Whether you’re a blogger, an affiliate marketer, or an SEO Expert – you need to make your mark on the digital world. Finding a profitable niche that you can monetize upon isn’t something that happens overnight. There are plenty of places to look. Take advantage of the online marketplace to help guide your digital career.
The right niche will make you more profitable and more successful as an online entrepreneur – here’s how you can find yours.
How to Find Niche Site Ideas
1. Do Proper Research to Find the Niche
Without thinking about anything else, start your niche decision process by writing down all the things that interest you. These can be personal interests or professional interests.
- Start by thinking about the things you enjoy doing, or would enjoy doing if you had the chance. For example, you are an amateur photographer. Photography blogging could be a great niche. You can share your photos, your detailed knowledge, or your experience with camera technology.
- Next, think about the things you would enjoy learning. For example, you’re interested in taking up cooking classes. Even if you don’t have the time or budget to start cooking classes, you can start a food blog where you analyze recipes you find online. And discuss how to choose perfect ingredients, and weigh the benefits of organic versus GMO ingredients.
- Finally, think about the things you are already diving deep into. For example, let’s say that you are an adult that is going back to finish your degree in college. You’re going to do a lot of research on on-campus versus online degree programs, what university to choose, how to get back into the swing of studying, and so on. These are great topics for a niche blog about higher education.
During this exercise, you will get a better feeling for the themes that resonate with you. The ones that you are most passionate about are the best candidates for your niche. Also, read this post to understand what types of blogs exist on the web.
Whether you are excited about one niche idea or several of them, list them down. Next, we will show you a 3 step formula to confirm your niche for success.
2. Blog Success Validation
Whether you want to blog for prestige, income, fun, or connections, you’ll want to research the niche you choose and make sure the topic is viable. The following “blog success validation” exercise will help you determine if your blog has real potential. It will also help you understand why 90% of blogs fail.
Even if you believe it’s a brilliant blog idea, you will likely struggle to succeed unless you find a niche market that attracts enough people. You don’t want your niche to be too small or too big.
For example, the size of the “golf” niche is too big and broad with millions of keywords ideas. But if you pursue a niche that is very narrow, such as “plane golf swing drills,” the volume of searches would be too small. One niche down from “golf” would be “golf tips” or even deeper down “golf tips for beginners.”
Check the top five keywords for your niche topic. Look for at least 10 thousand monthly searches combined for the five keywords. You can use Google Keyword Planner (free), SERPs tool (free) or WordTracker (freemium) to check for the volume of searches and get keywords ideas. You want to be certain there is a large enough audience looking for the kind of information you will provide. But it shouldn’t be too large that you will get lost in the crowd.
With the Google Keyword Planner tool you can get top keyword ideas. However, it won’t give you the exact numbers of search volume and only the interval of common searches. This information will give you a rough idea of keywords and search volumes. Thus, we suggest using Google tool to get keywords ideas and other tools to get average search volumes for specific keywords.
If you want to get precise search volume use the SERPs tool. Enter your primary keyword (for example use “golf tips”) and get ideas by looking at the list of suggested keywords. Select the top five keywords that fit the niche topic you picked. Check the search volume for each keyword and add them together.
It’s a good sign if you have competition. It means others are talking about your niche and pursuing it. It’s also important to note that bloggers in your niche are not always your competition. And you will have to get to know them sooner or later through your blogging journey.
Following is a competitive review process you can use:
- Do a Google search for “[niche] blog” or “best [niche] blogs.” Can you find blogs currently targeting your niche? Are there at least five popular blogs focused on your topic? Don’t lose interest if you see a large number of blogs in your niche. If they can do it, so can you!
- Go to Facebook and do a search for [your niche]. Are there active Facebook pages? Not all topics lend themselves to Facebook, but most do. Look for Facebook pages and see how many followers they have. Great niches will exhibit at least 1,000 fans.
- Go to Twitter and do a search for [your niche]. Are there active Twitter accounts? You should find many references to your niche on Twitter. Check Twitter accounts of people involved within your niche. See how many followers they have (should be at least 1,000).
