggled with in the past. And you’ll feel a new sense of purpose and direction to make your dream online business into a reality.
First we’ll learn the definition of niche marketing (with plenty of examples) and why niche marketing works in helping entrepreneurs like you succeed faster. Then we’ll move on to the 7 questions.
Sound good? Bookmark this article now because this is a valuable resource you’ll probably want to come back to again and again, and recommend it to your friends.
Why am I worth listening to?
As you know, there’s lots of people on the internet talking about blogging, marketing and business. The sad truth is: 95% of them have never run a real business, or they’ve only made money… by promising to show YOU how to make money!
My name’s Derek Wydra. I’m no “internet millionaire,” but I’ve been making a full time passive income online for over 5 years now. How did I do it?
Well, after a couple failed attempts at affiliate marketing, my first online business that took off helps people overcome shyness and social anxiety. I grew up being painfully shy myself. Always felt anxious, socially awkward and unable to talk to people. Thankfully, I figured out how to overcome these problems. And now my business helps other people to also stop feeling nervous, awkward and shy in social situations. (Details on my about page.)
I’m from Canada originally, yet I’ve been fortunate to travel the world and live “the 4 hour work week.” I don’t have a boss so I work when I want. I work only on projects I feel excited about. And I do it from cafes and Airbnb apartments all over the world. (I’m in Taipei as I write this, and I just spent 3 months traveling through India.)
I don’t say this to brag. (Well, maybe a little.) Mainly to assure you I’ve been successful at this so I know what I’m talking about. But enough about me. Let’s talk about YOU and how to choose your niche market.
First, let’s understand…
What is a niche market?
A niche market is a small slice, segment or part of a larger market.
For example, think about the insurance market. You can slice it up into:
- travel insurance,
- life insurance,
- car insurance,
- health insurance
- and so on
These are all niche markets. Smaller parts of the larger market.
As another example, how about cameras? There isn’t just one type of camera. You have the huge cameras professionals use. You have small point and shoot cameras your mom and dad uses. You have smartphone cameras people take selfies with. And many more. These are all niche markets. Smaller parts of the larger market.
The definition of niche marketing is: Focusing your whole business or website on serving one small part of the market exceptionally well. You pick one niche market and you dedicate your whole business to it.
For example, do you know about the GoPro camera? This is a business that became incredibly successful thanks to the power of niche marketing.
The GoPro is a tiny camera. It’s smaller than a pack of cards. Yet it’s waterproof, freeze proof and it can take a beating. It’s the camera you can take places your other cameras or phone can’t go. It can also shoot HD videos, even really cool slow motion video.
You know who the GoPro camera is perfect for? People who want to record themselves doing crazy things. This is the camera for people who often go surfing, skiing or rafting. You can even strap it to a helmet and go rock climbing, sky diving or mountain biking.
The company behind the GoPro camera only makes this one type of camera. Here’s why:
Nick Woodman, the 41 year old founder of GoPro, saw there was a lot of competition in the camera market. And he knew he’d fail if he competed directly against giants like Sony, Canon or Nikon.
However, Nick saw a small yet growing market for a little waterproof camera. A niche market not being served well by the giants. So that’s where he put 100% of his focus, and he turned GoPro into a very successful company.
Nick Woodman is now a billionaire because he focused on one small niche market. This strategy can work for you too.
Why should you find a niche?
To a beginner, finding a niche doesn’t feel like a good idea. Most people believe if you focus on a smaller niche then you will get less customers. But this isn’t true. Here’s why…
A recent study found there are over 571 new websites created every minute online! This means it’s becoming more and more difficult to stand out above all the noise and junk out there. So if you want to win attention and customers, you’ll need to be different and unique from all those other websites.
You need to focus if you want to stand out. This is your secret weapon to success and it works even in super competitive and crowded markets. Focusing on one little niche is how you can make an impact even with 571 new websites created every minute.
But what if there won’t be enough customers?
Don’t worry about that. Even if your niche is not popular or mainstream in your hometown, you will still find thousands of people interested in it worldwide. That’s why there are websites about all sorts of subcultures and weird interests.
And as Kevin Kelly famously wrote, you only need 1000 true fans to have a really great business online. In case you don’t know that article, Kevin basically explained how you only need 1000 people to pay you $100 every year to make six figures. The idea set many people’s minds on fire, because they realized you don’t need endless customers or millions of followers to make a living from your business. You only need 1000 true fans.
