Signs a niche may be unprofitable?

by ShaunQ
23 replies
Hi Warriors.

I want to start building a list and writing a blog for my niche. In my research I have come across several points which has concerned me a little.

1) There are quite a high number of searches but no advertisements on the main page of google. This has set alarm bells ringing that if nobody is advertising then there might be little profit in the niche.

2) There is a lot of competition from medical and scientific study pages. The weight loss niche has links to the medical industry and I would say my niche is similar in this regard, but I was surprised by Google being dominated by medical and academic competition. If this info is easily found for free then there may be less market to buy (though my advice is more thorough).

3) None of the other blogs in the niche are monetised. And I mean none! Nobody is building a list or anything. This might make it hard for me to get solo ads or ad swaps and because it doesn't seem to be a buyers market then I am nervous about using paid traffic sources as this might make me incur a loss.

Am I overthinking this or are these legitimate concerns that might suggest a lack of profitability in the niche?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!
#niche #signs #unprofitable
  • Profile picture of the author KyleG1461
    If noone else is making money from a niche already, that's a pretty good indicator that it's not profitable, or at least not profitable without significant work and investment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    1) There are quite a high number of searches but no advertisements on the main page of google. This has set alarm bells ringing that if nobody is advertising then there might be little profit in the niche.
    Agreed that that can be a very worrying sign indeed!

    But you've already found "good stuff to promote" in the niche, otherwise you wouldn't be thinking about it, presumably?

    (Or are you thinking of becoming a vendor, rather than an affiliate?).

    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    2) There is a lot of competition from medical and scientific study pages.
    Sites like that can be real authority sites that are dreadful to compete with for SEO. Medical/academic pages vary enormously. They can be "everything" or "nothing". Are you planning to depend on SEO for your primary traffic? :confused:

    You need to assess the SEO quality of the top 4/5 sites for the keywords for which you think you might want to compete, if you are.

    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    If this info is easily found for free then there may be less market to buy (though my advice is more thorough).
    That consideration in itself wouldn't necessarily put me off a niche. People pay all the time for collections of information available free. They're paying for the convenience, in a sense.

    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    None of the other blogs in the niche are monetised. And I mean none! Nobody is building a list or anything.
    If you've found good things that you know you want to promote, as an affiliate, that can be very good. I see that it's surprising, though.

    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    This might make it hard for me to get solo ads or ad swaps
    Again, that wouldn't put me off in the slightest (personal perspective only: I don't value those very highly as traffic-sources, in general).

    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    Am I overthinking this or are these legitimate concerns that might suggest a lack of profitability in the niche?
    The lack of AdWords ads sounds worrying.

    It depends what you're planning to promote. And what there is, to promote.

    Difficult to say more, without knowing more.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShaunQ
      Thanks for the responses

      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      But you've already found "good stuff to promote" in the niche, otherwise you wouldn't be thinking about it, presumably?
      Thats right, there are a couple of interesting products I've seen on Clickbank. But just because they are "good" doesn't guarentee a demand. However I am not rushing to rule out my niche just yet.

      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Again, that wouldn't put me off in the slightest (personal perspective only: I don't value those very highly as traffic-sources, in general).
      I am new to building lists so it would be interesting to hear which traffic sources you use. I don't want to depend on SEO as I don't want to be at Googles mercy. My plan was solo ads and possibly CPC to generate traffic, though these have been ruled out it seems!
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

        I am new to building lists so it would be interesting to hear which traffic sources you use.
        I write controversial, entertaining articles and get them republished as widely as possible in front of already-targeted traffic. (This kind of niche might be unsuitable for me, unless there are ezines/newsletters in which I can get my articles published).

        Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

        My plan was solo ads and possibly CPC to generate traffic, though these have been ruled out it seems!
        Well ... solo ads maybe. PPC not necessarily? It's cheap enough to experiment, if the search volumes appear to justify it?

        I don't want to ask you anything to which the answers might "expose your niche", of course, but I'm wondering whether the ClickBank products are new, or "good, old, very low gravity ones". If it's the latter, you could perhaps still be on to something good, here? It is possible to do very well in niches which everyone else has overlooked. But it's also possible to fall flat, if they all know something you don't know!
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Look for heavy competition, then find a niche within the greater niche. For example, lots of competition in the weight loss niche, but you can specialize in cleanses, vegan weight loss, muscle building weight loss, weight loss through diet pills, weight loss through superfoods etc.

