Whether you’re dreaming of building a top-notch website using a website builder and becoming a blogging sensation, or launching the next big ecommerce business using an ecommerce platform, you need to be ready to make your mark in the digital landscape.
To do that, you’ll need to find your niche, often defined as a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.
But how do you pinpoint that sweet spot that sets you apart from the crowd and turns your passion into profit?
That’s exactly what we’re diving into today. Here, we’ve got you covered with 10 essential steps for how to identify your perfect niche, validate its potential, and position yourself for online success.
Buckle up because it’s time to find your niche online.
The first step is to forget about making money, or pulling in huge waves of traffic. Take that pressure off, settle down in a comfy chair, and maybe find some colored pens to make this activity as fun as possible.
You’re going to think about what you’re passionate about. What makes you tick? What are you an expert in, purely because you enjoy it so much?
Write down whatever comes to you – it doesn’t matter if it feels silly, or if you’ve already dismissed it as being a hobby you could never monetize. Get everything down on paper, because you never know when a good idea could spring up from the page.
Here are some things to think about if you’re struggling for inspiration:
- What do you look forward to in your spare time, or even in your professional life?
- What blogs or websites do you enjoy visiting?
- Do you have any subscriptions? What are they? Why did you sign up?
- Is there a topic your friends always turn to you for answers about? What are you an “expert” in?
- Do you belong to any clubs? What are they, and why do you enjoy them?
It’s good to write all these things down, even if they feel obvious, because things you may take for granted about yourself might be a great niche idea. Getting it all down on paper helps otherwise invisible skills and interests come to light.
For example, you might love baking, but never have thought about how you could turn that into your niche, because it’s just something you do on the weekends. Combine that with your love of Harry Potter, and hey presto – you have a great idea for a children’s party business.
If you enjoy and have a genuine interest in your niche, this gives you an edge over the competition. You’re more likely to put more time, effort, and attention into the project than if you picked a niche at random!
- Sat down, cleared your mind, and started thinking about your interests
- Made a note of all your passions and interests
- Looked at interests that overlap or compliment each other
Find Out More
- Whether your passion lies with food, makeup, or car parts, we have a guide to help you start selling online!
- Interview with Merchant Mariner Guide: Josh’s blog targets a very specific audience
- Interview with Revelation Organizing: Read more about how Reba turned her passion for organizing into a business
Whether you’ve already spotted your favorite niche idea, or you’re wondering how to narrow down your options, now is the time to put your potential niches under the microscope and see if they’re actually viable.
The first thing to do is to identify problems within your potential niche, and decide if you can solve those problems for your target audience. This is the base-line for any profitable business – you need to combine passion with practicality, and offer solutions for your customers.
You need to understand your audience’s pain points, in order to get an idea of what problems they need answers to. There are some easy ways to do this:
- Browse online communities. Take the time to read questions, comments, and discussions on forums such as Quora, comments sections on relevant websites, review sections, or support groups. Make notes of any common issues, or any problems where you think I have a way to solve that.
- Talk to people. Sit down face to face with someone from your target audience and ask them questions to discover what their pain points are, what might make their lives easier, what they feel is missing from the market, and so on.
- Look at competitors. Identify key players within your potential niche, and assess which problems they’re solving. Are they missing any important gaps that you could fill? Check out their social media to see what customers are saying, and get imaginative with how you could offer something unique and useful.
Try to think outside the box when identifying problems. For example, you might find popular products or services that are very expensive, which is a problem for customers with tighter budgets. Could you offer a similar service for less money? Or make it more convenient?
A great example is Uber, which made getting lifts cheaper and more convenient than flagging a taxi on the street. It took an existing service, found a problem, and then solved it using an app to make booking lifts easier – to great effect!
- Identified problems you could solve within your potential niches
- Thought about how you might solve the problems you’ve found
- Discarded any niche ideas where you can’t find a problem you can solve
Hopefully your list of potential niches should now be a lot shorter, having discarded any that don’t present problems for you to solve for your target audience. With your remaining ideas, it’s time to carry out some super sneaky competitor analysis!
First of all, it’s worth noting that although you may dream of finding a shiny new niche, as yet untapped by any other business, this is very unlikely. If you find a niche with zero competition, it’s probably a sign that others have tried and found it to be unprofitable.
So, you want at least some healthy competition – it’s a good sign that you’re onto a winning niche – but not so much that you don’t stand a chance of breaking into the market.
