Why Niche Marketing Is So Effective
Niche marketing is one of the easiest and most effective ways for marketing beginners to make money online. It allows beginners to bypass a lot of the competition they’d face with other approaches.
You’ll be able to build up experience, tactics, make money and get real-world feedback in a small field that’s skewed in your favor. Then and only then do you venture into a more competitive field, if you choose to.
Why is niche marketing such a great choice for someone who’s just starting out? Here are some of the main reasons.
=> Low Competition Means Faster Profits
Who wants to wait months to begin to make money? Getting cash flow fast is crucial for any business, but especially so for someone just getting started online.
A lot of people don’t really and truly believe they can make money online until they start to see the cash flow in. Having that cash flow in for the first time breaks that belief.
That first check is often invigorating and very inspirational. It causes people to want to work harder, now that they know it’s real.
Going into a small niche will allow you to start making money right away. You’re not competing against million-dollar marketers who’ve spent years establishing their site, their brand and their rankings.
Instead, you’re going in with guns blazing into a market where the top sites probably don’t often face serious competition. In other words, you’re going for the low-hanging fruit.
=> A Higher Work-to-Profit Ratio
In a niche market, your work will be translated to profits faster. But it’ll also probably be translated into more profits. Because you have fewer people to compete with, your efforts will quickly get you through barriers that would take a lot longer to break through in a bigger market.
In a bigger market, you could literally spend hundreds of hours building backlinks and working on your SEO without breaking into the first page.
In a niche market, you could put in that same effort and quickly get into the first, second or third place positions for your main keyword. You’ll instantly be getting traffic and making money, which you can put back into your business to make even more money.
=> Simple Techniques Work
With niche marketing, you don’t need complex techniques. You don’t have to understand the ins and outs of AdWords if you don’t want to. You don’t need complex tracking mechanisms or custom-built shopping carts.
Niche marketing allows you to learn very basic marketing tactics, put them into action and see immediate results.
In larger markets, you often do need to learn very advanced tactics to compete. After all, if you’re competing against very sophisticated marketers, you’d need very sophisticated tactics yourself.
Don’t try to take on established or well-funded sites until you’ve built at least one or two successful sites yourself. Niche marketing allows you to test out both simple and advanced marketing tactics in easier fields before you try out more difficult markets.
In short, niche marketing is easier, faster and often more profitable. It’s one of the simplest ways to make a good income online, quickly.
How to Find Profitable, Low Competition Niches
There are two factors that every good niche needs to have: profit potential and low competition. If you have both, then you have a good chance of carving out a part of that market for yourself.
In this article, we’ll look at how to come up with a list of potential niche markets, as well as whether or not you’ll be able to break into the market.
=> Start by Coming Up with a Broad List
The first step is to come up with as many topics as you possibly can. You’ll later narrow this down to just the one or two that have the most potential.
Start by writing down all your personal interests and passions. Come up with at least ten things that you’re either passionate about or have knowledge in.
Then take a stroll through a bookstore. Look at the magazine racks and jot down any ideas you have for niches and sub-markets.
Carry your notepad with you wherever you go for a week or two. Once you have a few high potential markets to look at, then it’s time to evaluate each niche’s potential.
=> Researching the Number of Established Brands
The first thing to do is spend some time exploring the market. Though you can do the statistical parts of niche research in a day, to really get to know a market may take a little longer.
Get a sense for what the biggest brands in your space are. Do this by doing Google searches for a wide range of terms and seeing what sites come up.
In addition, read as many blog posts and forum posts as you can on prominent industry forums. What are names of companies and people that are often mentioned? Who’s viewed as the “gurus” or the best resources in the space?
Ideally, you’re looking for a market that has a few competitors, but nobody that has an extremely strong foothold. If there are multiple strongly rooted personalities in the market already, you’ll probably have a hard time breaking in.
This part of the research is more qualitative (meaning “feeling-based”) than quantitative. It’s basically getting a sense of how deeply entrenched your competition is.
=> Toughness of Competition for Search Terms
The other part of the research is more statistical. You want to figure out which keywords you plan on targeting, then figure out exactly how much traffic those terms have and how much competition you’re facing.
Look at the PageRank, the incoming links, the domain age and the estimated traffic of the websites that come up first for your target search terms.
Are these sites established sites that are deeply rooted in the industry? Or are they relatively new sites with few incoming backlinks?
In other words, do you believe you’ll be able to beat those sites to a number one, two or three position within about six months?
