Before you can begin thinking about how to choose a niche for a website, you must first understand what a niche is and why selecting the right niche is important to your online success.
A niche market as described by Wikipedia is:
The subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact. It is also a small market segment. For example, sports channels like STAR Sports,ESPN, STAR Cricket, and Fox Sports target a niche of sports enthusiasts.
As an affiliate or any type of online marketer, you will use internet-based niche segments of broader categories. Niche websites are developed to serve a targeted audience, giving you a continuous source of revenue. This technique can then be repeated across several other niche websites.
Why is this important? Because you are the expert and in order to be an authority in any area, you must have some knowledge or experience with the niche you choose to market. At the very least, you should be passionate about the topic you are promoting as the research and time spent will be much easier to endure for the long term. In addition, you will be writing A LOT and it will prove difficult to remain interested and focused if you are simply uninterested.
MAKE A LIST OF HOBBIES & INTERESTS
Keep in mind, a niche does not have to be something you already do for a living. I would say more often than not, niche ideas are born out of a personal passion. Start with making a list of your hobbies and interests.
If that does not get you to about 5-7 different topics, then think about the following for possible niche ideas:
Ubersuggest is a free keyword suggestion tool that may prove helpful to you if you are just not coming up with a list of ideas. I refer to this site often. Once you come up with a potential niche idea, you can then plug it into a keyword research tool and check out the stats to determine if that is the direction you want to go. At the end of the day, there are many different ways to develop a niche. This can be anything, so do not rule anything out at this point.
This seems easy enough but I find that a lot of us tend to decide on a niche that is way too broad to attract a target audience. Remember, a narrowed down niche is not necessarily a small niche. There is room for you, believe me. Think of it more as specialized field. A doctor is not an expert in all things medicine, they specialize in a specific part of medicine. Why? Because they can tailor their learning to that area and become the expert while at the same time leaving room for expansion down the road.
As the marketer, you must think in terms of your target visitor. Who are you attempting to attract to your site? If you are an avid fisherman and want to market that topic, you would not simply target the very broad fishing audience.
As a consumer, I may research the term fishing until I realize how much information is going to populate. More than likely, I would be looking for a product such as a specific type of fishing pole or lure or possibly deep sea fishing in a specific area. In these cases, I would not type fishing into Google’s search engine. I would type in a more specific keyword to narrow down the results and provide me with the best information available for the exact items I need.
Broad Niche: Fishing
Targeted Niche: Deep sea fishing in Gulf of Mexico
The examples above are an indicator of the competition for that particular keyword. A broad keyword such as fishing will return thousands of results and your site will be lost in the crowd if ranked at all. Broad niches are often saturated markets, and you will have a very slim chance of obtaining traffic/conversions.
In order to obtain visitors who will actually purchase from your site, you will need to narrow that down to something more specific. The deeper you go within your niche topic, the less traffic there will be. Ideally you want to be ranked on page one of any search engine and selecting the correct niche/keywords is a very important step to getting there.
By the time a consumer begins searching for very specific keywords, they are probably at the point of making a purchase. What may have started with fishing has now become narrowed down to the specific products needed to complete the cycle. The buyer is ready to pull the trigger and your site will be the one they go to for the sale. The video below is a great walk through of this process.
This may sound harsh but unfortunately not every hobby or interest can be something you can actually make money with. There needs to be that perfect balance between something you have interest in and then being able to capitalize on it. That is the win-win scenario and very doable.
You must do your research before getting started. The good news is that it really does not take that long to come up with a niche, and if you are just not sure but want to get started building and promoting a site, then you can most definitely utilize the affiliate marketing niche. The video link above goes into this a bit more, so please take the time view.
I assure you, the highly ranked sites on any search engine are not there by chance. There was a lot of work done behind the scenes and selecting a proper niche is one of those items on every successful online marketers checklist.
Choosing a domain name is not optional, you have to do it whether it is a free option or not. Actually this is the most fun. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, “all the good ones are taken”. Well, maybe the most obvious domains are but that just means we get to be creative when selecting the perfect name for our site.
I use namecheap for purchasing domain names; however, there are many of them out there to choose from. The main thing is do not pay a premium for a domain and do not get sucked in to any upsells. The average cost of a domain name is around 10.00 per year give or take a few bucks. So, keep that in mind when searching for who to use.
When selecting the name, you want to look at the extension such as .com, .org, .net etc. Most of us are familiar with these but there are many others. Typically you want to stay with .com if possible as that has been around for the longest time and what most of us will type in first when searching for a site; however, if not possible then .org and .net are fine. I do not recommend going with any of the others.
The next thing to be careful of is adding numbers to your domain name. Special characters such as !@% are not allowed, so that is an easy one to avoid :-). Hyphens are acceptable but again, the cleaner the better. The easier your name is to remember, the better for you.
Numbers may cause your name to be typed incorrectly leading to an incorrect page or worse, someone else’s site promoting the same thing. Personally I would avoid spelling out numbers as well simply because of the possibility of a visitor typing it incorrectly. Example: 4, four, for….2, two, too, to.
This may sound obvious but you would be amazed at how many domains out there make no sense when you actually speak them or worse, you typed the name you wanted incorrectly and did not check before you bought it! For example, let’s say you want a domain called all about dogs but you selected allboutdogs by mistake. This is a big deal as most people will be typing in allaboutdogs when referring to your site even if it is supposed to be the other version. Anyway, you get the idea. Take the extra time to proof your name before you finalize the purchase.
This is a practice that is no longer necessary to rank with Google. Of course if you want to and it is available, the by all means, add the keyword but do not fret or purchase a .us because it is the only one available with your exact keyword. Just let it go and move on to something else. As long as you stay focused on your niche and make your name relevant, you are good.
Does not matter. Upper and lower case of the same domain is the same thing.
This is an important detail. If you have any doubts or questions around whether or not your desired domain name is breaking any copyright rules, then please do yourself a favor and check it out at www.copyright.gov before you decide to run with it.
How to choose a niche for a website does not have to be overwhelming. You simply need to focus on the steps outlined above and do not get in a hurry. I am an advocate of learning and creating an online business is not any different. There are things you must be willing to learn if you want to be successful long term and a good foundation is critical.
Please leave me reply with any questions or comments. I would love to hear about your experience and insights around selecting a niche.
Make it a great day!