Start off by having a quick Google and making notes about all the competitor sites you find. Take your time analyzing their websites, social media, products, and branding. Here are some questions to ask to help you get started:
- What sort of content are they creating?
- Is their content high or low quality? Could you do better?
- What tone of voice do they use?
- Who is their target audience?
- How regularly do they release content?
- How do they engage with their audience?
- What are their customers saying on sites such as Yelp?
Understanding what your potential competitors are doing, and what you could do differently, is vital for creating a well-informed plan for your niche.
Next, have a look at how many adverts are listed at the top of the Google results page – the ones that look like this:
These are sponsored ads, and you don’t want there to be too many for your niche, because that means you’re facing a lot of paid competition. Search terms with fewer paid results will be easier for you to break into than search terms with an already saturated results page.
- Made a list of top competitor sites
- Analyzed those competitor sites
- Thought about what you could do differently or better
- Analyzed the Google results page to see if the niche is too competitive
Find Out More
- Learn more about How To Do Market Research For Your Online Business in our full guide.
Keyword research is all about understanding what people are searching for – you want to find keywords with a high search volume, because that means lots of people are searching for it.
There are plenty of online tools to help you carry out keyword research. Five of the best ones include:
1. Google Trends. This free tool analyzes the popularity of search terms over time, meaning you can track which keywords are on the rise, or if interest in a particular keyword is falling.
2. Google Adwords: Keyword Planner. This free tool is a great starting point for gathering information on possible keywords. It pulls data straight from Google and gives you clear insights on suggested keywords, average search volume, competition, and more. It’s easy to use, helpful, and free – perfect for beginners!
3. Ubersuggest. This free tool works well alongside Google Adwords Keyword Planner, and is perfect for finding new, related keywords to target. You also receive content ideas, and you can even enter a competitor’s domain to gain insight into their SEO strategy.
4. SEMrush. This is pretty much the ultimate keyword research tool, giving you an all-in-one service that covers everything from specific keywords being used by your competitors, to long-tail keywords and related search queries. SEMrush has a seven day free trial, then costs $99.95 per month unless you cancel
5. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. This tool provides keyword suggestions and tells you how difficult a keyword is to rank for, which is useful when trying to break into a new niche. It has a seven day trial for $7, then costs $99 per month.
The best way to start keyword research is with questions you want answering. How many people are searching for this term? What are people searching for? Why? And so on, until you have a clear image of exactly what people are searching for within your niche, and why.
Keyword research is also important for discovering exactly which keywords to target. By typing a general topic into the keyword tools above, you’ll start to discover more specific keywords. Look out for common questions people search for, and new related topics you hadn’t thought of.
Often, keywords with huge search volume are also extremely competitive, making them difficult to rank for. So don’t aim for the biggest, baddest, most popular keywords you can find – instead, try to balance reasonably popular keywords that don’t yet have tons of competition.
- Tried out a few of the keyword tools listed above
- Discovered which keywords you want to target
- Checked how popular or competitive your keywords are
It’s all starting to come together – you should now have a much clearer idea of your niche, and how it could work. But before diving headfirst into your niche, stop and assess it to make sure it really is a sensible and viable idea.
So far, you’ve chosen something you’re passionate about, and carried out competitor analysis and keyword research – now, it’s time to do some final checks to make sure this really is the right niche for you.
1. Is It Profitable?
You might not be so worried about the profitability of your niche if you’re starting a blog, but if you’re setting up a business or online store, then knowing you can actually make money from your niche is a pretty big deal.
There are a few ways you can find out if your niche is profitable:
- Check out trending products on Amazon, Google, and eBay
- Identify best-selling items on competitor sites
- Use websites such as Exploding Topics to find out what’s hot, and sites like Clickbank to see how much certain products can make
Find Out More
Let us help you with our list of 150 most profitable Niche Blog Ideas!
2. Who’s Your Target Audience?
Before launching your niche, you need to understand exactly who your target audience is. This will affect:
- Your tone of voice
- Your marketing tactics (such as a focus on email or social media)
- The platforms you use to advertise your brand
- The content you create
- The imagery you use across your site
- Your design choices
You get the idea – your target audience affects everything from the fonts you choose to the language you use, and how you go about promoting your brand online.
Think about your target audience’s age, gender, lifestyle, pain points, budget, hobbies, culture, and more, so that you can assess how best to build your niche.
