I’ve found that most product publishers treat niche selection almost as an afterthought; something to skip through quickly, leaving the majority of their students lost, confused, and wondering what to do next. Niche selection is difficult to teach, and that’s why so many “teachers” shy away from digging in deep into how to get niche site ideas.
Not me. I’d bet the farm that what follows is the best guidance you’ll ever see for picking a niche. Make sure to start this long journey on the right foot by picking a niche that kicks ass.
Stick with the next 7 lessons and you’ll learn exactly how to do that.
When aspiring Internet Marketers consider niches, they’re motivated by money and usually select from niche site ideas that have the most income potential.
As counterintuitive as it sounds, I strongly encourage against that. Don’t select a niche simply because there’s good money in it; select a niche that provides the most value to its audience, regardless of the potential for money.
It’s likely the niche you’ve selected is one you have a lot of passion for or experience in. Learning everything about that niche will be much easier if you’re writing about a topic you provide a ton of value for. You’ll thrive providing the most value, especially when learning the ropes.
A secret to success in Internet Marketing is to focus on providing value to your audience, above all else, and everything else will follow. This applies to whatever track of Internet Marketing you plan to pursue.
More value means more traffic, more traffic means more money, and more money means you can optimize the value you provide to produce even more traffic that turns into even more money. That’s when Internet Marketing turns into a full-time living.
When picking a niche, providing value should be at the top of mind; let it direct everything you do from here on out.
Picking Niche Site Ideas: What’s Best for You
Niche selection is a very personal and internal process. Viable niches come from an internal place, and that’s why it’s extremely important to go through the niche selection process.
The only scenario in which someone else would be able to suggest a viable niche on your behalf is if they conducted an extensive interview questionnaire process, reviewed and interpreted your answers, and dug into the niches themselves.
Niche selection is one of the most crucial steps in Internet Marketing because the niche you pick could be the difference between failure and success.
No matter how hard you work or the strategies you devise, if you’ve picked a bad niche, your business will never amount to anything valuable, regardless of how well everything is executed.
There’s a chance you may select a bad niche the first time around, but don’t worry – it’s not the end of the world. I’ve had my fair share of bad niches and still manage to run a very profitable internet business.
If you happen to pick a bad niche, dust yourself off and, most importantly, stick with your Internet Marketing business. Remember what it means to you and how it would change your life. The stronger of a hold you have on your “why,” the more likely you are to survive challenging moments such as discovering three months in that you’ve selected a bad niche.
This is precisely why niche selection is being addressed now. The next section details the ins and outs of how to select your perfect niche.
The Dreaded “I Don’t Have Any Passions” Niche Struggle
As I’ve previously stated, niche selection is personal. Thriving in a niche you’re passionate about and have experience in is much more likely than if you select a niche you have no background in.
There are three main reasons why a lot of people who start in Internet Marketing struggle to select a niche:
1. They claim to have no passions.
2. They feel as if they have no valuable skills.
3. They feel as if they don’t have adequate knowledge about anything.
To find the confidence in yourself to say, “YES, I can definitely write about that,” you’ll need to dig deep and do a little soul searching. The best way to start the niche selection process is by brainstorming a list of previous jobs, experiences, and education.
We’ll start broad by addressing questions that will help you list ideas. Then, I’ll guide you through refining those ideas so you’re left with a handful, or possibly one.
Grab a pen and paper, or open your favorite note-taking application, and let’s get started. Write down everything that comes to mind during this brainstorm. It’s important to leave nothing out at this stage.
Brainstorm Part 1: Previous Jobs, Expertise, and Education
The first question we’ll address is: what jobs and/or expertise have you developed over the years?
Think about all the jobs you’ve had in the past, dating back to your very first work experience in high school. Regardless if you went to high school 40 years ago or are currently there, there are definitely pockets of knowledge in these experiences that can be refined into a good niche.
The jobs you’ve held or expertise you’ve developed are frequently where you’re going to be able to offer the most value. Skills learned as a professional or from a certified program in a particular industry are what give you the expertise, authority, and credibility that are inherently valuable in Internet Marketing. As far as I’m concerned, previous work experience is the best category to pick from.
Also think about the courses you took in college. What training did you receive? What accreditations did you gain? What certifications did you earn? Write all of that down. You’d be surprised at what skills that seemed insignificant at the time could potentially be your key to success.
