Passive Income - Niche Market Selection - Part One - Stevie Tee

Passive Income Case Study – Selecting a Niche Market – Part One

In my previous post I unveiled a new plan to go through the setting up of a brand new site, something I need to do at this stage of my affiliate marketing adventure if I am to push through this plateau at which I now find myself. I have thought long and hard about how I am going to do this, and I know that Mansoor is doing something similar over on his blog, but has clearly stated that he will not be revealing the URL or even the niche in which he is operating, since that would jeopardise the whole project and could cost him a lot of money.

I think this is a reasonable argument, however I take a different standpoint, the site I will be creating will be built from scratch by me, and any money I throw at it will be from services I already subscribe to anyway, so there is little at stake from that perspective. At the end of the day I aim to provide as much value as possible, so not only will I reveal the niche I will show you the URL as well.

But first things, first – how do I select a niche market? The very first stage is brainstorming, something I do when I want to find a niche is open a new text file and sit and think about topics, topics that demand solutions, topics that people get passionate about, topics based around products, or topics that are newsworthy.

Topics that demand solutions. The internet is full of people looking to solutions to their problems, large or small, personal or professional, people search for anything from cure halitosis to how to build a wall, If you can come up with ideas for websites which solve a problem then you are onto a winner, for example:

  • Cure Halitosis
  • Bad Back Remedy
  • Save your marriage
  • How to build a wall
  • Catch Bigger Fish

Now these are just a selection I have thrown together off the top of my head, that’s what brainstorming is about, taking a pen and paper and just writing down ideas as they come to you. Short of Ideas? Try looking inwards, do you suffer from eczema, does someone you know have athletes foot, is your mother concerned about home security. If you have a fit and well adjusted circle of family and friends then take a look at sites like myfavouritemagazines.com. There are hundreds, if not thousands of niches covered every month in the magazines available here and at your local newsagent.

Passion Topics.
Topics that people are passionate about are easier to find, if you don’t have a hobby of your own (which in the long run would be much easier for you to write about) just type the word hobbies or hobby into google to start your search here. I did just that and found the site Discover a Hobby, which is veritable goldmine of subjects that people get obsessive about. And if you have a broad base of hobbyists interested in your topic then you will quickly be able to generate content that pays; whether that be through adsense or affiliate products; or even through selling an eBook.

Example Passion Topics are:

  • Candle Making
  • Coin Collecting
  • Lucid Dreaming
  • Pilates
  • Sculpting

Some intersting topics there, and I know what you are thinking – ‘How can I create a site about those topics, I know nothing about them?‘ Well don’t worry too much about that just yet. The point of this exercise is still to brainstorm,you are just gathering ideas and writing down things that catch your eye. At this stage we don’t know whether anything we have written is viable for making money, we haven’t plugged any of these into popular keyword research tools, but we are building a valuable list that we can use in the keyword research phase of this process later on.

Topics about Products
This is the most popular of niche markets largely because it is straightforward and if you choose a product of sufficiently high value, with low enough competition, and its actually searched for then you are certain to make money of out it (provided you follow through with decent content and high search engine rankings). In my time as an affiliate marketter I have read loads of guides that tell you to start with Amazon. Amazon are one of the most popular online stores on the internet and they know how to push products that sell.

The basic idea is you visit Amazon, make sure you are signed out of your Amazon account, and you will be presented with a selections of Amazon’s bestselling products, unsullied by your previous browsing history. Then you can drill into the different categories and look at the bestsellers lists to come up with some product ideas. This is the first port of call for many marketers who make a good living out of Amazon, however when I try it I rarely find a product that inspires me enough to build an entire site out it – and if I do I usually find someone else has already done it – better than I ever could.

Alternatively you can look to eBay for a source of product ideas: Ebay Pulse, shows you what is popular right now, what people are searching for and which products are the most watched, and correspondingly the most popular.

Other good products sites include firebox.com, redletterdays (yes experiences count as products too).

Example Products:

  • The Remote Control Magic Wand
  • Portable Scanner
  • Driving Experience Days
  • White Water Rafting
  • Orient Express Trips
  • Flat Suede Boots
  • Dress Shirts

Basically, dont limit yourself just to Amazon, go to your favourite store and find out whats already selling. If somethings popular it can make you money.

Topics which are Newsworthy
Now this is a bit of wildcard option. When I talk about topics which are newsworthy I’m talking about things like the Olympics 2012 or a Royal Wedding. Usually we will have a lot of notice of the an upcoming newsworthy event like that and if you are quick you might be able to register a plum domain name on the back of it – just beware that you are likely to be competing with established domainers who make a living out of buying domains like this – but you never know you might get lucky. Typically these kind of sites would make their money through paid advertisements or Google Adsense – and if I’m honest I’ve never been opportunistic enough to build a site like this, but its definitely something to consider.

Ok this post is somehow over 1000 words long now, and I still have a lot to say on the subject of Niche selection. So lets call this end of part 1 and we’ll pick up in the next post where I will show you how I use a tool called Market Samurai to choose my niche.

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One Response to “Passive Income Case Study – Selecting a Niche Market – Part One”

  1. [...] in the Passive Income Case Study – Selecting a Niche Market – Part 1, I described a broad outline for brainstorming ideas for a new niche site. Now we move onto the [...]


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