The majority of profitable niches are divided into two main categories. Problem solving, and hobbies. The problem is, people have hard time deciding which they should enter into. This is understandable – it’s a big choice, and there are conflicting opinions everywhere.
One set of marketers will say that anything but problem solving niches are a waste of time, as buyers are desperate to solve their problems and are very willing to pay for an instant solution. Another set of marketers will insist that hobby niches are far more profitable, because the visitors that visit your site are more likely to return and purchase from you multiple times.
While both can be extremely profitable, problem solving and hobby niches are often tackled in drastically different ways. For this reason, we must dig a little bit further before we can decide which category would be more profitable for you.
Analyzing Problem Solving Niches
Let’s first take a look at the way problem solving niches are commonly tackled. An example of some common problem solving niches include weight loss for new moms, curing back pain, or dating for college males. The “big 3” markets (health, wealth, and dating) all fall into the problem solving category. Generally speaking, the more desperate the buyer is to solve their problem, the more willing they are to purchase the solution from you.
Depending on the size and severity of the problem, the sites trying to solve them are set up primarily in two different ways. Larger niches may merit a blog. For smaller, more specific niches, these sites generally consist of only a squeeze page. The visitor signs up for the website owner’s mailing list, and the product aiming to fix their problem is marketed to them.
Then one of two things typically happens. Either the product fixes their problem (so you have no further need to market to them) or the product doesn’t fix their problem, and they never trust you for purchasing advice ever again. Either way, they’re done purchasing from you.
Of course, there are exceptions to this. As marketers, we want to get the maximum amount of money possible out of our email lists. Depending on the niche, there are other ways to monetize the list further. One way to do this is by promoting related products for different problems. For example, if you’re promoting a product on picking up women, you could also consider selling a course on overcoming shyness or social anxiety. Later on, you could promote a dating site that offers residual payment. Way down the line, you could promote a “how to get your ex back” course or something similar.
Another way to make additional money off an email list in a problem solving niche is to plan on the fact that most people won’t actually utilize the product they’ve purchased. Take the weight loss market for example. The majority of people who purchase weight loss info products won’t actually put in the hard work and effort needed to make the product useful. They won’t take the action necessary to become successful at overcoming their issue.
That means that when they inevitably fail at achieving their goal, you can sell them new ‘solutions’ over and over again. The fault isn’t with their product, it’s with them. They can’t get mad at you for promoting a “bad product” when the real issue is themselves. They’ll keep buying from you, as if money were a substitute for effort.
The thing is, most niches aren’t like this. Most problem solving niches don’t have closely related problems, nor can the purchaser be blamed for the lack of success.
Let’s see how hobby niches differ.
Analyzing Hobby Niches
Very different from problem solving niches are hobby niches. Websites involving hobby niches are often packed full of content, and the majority of blogs will fall into this category. Some hobby niches include cooking, playing piano, and golfing.
Hobby niches are often believed to be less profitable because in most cases, the visitor arrives on the site without an instant need to spend money. They don’t have a problem that needs to be solved straight away, and they don’t have any particular incentive to whip out their credit card and buy something from you. Therefore, you have to work a little bit harder to get the visitor into a buying mood. You have to create the demand for the product.
This can be a bit more challenging. People are far more willing to spend money to move away from pain than they are to move towards pleasure. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make a ton from hobby niches though. They can be incredibly rewarding. Far more rewarding than problem solving niches, in fact.
The thing that’s great about hobby niches is that you can sell entirely new products to your visitors time and time again, and still provide a ton of value.
Take golfing for example. It’s a huge sport, and ton of money is spent on it. If you get an audience and capture their email, you have a ton of marketing opportunities. You can promote high-end golf clubs to them. Golf bags, balls, and tees. You can promote travel opportunities to world renowned golf courses, or simply sell them courses on how to improve their game. As soon as a new improved version of X product comes out, you can promote that one to them. One visitor has the potential to make you a ton of sales. The long term potential for hobby niches is incredible.
Good example: James McAllister Sr.
My father. The man is a survival enthusiast. If he got some marketing skills and started a blog, he’d be an authority real quick because he knows the info inside, out, upside-down and backwards. Loves everything about it. I guess that explains the 3-4 packages from eBay and Amazon that arrive in his mailbox each day.
But let me tell you, he loves spending money funding this hobby. If I could find where he keeps all of the stuff he orders, this is what I’d probably see:
- 521 knives
- 50 pairs of hiking boots
- 85 expensive backpacks
- 723 mini LED flashlights
- 200 mini survival kits
- A large, unknown amount of random tools and objects that you or I have probably ever heard of.
Here’s the thing: my parents don’t have a huge income. Far from it. I’d say whatever guy is selling all of this stuff to him is probably taking a pretty huge percentage of it, because he literally never stops funding this passion.
So what does this have to do with you? Well, if you could find just 1 new person like my father each day and get him onto your mailing list, you’re well on your way to retirement.
So, Are Problem Solving Or Hobby Niches More Profitable?
There’s really no concrete answer to this, as both niche categories are handled completely differently. I’m currently working in both categories, and both have been working very well for me in different ways. The potential for profit is there for both categories – so you should choose the one that appeals more to you, not just now, but for the long term as well.
In my experience, most problem solving niches are easier to make quick sales in because people are more willing to pull out their credit card and make a purchase. However, most hobby niches will have greater long term potential because you’ll always have new products to promote to the same group of people.
The Key To Success In Either Category
Regardless of the niche you decide to go into, the key to make money lies in regular communication with your email list. Squeeze sites rely on autoresponders to send out their promotions, and regular email communication is necessary for retaining long term visitors. If you’re not already, you should absolutely be using a service like GetResponse to build an email list of loyal subscribers you can promote to. GetResponse offers a free 30-day trial, so you’ve got nothing to lose by signing up.
The money really is in the list – and this is true no matter what niche category you go in to.
So which do you like better, problem solving or hobby niches? Why? I’d love to hear what you have to say!