How my online niche market found me.
Behind the smoke and mirrors that most Internet marketing “gurus” like to hide behind are a few essential grains of truth. The essential grain of truth that stands above all others is simply to match your passion to a niche. Then work it for all its worth. If you are asking how to find a good niche market, the answer lies within you and what your passion is.
The best way to demonstrate what I mean is to recount my own experiences with online niche marketing and how my passion allowed my niche market to find me.
Internet Marketing Snakes & Ladders
I started to believe I could make money online many years ago. This was after a long writing hiatus when I started to write articles and short stories. This led me to the small press network and inevitably online to places like Ralans. I got some stories published and won an award for best SF story at Tom Howard’s short story contest and was doing OK thanks.
But the thought of making real money on line was a constant lure.
I read everything I could get my hands on about pay per click. Affiliate marketing, email marketing and websites. My head was full of so much conflicting information, I didn’t know where to look, who to believe or what to do, but man it was exciting…..but terribly unproductive.
I went down some terrible byways and lost sight of what I was there in the first place for.
But one consistent piece of the puzzle stuck with me – targeted niche marketing could be very lucrative. Back in those days the emphasis was on Google Adsense and possibly some affiliate products. Programs like MPAM and Site Build It encouraged the monetisation of sites based upon good keyword research.
There were (and still are) heaps of info products that will teach you how to find a good niche market. While most of them have some good advice, very few of them offer a gilt edged way to follow through.
I know because I tried heaps of them. Several years ago I stopped trying and decided to be myself.
The amazing thing about the Internet
Is that it is so bloody big. There are communities and forums dedicated to every conceivable human pursuit- from scuba diving to chess, to conservation to exploration. And yet online marketers seem to focus on the same old same old “money niches.” You know the ones I mean. Make Money Online, Weight loss, Dating, Fitness, Health…the usual highly competitive done to death niches . I guarantee that your chances of succeeding in those areas are next to zero.
There is two reasons for this. As I said these niches are highly competitive and have been attacked from every angle, making it very hard to get any traction. More importantly because these niches are highly lucrative they attract professional marketers. People who love marketing. Do you love marketing? DO you know it inside out and back to front? Are you prepared to invest thousands of hours learning and perfecting your craft just so you can get a shot at competing?
If you answered yes to all of those questions, by all means go right ahead and chase those affiliate dollars. On the other hand…most of us don’t actually like marketing. Sure we can throw up a few ads and write a few articles, maybe even do a video or two. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, we really can;t be bothered with all that testing, tracking, tweaking and analysis that marketing actually demands.
There’s no shame in that. None at all. In fact, I wish I’d spent my time not learning that stuff and concentrating on what I actually loved doing. It took me the best part of ten years to figure that out, but I go there in the end.
There’s no secret on how to find a good niche market
The answer is really simple. Instead of wasting months or even years learning how to target a niche, start the other way around. Discover what you’re really passionate about and then work out a way to monetize it.
When I was literally at my wits end, I threw caution to the wind and decided that my only way out was to enjoy myself. The results have been phenomenal. Most of my work now comes through from referrals. I aren’t advertising, I do very little SEO work on my own site.
I just work at what I love doing – which is writing.
Of course I had to build my profile, which I did via some freelance sites like Udemy and Airtasker, but once my profile was built the work just keeps rolling in. It isn’t all that sexy, I can’t show you some fancy screen shots and I certainly won;t be buying a Ferrari any time soon, but I am working full time from home.
The great irony about this is that I didn’t really know how to find a good niche market until it found me.
Here’s what I did
- Found my passion and decided that I would live or die by my results in that area.
- Worked out the best way to monetize the activity
- Built my profile at several freelance sites (your passion may not allow freelancing but there are plenty of forums were you can build a profile.)
- Priced initially to sell.
- Delivered on time every time
- Asked for referrals
- Increased prices as demand increased.
Obviously, you can’t follow my exact path, but the principle of finding what you like doing and then monetising it is absolutely crucial.
You can work out what you need as you go. Hosting, email marketing, social media platforms and the like can all be used in line with your core business idea.
The whole point of working online is to attain a level of freedom that working for a boss doesn’t allow. Getting stuck working tedious tasks is not what freedom looks like. Find what you want to do and go for it. There’s a market for it. Whatever it is.