Why compete in a saturated niche?

45 replies
I'm frequently surprised at the number of people who are starting out with internet marketing and decide to compete in the same old niches that have been around forever that are so saturated and competitive.

I'm taking about dating, weight loss, gambling, how to make money online, etc.

If you're just starting out, why not build something in a niche that gives you the best probability of success? Something in a smaller market, without a ton of competition. Something you have unique knowledge in, where you know you can create the number one resource in that niche?

I created a site where I teach people how to use a certain piece of software. I can count on two hands the number of other websites in my niche out there that have any sort of traffic going to it. I knew I could create the ultimate resource, and it was HARD work, I've been at it for two years, but it has paid off. I recently left my job and I'm now working online full time selling my informational products.

There are so many opportunities out there, why put yourself in a position where you're competing against so many others? Now, of course you have to make sure your niche can be profitable. If there is literally zero competition, chances are there's no market. But you don't have to pick some of the most competitive niches out there. You're likely to just get frustrated and give up. That's just my two cents, anyways.

Here are some of my favorite free resources:
#compete #niche #saturated
  • Profile picture of the author IanM723
    Awesome! Congratulations on your success. I think you bring up a great point, you have to find your own unique viewpoint or selling point to differentiate yourself from everyone else or you just get lost in all the masses.

    I think that you can do stuff with the dating, health, mmo niches, but as you mentioned, you have to differentiate yourself. So, for instance, instead of targeting weight loss, target weight loss for post-pregnancy or weight loss for post-menopause, etc. So, it can be done but you just have to find your little sub-niche.

    Again, congrats on your success.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Lenney
      Ill tell you why in two words: more buyers :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Chicas
    ElJeffe has a point, and besides more buyers... more products. There are more products that you can promote and keep making money with rather than just your own.

    My original niche that I started out with was not a popular niche and I struggled to find the right products to promote. I did create a simple product but that wasn't enough.

    Most people are one track minded, and when something really starts selling on the net then everyone jumps in and purchases it. If your product doesn't catch any traction then you are fighting an uphill battle. In popular hot niches the uphill battle is different.
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  • Profile picture of the author briankoz
    Easy -- do you want a small slice of a huge pie, or 100% of an empty pie tin?

    Sure, there's money in smaller niches (I've made plenty myself there), but there's a lot more money in the bigger niches where there's a lot of buyers. Both require work in their own way. One has a lot more ability to scale up than the other, though, just because it's bigger.

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  • Profile picture of the author midolyon
    In my opinion, i think that the new Seller tend to use te popular niches because they can't do research and find their own nich to go with. That's why they go for weight loss and money making online advices.
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    Hi

    You say to avoid huge competitive niches but the one you are in, "computer software", is huge and extremely competitive.

    Don't you really mean: dig down into a large well know evergreen niche, like computer software, until you find an underutilized sub-niche - like training on a particular software application?

    I'm not sure how the computer software niche is not a huge and competitive niche that you suggest avoiding.

    Mahlon
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    • Profile picture of the author SpiderT3
      Originally Posted by onSubie View Post

      Hi

      You say to avoid huge competitive niches but the one you are in, "computer software", is huge and extremely competitive.

      Don't you really mean: dig down into a large well know evergreen niche, like computer software, until you find an underutilized sub-niche - like training on a particular software application?

      I'm not sure how the computer software niche is not a huge and competitive niche that you suggest avoiding.

      Mahlon
      Sorry if I didn't explain well enough, I'm definitely not in the "computer software" niche. I have a site where I teach how to use one specific piece of software, and I create information products that teach people.

      For instance, you wouldn't say someone who teaches Microsoft Excel is in the "computer software" niche, he'd be in the "Microsoft Excel" niche. Much more specific and focused.
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  • Profile picture of the author David86oriol
    you have a good point, but those saturated niches has lots of consumers as well, so maybe that's the reason why they stick to that? Though, consumers will tend to trust those best websites anyway which has the most visitors, so I guess it's definitely difficult to compete still. my conclusion is I guess it's a case to case basis and maybe a little luck will play a great role at times.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    Originally Posted by SpiderT3 View Post

    Here are some of my favorite free resources:
    Funny you mentioned Pat Flynn as most of the money (80%+) that he makes is in an ultra saturated (as you refer to it) market - teaching people how to set up their own website and market it online.

