When you build a website there are many reasons for doing this and a lot of different things to consider. For that reason some people will approach a website knowing precisely what they want it to be about, and then wondering how they are going to monetize the site. For others though the monetization won’t be a problem and they will know exactly how to go about turning a website into a financial success – for them the problem may well be deciding on what to make the website about.
If you are looking to make a successful website from a business perspective, then chances are that you will be looking for a niche on which you can base your site and which will bring you the best number of buyers and visitors. Here we will look at how to choose that niche.
The Dichotomy of Niches
Nietzsche wrote of the ‘Dichotomy of Good and Evil’, now we are going to look at the dichotomy of niches (yes that was a philosophy joke…). Essentially a niche is a small market – a group of people with shared interests that you can promote a website or a product to. If you want to make a successful website, then choosing your niche is essentially the same as choosing your audience and it’s the same as choosing your topic.
There are two choices when selecting a niche. One is to pick a highly popular niche that has a huge audience and that is very broad. These include things like ‘business’, ‘making money online’, ‘bodybuidling’, ‘running’, ‘cycling’, ‘sports’, ‘dating’ etc etc. These niches ensure you have a very large audience and that there will always be people who are interested in your content. However at the same time they also mean that you might lose some of those visitors to other sites and competition and it’s going to be very hard for you to dominate a popular keyphrase.
Alternatively you can go for the less popular and much more ‘niche’ niche. These niches (that’s a lot of niches in one paragraph right there…) include things like ‘creative writing’, ‘cosplay’, ‘gelking’, ‘rock cimbing’, ‘Jeet Kune Do’, ‘The Ukulele’ etc. In short anything that is only going to interest a small number of people, but for which there is still a definite and dedicated market of sorts out there.
Meanwhile there is also as always a ‘middle way’ if you decide to choose something that is just fairly popular, or popular to everyone at some point in their lives – such as ‘weddings’, ‘pregnancy’, ‘hiking’ or ‘how to file your tax return’.
Both of these methods have a lot of strengths and weaknesses, but with a very small niche you will be able to directly target a very specific group fo people which will make you very interesting to advertisers and marketers. At the same time it will make it easier for you if you wish to sell a product yourself. It does however limit your growth.
Unless that is – you can find a niche that is currently small but gradually gaining momentum and becoming more mainstream. That ladies and gentlemen is what we call ‘the jackpot’.
There are a few more factors to consider too. One of course is quite simply – what do you like writing about? If you choose a niche that you are generally interested, then you will find that your enthusiasm comes across in your articles, in your marketing and in everything else. Conversely if you pick a topic you have no interest in, then you might find yourself feeling rather bored and actually avoiding doing any work to promote the site.
Another point to consider is whether or not you have any particular advantage in a certain area. If you have access to a specific market – via a magazine, via membership on a popular forum, or through classes you already run, then suddenly it makes a lot of sense to create a website that takes advantage of this situation and allows you to quickly reach a large portion of your target demographic.