If you’re trying to make money on your own, you need a niche. This is regardless of the type of marketing or freelance industry you’re in: B2B or B2C, affiliate marketing, blogging, or even just local retail. If you shrink your focus to a paying market, it could make all the difference for your bank account. A good or bad niche often correlates with the type of profit it generates: either good, or bad.
What is a business niche?
Your niche encompasses what is most unique about your company. An effective, profitable niche is based on your target market, meaning the type of clients or customers you want to obtain and retain. Your niche determines what value–including information, services, and products–you offer to others.
You could think of a niche as your “focus” or area of “expertise”. Because a niche narrows the focus of all your business development and marketing efforts.
Why have a niche?
In short: to make money. But that’s the easy answer. And, obviously, that’s why you’re already here, reading this article. So let’s talk about the reasons within the reason.
1–Having a niche makes everything easier.
Focusing your efforts on a single subject is hard enough. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
Having a niche makes it easier to provide true value to your leads. The quality of your information, products, or services depends on your skills, work experience, and even life experience or outlook. A good niche complements who you are. Thus, you can’t be bouncing all over the place to meet every demand of every person in every industry on every whim.
This is exactly why my blog is not doubling as a food blog. Initially, I’d wanted to go more into health recipes and restaurant reviews, but I’m glad I didn’t waste time on getting muddied up in that crazy mess.
Plus, it takes enough effort to research the current news and trends and methods for marketing in one field–why add too many pies? You only have so many fingers.
2–A specific niche helps you be more competitive.
Blogging is not as easy as it used to be. The internet is saturated with more information than it needs. (How did you even find this blog?! Well, no matter. Thanks for reading!)
The easy solution to this huge problem of endless competition is this: narrow the field. If you want to write about travel, don’t pick a fight with every travel blogger out there. Experiment with sub-topics such as budget travel until you find what works for you.
When it comes to organic SEO, there is nothing more valuable than a well-conceived pairing of quality content with long-tail keywords. Why? Because the highest rankings for the shorter, more generic keywords have already been snatched by the top dogs in the Internet universe.
If you have a niche with a very specific target market or local market, you can use your smaller intended audience to your advantage. Your target has very specific needs and interests….Therefore, we already know what they will be searching for on Google. Input a few of these phrases into the content of multiple relevant pages and posts on your site, with the same phrases input as META keywords for each page, and boom! With some time, you’ll see your organic traffic growing slowly but surely as your intended audience keeps searching for these invaluable evergreen topics.
3–Marketing a decent niche is more cost-effective.
Being focused allows you to promote your products to a specific target, therefore bringing in a certain type of audience.
We’ve already discussed the value of long-tail keywords in encouraging organic traffic, which is free. But the same logic applies to other areas of Internet marketing.
Even in affiliate marketing, it’s vital to target a specific market with the products and service you promote–Why? So you’ll get more clicks for all your efforts.
Take PPC ads, for example. Whether you run a PPC ad to promote an affiliate campaign or your own site, it’s vital to understand your audience. How can you do that if you don’t have a specific niche in mind?
As with organic SEO, long-tail keywords and geo targeting are the keys to running a less-expensive, yet more cost-effective PPC ad campaign through Google Adwords. And don’t forget Facebook’s uncanny ability to target by location, interests, and industry–if you know your audience, you can make even the briefest ad run highly effective.
How to develop a profitable niche?
You can easily develop a profitable niche for yourself by examining your strengths, weaknesses, your clients, and your competition.
There’s no need to hire a marketing agency to choose a profitable niche. You can do it yourself! Download my free worksheet to see how easy it is!
You’ll find this worksheet to be of use to you even if you’re already set on a niche that seems to be working well for you–everyone should examine their niche from time to time, to ensure a narrow-enough focus.
Signs of a bad niche
Beware of falling into the trap of an unhelpful niche. Here are a few signs to watch for:
Ineffective marketing efforts–High cost, low profit. Self-explanatory.
Inflexible–If you’re stuck to your niche or refuse to move on, despite bad results…That’s not good. Changing your niche is not the end of the world. As time goes on, you SHOULD be refining it further. Even the top entrepreneurs in the business have stories of how they have changed their tactics many times before settling on a specific niche.
Not specific enough–Who are your clients? Who are they, in what circumstances, in what industry, with what budget, with what need, with which concerns? If you see a pattern, that’s good–follow it and see where it takes you.