How To Validate Your Niche Market And Marketing Angle

According to the predictions, there will be 2 billion websites online by 2015. This makes the web a hell of a crowded space with one website per 3.5 human being.

Because the web is getting crowded, it is important that you chose where you put your effort.

By now, every “big” niche has well established authorities.

These authorities are willing to put up a bit of a fight if you come on their territories to challenge them.

And trust me, you will rarely win in the long term.

Because of that, you will need to narrow down your niche.

This is the #1 mistake I see a lot of people make online: going too broad. I did that mistake myself when I started Health Ambition.​

The site is now profitable and almost completely passive. However, it took me a lot of time and effort to reach a mediocre level of profitability.

There’s a simple reason for that: I targeted “health” as a niche. As a result, my visitors come of the site with a variety of different concerns.

This makes it difficult to write something that’s relevant to all of them and connect. And that despite providing high quality content.

​This was a tough lesson to learn but now the site is on track and growing day by day.

This is why when I started this site. I’ve decided to focus on helping people building authority sites. Not a general online marketing blog.

This choice is going to brush some people off but I hope that those believing in this particular business model will stick around.

This is the same for you, you need to pick a sub niche of your main niche that you can realistically own and be the “go to” person for. This is the best way to gain loyal followers that will trust your advice and make your time worthwhile.

Finding your unique angle​

Now in order to find your angle or “sub niche”, it is very important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • ​What can I bring to this niche, is there something I’m specifically good at?
  • What is the competition not doing that is in demand and I could do?
  • What can I do better than the competition?

The real challenge here is to make sure your side is not drawn into a sea of look alike competitors and that you have a real point of difference.

If you fail to find a way to be different, things will be much harder for you. Your only way to stand out will be to outdo your competitors that often have more resources than you.

niche mindmap

The natural ways to have more energy would be niche enough, yet a lot of people are suffering from low energy and fibromyalgia.

Most of them are not willing to waste their bodies with coffee and energy drinks.

Perfect! If I can add value in that sub niche let’s jump into it!​ You can always broaden the spectrum of the site later when you have an audience.

Will it make money?

Now the main reason most of you are interested in starting authority sites is to make a side income or a full time living.

That’s why you will have to do a thorough monetisation research before you invest all your time and/or money into a project.​

There are several ways you can monetise the information your produce. Here is a short list:

  • ​Contextual ads such as Adsense.
  • Sell advertising space directly or through a network such as BuySellAds.
  • Promote downloadable and info products from places like Clickbank.
  • Promote physical products from places like Shareasale or Amazon.
  • Joining individual affiliate programs
  • Creating your own products.

Uncovering the commercial potential of your niche

The first question you want to answer when reaching this part of the process is: Do other people make money with this niche?

If others can make money, so can you, remember, there’s nothing new on the internet.

​There’s several ways to answer this question and they’re all very easy:

  1. ​Google it and see if ads appear on top and on the right. If ads appear, people are willing to pay for traffic interested in that niche (this means you can sell ads)
  2. Are there affiliate offers and/or products in that niche? I suggest using Odigger, it’s an affiliate program search engine. Simply type your topics in and see what it comes up with.
  3. Still on Google, look for less known / niche related sites and observe the way they monetise. Hint: it’s probably one of the solutions above.

how to have more energy Google search

Here are some offers I found using Odigger as well for the “more energy” niche:

Once you’ve gone through all these checks, you should have a pretty good idea of wether you can make money from your idea or not.

​You will also have a much clearer idea of HOW you can make money.

Is the market a fad or does it have a future?

One thing you want to be really careful about is market trends and seasonality.

It would ​suck to spend a lot of time and effort to build a site and realise that the interest was just a fad.

Picking evergreen niches is probably the best choice for this kind of business model.

I personally set myself the objective that every site I build will still be relevant (and making me money) in 10 years.​

But how do you assess the longevity and trends of a niche? Well thanks to Google, there is a tool for that.​ It’s called Google trends.

In order to use it simply enter broad keywords related to the niche you’re about to enter.

Here’s an example in my “more energy” niche. It clearly looks like the interest in the topic is growing and this would be a great space to enter before it’s too crowded.​

Evaluating your competition

Now that you know the niche has growing interest and can be monetised, it’s time to see how hard it is going to be to beat the competition.

