Finding Your Niche
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In online business, it’s not as simple as choosing what you want to do. You also gotta choose how you’re gonna do it. If you’re a doctor, this might be called your specialty. In online business, it’s called your niche.
Hey, you’re listening to the Touring Freedom podcast. I’m Jason and I’m here to help you on your journey TO your journey. My goal is to help you build a completely mobile income, so you can enjoy a location, independent lifestyle.
If you’ve been following along with the podcast so far, you’ll know that we’ve covered several different methods of generating a mobile income online. Affiliate income, physical products, digital products, and even selling ads are just a few of those.
Now to implement those income streams you have to do things like blogging, YouTube, and ecommerce. These are just a few examples of what is referred to in general as online marketing. That is, they are all different methods to draw attention to yourself or your offer on the internet, and there are many more examples.
That’s what I do is internet marketing. I’ve been doing in some form or fashion since 2008. Currently most of what I do is helping small businesses with their online marketing.
The whole reason I do this podcast to guide you to creating your online business if you don’t have one yet, and then to give you creative marketing techniques to help you grow it into a full-time income.
Today what I’m going to be talking about is niches, because before you start talking to folks, you gotta know what you’re gonna be talking about!
You see, in the online marketing game, the key is focus. You can’t just post about whatever random thing is on your mind. You gotta stick to a topic or you can’t keep anyone’s attention.
If we just look at YouTube as an example, if someone watched a video on your channel about word processing software, and the next one was about easy arithmetic shortcuts, no one is gonna subscribe to your channel. They will only pay attention if they are interested and if they never know what’s coming next, how could they be interested?
I mean, you would have never gotten interested in The Office if every once in a while, they just threw a Jersey Shore at you, right?
All that may be logical to you if you’re just trying to get adshare revenue from YouTube, but this strategy is important in many other areas. For instance, if you’re running an online store selling dog collars, you may want to also run a blog discussing topics relevant to dog ownership. You can use the blog articles to draw in the right crowd and then direct them to buying your collars. It’s called content marketing.
Point is, you gotta figure out what kind of topics you’re gonna be talking about if you expect to grow an audience. Now, I’m gonna go over a lot of niches in this episode to try to show you how diverse the options can be. Not all of these will be relevant to you obviously, but I hope it serves to spur some ideas and get your juices flowing.
Really, this should be the first thing you do. I know we’ve already talked about some revenue sources and that was a little out of order, but I felt it was important to discuss first so people understood how online businesses work. I wanted to show people that the income is real and legitimate. Too many people scream scam when they hear online income, so I wanted to snuff that out quickly.
Now while I go over these, keep in mind that most of y’all are gonna even have to think about a sub-niche. That’s right. You’re gonna have to niche down till you have a targeted audience, at least to start out.
Some niches will require that to be able to grab attention, otherwise you just blend in. I know there’s a lot of people listening to this podcast that want to do something in the travel niche, but if you just throw up a YouTube channel focused on general travel, you’re going to be downed out by all the noise in the niche.
The trick is to pick something where you can stand out and gain an audience. Once that audience is built and you have a reputation, you can start branching out to other related topics to expand your audience. Keep doing that over and over, and you’ll end up branched out into things you never thought you would do.
Heck, Amazon started as a simple online book store. Now they are a one-stop ecommerce store that offers cloud computing and in-home microphones that spy on you. Who woulda thunk it?
Most people don’t realize that Yamaha started out making organs. You know, like keyboard musical instruments. Now they are best known for motorcycles and ATVs. They still make some of the best saxophones money can buy. I know, I have one!
So, what you gotta do is instead of making that travel YouTube channel, you gotta niche down. Heck, nowadays even the “family of four fulltime RV traveling” niche is getting pretty crowded, and that’s already pretty niched down. Maybe your niche might be “cool places you can go with a family of four and a rig over 40 ft”. I don’t know… I haven’t researched it, but it sounds like a pretty cool niche to me…
So just keep that in mind as I discuss some of these niches.
My good friend Chad Elsjer loaned me his list of niches to help me prepare for this episode. I sat down with it for a little while and added to it where I saw fit, and I think I have a pretty decent little list of niches. I mean, it’s in no way complete. There are an infinite number of niches, but I think this is pretty representative of ones that you have the best shot at creating an income.
In most cases, I’d be calling all these things “niches and subniches” and maybe sub-subniches. But to avoid confusion in this episode, I’m going to refer to them as categories, and then the specific niches within those categories. I won’t be mentioning too many subniches, although I will give a few examples along the way. Most of the subniching will be left up to you.
So first, let’s think about “Fast Learning”. Fast learning could take many forms like early education. An example of that would be the old “Hooked on Phonics” stuff, right? Another example would be speed reading. That has been a popular topic for decades. You could also do exam study, helping someone pass an exam. Think outside the box on this. The exam could be the SATs, licensing exam, or professional certification.
We’ve already mentioned the travel niche a bit. But when you niche down, you could concentrate on traveling on a budget, RV traveling, or being a world nomad, just for a few examples.
