You're doing it wrong... stop choosing niches.

28 replies
Choose a MARKET, not a niche.


I see so many people trying to "choose a niche" and I think it's been ingrained in us to try and niche down to a level that there is little competition so that we can succeed easier.


I submit that instead of choosing a niche, you choose a MARKET.

Then, you can choose as many niches WITHIN that market as you'd like and constantly cross sell your products, build a list, and build a name for yourself within that market.


i.e. Photography is a market, studio lighting is a niche within that market, natural lighting is another. Also, wedding photography is a (large) niche within that market as well, as is Portraits, Animal photos, boudoir, maternity, etc. etc. etc..

If I chose Photography as my market. I could write a guide on wedding photography, sell it.... then, write a new product on portrait photography and sell that to my past list of customers, offer it on my thank you page of my wedding guide, etc. etc. etc. All the while building myself into a larger authority within my MARKET.

Once you choose your market, find a niche within that market. Hell, maybe you find a niche (like wedding photography) that you can niche down even further.

Create your product or sell some affiliate products... Then, find another niche within your market and cross sell your customers on your new product.

Stop skipping around from niche to niche trying to make yourself successful.

Someone that chooses Koi Pond Building has no opportunity to cross sell their next product if it's How To Improve Your Golf Swing. So they have to start all over again.

The object is to BUILD ON YOUR ASSETS, NOT start as many micro-businesses (that you have to build from the ground up every time) as you can.


Make sense?


Choose a MARKET, not a niche.
#choosing #niches #stop #wrong
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  • Profile picture of the author excoder01
    Great post.

    Something similar be said of the "weight loss" market as well. Many people see it a niche within the Health market, but I see it as a market, where you need to target an audience.

    The niches for weight loss are your demographics/target audience to promote to.

    That is, do you want to target new moms who want to lose weight? Do you want to target those with health problems to lose weight? Do you want to target actor/actresses who need to lose weight for upcoming movie gigs?

    Once you select a target audience, you can then cross-sell related products.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveSki
    Works for me... I sell my own $197.00 Pet Photography Business Report... My own $497.00 Glamor Photography report.... My own line of 'Digital Fantasy Backgrounds', plus cross sell related photography affiliate products. My EZine article was at the top of google for the Key Words "Digital Backgrounds" but its now doing the google dance and is not the number 1 result like it was 3 days ago. I still find it much easier and 20 times more profitable to sell offline than online.
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    • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
      Originally Posted by SteveSki View Post

      Works for me... I sell my own $197.00 Pet Photography Business Report... My own $497.00 Glamor Photography report.... My own line of 'Digital Fantasy Backgrounds', plus cross sell related photography affiliate products. Currently my EZine article is at the top of google for the Key Words "Digital Backgrounds". But I still find it much easier and 20 times more profitable to sell offline than online.

      Haha.. awesome. Sorry, didn't mean to give away you're market!
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      • Profile picture of the author jdenc
        As usual if we look to porn for internet marketing advice we see they were here a long time ago. Back in the day I did a lot of research into online porn and how to make it work. I was that close to getting in. Had my capital saved up and everything. I had to move away from it when my wife got very ill and the money I had went to far more important things. By the time I got back on my feet the market had moved past relatively easy, inexpensive entry and I never went back to it. But what was being taught at the time was exactly this strategy. Pick an overall market to establish your rep in and use the niches within that market to drive overall traffic growth, sales of memberships and to spin off specialty sites for especially nichy content you could charge more for per month.

        Same basic strategy, slightly different products.
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    • Profile picture of the author nofearman
      Originally Posted by SteveSki View Post

      Works for me... I sell my own $197.00 Pet Photography Business Report... My own $497.00 Glamor Photography report.... My own line of 'Digital Fantasy Backgrounds', plus cross sell related photography affiliate products. Currently my EZine article is at the top of google for the Key Words "Digital Backgrounds". But I still find it much easier and 20 times more profitable to sell offline than online.
      Rwe: " I still find it much easier and 20 times more profitable to sell offline than online" -> Then I'd say your definitely doing something wrong.
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      • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
        Originally Posted by nofearman View Post

        Rwe: " I still find it much easier and 20 times more profitable to sell offline than online" -> Then I'd say your definitely doing something wrong.

