If you are just getting started in online marketing and want to get a feel for what kind of niches are out there, it pays to spend some time researching. There is nothing worse than deciding on a niche and spending weeks (or even months) developing a product only to find that there is really no money in it.
Although I strongly recommend identifying an audience before a product, it certainly doesn’t hurt to get the creative juices going with a little “gold mining” in my 3 favorite sites.
The first site I like to use to find the hottest trends is called Clickbank.
This is one of the top sites online for affiliate marketing and serves as a base for thousands of unique information products covering a wide range of topics. It really is a massive site with a huge database of products that can seem a little overwhelming at first especially if you’ve never visited before.
The first step is to choose a category.
For this example, I’m going to go into Health and Fitness (part of my “Big 3″) target markets.
From here I will drill down another level into Strength Training.
The first product I see is called The Jump Manual. Let’s talk a little bit about the main stat that I look at when reviewing products in the Clickbank marketplace.
If you look near the bottom, you will see a section reading “Grav: 101.10″. This is called the product gravity.
What this indicates is the number of unique affiliates who have sold at least one copy of this product in the last week. In this particular case, 101 affiliates have sold at least one copy of the Jump Manual this week. Any one of those affiliates may have sold more than one (many will have potentially sold dozens) but the gravity indicates the average.
Remember, we’re not looking for products to promote with this exercise but rather profitable niches.
I’m usually just trying to get a feel for what’s popular and keeping notes on my computer as I go along. I will continue this process on Clickbank until I identify 2-3 potentially strong niches before moving onto my next favorite research site – Amazon.com – Books.
I think it’s safe to assume that you know this is the world’s largest online book retailer. There is so much content in here (almost 35 million books as of this writing) that it makes my head spin.
One little trick that I like to use is to type an asterisk into the search bar on Amazon and click Go.
This will return every single book in their database. Then you can simply drill down into whatever category you want from there.
Another one of my favorite markets is Self Help. I then drill a little further down into Happiness and then sort the results by popularity.
Again, the main idea here is that you’re trying to get a feel for what is currently popular in the marketplace. A site like Amazon sells to millions of people around the world everyday. The ability to uncover this kind of data simply by spending an hour or so in front of your computer is something not to be underestimated.
The third place that I usually like to spend time researching online when looking for niche ideas is the Dummies.com store.
These guys know what they are doing and you can be certain that if there is a Dummies book on a topic, it is a profitable one. They won’t go to all the trouble of getting a book published on a subject if they aren’t certain it will sell.
Similar to what we did with Clickbank and Amazon, the first thing you want to do is pick a category from the left-hand side of the page.
Here I will go into Health and click on the first book on the list, Acne For Dummies.
Then I will select the tab that will show me the Table of Contents for the book.
This is an absolute goldmine of information because you can pull ideas from here for all sorts of topics and sub-niches. When you decide to make the foray into making your own products and selling them online, this is a great place to get ideas for small reports that you can sell for $7-$10 each as a gateway to larger and more expensive products.
As I’ve stated before, you generally don’t want to pick a product before identifying an audience.
This exercise is simply one to get your creative juices flowing and to help discover some niches (and audiences) that you may not have thought of before.
Just remember, don’t spend ALL your time researching. I spent many, many months in a state of analysis paralysis in this business and one thing is for certain. You won’t make a lot of money researching on the internet.
It’s shipping products and starting projects that will set you off on the right path.
To use a quick cliche, every journey starts with a single step and finding some profitable markets with the techniques I’ve outlined above is a heck of good start.
This list represents only three simple ways to discover niches on the internet. What methods do you use?
Let me know in the comments.
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