How to Start a Niche Business on the Internet Step II: Identify Your Niche
How to Start a Niche Business on the Internet Step II: Identify Your Niche – Let’s start with a brainstorming session.
This will help organize your ideas if you’ve already got a subject in mind, and it will help you generate a list of potential markets to research if you’re starting at ground zero with no ideas.
1. Write down what interests you or what might interest you. This can be a product category (like computers) or it can be a target subject/audience (like basketball or asthma patients).
2. Write down everything you currently know about your interest. Generate as many related concepts, words, ideas, etc. as you can.
3. Put your list within easy reach and get ready to do some online research.
What you’ve just done here is generate a list of “starting keywords” that you can use to uncover even more keywords (and ideas).
You’re going to use these keywords to find out:
1. Whether a market exists online
2. What the market is searching for. This stage of research will give you one of three things:
1. Confirmation that your niche idea is at least viable and deserves further market research.
2. Negation of your original idea. No one is searching for what you want to offer.
3. Revelation of untapped niches. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll spot potential niches in the keyword data.
Keyword Research: A Case Study
Now that you know what to look for, let’s see a bit of keyword research in action.
I’m going to pretend that I’m looking for niche business ideas related to “guitars”. I sat down for a preliminary brainstorming session where I came up with a set of related keywords:
Strings – Picks – Solos – Repair – Used
My next step is to enter “guitar” into the Overture keyword research tool and make note of:
1. The actual results. Which words are paired up with “guitar”?
2. Whether any of my branching keywords appear (eg, “guitar -strings”, “guitar picks”), and how many searches those phrases receive per month.
Let’s take a look at the results:
Note that the above screenshot shows only a portion of the total results. The actual results extended far beyond this, but showing them here would’ve required multiple screenshots.
(You can run your own search on “guitars” and check the full results by following this link: http://inventory.overture.com/)
Can you spot any potential niches?
How about these: “guitar chord chart”, “how to play guitar”, “learn to play guitar”, “left handed guitar”?
While we’re at it, let’s see how many searches are reported for the modifying keywords we brainstormed earlier:
Not bad at all!
But we’re still just shy of having a viable niche. There’s an obvious demand for both products and instructional materials, but we need to narrow our focus.
The first question is, though, do you want to sell tangible product, or do you want to sell an e-book?
If you want to sell an e-book, you could certainly write a “how to guide” on guitar repair or how to play guitar, as long as you give it your own unique twist.
But if you’re looking to sell hard goods (or want to create a different kind of information product), then you’ll need to dig a little deeper.
Overture makes the digging easy. All we must do now is click on one of the results and see if the search phrase narrows with additional keywords. Let’s click on “guitar pick” and see what comes up.
Aha! Look at this:
Custom guitar pick – 1,928
Customized guitar pick – 223
Create your own guitar pick -23
Again, I’m leaving out the bulk of the results, but you can check them. You’ll find that the majority are just variations on the same basic theme: a market in search of unique guitar picks.
And don’t be misled in this case by that low search volume of “23” on the phrase “create your own guitar pick”.
If you could set up a way for people to do this, there’s a good bet you’ve got a ready-made market.
The search volume is low here only because “create your own guitar pick” takes a lot more thought to type in than “custom guitar pick”.
The market is clearly interested in customization and personalization. I’ll wager that the only reason you don’t see more searches on “create your own” is because many customers don’t believe such a solution exists.
I honestly don’t know if such a solution exists yet, but I know that if you can deliver that solution, you’ll have plenty of customization-happy guitar players beating on your door.
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