How exactly will picking a niche help you stand out?
Well, I’ll give you an example.
In a crowded market like weight loss, asking “Do you want to lose weight?” just isn’t good enough anymore. They’ve heard that before 100 times and immediately don’t believe you. But if you ask: “Do you have no time or energy to lose those 15 extra pounds on your belly and thighs, because you’re a busy mom?”
…That will actually speak to someone.
In your marketing you should always be as concrete and specific as possible. For example, in my social anxiety business I never said “Hey do you want to be more confident?” or “Do you want more self esteem?” Those types of questions are too fuzzy and they don’t connect with anyone.
Instead I asked “Hey do you run out of things to say in conversations, creating awkward silences?” That immediately grabs my target customer’s attention and makes them feel like I understand their real life struggles.
Your message needs to truly resonate with an individual person’s motivations, desires and fears. The easiest way to do this is to…
- Target a small part of a market exclusively. Then work hard to…
- Understand them better than they understand themselves. Finally…
- Speak to their real world challenges in a concrete and specific way. Don’t try to appeal to everyone.
THAT is how you will succeed. Okay, hope you’re loving this so far. We’re actually just getting started!
Now you know what a niche market is and why choosing one is so important to your success. Let’s now jump into the 7 questions that’ll help you find your niche.
1. What are you passionate about or deeply interested in?
Yes, I know “follow your passion” is advice you’ve already heard 1 million times.
And it’s complete bullshit, to be honest. Passion isn’t enough. You could be passionate about drinking beer and watching sports, but nobody’s going to pay you to do that.
However, passion is a good place to start.
Before we look at what other people want to buy, first let’s start with you. The beginning of business success is always self awareness. This means knowing who you are, what you’d love to do and what your perfect business and lifestyle would look like.
Knowing your passion helps you avoid “empty victories”
Consider this quote:
“Sometimes people find themselves achieving victories that are empty–successes that have come at the expense of things that were far more valuable to them. If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.”
– Steven Covey, Author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
If you make a million dollars but you don’t enjoy your daily work, you aren’t proud of what you sell, you don’t believe you’re making a difference in the world, and you can’t wait for retirement… is that really success?
Sure, there are people making great money doing things they are bored by, but do you really want to be one of those people? If so, then this is the wrong website for you.
Passion leads to persistence
Also, if you want to succeed with your online business, you’ll need to be persistent.
You’ll usually need to work for months before you see a dollar. And a year or two before you’re making enough to quit your day job. You’ll run into endless frustrations, challenges, setbacks and mini failures on your journey to freedom.
The best way I know to stay persistent is to base your business around something you are super passionate about. Something you’d enjoy doing even when there’s no money.
“The human spirit will not invest itself in a compromise.” – Robert Fritz
Passion gives you “the insider’s advantage”
Another reason you’re more likely to succeed with your passions is because you will see things other people don’t. You will have an inside view of the market you choose to enter. This is a massive advantage.
I had already been studying psychology books and self help courses for years when I launched my business. So when it came time to write articles and a course, the words just flew out of my fingers most of the time.
“If I didn’t follow my passion for surfing… I would have never come up with the concept to make a wrist camera.”
– Nick Woodman, founder of GoPro
So how to figure out your passions and interests?
You probably already have a good idea of what they are. Right now answer these questions on a sheet of paper or on a text file on your computer:
- What are you passionate about? Right when you hear that simple question there’s probably 1-5 activities or things that come to your mind instantly. Write them down.
- When do you go into a “flow state”? This is the name for what happens when you become so engaged with an activity that you lose track of time. For example, when I practice drawing the hours will fly by quickly. When does that happen for you?
- If you had more money than you’d ever need, what would you spend your time doing? We’re trying to find the things you love to do, not the things you suffer through to get a reward like a pay check.
- If you could trade places with anybody in the world, who would it be? This exercise really helped me. Make a list of people you admire and want to be like. Then figure out what you like and don’t like about their life.
- What could you spend an endless time learning more about? Think about the last 10 books you read, what magazines you subscribe to, what websites/blogs you often visit, and who you follow on social media.