    Personally, my thoughts are, don't bother with any niches except the four most profitable:

    1) Weight loss
    2) Dating
    3) Biz opportunity
    4) Pets (the more niche the better)

    You can't go wrong by starting with one of those four
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  • Profile picture of the author jamesrich1
    You had me convinced it was not a profitable niche once you said none of the keywords have advertisers bidding. That is a clear sign that there is little to no money in that niche/sub niche. Good thing you did your research first.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikelmraz
    After putting a couple of years into the site and it is still in the red, you may want to consider the niche unprofitable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    If you can't generate lots of free leads from a niche, then you probably shouldn't enter into it. Use PPC to test real fast.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    1) There are quite a high number of searches but no advertisements on the main page of google. This has set alarm bells ringing that if nobody is advertising then there might be little profit in the niche.
    This could be troubling. To me it says that either there is little profit to be had, or that the kind of people who use Adwords haven't figured out how to make that traffic source profitable.

    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    2) There is a lot of competition from medical and scientific study pages. The weight loss niche has links to the medical industry and I would say my niche is similar in this regard, but I was surprised by Google being dominated by medical and academic competition. If this info is easily found for free then there may be less market to buy (though my advice is more thorough).
    There's a difference between finding data and finding information. If your information is more thorough, or even easier to understand than most academic information, you could have a good USP.

    I've used journals like JAMA and Lancet for research purposes, and unless you are an MD, they are not easy sledding.

    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    3) None of the other blogs in the niche are monetised. And I mean none! Nobody is building a list or anything. This might make it hard for me to get solo ads or ad swaps and because it doesn't seem to be a buyers market then I am nervous about using paid traffic sources as this might make me incur a loss.
    Again, this might not be a bad thing. If you go the content syndication route, you may find an easier time finding partners than in niches with more marketing pressure.

    I don't do much with Clickbank products, so I'll defer to Alexa's expertise in that regard. I'm just giving you my impressions based on what you've posted.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    The lack of advertisers would be a big red flag to me. If there's money to made, someone will be advertising.
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  • Profile picture of the author trevnkam
    Go to where the money is. People making money are the ones paying for advertising. If there's no advertising (and you're worried about that), go with your gut.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarketerOnline
    Most times when you're doing keyword research if you find no buying keywords usually that's a sign but that is not always the case. When you promote a certain niche learn it very well and you must be fluent with keywords targeting your niche. There are products in very good niches that all don't convert well, some do and some don't with same niches. The category (niche) makes a difference sometimes but most importantly the website, the product itself.

    A big sign that it's a bad niche is that when you search all the keywords and if the traffic volume for all the keywords if very low then that could be a sign. Try the campaign out for a few months and if you generate no sales then move on to something else. It's a matter of trial and error.
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  • Profile picture of the author mogulmap
    Hello Shaun, I have alot of experience with this topic. I have a niche site in a very, very, very small and obscure niche. Prior to entering the niche I did research and found no one advertising on google in this niche nor were there any clickbank or any digital products at all and none of the sites that were ranked were monetized as well. Also the keyword numbers were terrible as well. This niche had every sign that it wasn't profitable. However what I did notice was that there was a very small but passionate community surrounding this niche so I decided to gamble and enter the niche anyway.

    There were no products for me to sell as an affiliate so I had to create my own for this niche myself. Long story short I currently have 4 products now in this niche and just about wrapping up my 5th and I have built a very passionate and responsive following of over 6,000 subscribers and on average I make around $1,000 per month in this niche.

    So the moral is that I think if there is a passionate community surrounding a niche that it could be profitable and the reason it shows signs of a bad niche could be that it just hasn't been found by IM'ers yet.

    The flip side is that I did take a gamble and it just happened to work out for me. So I agree that being that there are no advertisers at the moment it could be a good opportunity to get some really cheap clicks so you can test the niche out before moving forward.

    What made me so successful in this small niche was deffinetly building a list but more importantly build a relationship with that list before I sold anything.

