Is My Niche Profitable?
Becoming a niche marketer online is a great way to supplement your income or launch a career with unlimited income potential. In order to succeed, you have to be able to identify a specific segment of a target market where you can cater to their needs and profit from their purchases.
Consumers search for information, products and services that they may need to achieve goals and overcome obstacles in their life. You have to find a niche that has room for competition, yet still allows you to earn from your efforts.
When selecting a niche for your online business, you want to make sure you go through the process focused on topics that will provide you with personal satisfaction as well as ample profit opportunities.
You also want to be aware that a niche can evolve over time, so you have to be willing and able to change with it if you want to remain competitive. To become one of the dominant leaders in a niche, you have to establish yourself as an authority and expert, which you can do through research and top tier content creation.
Below, you will find some helpful guidance about how to select a niche that will allow you to target a demographic and tailor your content to their needs. By being able to set yourself apart, you will gain the trust of consumers and enjoy the revenue that their loyalty delivers.
Prequalifying a Niche for Further Investigation
There's quite a bit of research that you want to do before you launch an entire career and put a lot of effort into building a business around a niche topic. Thankfully, there are some preliminary things you can look at to determine whether or not a niche is worth further investigation.
The first thing you want to do is figure out whether or not you have any knowledge or personal preferences about certain niche topics that you would like to share with others. By identifying your passion for subjects that are near and dear to your heart, or that you have experience in, you'll be able to pick a niche that not only delivers in terms of profits, but also gives you something enjoyable to work on day after day.
With some niche topics, you may need a little bit more experience or knowledge than others. For example, if you were to get into the stock market as a niche topic, you would have to know the subject matter before you began to manipulate people's finances.
But with other niche topics, such as those you simply want to pick up as a hobby, you can start off with no insight and share your journey as a beginner. This could be anything from arts and crafts to gardening, cooking, and more.
There may be something where you feel you have a competitive edge over others. An example of this might be if you are a golfer who enjoys playing as a hobby, and you have a score consistently under eighty.
Others who are continually struggling to shave points off of their game would love to learn what you did to achieve your handicap and consistent scores, such as improving their short game or being more strategic with their swing.
If you find a niche that you're considering, you may want to take a quick look and see if you can immediately identify any gaps in information that are not being served to consumers in that niche.
The niche that you choose needs to be defined enough so that you can pinpoint the needs of a particular demographic. That includes the goals they have set for themselves and any obstacles or pain points that they are dealing with.
You also want to look and see if there is competition in that niche. The absence of competition doesn't mean you have hit upon a gold mine, but instead it may mean there are no profits to be made in that niche.
And lastly, you want to take a quick look to see if there are products that you can promote in the niche. These will include a mix of digital and tangible products. If you don't see anything at all, and you have no immediate idea of what you could create to sell to this niche audience, try to find something that won't provide much of a struggle for your profitability.
Be Careful About Niching Down Too Much
Many online entrepreneurs get so hung up on narrowing down their niche that they back themselves into a corner to the point where their niche is now considered too narrow or too small for them to see significant success.
You want to make sure that your niche topic is broad enough that you are going to have a big enough audience to cater to so that they can generate the kind of revenue you need and hope to achieve.
Using the same example of golf, it would be okay for you to niche down into helping people with their short game or covering the various gadgets golfers may need. but if you begin to narrow down your topic so much that you only cater to left-handed golfers who want to buy a putter, you might be able to secure a top position and dominate for that topic, but your overall earnings would be lower than if you had broadened it a bit.
You could still target left-handed golfers or the topic of putting in general, but to combine the two narrows it down to the point where you are eliminating a lot of people from your target audience who may easily convert into buyers with your advice.
Not only will you struggle to find enough customers to follow your profiles and purchase products through your link, but you might even have trouble finding enough products that you can promote specifically for that narrow topic.
Some marketers get lucky and can expand from a too-narrow niche easily after they realized the mistake. But others may go and create a website with a domain focused on that narrow niche topic (like lefthandedputters.com) and realize they have nowhere to grow from there.
You don't want to have to start a new site and new content from scratch, so it's better to take some preliminary steps to make sure you have hit a sweet spot in niching down in the right amount.
You don't want to be too broad, either. Being too broad is a good way to get lost among a sea of competitors. You may struggle to rank well in the search engine results pages (SERPs) if you are constantly covering a topic as broad as golf.
Analyzing Demand and Profit Potential from a Niche
The next thing you want to do is stop and figure out if there's a good demand for the niches that you have done a preliminary investigation on and determined to be broad enough, and also narrow enough for you to succeed with.
Demand and profit potential can be two different things. They can also be connected. You can have a demand for something, but it may not be a profitable niche. At the same time, in order for something to be profitable, there has to be a demand.
