Look around at your life to see what you are passionate about and how you spend your time. What do you currently do for a living? Do you enjoy it? What about your hobbies? Is your hall closet overflowing with hockey equipment? Does your garage store a rebuilt Mustang GT from the last century? Is one of the rooms in your home designated “the sewing” room. If yes, when was the last time you sewed something, or played hockey, or took the GT out for a spin? If it was last week, then maybe that is your bliss and a good place to start researching your online niche topic. If it was 5 years ago, maybe it is time to sell the Stang, sewing machine, or hockey stick (on eBay perhaps) and reclaim the space.
If nothing in particular stands out, develop a list of topics that intrigue you. Notice your surrounds at home, at work, on your commute, and at the mall. Does anything stand out that you did not notice before? If yes, add it to your list then keep on looking. Cross items off the list that you feel no passion for then trim the list further to the five items that excite you the most.
For those of you that already have an off-line business, online marketing can enhance this business and provide you with an additional stream of income from a vertical market.
Is your topic (or topics) saturated online or are you and a handful of your friends the only ones on earth to have experienced your niche? Not sure? Go to the top of this page and use the web search tool to investigate. Enter your topic into the box. Then click the "Search" button and web sites pertinent to your search keyword will display.
Look below the ads and find the overall number of web sites listed i.e. “Results 1 – 10 of ???,??? for ???.” What is the total number for your keyword or keyword pair? 100,000? 500,000? 222,000.000? A small number, 5,000 for example, tells you there is little competition and either a small market or an untapped market. A large number, 567,000,000 for example, indicates a large market and considerable competition.
Review these sites to understand your competition. Does every web site listed on the first two pages look professionally designed or were they built by amateurs? Is the content useful and well organized or do you become frustrated within the first five seconds? These are clues to whether or not there is room in your chosen niche for you.
So you found out there are two hundred billion web sites that sell “watches” and you are wondering “what now?” Try narrowing your scope. How many web sites sell “Casio watches” or even narrower, “Casio watches for women.” Get the idea? Narrow the scope on your topic and note the results.
Or, maybe there are only five web sites dealing with a game you played in the West Indies as a child. You loved the game but no one in the US has heard of it. This can be an opportunity to develop a niche and corner the market or perhaps a sign to look elsewhere for a niche with more potential.
Be purposeful in the selection of your topic. Choose a niche market that you are passionate about and are committed to serving and serving well. Your audience will be more responsive and will be more likely to reward you for your efforts. Passion is contagious.