I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
It’s REALLY challenging to find a niche market that makes money!
Or is it?
Well, it turns out that you can make more money when you stop focusing on products and services to find a niche
… AND instead, find a niche audience that you can easily convert to buyers.
In today’s post I’m going to show you the exact steps to finding a niche audience to serve so you can make money.
What is a Niche Market?
A niche market focuses on a well-defined segment of people. By identifying the needs and wants of a segment of the population, you can then deliver valuable content, goods, and services that fulfill their needs. When you find a market with profit potential, you can create a strategy to focus your efforts on building trust with your audience and generating long-term income.
I can’t emphasize this enough:
Following your passion in online marketing is not necessarily going to build a profitable business. Do your research to find out if your audience is willing and able to spend money.
If your audience is not willing or able to spend money, then you won’t make any.
Follow the money to find the best niche for your blog.
To Niche or Not to Niche: That is the Question
As someone who has built a few successful niche blogs, I can tell you that finding a targeted market for your blog makes finding keywords and creating content a simple process.
If your blog is a hodgepodge of topics strung together, it’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping some of it will stick. You may get a lot of browsers but not buyers.
Casting a wide net is not the way for a blogger to increase profits.
Big brands like Target can position themselves in front of a general audience because they have huge advertising budgets that get the message in front of everyone.
Bloggers don’t have that advantage.
BUT… by marketing to a targeted audience, you create opportunities like:
- Becoming an online authority on a specific topic.
- Focusing on a specific keyword terms that can actually get found in Google search
- Higher conversion rates – your audience is attracted to your offer
- Easier to zero in on the most profitable campaigns.
Your audience is not “EVERYONE.”
That’s not all:
54 percent of consumers agree that the smaller the community the greater the influence. [Tecnorati report]
That means YOU! You want YOUR blog to be one of those influential resources that a focused audience can count on!
Best Niche Market Examples
Establishing your reputation online helps you to become the best in your niche. That’s how you attract the people that will eventually get to know, like and trust you enough to become buyers.
Let’s take a look at some businesses that successfully carved their niche in the marketplace. These examples showcase a service, product, and a blog.
Drybar came up with a brilliant strategy to become the best at one thing:
They don’t provide color or cuts, just an affordable blowout with luxury amenities. You can relax by watching a movie while your hair gets an incredible wash and blowout.
Drybar takes the customer experience beyond the bar through social media conversations and creative content.
Lefty’s San Francisco
Lefty’s saw an opportunity to create products for those of us who are left-handed.
Yes, that’s me.
I remember as a child, using the traditional right-handed scissors was always awkward, it never worked correctly. I was the worst cutter around!
It doesn’t matter that only 10% of the population is left-handed (although we are pretty special.)
Lefty’s has what us left-handed people need: school supplies, tools, gadgets, notebooks, and other things made especially for us! It’s easy for them to serve their audience because they know exactly what they need!
WPBeginner [WordPress Tutorials]
This successful blog found the perfect niche: people who want to learn everything and anything about WordPress.
With over 6.7 million people blogging, they need help and WPBeginner fills that need. By focusing their efforts on beginners, they found the perfect niche market. They have it all. From tutorials and guides, to more advanced how-to’s.
How to Identify a Profitable Niche Using the 3 Markets Technique
The 3 markets technique couldn’t be easier. Using this method, you start wide and then go narrow to find niche market ideas that you can monetize.
Here are the three steps:
- Identify the core market that fits you.
- Find a submarket that fits your expertise.
- Nail down the niche that is the best match for your inner superpower and is also profitable.
Step 1: Pinpoint a Core Market to Serve
Identifying your core market is how you can dig into the detail to discover exactly who you really should be serving.
Here’s the deal:
You are good at something, right? Which of the core markets are you drawn to both in your interest and what you know about?
Do some brainstorming to come up with a list of topics. Don’t worry about whether they right, wrong, silly or their profitability factor. Just jot them all down.
Once you complete your giant brainstorm, you’ll start flushing out the topics.
Most businesses are focused on a core market at its highest level, like:
There may be others but for this article, let’s focus on these three.
How can you actually use this?
Think at a high level first.
For example, if you want to serve people that need information about how to monetize a blog that falls under the wealth category.
Are you good at fitness? Great, that fits into the health category.
If you are having trouble coming up with core market ideas, head over to Amazon and take a look at their top level categories. You’ll find plenty of high level topics to get your creative juices going.
Step 2: Locate a Submarket
After you identity your core market dig deeper into a submarket.
For example, inside health, you have fitness, nutrition, weight loss, diets, natural healing, household supplies and endless other submarkets!
Let’s explore the core market, health and see what subtopics fit your expertise:
Health > Fitness
Health > Weight loss
Health > Household supplies
Why does this matter?
