by David Jessee

Niche marketing is all the buzz today. If you are not familiar with what niche marketing is, in short, it is picking a specific product, service, or area of interest and directing all your marketing efforts towards that specialized area of interest. Usually people will set up a website directed at that niche and market to a relatively small, but often motivated audience who is looking for information on that product, service, or interest. These niche marketers will then utilize targeted advertising for products that their target audience is likely to want to purchase.

So how do you find a profitable niche? If you already have interest in a specialized area, it is easy – start there. But for most marketers, they enter niche marketing looking to set up multiple sites on niches that they have no real expertise on. This might not sound like a good idea, but what these niche marketers are really doing is aggregating information for people into one easy to use a resource site and provide them with solutions in the form of links to products or services that will fulfill their wants and needs. It is not necessary for you to already have expertise. What is important is that you provide valuable information to your audience.

How can you find a niche that has a market of people interested in buying products? Well, there are quite a few resources that I use to determine what market I want to get into. Some of the websites I visit are amazon.com, google.com/trends, buzz.yahoo.com, and pulse.eBay.com. All of these sites offer me an insight as to what is hot now. I don’t just check out one site and randomly pick a topic, I visit several, look at crossovers, or anything that I think looks interesting. I then determine whether or not there are associated products – obviously Amazon and eBay are where I usually find these. Then I determine whether or not I can build a site with enough good content that would engage someone interested in that niche. If I think it looks like something I can do, I go ahead a build a niche site around it. However, if I don’t think I can put up a quality site, I pass and look for another niche.

Another place to look for things is in the news. This is not a place that I frequently pick up niches, but I have actually got a few hot tips off of the news. You often will find things that are on the verge of breaking out, or even long-term trends that are just starting to emerge. Imagine if you had paid attention a few years ago to the trend towards green products trend, and that you had built a site around that niche. If it was of good quality and had new content regularly, you would probably have a very profitable site or could even flip the site for a nice profit. Pay attention to news sources – television, radio, print, and of course Yahoo.com and MSN.com.

The last thing that you need to pick out a good, profitable niche is critical thinking. You need to not just see niches that are hot – you have to think critically about them. I do not mean that you spend a lot of time over-analyzing the niches, more importantly, I mean that you have to try to put yourself into the mindset of someone who would be interested in these niches. You don’t want to put on your niche site things that you think are interesting, you want to put things that people interested in the niche are going to find interesting. If you find this too difficult, pass on the niche and look for another one.

That’s it in a nutshell. This is how I look for good, profitable niches to build sites around. This certainly isn’t the only way to research niches, but it is one that has proven itself to work for me.

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