So, one of the first things you want to do when it comes to starting an online business is pick a niche. This is where a lot of hesitation comes in, and for good reason. Many people worry about picking the wrong niche, a limited niche or something they may grow tired of. It’s completely normal to have these hesitations, but you do have to move forward at some point. You can’t really go any further and build a site, create products or blog about your insight if you don’t have your niche chosen.
Yet the sheer number of factors to consider when choosing a niche is a daunting task for many new online entrepreneurs. Your main concern right off the bat is profitability, because who wants to go to any effort whatsoever if there’s no return for you?
There are five basic things you need to analyze before finalizing your decision on which niche(s) you’ll be targeting. Nothing you do can guarantee success, but these tasks allow you to mitigate some, if not most of the risk.
Stop Worrying About the Competition
One of the biggest issues people worry about, that isn’t really an issue, is competition. There are people who will throw up their hands and walk away if anyone else has ever done a topic before. And some who will walk away if a certain number of sites exist (whatever number they’ve made up to depict too much competition).
The reason they’re overly concerned with this is because in the past, many guru marketers have spent ample time selling courses teaching people how to target low hanging fruit and to avoid saturated niches.
The truth is, most consumers like to learn from and follow many people in a niche they’re interested in. Even you do it! If you’re interested in a topic, like fasting for instance, you don’t land on one person’s blog and only vow to learn from them and no one else, do you?
No! The fact is, you will look up many people and companies to learn from – you might buy 2-3 or even more books on Amazon to read about it. You’ll hit up YouTube and start watching all kinds of related videos to get differing insight and opinions on the topic.
We love to learn from many people for several reasons. First, they have different teaching styles. Some people are brash, some coddle you – others give advice daily while some release big information less often. Some use text in a blog that you can read, while others publish videos or stream live from their social media pages. There are some who prefer to teach through a podcast, too!
Your opinion and insight doesn’t have to be better than someone else’s. It just has to resonate with the people who prefer your teaching style over someone else’s. As long as the information you’re providing is viable, don’t be afraid to compete with anyone and everyone.
There are some people who love self help topics who fall all over themselves whenever Tony Robbins speaks. And there are those who can’t stand listening to him. As much as I love personal development, I don’t listen to Tony Robbins. Think about how boring it would be if there was only one person per topic available for us to learn from? We’d all stay stuck exactly where we’re at and never see any improvement, right?
So ease up on your self-doubt, put away your tools that calculate the competition and understand that there is plenty of room for everyone, regardless of your experience, your appearance, your income level or any other measurement you might be using to talk yourself out of making the leap into a niche you’re truly passionate about.
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A Drilled Down Versus Broad Approach
So now that you know there’s no such thing as too much competition, your next task is to consider whether you want to take a broad approach to your niche or drill it down a bit.
And when you drill it down, how much is too much? You want to pick the right amount of depth because if you go too narrow, you might whittle your audience down to almost nothing, making it hard for you to profit from your efforts.
Let’s look at how a niche is drilled down. We’ll start with the diet niche.
Diet → Fasting → Intermittent Fasting → 5:2 Diet → 5:2 Diet for Women → 5:2 Diet for Women Over 40 → 5:2 Diet for Vegetarian Women Over 40
This is a typical way to drill down a niche. You can certainly do whatever level of depth you want, but it’s important not to go too detailed because then you’re excluding large demographics from your audience.
Drilling down to fasting excluded other kinds of dieters who don’t want to fast. That’s fine because there are many people who want to learn about this method of losing weight.
Going into the 5:2 fasting method eliminates everyone wanting to do the 16/8 method, the eat-stop-eat method, and the alternate day fasting method. As soon as you added women into the niche, it excluded all men, too.
So as you can see, the more narrow you get, the more potential customers you’re weeding out. As long as that demographic stays large enough, and you can use common sense to gauge it, you don’t need a statistician to configure numbers for you, it’s good.
Keep in mind your site can start out broad and have drilled down categories in the sidebar where each category drills down even further into individual blog posts covering the most narrow of topics.
So, you might have a Best Diets for Weight Loss blog that serves as an umbrella for a huge number of diet plans. In the sidebar, you might have the following categories:
- Keto Diet
- Vegetarian Diet
- Paleo Diet
- 1200 Calorie Diet
- Low Carb Diet
- Fasting Diet
- Mediterranean Diet…and so on
In each category, you can create specific blog posts covering all of the narrow slants under that diet, including a blog post titled: The 5:2 Fasting Diet for Vegetarian Women Over 40.
Make sure that before you choose an approach, you keep in mind that if you have a broad topic, your audience will expect ongoing content that covers a wide variety of subjects.
Your consumer, who is interested in learning about diets, will be disappointed if they land on your site and see nothing about low carb because you’re too bogged down in writing about fasting, calories and plant based diets.
