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Starting an online business is exciting, but it can also be very overwhelming at the same time. There are so many to-dos on your list that it can be hard to know where to start.
One of the very first things that you need to do before anything else is to determine your niche market. In this post I will be covering what a niche market is, mistakes people make when choosing a niche and how to find one that is right for you.
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A niche market is a subset or segment of a larger audience that you choose to address. This is a group of people with unique needs and an identity that sets them apart from a larger group.
If you have heard people say ‘Know your niche’ or ‘The riches are in the niches’ they are referring to this niche market you are trying to reach.
For example, a broad niche would be something like weight loss, parenting or travel
Examples of specific or sub-niche markets in these broader categories would be weight loss with a keto diet, parenting children with Autism, and traveling northern Europe on a budget.
You want to be as specific as possible when choosing your niche market. The more focused you are the easier it will be to explain what you do and how you can help your ideal customer.
It can be tempting to jump into lucrative niches like finance or weight loss, but if you do not have knowledge in these areas or find enjoyment in this topic, it will show in your writing and how you show up for your audience.
You need to make sure you love to talk about the niche you choose because you will be doing it a lot and likely for many years. The best way to build authority in your niche market is to put out content consistently- week after week. So if you love eating meat and decide to start a blogging business all about weight loss with a vegan diet because it’s trendy and profitable, your business will not go very far.
If you do not have an interest in the subject you are building a business around, you will not be motivated to put in the hard work and dedication that is required to grow an online business. In addition, your readers will lose trust in you, which is a sure way to tank your business fast.
You need to do market research before jumping into any niche market. You may have a topic that you LOVE talking about and know a lot about, but you need to make sure that there is a market for it. Market research will help you discover what people want.
Market research is a crucial step in understanding what your audience needs and the pain points they are trying to solve.
Before deciding on a niche, you must make sure that there is a demand for what your business offers.
Never assume what your audience needs.
A lot of people think that competition is a bad thing, but the truth is a niche with a lot of competition typically means there is a lot of money to be made. It indicates that there is a market for what you are offering.
A few years after launching my first blogging business in the parenting niche, I began getting inquiries from moms about how I created my website. I enjoyed teaching fellow mom entrepreneurs how to set up a website and blog that would help them spread their own message and so I began doing some market research to see if this was a viable business niche.
I could talk about my love for web design all day, but how was that going to help my audience solve their problem?
In my market research, I discovered that so many entrepreneurs were getting stuck when it came to the tech involved with creating and updating their WordPress websites. I knew I had a lot of knowledge that I could share based on years of working with my own WordPress websites and my love for designing them. From there Creating an Impact, LLC was born!
Word of caution: When choosing a niche market, be wary of niches with no competition as this could be a red flag that there isn’t a market in this area
For niche ideas, check out my post, 175+ Blog Niche Ideas that People are Actually Searching for
This is the biggest mistake that I see new bloggers and business owners making. They try to be everything to everyone and end up getting nowhere.
It is no longer enough to be a generic lifestyle or food blogger. You need to get specific if you want to grow an online blog and business.
Do you have a fear of niching down? Don’t worry, most people do. It comes from a scarcity mindset that narrowing down who you speak to will limit your income. This is completely normal and just requires a shift in mindset.
I used to think this exact way too, but I have learned from experience that focusing on one specific sub-niche and speaking directly to my ideal customer in this area is so much more effective. I needed to switch my mindset from one of scarcity to one of abundance. Instead of trying to help everyone, I am now able to really narrow in on what my audience needs and speak directly to them.
Your business should focus on one niche market and be unrelentlessly helpful in that area. This way you become the go-to expert in this specific niche market and your audience knows exactly how you can help them.
Now that you know three big mistakes people make when choosing a niche, here are five steps to take in order to find one that is profitable and that you will enjoy.
1. Brainstorm topics that excite you and that you enjoy talking about.
Think of some things that people are always asking you about. What are some skills that you have? Is there a topic you could talk about for hours? Do a brain dump and jot down anything that comes to mind.
2. Make a list of your strengths
What specific skills have you developed? What are family and friends asking your advice about? How have you helped others in the past?
3. Narrow these topics down into smaller sub-niches that you are interested in
If you have a lot of knowledge and interest in the parenting space for example you will need to narrow down this niche market into some smaller categories.
Toddler and Preschool activities
Parenting children with Sensory Processing Disorder
4. Determine that there is a profitable need
You want to find a niche market that compliments your interests and strengths, but you also need to make sure that it is profitable.
Is the problem you are trying to help your ideal client with significant enough for them to want to invest money to solve it?
Some niches will be more profitable than others.
Here are 5 profitable niche markets.
Relationships: Parenting, Marriage, Divorce, Dating
Health: Weight loss, healthy eating, dieting, fitness, mental health
Wealth: investing, saving money, personal finance, retirement
Self-improvement: beauty, self-esteem, confidence, mindset, life coaching
Passions: Art, Travel, Photography, crafting, homesteading, technology, gardening, hobbies, sports
5. Do market research to understand your ideal client and the solutions they need.
In Donald Miller’s book Building a Storybrand, he states that business owners need to position themselves as the guide, not the hero in their business story. The customer is the hero and you are there to honor their journey and struggles by guiding them to a solution.
In order to do this, you need to have a clear idea of who you are serving and what problem they need solved.
Your niche market should include a combination of a specific topic that you enjoy, are knowledgeable in and one that has a demand for information.
It doesn’t have to be perfect.
You may not have it all figured out at first, but the great thing is that your niche can evolve as you grow.
There may be a lot of people with blogs and businesses in your chosen niche market, but no one will teach it the way you do. Be uniquely you and the right people will be attracted to you and what you offer.
Take messy action and tweak it as you go.
Still need to do some brainstorming? Grab a free copy of my Narrowing your Niche worksheet here.
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