        I tend to agree (although there are exceptions). Offline consumers are conditioned to pay more, generally speaking. Especially when it comes to the photography niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author jtmx29
    Your article describes basically how I go about choosing an area of expertise. I first look at what I know and am interested in. Then I will choose a market, and finally I will lock down a niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
    Originally Posted by mr2monster View Post

    Someone that chooses Koi Pond Building has no opportunity to cross sell their next product if it's How To Improve Your Golf Swing. So they have to start all over again.
    Actually, I have both Koi Pond and Golf niche sites that do quite well, thank you very much.

    Originally Posted by mr2monster View Post

    The object is to BUILD ON YOUR ASSETS, NOT start as many micro-businesses (that you have to build from the ground up every time) as you can.
    What's obvious is that you don't understand how the niche affiliate marketing model works. If you do this model right you aren't starting a lot of "micro businesses" nor are you building from the ground up every time.
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    • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
      Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

      Actually, I have both Koi Pond and Golf niche sites that do quite well, thank you very much.



      What's obvious is that you don't understand how the niche affiliate marketing model works. If you do this model right you aren't starting a lot of "micro businesses" nor are you building from the ground up every time.

      Would you care to explain how you go about building a new niche business without starting from scratch if you've never been involved in that niche ever before?
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      • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
        Originally Posted by mr2monster View Post

        Would you care to explain how you go about building a new niche business without starting from scratch if you've never been involved in that niche ever before?
        Do you think a billboard company or a advertising flyer company starts from scratch ever time they start advertising a new product?

        Do they go out and build a whole new infrastructure for a new product or do they leverage their existing resources?

        Do you think people who drive by a billboard or pick up the flyer are concerned about whether or not the advertising producer knows anything about the product(s) that's being promoting?

        But, technically, you could say that I do have a niche that applies to about 90% of my sites. That niche is providing an effective advertising medium for other companies, much like a billboard company, a postcard stack mailer company or a free ad book/flyer publisher does. My customers are advertisers, not so much the visitors to my sites.
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        • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
          Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

          Do you think a billboard company or a advertising flyer company starts from scratch ever time they start advertising a new product?
          A billboard company/flyer company has a market, it's called Advertising.

          They're a service provider. Most of them have a niche too... their niche being billboard advertising or flyer advertising. Most Ad companies starting out even specialize in one niche of advertising (unless they have really deep pockets).

          Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

          Do they go out and build a whole new infrastructure for a new product or do they leverage their existing resources?
          Well, yes and no.. because their niche isn't the client's product... it's the type of advertising they're doing. So, if they specialize in billboard ads... they have a system. Once they've generated a good name for themselves, they might move into a new NICHE (within the advertising market) of say, Television Ads or Direct Mail (flyers, post cards, etc). At which point, yeah... they have to develop a new infrastructure.

          They still start with a market... specialize in a niche... then grow that niche until it runs right.. then move to a new niche within their market.


          Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

          Do you think people who drive by a billboard or pick up the flyer are concerned about whether or not the advertising producer knows anything about the product(s) that's being promoting?
          Probably not. Most people disregard the advertising company as even being present, thinking instead that the advertiser is directly related to the specific ad piece.

          Keep in mind that people looking at the billboard ARE NOT the advertising companies target market.... advertisers are.



          Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

          But, technically, you could say that I do have a niche that applies to about 90% of my sites. That niche is providing an effective advertising medium for other companies, much like a billboard company, a postcard stack mailer company or a free ad book/flyer publisher does. My customers are advertisers, not so much the visitors to my sites.
          And there you go. Your MARKET is advertising... your niche, is online advertising (as opposed to other niches in advertising like post card advertising and flyer, billboard, TV, etc)... your asset is impressions (or clicks or whatever). You build those assets by increasing your network (i.e. building new sites.)

