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Seven Methods and Techniques to Define Your Niche
Here are 7 techniques that you can use to start from scratch and drill your niche down to a specific population that is just waiting with wallets wide open for your information.
1. Brainstorm 40 different ideas. Creativity starts with an open mind and without criticism. This is important...do not take something off the list, or assume it won't work. At this stage you are literally writing down everything you can think of. The act of writing and brainstorming often brings out creative ideas. Think of your life skills, problems your neighbor is having, difficulties your family encounters, skills you wish you had, skills your children have...just keep writing.
2. Organize your ideas and fill in the columns. As important as free flowing brainstorming and creativity are, so is getting those ideas and research organized to fully evaluate your possibilities. Using either a spreadsheet (preferable) or a table format in a word processing program set up several columns. In the first column write the idea, second column holds the number of overture searches third column holds the overture bid price, fourth column holds the number of printed books on Amazon on this topic, fifth column holds the number of groups discussing this topic in yahoo, the sixth column holds the number of blogs discussing the topic and the seventh column is a yes/no to indicate competition.
3. The competition. Each of the first six columns is fairly self explanatory once you reach the respective websites. In the seventh column you are evaluating the number of competing businesses. Search in Google using several keywords that describe your intended product. Look down the right column, which are the paid advertisements, you will determine if there are any information products in this particular niche. You should also search through, an affiliate digital library of information products. The key here is to find the competition. A niche without competition is not profitable, so move on. A niche with over 12 information products is probably saturated; keep looking.
4. Crunch the numbers. Once you have all the numbers for your searches you can evaluate the idea. These are the results you want: a topic where the searches are at least over 2500, there are no searches for 'free' your topic, the bids for your intended keywords are at least $00.30, there are hard copy books printed on the topic, there are several groups on yahoo and several blogs that discuss the topic, and there is at least 2 or 3 information products already produced.
5. Track the Words. Using the list from above take the top 4-5 ideas and head over to WordTracker.This is a paid service. However you can purchase a one-day 'pass' for about $8.00 and it is well worth the cost. You will spend a couple of hours researching these ideas and 'drill' down to a specific tight customer base. For instance, you won't produce a product for Realtors but for Realtors working in urban areas who specialize in homes from $250,000 - $400,000. You don't produce a product for fitness buffs but for men over 50 who once played basketball and want to get back into shape. Define your market tightly.
6. Blog about it. The next step is to start a blog about your topic. Reduce the potential ideas to no more than three and start a blog on each topic. Post something everyday on each blog. Add an opt-in list to the blog and offer more information to people who ask for your resources. Send traffic to your blog using pay-per-click traffic (if you have financial resources) or article writing, posting comments to other blogs similar in nature, add the blog tag to your signature line and join a couple of groups to contribute to their discussions. Contribute to the groups though, doesn't spam or you'll soon find yourself on the outside looking in. Start a list of people who are interested and send them good information.
7. Ask some questions. Your last step is to ask questions. Use only the topic that received the most traffic and seemed to have the most responsive customers. What does your audience want to know? You can ask the list you've started. You can use PPC to send people to an 'ask me' page giving a free copy of your book to the first 80 people who post proper questions and then ask for testimonials from those people. Watch for coupons from Yahoo for their PPC product. You can ask people who read your blog and encourage them to post in the comment section. You can ask people on the forums or read their most frequently asked questions.
Once you have this much information you are more than ready to begin producing your information product. You will be giving your audience the answers to the questions they have already been asking and your 'sales' process within your niche will be smooth and quick.
Don't be tempted to skip a step in this process or assume you know the answers because you are in the target audience. You can't know the questions on everyone's mind. You aren't a mind reader. You are too close to your project. Trust your audience and ask them!
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