Choosing a Niche – How I Choose the Niches for my Websites

In: Build a Website

2 Jan 2012
Choosing a Niche

Since I’ve started off this blog by telling you about two niche sites I’ve just created, I want to share my method of finding niches to use. It isn’t the exact same way others do it, but it works for me.

I like to start off by thinking about my interests. I always like to choose subjects that I’m interested in. Since you’re going to spend a great deal of time on a website, to me it makes sense to have at least some interest in the subject, even if you don’t know much about it.

It’s even better if you know a lot about the subject, since you’ll be able to create a lot of content, and won’t have to spend time researching to write your posts. If you don’t have a lot of knowledge about a specific subject but are very interested in it, this can also work since you won’t mind putting the time in to research the subject for your posts.

If you still can’t think of something that sounds interesting, go to a bookstore and start looking at magazines. Only subjects with a lot of people interested in it would have a magazine, so it’s a great place to get ideas from. Also thinking about interests that your friends or someone in your family have can help as well.

By this point, you should hopefully have at least a few ideas about what subjects you could use for your new website. Since you want to make money from it, your first question is probably, will this subject make me any money?

This is where you spend some time thinking about your subject, and if those people spend money on it. For example, take fishing. If someone is really interested in fishing, they probably spend money on fishing rods, clothing to wear while fishing, bait, maybe even a boat. They might even have a subscription to a fishing magazine!

If you’re not sure if people spend money on your subject, go to the free Google AdWords Keyword Tool and type the name of the subject you’re thinking about using. Here you’ll be able to learn two things. First of all, are there a lot of searches on this subject? And secondly, what types of words are people searching for? In other words, would these people be looking to spend money?

Going back to my fishing example, when I type in fishing into the Keyword Tool, I see that there are over 20 million searches a month for the word “fishing”. So there is definitely interest. Then if I look farther down on the page, I see that there are a lot of searches each month for fishing tips, fishing books, lures, tackle, reels, gear, equipment and more. So I would say that yes, there is a lot of money spent on this subject.

If you do this with each of your subjects, you should hopefully see at least one that is a good fit.

Now that you have a topic, don’t think that you’re done and are ready to start your website. There is a good chance that the topic you chose is too broad. For example, fishing itself gets 20 million searches a month. If you create a website on “fishing”, and don’t get any more specific, there is a good chance your website will get lost. You’re hoping to be on the first page of the search engines, so you want to go for a smaller target. So your next job is to come up with a smaller niche that still works with what you plan to do with your website.

Once you’ve narrowed that down and have a few ideas, you want to make sure there isn’t too much competition. If you go to Google and type your new smaller niche idea in with quotes around it, you’ll see how many exact matches there are. The less exact matches there are, the better. I try to find something with less than 85,000 or so exact matches.

With over 1.5 million exact matches, there is too much competition for this keyword.

With only 81,000 results, this is a much better keyword.

In the example above, you can see that fishing poles might sound like a great keyword, but with over 1.5 million exact matches, you’ll have a hard time getting on the front page of Google.  But with bamboo fishing poles, you only have 81,000 exact matches, so you have a much better chance getting on the front page of the search engines.  This means you should get more free traffic, and have the chance to make more money.

As you’ll see, it may not always be simple to find a niche, but if you do all this research first, you should hopefully get a lot of free traffic from the search engines.

This is the process that I go through each time I’m looking to start a website, even before I decide what I’m going to do with the website.

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