It’s also important to evaluate what kind of traffic you can expect from a successful site in this niche.

If you remember well, the authority model mostly relies on free sources of traffic like:

  • Search
  • Social media
  • Referral traffic

Therefore, I rely heavily on google and social media to find my competitors. By Googling around, I found several competitors.

Mostly the health giants are on top of search. However, the following 3 sites seem to be built on the authority model and show up as well :

In order to assess their level of traffic, I recommend using SEMrush. The free account is enough for this but you should register to get more data.

When you input the URL of the website, you’ll be able to see roughly how much traffic they pull from search.

You will also be able to see the keywords running traffic and if they run ads.

This is what the dashboard looks like and where to find the important information:

SEMrush stats for butyoudontlooksick.com
SEMrush stats for butyoudontlooksick.com

After considering what you’re going to learn on this website and with the stats we got from that competitor.

It feels safe to say that achieving 15,000 visits/month for a site about fibromyalgia / chronic fatigue / getting more energy is doable.

Evaluating search competition​

Because search is going to be a major source of targeted traffic, it’s important to understand how competitive the search landscape in your chosen niche is.

Prior to reading this section if you haven’t, I suggest you learn a bit about SEO by reading the Beginner’s guide to SEO from Moz.

There’s no perfect free way to do this for free. However I recommend using the Moz Chrome extension.

You can then Google around for keywords you saw your competitors rank for in SEMrush.

The plugin will add an overlay with interesting metrics as shown on this screenshot:

how to live with fibromyalgia Google Search

To learn more about what these numbers mean check out the pages about domain authority, page authority and external links on Moz.com.

But overall, the higher the numbers, the more competitive the niche. If a site has a domain authority (DA) of over 40 along with a decent page authority (PA), it will take some time to outrank it usually.

Making your final decision

​So after you’ve collected all that data, how do you decide if the sub niche you’ve chosen is worth your while?

Well to be honest it depends and it’s hard to give some hard numbers.

The best way to go about this is to get back to the mind map up there and list all the sub niches where you can add value. Then run that full analysis on each of them.

When you compare them side by side, there will be clear winners and clear losers. I suggest giving them a score of viability out of 10.

Although, even if I can’t give you hard numbers, I can give you priorities:

Value adding ability > Monetisation > Trends > Competition

Ultimately it comes down to this:

  • ​If you can add a ton of value then creating your own products shouldn’t be a problem and you’ll make a ton of money.
  • If the trends go downwards but there is a ton of money to be made then you’re still good to go.
  • If the trends competition is fierce but you can add value and the growth of the market is exploding then you should go in anyway.

In the case of the fibromyalgia example, the main keywords are saturated with the big guys. It would be extremely tough to grab those.

However, the long tail more specialised keywords are pretty much a free grab. I’d give this niche a 6.5/10 if I was to personally pursue it.

I hope this post has will be helpful to you when it comes down to choosing a niche and sub niche. If you have any question let me know in the comment section bellow and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Resources in this post

Monetisation:

Competition research:

All these tools are free to use

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18 Comments

  1. Hi Gael,
    I’m starting a website with the same mistake that you did, I’m targeting the whole health/fitness niche. But I’ve been writing (and outsourcing some parts of the articles, but always polishing them myself) really amazing content, articles between 1000/2000 words each, about things like “running tips for beginners” and “healthy cholesterol levels” and some more narrow down keywords.
    I’m doing onsite SEO but didn’t begin any link building yet.
    Do you thing it’s pullable? I’m really thinking about long tail keywords, not expecting to actually rank for fitness, or anything competitive.

    Please give me some guidance.

  2. Hi Gael,

    I’ve been wanting to start a big authority site for years, but generally lose interest in the projects I’ve started in the past. I have a lot of interest in the “Life Hacks” area and was thinking of creating a site dedicated to life hacks. Now this is a pretty broad topic, as it could literally be tips for any category imaginable. I’m thinking I should narrow it down to at least a specific category of Life Hacks, such as Marketing, Technology etc, which is where I have all of my experience and interests. From a traffic stand point, I know that a lot of life hack type content goes viral quite often, so I didn’t want to restrict myself to too small of a category. Any suggestions on what I should do?

    Thanks and good job on the content, I’m following everything.

