Getting Started? Why Your 1st Step is Finding a Niche Market
© 2003 Nava Bromberger
The most common thing I hear from people is that they don't know where to begin building an online business. Well, it's no wonder... The internet is an enormous place and a huge opportunity. But if you don't pick a piece of it then you'll not only soon be overwhelmed but worse, probably not see much success.
Let me explain.
Building a business on the internet is just as real as in the brick and mortar world. In many ways it's easier once you have a good system in place. But that doesn't mean you should skip the most basic decision of what your business has to offer and if this is a viable business to have.
This is called niche marketing and taking the time to decide what your niche market is the smartest way to get started.
In case you're not clear on what a niche is, it's a very specific portion of a much larger market. For instance, internet marketing is a market. But, book marketing, listbuilding, and traffic conversion are niche markets.
What this means is that you need to take the time to decide what information or product you're going to offer. From there, you can find out if there is a market for this product, how large it is, and if they spend money. In other words, is there a target market for this product?
Take the time to measure your market and if any of the above items aren't true for the niche market you want to go after, then find another niche and be glad you didn't invest too much in this one.
Why target a niche rather than a large broad market?
Well, for one thing it will give your site a purpose and focus. Anyone coming to your site will be able to instantly identify what it's about.
You'll also have a much easier time getting a decent ranking in the search engines because your keywords will be more specific which means less competitive. And, if you do a pay per click campaign, specific keyword phrases are always cheaper than the broader general keywords.
Using highly targeted keyword phases will also bring much more qualified traffic to your site. For instance, wouldn't you rather have a site that's the definitive source about Porsches than just a site about cars in general? Imagine how much more valuable your visitors would be if you had a such a site and they found you by typing "porsche 911" into a search engine. You may have less traffic but it will be more qualified which means your conversion will be much higher. Which would you rather have, a site that gets alot of traffic but has no sales or a site with half as much traffic but consistently makes sales?
Using this example, several things would be accomplished:
First of all, you'd be targeting a very specific audience and giving them exactly what they're looking for.
Second, this particular niche of Porsche enthusiasts tends to have money to spend which is good since you'll have products to sell.
Third, if you can write articles about Porsches that provide alot of valuable information you'll quickly become a recognized authority on the subject of Porsches.
And fourth, being a recognized authority on Porsches you'll attract joint venture partners who have related products or services.
Here's how to find a niche market:
1.) Ask yourself some questions. What do you already know alot about or have a passion for? This can be anything at all.
2.) Do some research to find out if people are looking for this type of information or topic.
Overture has a keyword suggestion tool which lets you type in a keyword and see how many times it was used in a search. There's also a free program that does the same thing called Good Keywords. Both also give you related keywords and phrases so you can get a better sense of where to narrow your scope.
Wordtracker provides the same type of service but offers tools to organize all your keywords so you can later upload them into a pay per click campaign or use them on your website.
If you want to do some serious research then check out Nichefinder. This software not only lets you know what people are searching for but also does a supply and demand analysis so you'll also know how much competition is already out there.
Visit some message boards or newsgroups where your target market hangs out and listen to what they're talking about. Look for issues or problems they're having -- these are all potential products just waiting to be created. Take it a step further and start answering questions and you'll have a following for when your product is ready to launch.
3.) Get a catchy domain name that has a keyword your target market will recognize and design your site entirely around this niche.
4.) Start capturing emails and building a list that offers valuable free information this market wants.
5.) Write and publish articles on your website about your particular topic.
6.) Create a link directory and exchange links with complimentary sites. This will increase your link popularity which will improve your ranking in Google and other search engines.
7.) Find products that would be useful to your market and recommend them to your list. Most have affiliate programs and you'll earn a commission.
8.) Create your own product and sell it on the front-end. Then use the affiliate products for back-end sales.
9.) Most of all, be honest and serve you market well. Never recommend anything you haven't tried or used yourself. Give them the best information you possibly can -- in fact, over- deliver in this area. It will payoff because you'll gain credibility, trust, and respect which over time will translates into more sales.
Basically, once you know that a niche market exists for what you want to offer your next goal should be to dominate it. If your site is tightly focused on your target market's needs, you're consistently writing good articles, and offering products that solve their problems -- then dominating this space will happen automatically.
Focusing on a niche may be a little more work in the beginning. But, once you decide what niche you're going to target everything will fall into place. You'll have products that you know are in demand, a site that increases in value every time you add related content, and a business that continues to build over time.
Links to Resources Mentioned Above: http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/ http://www.goodkeywords.com/ http://www.marketingtwist.com/wordtracker http://www.marketingtwist.com/nichefinder
© 2003 Nava Bromberger
------------------------------------------------------------ Nava Bromberger publishes Marketing Twist ezine. Why do some people struggle to make money online while others just rake in the cash? You'll find out in each issue of Marketing Twist. If you make less money than you want to, you need a twist ... a Marketing Twist. http://www.marketingtwist.com