Whether you have been wanting to put your home computer to use and earn some extra money on the side, or you are wanting to forever say goodbye to the 8 to 5 grind and earn more than just some side money, the very first step you need to take, even prior to buying a domain name, is to decide exactly what “niche” you want to be involved in.
What Is A Niche?
The word “niche” relates to services, products, or interests that appeal to and are directed toward a narrowed down, specialized section of the population.
Some affiliate marketers recommend that you don’t go with something that is a “passion” for you, while others hold strong to the notion that you absolutely should get involved in a niche for which you have a total passion.
It’s completely your choice (as is everything when you are the boss).
However, in my personal experience, I have found that when I have chosen a niche that I didn’t have any “passion” for, or interest in, I tended to avoid wanting to write content or do anything else on the site.
On the other hand, when I went with something I was interested in, I was much more excited to dig in and do research, and then write about the topic, thus resulting in a much higher success rate for myself.
In a nutshell, in my opinion, it’s a zillion times easier to write and do other niche-related website projects when you are dealing with a niche you are truly interested in. Not doing so, in my opinion, is pretty much a surefire set-up to failure.
So although there are many “experts” and “gurus” out there who swear up and down the wall that you shouldn’t choose a niche based on your own personal passions, I beg to completely disagree!
How to Find a Niche...
Step One: Identify A Problem or Need
Most people who are new to internet marketing, and even some who have been trying for years to sell online, tend to think they need first to scour around and find a product to sell.
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY THE WRONG FIRST STEP FOR FIGURING OUT YOUR NICHE!!
Instead, you first need to identify a problem or a need that a small part of the population has.
Most anyone who has a significant problem in his/her life will gladly pay to have that problem resolved.
Problems can vary and do not always include illness or physical conditions…
…for someone who hates his/her day job and wants to earn a living being his/her own boss, the “problem” could be “how to make money online.”
For someone who has been unsuccessful at dating in the past, the problem could be “how to find a lasting relationship.”
On to an example — let’s use the condition of arthritis…problem identified!
There are many millions of people around the world who suffer from arthritis.
This condition is a huge problem that can be very debilitating to someone’s quality of life, and thus, people are more than happy to spend their hard-earned dollars if they can get some relief of the horrible symptoms that invade their everyday activities.
But there is some additional research you need to complete, which I will explain below.
Step Two: Narrow Down The Problem - Example #1
Unless you are Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or another “BIG PHARMA” corporation, you most likely aren’t going to be able to successfully reach and sell to people suffering from the problem of arthritis.
Therefore, what you need to do after identifying the VERY “wide” niche of arthritis is to narrow it down some.
Simply generating content on your site geared toward everyone who has arthritis ends up appealing to pretty much no one who arrives at your website, and the high majority of people who do somehow end up at your site will conclude that the advice is not geared toward their particular problem.
For instance, there are more than 100 different forms of arthritis that people suffer from including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout, just to name a few.
Most people who have arthritis, or who know someone who does, are inherently aware of which type of arthritis they have, and they will be much less interested in a generic “arthritis” article or offer than they will be about something more geared toward their specific type of arthritis.
In other words, if you just publish generic, broad, general content (as 99% of most sites nowadays do), your content will offer little to no value to most of the people you reach who have the problem of arthritis.
Thus, they will very quickly leave your site almost before they have even gotten there.
Because of this, you will need to narrow down your “wide” niche to a much more specific area.
Yes, this will result in your targeted audience becoming much smaller…
…but what will also get smaller will be the number of other sites competing directly for attention from your specific desired audience.
Therefore, your next step should be to narrow down the choice so that it is specifically geared toward a smaller audience (in this case, one of the different forms of arthritis (i.e., rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, etc.).
The more you are able to narrow it down to a more specific form of arthritis, the more “targeted” your chosen niche becomes.
The more specific you make your targeted niche, the more successful you will be at bringing people to your website who are interested, and therefore more likely to buy, a product or service related to your chosen niche.
