Choosing your niche(s) is perhaps the single most critical element to your success online as a marketer. After all, you can know every marketing trick in the book, but if you choose a niche in which there is no interest, or no money is being spent, or the competition is just too great, you’ll do nothing but struggle. On the other hand, if you choose the right niche, your marketing efforts could be mediocre and you’ll probably still make money.
So how do you choose the right market? Through market research, of course. And before you groan and scroll to the next article because you HATE market research, let me offer you this tidbit of news – market research can be easy and even FUN when you know how to do it. It’s like being on a quest for buried treasure, or perhaps an Easter egg hunt for eggs jam packed full of CASH. Once you find your first treasure or cash-infused egg, you become addicted to a VERY profitable endeavor that’s far easier than most people think.
So let’s get started. Finding a hot, lucrative market consists of just 3 steps:
- 1. Discover what’s already making money online
- 2. Find out how many people search for this niche
- 3. And then research the competition.
Yes, it really is just about that easy. And the more carefully you choose your market, the easier it will be for your site to rank high, get plenty of traffic and make sales. And you can use these 3 steps to research 1 or 100,000 markets and build hundreds of profitable niche websites.
Your first step is to find places where money is being freely spent online. Don’t worry about how many people are searching for this niche or about the competition at this point. Simply focus on finding market topics to explore, and be sure to make a list of them as you go through this process. Otherwise, you’ll forget what may be some very lucrative ideas along the way.
- 1. Go to Amazon and Clickbank. Find out what the best sellers are, what’s popular, what’s new and catching interest, and what people are buying in droves. Plan to spend several hours doing this the first time, as it will completely familiarize you with these sites and also allow you to build a sizable list of possibilities.
2. Check out the magazine section of your local bookstore, and buy a handful of magazines on topics you’re unfamiliar with. Reading these will give you ideas you’d never come across in any other manner.
3. Google topics you’re unfamiliar with and locate the best sites on these subjects. Just like the magazines, this will afford you new ideas for sub-niches that you otherwise would never have thought of in a million years.
4. Always keep your eyes and ears open – both online and offline. What new trend did you read about in the newspaper? What are they talking about at your gym? What conversation did you overhear at the grocery store? What did your crazy Aunt Lucy send you this time in your email? Listen to people, read the forums and blogs, watch Twitter, Digg, Reddit, Facebook, etc. Write down your ideas as they come. The more you do this, the better you’ll get at spotting profitable niches and hot new areas of interest.
5. Haunt YouTube. People are using YouTube much like they use a search engine, looking for solutions to their problems or answers to their questions. If a YouTube video has a lot of views, then obviously there’s interest in that topic – especially if it’s a “how-to” kind of video.
6. Did I mention you should write down every idea when you get it? Even the ones that seem too far fetched may surprise you, so write it all down. Just the act of writing will help you to find more ideas, as you record the ones you’ve already got, it opens the channels for new ones to appear. Carry a small notebook with you everywhere, and if you have to pull off to the side of the road or step out of a conversation for a moment to write down a great idea, do it. That one thought could mean several thousand dollars to you, or more.
Once you’ve been brainstorming for awhile and you’ve put together a list of possible niche topics, it’s time to see which of your niche possibilities are making money online. If it’s not already a lucrative market, odds are you do not want to touch that topic. The ONLY exception is if you happen to be on the leading edge of a new market, but that’s risky and beyond the scope of this article. Right now we’re helping you find “sure bets” that are definite money makers.
You’ve already (hopefully) done your research and you have an idea of what’s selling. Let’s go to ClickBank now, and see if we can find some verification.
Once you’re at the ClickBank Marketplace, type in your first niche topic in the box that says, “Find Products.” Did you get any results? If so, what is the gravity of each one? Look for the abbreviated word Grav: and you’ll see a number there.
If at least one of the products has a gravity of 10 or higher, you may have found a winning niche topic. (Gravity tells you how well the product’s affiliates are doing in selling the product. The higher the number, the more affiliates are selling the product in recent weeks.)
Go through your list and find out how many (if any) products are being sold in each niche topic and what the gravity is of each product. If there are no products being sold in a particular niche, or there are some products but none of them have a gravity over 10, cross that possibility off for now. You can always revisit it in 3 months and see if there’s been a change, but for right now you want to focus only on the niche topics that have products with a gravity of 10 or more.
BONUS: Here’s a variation of the Clickbank technique – While on the Clickbank Marketplace website, find the link to the right of “Find Products” that says, “Advanced Search” and click on that.
Now tick the box for “Gravity – Show items with gravity:” and choose “Higher Than” in the drop down menu. Now put the number 10.0 in the box to the right, and without entering anything else on the page, click “Search.”
You’ll come up with a long list of possible niche topics by looking at these products. In fact, on the day I’m writing this, there are many hundreds of them.
So why didn’t I send you here first? While it’s a great shortcut, it’s also important that you know how to get ideas on your own and not just copy other marketers. When you get good at this, there will hopefully come a time when you ride a new trend – being one of the first to make it truly lucrative. But again, save that for later.
Another thing: It’s also important to note that MANY products are not sold through ClickBank. Just because you don’t find a product on ClickBank with a gravity over 10 does not necessarily mean the niche isn’t lucrative. But ClickBank is a shortcut for us right now because as we ‘re learning to research niches, it’s the fastest and easiest way for us to get the confirmation we need before moving to the next step, and so that is why we’re using it here.
Now that we’ve narrowed our list to JUST niches in which products are definitely selling, let’s move on to the second step – discovering which of these products enjoy high customer demand.
Basically, we’re answering the question: Are people searching for and interested in this market?
For this, we’re going to go Google – Namely, Google’s Adwords External Keyword Tool, found at: https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner
With this tool we can find exactly what we need to know in just seconds. Follow the instructions provided by Google to search keyword popularity.
Now that you’ve got the results, take a look at the column marked, “Global Monthly Searches” to determine the size of the market. Click on the header, “Global Monthly Searches” to order the results from highest number to lowest, and add up the top 5 relevant results – the number should add up to at least 100,000. If it does, you can move to step 3.
(All of your results should be relevant, but just in case, look carefully. For example, if you searched for “Viral Marketing” and something comes up about marketing virus medicines, then that’s obviously not a relevant result. Also, if there is a duplicate result, such as “viral marketing” and “marketing viral,” only add one of them into your total. Ignoring irrelevant or duplicate results, look a the top 5 relevant results and see if they add up to 100,000 or more.)
Some will say that the top 5 results only need to add up to 60,000 – 75,000 for it to be a viable niche, and that is sometimes true. However, for right now we want to be sure you’ve got a good one, so we’re going with the 100,000 mark just to be safe.
For the niches that do total 100,000 or more, make a note of the top 3 search terms and you’ve found some potentially profitable niches to pursue.
What will make it even better is if you find a niche that is hot, and that you have a personal interest, curiosity and passion for. This will be the fuel that can drive you to succeed in building a business in this niche once you’ve identified there is indeed a market for it.
Simply repeat this process for all of your other possible niches, and use the your results to choose your first niche. Simple!
To recap, remember – your product niche must fit all 3 criteria:
- 1. It must have products that are selling
- 2. With a high customer demand for those products
- 3. And the competition should be low.
The hottest markets ALWAYS fit all 3 of these criteria because it’s where you’re going to make the most money with the least amount of effort. And because there isn’t a shortcut to uncovering these markets, it’s crucial you go through all three steps in the quest for your next red hot niche.