When it comes to finding your niche, there are some tried and tested ways of digging deeper. However, what's important to bear in mind is that you DON'T just do what everyone else is doing.
Believe it or not, you can use tried and tested methods, and follow breadcrumbs from other successful sites, while still being a bit more unique than the masses in your niche brainstorming.
What You'll Learn Today
- How To Avoid Doing What Most People Do
- How To Brainstorm Offline Ideas
- How To Follow Footprints To Find Niches
- How To Reverse Engineer Other Successful Sites
- How To Use Your Existing Knowledge For Ideas
What Most People Do
Most people will start their niche research with a keyword tool. While a keyword tool is an important aspect of validating a niche and coming up with content ideas, it's not the best place to look for niches themselves.
In a previous post, I talked about my ideal criteria for an Amazon niche site, and it's important to consider this.
However, that doesn't mean that you should necessarily start your niche selection by just putting Amazon subcategories into keyword tools and seeing what you find.
That's what most people do, which means you're not giving yourself an advantage.
Yes, you might find a winning niche that way, I've done it several times, but what if you could look where other people weren't looking, and still come up with a niche that meets the ideal criteria?
Remember, we're NOT looking for a zero-competition niche.
Our goal in this article is to learn what other techniques we can use to brainstorm and find ideas, while still making sure we find winners.
To do this, we need to start looking in other places…
How To Get Ideas Offline
Just because we're doing Internet Marketing, it doesn't mean everything has to be focused on the Internet. We don't need to dig into the depth of keyword tools when we have tools all around us.
Four Places To Look Offline For Online Ideas
- Phonebooks – Remember those things? If you still have one, look for the classifieds or business listings and see what ideas you come up with. Not saying you'll find gold, but you'll definitely get some ideas.
- Books and Magazines – Walk into a bookstore and look at the delicious niche ideas on offer. There are so many different things you could do, head to the hobbies section, look at the best-sellers, take a pen and paper and see what you can come up with.
- Shopping Areas – Just look with a bookstore, you can head to any major shopping district or department store and see what ideas spring to mind.
- TV – See what products are being advertised and see what you can come up with.
Now, you're not going to necessarily validate any niches by doing this, but you'll get plenty of ideas. You'll then be able to put those ideas into keyword tools and all the other validation techniques that everyone else is looking at.
Should you only focus on “new” products? Not necessarily, but seeing things on the high-street which might become popular in the future is definitely a good angle.
How To Follow Footprints To Get Ideas
We're heading back online for this one, but we're going to do something other people might not do.
There are some things that virtually every Amazon site has in common – the Amazon affiliate disclaimer. You can search for this in Google and find a bunch of Amazon sites. Are they going to be in niches you can enter too? That's for the niche validation to determine, but you'll definitely get a whole bunch of ideas.
What is this text?
Section 10 of the Amazon affiliate agreement states the following:
…clearly state the following on your site: “[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [insert the applicable site name (amazon.com or myhabit.com)].
Take the bolded section and search it in Google. You'll find pages and pages of Amazon sites with this as their affiliate disclosure.
Hint: Put your own site's disclosure in the footer to make it appear lower down in the Google rankings, or put it on a “Disclosure” page and set it to noindex. Amazon will be happy that your site has the statement, but it won't show up in Google.
How To Reverse Engineer Other Sites Using Semrush and Long Tail Pro
Once you've found some sites using the techniques above, you can put their homepage URLs into Semrush and see what keywords they rank for. You'll get a handful of keyword ideas, and dozens of them if you're using Semrush Pro.
Take this further by putting sites like bestreviews.com into Semrush – These sites have MASSIVE amounts of rankings, but not all of them are page 1. A smaller, more dedicated niche site would be able to rank among them.
You can also export the keywords they rank for, put them into a tool like LongTailPro, and find out which ones are the least competitive.
Step One: Check Out Keywords For Popular Review Sites
In the screenshot above, we can see a small selection of keywords that bestreviews.com ranks for. Dig deep and you can find a few ideas. Do the same for sites like thewirecutter.com and more.
Step Two: Export “Best” Keywords And Check Competition Scores
Use a filter within Semrush to only show keywords with “best” in them. You can then export those keywords, and import them into LongTailPro to find their KC score.
KC is only a basic part of competition analysis, but a good method for narrowing down bigger lists like this.
Creating A Mindmap Of The Topics You Like And Dislike
A lot of guides, when telling you to come up with niche ideas, will start by telling you to write down your own interests, hobbies, or areas of expertise.
While this is indeed a tried and tested method, I wanted to put it last in this article. Remember, everybody does this, and most people have similar interests. Doing this method caused me to start my first ever niche site in the “stop smoking” niche, which wasn't exactly a great niche for a first timer.
A mindmap is a great idea though, because you can put all the ideas you came up with in the parts above, and sort them into “interested in” or “not interested in”. This will be a good way of narrowing down your list, allowing you to do your validation and digging deeper on a smaller set of ideas.
The very act of writing things down and creating mind maps can also lead to other ideas and insights too, and can get things out of your brain.
Some Parting Thoughts
Between the traditional niche research methods, all of the ideas above and even our Amazon video course – you should now have plenty of weapons in your arsenal for coming up with niche ideas. Not only that, you'll be doing a few things that others aren't, which raises you above the low entry barrier that affiliate marketing has.
Another aspect of all of this is that it will train you to think outside of the box. I like to think that the winning formula in internet marketing is a mix of tried and tested results, following what works, with a little pinch of creativity thrown in for seasoning.
Outside The Box Niche Research