    But either way, congrats on your success.

    I play in ultra competitive markets myself and I'm crushing it. There is plenty to go around for everyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author datingworld
    In my opinion people choose saturated niches becuase;

    -Some people have competitive attitudes and they like to test and explore their skills to make money from saturated niches (best word to describe is competitive niches, not saturated). They may have already explored small niches and may be doing well there already, Now its time to enter competitive market.

    -More people and buyers interest in competitive niches (that is why they are competitive)

    - There is more work to be done in the competitive niches but there is more profit, more money, more fun and more saisfaction (when you make moeny out of it )
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Personally, I choose the most competitive and saturated niches because they're much easier to market than the more obscure/esoteric niches.

      Most of the heavy lifting has already been done such as market research, product awareness, publicity, distribution channels, etc.

      All that's left is to do a better job at promoting than the competition does.
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      • Profile picture of the author David86oriol
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        Personally, I choose the most competitive and saturated niches because they're much easier to market than the more obscure/esoteric niches.

        Most of the heavy lifting has already been done such as market research, product awareness, publicity, distribution channels, etc.

        All that's left is to do a better job at promoting than the competition does.
        Congrats for having a win against the vast amount of competition, mind sharing some tips? I mean some "better job" in promoting? I have something in mind, but I guess I'd be dealing against vast competitions with it, especially the keywords being used, most of the related keywords in my mind are all saturated.
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by David86oriol View Post

          Congrats for having a win against the vast amount of competition, mind sharing some tips? I mean some "better job" in promoting? I have something in mind, but I guess I'd be dealing against vast competitions with it, especially the keywords being used, most of the related keywords in my mind are all saturated.
          The primary directive from my experience in going head to head against heavy competition is to avoid using the same marketing methods as the competition. For example, the most lucrative niches are generally dominated by deep-pocketed SEO professionals, so it really doesn't take a rocket scientist to consider marketing through other channels.

          Within any such niche, there are literally millions of outlets already targeting my prospects, such as niche-relevant websites, blogs, ezines, newsletters, and offline publications. Rather than knock heads with the "heavy hitters", I get my website links on the top-ranking sites and any other relevant online/offline outlet through massive article marketing and process the resulting traffic with email campaigns and/or direct marketing channels.

          I have found that subtlety is a powerful marketing tool. My little trick is to initially build relationships with my subscribers long before they ever subscribe. This is accomplished through regular contributions of articles to publications in which targeted prospects read.

          After reading my articles over a period of time, they will gravitate over to a relevant niche website and buy the "recommended" affiliate product. In my marketing model, nothing is ever blatantly "sold"; only recommended on the strength of authoritative credentials perceived as a result of my article writing.

          The optin form is for buyers only, as they must enter the transaction ID# to complete the subscription process. This effectively filters out free loaders, although admittedly it may also eliminate an inestimable percentage of potential "eventual" buyers. It is designed primarily to quickly target and qualify proven buyers for higher conversions and repeat sales.

          Subscribers receive messages on a daily basis which includes niche information, tips, resources, jokes, and increasingly hard hitting promotions (with 2-3 descriptive, feature-laden text links) for the next product in line. Non-buyers are culled from lists every 90 days. The remaining active buyers continue to be processed, and promotions are incrementally increased to higher end products.

          This may seem like a "meat grinder" approach, but it is very effective in targeting, qualifying, and directly engaging quality prospects who are already further down the buying path within their own buying process. This process consistently beats the competition all-to-hell in the most hotly competitive arenas.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    If you have some fresh ideas then you can do well in an uber-saturated niche. I've seen a couple of such examples last year. One was an established company who brought some novel, slightly controversial ideas to a boring niche. Another is a one man operation and he succeeded just by being so darned passionate about his niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    Just as many mistakes made by going after niches that are either very tiny, unresponsive or are a bad fit for paid products (freebie seekers).