Don’t worry about what is realistic right now. If something comes to your mind, you may think: “But I’m not an expert about that” or “But you can’t make money doing that” Just write it down anyway so we have a rough list to work with.
2. What are your strengths?
As Peter Drucker, the bestselling management author said:
“It takes far less energy to move from first-rate performance to excellence than it does to move from incompetence to mediocrity.” – Peter Drucker
This means forget about improving your weaknesses. You need to focus on your strengths if you want to win the game of business. Your business needs to be based on what you are naturally really good at.
Make no mistake, capitalism is a competitive game. Other people will try to beat you. They’ll try to steal your customers and copy your products. It’s happened to me. It’s happened to everyone.
The only way for you to survive and thrive, is to know what you’re naturally great at and build your business around that advantage. You can’t be great at everything! So don’t even try. Just focus on developing and using the strengths and talents nature has blessed you with.
However, most people have little clue what their real strengths are. This is a huge blind spot for most people.
To find out your strengths, I recommend you complete these 2 tests. The first one is called:
1) The Myers-Briggs Personality Test
In Canada, where I grew up, most people do this test in high school to figure out what careers would be right for them.
You just answer the questions, then the test will tell you your personality type. In this system, there are 16 different personality types. You can read a long and detailed description of your personality type at the end.
The first time I took this test I was shocked by how well the description for my personality type fit me. It was like somebody had climbed into my head and written down exactly how my mind and personality works.(My personality type is INTP in case you’re curious.) This test helped me understand myself on a much deeper level and let me know what kind of work and lifestyle I’d enjoy. I’m positive this test will help give you clarity as well.
Good news, this test is free for everyone. I recommend you take the test at 16Personalities.com.
And the next test is called…
2) The StrengthsFinder Test
This one was created by the famous Gallup survey company. Gallup describes a Strength as “your unique combination of talents, knowledge, and skills.” It’s the natural abilities and traits you use in your daily life.
After answering many questions, the test tells you your top 5 strengths along with a short description of each strength. Your results from this test will give you a good idea of what type of work you have a natural talent and advantage in.
Unfortunately this is not a free test. You’ll need to go to StrengthsTest.com and enter a special code to do the test. To get the code, you need to either buy it for $24.95 on the website, or you can buy a copy of their book “StrengthsFinder 2.0” Each book comes with a free code to complete the test online. I don’t think $25 is expensive, considering this test will help you chart the course of your life.
However, there is a free alternative called The Authentic Happiness Brief Strengths Test. I found it gave me similar results to StrengthsFinder.
How to use your strengths to succeed
Okay, so you’ve completed the tests. Now what?
Now you use your new understanding of yourself to build a business plan based around YOU.
For example, my top strength according to StrengthFinder is “Love of Learning” which is about mastering new skills, topics and bodies of knowledge. For me this is 100% true. I love to learn new things just for the sake of curiosity.
My “Love of Learning” Strength is how I’m able to write such an in-depth and well-researched guide like this one you’re now reading. To me, this is actually fun and enjoyable. I can write 1000 words so easily. I can research and read for hours on end. And I often forget how hard or painful this work is for 95% of people in the world. Some people would go crazy doing this type of work. That’s just one example of building your business around your strengths.
Knowing your strengths helps you stay focused
Let me ask you:
- Do you desperately want to make $10,000 per month online (at least)?
- Do you really want a business that provides you with passive income?
Chances are, you do. And that’s bad. Here’s why…
Most wannabe entrepreneurs are too focused on the outcome, not the process. This means you know you want more money, but you don’t care how you make it. The work getting there doesn’t really matter.
That’s what turns people into “Opportunity Frogs.” That’s what I call people who jump from one unrelated business opportunity to the next.
From stock trading to dropshipping to selling t shirts to Kindle ebooks to consulting to coaching to facebooks ads to multi level marketing to anything else.
Hop. Hop. Hop.
From my years of experience I can tell you: Opportunity Frogs get nowhere. If you’re always chasing the latest opportunity (right now Fulfillment by Amazon seems to be the big one) then you’re always gonna be the beginner up against competition that’s been doing business for years.
Look, if you’ve been an Opportunity Frog in the past, it’s not your fault!