- Are there offline magazines? This is the gold standard for a niche. If someone is going to the trouble of creating a paper magazine centered on your niche, you can be sure online fans are looking for that information. You can check Amazon Magazines or just do google search for “[your niche] magazine or journal.” In regards to our “golf tips” example, this was a no-brainer, we see all the golf-related magazines at the local grocery stores.
If one or two of these points are positive, it’s a good sign your niche has a potential.
Do you want to earn money with your blog? Many people start blogging as a hobby without looking at monetizing their blogs. But, others want to make extra cash or even dream of making a living by blogging. It doesn’t matter which category is yours. It wouldn’t hurt to know if your blog can produce the income you desire. If you found other blogs, active social profiles, and offline magazines in the previous sections, this indicates the niche is alive and monetizable.
To make sure your niche is monetizable, research the following:
- Is anyone selling information or products related to your niche? The easiest way to determine this is to see what your competitors are promoting.
- Are well-known advertisers in your niche? These could be big brands or e-commerce sites.
- Are there affiliate offers in your niche? Here is how to find affiliate offers: Check affiliate networks.
- Do a Google search for “[your keyword] affiliate” or “[your keyword] affiliate program.”
These points can help you determine if you can establish a blog in the niche of your choice that helps you generate income.
3. Search for Keywords related to Your Niche
Niche keywords are the highly specific long-tail keywords that pertain to a narrow industry vertical. It’s important to optimize your site and your pay-per-click campaigns for niche keywords and not just broad, popular terms, which are often too difficult to rank for, especially as a new venture.
When you’re just getting started with a search marketing initiative—whether you’re a new affiliate marketer, new to an industry, or launching a new product—it can be very hard to predict the impact of a new search campaign, as well as to determine an attack plan for your industry niche.
4. Use a Keyword Research Tool to Find Niche Keywords
Before you can get started in earnest, of course, you need to choose your niche. Let’s say you’ve decided to build an affiliate site offering organic baby product reviews. Regardless of how much you know about baby products, it’s challenging, if not impossible, to know ahead of time what keywords are going to be profitable for you.
Keyword research will help you identify a wide range of potential keyword opportunities including less obvious terms that could potentially drive traffic and sales. Since this site is a new endeavor, you don’t yet have historical data to leverage as a predictor of future performance. So you need a good basket of potential keywords to drill down on.
5. Look for the Profitability in the Niche
First Check Google Search Volume For Your Niche Idea
Finding out just how many people are searching for your niche idea and related keywords or search phrases on Google is a first good step.
They are the biggest search engine in the world where a lot of traffic is going to come from.
Although keyword research is NOT the full picture, actually a small part of a bigger process, it shows instant demand.
Check Affiliate Products in the Niche
What is an affiliate niche?
An affiliate niche is quite simply a product or service that you can offer based on your field of business. For example, if your business revolves around the fashion industry, then ideally, your affiliate niche would focus on fashion-related products, such as clothing.
But what if you haven’t started a business yet? What if you are still in the process of researching and deciding which affiliate marketing business to venture into? Then your best option would be to either follow your passion or to simply listen to the people. What do people want? What sort of products/ services are people looking for?
6. Use the SPY Tools for Niche Research
Improved Content Marketing
SEMrush also helps you optimize your content marketing. Firstly, it does this by letting you know which keywords you “own” and which ones you can compete for. Secondly, it has this Content Analyzer feature that does not only measure your content’s SEO but also social performance. This analyzes user behavior, your social impact like shares, and identifies websites that link to your content. Furthermore, its SEO Writing Assistant feature helps you optimize your content for your target keywords and check them for plagiarism. This feature works on your Google Docs add-on, WordPress plug-in, and even on SEMrush itself.