    Hope that helped you some.
    Thanks
    -Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author magicmarcus
    i completely disagree with the whole idea that "if there are no advertisers" then its a non profitable niche.

    actually most of the money i have made is in niches where there were no advertisers. you just have to think outside the box and be creative.

    for example... the word football schedules has very few advertisers... yet BILLIONS is made by the nfl football brand... also calories lost running and many other search terms.

    the fact of the matter is that i can literally find hundreds of thousands of search terms with no one bidding and profit from them bigtime by thinking about what the market wants.

    start thinking differently and you WILL make money its not hard... you just have to say what can i give these people. how can i help them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    The top sign is that people aren't in it.

    Don't try to reinvent the wheel.

    There's no such thing as too much competition.

    When there's competition, there's money.

    After that, just ask "how can I be better than anyone else"
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

      The top sign is that people aren't in it.
      I hear you, and I offer the observation that for me, the fact that people aren't in it means that if I can come up with a way to derive income from it, I won't have to share that income with anyone, at least for quite a while.

      Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

      There's no such thing as too much competition.
      This depends on your business model. If you want the type of business that depends on Google for its primary traffic (as many people seem to), then it can be highly relevant.

      Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

      When there's competition, there's money.
      So which is better, then: a niche with 5 competitors and a potential market worth $500,000, or a niche with 500 competitors and a potential market worth $10 Million? You see what I mean, perhaps? It's not very difficult to work out, is it? Quite often, more competition means less money.

      Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

      After that, just ask "how can I be better than anyone else"
      Yes, we agree about that point.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    People tend not to advertise in crazy areas. For example "UFO abductions" to name one. Also, there are certain sections of the internet that have very few ads if any. This is a certainly a golden opportunity for you. Often big niches are left wide open. Look at all the big companies. Like they are too timid, as in mousy to the max. Don't want to do anything that might even smear our superior name.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    1) There are quite a high number of searches but no advertisements on the main page of google. This has set alarm bells ringing that if nobody is advertising then there might be little profit in the niche.
    Don't make the mistake that 99% of most people make by focusing your attention solely on Google.

    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    2) There is a lot of competition from medical and scientific study pages. The weight loss niche has links to the medical industry and I would say my niche is similar in this regard, but I was surprised by Google being dominated by medical and academic competition. If this info is easily found for free then there may be less market to buy (though my advice is more thorough).
    See my point above.

    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    3) None of the other blogs in the niche are monetised. And I mean none! Nobody is building a list or anything. This might make it hard for me to get solo ads or ad swaps and because it doesn't seem to be a buyers market then I am nervous about using paid traffic sources as this might make me incur a loss.
    This is definitely a concern. This most likely suggests no commercial intent in the marketplace. If there's nothing selling then forget trying to sell.

    Originally Posted by ShaunQ View Post

    Am I overthinking this or are these legitimate concerns that might suggest a lack of profitability in the niche?
    Shaun, approach it differently.

    Think about the MARKET, what that market needs, the problems they're faced with, and most importantly - the customer profile.

    1. Choose a MARKET.
    2. Assess commercial viability. Sell whats already selling.
    3. Know EXACTLY who your customer is - this is a big one that most people miss.
    4. Figure out how you can serve these people.
    5. Sell a range of complimentary products and services in that MARKET.
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    • Profile picture of the author IMSince2003
      Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

      3. Know EXACTLY who your customer is - this is a big one that most people miss.
      That's the big one. Most people completely ignore this to their own peril. Know your customer. Once you do that, everything else will fall into place.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by IMSince2003 View Post

        That's the big one. Most people completely ignore this to their own peril. Know your customer. Once you do that, everything else will fall into place.
        Exactly.

        n00b : "My ebook wont sell..."
        IM coach : "Who is your customer?"
        n00b : "Huh? What do you mean?"
        IM coach : "The person you're trying to sell to, who are they?"
        n00b : "I dont know, people that like computer games"
        IM coach : "Be more specific, exactly WHO are these people, the ones that like computer games?"
        n00b : "Oh, I dont know, teenage boys that live at home I guess?"
        IM coach : "And how much money do you think teenage boys have that live at home?"

        (insert silence)

        IM coach : "Exactly..."
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  • Profile picture of the author learningprocess
    Banned
    a good indicator is by checking google ppc and see if there is alot of people bids on the keyword
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
      Don't start to run before you learn to walk.

      You're ultimately talking about what people want, right?

      People want a solution to their problem. A SOLUTION.

      What keeps people awake at night that? What keeps people awake at night should be your solution, your niche.

      People will always want to lose weight, make more money or improve their golf score.

      Your niche or product should be your prospects solution.



      Bill


      .
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