Today we’re talking about niche selection. I’ve released a video on the topic but wanted to create a complete guide for you to follow when it comes to selecting a profitable niche for your online venture. I will also discuss the topic of domain selection and my simple approach to registering a domain for a niche website.
Lastly, I will quickly cover an experiment which I will be conducting which consists of showing the step by step process of creating a brand new website and ranking it for particular keywords. The goal is to go over each and every step along the way, cover some of the technical challenges of building a website and discuss the milestones hit by this particular site.
In case you haven’t seen my video, you can view it below!
Selecting a Profitable Niche for an Online Business
I’ve built countless niche websites. Some of them succeed and others failed. Although I always look back as to why some of my projects failed, the science of selecting a topic is not always binary. With that being said, it is important to recognize that there are important guidelines which can make or break a certain niche. In this section, I will discuss the top three most important selection steps when it comes to validating a niche idea.
Passion is Absolutely Key
If you want your idea to succeed, you need to have a certain level of passion for it. Although it was possible to easily trick Google algorithms in the past, building a solid business these days required hard work, authenticity and a desire to persevere. Without passion, you will quickly realize that money is not enough to keep you motivated and chances are, the content you create will be sub-par. Most online marketing beginners who aren’t passionate about what they do fail to see results and give up rather quickly.
Passion is not to be confused with proficiency. Thorough research on the topic will allow you to create great content; it can definitely be done. Don’t assume that if you aren’t an expert in a certain field, you can’t write great content for it.
From a practical standpoint, if you aren’t familiar with a certain niche, you should feel excited about the idea of researching this topic. Furthermore, if it’s a hobby or activity, you should aim to launch yourself into it within a three to six months period. Making sure that you’re actually involved in what you are writing about will give your readers a sense that you are actually knowledgeable and care about them.
Know Your Customer
A lot of people create an online presence for their business and completely ignore who their customer is. Although it’s important to have a social presence in this day and age, you should consider the way your customers behave when it comes to online content. This may influence the way you monetize, connect and write content for your readers.
I start the analysis process by brainstorming about the general aspects of who the hobby or interest is geared to. In general, you can easily determine who the target market is by doing a simple search on Google.
The bottom line is that you need to be absolutely positive that your target customers are hanging out online are buying similar products and that there will be little to no friction selling them
As a personal example, my parents have never done and will never do any online shopping. Although my father invests a lot of time and money into researching and purchasing woodworking tools, he always prefers to see it at the store. Therefore, not a single Amazon add will convince him to purchase the tool he needs online. The conclusion is that certain people would need to be monetized to differently. If you aren’t able to sell them Amazon products, you might be able to monetize through Google AdSense, Digital Downloads, Courses, etc. You must have the target monetization method clear in your vision.
Considering Product Pricing and Positioning
As you develop an understanding of who your ideal customer is, it is as important to look at the products you will be selling on your website.
My focus is typically on Amazon and thus I like to have a certain range of products at different price points. What I found to work best are products which cost around $200. However, as I grew different sites, I’ve realized that having an array of products costing anywhere from $50 to $500 is extremely beneficial. By having this range, it’s extremely easy to create content which reviews the differences between similar products. Furthermore, each one of your customers is unique and could be seeking something at a different price.
You also want to make sure that there are enough products for you to promote. You don’t want to start a website without a monetization strategy and realize that you can’t find a single product after you have built it.
Registering a Domain Name
A lot of entrepreneurs tend to overthink their domain selection when it comes to niche websites. In the past, it was critical to select a domain which contained a keyword for which you were trying to rank for. In current times, this factor is not nearly as important. All that being said, it’s still considered a good practice to have a domain name which is reflective of your niche.
In this section, I will be going over the domain name ideation process which I’ve used for countless domains and only takes me about 15 minutes.
Main Keyword & Modifier Technique
Start by selecting a short word which represents your niche on a high level.
As an example, I will be building a brand new niche website which will cover bicycles. Therefore, my high-level keyword is “bike”.
The second step is to head over to a domain name registrar and start searching for names. You will quickly realize that bike.com is already taken. Therefore, it’s time to roll up the sleeves and learn about a domain name modifier.
A domain name modifier is essentially a second word which will be added to the keyword you’ve selected above. From my perspective, this word needs to be short and welcoming to the user. It should ideally represent something from the niche, draw users to your site and provide a level of comfort for the reader.
For the bicycle website, I’ll be working on, I’ve decided to select the “retreat” modifier. However, depending on domain availability and your personal preference, I recommend that you explore other adjectives. To get you started here’s a short list of modifiers which I like to use personally: hub, lodge, retreat, planet, etc. To find great synonyms and other words you can use, I recommend using the Thesaurus.
Conclusion: I’ve registered a domain name for bikeretreat.com
Domain Name Watchouts
Spammy Names – Do not use any “reviews”, “buy”, “shop” and other spammy keywords in your domain names. It used to be a popular method of ranking websites for “buyer” terms, but it has been extremely overdone and will only turn potential customers away.
Long Names – Your domain should be short and sweet; the shorter and easier to pronounce the better. You definitely don’t want to end up with something like bikinghelmetsandmorehub.com. The readers will quickly forget about your site after they leave.
Misspelled Names – It may seem like a good idea to misspell a certain work in order to purchase a short domain name, but it simply isn’t worth it. Stay away from domains derived from incorrect spelling. Example: bike.com -> bikke.com, byke.com, bckle.com, etc.
Stay away from anything but .com – You can save a few bucks by registering a domain name which isn’t a .com based domain. However, if you look at the most popular websites, they are either .com or .gov. Since you can’t legally purchase .gov domains, I would highly recommend to stay away from anything but a .com domain.
Register a Domain Name Through Namecheap.com
I’ve purchased domain names all over the internet. Although some registrars have been acceptable, none came close to the reliability and customer support of namecheap.com.
I’d recommend them highly and currently, have over 12 domain names registered with them. Check out the banner below (affiliate link) which will lead you to their site where you can pick up a domain name at a discounted price!
Conclusion on Selecting a Niche and Registering a Domain Name
It’s not hard to pick a winning niche. However, many inexperienced marketers get this step completely wrong and end up heading in the wrong direction. Make sure that you are passionate about the topic, have reviewed the target customers for the niche and have confirmed that there is an adequate monetization strategy which you will implement once the site reaches its full potential.
Once you’ve selected a niche, it’s time to register a domain. The process of selecting the right name can puzzle certain individuals, but with the keyword & modifier approach, it’s quite simple. Start by identifying a key term for your niche and add a second word to it. Make sure that the name represents your niche, has a good pronunciation to it and is available on your favorite registrar (as mentioned above, mine is definitely namecheap.com).
If you still have any questions or are looking to join me on the journey of building a site, feel free to reach out on social media; I’m always ready to respond.