For your first time, it’s best to aim for search terms that you can easily rank for. As you get more experience, aim for tougher and higher reward keywords.
The whole process looks something like this: First, brainstorm as many ideas as you can. Then cross off the ideas that clearly won’t work out. For the remaining ideas, research the quantitative/numerical traffic and competition data, as well as the more intangible sense of how loyal people are to the top brands.
Then pick a market you believe you can break into and jump in with both feet.
Checklist for Evaluating a Potential Niche
This is a seven-item checklist to help you make sure that any niche you go into will be profitable. Anytime you’re looking at a new niche, just pull out this checklist to help make sure your new niche has the makings of a winner.
=> Item #1: Enough Traffic?
Your niche needs to have enough traffic to hit your minimum income goal. The minimum goal is for you to decide. For beginning marketers it can be as small as $100 a month, while more experienced marketers may aim for thousands.
As a rough gauge, assume you’ll be able to get 15% of your main keyword’s traffic. At a 1% conversion rate, would it be enough traffic to get you to your minimum goal?
=> Item #2: At Least Three Low-Competition Search Terms
To get started, you want to target low-competition search terms. These are terms you believe you can rank in the top five for within no more than 3 months.
The ideal niche should have at least three of these terms, so you can start making money right out the gate.
=> Item #3: People Are Spending Money
Make sure that other people in the market are actually spending money. There are many niches that may appear to have low competition, but aren’t being marketed to simply because people don’t spend money in that market.
=> Item #4: Has Repeat Product Potential
You will almost always make more money in a market where you can sell repeatedly, as opposed to a market where you can sell just one item.
In other words, look for markets where the problem won’t be solved with just one sale. Subscription models or consumable goods are great examples.
=> Item #5: Has at Least One Competitor
You want to go into markets where at least one person is making money. If there are no competitors, it’s possible that you’ve found a truly uncharted market, but more likely than not others have already tried it and failed.
Ideally, your market should have just a small number of marketers who are making decent money. There should be a couple people at the table, but the table shouldn’t be crowded.
Item #6: Has a Passionate or Desperate User Base
Is the user base passionate about the issue? Or, in the case of a problem (i.e. acne), are they desperate about finding a solution?
The more passionate and/or desperate the end users, the more willing they are to part with their cash.
Item #7: Do You Want to Do It?
Sometimes you’ll find a market that looks good on the surface, but you just know it will be dull work. In that case, you need to ask yourself: Do you want to do it?
Remember that creating a website isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon. Getting good rankings can take as long as six months, sometimes even more in competitive arenas. Is this an industry you want to be in for a few months?
If you answered “Yes!” to all seven factors, then chances are you have a winner on your hands. If any of these items are missing, you might want to do a bit more research before jumping in.
Carving a Small Piece of a Large Niche
There’s a lot of money to be made in taking small pieces of big markets. Markets like weight loss, making money, credit cards, mortgages, etc. are impossibly difficult to tackle. However, smart marketers who cut out just a small slice of these large markets can make a lot of money.
Here’s how this strategy works.
=> Go Where the Money Is
There’s a very good reason why markets like weight loss or real estate are so crowded. It’s simple – there’s a lot of money to be made.
Instead of finding small niche markets where the profit potential is unsure, in a proven market you can be certain that there’s money to be made. The trick is carving a slice of the pie.
=> Picking Your Slice
The best way to take a small piece of a large pie is to pick a specialty. That specialty should be a gap in the market.
For example, if there’s a lot of content going around about buying and flipping properties but no content going around about how to identify up-trending international real estate markets, that could be a very powerful niche to go into.
What about overweight vegetarians? If nobody’s talking to them specifically, that could be another great market.
The secret is to find a gap in a large market where you can have something unique to say that isn’t already being said.
Make sure it’s a gap that has real demand. Use your instincts and your knowledge of the market to find a gap. That gap will become your personal or company brand.
In other words, you’ll be known as the “international real estate guy” or the “vegetarian weight-loss guy.” By creating this brand, you’ll effectively become the go-to person for people who want to know about that topic.
Word about your specialty will spread throughout the niche and soon people will begin to seek you out of their own accord.
When people are consistently finding you on their own because of your brand in a market, that’s when you know you’ve cornered a slice of the pie.
=> Getting a Slice Off the Ground
How do you get started?
Once you’ve identified your slice, start by picking a few choice keywords as well as a few target partners. These are people in the industry who you respect and would like to work with in the future.
