Unlocking The Niche Code – How to Research the Moneymaking Capabilities of a Niche
“Time is money”
Before you ever set out to develop a product or service, make sure there’s a market or desire for it.
It seems like common sense, but you would be surprised how many businesses fail because they didn’t do the necessary research to ensure that there was actually a demand for their product or service.
One of the other things you want to pay attention to is if there’s money in it.
Usually demand and money go hand in hand, but not always.
Below, I’ll share how I go about my market research, so I know that I’m not creating a dud that will only waste my time and efforts.
I read several newspapers each day, many magazines, both general and niche-specific, I watch the news, I listen to the radio.
Occasionally something that I hear or read will stick with me.
I may record my thoughts on my portable voice recorder; jot down some notes, whatever happens to be convenient for me.
Sometimes I’ll call my office voice mail and leave myself a message.
But at some point, I’ll have several broad ideas to research.
I want to look deeper, but I may not have enough time to do so right away.
That’s why I jot down notes or use my voice recorder, so I don’t lose a potentially valuable idea.
I want to make sure there is a good market for them before I even think about creating a product.
The Research Process
When sitting down to do the actual research, I’ll do the following:
I’ll use Google Trends to check out the hottest trends around the world or within the United States.
At this point, I’m just looking for ideas and jotting things down.
Later I might expand on my research by looking at sub-niches within a larger niche that I may have written down from earlier.
I’ll then checkout Lycos where I can enter a search term and check out the latest trends and news surrounding that particular term.
I might check out Ebay and look into categories related to my idea to see if they’re selling.
I’ll also do the same with Amazon but a little differently.
I’ll take my search term and enter it into Amazon’s search bar along with “books” (without quotes).
If I see a lot of books written on the subject with lots of reviews, chances are that there’s a healthy market for it.
I also like to check out the search volume for all of my combined terms.
10,000 is a good baseline, but I also like to stay under 50,000 to avoid too much competition.
To get an accurate estimate on the search volume of my terms, I might use a premium keyword software tool or install the Keywords Everywhere plugin for chrome (free).
Don’t forget to pay attention to bid ranges.
Bid results that are between 30 cents and 3 dollars is often a good indicator that there’s money in the market.
Next, check out Spyfu to see how much companies are paying for my search terms.
Remember, high volume + low PPC bids = low click through rates and even lower conversions.
I might check to see if my niche has a magazine or several specific to it.
Example: golfing. There’s plenty of golfing magazines.
Go to a bookstore and check out the magazine for that niche while paying special attention to the ads in that magazine.
That tells me what’s selling.
Some other sites I might check out are digg, delicious, Facebook Groups, Reddit,
Next, I’ll let them vote with their wallets.
How much traffic am I getting from PPC and the opt-in percentages?
If both these numbers are low, it might mean that I need to adjust my copy a little bit or there’s not enough buyers in this market.
If both of those pass with flying colors, then it’s time to start thinking about offering a product.
Which ideally should be along the lines of the content they signed up for initially to begin with.
If I’m unclear on what to offer, I might ask my visitors or even create a simple survey to help me dial in on their wants and needs.
Remember though, they might say one thing and do another.
It’s only 100% accurate when they vote with their wallets.
Another way to gouge their interest is to offer a free webinar on the subject.
If I get a lot of viewers that come and stay, then chances are they’re interested in the real deal.
If I’m in a hurry or just want immediate answers, I might make it a paid webinar.
Nothing crazy expensive though.
Another technique to test whether this niche is has buyers is to promote an affiliate product within that niche.
If the product content is similar in nature to what you want to create as your product, it’s a good indication that you have the potential to get a similar percentage to buy yours.
Just make sure it’s either a non-competing product or a front-end sale.
All this hard work isn’t just a waste of time, by the way.
If you do end up finding a market that is profitable, you’ve already built up a list of prospects that will be looking out for your emails and promotions when you offer a related product or service.
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