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Market research is a critical part of your business and is often overlooked because it can be tedious. But you are seriously hampering your business growth if you don’t do this in the beginning.
The more you’re ready in advance before you start your research, the more likely it is that your research will be accurate.
When you start conducting market research, you need to first define the problem and identify the objective of the research that you’re trying to accomplish.
Knowing these things in advance will be helpful.
You need to know what your market wants, not what they need.
Use Google for quick niche keyword research to see what problems people are searching for and how your product or service can provide the solution.
Think about all the questions you may have and how you’ll get the answers. Some you’ll be able to get via primary research, others via secondary research.
Having a vision of where you want to end up is a big part of planning your research. Are you researching potential customers or potential competition, or the market in general?
When you start researching, you need to have a list prepared of the questions you want to answer before you even start.
This is going to help direct the research that you do.
The best thing to do is to look for government data, trade publication data, and industry data from reputable sources.
Your sources are the most important aspect of your information because they will determine whether or not your research is accurate.
It seems strange, but the best research to start with is secondary research which is research that’s already been conducted.
Find out what answers you can get from other people’s work first. Then you can use those results to inform your primary research.
After you’ve done your secondary research, it’s easier to design your primary research in a way that will get the best results.
The results you need will depend on the questions you have so far.
There are 2 types of information that you can collect: either exploratory or specific.
Exploratory information is rather general and open-ended, whereas specific information is more targeted and used to solve the problems highlighted from your exploratory research.
Once you’ve collected all the information you need in the methods you’ve chosen, you need to put it all together and combine it.
A lot of market research is both creative and scientific, and it’s best to use both.
You don’t want the research to be stifled.
As you conduct your research, always remember and keep in mind what you are looking for as the end result.
How you plan to use the information matters a great deal. Is it going to be used internally or externally?
You know what questions the research will answer and how you’ll use it.
Now let’s move onto some of the tools you can use for market research.
When you start conducting market research, you’ll need to collect a few tools of the trade. Thankfully, today there are so many automated tools to help you conduct market research like a pro at very little cost, and in some cases even free.
If you’re not sure who they are, you can’t be sure about what they want. Doing market research will answer all of those questions for you. Using the right tools will make it easy to do.
If you want to know more about increasing conversions in your business, check out the featured resource below to grab a free report which will teach you how to boost your conversion rate. Download, read it, and take action 🙂
If you are a new online entrepreneur, picking the right niche can be the most intimidating part of the entire business model building process.
If you get this wrong you could be setting yourself up for a disaster where you don’t earn money, you don’t enjoy the work, and you waste an incredible amount of time putting effort into something that won’t pay off.
So it’s vital that you understand the correct elements of picking a niche that pairs passion and profits. There are very few marketers who come into this business without the goal of pursuing their passion.
But you hear so much stuff online about money that sometimes, it seems like passion takes a backseat so that you can focus on money and take the financial pressure off.
“Someday,” you think, “I’ll make enough money at this that I can then do something I love.”
You can start off on the right foot from the very beginning and not have to start all over again one day with a new niche and a new dream.
Just to be honest; It does require some research, but have fun with this! Don’t do it all in one sitting – let your mind take time to savor the possibilities and engulf you in daydreaming about where all you might take these options.
The best way to get started is to just do a quick and easy brainstorming session. Now is not the time to sort through and analyze your niches – just get them out of your head and jot them down randomly – we’ll weed out the ones that aren’t a good fit later.
Start by looking at niches you already know you like. For instance, you might like:
All of those are potential niches based on what you know you already enjoy doing. Forget about whether or not you’re an expert – just jot down current passions.
Next, consider what you’ve always wanted to learn but don’t know. For example:
All of those “I wish I knew” topics are potential niche markets for you.
Sometimes, you can build a profitable niche based on experiences that you’ve had in life, such as:
Or, maybe you know someone else who is going through something – it doesn’t have to be directly related to you. For example,
As you can see, there are niche markets all around you. Once you start training yourself to look for them, you start to see a world full of possibilities.