    The key is to look into a competitive niche and find challenges/problems/frustrations that further "sub-niche" that larger niche making it easier for you to compete.

    For example - weight loss ---> men's weight loss ---> man boob's or love handles...which gets you into a territory that is still HUGE, but much easier to dominate.

    This same process will work for nearly any niche...you should sub-niche until it no longer makes sense, often that is much deeper than you may expect.

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author Lex Gabriel
    Originally Posted by eljeffe77 View Post

    Ill tell you why in two words: more buyers :-)
    This, and more potential partners. This is not the usual brick and mortar business where your neighbor selling the same stuff you are selling can make you go bankrupt.

    Almost all products and services online have an affiliate program and are constantly looking for partners in the same niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author ReadyToMkt
    I think people who enter saturated markets do it for one of three reasons:

    1) They want a larger audience, even if it's divided amongst the competition.
    2) They think they can do it better than their competition (for example, someone mentioned better promoting).
    3) They think they can do it differently than their competition (for example, finding a sub-niche).

    I'm going for #3. Besides, I don't need to be one of the dominant players in order to be successful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Trujillo
    Saturated niches are the best niches to get into because they are hungry niches!

    Only people with scarcity mentality run away from saturated niches.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Originally Posted by SpiderT3 View Post

    I'm frequently surprised at the number of people who are starting out with internet marketing and decide to compete in the same old niches that have been around forever that are so saturated and competitive.

    I'm taking about dating, weight loss, gambling, how to make money online, etc.

    If you're just starting out, why not build something in a niche that gives you the best probability of success? Something in a smaller market, without a ton of competition. Something you have unique knowledge in, where you know you can create the number one resource in that niche?

    I created a site where I teach people how to use a certain piece of software. I can count on two hands the number of other websites in my niche out there that have any sort of traffic going to it. I knew I could create the ultimate resource, and it was HARD work, I've been at it for two years, but it has paid off. I recently left my job and I'm now working online full time selling my informational products.

    There are so many opportunities out there, why put yourself in a position where you're competing against so many others? Now, of course you have to make sure your niche can be profitable. If there is literally zero competition, chances are there's no market. But you don't have to pick some of the most competitive niches out there. You're likely to just get frustrated and give up. That's just my two cents, anyways.

    Here are some of my favorite free resources:
    I half-agree with you; I think a beginner should definitely not jump into a LARGE niche that is very competitive because it takes quite a bit of marketing savvy to navigate to those niches.

    However, market saturation is mostly a myth. If a niche has new customers coming into every day and it has repeat buyers and a healthy dose of competition, then it really isn't saturated.

    If you're a good marketer, you can compete anywhere you go because no company or person is perfect; no one can dominate all the distribution channels.

    So while weight loss and the dating markets might not be a good market to go into from the get-go, they have plenty of niches and micro-niches that they can compete in.

    Picking a niche is very important, but what gives people a good chance of success is their marketing skillset, which, when it's developed, people can compete in just about any niche, picking a niche is just another part of the puzzle.

    RoD
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    • Profile picture of the author jwmann2
      Because some people just aren't that creative to create or find a small niche and most internet marketers are just trying to make a quick buck. Vague answer but an honest one nonetheless.
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  • Profile picture of the author Freelancing10
    Sometimes the reason these markets are saturated is because there is money to be made. If there is very little products on a small niche, then that can be a hint that there is not much money to be made. Of course it can always be an untapped market but its mostly really rare. Weight loss for example, there is tons of people with list targeted to that, and sometimes the same buyers will try different products. Depends how you approach it, will depend on your success in those markets. Also if its "saturated" it can be a very profitable list to build since there will be tons of marketers paying you to email your list for them. It's all about approach.
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  • Profile picture of the author vedremo
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    Most saturated niches have high traffic.There's always the possibility that you can always find new keywords to rank for that particular niche even if it's saturated. There are cases where these saturated niches generate amazing conversions given their tough competition. Anyone can have his or her own share of the pie.

