Your First Step: Niche Research

If you think you can skip niche research, think again.

The Importance of Market Research

Ken McCarthy, one of the wiser voices in internet marketing today, says the first step in marketing online is finding a "hungry market." Another favorite internet marketing teacher, Ed Dale, recently said that 95% of mistakes in internet businesses are made on the market research level.

So I urge you not to skip this important step if earning a profit is important to you.

Here's an example of how it works:

If Goldilocks Built a Website

Say you're a stay-at-home mom, for instance, so you decide an obvious subject for a website would be parenting.

You make the website look fantastic and you learn how to build traffic to come to your website. But not much traffic comes, despite your strongest efforts.

Turns out there are 40,500 entering a Google search for "parenting" per month, along with extremely high competition. Your site is getting lost in this huge jumble of parenting sites. It's like a needle buried in a very large haystack. This niche is far too broad.

Let's say instead you chose "parenting young children." There's less competition, but there are only 260 Google searches per month for that term, so you're not likely to get enough people to your site to sustain a website business. The audience is too small.

How do I know this? Niche research, of course.

What else do I know? That the search term "single parent" gets 4,400 Google searches per month - enough to sustain a website business - and it has average advertiser competition. As Goldilocks would say, it's just right.

That's no guarantee of success, but it certainly puts you on the right track.

You also need to find a market that's willing and able to pay you fairly for your product or service.

Your ideal keyword will get about 3,000 to 10,000 searches per month and when you search the term on Google, it will get under a million results.

Where to get this information

How do you do this research? There are several tools available. Some are free, while you'll need to pay for others.

I describe a couple on the following pages.

Learn to use Google's free market research tool

Learn about the Market Samurai niche research tool

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