Integrated Social Media Marketing with SEO
SEMrush has social media tools within its system. Hence, it encourages digital marketers to incorporate social media marketing with their SEO efforts by default. Social media marketing features allow you to monitor your brand mentions, brand reputation, and interactions. You can even conduct competitive analysis and leverage it for a better strategy. Not only that, SEMrush makes it easy for you to post on any social media platform via its interface, but it also helps you analyze publishing trends over a time period. With SEMrush, you can easily integrate your social media marketing with SEO as it should be.
7. Check Forums in Your Niche
If you have been in the internet marketing niche for some sum of time you should already know that forums are a great source of traffic. What makes forums so awesome? Forums have a large number of people, concentrated in one place, who all have the same common interests. What if you could funnel them onto your site?
Imagine the potential traffic you could be getting right now. Now you understand why forums are so great.
Now first things first, how do you find forums related to your niche. It is exactly quite simple. I am going to discuss a few ways you can do so.
Use Google Keyword Planner
Do you want more traffic from Google? You first need to do keyword research to understand what people are actually searching for.
Luckily, Google has a free keyword research tool that allows you to do just that: Google Keyword Planner (formerly the Google Keyword Tool).
Google Keyword Planner gets a bad rap, especially since Google removed the ability to see exact monthly search volumes. Now they just show a vague range.
8. Use Quora to Find Niche Content ideas + Promote Your Content
Why Should You Use Quora?
Quora provides tremendous opportunities for people and businesses to get traffic just by answering questions. The first reason is apparent: Quora is the fastest growing site and has surpassed 600 million visits a month.
9. Niche Research Hacks
Are you hoping to find your profitable niche but don’t know where to start?
Or maybe you’re not even sure what a niche market really is?
Perhaps you want to start an online business but currently don’t have a business idea or market in mind?
Look I get it, it’s a minefield at times with all the conflicting information out there.
But I’ve got you covered…
If you read the whole of this guide today then you will find your profitable and perfect niche (i.e. your online business idea) TODAY.
Seriously, this is the ultimate guide on how to find a profitable niche.
If you are new to internet marketing or have been around for a while but are stuck in the internet wasteland unable to progress, then this guide is for you.
Each chapter is designed like a mini-guide that can be read as a standalone page but you’ll get the best results if you read it from start to finish.
10. How to Create Awesome Niche Content
a) Narrate A Story
Everyone likes a good story, especially one that’s emotionally compelling. To create more interesting content, it’s important to resonate and relate to your audience. This means that you should talk about things they can relate to. For example, you may be offering legal services for personal injury.
To grab your audience’s attention, you can talk about a similar situation from your own life where you or a family member was injured and sought a lawsuit. Paint a vivid picture of the stress and anxiety you or your family member felt about paying expensive medical bills and the difficulties you faced getting legal assistance.
Once they’re interested in your story, it’s much easier to keep their attention when you get to facts and specific information. No one really wants to read about the law or watch a video on it. But when you create a more human experience, it can really resonate with people and appeal to their emotions.
An example of a great storytelling campaign is New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The hospital’s video marketing strategy included patient stories, which told their audience about their experiences with the hospital and how it saved their lives.
b) Create Controversial Topics
Controversy can add interest to any topic, no matter how boring it may seem. You can write about a hotly debated topic or a pressing question no one really has the answer to. For example, if you’re in the healthcare industry, you can take a strong stance on the issue of self-diagnosis in an increasingly online world.
Making a strong statement like that can spark a discussion. Lots of people are turning to inaccurate online sites to help diagnose and manage their medical condition(s). Because the controversial topic triggers a powerful emotional response, it will engage people, whether they agree or disagree. Internet entrepreneur Jason Calacanis is a great example of the tactic. He wrote:
“90% of the SEO market is made up of snake oil salesman. These are guys in really bad suits trying to get really naive people to sign long-term contracts. These clients typically make horrible products and don’t deserve traffic–that’s why they’re not getting it organically so they hire the slimebuckets to game the system for them.” – Jason Calacanis
While Calacanis’ statement may or may not be entirely true, he generated an intense reaction from people who both agreed and disagreed with his bold claims. He also gained lots of exposure.
c) Make Blog Posts Easier To Read
Perhaps this is the easiest tip to implement into your content marketing strategy. But believe it or not, many content marketers in dull industries don’t follow this practice. If your content isn’t the most interesting to read and isn’t the easiest to read, how fast do you think your readers will click away? At lightning speed, that’s for sure. Below are some formatting and writing tips you can implement to keep people reading:
- Use bullet points
- Use images and gifs, as we did in this post!