Believe it or not, writing is also a big subject that people want to learn. You could talk about writing a book, self-publishing, or writing tools. What writing tools you ask? Well, just as one example, there is a writing tool you may be familiar with called Scrivener. Evidently, it’s a great tool, but frustrating to learn. The software itself costs about $50. Over at Learn Scrivener Fast they are able to charge more than twice that amount to teach people how to use it.
Again, I reiterate… Use specific things like that as an example for inspiration for ideas, not necessarily as me telling you something you should actually do.
Public speaking is another thing many people are looking for help with. There are professionals everywhere looking for help giving presentations large and small. Subniches you could concentrate on are things like how to speak, storytelling, getting paid for speaking engagements, conquering stage fright, among many other things.
Prepping and survival has been a HUGE category and sees periodic revivals. It’s a topic that seems to ebb and flow in public awareness. It depends a lot on the politics and economy of the day.
Within this niche there’s things like self-defense, food preservation, tools and weapons, and bugging out.
If you haven’t listened to the first episode, you may have missed me discussing the podcast I used to have about rabbits. Well, I started that focusing within the survival preparedness niche. There were tons of preppers at the time wanting to learn how to raise rabbits for meat in case of an emergency. Once I grew that audience to a certain size, I started going to shows.
I connected the two concepts using the fact that most people who raise show rabbits will choose one or two kits out of each litter to breed and either sell or butcher the rest. This is one of the techniques they used to improve their bloodlines.
Doing this not only grew my audience by attracting the show people, but also got the preppers interested in showing their rabbits.
So, this is a really good example of what I was discussing earlier in the episode about niching down to something specific in order to initially attract an audience, then branching out to grow your audience. I started out in the Survivalist/Homesteader niche and by the time, I had homesteaders, showers, and pet owners all listening. Unfortunately, a tornado took my rabbitry away and I just couldn’t bare to continue. If you want to hear the full story, it’s probably better suited for the campfire.
Now that we’re talking about animals, it’s a great niche category to be in. You could be teaching pet training, husbandry, or even livestock. And as I just demonstrated, this could bleed over into homesteading.
Another good category to be in is beauty. Now despite my impeccably good looks, I really know nothing about this niche. Some of the subniche examples I could think of are skin care, make-up, and hairstylist. I hope that gets you pointed in the right direction if you’re interested in this niche because if not, I’m probably no help!
So let’s move on to cooking. You know, cause I like eating. With today’s trends and fads, there are numerous things you could get into to niche down and focus. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, clean eating, local eating, paleo, ethnic, keto… The list goes on.
Hobbies are a great category of niches that people love to get into. You just have to be careful here because it’s gotta be a hobby that people spend a lot of money on or else you won’t be able to monetize it. Some examples might be golf, hunting, fishing, and music. Those are probably where the big money is in hobbies, but there are other likely ones like woodworking, crafting, all matters of needlework and whatnot.
Just make sure you’re niching down well to start. Don’t start just focusing on crocheting. Start with something like crocheting for people with arthritis.
The business category is alive and well also. This is specifically for people who want to climb the corporate ladder. You could focus on marketing and advertising, sales skills, negotiation skills, growth hacking, among endless other business skills.
Now we get to what I would refer to as the “Big 4” categories. These are health, wealth, relationships, and self-help. These are huge categories that are very popular. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t want to improve their life in one of these four areas.
That type of popularity does two things: First, it means there is a ton of money to be had here. I mean a TON! But with so much money being spent here, it also means that competition is fierce. That means if you do choose something in one of these four categories you really have to focus down to a very specific subniche just to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
In other words, these are very tough categories, but if you make it, you can do way more than just make a nice living.
Let’s start the big 4 with self-help. This is a perennially popular topic despite the grief it gets from some people.
Within self-help are things like productivity, creativity, time management, self-confidence and even spirituality. You could break down spirituality into religion, faith healing, or even those crystal and chakra thingies. I’m not sure what those things are, but I got a good friend that’s all into them.
Point is, self-help is a huge category and encompasses things you may never have even thought of before. Anything that helps someone improve themselves as a person falls into this category.
Relationships is another biggie. Things like dating, marriage, sexuality, parenting and even the opposite like working through a divorce. Again, you will have to niche way down and speak to a very specific audience to get stared in this category of niches.
Now on to health and fitness. I really see this as two different categories, but most people group them together.
Health would cover things like stress relief, natural healing, anti-aging, and smoking cessation while fitness covers things like body building, muscle toning, stamina, and the like.
The only niches I consider crossing over into both the health and fitness categories is weight loss and diet. Obviously this is a huge niche you’d want to break down into something like weight loss for those over 50, after pregnancy, or diet for diabetics.
Now for the biggest of the big: wealth.
This is the biggest for obvious reasons. It’s also the most crowded space of them all… for obvious reasons.
Within the wealth category are things like investing, debt, personal finance, retirement, foreign currency, and yes… even online business, which I guess is the niche I find myself in.
