Posted by GuestAuthor at 8:15 am
I’ve been building niche websites and blogs since the year 2000 and in that time I’ve launched hundreds, if not thousands, of sites in different niches. My own experience of seeing “behind the scenes” of so many sites is that the single most important factor for success with online marketing is in choosing the right niche.
If you choose a “good” niche then creating a successful website becomes very simple indeed. Equally, the opposite is true and I’ve had sites that generated a ton of traffic yet made virtually no money at all.
Considering the importance of selecting a niche I thought it would be useful to discuss the four simple questions I ask myself about any niche before I put the time and money into actually building a site to attract those prospects.
Are They Passionate?
The more passionate that people are about a topic, the easier it is not only drive traffic but also encourage sales. Passionate people are on the lookout for new information and new products that appeal to them and are likely to share their findings with others.
Compare that to people who lack passion for a subject and making a profit from your site can be like trying to get blood out of a stone.
So how do you tell if people are passionate about a subject? Personally I use two different techniques. Firstly, go and have a look around your neighborhood to see if there are any magazines that cater to this group. If so, then the size of the audience is likely decent and they’re passionate enough to spend money on furthering their knowledge.
The second technique is to use Google to search for discussion forums on your proposed niche. Spend some time looking around; do people post often? Are there plenty of discussions and debates? Are people openly sharing tips, advice and resources? If so, you likely have a passionate niche well worth considering for your next project.
Do They Have Credit Cards?
Obviously your prospects are going to need credit cards if they’re to make purchases and earn you money. While this seems like simplicity you’d be surprised how many niches are mainly populated by those under the age of 18 who are consequently unable to spend money online without the aid of a parent.
Do some research into your niche and use tools like Quantcast to gain an idea of the most prevalent age-group in your niche so check that the vast majority of them are over the age of 18.
Another strategy I’ve used with success is to set up a Facebook page just for this niche then spend a few dollars on Facebook ads to drive likes. Thanks to Facebook Insights you’ll quickly be able to see not just how much your new fans interact (a measure of passion) but you’ll also be able to check their age demographics to ensure they have money to spend.
Are They Spending Money?
There’s no point in building a niche website if nobody is actually spending money. So, you need to try and get an idea about the value of your potential audience. You need to confirm not just that they’re spending money, but also how much they’re spending.
And arguably the best way to do this is with Google Adwords. Set up a free account and then log in to use the Google Keyword Tool (rather than using it when logged out like most people). The reason is that you can now search for relevant keyword phrases and see the average cost per click (CPC) of advertising to these people.
Remember that the higher the number is, the more advertisers are willing to pay to reach them. And of course these advertisers are looking to make a profit so it’s also safe to assume that the more they’re willing to spend, the more those people are actually spending themselves.
By comparing niches and finding those with the highest cost per click you can quickly decide on the most profitable niches for your own site building.
Are There Products To Promote?
The final point worth examining before getting started on your niche website is whether there are numerous products that you can promote as an affiliate? Certainly it’s possible to make money with Adsense and other display advertising options but in general the real money is in affiliate marketing.
So take a look around, examine the popular products in your niche and the commissions that they pay in order to confirm for certain that there are plenty of ways you can monetize that traffic when you actually launch your niche site.
Richard recently sold one of his websites for a five figure sum and has now published a book revealing his top blog promotion tips.