Create your website and put 100% of your effort into creating world-class content on your subject. Consistently put out content at least once a week for a few months.
Some of your articles can be deliberately written to target easy to rank for keywords, while others are written just for the quality of the content.
Once you build a bit of reputation, approach your target partners with an offer for a JV deal, a guest blog or a joint teleseminar. Do a few of these and your reputation and backlinks will both grow.
Carving a slice of a larger pie takes time, but the profit potential makes it all worth it. Find an aspect of a large and profitable market that’s under represented, and become the go-to person for that slice of the market.
Get to Know Your Niche: How to Research and Connect with Them
In order to talk to your niche, you first need to get to know the people in your market. The more you can know their hearts and souls, their problems and desires, the more you’ll be able to connect with them.
How do you connect with a new market quickly? These are three effective methods that’ll get you up to speed on just about any market, fast.
=> Search Yahoo! Answers
Search Yahoo! Answers for questions related to your market. For example, if you’re teaching online marketing, you might search for phrases like:
“Make money online”
“Make money from home”
And so on and so forth.
Read through dozens of questions to figure out what people commonly ask. What are questions the crop up again and again?
What kind of answers are people getting? Are there questions that are consistently going unanswered? What are some of the frustrations of people asking questions?
=> Look for the Most Replied Posts in Forums
Go to the internet forums that are most popular in your niche. Scroll to the bottom of the forums and set the forum to search by “Most Replied” threads. Set the date range to as far back as it can go.
This will give you a list of topics that people have found most interesting to discuss. These threads will often give you incredible insights into how people view current topics, what was hot in the past and what’s hot now, what kind of creative solutions others have come up with and so on.
Rinse and repeat for each category in the forum, as well as for different forums to really get a feel for where your market’s at.
=> Subscribe to Popular RSS Feeds
Find some of the most popular blogs in your industry and subscribe to their RSS feeds.
Being subscribed to these RSS feeds will allow you to stay on top of new discoveries, new techniques, new questions and other relevant news.
It’ll also give you a wide range of different perspectives, assuming you’ve subscribed to a range of different RSS feeds.
How do you find these RSS feeds?
First start by looking on the forums for blogs that are often mentioned. On those blogs, look at their blogrolls to see what other blogs they’re recommending.
You can also do a search on Technorati, the most popular blog directory online, for your market’s topic. You’ll be able to sort by popularity to find the influential blogs.
If you combine these three techniques, you’ll gain a deep understanding of your market very quickly. You’ll know what drives the people and what problems they face overall, as well as what the important topics are in the market right now.
Thinking Big in a Small Niche
Just because you’re in a niche market doesn’t mean you can’t make a lot of money. In fact, six or seven figure a year businesses have been built around tiny niches like making your parrot talk or repairing very specific PC problems.
How can you take your tiny market, no matter how small, and still build an extremely profitable business?
=> The Essential: Building a List
The first and most important step is to build a list. Without a strong list, nothing else matters and nothing else works.
Make it your home page’s primary and only goal: to get your visitors on an email list. Aim for a conversion rate of at least 15%.
Email the people on your list regularly and build a relationship with them. Demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about by giving them great advice, consistently.
=> The Product Funnel
Successful marketers know that the money is made on the back end, not the front end. If you’re in a niche market, however, sometimes it can be very difficult to come up with back end products.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a second topic, instead try coming up with different ways of presenting the same information as your first product.
For example, do group coaching calls or individual coaching calls. Charge for it, record the calls and turn them into a product.
If your initial product is just a digital eBook, consider creating also a physical DVD or CD set. The perceived value is a lot higher.
If you can work a high ticket item in there, such as a big DVD set or a workshop, you have an even better chance of making a lot of money even in a small niche.
=> Partnering with Others
In a small niche, most of the high profile teachers and marketers will know one another. If there are big players in your industry that you don’t know yet, make an effort to connect with them. If they’ve already heard of you, often all it takes is a phone call.
Partnering with other people in your industry for various projects is an extremely powerful way to take advantage of the smallness of your niche.
Do products together. Do group interviews. Teach a workshop together. Create a DVD series where every guru in the space participates. Charge a lot of money for it.
It’s been said that the difference between experienced marketers and beginning marketers is that they think with “one more zero.” Beginning marketers ask themselves how they can make $2,000 a month, while successful marketers ask themselves how they can make $20,000 a month.
