When you’re looking to create a niche site, finding a profitable niche is one of the most important steps to reaching your goals. When it comes to monetization of your site, having one specific niche is extremely important, and can make the difference between success and failure for your niche blog.
Obviously, choosing a profitable niche is an important decision. As such, it requires both forethought and research. Along with this idea, we’ve created a step-by-step guide to choosing your most profitable niche.
Why do I specify ‘your’ most profitable niche? Because what might work for one person probably won’t for another. We want to tailor this niche, not just to what’s making the most money right now, but what you personally will be happy with.
So, let’s find the most profitable niche for you personally!
1- Start With What You Know
I’d like you to start by making a list of all of the topics that you have intimate knowledge of. You can draw on past work experience, life experience, or even topics from the area around where you live.
My list includes:
- Working from home
- Online marketing
- Budget weddings
What does your list include?
Remember, you don’t need to be an expert in a certain subject to be able to write about it. If there’s a niche market that you’re somewhat familiar with, you can still include that in your list.
Why do we say that you don’t need to be an expert?
Well, let’s take an example. Put yourself into the shoes of one of your readers. Let’s say you go to the internet to read up on running. You’ll probably find many expert websites that dissect this sport into pieces, talking about how different parts of the legs work together while running, the dynamics of wind resistance, etc.
But, the average person who researches running online probably doesn’t need an expert explanation. Maybe you were just looking for a couch to 5K training guide, some information about breathing techniques, or how to avoid common injuries.
Upon finding those kinds of articles, it may become apparent that the person who wrote them is not an expert. They probably don’t know all of the fancy details that the expert articles mentioned above.
But this is the point: their audience doesn’t need advanced details.
So if you have a niche that you have some experience in (or are willing to learn), you can absolutely add this to your list. You’ll just need to find an audience who are at the same level as you in that topic.
2- Adjust to Fit Your Interests
Now it’s time to adjust your list above. Obviously, past work or life experience has probably given you quite a bit of material to work with.
However, how many of those subjects are things that you’re actually interested in?
For example, I added dentistry to my list since this was part of my past work experience. But am I really interested in dentistry? No, not really.
Remember, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this niche. You’re going to be reading about, writing about, studying, talking about, and investigating this topic for as many hours as you work every week.
Are you willing to devote that much time and energy to a topic that you’ll end up getting bored with?
So, let’s go back to your original list and remove any topics you aren’t interested in.
Now, it’s time to add to that list. I’d like you to think about your hobbies, the things you do in your spare time. What do you enjoy doing, watching, reading, or talking about?
It’s time to add those items to the list.
My list now looks something like this:
- Working from home
- Online marketing
- Fiction writing
Your list may be longer or shorter, and that’s fine. From here on out, we’re going to be narrowing down that niche, piece by piece.
3- Narrow Your Niche
Coming into a narrower field of vision helps you to be more focused. Narrowing your niche brings you closer to a target audience who are really interested in what you have to say. It also helps you to find appropriate affiliate products to promote on your niche website.
Before we get to what’s below, we’re going to start the narrowing process here.
Let’s take a good look at your list, and see if we can make these topics even more specific.
For example, one of my topics above was travel. I might make that more specific by adding ‘budget travel’, ‘travel in Europe’, ‘travel in Spain’, ‘travel in Thailand’, etc. These are topics I’m interested in, and all fit into my original niche interest.
So I’d like you to take every item on your list, and see how many specific niches you can make from those items.
Now that we have those options all listed out, it’s time to see if they are really viable. Let’s combine your passions with things that are profitable.
4- Is There Passion or Problems?
Your prospective audience is the lifeblood of your niche website. If you find an audience to speak to, then you’ve already won half the battle of finding a profitable niche.
The two biggest motivators for people to research information online or make purchases are passions or problems.
Passion niches would include hobbies, things people do for fun, while problem niches include health niches, self-help, fitness, etc.
Of course, these two ideas are likely to cross over each other.
For example, a person who is passionate about travel will research different places online, purchase travel gear, flights, hotels, etc.
That same person may have problems relating to jet lag, visa issues, a small budget, etc. Once again, he will turn to the internet to find solutions.
So, with your list of niche topics, it’s time to narrow down which ideas have passion and/or problems. In this way, you’re starting to find the voice of your audience.
While your own personal experience is extremely useful in this case, we also want to go beyond that. What exactly are people asking about this subject online? What do they want to know? Can you create a website that actually fills a need?
