Niche selection is often the hardest part of starting a new website for beginner webmasters. After all, it’s the first step in the entire process – you usually can’t even buy a domain without first deciding on your website’s topic. It’s also one of the most stressful. Typically, if you get the niche selection wrong, the majority of the time you spend on that site will be a waste. You usually can not change the website’s niche after it’s been started, and it ends up being a huge waste of time.
However, perhaps an even bigger waste of time is worrying too much about the above issues. Let me quickly share with you my story.
My first real website was a technology blog. I went into it being told, “blog about what you’re passionate about”, and technology was it. I was incredibly excited, there was so much experience I had in this area and I had so much to say. So what was the problem here?
Technology is not a niche at all, technology is a market, and a huge one at that. While I did make money off of it, I had to work my butt off to keep the revenue coming in. It took me over a year before I realized that the site was not going anywhere. Articles were becoming outdated and irrelevant incredibly quickly, and this type of work was not sustainable. Looking back on it now, the learning experience of the whole thing was far more valuable to me than all the money it made.
Fast forward a few years, right before I decided to really get going with this site that you’re on right now. I spent nearly 2 months trying to find this non-existent ‘golden niche’ that would be the answer to all my problems. I wanted a niche that was both profitable, non-competitive, and something I was interested in. I now understand that these golden niches don’t yet exist, and if you’re looking for them, you’re making the same mistake I did.
Really, there’s only 3 things that go into a good niche:
- There is a problem people are desperate to solve.
- They are willing to pay for a solution (and there’s one available for you to sell).
- The content is evergreen or repeatable.
That’s it, period. Of course, it has to be something you’re willing to write about and market for a long period of time. In order to truly understand why this works, we have to take marketing back to its roots.
Why do we spend money? Most often than not, it’s to improve our lives in some way. Whether it be to fulfill a need or a desire, or to improve upon some problem we are facing, we expect to get a return on our money. People who are more desperate to get this return are the ones who will spend more money, more quickly. This is the huge money makers like dating or health are so profitable. People are desperate to find love. People are desperate to cure their back pain, to lose weight, etc.
Am I suggesting you start a website in health or dating? Absolutely not. What I’m saying is that it’s sometimes better to target the problem rather than target the topic. Identify your target audience. Identify what they want, and what you can sell them to fulfill that want. This can be applied to any niche where people are experiencing some sort of problem. Again, the more desperate the people are for a solution, the easier it will be to sell it to them.
But what about competition? It’s irrelevant really. In fact, competition is a sign of a healthy market. After all, there is only competition because that niche is profitable. If there is no competition, it likely means that there isn’t enough profitability to make it worthwhile for a blogger or internet marketer like yourself.
“But what if I find a niche nobody has thought of yet?”
Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are zero unheard niches. Every possible niche that even has potential to make money has already been considered by someone. Of course, this doesn’t mean that low competition niches aren’t profitable – it just usually takes more work. Remember, if there aren’t any products in your niche to promote, you always have the ability to create your own.
The best course of action for you now is to stop looking for these non-existent ‘golden niches’, and instead use the three rules above to find a niche that works for you. Once one comes to mind, attack it head on – don’t take the time to consider alternatives. Get started with it today, and you’ll end up thanking me later.
The golden niche of ‘something one is interested in’ is a definite requirement, whilst the other two… low competition and profitability may be sacrificed. Following along, you suggest looking out for topical problems to solve. I suppose the problem will act as the persuader anyway, the blogger only needs to exacerbate it and provide the solution.
Hey Terence, absolutely. Ultimately all money is exchanged to solve some sort of problem, so if you’re able to craft your strategy around problem solving money will surely follow. The intensity or quantity of problems is directly correlated with the profitability of a niche.
Out of all of them, I still believe competition is the least important factor. I’d rather build a business in a competitive, very profitable niche than an unprofitable (but low competition) one!
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