It feels safer and more relaxed learning from someone who knows what you’re going through and who can empathize with you easily. Even if you’re not going through the exact same thing, understand why there’s no such thing as saturation…
People like learning from multiple sources! You have a unique style and personality from other leaders in that niche. When people learn and search for solutions, they typically look in several places, not just one.
Another way you can come up with profitable niche markets is to see what’s being talked about by the media and bought in the marketplaces. This is easy because the research has basically been done, it’s just waiting for you to discover it.
Magazine covers at the grocery store can show you a wealth of information. So for example – if you picked up the latest copy of Woman’s World (or even just glanced at the cover on the newsstand), you may see the following topics being covered:
Those are a lot of niches that yes, are very narrow in some ways – such as food for Alzheimer’s – but it’s a sign that people are into the memory niche, and you can be, too. Instead of getting so specific as “juicing for pain” you could jot down “pain relief” as your niche.
News sites also provide a wonderful account of what’s being followed in the real world. Let’s take four of the top news and information sites and look at what we can find on there.
On FoxNews.com, in the health section, you may discover topics like marriage quality influencing heart disease, obesity and exercise. Under the lifestyle section, you learn about hidden costs when buying a home, the key to online successful dating, and favorite vegetarian meals for celebrities.
On CNN.com, you could learn about bitcoin as a currency, comfort food weight loss, and diabetes and dental health. You can separate these combined topics or keep them combined if you want.
On DrudgeReport.com, you might see a news story about riots or bioterror and start thinking about the prepper niche. There’s a story about electronics like tablets selling more than toys for kids. You also see a story about the price of electricity rising, so a niche about saving money or becoming self sufficient might be an idea.
On HuffingtonPost.com, you may see stories about retiring abroad, the key to creativity, in-office workouts, remembering dreams, habits of mentally healthy people, etc.
Online marketplaces can give you some insight into what sells well with consumers. You can look at top sellers at ClickBank.com, JVZoo.com, and Amazon.com to pinpoint some possible niches.
Let’s look at them one by one.
ClickBank’s marketplace shows some of the top niches as:
JVZoo.com’s marketplace shows some of the following topics selling well:
Amazon.com is a great place to research both tangible and digital niche markets. You can go to amazon.com/bestsellers and look through each category to see what’s selling.
You can also look at hot new releases, top rated, movers and shakers and most wished for. These lists are updated hourly, so they’re as current as you can get, which will serve you well.
Click on a category and you can drill down further. Click on Books, for example and you can look in self-help. You can see that people want to know about:
After you do a quick brainstorm and some fundamental research, you might have a very healthy, long list or a short one of about 5 niche markets you could possibly get into.
Next, it’s time to cut down your list even more. Don’t be hesitant about removing niches. They’re always there if you ever want to branch out and add another income stream, but you have to start somewhere with one niche, so avoid combining them just because you don’t want to give one up – keep in mind that it’s only temporary.
As you can see, picking a good niche isn’t something you do in 10 minutes in a flash. It’s a process that you give time to if you’re serious about building a highly profitable business because it’s going to require dedication by you.
Let’s look at some reasons who you would want to weed out a niche. Go through each niche idea you have and see if any of these reasons exist.
You can’t commit to writing, talking and leading the niche day after day. Many newbies hear instructions about keyword volume and price points of available products to promote, so they pick a random niche they personally have zero interest in.
Imagine you’re a man who loves golfing, but you pick the crochet niche because some guru pointed out something about keyword volume and product availability. It happens – and the poor golf lover not only doesn’t know about crocheting, but he can’t imagine writing about it every day. This is a recipe for failure.
Another reason is that there’s not enough monetization opportunity.
Ideally, you’ll pick a niche that provides both tangible and digital items you can promote (or create).
Examples of this are:
One more reason why you may want to cut a niche is if it’s overly trendy. Sometimes something is such a fad that it’s a waste of time trying to build an entire business around it.