There are a few different ways that we can find this out.
First, let’s check Google.
When you run a search query on Google, it will help you with related searches at the bottom of the page. When I search ‘budget travel’, Google tells me that these are all related searches:
That tells me a little bit about my audience, and about what they want to know. Do this with multiple keywords in your niche, and you’ll start to see reoccurring ideas that inform you about your target audience.
Another way to find out if there are passions or problems is a free, online tool called Answer the Public. This resource provides you with long-tail keyword searches within a certain niche field, thus giving you an idea of what people really want to know. In other words, are there passions or problems?
Of course, the goal here is not only to get to know your audience. Once you know their passions and problems, can you provide real solutions?
5- See What’s Selling
For a niche to be truly profitable, it has to have something to sell. Niche websites can make money in different ways, but one of the biggest is through affiliate marketing.
If you’re going to be an affiliate marketer, you need to have a product to market.
The best kinds of niches have both physical and digital products to sell in abundance. So now it’s time to see what’s available in your above niches.
One of the best ways to do this is by checking affiliate networks to see what products are available to sell. And, more than that, which products are actually selling.
I always like to start with Amazon.
This website has pretty much every single product that you could possibly want or need. So, check to see how many products in your field are available.
I had talked before about ‘budget travel’ as one of my niche ideas. So, let’s test that out on Amazon. Budget travelers like to travel with backpacks, so I searched for ‘travel backpacks’ on Amazon.
First, see the amount of products that are available on Amazon? Considering this is only one type of product I could promote in my niche, that’s a pretty great number.
But, are these products actually selling?
Indeed, it would seem so! This single product has thousands of reviews, which means thousands of people have purchased it. As I scroll through the list, I see many items have hundreds or thousands of reviews.
That means this could be a very profitable niche!
Depending on what your niche is, you could be involved in many different affiliate programs. For example, my chosen niche of travel could link me to affiliate programs with hotels, tour guides, etc. Do some research online to see if your niche has any affiliate programs specifically related to you.
Also, don’t forget to check places like Clickbank, ShareASale, or CJ Affilates to see what kind of affiliate programs are available within those networks. You’ll be able to see commission prices, and probably start get an idea of whether these items are really selling.
6- Check Search Volume
Another key to finding out if your niche is actually profitable is how many searches are being done in this niche per month.
It’s time to break out the keywords.
Finding keywords for your niche is essential to targeting the right audience, getting seen on search query results, and ultimately finding success in your business.
Your niche can be broken down to different keywords, whether they are short or long-tail. Now we need to see if those keywords are actually getting searched online.
There are a few different tools that we can use. One of my favorites is the Keywords Everywhere browser extension. This extension goes directly into your browser, and shows you the amount of searches per month of every search query you do.
Also, remember those results from Google about related searches? With the Keywords Everywhere tool, I see how many times each of those are being searched per month. It also shows me search volume for each long-tail keyword in the Answer the Public tool we used above.
Another great tool to use is Google Trends. This free tool allows you to see graphs of search volume over specific periods of time. You can also narrow down the area of the searches, if your audience is coming from a specific part of the world. Another help that this tool gives is that you can compare between two different search queries, testing the popularity over time of both.
Another help that this tool gives is that you can compare between different keywords, testing the popularity over time of multiple options
With these tools, you can easily see how many people are actually interested in your niche.
What you want to see is a good amount of search volume for your specific, multiple-word keywords. For example, we expect to see a high search volume in a keyword like ‘travel’. Lots of people search for that.
For example, a high search volume is to be expected in a keyword like ‘travel’. Lots of people search for that.
However, to know whether your niche is valuable, go back to list of narrowed-down niches above. Try to narrow them down even more. See how many searches are done per month in very specific keywords.
If you find a few that still have a good search volume, you’ve hit the jackpot.
7- Validate Activity on Social Media
Let’s get down into the specifics of those searches, and find out more about the people behind them. Making sure that your niche is actually profitable before you start your website is essential to success. That’s why this step is important: it validates your potential online audience.
So where do people in your niche gather to discuss topics related to your niche?
Social media is one of your most important assets when starting a niche website. Here, you have instant access to your audience, and you can gain a lot from paying attention to and interacting with them here.
But for now, we’re just going to use social media to validate their existence.
One of my favorite ways to find niche interest is through Facebook groups. There are thousands of groups on Facebook covering all kinds of different topics. See how many groups you can find that relate to your niche topic. How many people are in those groups? What kind of activity do they have? How many people are sharing links, commenting, and actually discussing this topic?
