Deciding the Niche in Your Online Marketing Plan
If your know your strengths and leverage them for your business advantage, then you’d have many choices. You can simply choose an ordinary business where there’s lots of competition. Identify the problems that are dying to be solved (I’ll cover this topic in the next step of designing your business). Then design your business, based on your strengths, to solve the problems in the best way. In other words, do your business in a totally new way using your unique strengths. Then your chances of success will skyrocket.
With that said, let’s move on to finding your niche market.
How To Find A Profitable Market (Niche)
First you want to decide on the market that you’re interested to enter. You also need to determine the depth of your market. For example, if you decided to choose the broad finance market, you also need to pick something more narrow, like “credit cards for students”.
If you’re not sure about the difference between a broad market and a niche, here are some examples of markets going from broad to narrow:
Market = Finance; Submarket = Credit cards; Niche = Credit cards for students
Market = Health and Beauty; Submarket = Anti-aging; Niche = Anti-aging skin care
Market = Love; Submarket = Online Dating; Niche = online dating for single moms
Market = Self Development; Submarket = Life coaching; Niche = Life coaching for business
To determine whether this niche is profitable, you want to make sure it has lots of competition and advertisers. These two indicators show you the market’s money making and traffic potential.
Here’s a checklist of a good market:
- money is being spent
- lots of advertisers (offering a variety of products and services, affiliate programs, CPA offers, etc.)
- search volume for your keywords is high
- many variation of keyword phrases to target
How To Find Good Profitable Keywords
When you have selected your niche, you want to research and gather your keyword list for the following purposes:
- helping you understand your market
- gathering keyword phrases to target for content creation
- planning the structure of your website
- helping you design your business to solve the problems of your market
Before we go through this step, I’d like to say that there’s no set way of doing your keyword research. When you become more familiar with the process, you’d have your own way of choosing and researching your keywords.
When I first started, I wasn’t sure where to begin. And when I became more familiar with the keyword research process, I found it impossible to find the perfect keyword. It’s frustrating because when I came up with some great keywords (high adword costs, high search volumes, many keyword variations), then the competition is too high. And I would hesitate to go into that niche. And then when I managed to find some lower competition keywords, either the adword costs are too low, or there’s not enough search volumes.
But you shouldn’t feel frustrated. And you don’t want to let these factors constrain you from choosing your niche.
But if you’re just beginning, this is a good point to start.
To find profitable keywords with high search volumes and competition, you don’t really need to buy any tools. You can just use the Google Keyword Tool to get an idea of the adword costs, search volumes, amount of keyphrases, and the levels of competition of your keywords. All you need to do is to get an Adword account for access. Here’s the link:
Join Online Marketing Course to understand as how the Keyword Tool works and how to find most profitable keywords.
Checking the cost of your keywords
In general, if you’re doing Adsense sites that heavily rely on the profitability of the keywords, then the higher the adword cost of your keywords, the more profitable your niche is. So you’ll want to make sure that your keyword cost more than just a few cents. It’s better if they cost at least $1.00 per click or higher. Otherwise it’s not worth your efforts.
If you’re promoting affiliate products and services, then your profitable keywords will be the ones that convert well. For example, if your niche is anti-aging skincare products, then the keywords that convert well (profitable) are probably “what is the best anti-aging cream”, or a keyword with the product brand within it, e.g.”LifeCell Skin anti-aging cream”. In other words, profitable keywords are the ones that indicate a customer’s intention to buy. So sometimes it’s also called buying keywords.
If you’re selling your own products or services, the same rules for affiliate marketing apply here. So you don’t have to worry too much about the adword costs of the keywords. If you’re planning on using paid methods like PPC to market your business, then lower adword costs are good for you. That is, your marketing campaigns if done right can be very cost effective.
Checking the search volume
Basically you want to make sure there are lots of different keywords and that at least some of them are getting a high search volume.
The reason for this is to prevent you from going into a really narrow market. So if you can collect hundreds of related keywords and they each have at least 500 searches a month, then you’re in good shape. There are lots of opportunities to be explored in this niche.
Checking the level of competition
Many internet marketers are taught to stay away from markets with fierce competition. In fact, you don’t have to worry too much about competition. This is for two reasons: if you’re play to your strengths, you’d create your business advantage. So competition becomes irrelevant. Plus, you want to target lots of different keyword phrases, not just one or two, on your website. So it’s not really necessary to worry too much.
But we do need to address this factor so that you have an idea of how your market is doing.
Here are some indicators of a highly competitive market:
- for your primary keywords all results on the first page have PR5 or above
- all results on the first page are .gov or .edu sites
- all results on the first page are prominent name brands
- all results on the first page are single keyword domains like acne.com
Again, these are just indicators that the market is very profitable and highly competitive. That shouldn’t be the reason to stop you from entering the market if you see an opportunity in the market that no one is approaching. In addition, the quality of your content, or the solutions you’re delivering to your customers is the key. That is the number one thing you should keep in mind when building your business. And if you know what your unique strengths are, you’re able to change the competition structure and create your own business advantage. So don’t be afraid of the competition. It’s actually good for your business if you know what you’re doing.
So I hope this helps you in your niche selection. In the next step, we’ll go through gaining clarity about your customers. I’ll show you how to get into the minds of your targeted customers and identify their problems. This is an extremely important step in designing your online business. It will help you discover your opportunities within your niche, and formulate your unique solution to solve their problems.
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