It’s much better to have an evergreen topic, like stress, than it is to build a whole site around a trend, like rubber band bracelets. That doesn’t mean you can’t create a page somewhere online to profit from trendy topics , but reserve your major efforts for topics that are going to last.
If it’s too broad, you can either eliminate it or narrow it down and see what all you can come up with for it. For example, just tackling the “diet niche” can be overwhelming.
But you might want to build a site about:
Once you whittle down the niches and feel confident that you could write about or lead in this topic for the long-term and that it can easily be monetized with products, you’ll need to make a firm commitment to one (if you’re left with more than one).
This is where some of the traditional guru advice comes in handy. There will be times when your passion for two topics is equal and both provide great opportunities for profits.
That’s when you turn to things like keyword search volume so that you can see how prevalent the topic is online. You want to use keyword tools to see what words and phrases people are using to find information in that niche, and how high the volume is.
You might be asking yourself, “What number am I looking for?” There is no set number. You can make a good income from volumes of 1,000 or 10,000. Should you go with a niche where there’s only 10 searches per month?
Probably not. You want to look at typical conversion rates – anywhere from 3-30% – and compare that to the price of what you’ll be selling.
So if you were promoting an average of $100 items on your site, where you earned 50% of the sale (or $50), and you saw a search volume of about 1,000 for a good keyword phrase, then even at a low 3% rate, you could expect 30 sales per month @ $50 commission, which totals $1,500.
Is that a sure thing? Of course not! You have to have everything in place for proper conversion. Online businesses aren’t a “build it and they will buy” scenario.
Reviews on Amazon can provide some insight into whether or not it’s a hot niche. It’s not just the bestseller’s list. You can look at products and tell to some degree. For example, if you start clicking on categories in Amazon, you might see something typical like coffeemakers with hundreds or thousands of reviews.
But keep clicking around and you might stumble on a niche that you didn’t realize was that popular. Click through on “chef tools” and you’ll see a comfort mat that has almost 1,000 reviews and sells for almost $60.
So that might be a niche for you, if you like cooking – not the mat, but maybe “comfort in the kitchen – for people who love the art of cooking” and everything you promote could be digital products about cooking (including ones you create) and tangible items that make things easier.
Available domains will be a factor in your decision, but please take time to play around with synonyms and phrases before you simply cross a niche off because your first domain idea is already taken.
For example, let’s say your niche will be diet for diabetics. Look for other words for diet, such as food, nutrition, diet plans, eating, meals, etc. Diabetics can be used as diabetes, too.
So you begin mixing and matching. You might try:
Then go through and switch diabetics to diabetes and see what you get there. Or switch words around:
Do as much as you can to see what’s available and then if necessary, wait a day or two to see if any other possibilities pop into your head, such as:
If more than one of your niches meets all of the above criteria, then what do you do?
You ask yourself, “Which audience do I want to serve?”
This simple requirement – where you feel empathy for your target audience and truly want to solve their problems – is where you develop a loyal fan base who will convert at the upper limit of typical conversion rates for you, instead of the bare minimum.
Remember that if you’re in a rush, you can easily choose the wrong niche, spend weeks or months trying to grow it, and still fail because it wasn’t right for you. It might be right for someone else – and this is why some people hit it big in a niche and others try it and see zero success.
Another thing you might want to do, if you’re still undecided, is spend some time looking at your competition. But only do this if you are the type who won’t succumb to intimidation, thinking, “Oh there’s already someone much better than me out there.”
Always keep in mind that people want choices. That person you’re admiring might be a great joint venture partner for you one day. But your style and voice will be unique to you, and his or her non-audience will be thrilled to find your voice out on the Internet waiting to guide them.
Plus, think about how you yourself learn. When you want to learn online marketing, do you only listen to just one person? Or do you visit a few blogs, read a few people’s responses on forums, and follow different people on social networks who inspire and educate you?
