Brainstorming to Help Your Ideal Niche Choose YouPosted: January 17, 2012
My last article went into the importance of having a passion for your chosen niche. In this article, I’m going to discuss how to brainstorm what you like and what’s out there to discover your ideal niche. Though you’ll see that your ideal niche will be choosing you.
First, it’s important to understand that you need to clear your head of outside influences. Everyone I know when I grew up said that the best investment was real estate, and in the past 5 years that sentiment would have been dead wrong. More importantly, other people generally won’t know what you’re passionate about and can do to make a living. So forget all that advice and start from scratch.
1. What do you like?
Once you’re more established at the ways you make money, you might look at branching out to things that you may not have a strong affinity towards, but initially, you should like what you’re involved in. A lot of online success today especially focuses on content of some sort, whether it’s articles/blog posts, videos, audios, or even products or services you put together. Putting together a lot of content can be grueling if you don’t like the subject matter.
List out everything you like. Doesn’t necessarily need to be in any sort of order, just get your thoughts on paper (or Notepad). Then go through that list and try to think of anything related that you like. Sometimes things pop into our head based on what we’ve gone through recently and we might actually temporarily forget about something we used to and still like. Do whatever you can to really dig into your mind and get everything out on paper.
2. What’s out there?
Sometimes, the 1st method isn’t good enough, or you end up with a list of things and don’t understand the next step. This is where more traditional keyword research comes into play.
Here are some ways you can go through what’s out there, either stemming from what you’ve fleshed out in the 1st method or through browsing and seeing what pops out at you:
I used to despise the overhaul Google did to this tool a couple years ago. You used to be able to get 300 keywords at a time exportable to Excel and they lowered that to 100. Over time however, I’ve come to appreciate the fact that they give up to 800 suggestions based on the keywords you give. You can even limit it to certain categories, minimum search requirements, etc.
After my article on cute brandable names being used by enterprise-targeted companies, I did some mindless lookups of many relevant enterprise-targeted terms. I wound up coming across some large areas that I didn’t know existed due to my lack of familiarity with it.
Ultimately, you’re seeing if something jumps out at you as something you could make a site about and would be capable and motivated and to stick with and keep updating.
B. Directory categories/sections
Feeling lost when trying to branch from your listed passions? Maybe one of them isn’t coming to mind. Looking through a directory like the Yellow Pages, Yahoo’s directory or others can help bring more concepts to mind. You might see something that jumps out at you that you liked but hadn’t paid attention to for a while.
C. Amazon products
Have an idea of the direction you want to go but not sure where the money is? Generally these days, if it’s for sale, it’s probably on Amazon. Maybe not, but they certainly have branched out to offering a significant amount of things for sale. Especially if you’re considering writing a book or making an informational site, Amazon is a good place to look for ideas given their vast selection of books.
D. Affiliate networks (for inspiration)
Not that there’s anything wrong with becoming an affiliate for other products, but looking on a site like ClickBank or CJ.com can also give you ideas for products in your area of passion. You can even get an idea of how successful certain kinds of products are by the stats these networks give you.
E. Network with similarly passionate people
Sometimes it’s best to put heads together with someone else sharing some of your passions, especially if they make a living in it. They can possibly give guidance or at least throw some ideas out there for you to mull over or branch off of.
There are other ways to look up possible niches and brainstorm, but that should get you started on the right path at least. You’ll know when you’ve figured out the right one, because you won’t be able to help proceeding with it – it will have chosen you.
Again, make sure that what you proceed with is something that excites you, something you wouldn’t necessarily see as work. Otherwise, you may find yourself bored after a while and lacking motivation to do what you need to reach success in it.