One of the most exciting, but also one of the most difficult times when you’re starting business online is choosing a niche.
After all, it’s your niche – the topic you’re building your business around, that has one of the biggest effects on your chances at either succeeding or failing.
The right niche will allow you to build a highly scaleable business in a manner you genuinely enjoy and do well with, while the wrong niche will leave you doomed from the start (I know, because I had this problem for several years in my business career.)
Needless to say, making the right choice is pretty important.
In this article, I’m going to go over an example niche in detail, showing you the exact process I use to determine whether or not a particular niche is right or my students.
In this example, we will be looking at the guitar playing market.
Learning Guitar Niche – Overview
As you can imagine, the guitar market is absolutely enormous and there are a lot of different strategies you can take in this market – both in terms of content and monetization. With over 50 million guitar players worldwide and more people picking up the guitar every day, this is a market that is nearly infinitely scaleable.
Additionally, research shows that this is a market where money is spent freely – guitarists are particularly passionate for their hobby and are not afraid to invest a lot of money in equipment and training.
Although there are already many other blogs, YouTube channels and podcasts operating in this niche, there is still plenty of room to grab a piece of this market.
In this report, we’ll go over all relevant information in detail, to help you get a jump start in this niche – allowing you to quickly form and execute your ideal strategy.
Guitar Playing – Market Information
Total number of guitar players worldwide: 50+ Million
Annual revenue in the US: $674 million+
Number of major businesses in the US: 198
Industry employment in the US: 3,673
Annual growth rate: 1.4%
Guitar Playing Niche – Market Demographics
Average Age: 33
Gender: 88% Male, 12% Female (although half of new guitar players are women, suggesting this percentage will become more balanced over time.)
Primary Markets: U.S. and U.K
Due to how large the guitar market is, you may wish to start out focusing around a specific sub-niche – this will make it easier to attract an initial engaged audience, and you can always branch out further later!
- Electric guitar
- Acoustic guitar
- Guitar playing based around certain genres (rock music, metal, folk, jazz, country etc.)
- 12-string guitars
- Rock history
- Guitar lessons
- Music marketing
- Music theory
- Music composition
- Songwriting for guitarists
- Guitar for children
Learn To Play Guitar – Google Search Volume
|Keyword:||Number Of Monthly Searches:||Adwords CPC:|
|learn to play guitar||18,100||$1.39|
|easy songs to learn on guitar||5,400||$1.6|
|learn guitar chords||3,600||1.06|
|how to play guitar||40,500||1.49|
|easy songs to play on guitar||18,100||2.43|
Top Websites In The Learn Guitar Market
These may not be the largest sites overall, but are notable websites in their space. I’ve included a variety of different websites to showcase different possibilities for content and monetization.
Ultimate Guitar is perhaps the world’s largest website for sharing guitar tabs and chords, with over 1.1 million submissions in their catalog. In addition to their tabs and chord database, they have an active forum with over 19.5 million members, and 10-15 articles are published to their site per day.
Guitar World is one of the largest guitar news websites, with an estimated 2 million visitors monthly. A quick visit to the site shows that there’s a large stream of content put out each day, signaling that there will always be new topics to write about in this market.
In addition to news, Guitar.com seems to put out a large amount of content based around gear reviews, opinion pieces, and video tutorials on learning guitar. Additionally, they currently offer a magazine, which is a sign of a healthy market. Guitar.com’s current monthly traffic estimate at the time of writing is 442,000 visitors per month.
Top YouTube Channels In The Learn Guitar Niche
Because video and audio content is so popular in this market, it may also be useful to analyze some of the top YouTube channels as well.
Mary Music currently has 1.3 million subscribers, and his channel is primarily based upon educational content. The majority of his content is centered around how to play specific songs (or parts of songs, such as guitar solos.) Additionally, Marty also releases entertainment-type content as well.
On Marty’s website, he appears to sell courses ranging from $20 to $45 in price, in addition to Adsense revenue he earns from his videos.
With 370,000 subscribers at the time of writing, Darrell Braun’s channel is also centered around educational content, but in a slightly more varied manner. Darrell offers videos on topics such as buying guides, debates, gear comparisons, and making your music sound better.
He currently monetizes his brand through Adsense, selling t-shirts, selling his guitar tabs and sheet music (both songs, and training exercises), Patreon, and with his own music.