    It's vital that an individual should get into something that he or she understands. Where he or she can monetize and can be successful on a long-term basis.
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  • They are saturated niches because people are spending money on them.
    as you can tell by how magazines that cover the subjects. You can go broke
    trying to reinvent the wheel and testing squeeze pages, and targeting traffic for in order to
    build your list.
    Also you have a hard time finding and or developing forums or blogs to build a interest
    in your new niche. I am not saying that it can't be done just hope you have a big wallet
    and lots of luck
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    • Profile picture of the author SpiderT3
      Originally Posted by Traffic Strategiest View Post

      They are saturated niches because people are spending money on them.
      as you can tell by how magazines that cover the subjects. You can go broke
      trying to reinvent the wheel and testing squeeze pages, and targeting traffic for in order to
      build your list.
      Also you have a hard time finding and or developing forums or blogs to build a interest
      in your new niche. I am not saying that it can't be done just hope you have a big wallet
      and lots of luck
      Just to clarify, I'm not in a "new niche". And if I was in a niche that I needed to "build interest" in, it sounds to me like it could be a flop, and a lot of work.

      I'm in a niche that needed a great resource to learn a piece of software, it is software that is used commercially so I knew there would be people willing to pay for good information on it. That was very important. There has to be justification for people to want to buy something.

      People were already searching for what I wanted to create, that's the key. It just didn't exist yet. Once I created it, I started ranking in Google very quickly, and the traffic started coming in. I didn't create the demand. I identified an existing demand and created something to feed it. That allowed me to build credibility among the readers, but also from the other leaders in my niche. So when I came out with my first product, I had a strong network of powerful affiliates and dominated the entire niche.

      I'm just saying this to point out that I built my entire site organically, I didn't have any money to invest in it like you had suggested. Took me about two years to build part time. If I could've focused on it full time, I imagine I could've gotten there much quicker.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Braybrooke
    Some niches are evergreen - IM, weight loss and dating are prime examples. I don't fully disagree with the OP but I think that the ultimate solution might be to find sub-niches within the large niches. Target a specific portion of a very large market and you may just hit the jackpot.
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  • Profile picture of the author MYFREEIM
    When I first started in marketing a few years ago, I dove into a saturated niche head first - knowing I may very well have a hard run at becoming a success story. One thing I learned, among the many, was that the competition kept me driven, and brought out my creative side. Also, as already stated by others, the more saturated the niche, the more money there is to be made. A primary key to being a good marketer is pure determination. If you have that, it really doesn't matter how saturated your niche is.

    BTW....I'm new to Warrior Forum, so I'm going to use this post as an opportunity to say hello. I've known about this forum for a couple of years, but I'm just now getting around to participating (really don't know what took me so long..).
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  • Profile picture of the author dean20653
    Would you rather own 0.01% of the Texas Rangers(MLB Empire) or your own tumbleweed roadside stand in the Chihuahuan Desert?

    .... Let me have a small profit share slice of the rangers.. please
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  • If you look at niches as sports then you will choose what you love and skilled in. I dont believe in excuses just because the niche is oversaturated its not profitable. Should I not play basketball because I cant dunk the rim? Maybe I should have a wicked jumpshot instead and still be a pro. Or maybe dont join organized sports at all because im not quite skilled or talented enough.

    By the end of the day hardwork and spirit will defeat skills and talent. I love being the underdog and have been all my life, failed hundreds and thats what drives me to compete and be the best in whatever I do. I stop finding excuse why I cant be good at something.

    Solution, play it, live it, breathe it, and grow in it!
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  • Have you seen some of the crap people sell in those "saturated" niches? Have you seen some of the websites they're "killing it" with?

    A good marketer can top a lot of the stuff put out there. Bam. Niche un-saturated.
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    While you spend time reading people's signatures on a forum someone else is working to make the money you could have made.

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  • Profile picture of the author mhegedus17
    Saturated niches are more likely to be profitable... if you can be competitive
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  • Profile picture of the author lotsofsnow
    Originally Posted by SpiderT3 View Post

    niches that have been around forever
    Yep, around forever.
    Originally Posted by SpiderT3 View Post

    that are so saturated
    Nope. They are not saturated at all! It looks that way but it's not saturated.