The actual techniques may not be all that different, but it’s how you apply them. Start by building a highly responsive list, then develop a product line with a wide range of price points. Finally, find others in your industry that you can partner with to increase your earnings even more.
Why Lingo Is Important and How to Learn Their Language
Learning the language the people in a niche use is a critical part of learning to sell to them. If you don’t speak their language, they’ll instantly know they’re being marketed to by an “outsider.” On the other hand, if you talk as they do, you’ll build an instant trust and rapport and have a much better chance of being let into their lives and their wallets.
How do you learn the lingo of a new market? How do you make sure you’re using the language that a market is used to? Here are a few tips.
=> Read the Blogs and Forums
Anytime you’re thinking of jumping into a market, start by reading their message boards, forums and blogs.
These are the places where users, both new and old, come to discuss their ideas, problems and solutions in a carefree way. This is as close as you’ll get online to hearing a casual in-person discussion.
Unlike high-powered websites that have to filter their language carefully, on forums and blogs you’ll get the chance to really pick up the slang of a market.
Read these sites until you start to get a sense of how people talk. Anytime a word or acronym comes up that you don’t recognize, look it up.
=> Two Things to Pay Attention To
There are two especially important areas worth paying attention to: A) How people express their problems, and B) How things are measured.
For example, in internet marketing, the key phrases to pay attention to may include: SERPs, unique visitors, CTR, backlinks, PR, nofollow, opt-in rate, etc.
To an outsider, these words and acronyms may mean nothing. But if an outsider wanted to come in and “speak marketing,” these are also the most important words they’d need to learn.
Figure out how a market talks about their problems. Figure out how they measure their success. Learn to use those words eloquently and you’ll be able to speak to the heart of your customer.
=> Read Your Competitor’s Sales Letters
Chances are your winning competitors already have sales letters that are well written and crafted to the language of the market.
Read these sales letters. Even if you’ve already read the blogs and forums, you’ll very likely pick up language that works specifically for selling to that market.
What parts of the sales letter get you the most excited? What are the phrases, stories, emotions that your competitor is using?
Take the best parts and adapt them to your own sales letters. Learning from proven winners can take a lot of work out of the equation.
In short, read the forums and the blogs. Pay special attention to problem-words and measure-words. Read your competitor’s sales letters, take the best parts and adapt them to your own.
Why Branding Is Crucial in Niche Marketing
When it comes to branding, most people tend to think of big brand advertising: Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Microsoft spend money on branding. But it doesn’t really apply to smaller businesses – or does it?
Believe it or not, branding is actually crucial to success in a small industry. In this article, you’ll learn why that is, plus several of the big benefits of having strong branding in a niche.
=> Your Reputation Precedes You
Once your site has been around for a while, your reputation will precede you. That means that before someone even lands on your website, they will have heard about you.
They’ll probably already have an opinion about you and your products. What that opinion is depends on your brand. If you did a good job, they should ideally think your products are high quality and that you can really solve their problems.
In other words, your brand can have a huge impact on your conversions.
=> Type-In Traffic
Many beginning marketers have a hard time believing that type-in traffic can be a big traffic source. In reality however, a business that’s been around for a while and has a strong brand often gets more traffic from type-ins than from paid marketing.
For example, Amazon.com gets a lot more traffic from people typing in their domain than people who end up there from ads. In much smaller markets, the same applies: people know your brand, know that you can help them and type in your domain.
This is a huge traffic source in the long run. The only way you’ll do well with this traffic source is to manage your brand well.
=> Networking Benefits
Who would you rather meet in person or do a favor: Someone in your market who you’ve never heard of, or someone who you’ve heard of who has a great reputation?
Having a reputation that precedes you will open many doors. It’ll open doors to guest blogging on other people’s sites, to affiliates, to JV partners, to speaking opportunities, to free backlinks and a lot more. You’ll even have people approach you to do brand new business deals.
=> You Are Your Brand
It’s important to realize that building your business’s brand means also building your own brand.
Not only will this open doors for your business, it’ll also open doors for you professionally. Need a book deal? If you have an existing reputation, it’s much easier. Need investors for your next venture? Want to steal a top-notch programmer from Google to work on your start-up?
Whatever it is you need in your life, by building a strong brand in your business, you’ll automatically be seen as more credible in just about anything you do in the future.
The effects of a powerful reputation can’t be emphasized enough. It’s definitely less measurable numerically than ROI or traffic, but its power is there. Don’t overlook it just because you’re in a small market.