For example, if you’re starting a football blog, you need to think about who you’re writing for. Do you want to write for young girls, or for life-long fans of a certain club? Who you target will affect what you create, whether it’s fun sports challenges for kids, or old games from the archives.
3. Is Your Niche Evergreen?
Although it’s tempting to jump onto a hot up-and-coming niche, you want to make sure your niche is evergreen. How much money do you think fidget-spinners are making nowadays?
Instead of making a quick buck, it’s a good idea to check that your niche has staying power, so that it’ll keep making you money consistently for a long time. So, how can you tell what’s here to stay, and what’s just a passing craze?
This comes back to the problems you’re solving for your target audience. What solutions are you delivering, that they won’t want to go without? Whether it’s entertaining content or an actual product or service, think about what makes your audience keep coming back for more.
If you’re selling products, it’s a good idea to find something that gets used up, so that people have to keep buying more – examples include food, drink, beauty products, barbeque fuel, and cleaning supplies.
A good sign is if your niche has a steady (or steadily increasing) level of popularity and interest on Google Trends. Sharp spikes are great for short-term wins, but quickly crash once the craze ends.
- Assessed your niche
- Researched your niche’s profitability
- Considered your target audience
- Checked to make sure your niche is evergreen
- Decided if your niche is suitable to launch
Why should people go to you, instead of your competitors?
This is one of the most important parts of finding your niche online, and then succeeding in your chosen niche. To stand out from the crowd and attract excited new visitors to your online niche, you need a USP (unique selling point). This is what makes you different (and better) than your competitors.
For example, Uber stood out from existing competitors because it introduced an app as a new way of booking and tracking lifts, as well as lowering prices compared to taxi services.
Don’t panic if you can’t think of a unique selling point straight away. Intead, ask yourself: what value can I add to this niche?
This is where you get to draw on your passion, talent, or expertise, and combine it with all the competitor analysis you carried out earlier. If your competitors are dropping the ball in a particular area – such as product presentation, lack of personal touch, or old-fashioned designs – then you can step up and stand out with a fresh version or alternative.
Perhaps you have unique experience or knowledge you can offer your audience, such as a one-on-one consultation to help them choose the right product, or an ebook or video call to go alongside an online course.
Think outside the box, and look for gaps in your niche that your own unique skills can fill.
Another way to add value to your niche is to embrace “micro niches”, such as accessories or complimentary products.
- Thought about what your unique selling point may be
- Referred back to your competitor analysis to identify possible areas where you can improve or stand out
- Decided how you could add extra value to your niche
Find Out More
- You’ve heard about a USP, but what about a UVP? Find out more about What a Unique Value Proposition Is and how to find yours.
You’re ready! The final step before launching your niche for real is to test out your idea online – dip your toe into the online waters, and see if you get any bites.
One of the best ways to do this is to set up an online store or website accepting pre-orders of your product or service. That way, you can get an idea of how much interest your idea generates and go from there.
Of course, your niche might not work this way, or you might find that you don’t get any pre-orders. That’s okay! Launch your niche online – start off small, and constantly measure and test your website or store to track how people are engaging with your niche.
If you find people aren’t biting, don’t panic – it could be that something on your website is putting people off. Try A/B testing on your site, to see if changing design elements – or even your written content – could have an impact and boost engagement. Optimizely is a simple but effective tool for running tests on your website.
It’s easy to get stuck for ages in the planning and prepping that comes with finding a great niche, but at the end of the day, you need to go ahead and launch your idea to test it out and see if it’s any good or not!
- Created a site to accept pre-orders, if possible
- Launched your niche
- Monitored your site’s analytics, to measure success
- Made tests or changes to maximize engagement
Find Out More
Social media is where you’ll find out what people are talking about, what they like, and what they need. To carve out your own little corner—or “niche”—you need to know where your potential customers hang out, and most of them are probably somewhere on social media.
Is it Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), or maybe a specialized Facebook Group? Once you’ve found your stage, listen in on what communities are talking about. What’s trending? What problems are people looking to solve? If you can answer these questions, you’ll go a long way to leveraging social media.
Think of it like eavesdropping at a café but for market research. Use this intel to tailor your products or services, making them irresistible to your ideal customers and adding to a community they’re already engaged in.
What Are Some of the Best Social Media Platforms?
- Instagram: Great for businesses that rely on visuals like fashion, food, or travel. Instagram is the visual feast of social media.
