Choosing Your First Niche For Your Authority Site

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This is episode 2 of 7 of the Authority Hacker New Year Starter Series. If you haven't been through the previous episodes, we suggest you go and check those out first.

What You Will Learn In This Podcast


  • The most common mistakes we see when choosing a first niche
  • The exact criteria we use when looking at potential niche markets
  • What niche categories are and the key differences between them
  • Super actionable steps you can use right away to find a profitable niche
  • A real life example of a "good" niche and why it works

More...

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Niche Research Mistakes

Niche research is arguably one of the most important steps when starting a new authority site. The likelihood of creating a successful site depends heavily on your ability to choose a niche that ticks all the right boxes.

One of the biggest mistakes we see with niche research is what’s known as ‘paralysis by analysis’. Spending so much time on the research phase that you start experiencing information overload and can no longer make a logical decision.

On the other hand, we also see people who are too lazy to put in an adequate amount of research. As a result, they’re usually too quick to choose niche and end up with something that will probably fail.

It’s important to strike the right balance. Finding the right niche does require a lot of work, but at the same time, you need to enable yourself to make a decision when you’ve finally gathered all the facts.

Note: To give you some kind of benchmark, the niche we used in The Authority Site System took us about a week (~2 hours/day) to finally settle on.

What To Look For When Choosing a Niche

Niche research is essentially about looking at different markets and making comparisons. Specifically, these are some of the niche criteria we use:

SEO Competition:
How difficult it would be to rank for niche related keywords (including keywords with commercial intent).

Commercial Intent:
Finding keywords with commercial/buyer intent means you can create content that targets people further along the buying process (resulting in much higher conversions).

Monetization:
What products and services are being sold in that niche and how you could potentially offer those too. Things like affiliate programs, training courses, physical product, etc.

Personal Interest:
Whether or not you yourself have some level of interest in that niche. Though not essential, we recommend having some personal interest in the topic because it makes it a lot easier to stick at it long-term.

Mass Market:
Mass market niches (like phones and laptops) should always be AVOIDED. Not only are they super-competitive, but they also offer very low commissions.

The 3 Niche Categories

Although there are countless niches to choose from, they can all be grouped into 3 main categories:

Passion
Niches that people are obsessed with (almost like hobbies on steroids)

  • Horse riding
  • Model trains
  • Paintball

Lifestyle
Niches that people identify with (how they would describe themselves)

  • Running
  • Veganism
  • Parenting

Problem
Niches that offer a direct solution to a specific problem or pain point.

  • Acne
  • Dating
  • Weight loss

Which Is The Best Niche Category?

Though you can always find a successful niche in either category, they’re not all created equal.

For example, passion and lifestyle niches have an edge because they inherently have a strong community, which is a marketing opportunity that can be leveraged on social media platforms.

Additionally, you’ll find tend to find less “experts” and more “bloggers” in these categories, which makes outreach (and link building) so much easier.

Actionable Steps For Finding a Niche

Let's move away from the theory and give you some actionable steps when it comes to actually choosing your fist niche.

Step 1) Make a List
Write down a list of niches that take your fancy using websites/directories such as Dmoz, Alltop and Reddit. At this stage, the only factor you should consider is whether you have an interest in that niche.

Step 2) Eliminate Niches
Run your list through the niche criteria above (what to look for in a niche) and cross off any that aren’t aligned.

Step 3) Research
For the remaining niches, you need to actually go out and research the the criteria above. That means looking at keywords, evaluating commercial, and identifying monetization opportunities.

An Example Of A “Good” Niche

Now we’ve broken down the process, let’s put it into context by looking at a niche that does tick all the boxes... The outdoors niche.

First of all, it’s a passion/lifestyle niche so we know it’s one that people get excited about. It’s a market that has an endless amount of products to sell, whether that’s through Amazon or private affiliate programs.

A good chunk of those products are also high-ticket items (like tents and kayaks), so you can expect a healthy commission on sales.

It’s a fairly broad niche with a huge number of topics and plenty of low difficulty keywords to target, which also makes content creation and link building a breeze.

To top it off, our research also revealed a TON of other outdoors sites, so we know it works.

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The Exact Tactics Perrin Carrell Used To Turn Herepup.com Into an Authority Site Worth $200,000+ In Under 2 Years

For further reading, be sure to check out the advanced podcast on choosing a niche.

Mark Webster
 

Hi I'm Mark. One of the guys behind Authority Hacker. I build and market awesome websites. If you want to know more about me, check out the about page.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
dany vecsler - January 2, 2017

What kind of research we can do in order to choose one of our interests niches ?

Reply
    Mark Webster - April 3, 2017

    Only you know your own interests. Make a list of every purchase you made in the last year. Did you buy a new guitar? Did you buy a dog? This will help you make a shortlist of your interests.

    Reply
Chibuzor Aguwa - January 2, 2017

Nice compilation. This is a complete guide for people that are yet to discover an appropriate niche to venture into.

Reply
Mark - January 4, 2017

Hey Guys – I’m loving all these podcasts and this new series is a great refresher for me. I am taking your advice to pick one niche and stick with it. I have been mostly failing at this IM stuff for the last six years. Just couldn’t find my “passion” or business model. But I think the authority site model is going to be the best fit for me. So this new series is perfect timing and I can’t wait to for your new course to come out.

Reply
dave - April 1, 2017

Hi Mark
After the list your step 2 is check criteria above but isn’t that the same as step 3?

To be honest I thought there would be much more detail about the criteria, it is a very short post

Reply
    Mark Webster - April 3, 2017

    This is a podcast episode. These are just the shownotes. Go and listen to the podcast episode which is embedded at the top.

    Reply

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