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t pick the right niche the very first time. Even with the best research and intentions, sometimes we get into a niche and just don’t feel it’s right for us.
If this starts happening, make a decision to cut your losses and try again. Remember what it was that you didn’t like about that niche and look for the opposite in your next one.
You have to maintain a fine balance between abandoning niches at the drop of a hat just because you’re not making instant riches overnight, and wasting too much time chained to a niche that just isn’t going to work for you.
Your next step is to build a blog. As a newbie, this is one of the easiest platforms to create and rank in search engines, and it’s the perfect place to let your target audience get to know you as their new niche leader.
If you want to start building a blog the right way, take a look at this amazing training that shows you how to build a blog the right way and how to build a list and monetize it. It is called Rapid Blogging Blueprint and consists of a training manual and over 3 hours of over-the-shoulder training and you can find out more here: warr.ws/RBB
There is a ton of marketing advice online about niching things down until you get to a small, fanatical group of people who will buy anything and everything in that niche.
And this is great advice – I offer it myself and follow it all the time.
But… you know how I like to be contrary. Sort of like, if everyone is selling stock, I’m buying. If they’re buying, I’m selling.
For example,… how many people like to eat good food? Or see movies? Or drive cars? LOTS of people.
So I got to thinking… what if you made an offer that appealed to a ton of people?
For example, how to take vacations for free.
This isn’t anything sketchy – it really is possible to take free vacations. In fact, there are several different methods of doing it.
So, I advertise this free offer: “How to take vacations for free.”
And then I bill myself to my new subscribers (using a pen name) as the guy that will hook them up with really great free stuff, like the free vacations info.
In fact, if they liked that one, they will LOVE what I have coming up, so watch your email…you get the idea.
Then I send them free offers.
For example, a free report or video on how to get all the dates they want.
They opt-in to a new list to get that report or video, and now I have a targeted list of people who want dating info.
Generally, every offer I make is going to be directly tied into an affiliate product such as a Clickbank product.
They get the free report or video, and at the end of it I make a soft sell for the Clickbank product.
I also offer a free bonus if they buy the product. All they have to do is email me their Clickbank receipt, and I send the bonus. This way I can also separate my buyers from my prospects.
As I get these segmented lists, I continue to send them free offers that lead to paid offers.
And I make bank, all because I start out attracting as many people as possible and then segmented them down by interest.
Now then, you might be wondering how this is better than simply targeting a small niche in the first place.
Frankly, I don’t know if it’s better, but it is different, and it does work. And it allows me to build several lists simultaneously from the same main traffic source.
One person can be on several of my segmented lists, after all. For example, they’re interested in vacations, dating and dieting – three different lists, three opportunities to sell them products.
Using this method, it’s very easy to build a large list quickly. And if I want to immediately profit, I offer a one-time offer after they get the initial freebie.
The real payoff is when I start segmenting into smaller, more targeted lists.
And of course, it’s nice to have (for example) 10 lists in 10 different niches, because now I have 10 different profit centers, all coming from the same initial source.
Tell them what to do, for example, but not how to do it. The “how to” is in the paid product.
Or tell them the difficult method to accomplish something, and then offer the easy method as a paid product.
And you don’t have to create any products yourself – just use the ones on Clickbank. But you might be creating short free reports or videos, which of course you can always outsource.
However, it is always worth making the effort to create your own products too and then you can have affiliates promoting YOUR stuff!!
Fortunately, it isn’t too difficult to add a product to Clickbank once you have created it, but you don’t have to work it all out for yourself. Just pick up the Clickbank Superstar course and it will guide you step-by-step in the setup process on Clickbank. Cool, eh?
You can take a look at Clickbank Superstar here: warr.us/CBStar
One last shortcut: A lot of affiliate offers will start out with a free report or video. Make a deal with the product owner to get that report or video in the hands of your readers yourself. That way you’re using their freebie to segment your list, and the affiliate product owner is still making sales.
So, just do what McDonald’s do and “Go Large” and you may just be surprised at the results!