You can see how each submarket is part of the core, but very different from each other. So choosing your submarket is crucial in this step.
For example, household supplies is a very different topic than weight loss and your resulting niche market will have totally different interests. Yet they both fit under your core market of “Health.”
Find a Submarket with Long term Sustainability
In this step, do some research to determine the long term potential of your submarket.
I can’t emphasize this enough.
If you choose a topic that is a short lived trend, your blog won’t last long. One idea to determine the long term success of any topic is using Google Trends. It’s one of the most underutilized tools on the Internet and it’s FREE!
- Head over to Google Trends.
- Type a topic in the search box and press Enter.
Google Trends will show you a graph from a time frame of your choose. You can easily see if a line is going up, down, or staying the same above the 50 percent mark.
Obviously if the line has been on a downward trend over a period of time, that might not be a great submarket. Conversely, if it’s stable or slightly heading upward, the submarket topic should go on your list.
That’s not all!
Scroll down the page and see all the related queries that you can scroll through. There are tons of great niches ideas to be found here.
We are not done yet!
The money is not in the submarket because it’s way too broad. Once you find your submarket, you’ll narrow your focus even further to find a potential list of niche markets.
Step 3: Decide on a Niche through Research
On its own a subtopic is too broad to zero in on a target audience. In this step, you’ll do the real work to:
- Find your niche audience
- Determine if it has profit potential
- Take your core market and submarket then start exploring the possible niches that fit within your interests and knowledge.
Let’s look at Health > Weight Loss:
Health > weight loss > weight loss for people who hate exercise
Health > weight loss > weight loss for post-partum moms
Health > weight loss > weight loss for busy moms of toddlers
Health > weight loss > weight loss for college students
As you can see, each of these niche markets would be attracted to very different content. Sure, it’s all about a similar topic but the solutions will be quite different.
What does that mean?
If your blog is focused on weight loss for college students, they have little money and may live in a dorm without cooking appliances. How you solve their problem will be quite different than how you solve the same problem for the busy mom of toddlers.
Write down all your ideas for possible niches that are a good fit for you before doing your research to discover the niche profit potential.
To find the right niche for your blog, get answers to two crucial questions.
- Are people passionate about this topic?
- Are people willing and able to spend money?
Let’s dig in.
1. Find Proof that People are Passionate enough to Seek out Information
To find if people are passionate enough about this topic to take action, you need to look for answers.
Online communities are a good place to start. Do a search on Facebook to find out if there are Groups or Pages dedicated to this niche topic.
Does the group have a large membership or fan base and is there a lot of discussion happening inside the Group or on the Page?
You can also seek out information on YouTube and other social networks where people typically gather to talk about their favorite topics.
If you are seeing a large volume of interest and passion for a topic, then you may have a winner!
Other questions you want to ask yourself are:
Does this market have its own leaders that aren’t known to the general population? For example, in the Paleo eating world, The Paleo Mom is an expert and known leader. She has over 500,000 Facebook Page likes and a thriving business.
In the natural healing community, Dr. Axe has made a name for himself and is well known. But if I bring up his name to someone who has nothing to do with natural healing, they have no clue who he is.
These are guidelines. Look for clues that indicate whether a viable niche market exists.
2. The Most Profitable Blog Niches Have Audiences that Spend Money
Now that you have a few niche markets to choose from, the most important step is to find out if they are profitable.
Here’s the deal.
If people are passionate about something but don’t spend money in that niche, you won’t make money. [OK I said that already but it’s worth mentioning again.]
You need proof that people in are buying. If all you get are a bunch of looky-loos, that won’t turn into an income stream.
- Are large volumes of people looking for information in your selected niche?
- Is there a variety of products that are actually selling?
Here’s how [you can use this method with other online merchants].
Amazon is filled with hundreds of thousands of products in every niche. Use the search box to search for your topic.
The results will show you how many items are being sold and the number of reviews.
If there are just a few lonesome products with a low volume of reviews, that might not be a profitable niche market for your blog.
ShareaSale is an affiliate network where you can find hundreds of different products to sell in exchange for a commission. For this purpose, perform a keyword search for merchants and products that fit within your niche.
Are there lots of merchants or just two? What is the EPC?
Why this matters.
If there are hundreds of merchants in the results with a good EPC, that tells you that people in this niche are spending money.
It also means that affiliates are making money.
If others are making money then you can too!
But there’s a catch.
… Why should someone buy through you? Successful bloggers attract people to their content in a number of ways.
Let’s face it: Creating blog posts without a clearly defined niche market is a recipe for disaster. You need a better plan.
I hope that you see the full potential of using the 3 Markets technique: a step-by-step approach to choosing a niche market and establishing whether your blog idea is worth pursuing.
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