If you're researching how to choose a niche, you'll read all sorts of articles about keyword research, competition analysis, and traffic ideas. What you WON'T see a lot of is good or bad niche product examples.
That's what I'm aiming to give you in today's post. By the end of it, you'll have a much better idea of how to approach your niche selection from a product perspective.
The vast majority of niche marketers out there use Google Adsense, Amazon, or Clickbank, and leave it at that. These are the easiest networks to make money on, so they're not a bad place to start at all.
Even if you're choosing Clickbank or Amazon, you still need to actually do some research and make sure you've chosen a good product. This should be part of your niche research, just as much a part as keyword research, and everything else.
In fact, to those who feel keyword research is all you need, I say “It's important, but not the only thing to focus on”. To those who think choosing a product (or a few products) is all you need, I say “It's important, but not the only thing to focus on”.
Each is as important as the other.
Here are some examples of good and bad niche selection, with emphasis put on the products they chose.
First, the bad examples.
Niche Product Examples
Bad Idea #1 – Questions To Ask A Guy (My Worst Niche Ever)
This isn't exactly a niche with a product, in fact it's a classic example of being too attracted to keywords, and not focusing on the bigger picture.
The second site I ever built focused around questions to ask a guy, questions to ask a girl, and so on.
I built a site, and despite not really knowing SEO or anything back then, ended up getting close to 1,000 visits a day.
You can imagine how I felt: “Wohoo I made it!” “This is easy” and similar thoughts.
While it WAS incredibly satisfying to have that much traffic, it was fruitless. I didn't make much at all off Adsense and I also didn't manage to successfully promote any products.
I stuck some product reviews in there, and tried many different methods, but nothing ever took off. I probably could succeed with it now, and I'd know to stick it out longer and test different things, but back then I didn't know what I was doing.
More importantly though, the niche was fundamentally flawed. Yes I had traffic, but this was traffic interested in getting quick answers and question suggestions. They weren't exactly in buying mode, and nor was there an immediate “need” that they had, other than to look for questions.
Lesson here: Don't just go for keywords without a product, and make sure your target niche has a distinct need (and not something they can find answers to in a second).
Bad Idea #2 – General “Single Product” Sites
It's not necessarily a bad idea to build a site that only focuses on one product, but you've got to think about how you approach it.
If the niche itself has plenty of questions and problems (with lots of great keywords) and you can write a lot of content on them, then it's fine to recommend one product as the solution.
An example of this would be say, the weight loss niche. Perhaps you have one weight loss solution that you want to promote. That's fine, because you still have plenty of content that you could add to your site about weight loss.
On the other hand, when you see people choosing something like iPad Cases, Selfie Poles, or a similar kind of product, you have to wonder what their site content is going to be.
Apart from just reviewing a bunch of iPad cases, what exactly are you going to bring to the table?
It's much better to write informative articles that answer your niche audience's needs. This will really help them see the value in you and trust your recommendations.
Additionally, when your site just focuses on different product reviews and has little “meat” to it, Google isn't going to find much value or reason to rank you higher than other sites.
So if you think there are some good keywords around selfie sticks, then by all means promote them, but don't build your entire site around them.
Have a site about extreme photography, travel photos, or something similar, and have a couple of pages focusing on selfie poles. A few months later when you've got more traffic and a better engaged audience, you'll be glad you broadened your niche.
You'll also be able to promote way more products, and Google won't just look at your site and see affiliate links and reviews everywhere.
I hope this is clear here. It's FINE to have one product on your site, but it's NOT FINE to build a site around a product or range of product, without being able to add a lot of useful content.
Bad – A site that just reviews different iPad Cases (or similar)
Good – A health/fitness/whatever site that has all sorts of useful tips and insights, and recommends a single product to help people reach their goal.
Another example is where people want to affiliate with Amazon, so build a small site around a niche and fill it with ” Best [ product name ] ” keywords. Unless those articles are high quality and at least 1,000 words long, I can't see you having much joy.
Good Idea #1 – Leaving Room To Expand
I see a lot of people approaching their niche this way, and more often than not they're the ones who succeed. Whether or not you eventually do go on to expand a site is actually not important.
The process of leaving yourself room ends up making you create a much more authoritative site, even if it never goes beyond 10 pages. It's just that the mindset you have will make you choose much more useful content and better titles. You'll be much less promotional, and will think more long term.
An example of this is my Kettlebell website, which I built around one particular DVD sold on Clickbank, but wrote a variety of different articles about Kettlebells. In the end I was able to branch out and promote multiple products.
This really benefited me, because later that product was taken down from Clickbank, and my site continued making money in its absence.
The approach was this:
- Write one really good review of the DVD
- Write all sorts of informative Kettlebell articles (what size to use, what exercises to perform etc) and link to the DVD review where relevant.
My site was getting good traffic in no time, and earning me $300-500 a month within about 6 months.
Good Idea #2 – Research Keywords And Products At The Same Time
It's no good setting out thinking “I want to promote this cool product because I've heard it's profitable” or “I just want to promote a high-ticket item, so I chose bla bla”.
There's more to it than that.
On top of that, you can't just say “The keywords are really good” or “The niche is quite broad and I'm passionate about it”. That could well be a recipe for disaster as well.
You've got to take both factors into account and do them at the same time.
Is there something that has a broad enough scope for you to expand, has good keywords, good products to promote, and is about more than just the products? If so, you could be onto a winner.
Choosing to promote “Best straight razors”, but having a site about more than just the best razors. A mini authority site about shaving would be great, such as this one.
In this example, you can see that we are still focusing on promoting “Best “, but we're building a site about more than just that. It's niche enough to get traffic and have lower competition, yet it's also got products that people need, and answers to people's questions.
Bonus Tip – Don't Get Dollar Signs In Your Eyes
It's really easy to find an exceptional keyword and get dollar signs in your eyes. It's even more easy to find a really cool product, with great commissions, little competition, and think “Booyeah!”.
Even if you don't make a habit of thinking “Booyeah”…I hope you get the point.
Look at the bigger picture, read through my guide to niche selection, and drop me a comment if you need any help. Remember also that the more experience you have, the better you'll be.
What's Your Best And Worst Niche Idea Ever? Drop me a comment below!
Even if it's not your niche, but the best or worst idea you ever saw someone else attempt. As long as it's not Human Proof Designs, we're all good 🙂