Starting an online business should be a time to celebrate! Instead, it can be an overwhelming process with many questions running through your mind: How am I going to make money? What is my website going to be about? Where do I even begin?
Don’t let these questions deter you from what you have set out to do. These questions may seem overwhelming, but once you get the ball rolling, everything will begin to fall into place for your online business.
When choosing a topic for your blog or business it is important to find a niche that you can make profitable. Think about what you have to offer; is it content, a service or a product? How will you sell yourself to potential customers, how will this idea become profitable?
What is a Niche?
For your business to be successful, you will need to select a niche. A niche is what your online business will focus on as a whole. Think of a niche as the canopy of an umbrella when it is opened. While your niche (the canopy) covers a particular area, there are also subcategories of the area underneath related to your niche that you can include in your online business.
Let’s put this into context.
We will use Healthy Living as a niche in this example.
Let’s say a reader conducts an online search for a website to learn about eating healthy, and the search results produces a website about healthy living. Healthy living is the niche because it specializes on a specific area that readers are interested in.
Because healthy living is the niche and a niche is like an umbrella, this website showed up in search results prompted by searching for eating healthy, as eating healthy is a topic related to healthy living. The same would apply to searching for exercise tips, eating clean, health benefits of foods, water intake, etc.
So Why is a Niche Important?
A niche is important for your website or online business because you will need to target a specific audience to derive the most traffic. This isn’t like traffic on a gridlock interstate where the drivers are miserable and angry. Traffic on a website is a good thing, and if readers are getting exactly what they are looking for when visiting your website, the traffic will increase!
A niche will let your readers know what your website is promoting or what it is associated with. This can easily mean your readers come to your website for one reason, but end up looking around your website for other reasons related to their topic of interest.
This makes selecting and optimizing the niche of your online website so important. When choosing a niche, it is important to determine your target audience for whom you will market all of the website content towards.
What NOT to Do When Choosing a Niche
While it is important to know what to do when deciding on a niche topic, it is equally important to know what you should avoid.
Let’s say you don’t have a niche for your website. You have created an online business where you want to be like a department store and have a little bit of something for everyone. This may sound like a good thing, right? More is better?
We don’t want to say this is website suicide, but it’s pretty close.
Readers who are searching for a specific topic are likely to be connected to that topic, or be in the process of developing a connection with that topic. A reader will not stay on a website that is not directly related to the topic, idea, or product they are interested in; especially if the website jumps from one end of the spectrum to another. It is difficult to market a business like this because you would not have a target audience. This also means that your website will not rank well on search engines as it will not have valuable content in any one area.
Let’s use the Healthy Living example again.
A reader interested in eating healthy will likely exit your website if you include eating healthy, dog grooming tips, and air conditioner reviews all on the same page of your website. Readers will not only be confused, but they will also feel like the website isn’t an expert in the area they are interested in.
A reader’s first impression of your website can make all the difference in the world of a reader staying on your website or moving onto the next one, so it is important for the reader to feel like they are getting what they expected upon arrival.
- Think of your online website as a specialty store and not a department store
- Do not include topics, items, or products unrelated to your niche
- Don’t provide so much content that it is overwhelming to your readers
What TO Do When Selecting a Niche
Create a website centered on the niche you decide. Readers should arrive at your website and know exactly what type of service, information, or product you are providing. Once you decide on your niche, stick with that umbrella of topics related to the niche.
A good way to understand what readers of this niche are interested in is by conducting a website search on your topic to see other frequently searched topics.
Let’s use the Healthy Living niche again as an example.
Going to a search engine and typing in “healthy living,” “fitness,” and “diet,” produces the following results:
- Healthy living apps
- Healthy living quotes
- Healthy living tips
- Healthy living diets
- Fitness tracker
- Fitness blender
- Diet pills
- Diet plans
- Diet for diabetics
These search results are gold when it comes to knowing what kind of content to add to your website. These are the most frequently searched keywords when searching for healthy living, fitness, and diet. By doing a two-second keyword search, you now have nearly 10 immediate topics of healthy living you can discuss and offer on your website.
How to Choose a Niche
You should choose a niche that interests you and that you are confident you can make profitable through affiliate links or display ads. It may seem like every topic has been thought of and every niche has been discussed. While this may be true, don’t look at this as a negative. Instead, turn this into a positive.
Have you ever heard the term “new and improved”? This is essentially what you are doing when choosing a niche. There is a good (okay, great) chance the niche you are discussing has been discussed before. So instead of being the original, be the better.
Choose a niche that is profitable and that will allow you to become an expert in that role. This combination is the first step in creating your online business empire.