Don’t worry if these are fields or subjects you’re not passionate about. A lot of people believe niches should be passion based. Just because you’re not passionate about a topic doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it.
Disinterest in a topic you’re knowledgeable in may simply come down to being burned out; however, consider that you offer a lot of value there. Think about how much value you can offer others and how much you’re going to help people.
Value vs. Passion: The FIMP Story
A great and tangible example is the Free Internet Marketing Project™. I’ve been in the Internet Marketing business for over a decade, so I know that this is an area where I can provide the most value to my audience.
Teaching people isn’t necessarily my biggest passion, though. I’ve actively avoided publishing training to monetize for a long time because I didn’t want to be another one of those “Me Too Gurus” who strike it rich once, think they can teach their strategies even though they don’t know how to replicate them, yet release an expensive product anyway. They get rich by teaching other people how to get rich rather than teach people how to work through the murk. It took me several years to get to the point where I’ve experienced enough to bring the best value I could ever bring to my audience.
Even so, teaching is monotonous for me. I don’t mean to condescend teachers or trainers, it’s just not something I’m personally excited about. I enjoy building new Internet Marketing projects, new Affiliate Marketing sites, eCommerce sites, expanding projects, and expanding my team to accommodate projects that have grown significantly more than teaching.
That said, I’m very passionate about helping people, and if teaching Internet Marketing will help people, then I’m in. I have the opportunity to teach people how to change their lives and empower them with skills to build their own internet business. That’s what gets me out of bed every day and moves me to record hours and hours of video and write this training. What excites me is the thought of changing someone’s life.
Brainstorm Part 2: Problems You’ve Faced
At this point, you should have some topics listed from the previous section. So, the second question we’ll address is: what problems have you faced in the past?
What have you found yourself googling and researching extensively? What things do you consistently find yourself coming back to and doing more research on? Examples of topics include health, dieting, beauty, money, debt, business, investing, relationships, parenting, pets, and many more.
If you want to dig even deeper, ask yourself: in what areas have you faced problems and had a lot of difficulty finding a solution?
If something comes to mind, then a solution isn’t readily available for that topic, which means there may not be much competition in that industry. It’ll be easier to establish yourself and position yourself as an authority in that niche.
Examine the topic of debt, for example: if you’ve been in debt and conquered it, or have struggled with your credit rating and managed to improve it, people will want to know about your story.
Another great example is in the beauty industry: if you’ve struggled with skin issues, such as acne or rosacea, or have struggled to find a skincare routine that works with your skin type, people will want to know your solution and how you found it. Although the beauty industry targets mostly women, there’s an increasing demand for this type of knowledge for males as well.
If you’ve faced these types of problems, then you have intimate knowledge of the difficulties, struggles, and emotions involved when dealing with them. In short, you are the target audience. And if you are the target audience, then you’re in the absolute best position to provide value.
The next time you encounter a problem, consider if it would make a decent niche.
Brainstorm Part 3: Hobbies and Interests
The last question we’ll address is: what leisure activities do you enjoy?
This is where interests and passions play a role. What do you find yourself doing in your spare time? Or, if you had the spare time, what would you like to do a lot more of?
Examples of leisure activities include music, photography, sports, and crafts, among others.
Do you play an instrument people want to learn how to play?
Do you enjoy photography, or anything art-related that requires you to create something, such as painting, sketching, sculpture, or woodworking?
Perhaps technology related topics are more of your interest, like coding, 3D printing, or creating mobile applications.
What about sports during your free time? Do you, like me, hold season tickets for your favorite team?
If you choose to focus your niche around an interest or hobby, be prepared to spend more time studying than if you had chosen a niche based on something else. Unless you’re already an expert in your hobby, you’ll have to develop an intimate knowledge of it so you can build the credibility required to write about that topic.
Something I hear often is:
“I feel like a poser because I don’t know how to add value in the industry I’m interested in. I don’t feel confident writing about the topic.”
At this point, you should anticipate more legwork when producing content because you need to continuously build knowledge in order to provide value. It’s okay if you don’t know everything right now as long as you commit to learning as much as possible about your chosen industry.
Keep this running list of ideas tucked away somewhere safe, but accessible, so that when inspiration hits you can add to it. In the future, when you find success with a niche, consider building out another one from your existing list.