This category will likely require the deepest niching of all in order to break into. If you decide to go into real estate, you could discuss flipping properties, but not just simple flipping…. buying, renovating, and flipping. But not just simple buying, renovating and flipping. You need to focus on buying, renovating, and flipping multi-family homes. Again, this is just an example of how far down you need to dig to find your audience and I’m not saying this is exactly what you should do.
Now that we’ve discussed all (or at least most) of the potential niches, we move on to the most essential step. Actually, choosing and researching a niche.
It’s important that you go through the steps I’m about to describe, or at least something similar. It really could be the difference between a successful online business and one that flops. Success relies on both your motivation (in other words something you’re excited about) and the potential profitability of the niche.
You gotta make sure you are building a business around something that makes you excited to get out of bed every day and work. Then, you will put on your marketing hat to analyze the profitability of your favorite niche topics you’re interested in.
A great place to start is with your own interests. If you can find a niche that you are really interested in, it could be a very good niche to be in because it excitement is one of the things that will motivate you to put in the effort it takes to make the business a success.
So here are a few questions to ask yourself. Maybe these will help you kind of discover things you might like that you might not realize or may not be top of mind.
Which one of the niches that I went over earlier do you feel like you buy a lot of products in?
What books or magazines do you read?
What websites do you find yourself surfing all the time?
What are some hobbies you have?
Hopefully those questions help you figure out what some of your biggest passions and interests are.
Fun and games isn’t the only reason you should think about for choosing a niche. You don’t want to overlook your skills and knowledge. If you had a job that taught you a skill set it could prove to be very valuable. Maybe you went to school for a particular topic, or maybe you have some sort of acquired skill through years of self-study.
Whatever it may be, you want to identify the skills, strengths and knowledge that you already have. Make a list of them so that you’ll have it for reference.
If you have a problem thinking about your skillsets or knowledge, you may not be giving yourself enough credit. Go around asking friends and family what they see as your perfect profession. Don’t use those words though. Say something like, “If I could do anything for money, what do you think I would most enjoy, even if there’s no money in it.”
Now obviously you’re gonna have to reword that a bit for some of your more immature friends, but you get the point.
Hopefully, after completing the list I just walked you through, you’ve got a very large list. We want to go ahead and pare that down to the 5 you are most interested in. This does NOT mean you only make a list of 5. Many times it takes making a list of 20 or 30 to be able to come up with 5 good ones.
So once you get your list all sorted out, it’s time to sit down and test the profitability.
Of course, there’s no 100% surefire way to ensure a niche will be profitable, but there are some things we can check real quick to give some indications. Think of it as preliminary testing. Basically, we’re gonna make sure that people are spending money on the topics you are interested in pursuing.
A couple things we want to know about each of these 5 topics:
- Are people passionate about the topic
- Are people spending money on the topic
There are some pretty serious techniques you can use to do this. You can go way in depth and spend a lot of money on tools to help you in your research. We’re not going to go that direction. We’re gonna start off with a simple google search. That may not tell us everything there is to know, but this simple technique will tell you enough to know if the niche is profitable and worth exploring.
This is best done on a computer and not a mobile device. We really need the full google experience.
Instead of telling you what to do, I’ll just give you an example. Suppose one of the things on your list is the fact that you are proficient in Microsoft Excel.
We’re gonna use “Microsoft excel” as the keyword. First, we want to start by searching for “Microsoft Excel course”. As I’m doing this on my computer, I notice several things on the search results page.
The first thing I see is 4 ads at the top of the page. That’s an immediate indicator that people are spending money on the topic. If people weren’t spending money, these people running ads wouldn’t be making money. If they weren’t making money, they wouldn’t be running the ads. Now, if you just saw one here, you may need to do some more digging, but two or more means there is competition, which means there’s money.
After the ads, you get to the search results. In those search results I see that there are courses on popular course platforms like coursera, Lynda and Udemy.
These are some great indications that it’s profitable and that there is interest in the topic.
Now that we’ve searched “keyword courses” we also need to search things like “keyword books”, Keyword Magazines, keyword products, keyword coaching, keyword seminar, keyword webinar, or keyword event.
Obviously, you should substitute your interest for the word “keyword” in all those phrases.
Like Microsoft excel books or weight loss webinar
Make sure you use all these phrases for your 5 niches on your list, or at least the phrases that make sense in combination with your keyword.
Be sure to take notes during this whole process.
Once you do all these searches you should be able to look over your notes and get a pretty good idea on where you should go. Just keep in mind that it’s not all about profitability. If you can’t get excited about the topic, it’ll be hard to find the motivation to make the business profitable.
Alright! Hopefully that gave you some great ideas of things you can do, or at least gave you a place to start.
If you want to get this full list of niches, head over to tourfree.me/niches. There, you can find the full mind map of niches in PDF format and the actual mind map file that is compatible with my favorite mind mapping software, which is also free.
Until then, make sure you subscribe, rate, review, and all that stuff. It really does help others find the show. If you don’t have time to do that, just mention the podcast to someone at the campground. It should make for some great campfire conversation!
I’m Jason Wyatt and I’ll see you on the road!