Ten-Step Quick-Start Guide to Building a Profitable Niche Site
Ready to start making money from niche marketing? This quick start guide will walk you through every step of the process, from coming up with the idea to creating a profitable site.
=> Step 1 – Brainstorm Twenty Possible Niches
Carry a notebook with you. You’ll probably come up with ideas when you’re in the least likely places.
Look online for inspiration. Look at Google Trends, Amazon.com and eBay Pulse to see what’s hot right now. Browse bookstores for more inspiration.
=> Step 2 – Research Each Niche
Do some basic traffic research. How much traffic is in each market? How much competition is there?
Cut out the clearly bad ideas and start to narrow down your list.
=> Step 3 – Pick the Best
Pick one market to tackle. The market should have adequate traffic and low to moderate competition. Furthermore, the market needs to be passionate or desperate about solving the problem. Customers need to be willing to spend money, preferably repeatedly.
=> Step 4 – Learn the Market Inside Out
Start reading the blogs. Start reading the forums. Get to know their language, get to know their problems and get to know what your competition is offering. Become an expert on the market.
=> Step 5 – Pick a Domain and Install the Framework
=> Step 6 – Create a Killer Product
Create a product that fills a gap in the market. Make sure that whatever you create is 100% unique and completely unlike anything else out there. You’ll want your product to be a USP in and of itself.
=> Step 7 – Create A Killer Sales Process
Create a killer sales page or sales video. Make sure that your sales page gets to the user emotionally. Get them to really feel the pain of the problem and feel genuinely excited about getting the solution.
=> Step 8 – Write at Least Ten High-Quality Articles
Write at least ten high-quality articles, which are at least 500 words in length. This is both to prove to users that you know what you’re talking about, as well as to help get your site ranked in Google.
=> Step 9 – Set Up Your Autoresponder and Write Your First Five Messages
Get a subscription from the autoresponder of your choice. Write your intro message, along with the first five emails to send out through your autoresponder.
=> Step 10 – Pick a Traffic Strategy and Execute
Pick one or two traffic strategies and put all your energy into executing on those strategies. Do one or two well, rather than try to take on too many at once. Once one is working, then and only then add another.
This ten-step quick-start guide will take you from the beginning of not having anything to having a profitable site in two to eight weeks. The rest is up to you!
Three Proven Traffic Tactics that Work Well in Niche Marketing
There are tactics and techniques that work particularly well in a small niche. A small niche tends to have a smaller audience that’s better connected, with just a few marketers with large sites or lists. There’s also often less information to go around, which makes unique opinions and techniques much more valuable.
Here are three proven tactics for bringing traffic to a website in a small market.
=> Ask Your Readers to Promote Your Product
In small niches, people are much more likely to know other people who share similar interests. People interested in fishing know others who are interested in fishing; people interested in smoothie recipes also know other people who like smoothies, and so on.
One powerful tactic, then, is to ask your audience to promote your product for you. If you have a great product that’s really helped people out, many of them will be more than happy to do this.
If you’re promoting to a non-technical audience, make sure to make your instructions on how to do it as simple as possible. Walk them step-by-step through the process of setting up an affiliate link.
Some systems are much more simple to set up, and are better for one-sale affiliates than others. For example, ClickBank requires a complete registration process and four sales from different payment sources before an affiliate can get paid, which isn’t optimal for a non-marketing audience.
On the other hand, systems that use PayPal to split affiliate commissions may be perfect for splitting commissions with a non-marketing audience.
=> Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is both easier and more effective in a small market.
In larger markets, prominent bloggers get approached a lot by guest bloggers. Unless you know them personally, you have a good chance of just being tuned out.
In a smaller market, however, prominent bloggers are much more receptive. They’re often very happy to connect with up-and-coming marketers.
All you need to do is establish a bit of reputation for yourself by blogging for a few weeks before approaching an existing blogger.
Approach them with a list of potential topics you could write about. Make sure to spell out exactly what they get from the deal: a different perspective for their audience and a day off of writing content.
=> Article Marketing and SEO
In many larger markets, article marketing has been done so often by affiliates and marketers that it’s nearly impossible to get ranked.
In smaller markets, however, often times you’ll still be using low-competition keywords that aren’t actively being targeted by other marketers.
Take advantage of this edge. It’s low-hanging fruit traffic every niche marketer can make use of.
These are three techniques that are especially effective in niche markets. You can build a profitable business using even just one of these techniques.