Tell me if this describes you:
You have a few topics for an online business floating around in your head, and would love to pick one and start building your online empire around it. But this thought keeps coming into your head:
“I’m not an expert in topic X. Don’t I need to be an expert to enter this market?”
The short answer to this question is “Absolutely not!”
In this post I’ll describe:
1. Why you don’t need to be an expert to start a niche website/business
2. How you can get around the “authority” issue by becoming a “niche journalist”
3. My own experience in launching products in markets in which I’m not an expert, and how I have leveraged the expertise of others
We’ve all heard the saying: it costs a lot more to get a new customer than to keep a customer you already have. Sometimes keeping your customers happy can be as simple as sending them a PLR (private label rights) report that you picked up for $10.
Another way to keep your customers happy is to show that you’re interested in them – by asking them what they need.
How to Ask Your Email Subscribers What They Want
Niche [nich] noun:a distinct segment of a market.
In a nutshell, niche marketing involves serving one part of a market, not just promoting a single product.
A niche can be sliced out of a larger market in many different ways. A niche market can consist of:
When a lot of people first get into Internet marketing, they’re often told to pick a product and start promoting it (usually by going into the Clickbank Marketplace and choosing a product that has high gravity).
There are a couple of BIG problems with this technique:
What if that product suddenly gets pulled off the market?
What if a new (cheaper or better) product comes on the market, and the product you’re promoting suddenly stops selling?
On the other hand, if focus on serving the needs of a whole niche you won’t get burned when a product you’re promoting disappears or becomes uncompetitive – you can simply find another product to promote!
Just think about it for a minute: niches have multiple needs, but products don’t.
So if you start your Internet marketing business by focusing on the “new mother” niche (for example), you can attack that market by first making a list of all the needs that new moms have:
o Baby clothes
o Parenting e-books
o Weight loss programs
o Time management advice
o Yoga gear
o Sleep aids (if you’re a parent of young kids, you understand this one!)
o Kids’ books and videos
o Marriage help (the arrival of kids often strains marriages)
When approaching a niche market, look at it this way:
Your job is to serve as a “guide” for your niche, helping them solve their problems.
And what will you get in return for your role as “niche sherpa”? Well, if you do it right, you’ll get a thriving online niche business!
If you’re looking for some good brainstorming material for new markets to enter, check out Howie Schwartz’s free report entitled “36 Money Pulling Niches“.
In the report he covers some of the standard niches (e.g. weight loss, acne), but there are definitely some niches that are out of the mainstream (green smoothie, anyone?)
While the report doesn’t go into detail about these niches, one of the things I like about the report is that it shows you many ways to research niches, including using some search features in Google that a lot of people don’t know about. (Have you ever heard of Google’s “Wonder Wheel”?)
So go ahead and dowload Howie’s free report. It’ll only take you a few minutes to skim, and you might just stumble across a million-dollar idea!
You can download the report here .
Once you’ve brainstormed your list of niche topics, it’s time to narrow down your list to a handful of niches that have the highest potential for success. This leads to a question that’s often asked by new internet marketers: if I enter market X, am I going to lose my shirt?
While there’s no formula for calculating if a market has room for new competitors, a slew of “tools” claim they can give x-ray vision of a market. And their sales letters always make outrageous claims of how easy it is to enter a market – if you just spend a few bucks to buy their latest and greatest gadget.
The fact is there’s no way of knowing for sure if a market will be profitable for you – because profitability depends on how well you research and execute your marketing plan, and how you respond to a competitive environment that’s always changing.
Depressed yet? Wait!
Wilson Mizner, playwright, raconteur, and entrepreneur
How many times have you been told that you need to “get inside your customer’s head” to be able to sell successfully on the web? Countless times, no doubt.
But what exactly does “getting inside your customer’s head” mean? Simply put, it means that you need to understand the problems your market is facing and, more importantly, the solutions they’re actively looking for – what has motivated them to jump on the net and do a Google search, or direct navigate to a website about X topic.
A lot of internet marketers simply guess at what their market is looking for. They think, “Well I feel this way, so everyone must, too.” This is known as the false consensus effect in psychology. Anyone who dives into a market using this approach and still makes money is just LUCKY. Most dive in and lose a lot of money – whether they are affiliate marketers, information marketers, or small business owners.
One of the biggest problems new internet marketers face is which niche to pursue. There are literally millions of topics and products being searched for and discussed on the web. And Google has reported that 20% – 25% of their daily search queries are unique. That means even interest in different niches on the web is constantly changing.
When I first heard that it was possible to make money online, I started to devour as much free information that I could find. But after doing that for a couple of weeks, I wanted to take action. Then I found myself staring at my computer screen thinking, “Now what?”
Finding a good niche is one of the most important steps in making money online. If you don’t find the right niche from the get-go you face some MAJOR risks: