Trying to decide on the "right" niche can hold people up from getting started online for a long time. At first, there are a lot of unknowns, and you don't want to get it wrong... so it creates a lot of hesitation. And then 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.
Choosing a niche is a daunting task for many new online entrepreneurs, because there are so many factors to consider. 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 no guarantees in anything, but there are 5 basic areas you can look at to make sure your niche choice is a safe bet.
You Don't Need To Worry About the Competition
One of the biggest non-issues people worry about is competition. Some marketers give up and walk away instantly if they see anyone else doing the topic. And there are lots of marketers that walk away if there are a certain number of existing sites... whatever number they’ve decided is too much competition.
I think it's because all the big gurus used to teach people how to avoid saturated niches and target low hanging fruit.
But the truth is, most consumers like to learn from and follow lots of people in a niche they’re interested in. We all do it! If you’re interested in a topic, like 'fasting' for instance, you don’t land on one person’s blog and decide to only learn from this one person and no one else, do you?
Probably not... If you're like most people, you'll check out a bunch of different search results – you might even buy 2-3 or even more books on Amazon to read about it. You'll probably 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 differing teaching styles. Some people are brash, others coddle you... Some post new content daily while some release great information, but 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 that one person who prefers 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. How boring would it be if there was only one person per topic we had available to us to learn from?
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.
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 night.
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 o 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 keep up enough. So if it’s too overwhelming to meet all of their needs, consider narrowing down a bit so that you’re able to deliver content that meets the needs of all of your readers consistently.
How to Gauge Niche Profitability
Obviously, we want to start up in a profitable niche, and not waste our time and effort. 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.
Selling physical items online can be profitable as well. 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
It's common for new entrepreneurs to be worried about not measuring up to competitors knowledge and experience. They don’t want to set foot in the arena unless they have all of the answers ahead of time.
But 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.
There's always something new to learn 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 set aside where you’re diving into niche topics and learning interesting, new or trending details to showcase to your followers.
Stay up to date on 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.
Longevity Issues to Consider
There are a few things to consider when choosing a 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.