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What's Your Niche?

© 2013 Elena Fawkner

The Internet has been likened by many to the vast frontier
faced by those who took to the wild west in search of gold.
The enormity of its potential certainly draws many a gold
seeker ... but just as the gold diggers of old had to stake
their claim before digging for gold, so too must you.  Online,
it's called finding your niche.

Chances are, your online business idea has already been
done.  To death.  Does this mean that the market is
saturated and there is no room on board for you?  No.
Not by a long shot.

To be successful in an online business, you need to be
the best.  Now, that doesn't mean the best overall, or
even the best in your general category.  What it means
is being the best in your specific category ... your niche.

If the niche you're interested in is already occupied, can
you be better than the best in that niche?  If so, go for it.
If not, find another niche!

So, how exactly do you go about finding your niche? Here's
five steps to staking a claim to your share of the Internet


To start with, you need to have some idea of the general
category you're interested in becoming involved in as a
business venture.  It may be something to do with health
and fitness, nutrition, pet care, home-based business,
internet marketing, whatever.

Now, see if you can narrow down your area of interest a
little.  Let's say your general area of interest is health and
fitness.  Can you be more specific?  Does your interest lie
in aerobic exercise, weight training, nutritional supplements,
diet?  This is your sub-category.


The object of the exercise is to identify an unmet need that
you can fill.  This will become your niche.  How do you identify
an unmet need?  By listening to what the people interested in
the sub-category you identified in step 1 are saying.  A good
place to start is to sign up to various mailing lists and read
newsgroups relevant to your sub-category.

Let's say your sub-category of interest within the general
category of health and fitness is weight training.  You
would sign up for mailing lists and read newsgroups that deal
with this subject.  Pay attention to the kinds of questions people
are asking each other.  It is likely that the reason many of these
questions are being asked is that the questioner hasn't been able
to find adequate information online that deals with the subject
matter.  These sorts of questions are good sources of potential

Continuing with our weight training example, the results of
this step may suggest that some potential areas of unmet need
exist, such as the benefits of weight training for: seniors, injury
recuperation, weight loss, bone density, mental health, blood
pressure, and so on.


Armed with your list of potential niches gathered during step
two, go off now and do your own research.  See if you can find
sources of information that answer the questions on your list.
If not, keep it on your list as a potential niche.  If so, get an
idea of how much information there is out there and whether
you think you could do a better job.  If so, keep it on your list.
If not, delete it.


Now that you have a shortlist of potential niche categories,
think about your specific experience, interests and
competencies and which niche(s) you could best serve.

Pay particular attention to what interests you the most.  It's all
very well identifying a niche but if it holds absolutely no interest
for you, you won't put in the time and effort to turn that niche to
your financial advantage.  So, go with what interests you first
and foremost even if you have more experience and expertise
in a different area.  What you lack in experience and expertise
you can learn and your natural enthusiasm will do the rest.


Now that you've identified your niche, fill it!  Create a website,
publish a newsletter, write articles, promote related affiliate
programs, write an e-book, and so on and so forth.  Because
you are meeting an unmet need, you are, by definition, setting
yourself up as an expert in your niche.  This gives you an
enormous competitive advantage, at least in the beginning.

Not exactly brain surgery is it?  The Internet has unlimited
potential for virtually anyone prepared to put in the hard work.
But it rewards the innovators, not the imitators.  By taking
the time to find the right niche for you, and then building your
business around that niche, you will make a valuable
contribution and addition to the Internet community and the
Internet community will reward you for it.

Don't rest on your laurels, though.  The nature of competition,
offline or online, is that your success will entice new entrants
into your niche.  To stay on top of the heap you need to be
continually evolving and ever-vigilant within your niche.  So
stake your claim and make sure no-one moves the pegs while
your back is turned.


Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical ideas, resources and strategies for your home-based or online business. http://www.ahbbo.com newsletter

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