This is a guest post by Neil Jones. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
Finding a niche is a key element to developing a successful site. How marketers find a niche has been well documented on the web, many sites and training courses spew out the same ideas and techniques, most will mention Amazon as a great way to find a niche, most suggest finding the top products in each section and building a site around them.
In principle this works, but when everyone else is using the same tactics and sources to find a niche, those new niches you’ve just found will become over crowded with other skilled marketers who are all looking for a piece of the pie. If we are all jump into the same niche at the same time, life will be made more difficult for us all, there will be less money to go round and the work load will increase.
So how do you find new niches that other marketers have misses?
Flippa: is a website auction site a good source when researching possible niches and the best thing is that the webmasters who list their sites here take all of the guess work out of entering a new niche, they tell you how much traffic they get, how much they make from this traffic and how they make their money and who know they you may even find yourself a bargain.
Google Suggestion tools: There are programs available that will scrape Google’s suggestion tool, plug in in your base keyword and they will return a list of suggestions for that keyword, once this is done through the results into the keyword tool and see how many searches those terms get every month. A word of warning with this method, the results here you is possibly getting into the micro niche territory.
Q&A Tools: This is again similar to the Google Suggestion idea, add you base keyword and check the results; the warning with this one is that the results returned are mostly in the form of a question, which is traditional long tail territory, they can be easy to rank for but with a limited search volume.
Keywords: There are a lot of marketers that build huge lists of random keywords, they don’t care what the keyword is, it just needs to fit their criteria, low competition, a decent CPC price and an available exact match domain, this method works but you will find that these types of sites encompass a lot of micro niches, where there isn’t really any opportunity to build the site out further once you have hit the top spot for your main keyword.
Magazines: go to your local news agent and chances are you will see countless magazines on a host of different topics, if you can find a mag on an obscure topic then you may have found a good niche to work in.
Keyword Tool: Instead of plugging in a long list of keywords into the tool, use the website feature, it helps to have an idea of the main niche you are entering, let’s say you want to do something in the “money saving” niche, then look for a forum on that niche, websites can also work well but I find when I throw the link to a forum in, I will get a broader keyword list returned and a lot of the results can be question based ( LongTails). It’s definitely worth the 5 minutes it will take to give this method a try and you may be surprised with the results that will be returned.
Well there you have it, I know there are probably 101 other ways of finding a niche, but these are the methods I have tried and what work for me, if you want to spend your time scrolling through Amazon, EBay and Overstock.com, then feel free but be aware that you are not the only one using these sites to try and find a new niche and even if you think you are on to a winner I can guarantee that you are not the only one that is having the exact same Eureka moment.
Neil is head of marketing for eMobileScan, one of the UK’s leading barcode Scanner and handheld computers specialists. Offering their customers the best price service and support.