For example: Let’s say that you manage to reach 1,000 random people with an article you have written about “arthritis in general.”
- It is likely that your generic article won’t “hit home” with at least 95% (and probably much higher) of those 1,000 people.
- Most of the people who do reach your content will quickly leave, concluding that your information doesn’t apply to them, which would be true.
- You likely will get no sales with a wide audience, again because the info. you have provided is too general in nature, and people are generally searching for solutions to a more specific problem.
Narrowing down the audience you are searching for will result in you reaching fewer people; however, your narrowed down topic will also make it much more likely that those people you do reach have a much higher likelihood of being interested in, and purchasing, what you have to offer.
Above we somewhat narrowed down our niche audience from “arthritis” to “rheumatoid arthritis.”
However, this is still far too many people for you to try and target…some more narrowing down is needed.
There are many different ways you could go at this point. Here are a few:
Keep in mind that although your potential audience is much smaller when you have narrowed down your chosen niche, there are also not as many other site owners competing directly for the specific drilled-down niche topic that you are targeting.
As you can see from the images below, a search for “rheumatoid arthritis” results in 34,300,000 search results, while the search for “rheumatoid arthritis and lupus” has 21,900,000 results, many fewer than the former.
Narrow it down even further to “rheumatoid arthritis and lupus in children,” and you can see, via the third image below, that the competing search result number is way less, at just 9,860,000. The key is to narrow down, as much as possible, your “competition,” which search results provide.
So yeah, you’re probably thinking, “I still have to compete with nine, almost 10, million search results, right?
The answer is yes, you do…
However, many, many of these 9.8 million search results will end up being highly irrelevant and narrowed down from a broad niche. The more specifically you can narrow down your niche, as well as the content you write within that niche, the higher up in the search results you will find yourself after awhile.
There are also other SEO tips and tricks we will discuss in a later lesson that will also help you rank higher in the search results. However, narrowing down your niche to a specific, targeted audience of people interested in that particular targeted topic will go a long, long, long way towards your internet and affiliate marketing success.
Step Two: Narrow Down The Problem - Example #2
Dating is another “wide” niche area that needs to be much more narrowed down.
Again, what you need to do after identifying the VERY wide niche of dating is to narrow it down some.
Having information on your site geared toward everyone in general, as stated in my first example, will end up not being helpful to probably 99% of visitors who end up at your site.
There are many different life situations and circumstances you could narrow down dating to.
I can’t reiterate enough that if you publish generic, broad, general content, your information will offer little to no value to most of the people you reach.
Thus, they will very quickly leave your site almost before they have even gotten there.
Therefore, it is a must to narrow down your “wide” niche to a much more specific area.
Again, this will result in your targeted audience becoming much smaller.
However, what will also get smaller will be the number of other sites competing directly for attention from a specific desired audience.
The more you are able to narrow it down to a more specific age group or circumstance, the more targeted your chosen niche becomes.
The more specific you make your targeted niche, the more successful you will be at keeping people who have arrived at your your website on your website.
Following are just a few suggestions you could consider for narrowing down the wide niche of dating.
There would be many other options for narrowing down the “dating” niche.
To help yourself brainstorm different niche-narrowing ideas, simply pull up Google and type “dating for” followed by the letter A. As you can see from the image below, there are many ideas listed below the Google search box. Don’t like the ones you see with the letter A? Simply type in “dating for” and the letter B…and so on. This can be a great way to think of niches you had not thought of before.
It is extremely important that you keep in mind that no matter what niche you decide upon, you definitely need to remember that people searching online are looking for very specific advice targeted directly toward their current situation or problem.
If you just generate generic information and provide advice that is geared toward any and all people, you will end up helping no-one, including your internet marketing effort.
People who arrive at websites with very nonspecific info. usually leave very quickly, thinking, “I am wasting my time…this advice isn’t helpful to me whatsoever…”