Jared posts almost entirely entertainment type content – such as imitating guitarists you’d find at guitar stores, or showcasing weird and flashy guitars you wouldn’t see anywhere else. Due to how large his subscriber count is (2.3 million+) I felt it was important to include him here, as it goes to show how captivating entertainment type content can be when done right. Jared appears to monetize through sponsorships, merch, and his own music.
Notable Twitter Accounts
A large number of Twitter followers indicate a website isn’t just being used, but is actually developing an engaged brand that consumers are looking to connect with further.
@guitarplayernow – 168k followers.
@PremierGuitar – 127k followers.
@justinsandercoe – 32k followers.
@GuitarWorld – 352k followers.
@guitarcenter – 210k followers.
@ultimateguitar – 31k followers.
Below are some of the most popular forums and communities for the guitar playing niche. Spending time in these communities may generate some ideas to shape your future content strategy (which we will talk more about later on in this report), as well as provide a potential place to build traffic and awareness to your brand.
Reddit’s /r/Guitar Subreddit – 440k subscribers.
Ultimate Guitar Forum – 19.6 million members, 1.3 million threads, 26.7 million total posts.
Guitarforums.com – 70,000 members, 47,500 threads, 725,000 total posts.
Acoustic Guitar Forum – 113,000 members, 436,000 threads, 5.6 million total posts.
Guitars For Sale Or Trade – Facebook group with 89,000 members.
Because this market is so large, there are a lot of options for content types to pursue. Below are some content types that have been proven to work well in the guitar niche. Note that depending on the topic, you’ll want to determine whether it’d be a better for a guitar blog, or a YouTube channel. This way, you can release the ideal content on the ideal platform.
- Basic tutorials – how to play certain chords, improvement exercises, etc.
- Song tutorials – how to play specific songs
- Covers of famous songs
- Gear reviews
- Gear comparisons
- Gear buying guides
- Music production advice
- Mixing / mastering music advice
- Guitar news
- Your insights and opinions on things going on in the guitar world
- Interviews / collaborations with famous or up-and-coming guitarists (this may be a good idea for a podcast!)
- Your personal story and history with guitar
- Equipment reviews
- Jam session / Q&A – rock out live on Facebook / YouTube and answer questions from viewers during your stream.
Of course, this is list is not complete, and by visiting communities mentioned earlier and actively being a part of your niche, coming up with content ideas to pursue should not be difficult – especially in a market like this, where there is always so much going on. There is no reason you couldn’t pursue a large amount of these topics.
Ultimately, you will want to think about who your ideal target follower is. What kind of content would they be interested in?
Guitar Playing Blog / YouTube Channel – Monetization Information
Number Of Amazon Products: 55,000+
Amazon Product Types:
- Various types of guitars
- Guitar accessories – picks, cables, tuners, capos, cases, straps, strings.
- Guitar books – educational books, sheet music, tab books.
- Additional music equipment – music stands, metronomes, microphones.
This shows us that there are a lot of physical products that you can promote to the same person – important for building a complete monetization strategy and making the most from each person.
ClickBank Affiliate Options:
Below is a list of ClickBank products to consider promoting. ClickBank is a popular marketplace for product creators to sell digital products, such as eBooks and courses. A higher gravity score means that more sales have been recently made in this program. Low gravity scores may indicate that not many affiliates are currently promoting those products, the product is new, or the current sales pages do not convert well.
|Program Name:||Commission Rate:||Gravity:|
|Play Worship Guitar||75%||3.42|
|Adult Guitar Lessons||70%||1.07|
|Guitar Notes Master||60%||1.08|
|Riffmasterpro - Slow Down Music Software||50%||1.39|
|Rock Guitar Mastery||66%||0.85|
Note that in this instance, guitar programs on ClickBank have an unusually low gravity score, considering the size and passion behind the guitar playing market. There may be a good opportunity to create a product of your own here!
Other Notable Affiliate Programs:
It appears that most major music equipment retailers offer affiliate programs for their stores. These may or may not offer a higher commission than Amazon’s affiliate program.
If they do, you’ll want to balance your commission rate with how well the offers convert. One store may offer a higher commission, but if people don’t trust it as much and aren’t willing to buy, you will actually end up making less overall.
According to Udemy’s marketplace insights tool, there are currently 272 courses listed with ‘Guitar’ as their primary topic. These courses make a median of $38 per month.
The top guitar course on Udemy is ‘Complete Guitar System – Beginner to Advanced‘, with 107,000 students enrolled, and an average star rating of 4.4.
