When you start a new business, you research in market and begin by looking for profitable niches, in other words topics that people are interested in and willing to spend money in. This is very important because if there isn’t a sizable market for your topic of interest or passion then it will make doing business tough.
On the other side, if the market is very profitable, but you have no interest at all in the topic, that could also make things tough as you will have to do some research on the topic.
There are two criteria when choosing good niches:
- It should be something you are passionate about.
- It must be profitable.
And here are the two steps you can take to meet these criteria:
Two criteria when choosing good niches: It should be something you are passionate about & it should be profitableClick to Tweet
It’s always easier to start from a place of familiarity and passion as this makes you an instant expert and provides the motivation that will help fuel your journey:
- What interests do you have? In what fields / niches?
- What websites do you visit often?
- What books do you read?
- What are your favorite products or services and what makes you passionate about them?
- What do people always seem to ask you to help them with?
- What problems are you currently struggling with in your own life?
- What do you do on a daily basis? Anything done more than once has potential for a product or service to improve the process.
- What small things irk you consistently that may require a simple fix?
If you are not sure about what you really would like to do, you can get ideas by going to a bookstore, looking at channels on TV, or going onto big commerce websites like Amazon or eBay.
It’s best to avoid getting into big mega niches like Health, Pets, Investing, etc. when you are just starting out. The reason is that these huge niches are so vast and there is so much competition that it may become really tough to compete.
Instead, narrow a niche down to different types of micro-niches, such as Cat Litter Training, Travel Photography Equipment, etc.
Different people do their niche research in different ways. The following is one way that I would begin doing niche research. The reason is that they are easy tools to use and they are all free.
- Keyword research using Google’s Keyword Planner.
- Check for sponsored ads in your niche.
- Search for products for sale in your niche.
- Spy on your competition.
a) Keyword Research Using Google’s Keyword Planner:
Once you’ve found the niche you want to create a business in, the first step is doing keyword research. People are constantly searching for different topics on Google that they are interested in. So your goal is to explore just what kinds of keywords people are using in that particular niche.
So if you don’t already have an account, sign up for your free Google Adwords account. Once you’ve created your account and logged in, you will see your main page. From there you need to go to “Tools” at the top of the page and scroll down till you see “Keyword planner” and click on the link.
Then you need to make sure you’ve clicked on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”:
For example, let’s search for “cat litter training”:
Once you have clicked the “Get ideas” button, you will be brought to your results. Make sure you are under the “Keyword ideas” tab:
You are looking for keywords that have high monthly searches and low competition. Ideally, you should aim for keywords with at least 1,000 monthly searches with medium to low competition.
The Suggested bid price should be anything above .50. The bid price is the price other advertisers are willing to pay for that keyword. These individuals are most likely running their own pay per click advertising campaigns.
If there is a good bid price on these items, then it is an indication that the niche is profitable. Once you’ve found a keyword that you like and are thinking of going with, then you can move onto the next step.
b) Check For Sponsored Ads In Your Niche:
Next, you will want to do a Google search on that particular keyword. Are there ads on the page particularly on the top and sides? If not, then that is a sign that this niche may not be profitable. Doesn’t mean it isn’t, but when doing research we typically want to see ads on the top and side of Google.
c) Search For Products For Sale In Your Niche:
After you have checked for ads, do a Google search by typing in quotes your “keyword” price. Click Enter and check to see if there are products selling in the niche, because the more, the better. Also, determine if there are products or services
d) Spy on your competition
Head on over to SEMrush. This free tool will allow you to gain some basic trend information, as well some additional keyword ideas. More importantly, it will allow you to view the top 10 websites ranked on Google for your keyword. This is your competition.
When you enter SEMRush you can search your keyword term in the search box. When you do this, the most important thing to take note of is the organic search results. These websites are the ones you will analyze to see if they are tough to rank out.
You will want to select a few different pages that you will further analyze. When we move onto the next step using OpenSiteExplorer, we will be looking at the stats of all of these URLs to really assess the competition.
Once you’ve found the websites you would like to check out, head over to OpenSiteExplorer. Once you’ve entered the URL in the dialog box, it will give you these results:
Domain Authority is important, but what you really want to focus on is the Page Authority. This tells you how difficult it will be to outrank this page.
You are going to put a few of your SEMRush URLs into OpenSiteExplorer to truly assess your competition. If many of them are showing high page authority, it means your keyword is actually very competitive and it may be very difficult to compete.
There is a long way from idea to the end product launched on the market. Research will save you a ton of headache, time and money – if done right. There is no shortcut to growing your business – you need to do a thorough market research before you start going deeper into your niche.
Sarah Williams is a Berlin based entrepreneur and self-development writer. She helps people discover their true potential by developing their bodies and minds. Check out her self-help tips at Wingman Magazine.