Niche marketing is one of the most profitable ways to earn money online. Finding my niche market was a step-by-step process and was not only a challenging discovery but an interesting learning experience and a lot of fun.
Choosing a niche in a subject for which you have a passion is important. Your blogs will more than likely show your interest and your site visitors will tend to gain usable knowledge and insight from reading your blogs.
There are many ways to research your niche. This article will review one method using the Google search tools, online surveys, and special interest forums.
What is a Niche?
A niche can simply be described as products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population. Niche marketing is promoting your products or services to a specific group of potential customers inside a larger customer base. Selecting the right niche is important in launching a profitable business. The following factors need to be addressed:
- Your niche should be something that interests you: a passion, hobby, or at least a topic where your interest lies. Your niche should be something that you enjoy. Your customers will sense it in your posts and in the way you present your products, services, or expertise.
- Your niche needs to have an audience of people who are interested in what you are offering and are willing to pay for the goods, services, or expertise that you provide them.
Not an expert in your chosen niche? No worries. You can become an expert over time simply by researching, blogging, and helping others.
Introducing: The Micro-Niche
A micro niche is a sub-niche that represents a smaller segment of a larger niche market. As in the brick-n-mortar stores, the law of supply and demand extends to online sales. A diligent search through these sub-niches will often reveal a need that isn’t being filled by vendors that are targeting a larger customer base. Finding a niche that has not been addressed will likely have little to no competition and generate a profitable business.
For example, researching the “Healthy Eating” market you’d soon find that it is a pretty broad niche. If you drill down further into the broader niche of “healthy eating” you’ll discover lots of micro-niches that fall under the category.
A micro-niche makes better sense for an online business as you are serving the needs of a specific group of customers that are looking for a specific product, service, or solution to their problem.
Careful research is important to finding the right micro-niche that addresses your customers’ needs, concerns or desires. Typically, a single higher-level niche market can produce several micro-niche markets.
Advantages of Micro-Niche Marketing
- Marketing to a small market segment tends to reduce risks.
- Getting to know your customer base positions you to better meet their needs which leads to higher profits.
- Customers tend to come back and repurchase products and will often try new products that you market.
- Niche markets tend to have less competition.
- Easier and less expensive setup for online marketers that are supplying their own products for their micro-niche customers.
Disadvantages of Micro-Niche Marketing
- Niche marketing strategy is not always sustainable as they may not provide enough business.
- Smaller micro-niche markets are vulnerable to larger companies that can enter the market and provide overwhelming competition.
- Larger firms may not survive if all that is offered is one niche product.
The following steps are referred to as the Alphabet Soup method of uncovering sub-niches that represent smaller segments of your chosen niche market:
- Start with launching Google and performing the Alphabet Soup Technique to search for micro-niches.
- Type the broad niche “healthy eating” + “a” to produce a list of search phrases that start with “healthy eating” and followed by search phrases with the letter “a.”
- Continue with the next letter in the alphabet by typing “healthy eating” + “b” in the search box. Note any specific search phrases that you would like to explore as a profitable niche market.
Below are the search results using “healthy eating” plus the letter “k.”
As shown above, Google displays search results for “healthy eating” + “k” and produces at least 3 possible niches: healthy eating kids, healthy eating kindergarten activities, and healthy eating keto.
Click on any one of these search results to get the total number of results for each one. This will tell you how many queries were made on Google for that keyword. Keywords with a high search volume is a good sign of a potentially profitable niche.
Continue querying to the end of the alphabet while jotting down the keyword phrases that interest you as a niche market.
Note: Jaaxy features some powerful tools for brainstorming niche markets and provides the number of searches per month on all keywords. It’s easy to use and promotes efficient decision-making for both beginners and seasoned affiliate marketers.
As illustrated below, the broader niche, “Healthy Eating” produced at least six micro-niches that can potentially be profitable blogging sites. Many of these micro-niches will fill the needs for products, services, or information of specific consumers.
The Pew Research Center is headquartered in Washington D.C. and provides a gold mine of facts about social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends worldwide. A lot of their information comes from public opinion polling and is a good source of consumer trends.
The SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurship Education Resources is a good resource for getting economic statistics and demographic information to fine-tune your specific micro-niche. The SBA has a selection of tools, tables, and other resources for market research.
What Are Your Customers Looking For?
People seek information 24/7 on a vast array of topics. Discussion forums are helpful resources to use when getting a feel for the level of interest in your products or services. Queries that stored and retrievable in their original formats and with the analysis done for you.
Google Trends is a useful tool for checking public interest in your perspective niche. Reports can be run for a custom time span or from a choice of built-in list of date/time ranges. Queries can include searches done on specific platforms: Google Search, Google Images, Google Shopping, or YouTube.
To get an idea of how many are interested in your product or service, simply launch Google Trends and type in the name of your product or service. Click the search icon and Google Trends produces two graphic representations of the searches that people have done on your product or service.
A line chart shows how many searches were done on Google for your product or service within your specified date range. For example, a query on “affiliate marketing“ will produce a line chart for the selected time span and a map with the percentage of queries done by region as shown below.
The line chart above shows that the highest proportion of the Google queries for “Affiliate Marketing” in late July and early August 2020.
The Google Trends Geographic Analysis below shows from which areas in the US people did a Google search on “Affiliate Marketing.” This information is important for creating target audiences in social media platforms and for initiating geo-targeted Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns.
Similar resources for customer inquiries can be found at Quora (https://www.quora.com) and Yahoo Answers (https://answers.yahoo.com). Add the phrases “help with” or ”advice on” followed by your specific keyword to obtain a list of questions that people are asking.
Reaching Out to Potential Customers
Online surveys are an asset to your business as they will allow you to reach out to your potential customers and gather valuable information by asking questions about their needs and find out exactly what they want, in what form they want it, and how much they are willing to pay for it.
Collecting demographic information is useful as it separates market segments like college students, baby boomers, and retirees to name a few.
WordPress offers several plugins that will allow you to design survey forms on your website: WPForms, Perfect Survey, WPPoll, Quiz and Survey Master (QSM), and more.
Web-based resources are available for collecting information from your potential customers: Poll Everywhere, Survey Gizmo, and Survey Monkey.
Online surveys get real-time information and allow timely analyses and responses to your perspective customers’ concerns.
Connecting with your true niche market is a step-by-step process and requires time, effort, and persistence. Your conversion rate will really depend on the quality and not the quantity of the traffic visiting your site. Marketing efforts need to include identifying those who are genuinely interested in your products or services. Monitoring forums and surveying perspective customers help to narrow down your customer base. The goal is a profitable business with a niche market that is best served by your products or services.
Thank you for browsing my website. Feel free to share your thoughts or questions about finding my niche market or affiliate marketing below and I will respond to all of them.
Falkenstein, L. (2000). Nichecraft: using your specialness to focus your business, corner your market, and make customers seek you out. Portland, OR: NichePress.
Smith, P. (2019). How to Find Your Niche for Business. Ivry-sur-Seine, France: Bluenome Publishing.