Step 5: Select your Niche

So far you have followed the first four steps of: signing up of web hosting, installing WordPress, adding plug ins, and practicing with your own personal web site.
Now it is time to come up with your first niche idea and start your own virtual business.

Narrowing down to an actual niche to pursue can be an intimidating task for most, it took me quite some time to select one myself.
But we’re lucky, we started a practice site to help us learn web site building.
Guess what – we had to select a niche for that as well!


Follow your passion

Now there are two different approaches to selecting a niche; passion based or market research based.  To clarify, a passion based niche is one where – though there is a market for it – you focus your branding on the fact that you consistently produce valuable content about a topic that you are very interested in.
The market researched based method uses keyword, page rank, and Google research to uncover an under-served market niche and to capitalize on it.  You don’t need to have any interest in the topic at all.  This method is a better model for a passive niche site area of your business.  This I will explore once I have an active, passion-based business well on the way of being built.

For your first virtual business I suggest that you build a website around a passion of yours, though you should check that there is actually a market there.


Be a member of your target audience

You will be at a great advantage if you are a member of the market that you are targeting.
This means that you will have an insider’s knowledge of the passions, problems, and questions that your followers have.
Also, you will know if the members of your audience are willing or able to pay for a product from you or if they are just ‘tire kicking’ looking for free information.

Are the members of the market definitely looking for a solution?
You may have an amazing product that you think they should need, but if they don’t know that they need it, then your chance of success here is quite small.

Choose your market, build your audience with high-quality content, and then get them to tell you what products they need.


Rule of 7

I heard this trick from Pat Flynn, but I seem to beleive that he had heard it somewhere else as well.  I like it becauase it helps you to brainstorm niche ideas that affect you.
This technique involves you writing down a list of 7 passions, 7 problems, and 7 fears.
Once you’ve done this, narrow down to the top 10 topics and continue on with some keyword research.  This is a great way to quickly get some ideas.


Keyword and Market Research

Once you’ve narrowed you topics down to to few, you need to research their popularity, your competition, and the size of your market.  Don’t over do this part of the research and slow yourself down though, otherwise you’ll be suffering from analysis paralysis.  Don’t let this condition slow you down and kill your momentum.

The biggest piece of information that you need will be the Google search volume.
Conveniently, Google does have a tool available to you to help you determine this, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.

Using this tool you can determine how many times per month your keywords were searched for in Google.  You can break this down per country or look at it globally.
It will also show you related search terms and their monthly search volume as well.

Spending a little bit of time experimenting in the keyword tool is a good investment.
Being familiar and competent with this tool will be very helpful if you start to experiment with the market research niche website segment of virtual business.


Competition is good

If other people are successfully making money by serving a particular market, then there’s nothing stopping you from being successful yourself.
You will have to find a way to differentiate yourself from your new competition,

The combination of Google search volume and profitability of the competition will help you to decide that this market is a good and profitable one.


My sources of motivation and inspiration

Many of the niche selection ideas that I have given to you here had their origins with some of the great internet business gurus out there.  I have combined all of these ideas in my head, spin them, flipped them, and then brought them to your attention in my own voice.
Some of the best niche selection ideas have come to me from:

  • Internet Business Mastery Podcast – Episodes 75 & 76 are dedicated to selecting a Niche.
  • Internet Business Mastery Academy – Their “Instant Business Generator” document is fantastic.
  • Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income – Pat is an invaluable source of information on anything relating to virtual business.
  • Rob Murgatroyd at Jet Set Life – His “Niche Finding Bible” is also helpful.
  • Foolish Adventure Podcast


Take Action!

Once you have selected your niche you will move on to Step 6 to select your brand name & claim your web domain and then return to Step 2 to install WordPress and Step 3 to install plugins to instantly make your site functional.


My turn

Now that I have summarized some of the quality information that I have learned about niche selection, I am going to follow my own advice and select my own passion based niche site.


Go on to Step 6

Go back to Step 4: Work on a Practice Site