- Use header tags (i.e. H1, H2, etc.)
- Keep paragraphs short, between 3-4 sentences
- Use clear, concise language
- Avoid using passive voice
- Add some personality!
d) Get Your Audience Involved
One of the best ways to make interesting content is to get your audience involved in spreading your message. People like to feel like they’re part of something, even if it’s a small contribution. For example, Arkansas Children’s Hospital created the #100DeadliestDays hashtag campaign to raise awareness about statistics that show kids are more likely to die or be critically injured between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The campaign also included a downloadable parent-teen driving agreement, engaging infographics on topics like fireworks safety, and fact sheets about child safety risks. The campaign was shared and spread all over social media. Other organizations even started using the hashtag, sharing their own tips on the topic.
e) Bring a Personal Approach
Like storytelling, bringing a more personal approach to your content is a great way to draw attention to your content. People want to feel like someone understands their situation. When they’re consuming content, they want a more relatable experience, one that’s memorable and compelling.
Making your content more personal is one sure way to do that. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute brings its personal approach to cancer treatment with the You Have Us campaign.
Their powerful slogan says it all: “Right now you may have cancer. But what your cancer doesn’t know is – You Have Us.” This video is a smart healthcare marketing tactic because it makes the topic of cancer more relatable and comfortable for those experiencing the disease and even for those who aren’t.
f) Stand Out From Competitors
If you’re in a boring niche, one way to grab more attention from your audience is to be different from your competitors.
For example, content about forex trading can not only be dull and uninteresting but also difficult to understand. The industry is largely populated with sites that display very technical information in an inaccessible and uncreative way. MahiFX, a forex trading platform does a great job of standing out from competitors by doing something relatively new that hasn’t been overdone.
They created an interactive infographic to attract attention and interaction on the website. The infographic takes personal input from the user, compares it against a high flyer in the financial trading space, and contains a hook to get users to sign-up. It isn’t just a “regular” infographic. Unlike the typical infographic, it encourages users to take action on the website, creating an immersive user experience. That’s important when creating content in a “boring” niche.
g) Use Statistics
By incorporating statistics into your content, you can attract attention from your readers. But be careful. If not used correctly, statistics can make your content even more boring. Instead of just listing dry facts and figures, turn the statistical data into visuals using infographics and embedded videos.
You can also do your own research by gathering and analyzing data on a topic or conducting surveys. People love data and if presented in an interesting way, they’re more likely (61% of customers) to buy from a company that creates interesting custom content.
h) Learn Your Customers’ Favorite Topics
The key to getting your customers interested in your content is to implement a customer-led content strategy. This simply involves creating content that you know your customers will be interested in. Simply Business, an insurance broker in the UK, does a great job of this. Instead of just creating content exclusively around insurance, they’ve also created tangentially related content that small business owners will find useful, even if it doesn’t have to do with insurance at all.
For example, they created guides for social media, PPC campaigns, and productivity. The company sharpened its focus on its audience and has been successful in making interesting content that people enjoy reading.
The key takeaway here is that you shouldn’t just include your product or service in your content, but you should also discuss more general topics related to your niche. For example, Tessa Shepperson, a landlord and property solicitor, created an online legal resource center for landlords and tenants.
She doesn’t just use her blog to market her legal services, she also uses it to educate her audience. She comments on legal developments and new regulations, answers readers’ questions, and discusses relevant reports and consultation papers issued by the government and relevant organizations.
To be successful at this tactic, you must know your audience’s interests, pain points, and preferred solutions. Then, once you’ve determined what those are, you can craft content around relevant topics.