This is the second post, in a four part series, designed to help you overcome several common online business success obstacles.
Everything starts with an idea, a vision.
Seeing the whole picture at the beginning of an undertaking, while being uncertain of your direction can be a real challenge.
If nothing else, remember the following sentence. Ready?
Everything depends upon the niche you choose to enter.
Choose the right niche, and you are well ahead of the curve. Choose the wrong niche, and you could be setting yourself up for months or years of needless struggle.
While an entrepreneur’s “gut feeling” provides the passion for pursuing an idea, it’s what the market wants, which will dictate your success or failure. It’s often a lot easier to enter a market which already has existing cash flow and money to spend, than trying to convince people they need your product or service.
In some cases, based on market research, you could potentially be the first to create a new niche market. However, if this is your first time dipping your toe in the waters of micro business ownership, shoot for a market that has a need, and fill it.
- Can I make it better, faster, cheaper?
- Can I create an accompanying product that piggybacks off current market offerings?
- What is my unique selling proposition (USP)?
- Do I have a unique way to market my product/service offering?
Give this a lot of thought!
You’re probably asking, how do you determine what the market wants?
Let me share a few ideas to get you started. This short post isn’t an instructional manual on any of the mostly free tools below, simply ideas to point you in the right direction. If you have any specific questions on usage or results, I’ll be happy to give advice, simply email me.
Seeing fairly accurate keyword research data goes a long way in determining initial niche market considerations. Also gauging the approximate PPC costs can help reveal commercial intent.
Tapping into the social stream of existing conversations, forums, blogs, twitter posts and more, can possibly uncover an existing need in the marketplace. Do you see a recurring question in forums people keep asking over and over again? Is there a product/service available to solve this problem? This could be the seed idea for your next project.
Chrome SEO Plugin – A slick tool to analyze several ranking components of a webpage.
Open Site Explorer – The classic backlink analysis tool by SEOmoz.
Backlink Watch – A free, quick and dirty tool which lists a website’s backlinks.
Ahrefs – A newcomer backlink analysis tool with lots of potential.
Compete – A collection of demographic information about a website in your market.
One of my favorite robust tools which blends keyword research, social media monitoring/scheduling, backlink analysis, link outreach management and a whole lot more, check out Raven Tools, which starts at $99/mo.
Let’s say you found a niche with good keyword potential, active social media channels, paid advertisements and a handle on your competitor’s strategies. It’s time to create your initial Unique Selling Proposition (USP) , content strategy, product offerings and marketing plan of attack. Make sure to have a good understanding of what need your product /service fills, how you will market it and what the conversion goals will be.
It’s important to know that over time your niche product/service may likely need to pivot, to keep relevant in the marketplace.
Next week, we will look at the second obstacle blocking your business success, Time.
If you could start over again, would you stay in your current niche?
Posts in this series
Part 1: How To Crush 3 Obstacles Blocking Your Online Business
Part 2: Choose The Wrong Niche, Your Online Business Will Fail
Part 3: Finding Time For Your Online Business, When You Work Full Time
Part 4: But It Takes A Lot Of Money To Start An Online Business, Right?