          You've chosen a market (advertising) then niched down within that market (online advertising)... And I'm sure some day you'll expand within your market and offer other types of advertising (if you haven't already).



          Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

          That's actually a good way to get your Adsense account closed. Clicks coming from the same computers over and over again, especially in smallish numbers, looks like click fraud to Google.

          Back a few years ago there were groups, most notably some stay at home Moms, who passed around each others sites with the idea of sharing clicks and making money. Google shut this down and they watch for this kind of pattern.

          Like I said above, I have no experience in Adsense, it was just an idea off the top of my head.
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    • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
      Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

      Actually, I have both Koi Pond and Golf niche sites that do quite well, thank you very much.

      Also, there's a reason that I mentioned both Koi Ponds and Golf niches.... I know they're profitable.


      I'm betting you don't promote your Koi Pond product to your Golf Niche customers, though...

      And I'm also betting that your koi pond customers don't think you can build a better pond because you also have a product in the golf niche... nor do your golf clients think that you can swing a club any better because you know how to keep your koi fish alive..



      I never once said you can't be in several MARKETS... I just said to choose your market first, then find the niche within that market.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    That's good advice, especially for newbies. It's actually how I started out. I'm into several markets now, but I focused on one market at first and built somewhat of an authority site and learned about marketing that way. That makes it much easier when you want to diversify. At least, it worked that way for me back in the late 1990's and early 2000's.
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  • Profile picture of the author rapsolo
    Originally Posted by mr2monster View Post

    Choose a MARKET, not a niche.


    I see so many people trying to "choose a niche" and I think it's been ingrained in us to try and niche down to a level that there is little competition so that we can succeed easier.


    I submit that instead of choosing a niche, you choose a MARKET.

    Then, you can choose as many niches WITHIN that market as you'd like and constantly cross sell your products, build a list, and build a name for yourself within that market.


    i.e. Photography is a market, studio lighting is a niche within that market, natural lighting is another. Also, wedding photography is a (large) niche within that market as well, as is Portraits, Animal photos, boudoir, maternity, etc. etc. etc..

    If I chose Photography as my market. I could write a guide on wedding photography, sell it.... then, write a new product on portrait photography and sell that to my past list of customers, offer it on my thank you page of my wedding guide, etc. etc. etc. All the while building myself into a larger authority within my MARKET.

    Once you choose your market, find a niche within that market. Hell, maybe you find a niche (like wedding photography) that you can niche down even further.

    Create your product or sell some affiliate products... Then, find another niche within your market and cross sell your customers on your new product.

    Stop skipping around from niche to niche trying to make yourself successful.

    Someone that chooses Koi Pond Building has no opportunity to cross sell their next product if it's How To Improve Your Golf Swing. So they have to start all over again.

    The object is to BUILD ON YOUR ASSETS, NOT start as many micro-businesses (that you have to build from the ground up every time) as you can.


    Make sense?


    Choose a MARKET, not a niche.

    I completely agree with this. But don't you think that if you're building sites for the purpose of adsense, it might not make any difference if you choose a market since one is not interested in building a list?
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    • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
      Originally Posted by rapsolo View Post

      I completely agree with this. But don't you think that if you're building sites for the purpose of adsense, it might not make any difference if you choose a market since one is not interested in building a list?

      I suppose if you were building adsense sites you could do whatever you wanted if you were just relying on SEO to bring in traffic...


      However, it would make sense to stick to the same market and build a list, then send your subscribers to all of your various content sites and be able to earn adsense on your customers over and over again...

      I dunno though. I've never been in the adsense game, so that's just an off the top of my head observation.
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      • Profile picture of the author susinggih
        If you're creating product then I totally agree. But if you're making a site and expect organic traffic from search engine, starting from niche sites are good way to go. Niches are usually having less SEO competition than markets. Having said that, if you can find a low SEO competition for market then it's a goldmine.
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        • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
          Originally Posted by susinggih View Post

          If you're creating product then I totally agree. But if you're making a site and expect organic traffic from search engine, starting from niche sites are good way to go. Niches are usually having less SEO competition than markets. Having said that, if you can find a low SEO competition for market then it's a goldmine.

