Everybody today knows that it is possible to earn money online. It’s not just taking out freelance jobs from the Internet, or selling merchandise through a blog, website or social media page. Many of those who are very successful in their online ventures are running their own websites. Some even do well with just a blog. It’s all a matter of making the right decisions at the right time with regards to promotions, gimmicks, content marketing, et cetera.
What Makes a Niche Ideal for Monetization?
SEO and monetization strategies that work for one niche may not be as effective in another. In order for you to have a lucrative online venture, you need to find a niche with the following qualities:
- receives a large volume of keyword research per day, week, and month
- has an actively paying market (a niche may be popular, but not among paying customers)
- there aren’t too many competitors, or
- you can handle the existing competition just fine
- there are many opportunities for affiliate marketing
The most important thing though is that you have a sincere interest in the niche. Just like any business venture or a job, if there’s no genuine interest and enthusiasm, it will be unlikely that it will flourish to its maximum potential.
How to Find Promising Niches
So now we get right into business: how does one find a niche that’s good for an online business venture?
First of all, you may have to decide what type of business you want to get into. If you have the funds and perhaps the background in website creation and search engine optimization, you may want to make your own websites and market your own products. This is why one of the criteria above holds vast possibilities for affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is basically advertising and selling other people’s products and earning a commission as a result. This is can be a good option to start with, especially if you cannot produce your own products to sell on your website.
Knowing what type of online business you want to do can actually help narrow down your options when choosing a niche. For example, if you want to begin with affiliate marketing, it would be logical to veer towards popular merchandise that consumers buy off the Internet. Factor in your interests and background knowledge and you’ll eventually zero-in on a niche that meets all important qualifications.
Now for the tools that you can use for micro niche market research. Some of these tools require payment, while some are available for free. You’ll probably be more interested to use free tools though. Here are some examples:
Google Adwords Keyword Tool
Researching niche markets is basically researching the keywords that best represent them. The Google Adwords Keyword Tool can show you at least two things that can indicate whether or not a niche is popular and possibly a lucrative one: competition and volume of monthly searches.
Examine the volume of searches for “broad” and “exact” Match Types in Adwords so that you can get a bigger picture on how popular a niche is. The keywords will also tell you if it there are many paying customers searching for subtopics under the niche. The keywords “for sale,” “shop,” “buy,” “online store,” and the like should clue you in.
Social Media Trends Monitoring tools
You can use any social media monitoring tool that can give you an index of the most social media topics. Considering that Internet users today (that includes online shoppers) are active in social media sites, it is logical that they will share their current interests with their friends. Majority of social media users are very vocal and transparent. It is therefore safe to consider topic trends as a basis for evaluating the popularity and monetization potential of a niche.
Here are several free tools that can generate real-time social media posts:
Amazon Best Sellers
What better way to find out what items are selling like crazy than checking the records of the biggest online markets? Amazon is without a doubt the biggest online retailer today. They sell everything from brand-new merchandise to second-hand, clothes to garden tools—anything you can think of buying at your local department or grocery store, there is a good chance that it is available at Amazon.
Amazon Best Sellers is very straightforward. The link leads directly to a page that lists all the top-selling merchandise in this website. The results are shown in real time too. It’s possible for entries in the lists to change within a day. You are therefore assured that it is the current online market trends you are looking at. The best thing about it is you can view the top-selling items by category.
Knowing what currently sells in the market will give you an idea which niches have plenty of customers. This can be determined based on the number of customer reviews, the dates of those customer reviews (the more updated they are the more people are buying them now), how rapidly the best-selling items change, et cetera. Looking at these lists should give you plenty of good ideas on which niches to choose, especially if you’re aiming for monetization through affiliate marketing.
If Amazon is the largest online retailer, Ebay is the undisputed leader for online auctions. This is also where online buyers go when they hope to score cheaper deals, second hand items and discounts. It is just as good a source of information on consumer trends as Amazon.
Ebay CatMan is very easy to use. The tabs at the top show different sets of trends. You’ll want to look at Top Biding Items and Hot Keywords to find out which items are most in demand. Another excellent feature is the calendar, located just below the Hot Keywords tab. With this tool, you can find out what items were in demand in the previous years or months. The data you get from this can help you observe trends more closely.
After narrowing down the list of possible niches to venture in, analyze just how much existing marketers are making in those niches. Use Google Adwords again and find out how much webmasters are bidding for PPC advertisements. Do a general keyword search and see if there are many marketers and websites making money out of it. Basically, find out how the entrepreneurs in your prospective niches are faring.
The best thing about the tools above is that you don’t just find out which niches are popular among online consumers. You also find out what are the keywords that are commonly used when people search for them online, a very critical aspect.