Finding profitable niches can be difficult. Finding one that isn’t extremely saturated can be intimidating when you’re just starting out in the online world. The key to finding niches that are both profitable and have little competition is drilling down a top-level niche to find profitable sub-niches with fewer competitors.
How to drill down your niche into a sub-niche
For example, let’s say you’re interested in creating a site that has to do with beauty. You can drill the beauty category down into several different sub-categories. You could choose hair care, skin care, fitness, organic beauty, cosmetics, or any number of niches related to beauty.
But these categories are still too broad to be profitable with small numbers of visitors. You need to drill down even further. Let’s say you decide to tackle the skin care demographic. Sub-categories of skin care might include eczema, acne, blackheads, wrinkles, age spots, psoriasis, and dry skin.
Now you have a list of smaller niches that you can begin to narrow down. Acne might still be too broad. You can drill down even more by targeting teenage acne, infant acne, and adult acne.
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How do you know that you haven’t drilled down too much?
While you want to find niches that are narrow enough for you to dominate, you don’t want to choose niches that have too little traffic available. Don’t be afraid to spy on your competitors.
Go to your favourite search engine, like Google, and search for things like “how to get rid of acne.” This is obviously a niche desperately seeking a solution. If you drill down too much, like targeting “blackheads,” you might find it’s an annoyance, but maybe not something people are desperate enough to spend money solving.
You should verify that your idea gets a decent level of search volume by using a keyword tool like WordTracker or Google Keyword External. When you look for the niche on Google, see if there are plenty of AdWords ads on the right sidebar of the screen.
If so, this means people are making money in this niche. Any time you can come up with an original slant on an idea that’s already churning profits online, you’re poised for instant success.
If you really want to get into the eBay niche, don’t go after a broad, eBay for beginners niche. Target something unique such as “eBay Businesses for Baby Boomers.” Pick a specific target audience and then cater to their needs instead of approaching the mass public with a broad idea.
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Some tips for drilling down your niche
Grab a piece of paper and a pen and brainstorm everything you want to write about. Do a big ole braindump.
Once you have done this answer the following questions for each of your ideas. Do I have the knowledge and/or skills to pursue this? Do I have the passion? Is there a proven market for this topic? How can I monetise this niche? Are there others monetising this niche (they aren’t your competition but proof that it can be done!)? Once you have gotten a big list full of cross-outs and ticks, write a fresh list with just the ticked items
Once you have your fresh list, think you want to write about, try brainstorming at least 50 (yes, 50) blog post ideas for each item. If you can do this quickly and get excited each time you write something down, you have found your niche. If several make you excited, pick the one that makes you the most excited for now.
Some more tips:
- How does it feel to think that you will be writing about this topic every week (depending on your content schedule) for months and years? Does it make you cringe? Probably not your niche! Does it make you excited and fill you with motivation? You have found your niche
- Think about a domain name for your website, it should reflect your niche. Does it make you proud to tell people that you blog over at ‘yourwebsitehere.com’?
- Do you feel inspired when you look at other influencers in your sub-niche on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter?
- Do you have the knowledge in your sub-niche? It is all well and good if you love it, but if you don’t have the knowledge required, you won’t be able to provide as much value to your readers as you could. Unless you are willing to put in the hard yards and learn.
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Some thoughts on drilling down a niche
Yes, I do believe in drilling down your niche. However, I am going to go against the grain a little bit here and say if you are having trouble, go broad first. Once you have dipped your toes in and find where your passions lie, drill down then.
It doesn’t matter so much in the beginning when you have a small audience. When you have built a large, well-invested following, that’s when it gets hard to start drilling down.
Sometimes it just takes a bit of time before you find your sweet spot and that’s ok!
For example, I started my very first blog as a travel blog. That’s pretty much the broadest you can go. However, as time went by I found that I started to prefer to write about hiking, the tracks I hike, tips and backcountry skills. Since niching down to a specific topic, my traffic has gone up and I love writing each and every week. In fact, it is even scheduled far in advance because I am always finding something to write about.
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Having a well-defined niche isn’t the be all and end all, however, it will make it easier to monetise your website eventually. Broad websites are extremely hard to monetise as you don’t have a focus to design products or search for affiliates.
Did you find drilling down your niche hard or did you know straight away what you wanted to do? Leave a note in the comments!
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