All the marketers are so good at convincing people that there’s a better way, a faster way, an easier way, a new way… to get rich online. That’s how they make their money! By distracting people and getting their hopes up. So they can sell you their latest overpriced course.
See, I used to get distracted too. But now I don’t care, because I have a business plan and strategy built around the work I’m good at and what I love doing. When you have that, it becomes easy to say no.
Gary Vaynerchuk often says (and I agree with him) that:
“How you make your money is more important than how much money you make.”
What does it matter if somebody else is really successful in a new type of business? You don’t need to compete with them. They can do their thing, and you’ll do your thing, and you can both succeed differently.
It would make no sense for me to start a business where I’m selling on the phone or managing lots of people. I know that’s not my strength and not something I’d enjoy doing, even if I made a lot of money.
As Dan from the Tropical MBA podcast has intelligently said:
“Finding work you love is a better success strategy than finding benefits you love. […] If you can’t do something 5 hours a day, every day, you don’t like it enough to be highly successful at it.”
Now we know what your passions and interests are, and what your strengths are. Finally, we also need to know…
3. What do you have past experience in?
The easiest way to start a profitable business is to build on what you already know. The hardest way to start a business is to jump into something totally new.
Yet when most people want to start a business, they usually begin by looking for some new idea “out there” in the world, instead of looking back in their own past.
My own online business was successful because I had solved my own big problem of social anxiety. After solving my own problem, I knew that I could help others solve the same problem.
You’ll find this is a common success pattern among successful entrepreneurs. They create a product that they would want to buy and this often makes them successful. Why? Because humans are more similar than you’d expect, and everyone deep down has similar dreams and desires. So if you scratch your own itch, you often end up scratching other people’s itch with your business too.
Another example: Pat Flynn was an architecture student. If you want to become an architect, you need to pass a very difficult test called the LEED exam. Well, after Pat spent months studying for this exam himself, he created a website to help other students. He also started selling an online course about how to pass the exam. Soon he was making more money from selling the course than he was making as an architect! Incredible. Pat now has multiple websites making him money online. He runs a popular podcast about making money online at SmartPassiveIncome.com. Seems like a great guy, I recommend you check him out.
So right now let’s make a list of your past experience. Who knows, you might be sitting on a goldmine.
- What big problems have you solved for yourself?
- What big problems have you solved for others?
- What big problem do you have NOW? (Maybe you can turn your journey of solving this problem into an engaging blog or course.)
- What were your past jobs? Did you learn any valuable skills there?
- What skills have you learned in your free time? (Skills that other people can’t do or want to do.)
- What did you study in university? Have you completed any other certifications or diplomas?
Great, now let’s do a…
Okay, I’m glad you’ve been following along so well. If you haven’t written down your answers to the questions yet, then you need to do so now. Your answers here are the foundation for your future success online. You will also learn a lot about yourself when you take the time to think about these questions and write down your answers.
You need to find a niche that is a combination of what you are passionate about, what you are great at, and what the world needs.
We already know the first two, now we need to find out what the world needs. This is the most important part of creating a profitable business. (And I have to stress profitable here.) Sure you can create a business based on what you are passionate about and good at, but if nobody needs what you sell then you will not make a profit.
It doesn’t matter if YOU would like to open a cat cafe and sell your handcrafted jewellery… if other people don’t want cat hair in their coffee then you will soon go bankrupt.
Zig Ziglar was famous for saying:
“You can get anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
So now we will switch our focus from YOU to OTHERS. We will find what they are interested in buying and spending money on. And we will later find “the sweet spot” between what people need and what you are passionate about.
4. Is your niche idea part of The Big 3: health, wealth or relationships?
Did you know there’s a simple shortcut to help you pick a profitable niche for your business and it works 90% of the time?
It’s easy: you just help people improve their health, wealth or relationships.
That’s what I call The Big 3 niches because most successful online business owners (who do online courses, coaching, membership websites, blogging, etc.) fit into one of these 3 basic categories: health, wealth or relationships.
And there are thousands and thousands of different little niches markets inside The Big 3 Niches. For example, inside of health there is: weight loss, hundreds of different diets like the paleo diet, vegan diet, Atkins diet… there are natural remedies, herbal supplements, organic products… there’s bodybuilders, athletes, marathon runners, crossfit… there’s also cures for different problems like diabetes, blood pressure, memory loss, and so on. And I’m just scratching the surface here.