Note that Udemy is still very much seen as a marketplace to learn technical and business skills, and has not yet broken into the mass market for topics such as this.
Because of this, it may be worth creating a course on Udemy, to establish your place as their student base grows. However, you will certainly earn a higher margin and be able to sell your course for a higher price if you release on your own site instead.
Because the guitar playing market is highly brandable, and personal brands do well in this niche, it may be a better strategy to charge higher prices on your own website.
Due to the size of the learn guitar niche, there are a lot of different options to take. Some popular monetization opportunities for a guitar blog, or YouTube channel based around learning guitar include:
- Adsense advertisements (recommended for YouTube, but not for a website.)
- Affiliate marketing – promoting guitars, accessories, courses, and additional products from other companies, and earning commissions when you make a sale.
- Sponsored content – the guitar market is particularly lucrative for those looking to make money from sponsored content. This may include paid promotions, having gear sent to you for review, and other influencer marketing deals.
- Release of a book, course, or other educational digital product.
- Freelancing for others – album art design services, mixing / mastering services, one-on-one guitar lessons over Skype, etc.
- Session musician – playing guitar on other people’s albums.
- Merch sales – sell your own line of merch, including shirts, mugs, decals, etc. When you are ready for this, please get in touch with me – I own a factory and can handle all of your order fulfillment, so you never actually have to touch the products you’re selling!
- Private label – importing and selling your own accessories from China.
- Conferences – at a large audience size, throwing in person events / conferences can be highly lucrative.
- Sales of your own music – if you are a musician yourself, this business can be a great way to build listeners to your own music.
You build up awareness for yourself and your brand by posting educational videos on YouTube, and informational, entertaining, and helpful blog articles on your site. As your viewership grows, you begin putting ads on your videos and making a small, but steady stream of income rolling in each month.
Meanwhile on your site, you link out to relevant affiliate products whenever you discuss them, earning a commission on each sale you make. You build up an email list over time, giving you an audience you can instantly tap into whenever you have something your audience needs to see. You’re able to drive sales, so brands start sending you equipment to talk about without you having to pay for it.
You build your influence as a knowledgeable person in your space, and your skill speaks for itself in all of your videos. You utilize this attention to begin offering one-on-one lessons over Skype to wealthy individuals, and charge $50-200+ / hr for your time.
Eventually you release a course of your own (or several, for different levels) and sell these on your site for a flat fee. Or, you build up a vault of resources that guitar players could benefit from, and give unlimited access to them for a monthly fee.
You then open up your merch store, and begin wearing your own shirts in your videos, getting them in front of people who want to buy them.
Utilizing what you learn from your audience, you continue releasing more and more valuable products, and you’re doing very well for yourself.
Of course, it’s not as simple as it sounds. However, you can see how things really come together, each strategy building off of the last, until you have something truly amazing to work with.
Because this market is so video and audio oriented, you’ll want to pick up a relatively cheap camera and microphone to record with. I recommend the Logitech C920 webcam, and Blue Yeti microphone if you’re just starting out. Of course, better equipment is available later on, but this will work well enough for most people just starting out.
I would also recommend signing up for my blogging course right now – even if you’re primarily going to be building your business around YouTube.
Everyone building a business around teaching guitar will need a website as their primary ‘home base.’ It is what will best allow you to retain your audience, foster further engagement, and close sales.
By investing in my blogging course, you’re going to learn skills such as…
- How to get your website online today, even if you don’t have any technical skills.
- Proper website design, and choosing a theme that fits with your brand and style (without having to design it yourself.)
- Forming a total and complete content strategy that aligns with your goals, builds fans, and keeps people coming back.
- Building an audience from scratch – including insider tips on how to get your content ranked in Google, building a social following on each major platform, and utilizing the communities mentioned earlier to build fans and form connections.
- Detailing out your monetization strategy, including advanced tips to truly maximize your earnings.
An investment like this can literally save you years of time, and get you further towards your business goals straight away.
I hope that this niche report has provided some insight into this market, and sparked some ideas for your guitar-themed blog or YouTube channel.
I’d love to hear about your plans in this niche, and any questions you have about going forward.
Finally, if you are running an existing business and would love even more in-depth research into this market, please get in touch with me. I’d be happy to put together a package for you, but will need more information before I can give a proper quote.
Thank you, and wishing you the best!
– James McAllister