Do you spend a lot of time looking for products to promote? If you’re like the vast majority of subscribers to my blog, the answers is a definite “Yes”.
In this post, I’m going to propose that you take a step back from product-picking, and instead focus on finding a niche audience to serve.
Why should you concentrate on a niche audience first, instead of products? Here are two solid reasons:
- Products come and go, but niche audiences stick around forever. If you’ve ever been promoting a product profitably and then had it decline in popularity (or pulled off the market entirely), you know what I’m talking about.
- When you choose a niche audience and take the time to understand their needs deeply, a whole new world of options open up to you. You switch from struggling to find ideas for products, to instantly knowing exactly the types of products you should be promoting – because they’re in tune with your niche audience’s needs.
I know this from experience. Three years ago I was a struggling affiliate marketer, bouncing from offer to offer (playing a game of what I call “affiliate pinball”). Today I make a full-time income from diverse passive income streams: sales of affiliate products, sales of my own products, and Adsense revenue (my Adsense revenue alone topped $2,000 last month). And it’s all because I focus on serving the needs of a niche audience.
So how do you Get Started Finding a Niche?
Follow these 4 straightforward steps:
1. Brainstorm an audience. You can do this in a few ways:
- Choose an audience that you represent yourself (for example, male university student between 18 – 25 years old, or middle-aged professional male)
- Choose an audience that you gravitate toward (in other words, people you like hanging around with).
- Work backwards, and choose an audience by first picking a niche topic that interests you. This could involve picking a niche like “hangover cures”, then doing research on sites like Quantcast to figure out the dominant groups of people that are looking for a cure for hangovers.
2. Identify the problems your niche audience has. This involves doing research into the problems, challenges, pain points, aspirations, and desires that your niche audience has. There are many places online that you can find this information, including niche forums, how-to websites, popular blogs, and “trend” websites.
3. Pick out the most profitable problems. Not all problems are created equal. Some problems your audience will gladly pay to solve; others will be a hard sell. You need to understand the difference, and you can do so using “filters” such as:
- The number of monthly searches related to a problem
- The number of searches that imply intent to solve that problem
- The stability of search terms related to that problem
- The amount of good-quality, free information on the Web
4. Understand profitable problems deeply. It’s not enough to simply know that, for example, males between 18 and 25 are looking for hangover cures. You need to find out what exactly they want in a hangover cure, and the problems they have with current hangover cures. There’s more to it then simply finding your niche, however. You also need to understand the language they use in describing their ideal solution, so you can echo that language back to them in your ad copy, sales page copy, etc.
If you’re sick of playing “affiliate pinball”, you need to take a step back and re-assess your strategy for building an online business.
The strategy that has worked well for me (and lots of world-class companies) is to choose a niche audience to serve, then dive in and understand that audience’s problems deeply. By doing so, a new world of profitable opportunities will open up to you!