So start with the demand side. You can use market research tools, gather information online by looking at your target market and what they are discussing and purchasing, and to see where their mind is at in terms of their hunger for information in this niche.
Sometimes, it can be very basic analysis steps such as looking on Facebook to see if there are groups for your niche topic. If so, do the groups contain 10 to 50 people or do they contain 30,000 to 100,000 or more members?
If the groups are too small, or there are no forums that are catering to those who demand information about this niche, then it could be that it's simply not that much of a pressing topic.
You can also look to see how many competitors are in your niche. We'll talk about competition a bit more momentarily. But for now, you just want to see how many others are in the same niche and how many people they have following them.
You can also look up social media accounts and other online communities to see if they are thriving or struggling to get engagement. If you want to do a test run, you can create an account and use hashtags paired with intriguing content and see what kind of interaction you get.
You can also do a Google search to see what the trends and statistics are showing about your niche topic. Keyword tools will also give you an idea of how many people are searching for information about your niche.
You want to be able to diversify your earnings whenever you tap into a niche. There are some niches where it will only make sense for there to be one income stream, but this is a risky way to set up a business online because if one system fails, you want to have other avenues to earn from.
Try to see if there are both products and services being sold to these niche followers. You might also think of different ways to expand your earnings in the snitch, such as broadening or zeroing in on different demographics that you are targeting.
For example, if you are going to be promoting the keto diet to people over 50, you can set up a variety of profitable promotions for men and women instead of merging the two. This way, the consumer feels as if it’s more tailored to their needs.
You might also want to see if there are influencers that you might be able to collaborate with. This could help you expand your customer database, and it would be mutually beneficial because you share the same target audience.
Are deciding on the profitability of a niche, and the demand for information and products, you want to go on various social media platforms and identify which ones are hosting the target audience you need to reach.
You might be able to uncover platforms that you didn't realize had a strong following, and this can help you earn more than what you had expected. You can even tailor your brand message across different platforms to fall in line with what users there want to see.
Take a look at the various offers and pricing that is currently occurring in your niche. You might see everything from low cost products to high ticket offers. Or, you may see a trend of monthly payment options in addition to annual or lifetime payment choices.
Study the Competition You'll Be Up Against
The next step in your journey to pick the correct niche is to look at the competition. you're not just looking to see if it exists at this point, you're going to look at what they're doing, how they're doing it, and how you feel you can perform better than them.
You're gonna have both direct competitors who are identical in the same narrow niche that you are in, and indirect competitors who might happen to sometimes promote something or discuss something similar to your topics.
Make a list of the top competitors that you will be up against. One by one, you want to analyze their presence online. You're going to look at their website, their social media profiles, their content, and their offers and promotions.
You want to see a note what their personality is, what slants they use, and how their followers interact with them. You also want to see whether they interact back with their followers, because some niche marketers fail to do this.
Basically, you're looking to see what their strengths and weaknesses are so that you can fill the need where they are lacking, and understand what the target audience does want to see from niche leaders.
Anything that will give you more information about how the competitors in your niche operate is going to help you build a better brand online. You might see that some competitors use short form videos, and others use long form videos.
Some of your competitors may have a hefty budget set aside for advertising, while others are fully focused on organic, free traffic generation. Look at the products that they are selling, too.
Some may be eBooks, while others are video courses or memberships. Make note of the features and benefits they highlight, as well as the price points that they are selling the information for.
Be sure to look at any reviews customers leave publicly. You’ll often be able to see what is lacking in a product or what people respond well to (or poorly to) whenever one of your competitors releases something online.
There are tools where you can type in their URL and gather some analytical data about how their content is performing with consumers. These will give you information about backlinks, traffic and keywords the competitor is succeeding with, too.
You’ll want to be a follower on their social profiles and a subscriber to their email autoresponder. Watch how they market to the same people you’ll be targeting. Never copy their style, but lurk and learn.
This way, you can keep an eye on what the competition is doing and ensure that you’re not only not being left behind, but staying one step ahead of those competing for the same sales as you are.
Predicting Evolution and Changes within a Niche
There are two different ways that a niche can be altered over time. It can evolve into something different – or it can simply adapt to certain changes. An evolution of a niche might have to do with how society views a topic.
For example, corporal punishment is viewed less favorably by society these days than it was in decades past, so if you’re in the parenting niche, you’d want to know what topics might alienate your audience.
Changes can occur in a niche due to things like technology, ethics, and other things like rules. For example, if you’re in the search engine optimization niche, you may have recommended link farms many years ago.
But now, that’s not only frowned upon, but a good way to get your site buried in the SERPs. You have to keep up with changes that occur in your niche. If Google puts new guidelines in place, you have to know about them.
If new studies in health show updated insight, you have to know and share those changes. Sometimes, it might be that a site or tool that people relied on is now defunct or obsolete (or new technology, tools and sites have emerged) and you have to report those changes.