- Facebook: Perfect for creating groups, hosting events, and running ads. People in communities on Facebook are passionate and engaged.
- Twitter/X: Ideal for real-time updates and trending topics. X is where you’ll find the latest information.
- LinkedIn: Best for B2B companies and professional services. Think of it as a business conference where you can network and share your expertise.
- Pinterest: Excellent for businesses in the DIY, home improvement, and creative sectors. It’s your digital scrapbook for inspiration and project planning.
- TikTok: Perfect for quick, engaging content that can go viral overnight. Think of it as a talent show where you’ve got 60 seconds to wow the audience.
As the world changes, so do the needs and wants of consumers. Two areas that are booming right now are green and sustainable businesses and services tailored for an aging population. Let’s explore these a bit more.
Green and Sustainable Niche Businesses
The green wave is here, and it’s not just a fad. This movement has people more conscious than ever about their impact on the planet, which opens doors for businesses in various sectors, like sustainable fashion, zero-waste living, and renewable energy.
Imagine your business as a tree–the more you incorporate sustainability, the deeper your roots grow in this market. Strategies can range from sourcing sustainable products and using eco-friendly materials to sending items in sustainable packaging and implementing energy-efficient practices.
The Aging Population and Niche Opportunities
As the saying goes, age is just a number, but it’s a number that comes with specific needs and challenges. The aging population isn’t looking for one-size-fits-all solutions. They want services and products tailored to them. From mobility aids to specialized healthcare, or even travel experiences designed for older adults, the opportunities are endless to tap into an important market.
Whether you’re passionate about saving the planet or catering to the needs of an older generation, there’s a niche waiting for you to make your mark.
You’ve nailed your niche, that sweet spot where you shine. What comes next is turning it into a money-making machine that can bring consistent income and help generate revenue. Let’s break down your options.
Before you dive in, perform a financial health check on your niche. Is it a flash in the pan or built for the long haul? Once you’ve got that sorted, you can craft a money-making strategy that’s more than a quick cash grab and acts as a long-term game plan with these sales methods.
Think of this as your financial backbone. It’s steady, reliable, and the core of your income. This is where you make your bread, the income you rely on regularly that serves as the foundation of your revenue.
Affiliate marketing is your side hustle within the hustle. Promote brands you trust, and get a commission from each sale. It’s a win-win, especially as your audience gets quality products served to them, and you get a cut.
You can learn more about how to make money with affiliate marketing in our full guide. If you’re ready to get going, check out our guide on how to find affiliate marketing partners for some helpful tips!
Another income layer, but with a slight twist. With sponsored content, you’re paid to feature products that resonate with your audience. It’s not just about the money here but also adding value to your platform with relevant offerings.
This multi-pronged approach keeps you profitable, adaptable, and in tune with market shifts and customer needs.
You’ve come a long way from sitting and writing down your hobbies, passions, and interests, and should now be full of ideas and excitement for starting your niche!
It’s important to find a unique selling point, find competitive keywords (but not too competitive), solve problems, and plan out a way to be different from your competition. It can all feel a little daunting, so our final tip is to plan carefully, but not plan forever.
Your niche will never take off if you never hit Publish – so follow our steps, but don’t agonize over them or stress if you miss any small steps out. Here’s a recap of the key steps to tick off along the way…
Find Your Niche: 10 Step Recap
- Think about your interests and passions
- Solve problems for your audience
- Carry out competitor analysis
- Do keyword research
- Assess your niche
- Find your unique selling point
- Test your idea
- Leverage social media to find your niche
- Explore niche opportunities in growing markets
- Explore Monetization strategies
We can’t wait to see what new and exciting niches you find – so please come back and let us know how you get on! Haven’t started yet? Go grab yourself a pen and paper, and start scribbling down your favorite hobbies and interests – before someone else finds your perfect niche first!
Find Out More
- What niche did you decide on? Whether you’re starting a blog or an online store, we have guides to help you take your next steps to online success:
- How to Start a Blog – discover the 8 key steps to starting a successful blog in our handy guide
- How to Build a Business Website – find out the essential steps for creating a business website
- How to Build an Online Store – check out our ultimate guide to starting an online store, from start to finish
- How To Build a Brand Online – once you’ve found your niche, build your brand!
- How to Grow Your Business Online – if you’re wondering how to grow your niche, check out our guide
- Most Popular Types of Websites – looking for inspiration? Check out our list of popular website types