          No one said you couldn't have several niche sites within the same market. In fact, I think you SHOULD have several niche sites within one market.

          Take advantage of the SEO benefits of niche sites
          Reap the rewards of being able to promote and cross sell to your other site lists/thank you pages/ etc.
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      • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
        Originally Posted by mr2monster View Post

        However, it would make sense to stick to the same market and build a list, then send your subscribers to all of your various content sites and be able to earn adsense on your customers over and over again...
        That's actually a good way to get your Adsense account closed. Clicks coming from the same computers over and over again, especially in smallish numbers, looks like click fraud to Google.

        Back a few years ago there were groups, most notably some stay at home Moms, who passed around each others sites with the idea of sharing clicks and making money. Google shut this down and they watch for this kind of pattern.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacqueline Smith
    Thanks for this post! It reassures me that I'm heading in the right direction. I am a newbie. Like many others, I have been reading too damn much. I knew the market I wanted to target and thought I'd do exactly as you said....break down the market and try to saturate every corner. But....I started reading everything I could on IM. I started doubting the direction I was going in. Then I just decided that I would stick to my original plan and go for it. So, that's what I'm doing. Hopefully it will lead somewhere, if not, I'll try something else.

    Just wish you had posted this a few weeks ago!

    Moral of the story.....go with your gut instincts!!!!! And....keeping reading the forum to make sure those instincts are right....HAHAHA!
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  • Profile picture of the author jjpmarketing
    @mr2monster

    I agree with you in regards to cross selling in a single market. Repeat business is easier to convert than new business.

    In my opinion it is more time consuming to build a dozen niche sites than it is to build one site and target various niches on that one site. SEO is all about backlinks and keywords... so if you target a specific market, then you can focus your keywords on specific niches on specific sections of your site.

    Takes some time to build up a site like that, but look at this way. Get on average 10 uniques per day per page... after 100 or so pages are on your site, that is 1000 uniques per day. Convert on 2% of those to join a list, and you will be adding 20 fresh leads per day... free of charge. That equates to 600 per month or 7200 per year.

    After a year, you have steady traffic and a sizeable list that you can promote to whenever you feel the need. Convert 1% into sales per month... that is 72 sales per month. A $20 product would equate to $1440 per month.

    Obviously you could do a lot better or much worse depending on your efforts. But why fight with managing a dozen sites when one will do the trick.

    Dennis
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  • Profile picture of the author esr
    That's how we did it in the old days.

    It's true, today it's drilled into our heads to zero in on a pinpoint niche so as to try to eliminate competition.

    However, that will never happen. We'll always have competition. And if that scares us, maybe we shouldn't be doing this for a living.
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  • Profile picture of the author Caragui
    Nice post....something to really think about.
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  • Profile picture of the author tyroneshum
    I absolutely agree. When you choose a market, you'll be able to stress effective niches within it and then expand it more and more. It's like choosing the market internet businesses then you can also cover ecommerce ideas, affiliate marketing tips, etc. Alternatively, it makes everything whole lot easier to manage topics to promote and help people.
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  • Profile picture of the author jborjaperez
    Great thinking. It's thoughts like these that make successful people.. Good stuff.

    Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author LucasT
      I think you could go about it either way.... Become an authority or build lots of microsites and blogs about sub niches that aren't as competitive.

      I personally like the second approach because once my site is set up and ranking well, I don't have to do much work and I can move on to another niche that is interesting to me.

      And plus, this creates multiple streams of income and will eventually make you an authority within the internet marketing niche by proving that you can get multiple sites ranked and producing income.

      Personally, I have never really considered myself an authority figure for anything, but I can use my jack-of-all-trades-ness as a way to share info regarding various subjects and niches and then capitalize off of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    I don't choose niches or markets, I choose buyers. Hint: follow the advertising dollars to find them.
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