We touched on this subject back on Day 8 of this series. No matter what business you are in or how you want to pursue profits from the Internet, everything hinges on finding a good market to cater to.
You can, of course, cater to multiple markets at the same time using different parts of your business, but you have to find a group of people with a particular need and want, then provide them what they ask for in exchange for money.
The rules are the same online as they are offline when it comes to these basics.
So, how do you go about finding a market niche? Here are some potential ideas for you, starting out with the ones I listed on Day 8:
- Keyword research. Using a site like WordTracker, research what keywords people are searching for on the major search engines.
- Google Trends. Google provides graphical trends on keywords so you can see if activity if increasing or decreasing over time. A great way to see what areas are getting hotter and have buzz.
- Looking For Goals. 43Things is a social network focused on goals. See what people are trying to accomplish in their lives. It can be great idea fodder for an information product to help them accomplish their goals.
- Use Forums. Yes, you need to participate in forums. See what kinds of questions are being asked.
- Run Surveys
- Investigate Other Sites. There are, many times, hidden data on other sites that can provide valuable insight. Well, it isn’t really hidden, but it might be data that you never thought of using as market research. For example, go do Download.com and look at the types of software being most often downloaded. That will give you markets where there is strong demand.
- Participate in Social Media. Building up a network on sites like Facebook and Twitter can be very valuable in market research. You obviously don’t want to spam these sites (they will revolt like crazy), but asking people questions is a great way to do informal surveying.
When looking for a niche, there are two schools of thought on how to choose:
- Find a niche where there will be little competition.
- Find a niche with high demand (and probably lots of competition).
Your choice is up to you. It surely is a lot easier to compete in some hidden niche with very little contenders. You can more or less write your own rules. The tradeoff, of course, is that the potential audience is typically a whole lot smaller.
On the flip side, choosing a popular niche might mean you have a lot of competition, but it also means you have proven high demand for what you’re selling. So, at that point, it isn’t about finding something that will sell. It is about out-marketing and providing better value than your competition.
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