Inside of wealth, there is real estate investing, stocks, forex, penny stocks or dozens of other investing niches… there’s also financial advice gurus to help people budget and save money or retire early… not to mention all the books about success, productivity, millionaire mindsets… and all the online business blogs that can be split up into ecommerce stores, blogging, facebook advertising, iphone apps and a hundred other things.
I hope you’re getting the idea here. But why are health, wealth and relationships so popular?
Because humans are hardwired to care deeply about their problems in these 3 areas. It’s what we think about, worry about, and dream of most of the time… because these 3 areas are all closely related to:
Survival and Status
I believe that survival and status are the two biggest human motivators. If you sell something that helps people survive or raises their social status, then you will be very successful.
And The Big 3 niches can all be related to survival. For example:
- Health: Someone with a health issue is worried they will become very sick or even die. That’s why doctors are paid so much, there’s nothing people value more than continuing to live. Look at how most weight loss courses are sold on the internet. It’s usually about scaring people into needing to lose weight. They often tell stories about overweight people suffering heart attacks and other deadly illnesses. Now how about…
- Wealth: Since money is what we use to buy food and shelter, people are scared of running out of it. Most of the financial investing gurus out there sell their books, courses and seminars… through scaring rich people! These gurus often warn about a nearby financial crash and how to keep your investments and money safe from losing everything. And let’s look at…
- Relationships: Without secure relationships… without family, friends and a significant other… your brain starts to worry there may be nobody to protect you or take care of you if you get sick or injured.
This is just how our brains have become wired over millions of years of evolution. We evolved to be on the lookout for danger and threats. We evolved to seek more security and safety. We evolved to survive… and that’s one reason people are so driven to fix their problems related to health, wealth and relationships. And the second reason?
The Big 3 niches can all be related to status. Status is our image or reputation in the eyes of others. Most people care so so much about what everyone thinks of them. Let’s look at…
- Health: Why do most women want to have a thin body? Why do most men want to have a six pack? Why do women spend so much money on creams, makeup, and magic potions that promise to make them look younger? Why do people spend so much money on personal trainers and overpriced organic foods? Because looking more attractive raises their status. And how about…
- Wealth: Being rich is related to status, obviously. Everyone knows this. There’s a reason why flashy sports cars, big houses and expensive designer clothes are called “status symbols.” And…
- Relationships: Being popular, or having an attractive or successful partner also helps to raise status.
What’s the lesson here?
If you can find a niche related to health, wealth or relationships, then you’re tapping into survival and status, two powerful parts of human motivation. So you’ll be able to more easily make people buy your stuff and become successful.
This brings us to the next question…
5. Is there competition? (Good!)
Many business beginners get obsessed trying to find an idea that’s never been done before. This is a big mistake.
I remember before I made my first website I’d get so excited about a new business idea… until I did a quick Google search and saw other people already doing it! Then I’d be so disappointed and start thinking of a new idea.
Yet what I’ve learned now is that competition is actually a good thing!
You heard me right…
Competition is PROOF a niche market is profitable.
Think about it: There are 6 billion people in the world. If you can’t find a single person already doing your business idea, then your idea is probably just not profitable! It’s not something people are willing to pay for.
So if you find competition already doing your idea, then celebrate! It means you’ve picked an idea already proven to attract an audience and make money.
As my mentor Dan Kennedy says:
“Don’t be a pioneer. Pioneers are the ones who end up with arrows in their back.”
There’s actually not much money in new ideas. You know who had a new idea? The guy behind the Segway scooter. That was the two-wheeled machine that moved forward if someone leaned forward. There was so much excitement before the launch of the Segway. Even people like Steve Jobs believed this scooter would revolutionize the world, he said it would be “as big as the personal computer.”
And you know what actually happened? The scooter was banned in 30 states of America. Turns out the Segway is too fast to be safe on the sidewalk, and too slow to be safe on the roads. It was a total failure and disaster.
Most successful businesses are not based on a new idea. They take something already being done, and then do it better.
- Apple didn’t invent the computer, laptop or mp3 player. They just designed them better and focused on marketing to a specific niche — creative people. As a result, they won.
- Facebook didn’t invent the social network. Myspace was already huge. Mark Zuckerberg just made it cleaner, added more features and better privacy.
