Market Research: Part I – Finding A Niche

March 18th, 2006 by Mook

Market research should be the first step for any webmaster, seasoned or just starting out, when seeking a niche based website to develop. I remember speaking to a fellow webmaster who said something to the tune of “how do I find a new niche, when they are all taken up?”. How can all niches be taken up? If you’re one of those people who think that this question is true, here’s a short excersize for you. Get up, go outside, and just take a look around. The way my mind works (sometimes a bad thing) is I look around at everything, and think to myself, “how can this make me money”. Seriously, look outside or around you and just think about all of the small markets and industries that exist to produce everything around us. For example, if you see trees and plants around outside, there are so many markets for gardening, planting, keeping your lawn green all year-round (although here in NYC lawns are only found in parks), etc. Yes, it’s true, if you made a small content site about lawn care or planting, you certainly won’t make thousands of dollars a month with AdSense or YPN (don’t even think about using a CPM advertiser for that type of site!), but you may make a few hundred at best, because if you think about it, the market for that type of niche isn’t very saturated at all, especially by people that know how to make content sites like yourself.

When most webmasters think of making a content rich site, they think about something they like, such as video games, or Stark Trek, or dogs and cats, who knows, but the bottom line is that the majority of them are left with content rich sites with small amounts of traffic, and even smaller amounts of income coming in from Google or Yahoo. So my advice to those people looking to broaden their income streams and branch out with some new sites, take a look around and pick a few of the millions of niches that exist in your every day life, that you overlook because it doesn’t make cajillions of dollars. Niches are everywhere, it’s just a question of how you open up your eyes and consider the possibilities that exist when you look for one.

As long as you accept that you won’t make $50k a month with your site, but that you’re okay with making say $300 a month per site, what’s stopping you from making 20 more sites just like that one, for all of these sub-niches around, thus increasing your monthly revenue to something like $6k a month. See, volume is the key to real revenue and profit success on the internet.

Not all of us can think of that one golden site idea that will net us millions of dollars each year. Instead, if we want to strike it rich, or at least be a full time webmaster, it’s the volume of smaller, less popular industries and niches that can still help us achieve that big check in the sky that so many people hope for.  So with that said, finding niches is not as tough as you thought it was. Just do your research, and when you come up with a list of say 10 niches from your look outside, start looking them up on the search engines, and ask yourself “can I make at least $XXX each month with this site?”, hell you can set your income goal to $30 a month if you really like, and from there, what’s stopping you from taking that $30, and re-investing it into 5 more domains? This is the “secret” I think to truly making money on the internet, without breaking the bank and allowing yourself to have a long term nest egg of internet income on your side, so that you are free to explore other ventures or hobbies, without the fear or worries of how your site will make money online.

9 Responses to “Market Research: Part I – Finding A Niche”

  1. Mike  Says:

    Great article Jon. I’ve never really thought about thinking of a niche like that, thanks for the tips!

  2. Michael Gersitz  Says:

    Good Post. Can’t wait till part 2.

  3. Masetek  Says:

    Nice post Jon. Look forward to reading the next one :)

  4. rento  Says:

    Great post Jon. I’ve read it somewhere, about Money Googles ;)

    Can’t wait for part 5 ;)

  5. Alan  Says:

    The problem with this “start small” strategy to most wannabe website publishers is that it doesn’t meet the criteria of ‘get rich quick’ when really creating multiple streams of smaller income and investing the money generated through these is the only surefire way to make money online for 99% of web publishers.

    Keep the great info coming Jon.

  6. Chromate  Says:

    I think this is a good point that gets overlooked so much by people starting out and even those with more experience. They get blinded by people posting about their mega-sites making so many thousand dollars a month. Naturally, it’s tempting to just try and emulate their success.

    I think they often fail to see the attraction of making small sites that generate considerably less revenue, but dominate their micro-niche whilst facing very little threat from any competition.

    I’ve also found whilst experimenting with different niches that some sites will surprise me by growing more rapidly than expected, whilst others will surprise me by how difficult they are to get moving. Plant many seeds and a few of them may grow into trees. ;)

  7. Peach  Says:

    Great post Jon, hopefully Part 2 of this story will arrive sooner than part 2 of a certain article that discusses cloaking ;)

  8. Ken Barbalace  Says:

    I loved the post Jon. People really do overlook the idea of niche. New niches can always be created for a website, this is afterall the definition of niche. Like your earlier post about taking it slow with adding advertising to a new site, you are correct here that building a site takes time and one should be disappointed because a site doesn’t start earning thousands of dollars a month right from the start.

  9. malc  Says:

    How do you know if the niche is right for you?

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