Creating an online business is simple in theory. After coming up with a niche, you create a website centered around a product/products that niche is searching for or wants to buy. You then drive your niche to your website through different marketing channels, and you continue to build your client base until you have so many people coming to your site and buying your products to where you no longer have to do very much hand-on work with it or you begin another online business in similar fashion.
The the theory is easy, anyone who wants to or has tried to create their own online business knows that it isn’t easy, nor is it fast. Though hours could be spent on each of the steps in the process of creating an online business, this guide focuses on how to tackle the first and most fundamental part of your business: how to come up with a niche to sell to.
What’s a Niche?
Before you go much further, we need to define what a “niche” is. A niche is a group of people interested in a particular topic. You will hear people talk about niches all the time in marketing because if you are able to provide a group of people interested in a topic something that they need/want, they are more likely to buy it from you. The more specific your niche is, the more likely you will be able to sell to them.
For example, if you wanted to sell men’s shoes, your niche would be men looking for shoes. This is so broad, though, because almost ALL men need shoes, that nothing incentivizes them to buy your product specifically. So instead, you might think about selling men’s dress shoes. Slimmer niche, but still pretty broad, and you will run into the same problem. You may then decide you want to sell dress shoes for male teachers and professors that who have bad knees. That is a great niche! There is a very specific market of people who are male teachers with bad knees looking for dress shoes, and if you create a product that solves this problem, they will likely buy your shoes over anyone else. They have the most incentive to buy them from you because they know your brand cares for them over other brands.
In short, you niche needs to be narrow and specific, and your entire business and marketing strategy will focus on them so you can sell more product to them.
Choosing a Niche
So how to you go about actually choosing a niche to market to? Which ones are lucrative and which ones could leave you with little profit? There a actually a few key questions you can ask yourself:
- What are my passions/interests?
- Is there a need I can provide for that I am interested in?
- How competitive is the market?
- Could I make a profit from the niche I want to target?
- Is it scalable? Will the niche keep coming back for more?
These questions can help you really choose a market and product to sell that can make you potentially a lot of money.
Let’s take the shoe example again and relate it to these questions. Let’s say you have a passion for shoes. Number one on the list is good to go, but if you didn’t like shoes, you would probably have a miserable time selling them.
Is there a need for shoes (like number 2 asks)? Yeah! Specifically for a male audience who are always on their feet teaching and who have bad knees. Make sure to make the need really specific. You can create better products that sell more if your efforts are more targeted.
How about number 3 – is the market competitive? Unfortunately, even for male teachers with knobby knees, yes, it is unfortunately competitive. So many big shoes companies are so well established and their prices are so good that you may really struggle to compete with them. Male teachers who need dress shoes may still trust Nike over whatever shoes you are selling.
Could you make a profit on the shoes? Only if you were able to find a supplier of shoes that would help fix knee problems. But this could take a lot of time, research and development, and a bunch of resources you don’t have, making the endeavor costly.
Would the niche keep coming back for it? It’s hard to say, but it certainly isn’t a product they would come back for often, assuming you sell high quality shoes that male teachers actually like.
So maybe our shoe idea wouldn’t be a great idea, but that’s okay! That was just one idea. There are several more that could make us money in a different way. Let’s find this process for a winning niche.
I am interested in finances, and specifically affiliate marketing, so I want to sell to others who want to work from home but not have to spend a lot of money to get their own business started.
What would I sell? I would sell them a video course and written materials which they could use as a step-by-step process to finding wealth at home. Even if I didn’t know all of it myself, I could certainly do research to find out how.
Is the market competitive? After doing some research, surprisingly not really. There are no big names or brands who are providing something quite like what I am offering, but there are certainly people wanting to start their own online business. Looks like I am good so far?
Could I make a profit? Absolutely! I would only have to create my materials which would cost me time. There is virtually no cost involving videos for my courses or writing materials other than my computer (both of which I could borrow from a friend or local library if I didn’t somehow have access to this already). I could sell my courses for X amount and X dollars would flow straight into my pockets!
Is this scalable? Will people keep coming back for it? Heck yeah, especially if I keep creating content. And that is the beauty of it. After a while, I could set something up where new customers could be provided with something unique and original each time, and they would want to spend money on it because they know it could help them.
That is only a taste of how a successful niche might be found. While this would work for someone like me, others may not like this particular area, and that is okay! You want to find something that works for you.
Check out this article about WealthAffiliate.com to get more ideas and see what resources may be available to you for creating a niche.