- Starbucks didn’t invent coffee. There were already millions of cafes. Yet Starbucks created a more premium experience and now in many big cities there’s a Starbucks on every corner.
The lesson here? Competition is actually a good thing. It’s a green light that your niche idea is profitable. It’s a positive sign that your future business will be successful.
So stop trying to find some kind of “untapped” niche with zero competition. You’ll probably just end up picking an unprofitable niche. Instead, make sure you are better and different than the competition.
How to check for competition:
- Brainstorm a list of topics and questions people in the niche might have. For example, in photography some common topics might be: photography tips, landscape photography, wedding photography, food photography and questions like: “how to take professional photos,” “how to photoshop faces,” “how to clean a camera lens.”
- Go to KeywordTool.io to get more ideas. This is a great little website if you got a bit stuck in the last step. For example, I can go there and type in “photography” and it will give me literally hundreds of different topics related to photography. And the best part is that it tells you what topics people are actually searching into Google. So after you go to this site you should easily have a big list of topics related to your business niche idea.
- Go to Google.com and search for all the topics and questions. This step will take some time. However if you picked a niche related to your passions then this shouldn’t be a problem.
- See what blogs, articles, forums and other websites pop up. I have to repeat it’s actually a great sign if other people are already doing exactly what you want to do.
- things people interested in the topic might search for. A good tool for this is KeywordTool.io which lets you enter a word and it gives you a bunch of related popular search terms back.
- Then actually search for these keywords and see what blogs and websites come up. Ignore the bigger websites like About.com, Lifehacker.com or NewYorkTimes.com for now. We want to look for independent websites and blogs on the topic, especially where it looks like the person is making money doing it.
- Go to Amazon.com and search for the topic. For example, if you are interested in horseback riding, then search for that on Amazon and check out all the books, kindle ebooks, audiobooks and magazines. If your topic has many people writing books on the topic, and those books have many reviews each, it’s a good sign. Not only are people searching for the topic, but they are also okay with spending money to learn more about it.
- Paid advertising. If companies are paying to promote products to this market, then it’s a very good sign that they are making money. (Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to afford advertising!) So check if there are Google ads on the search results pages related to your niche.
And now let’s take a look at some elements of highly profitable markets.
6. Are people actively looking for a solution to a problem or desire?
When you have a problem, where do you go?
Every day, billions of people go to Google to find answers to their questions and solutions for their problems. This makes it an absolute goldmine of information for anybody who wants to grow an online business.
You type in your question, hoping
Now let’s talk about a second way to know if a niche will be profitable.
A market is group of people looking for some kind of solution of life change. Ideally, something that would make their life a lot better and they are willing to pay for.
A topic is just something people read about, maybe they had a little interest in it or to kill time. Celebrity gossip or news websites are perfect examples of
keyword research, good for directly measuring what people want
you want a market where people already know they want a change in their life. You don’t want to start out by convincing them they have a problem before selling the solution.
Many people are way too focused on keyword search volume and think there’s some “magic number” that you need to see. You don’t. It’s important that many people ARE searching for the topic, but don’t get caught up analyzing the numbers.
I’m really interested and passionate about psychology and self development, but I didn’t just start a blog about self development or psychology. Thousands of those exist that make no money. Instead I got clear on WHO I wanted to reach and WHAT PROBLEM they are looking to solve. People with shyness and social anxiety. Then I talked about how inner psychology works so they could become more confident around people.
I hope you’re getting the idea.
Within each of the big 3 markets there are endless smaller niche markets that you can choose.
2. Look for markets, not topics.
who, not what
Credit David Risley
Writing a blog about biology… vs writing a blog for people who want to improve grades. Students looking to pass a particular exam or certification. Neil Patel example architecture certification. He was architect, created lots of content people searching specific topics related to the test. Didn’t create a blog about “architecture”… started with a specific group in mind and the problem they looking to solve… then wrote articles based on what they looking for.
Maybe you’re passionate about music. But if you want to make money you can’t just write about music in general. And it’s very difficult to make money by selling music. But think about what markets exist related to music? One of them is people who want to learn how to play music better. Music tutors have existed for a long time. Now can have a virtual tutor.
