What All Online Marketers Should Know About Choosing A Niche
If your plan is to build an entirely online business and to make money either directly from a blog, or perhaps by selling digital products, then the first thing you need to do is to choose a ‘niche’.
The term niche in this context essentially refers to a subject matter, an industry and an audience. In other words, a niche can be ‘health’ or it can be ‘knitting’. This is what your blog is going to be about, it is what the products you sell should be about and it will determine precisely who your business is marketed at.
Choosing your niche is one of the most important steps in creating a successful online business and the reason for this is that it will directly impact the amount of competition as well as the size of your audience. If your subject is ‘health’ then you’re going to be going up against millions of other websites and this is going to make your life very difficult indeed.
When you write a blog post on ‘how to get abs’, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to get that to the top of Google seeing as there are so many other blog posts on getting abs.
Likewise, if you post in a fitness forum and mention your ebook, then it’s not going to stand out or be interesting because there are so many others.
Conversely though, you also need to avoid choosing a niche that is too narrow. If the niche you choose is ‘earwigs as pets’, then it will only be a matter of time before you have marketed to the majority of that audience and there is no one left to buy from you…
Another important consideration when choosing a niche is what you can offer the audience and how much they are likely to spend. When creating a product, it is always useful to think in terms of the value proposition. This basically refers to what your product is offering to the buyer and what gives it its value, which should be much greater than the face value.
When you sell an ebook on getting fit for instance, the value proposition comes from the fact that your buyer will hopefully be much fitter after reading your book and applying the knowledge they learn. You’re not really selling a book at all, but rather a sexy, toned body. You’re selling confidence, you’re selling energy first thing in the morning and you’re selling physical attractiveness to the opposite sex.
People are willing to pay a lot for those things and thus you can afford to charge more for your ebook.
On the other hand, if you have a book on cats, then you can only charge people for learning a bit more about their pets – which isn’t something people are willing to pay as much for.
It’s also important to have a very clear target audience in mind. Draw up a buyer persona and think about the exact kind of person who would be interested in your product. Do they have enough disposable income? And do you know where you can reach them in order to market your product?
So Then, How Do You Pick a Niche?
If that all sounds a bit confusing, then the best way to pick a niche is often to find a very big and popular niche with a strong value proposition (fitness, finance, business, dating) and then to ‘narrow down’ to find a specific section within that niche. For example:
Fitness for the over 50s
Fitness for nerds (‘NerdFitness.com’ is a highly popular website)
Fitness for X condition
Fitness for martial artists
Online business for students
Making money online for stay-at-home Mums
Try and think of something that is original as possible, while at the same time making sure that there’s a big audience there and that you can solve a specific need.
At the same time, try and choose a niche that you genuinely have an interest in and some knowledge about. This will help you to write better blog posts and will ensure that you don’t get bored of your business over time. This is actually one of the most important tips – so don’t be motivated by money alone or you’re likely to find your business lacks staying power.
Finally, think about any connections you might already have and any contacts. If you happen to know the editor of Gardening Magazine, then making a business in the gardening niche just makes sense. Likewise, if you’re a prominent member of a big forum dealing with health, then this is a very logical niche to choose as you’ll be able to post about your blog there and hopefully get a big reaction.
In short: try to have an entire business plan ready before you even begin writing. Know your strategy, know your end game and let your niche dictate all that.