    Originally Posted by SpiderT3 View Post

    and competitive.
    Sure they are competitive.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kenster
    "Saturated niches" are generally the largest and most profitable ones and they are the ones I play in (for the most part)

    With that said, everybody has their own style. For completely new marketers, it can absolutely make sense to niche out first and be a big fish in a small pond.

    As they say, lots of ways to play!
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    Sounds like you are well on your way to success...the challenge for most people with doing what you did (identify a possible new area of demand without proven buying activity or competition) is that the risk is quite high. There are many niches that "appear" lucrative, but without proof that there is buying activity and without having insight into exactly what the USP for successful products are, you could easily flop.

    Not saying it's not possible, just that I have helped many people who did just this and things didn't work out for them - sometimes it was a bad choice of market, sometimes it was a miss in terms of how they targeted the market, sometimes it was their marketing that sucked. Problem is, the more variables, the less certainty.

    When someone starts out, I would suggest they dig deeply into proven markets to find a new angle - then learn to market better than most of their competition (a skill that will pay off for years to come) - then go get their share of the business. At least you remove one major variable (will people buy solutions to problem X or desire Y).

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    For many new people who are just starting internet marketing, they have no idea how to find non competitive markets that are out there.

    Once they see others do well with the most common niches out there, this is the easy way for them.

    Why would they do all the searching for a good and low competitive niche when they see others do well and don't have to do any research?
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  • Profile picture of the author Malcolm Thomas
    The answer to your question is actually quite simple: Because the saturated niches and markets are usually where the money is at.

    Here is a simple rule of thumb that every newbie on this forum ought to follow: Usually when there is NO competition, that is actually a BAD thing.

    When there is NO competition, that usually means that there is no money to be made (or at least not a lot like most people go hoping for).

    For newbies, I suggest them to actually IGNORE your advice and do the exact opposite: Go where the competition is at and follow them and reverse engineer their success.
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    • Profile picture of the author GlenH
      Everyone that's saying the more competition there is in a niche (or market) the better, are absolutely correct, because that proves there's money to be made in that niche / market.

      But you have to be 'smart' about it.

      Take the IM market for example.

      It's a massive market, and if you're going to hit that market, the last product you want to be promoting is another...'how to make money online' type product. Because there are so may options already.

      Instead, you want to look for 'add on' products to sell into the IM market.

      Products like related software products....plugins...small app. of all kinds.

      All those sell really well. And those types of products will never be saturated.

      IM'ers need all that stuff, you just have to find the right products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    Nothing wrong with going into one of the big niches if you drill down to find a specific sub-niche.

    Trying to go head to head with weight watchers for example is always going to be a fools move.

    But if you focus on "weight loss for over 50 men who've recently had a heart attack" then you stand a chance.

    Smaller niches can be good too but there's usually not as many products and fewer sources to find traffic you have to weight up your options.

    I like competition because it shows there's a healthy market, a demand, products on sale, people buying, sites I can use for inspiration for content and marketing ideas, I can find out what the most popular articles are, use their sites to leverage their traffic to my own etc etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author davidaclark
    Originally Posted by SpiderT3 View Post

    I'm frequently surprised at the number of people who are starting out with internet marketing and decide to compete in the same old niches that have been around forever that are so saturated and competitive.
    They decide to compete in the same old niches because that is where the money is. Pick a saturated niche and create a product that is better than the rest and you can still dominate that niche (and it won't take you two years of hard work).

    Spend two years being a trailblazer and promote a niche and everybody will jump on it when you have done all the hard work.
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  • Profile picture of the author David86oriol
    Just to follow up, you can still earn in a saturated niche even if your business is still new if you sell products that is unique in that specific niche. For example, if you want to compete in the saturated world of weight loss niche, then if others sells supplements, then you can sell something different like diets or techniques in a form of a program, or anything that will put you into a less competetive side but still in the same saturated niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author SpiderT3
    Wow, thanks for all the responses guys. I guess there's more successful people in these niches than I thought. Now that I've got one successful site under my belt that's produce a good income, maybe it's time for me to try the "make money online" niche, but digging in to a more focused, specific part of the niche.
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