You have to be able to plan strategically with your content and publish often enough to keep readers engaged. So, if it’s too overwhelming to meet the needs of a broad range, consider narrowing down a bit so that you’re able to deliver content that meets the needs of all of your readers consistently.
Blessed Mess is a bit broad because it’s part personal blog, part personal development, part journaling and part business topics. But, it fits my personality.
Learn How to Gauge Profitability
Profitability is on everyone’s mind when they’re just starting a new business branch online. You want the money to start flowing fast, and lots of it! There are a few different ways you can measure the profit potential of a niche.
First, digital products can be lucrative. They’re the kind of product a customer can get instantly by clicking a buy button and downloading directly to their computer to consume.
So, you want to be looking to see if your niche has products on sites like ClickBank, for example. Of course, if there are none, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. If consumers buy courses or books on the topic, you could create your own content (or use private label rights content – PLR) to do it.
Tangible products are another area of profitability. In the fitness niche, for example, you might have digital courses that teach people how to exercise and eliminate fat and get toned, but more money comes in the form of commissions from the promotion of machines they’ll be using, protein powder, calipers to measure fat, scales and more.
Services, like coaching or doing things for others they don’t want to do themselves, is another way to make money in a niche. If you want to help someone achieve success, you might be a sort of life coach for them – or help analyze someone’s efforts to improve their relationships, for example.
Look at price points and frequency of purchases, too. Whenever you find a program that the consumer will be renewing monthly or annually, this provides even more profit potential for you to consider.
With pricing, you might instinctively worry about promoting high ticket items, but you’d have to sell fewer of them to equal the volume of sales you’d need of a small commission item.
Understand that unless you’re selling services or using paid ads for traffic, it will take a little time to gain traction in any niche because your site has to get indexed (found) in Google. Stay consistent and build up your content and following.
Knowledgeable Leadership Requirements
Before we talk about the worries of leadership I want you to know that the best way to lead is by helping others. Always keep that in mind and a lot of the worries about competition and everything else will be a lot less.
So, worry about not measuring up to your competitors, in terms of knowledge, is common for many new online entrepreneurs. They don’t want to step foot in the arena unless they have all of the answers ahead of time. Yes, it is something we have all worried about, so don’t feel like it’s only happening to you. Just keep reminding yourself that helping others is an important factor.
The truth is, nobody has all of the knowledge they need in every situation. The key is to be a good learner and sharer – someone who, when asked a question they don’t know, is willing to go find an answer and share it.
That’s all it takes – willingness and the ability to uncover things people want to know. This is actually part of what’s thrilling about being a niche leader. You’re always discovering things and broadening your knowledge about a topic.
It would be very boring if you woke up day after day and already knew everything there was to know about the subject matter. So embrace the starting point you have now and understand there’s no shame or humiliation in saying, “I’m not sure about that – let me get an answer and get back to you.”
But make sure you’re not just waiting for questions you don’t know to pop up before you embark on a learning adventure. You should always have time carved out in your schedule where you’re diving into niche topics and learning interesting, new or trending details to showcase to your followers.
Stay abreast of news stories, read consumer or trade magazines in your niche, study the competition to see what they’re talking about, and lurk in forums and on social media to see what the buzz is.
When you find information to share with your audience, don’t be afraid to share your opinion on it, too. People want to know what you think of it – even if you disagree with what someone else is saying.
Put a twist on it if you can or want to. If some news comes up about how getting 8 hours of sleep a night helps you lose weight, you can pass that information along to your audience.
But then add on ways they can achieve that slumber, if they don’t already know. Give your own personal bedtime routine hacks if you have any that might help them. Experiment with new methods of getting to sleep and share a daily account about what worked and what didn’t.
Are you ready to step into the leadership role?
Remember, Anyone Can Teach!
Longevity Issues to Consider
There are a few things you have to keep in mind in terms of adopting this niche for the long haul. Unless you plan on flipping your site to someone else, chances are you’re hoping this will grow into a formidable business branch for years to come.
But will you run out of information to share? There are some niches, like health, that are always evolving. Sometimes it’s because of technology and sometimes because of new knowledge that’s gained that wasn’t known before.
Then you might find something such as how to store water that has you scrambling for new topics to cover after a few months. Maybe you covered rain barrels and treating water, you did product reviews and a how to series, and now you’re all out of ideas.
You want to make sure that the niche you choose isn’t difficult for you to garner ideas with. Before you begin, brainstorm from of your categories that fall under your umbrella niche topic and write out lists of possible things to cover.
Would you be able to find something new a couple of months from now? How about a year from now? It’s helpful, depending on how much creativity you have or lack, to pick a niche that makes things easy for you in terms of brainstorming topics to blog about.
Will you get bored of the niche – or feel some other negative emotion having to tend to a site on this topic all of the time? What if it’s a depressing niche and you have to write about it day after day?
It’s important for you to feel excited about work and not dread facing it every morning. So pick a niche that truly makes you feel fulfilled or happy whenever you share thoughts with your audience.
All the best,
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