Hear and play
Clickbank guitar offer
4. Are There Already Passionate Tribes?
There is another type of market that doesn’t usually fit into the big 3. These are passionate tribes centered around one topic.
Photographers are one example. They aren’t trying to get healthy or wealthy, but they are crazy about cameras, taking photos and sharing their photos. If you are already part of one of these irrationally passionate tribes, then you can create a business to serve this tribe.
For example, Darren Rowse created DigitalPhotographySchool which is a blog that talks about photography. Everything from beginner photography tutorials to camera and lens reviews. And he makes money from this blog in a variety of ways. By selling online courses, ebooks, advertising on the blog, etc.
What very passionate tribe are you a part of or could you serve? Golfers, motorcyclists, gun owners, dog owners, fishers, painters, artists, yoga, etc.
If you can find a passionate tribe related to one of the Big 3, that’s even better. Fitness freaks are a great example of what happens when you overlap health and a passionate tribe.
For example, Elliot Hulse was a humble gym owner in Florida passionate about weight lifting. So he began a Youtube channel talking about different exercises and how to become stronger. Now he has over 1.5 million subscribers and a multi-million dollar business.
So think of any passionate tribes that you’re a part of or that you know of. What are your friends into? This could be a great starting point for your online business because you’ll naturally love talking about it.
Right now we’re just brainstorming, later I’ll show you how to test your ideas and find smaller niches to focus on.
Are there active forums and/or Facebook groups related to the topic?
Be careful, sometimes it is very difficult to make money here. People may be interested in a topic and talk about it all day long. But if you try to sell them a course about it they may be very cheap about it. Amateur photographers will spend thousands of dollars just on different lenses for their cameras, but I’ve heard one describe a $10/month membership about how to take better photos as being “stupid expensive.” The information may not be creating a big enough change to be seen as valuable to pay lots of money for. Which is where the next question comes in…
(talk about multiple products for sale, long term fans)
5. Is It Solving a Desperate Problem?
On the other end of the spectrum, you could also focus on solving a desperate problem for people. This is often something people feel stressed or embarrassed about.
diabetes, erectile dysfunction, potential divorce, hair loss
It’s a less fun business than catering to a passionate tribe, but there’s a lot of money to be made here.
This is also the area where you see the most scams, as unethical people are attracted to desperate buyers like flies to honey.
The key here is that you have some legitimate solution that you can offer. Something that really helps people to get out of pain.
For example, my own first online business was about helping people overcome social anxiety. Someone who has social anxiety is often in a lot of pain. They feel lonely, they can’t talk to people normally so they can’ connect, they have insecurities that make them feel miserable and depressed all the time. I know because I grew up with really bad social anxiety!
It a painful problem for some people. Something they’ve struggled with all their life. And I saw that most of the advice being given by books and therapists on social anxiety was really terrible. Just awful and unhelpful tips that wouldn’t actually help a social anxiety sufferer. So I decided to start publishing my own advice and soon attracted a following.
By the way, notice how I didn’t choose the topic of “anxiety.” There’s actually dozens of different types of anxiety. There’s general anxiety, health-related anxiety, anxiety about driving, there’s anxiety attacks. Some people make the mistake of believing that if you broaden your appeal and talk to everyone with any type of anxiety, then you will be more successful. Actually, if I had tried to talk about every type of anxiety, then I would have ended up talking to nobody. Since I specialized in only social anxiety, I could very easily relate to the exact problems, feelings and life experiences of a social anxiety sufferer.
The best source of profitable ideas about this is Clickbank. Clickbank is basically a large marketplace for selling online courses, and most of them are about solving desperate and often embarrassing problems. Go to Clickbank.com and then click the top menu link that says “Affiliate Marketplace.” Then you’ll see a lot of categories on the left side of the screen. They have health and fitness, sports, business and marketing, self help… all sorts of categories. Click on a category that looks interesting to you and then you’ll see a list of all the top selling courses in that category. Just go to Clickbank.com and poke around. You’ll see what I mean. This is a goldmine because it lets you see what people are actually paying for and what type of marketing really works for desperate problems. The most popular courses on Clickbank are generally related to weight loss, diabetes, romance, sexual performance, wilderness survival… all sorts of interesting problems some of which you’d never expect to be so popular.
7. Is It An Evergreen Topic? (Not a Trend)
If you want to build a business that lasts, you need to build it around a topic that lasts.