If you’re not wiling to stay abreast of what’s happening in your niche, and be flexible enough to change or evolve with it, then you may not be able to remain dominant as a leader in that niche.
Sometimes, it’s not even the niche that evolves, but the consumer. Their behavior and preferences as well as tastes can grow or change over time. This might result in a fluctuation of the demand in a niche.
Your target audience may change completely. They may outgrow your niche topic, so you have to continually recruit a younger demographic. Other items that can cause changes in your niche are things like the economy.
If your niche is based on luxury items that are considered a splurge, you may need to change some of your promotions and find more budget friendly slants that can help people maintain their interest in the topic.
Sometimes, the changes that are taking place in your niche might be due to the market becoming saturated. If you find that your competition has increased heavily, you may need to tweak your messaging and narrow down your niche a bit more.
Profiting from Your Niche as a Dominant Leader
Once you see that there is a demand for information in that niche, you want to see if it performs in terms of profitability. Of course, you can do a simple search to see what digital and tangible products people are selling in this niche.
You can go to sites like Amazon, Share-a-Sale, and Commission Junction for tangible product listings and ClickBank, JVZoo and Warrior Plus for digital listings. Consider both the volume of products and the price points that the products are being sold at.
You can look at conversions and funnels to see what you might be able to earn from promoting some of these items. But then, you can take it a step further. Think about what kind of products you can create - whether it's tangible merch or digital downloads - that can increase your income in that niche.
Are there any services you can offer to the followers in that niche? There are many different niches where a coaching program would be a good option for you to earn from. You might also look to see if there are printables that you could sell in your niche.
You might be able to offer coaching in a particular niche. For example, relationships, success, marketing, and other niches have coaching programs for individuals or even group members that can be high ticket offers contributing to your online income.
You may also be able to profit just from the content that you are creating and putting out online. It used to be that marketers would create a niche website and allow AdSense ads to show on them.
Or, they would sell space for banner ads below their header or in the sidebars and within the content. These options still remain and can be used to add to your revenue streams.
However, there are many platforms that are now paying for creators to post content to their sites. YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and other social media platforms have creator funds that they divvy up among the top performers.
These influencers also receive gifts and what constitutes tips that they can convert into cash whenever they create content that is well received by their followers. You can use live content as well to engage back and forth with your audience, which often bestows thanks upon you in a financial way through the platform’s system.
So if you were in the weight loss niche, you might be able to develop your own info product such as a weight loss program that lets you deliver a nutrition plan, exercise routines, and other beneficial resources to your buyers.
Not only could this be a one time payment, but you may also be able to get ongoing, monthly revenue if you continually provide them with new resources. You might also have regular info products such as eBooks and video courses about specific topics that are helpful to them.
If you have the ability to do it, you might want to create your own tangible products, these can range from branded merch (like a shaker cup for protein shakes) or t-shirts to digital apps they can download and use to track their weight loss efforts.
You can offer your coaching program to them via email, phone or video connections. For this type of deal, you might sell the coaching individually or in package bundles such as a four-pack of sessions.
You can add affiliate revenue to the mix. There are many digital and tangible weight loss products that you could promote to people who are trying to lose weight. These range from a course on ClickBank about the keto diet to a weight loss scale that you promote on Amazon, and more.
Branching Out to Expand Your Reach and Income
Before making your final selection on a niche, make sure you do some forward thinking in the future to decide how you might branch out or expand your reach and ultimately, your income stream.
For example, what related niche topics could you pursue that would tie in nicely and have the same, or a similar target audience? If you already have a list of subscribers who are interested in losing weight, you might be able to tie in stress relief as a related niche, since many people are stress eaters.
Think about what other closely related niche topics would tie into yours. For the weight loss niche, if you started off with a nutrition focus, then you could add exercise to the mix, too.
Cooking is a niche that pairs well with weight loss. Sleep is another good closely related niche. People who get plenty of sleep suffer fewer weight-related issues than those running on fumes.
Hormones might be another topic you could pursue. They play a role in regulating how your body burns fat, and whether or not your mind gets the satiety cues – as well as how functional your metabolism is.
You want to plan for expansion into other niches, business models and target audiences whenever you’re ready to grow your income to the next level. Anything that overlaps nicely is a good indicator of a healthy niche.
If you know that you’ll start with info products in a niche, then adding affiliate marketing or coaching means more revenue. But you have to see if those are even an option for you.
Dominating in a niche is more than just seeing where people are spending money and publishing content for it. It’s a strategic plan that you have to research and tweak as you discover new opportunities and changes that can benefit you and your followers.
To find answers to other questions you may have about affiliate marketing, please check out Affiliate Marketing: Your Questions Answered.