One of the biggest confusions and worries people have when starting out online is how to choose a niche. I am not talking only about the technical aspect of keyword research (greatly explained in Steve’s course).
What I am referring to is the eternal question “Should I pick a niche I am passionate about or the one that makes money?” So let’s see the Pros and Cons of choosing one over another.
Choosing a niche that makes money
Starting an online business by default means you want to make money from it. So this would be a no-brainer, right? Wrong. There is more to it.
I have a friend that decided to go with the money niche and it was about kitchen blenders. He bought the niche (a researched list of profitable keywords) and started building the site.
He found it extremely hard to work on it because he didn’t care one bit about kitchen blenders. It was like a chore, not joy as an online business should be. He had to do research all the time, cause he had no clue about his topic.
However, after a long time of suffering (it took him much longer to build the site than it should have) he started making passive income that kept growing as the site got older.
- potential to make a lot of money
- potential to sell the site when it is successful for a big fat check
- you don’t know much about the topic
- you need to spend a lot of time doing the research (or outsourcing)
- the competition is fierce since everyone wants to make money
The main thing to consider – Can you see yourself writing over and over again about the topic you know nothing about or care nothing about? It would be like me writing about boat engines!
Choosing a niche because you love it
Writing about something you like is much easier. Especially if it is something you are exposed to on daily basis. I could write hundreds and hundreds of pages on stuff I like. However, you also need to know a lot about it!
I love sport bikes. I can write a whole book about how much I like them. But could I build a site on it? No. Because I have no clue about the parts, equipment, engines and all other related topics.
Being passionate will not be enough but it is a great start, because it will be easier to learn about it and do the research.
Two things to consider, though, are: how big is the demand for a topic and how “deep” the topic is.
The size of the demand is what will make or break your site. If there are only 1.000 people in the world that like to collect statues of Santa in a blue suit, how will you make money from it? So you need to do the research and make sure there is some demand for your niche.
The depth of a topic is how much can you say about it. I love Monster drink but how much can you say about it? Two pages? Five? Definitely not enough for a money making niche site.
My rule of thumb is not to even consider a niche if I can’t easily find 30 pages to write about. Are there money making sites with only 10 pages? I am sure there are, but you need to pick one you can grow. Because if you can’t grow it, you can’t grow the income!
- you can write a lot about the topic without researching it
- if you need to research it, you won’t feel like it is a chore
- it is easy to run a site about the topic you like for years
- can be limited if the niche is really small
- some things you are passionate about may never make money
This is one issue I need to address in regards to both choices. If a niche has any potential, there is always going to be competition.
You can even invent a niche, as soon as someone realizes you are making money from it, they will try to do the same. Don’t let the competition stop you.
If you pick a money making niche, it will be competitive, but that just means there is more money to make in it. All you need to do is to make sure your content is great and keep writing more and more. The more content you add, especially if you are answering questions others are not, the easier your site will win those rankings.
Of course, don’t forget to optimize your pages for search engines.
Just make sure you are not after keywords that are too hard (pretty much impossible to win), like “fitness”, “pregnancy” or “travel”. Pick some more specific keywords and go the long tail marketing route.
How to connect these two together
There are evergreen topics on the internet (explained in more details in Steve’s book) where you can carve a niche for yourself. Evergreen topics make money, you just have to pick the topic and work hard :)
So instead of picking “health” which isn’t a niche anyway, you could do something like “health for women after 40”. Instead of “cooking”, you will pick “best crepes recipes from France”.
Here are some general rules I follow when I am deciding on a new site:
- pick something I like in one of the evergreen themes
- carve a smaller part of that topic
- something easy to research, if needed
- do keyword research to make a list of at least 30 good keywords, preferably much more
- see how serious the competition is (not just the amount of it, but the quality)
These general rules are all I need to decide. Of course, doing a deeper research, with more details narrows down how good the niche would be at the end.
When it comes to monetization, if the niche is in one of the evergreen topics, there are always going to be ways to monetize it. I usually research what my potential competition is doing so I can do the same ;)
Choosing a niche is a big problem for some people but I never let the competition stop me. I may drop an idea if I don’t see a lot of potential for making money, but I know the more competition there is, the more money there is to be made. Decide what topic can you write about to the infinity and back, see if there is any income potential in it and hit it.
Are there any questions about niche sites you need answered?