    1. Hey Robert,

      Yeah I think you should narrow it down. You could be getting traffic from a multitude of topic but the trick is then to convert the audience. Narrow focus audience is where the money is.

      Gael

  3. Great information Gael. Sometimes you can get too broad in a niche and limit your direction, which causes lots of confusion. By narrowing it down to something more specific you can really target a specific group and figure out their needs. This gives the opportunity to be more hands on and engaging. I think people resonate with that a lot more. Thanks for the post.

  4. I’m not happy with this post, lol. I’m working on a magazine website and it covers broad sections,.. sports – styling – cars etc. The niches aren’t even related in this case, so how would you narrow down on such a site?

  5. Where do you find good writers to create content? I was interested in some gardening/farming type sub-niches, and wanted to outsource the content creation.

    Thanks

  6. I’m so happy you added this in your newsletter today!
    I have actually run into this problem (having a Beauty/Fashion blog). Although, I started the blog after an accident which caused me to develop CRPS/RSD (I also have Fibro btw… Nice examples! Lol). Bc of the CRPS, I had to stop working, as well as modeling. I was a published model (freelance) for 5 yrs. So I started the blog in hopes to use it as an outlet, to share all the things that I had learned while modeling (in terms of beauty & fashion).
    But I also wanted it to be a resource for aspiring models to use, and gain useful information that will help them get their foot in the door. I think if I start posting more model related posts, it will start to separate me a little from the huge list of beauty bloggers (I’d still post some beauty/makeup, hairstyles, fashion advice- since models can benefit from that info too).

    I have http://aCRPSfighter.net too! As a place for CRPS fighters and Chronic Pain patients in general can go, for info, research updates, read stories from other fighters, and there’s going to be a forum up for people to communicate on. I’m hoping that site doesn’t have as much competition. I’m going to check out that site you recommended though! Thank you for sharing!
    Hope all is well!
    Heather Lynn

    1. Hey Heather,

      Yeah beauty is damn competitive and earning attention is hard. I like your aspiring model angle and I suggest you pursue one of these angles initially and over time add more angles you cover as your content grows. Keep it up and good luck to you!

  7. Hi Gael,

    Thanks for this post, it really resonates with me.

    6 months ago, i created from scratch a website (in my country) in the Health & Mind category.

    Very broad, i know, but at the time, it was just: start something :)

    So far, the blog has 30 000 visitors/month.

    I would love to narrow it, but the problem is traffic is equally split between these two broad niches. Link profile is also very scattered.

    So, i would like your opinion on this two possible ways :

    – Keeping the concept as it is but making isolated silos. Working on them like sub niches (separate optin and monetization, specific mailing, seo interlinking between the posts of the sub niche).

    – Narrow but delete some juicy posts not related to the new angle and probably loose some traffic.

    Hope you can help me on that.

    Thanks

    Richard

    1. Hey Richard,

      This is an issue we had to face ourselves, we’ve decided to Silo stuff up and run the site like we would run several sites in parallel.

      So far so good but it takes a bunch of resources to keep it all going.

  8. Thank you for the awesome article! It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the initial stages, so it’s nice to have straightforward steps to follow to get started with niche research. I have a question that I’ve been curious about – do you pay attention to the CPC and other metrics showing how much advertisers are spending on a niche, or do you mainly just look at how much competition there is and what they’re doing to make money?

    The CPC varies quite a bit between different niches I’ve been looking at. Would a low CPC be considered a red flag? I realize CPC is only adwords/adsense metrics, but I’m guessing it’s generally an indicator of how much money can be made using other monetization strategies.

  9. It’s interesting that most of the folks on the Web are targeting the big niches. In our case, we start the site as a tutoring agency in higher mathematics, and morph into a resource site as time goes by. In terms of the niche, it is unusually narrow because it deals with math at the college level and beyond. In terms of content production, it’s definitely very different from what most anticipate on the Web, since a lot of the mathematical expressions have to be coded first.

    Are there any competitor out there? Possibly. But as far as an engine for popularizing proof-based mathematics, there are probably no other site out there which attempts to reach the wider public without dumbing down the level of discourse at the same time. But then, this is probably most likely a bad news, because competition can only be good.

    Anyway, a lot of food for thought, and it would be interesting to see how it turns out in the near future.

    Tom

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