Another social media tool that I use is Quora. With this network, you can see the questions that people are asking within a certain niche. Also, you’ll see how many answers they get, and how many people are interested in these answers.
Watching all of this activity will give you a good idea of the validity of your idea in the online world. As a side bonus, you’ll likely pick up quite a few ideas for your niche website’s content.
8- Compare the Competition
No niche idea is completely new. And you wouldn’t want it to be.
In fact, if you see that there is competition in your field, this is a good sign!
Remember, we want a niche that is profitable. Hopefully, using the steps above, you’ve been able to find quite a bit of search volume.
That volume is going somewhere.
If there are no other niche websites that talk about your niche topic idea, it can only mean one of two things: either there is no audience for that niche, or that niche isn’t selling well online. These are both deadly curses for your niche idea.
So, find your competition. What niche sites can you find within your topics? A simple Google search will tell you that pretty easily.
Of course, the other side of the spectrum is also dangerous. You don’t want an overpopulated niche topic, as this too could spell disaster for your niche website. However, if you’ve really narrowed down your niche ideas, it’s highly unlikely that there will be too much competition.
The best kind of niche is one with a high demand, and just enough competition to be useful to you.
Once you’ve found that niche, though, don’t just settle in with the rest of the competition. You need to make yourself unique.
9- Find What Makes You Different or Better
While finding the competition is important, you don’t want to simply follow them. That won’t earn you an audience or a place among other niche websites.
Instead, you need to make your niche website unique. In other words, be either different or better.
Within almost every niche market, there is a group of people whose questions aren’t being answered, or at least not well. Find those sub-niches and get into them! Those pockets of people could be your perfect audience. If they aren’t getting catered to properly on other niche websites, they’ll come to you.
Analyzing the competition as we did above will also give you some ideas about they’re methods. What do you like or dislike about these websites? Are they poorly designed or formatted? Are they old-fashioned? What can you do to make your website better than theirs?
10- Improve Your Marketing Skills
You may find that, within your chosen niche, many of the niche websites are run by hobby bloggers who are not interested in marketing.
If you’re looking to actually make a profit from your niche website, this is your chance to shine.
Online marketing involves many different factors. If people within your niche are not keeping up with the times, you can easily get the advantage. Simply set your website up with a marketer’s mind.
Learning about digital marketing might seem like a daunting task, but online research or courses can make it much simpler. With some time and effort, you can build enough skill to make your website truly profitable.
Here are some marketing basics that you’ll need to implement on your website:
- Build an email list. This will help you by gaining a following, and is another channel to promote affiliate products with. This loyal audience will keep your website going, and returning readers are more likely to trust in you and what you have to say.
- Optimize your content for SEO. It’s really not as hard as it sounds! The important keywords that we were researching above are exactly what you’ll use to optimize your posts. Place keywords with good search volume into your content in a natural way, and your website will automatically be easier to find.
- Make your posts visually appealing. Adding images, good formatting, and an appealing design can make a huge difference.
By implementing these and other digital marketing ideas, you’ll rise above the competition and be able to see real results from your niche website.
11- Do a Test Run
There’s only so much research you can do beforehand. If you’ve found one shining star within your original list of niche ideas that has proven worthy, then it’s time to test it out!
Once you’ve set up your niche website, write a few posts quickly that target key areas of interest within your niche. Answer people’s questions, and solve their problems. Along with those posts, remember to include affiliate marketing links, or write a review of a popular product that you found in your previous searches.
After you’ve finished, set up an email capture form, and some initial welcome emails. Promote your new website across different channels, such as social media, forums, or guest posts on other niche blogs.
Now, it’s time to see what happens. How many new followers do you have? How many people are signing up to your email list? Are you getting shares, likes, or comments on your posts?
This is the true test. Keep working hard, and it will soon become apparent whether this niche is profitable.
A profitable niche could earn you a steady income. In time you’ll see the fruitage of your hard work. All of the steps above are there to help ensure that the niche you choose is one that will ultimately have success.
While success is not guaranteed, it is certainly made more probable after following the above steps. Of course, having someone to guide you through the process of creating a niche website is ultimately the best way to truly see results for your work.
That’s why Jim and Ricky have created Niche Site School, your own personal guide to creating a profitable niche website. If you’re not quite ready to dive into their online course, check out their free niche site tutorial!
With a bit of guidance and a lot of hard work, your profitable niche will help you achieve your goals.