Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of emails about niche selection and how to choose the right topic when starting a new website or a blog. Most people tell me that all of the good ideas (or keywords) are already taken, that there is too much competition and no more room left for them.
If you feel this way, or you know someone who does, this post will help.
Picking a Niche is Difficult
Because it’s important.
It’s right up there with choosing where to live, who to date, or what degree to get. Your actions and your entire future start the moment you make a decision – and of course, you want it be the right one.
When someone says “the good ideas are already taken” or “there is no room left for me, ” what they’re actually saying is this:
“I’m this close to giving up.”
There are an infinite amount ideas that can turn into successful websites and online businesses, even within saturated markets, you just have to spend time to figure it out. It is NOT easy, and if you really want this, you cannot give up.
Selecting a niche is a long-term decision, but if it’s the wrong one, it’s not a long-term loss. You may fail, but as long as you learn it is time well invested.
Of course, it’s always good to start off on the right foot, so here are some tips and strategies to help you during your niche selection process so you can give yourself the best chance.
Forget “Brand-New.” Think “Better-New.”
In order to succeed online, you cannot do what everyone else is doing.
Follow the crowd, and get lost in it.
You know this.
Unfortunately, many people interpret this to mean that they have to create something totally brand-spanking new, something completely innovative that has never been done before, in order to succeed.
This creates a tall mountain to climb because:
- It’s difficult to think of something totally brand-spanking new.
- Even if you do, you are playing in unknown territory.
The more intelligent approach is to forget about starting fresh, and start with something that’s already working, and make it better.
So what happened?
Segways are now banned on the sidewalks of 30 states in the U.S. and security guards at the mall are taken a little less seriously.
Changing how people walk is a tough mountain to climb.
Now take Tesla Motors, on the other hand. Tesla isn’t reinventing how people get around – the company is still making cars – it’s just making the car better by making it smarter and more efficient.
The Tesla Model S recently won the award for the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year.
People want better, so give them better.
It doesn’t matter how much competition there is – if you can give them better, and milk it, you’ll win.
So how do you know what’s better?
Simple: Be the market.
Be a consumer, a customer of products within that market, and be conscious of your experience and the experience of others in that market as well. Read comments, reviews, participate in forums and discussions and truly get to know who your potential target audience is by becoming a target yourself, and figuring out, along the way, what needs to be improved.
The only difference between you and everyone else in that market is you’re there on a mission to make things better.
Specialize and Own
Another issue I come across when I discuss topic selection with people is that they think too big:
“I want to start a site about photography, but it’s way too competitive.” or,
“I want to create a blog about cars, but I don’t think there’s any room for me.” or,
“I want to start a site about pets, but the first page of Google is all PR6 and PR7 sites!”
In general, it’s great to think big and shoot for the stars, but when it comes to niche selection you can get more results, faster, by thinking specialized.
Start by picking a market that actually interests you. The competition doesn’t matter at this point – just pick something you like.
Then, you’re going to pick a sub-section within that market, and then keep going deeper and deeper until you can get to a point where there’s a need and you feel like you can create THE GO-TO RESOURCE or become THE GO-TO PERSON for that topic.