I’ve struggled with finding niches that have a potential to make money online. At first I was trying to be too much of a perfectionist – as if I had to find the perfect niche right away. I’ve realized that I don’t have to keep anything I try to do online. I know now that I am not “locked in” to anything I try – it is more of a blackboard on which I am still working on a formula. The blackboard or whiteboard can be erased and changed – or I can just start over if necessary.
I say that for those of you that are not risk takers (I really am not). So, when I have taking a chance on things, I have tried to make those the most informed chance with the least financial risk possible. There are ways to get into affiliate marketing with very little up-front investment. That is why I posted about the Thirty Day Challenge in other posts – it is a free course on how to use WordPress and do affiliate marketing online. (UPDATE: the challenge is now at The Challenge) It is far superior to the many subscriptions being sold (and really you should do the free course before you start paying for one). Though it has a particular strategy (using WordPress blogs) the information is useful to selling online using other types of websites or online stores.
My other favorite low cost way to get started in online selling is with affiliate product stores (using Bizzites award winning website builder) but those are not free. The play I have costs less than $100 per month. As I have learned how to use the affiliate stores I have not had trouble making a profit each month. It did take me a few months to get to that point – but a few months at less than $100/month is a very small price for a business start up!
So, whichever way you plan to build websites to sell anything online, you have to start with a niche – you have to know what products you will be selling and what kind of customers buy those products. These are the harder things to do. Making websites is easy. Getting traffic is harder. Making actual sales is the thing that you have to do to survive in any business. And you have to find a niche and know how to provide what sells in that niche.
There are lots of niches (for physical products) that have online traffic, but much of that traffic is just people looking for information or for something free. One thing I have advised people about is this: think about what the customer is searching for and if possible try to focus on search terms that are for things people buy. For example, the search term, hardwood floors could include any number of people searching for how to install or to find someone to install them, or for looking at samples online. They may have no intention of buying flooring from a website. So, the flooring niche would have to be studied to make sure you get the buyers to view your website – and possibly the niche would never be profitable! This is where researching a market and understanding it and what goes on in the online marketplace is essential.
One thing that is helpful for new internet marketers is to find a niche where items are purchased and used up and purchased again. For example, hobby supplies that are used or tools that are necessary. It is likely that if you were selling a specific product for hobbiests, that many of the people searching for those products have the intention of actually buying them when they find them online (instead of just looking at them or finding information about them). For example, if you sold some kind of saw or drill, it is unlikely that many people would be looking for them online just to see what they look like (whereas in decorative items, a higher percentage are just looking at them and comparison shopping).
So, to summarize some of the things I have learned about finding niches for selling stuff online, here are some key points:
- Try to focus on areas that you like or love – you may find that you become successful in a niche and you will need to keep up-to-date with it, and you may need to write articles about it.
- If there are industry magazines for specific topics, these generally are good niches with customers willing to buy products in those niches
- Do online research about things you have a strong interest in (or a passion about) to see if they might be a niche for you to sell products in (such as pets, hobbies, health, etc.)
- Some niches may have pricey products that you want to try to sell – be aware that these niches are often far to competitive for new internet marketers.
- Try to identify the sub-niches to start out in (also called micro-niches), for example, Automobiles is a general category (not even a niche), hybrid vehicles is a niche (but is probably very competitive), price comparisons of hybrid vehicles or the top 10 benefits to buying a hybrid would be more micro niched.
- Once you even know that you have a few niches that could be possible avenues for you to sell in, please do keyword research! If you haven’t used keyword tools, you will have to in order to get found in the search engines.
- Don’t be afraid to try out SOMETHING (but not something that will break the bank), even if your first attempts fail or don’t make a ton of money, because while you make the effort, you are learning valuable things (even from mistakes) that will help you in the future.
- For those that are not risk takers, don’t wait until you think you have found the perfect product to sell – nothing is perfect and everything that matters requires hard work. There is no way to have instant success, but there are tools and knowledge to help you be successful.
I wish I could say I have the magic formula for making tons of money online. I can make money online, and hope to make more than I currently do – and as I learn I intend to keep sharing what I know here on this website!
Free Resources (that I do not own or profit from but I think are invaluable):