Effective Niche Research

8 replies
When you have a niche idea it's imperative to do your research to find out if it's something that is 1) big enough to pursue, 2) growing, and 3) something you can do better than your competitors.

What are the key research tools/procedures you use when starting in a new niche?

Here's a few I look at:

- Google Trends to see if the niche is growing over time
- Keyword tool (Long Tail Pro in my case) to see there are many people searching relevant keywords (and competition levels)
- Forums to see the main problems people are facing in the niche
- Market leaders to see price points, problems being solved, how successful they are, and what I can do better/different
#effective #niche #research
  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post

    When you have a niche idea it's imperative to do your research to find out if it's something that is 1) big enough to pursue, 2) growing, and 3) something you can do better than your competitors................
    When it comes to niche research, your first point is huge. Too often I see people thinking that a niche (or a market) is "saturated" or "too competitive" so they begin looking for either obscure niches that might be too small to support consistent sales and growth OR they narrow down the niche too much.

    Though this forum is a microcosm of what's out there in terms of e-commerce, I see too many newbies asking questions like:

    "I've got a blog, how to get I traffic to it?"

    "How many articles do I need to write?"

    "Where do I submit my content?"

    "How do I monetize my website?"

    In a rush to start earning, many newcomers to online commerce skip the most important part, market research.

    What are the key research tools/procedures you use when starting in a new niche?
    At one time I had memberships to 3 different keyword tools that were web-based (think Wordtracker, Keyword Country, etc.) and I had about 4 different keyword softword tools such as Keyword Elite 2, Market Samurai, etc.

    Though I still use some of these tools, they are now an after thought.

    The first thing that I do is I try to come up with about 8 to 10 niche ideas and I write them down. I think of niches as needs and wants. So by taking that paradigm it helps me come up with more ideas.

    Then I use the good ole internet to some basic research. Do companies and/or individuals advertise in this niche?

    Are there periodicals or trade journals that cater to that niche?

    Does this niche have repeat buyers?

    Every marketer has their own unique set of criteria they look for because we all have preferences. I personally do not like to get into a niche or market that does not have repeat buyers (unless the item or service being sold is a very high ticket item).

    Think about it: why is the weight loss market so freaking competitive? I'll tell you why, because a new weight loss millionaire is created every single day (and that's just in one country, not globally). The weight loss market has dozens and dozens of niches under it, so if you've got a great product or service, a great USP, know how to market and promote it, adjust and improve your conversions, then you'll do well.

    I've been in the dating advice for men niche for over a decade. Guess what? I see new marketers jump into this niche every single week. Most of them skip the market research part and they don't do very well and I see them leave after a few months.

    I sometimes take a few days to a week to thoroughly research a niche and sometimes I'll test a niche with affiliate programs for months, fine-tuning my conversions. Most marketers don't do this because they either don't know how to do it or don't want to be bothered with it.

    When you find a niche you want to dive in, make sure you find out who the top dogs are in that niche. See what they're doing. Opt into their lists, study their e-mails / podcasts / videos / webinars/ sales funnel / customer support / etc. They will give you ideas on what's working and you can use that a base to do your own testing (whatever you do, do NOT copy exactly what they are doing, you should only study them to get ideas and what areas you can perform better).

    "Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out."
    - Jim Rohn
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Fuhrman
    Good for you for starting with research. This may sound funny at first but you actually want to see that their is competition for your niche idea. Are there products out there that support the niche? Are marketers already trying to reach this nice? If no one is marketing to the niche there is a good reason, no one is buying! So look for other products for your niche and make sure there is someone else working the niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Tandan
    The research tools you've already mentioned are a great starting point. I find it also helps to really delve into the market itself, both on the supply side and demand side.

    What are marketers in the niche already providing? Which of these products is selling very well?
    What types of solutions do purchasers in the niche want? Are ALL of their needs being met by currently existing products, or is there a void where you could provide a product that provides a solution for an as-of-yet unprovided for issue?

    Look at what's selling and try to figure out why. Look at what buyers want and see if you can do a better job meeting their needs.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post

    - Keyword tool (Long Tail Pro in my case) to see there are many people searching relevant keywords (and competition levels)
    This is one tool that can help you see if it is worth it to get into this niche.

    Another thing to do is to go to a place like Clickbank and see if any vendor is selling this type of stuff.

    You can even go to Google and do a search for that niche+forum to see if there is any talk about it or any competition.
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  • Profile picture of the author Centarra
    I think that one of the most important parts about niche services is making sure that there really is a need. Some things might be "big enough" to pursue, but you might not really be filling a need. You need to make sure there are no alternatives or your option fills the niche significantly better. I'd say the best way to figure out if the niche is successful is to scour the internet. Is it a popular thing? Is it growing? Then, pretend you need this service. Look and see what you find, from the perspective of a client. If it looks like you can target and convert them, go for it!
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      There are lots of ways to do niche research. Most of what you're going to hear is to go to this site or that site and see what kind of activity there is in the niche. And while doing so can be helpful, your market research should never end there.

      Too many people avoid or altogether neglect testing the market for the response of actual human beings!

      Try your idea out on a little bit of paid, targeted traffic. You don't have to spend a lot of money (and actually you can do it for free but the results will be slower in coming.)

      Create an offer for your product or service or membership and test it out on a thousand perfectly targeted prospects. Ask them for feedback. You'll quickly see how viable your offer is going to be. From there, scale up or revise your plans depending upon the feedback you're receiving.

      Doing online research is fine . . . even important . . . but don't stop there! A thousand targeted prospects viewing your offer and giving their response will tell you more about the market and your product than any other exercise. Too many marketers rely on research that avoids human contact!

      The best to all of you,


      Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources

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  • Profile picture of the author JR Lang
    I use Micro Niche Finder to first gage the value and search volumes for keywords within a general niche.

    Then if I see keywords that are interesting, I check google for competition allintitle:"keywords"

    If I see big brands, or sites that are PR4+ authority sites all over first page, then I do not pursuit THOSE keywords.

    I think though, that as someone else stated, competitiveness in a niche is not as important as demand, and you can usually find less competitive terms to target within that niche that can bring good results.

    Overall, these days, I would not chase after very high end niches, like, laptops, Google is a pain and if SEO will be the main source of traffic, then a niche like that could cost much more to promote than its worth.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean DeSilva
    For quantitative data nothing beats market samurai. It has an excellent competitive matrix tool that shows you the difficulty of the top 10 competitors for any given result.

    A trend I've found in my own work is I tend to succeed more often and for bigger payoffs when I care about the niche I'm involved in. I suspect this would hold true for other people too.

    Other than that, I rank potential niches based on urgency factors, perceived value of the solution, and level of freshness required.
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