Sounds simple, but this is something many entrepreneurs don’t often consider. Is your niche idea something that will be around for decades, or will it probably fade within a couple years?
For example, let’s say you were teaching Myspace marketing 10 years ago. (For any kids reading, Myspace was the popular social network before Facebook.) Well Myspace is basically dead now. Nobody uses it anymore. So your business would be dead, too, if it was based on Myspace.
Technology is a trendy topic. Unless you’re someone who just absolutely loves to stay on top of the latest gadgets, gizmos and software, then you should avoid it. Why? Because if you write a technology-related article, then within a few months or a couple years it will become irrelevant and basically worthless to you. If you write an article about the latest camera, sure a lot of people are searching for it today, but next month there will be a new camera and by next year nobody will care about this camera.
In health you have trends like the paleo diet or gluten-free. Who knows if these will still be popular in a few years? (As a sidenote I actually love the paleo diet. Followed it myself loosely for a couple of years and felt great!)
Most blogs based on fashion, music or celebrity news are also highly trend-based.
I highly recommend you build your business around evergreen topics. Topics that won’t change for years. Topics that are part of the human condition. In general, most health, wealth and relationship topics fit this criteria. If you’re teaching people how to strengthen their relationship or marriage, that’s not a topic that is not going away anytime soon. It’s built into human nature. Sure, marriage is getting a little less popular, but 100 and 200 years ago people wanted to know how to have a deeper relationship, and 100 years from now they will still want to know. That’s an example of a great evergreen topic.
With an evergreen topic, you will have less stress and worry about your business. You’ll also know you’re building it on solid foundations. You’ll know that an article you write or video you record today will still be useful to people many years from now. So you’re building real long-term business assets every time you create a piece of content.
8. Can You Start With a Narrower Niche? (Later Expand!)
Start with a narrow niche, later expand.
Unless you have millions of dollars and hundreds of employees, the easiest way to launch a profitable new business is to find a small niche to dominate. Especially in the beginning when you’re trying to get a foothold in a crowded market.
Don’t worry, you can always expand your business into new niches and larger markets later when you are more established.
Have you ever been to Examine.com? It’s now one of the most popular nutrition websites in the world, bringing in millions of dollars revenue every year. It’s a website that helps people know which supplements, vitamins and herbs actually work, based on scientific studies. Today the website has articles about hundreds of different supplements from A to Z.
Yet in the beginning, when the website was still small, it had a very narrow niche focus. The website was started by one guy in Canada who knew he wouldn’t be able to compete with the giant health websites right away. Instead he chose to focus on one small niche in the beginning: bodybuilding supplements.
It was only after the website dominated that small niche of bodybuilding supplements did it later expand into general supplements, and later into vitamins and herbs and now general health.
The lesson? If you’re a newcomer, it’s better to focus and dominate a small part of the market. Later you can always expand.
In this article, I’ve given you six questions to help you find a profitable niche for your blog, coaching practice, or any other type of online business.
I hope this has helped you get some great ideas and clarity about which direction to go.Let’s quickly review what we’ve learned:
Now you know not to be discouraged if you see competition — because it’s actually a good thing! You also know a few goldmines for profitable niche ideas: Google, Amazon, Clickbank, etc.
One of the biggest shortcuts to a profitable business is helping people improve their health, wealth or relationships. If your niche fits into one of these big 3, your chance for big success skyrockets. And there’s a lot of money to be made serving passionate tribes or helping to solve a desperate problem. Finally, you should choose an evergreen topic so you can build a rock solid business that lasts.
What If You’re Still Undecided?
If you still have 2 or more great ideas and you’re not sure which one is best, here’s my advice:
Just decide on ONE and start!
Or as famous person says: (look up) quote
Your first niche doesn’t have to be a lifelong commitment. I mean, look at me. I started by teaching people how to overcome shyness and now I’m talking about online business. So you can always start another project later.
For now, just get started with one direction and begin moving. With your first project you can learn many of the necessary skills like copywriting, networking, etc… and later if you find a different direction suits you, you can take the skills with you
But just start! The sooner the better.
But what if I’m multi passionate?
Pickup podcast -> art of charm
postmasculine -> mark manson
intersect what do you love to do, what are you good at, what does the world need