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Wednesday
Jan132010

4 Steps to Define Your Niche Market

If you are writing a book or developing a product you need to define your niche market. A niche market is a group of people or businesses that have similar interests that can be identified and reached. By defining your market you can determine who you are going to market to which will help determine how you couch your marketing and how you spend your marketing dollars.
 
Here's the process to find your niche business or book topic:

  • Find a niche product or service you are passionate about.

It is important to find a product, topic or service you are passionate about. If you are going to devote time and energy to develop your site, build traffic and generate money you will need to enjoy what you are doing.

  • Determine your target audience.

Do your homework. Make sure the product you want to promote has a big enough market to make it worth while. You do not want to have a topic too broad that you blend in with all of the other sites. For example, if you love animals you may want to narrow your market to dogs. You can even further narrow your dog market to small dogs. However, be careful not to go overboard in defining your market because if you narrow your small dog market to only pugs it may become too narrow. You need to find that one point where there is sufficient market yet not overwhelming.

  • Search keywords. 

You can search keywords to see how many people search for the niche market you are targeting. This also applies if you are trying to determine your book topic. You may be interested in women’s health. A niche market of just women would be overwhelming, but if you further narrow your niche to women approaching menopause, you have created a strong and powerful defined niche that will be filled with useful keywords.

  • Find out what your customer wants. 

If you already have a business or product you can take a survey to find out what your customers want. You can also test a product with your customers to see if it will be worth your time to pursue. If you are a business owner and want to write a book about motivation you might give a free tip sheet on how to motivate your staff. If it is popular it may be a good topic for a book. If you sell retail items and want to expand your product line, sell the product for a limited time to see what kind of response you get before you stock up on inventory.

What steps have you taken to define your niche? What makes you stand out from your competitors within your defined niche?

Reader Comments (13)

These 4 steps are excellent! This is exactly what new authors need to know when thinking about writing a book. Find a need and fill it. This way you will not be just the best choice, you will be the ONLY choice!

January 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Heinrich

Yes Nancy- as you have found very definitely with your little book, Healthy Living with Diabetes, One Small Step at a Time. You certainly have found your niche! Congrats.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandace C., Davenport

This is a very helpful article!

I started a chess coaching business two years ago and even though this was a pretty unique market, I developed a niche: teaching chess to very young children (starting at age 2).

I agree with your steps. I used Linkedin for surveying, as the people there were extremely helpful and eager to offer ideas and advice.

I think that people should write a book about their niches. They need to write everything that they know about the area, making sure to communicate to the person who knows little or nothing about that area.

Can you share some examples of niches that have impressed you?

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Sherman

The key to making money on the internet is to serve a niche market. It really isn't any different than brick and mortar establishments that fill a unique need. The secret is to follow the four points in your post and to be passionate about what you are doing - everything else will fall into place.

March 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Gillis

Laura
You have a great example of a niche market. If I was a parent looking for informaiton on Chess I would definitely search "teaching chess to children" rather than "how to learn chess".

Writing a book is a great way to promote your niche market to prospective clients. You will gain more credibility and you will be seen as an expert. We actually have developed our own niche market in publishing. We only publish little books and we target business owners that want to use the book to market their services.

The most recent example that I have encountered is actually and old idea made new. A local physician started a new practice and he makes home visits. He has several nurse practitioners that work with him. It is such a great service for the elderly

March 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulia M Lindsey

Steve

I agree that passion is the key ingredient to success for any market.

Gary Vayerchuck is a good example of how someone can take a passion and turn it into a great business. In his book Crush It he explains how we can all cash in on our passions.

I think many businesses fail because they are not passionate about the product. As soon as the road gets rocky they quit because they dont have the passion to figure out how to stay in the game. Sometimes the answer is as easy as narrowing the market.

March 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulia M Lindsey

I book marked this post. I know it will come in handy for me down the road. Thanks!

March 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGinny Roth

This is very helpful. At the moment I feel like I am maybe trying to cover too much at once maybe and am just diversifying my audience so that some people like certain posts but don't bother reading the others.

Has anyone else had experience of downscaling their website as they were too ambitious perhaps or just re-assessed their aims?

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Mark, many people start new blogs to cover different interests. It really all depends on what you want to accomplish with your blog. If there is no business application, I don't think it really matters. It is ok to have a blog that just covers "Mark's thoughts". However if you want to try to make money with it or lead people in a direction (one of my ideas with my writing blog is that people will see samples of my writing, see what projects I'm working on and will perhaps hire me), then you really need to focus on one theme, your niche market.

I did start my chess instruction blog, because my static website was way too general and was too difficult to keep up. People stopped visiting it because nothing was happening. Now I'm working on combining the static with the blog.

Blogs are very easy to start and modify!

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Sherman

It is more of a blog of thoughts but it wouldn't be bad to make money at the same time. I can see how splitting them in to separate blogs makes a lot of sense as then you can focus it on a certain subject.

I think I'm mainly doing it to re-ignite my interest in writing after finishing University and also in the hope of showcasing my writing. Have many people here found work through their blogs or has their blog become their job?

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Mark
Blogging on different topics may help you narrow your focus and find what you are most passionate about. On this site we actually have 3 separate blogs, book reviews, gratitude journal and pubhishing/busines. That takes care of three of our passions.

Having a blog resume to showcase your work is a great way to get new clients if you are wanting to blog for other people.


Laura
We converted our site to have the blog on the landing page. Our original site was a static one and we had a separate blog site. We found that there was no traffic on the static site so we merged the two.

March 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulia M Lindsey

Julia, that's what I'm working to create for the chess site. Good to know to start with the blog, not the static one. I like that idea.

March 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Sherman

Laura
We used squarespace.com. to build the site. You have alot of flexabiliy on what kind of pages you want to include in your site. The great thing is you dont need to know how to code. I like some of the features of Word Press better for my blog but it didnt allow for the contact page, basic html page etc.

March 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulia M Lindsey

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