The first thing that comes to your mind when brainstorming for a new website is ‘What subject should I use?’
This is one of the most brain-wrecking situations you may encounter if you have absolutely no ideas where to start from.
I, too, encounter this problem and I will now share with you the step-by-step how I choose my niches.
Step 1: Popular Trends & Keywords
Start by going to established websites that provide trends, search patterns, popular searches and such. These websites usually have a list of topics (read: niches) that are searched regularly by users.
Here are some websites I use:
Google Hot Trends
eBay Hot Products
Browse through the searches done and copy down any niche that you deemed feasible into a list. Remember to choose niches that you are interested in or have some level of expertise in, else writing content for such niches will be diffcult. If you are looking to monetize your website with Google AdSense, look at Top Paying AdSense Keywords for a niche that is highly profitable but competitive.
Step 2: Refine and Expand your List of Niches
You should now have a list of niches, probably around 5-10 for a start. What you are going to do now is to refine the list. What do I mean? Take for example, I found the term ‘NBA’ in Yahoo! Buzz as a popular search term. Now, I don’t know about you but NBA is a very wide term. It can mean anything, ‘NBA seasons’, ‘NBA players, ‘NBA teams’, etc.
When facing a niche this wide, you might be at a loss on what to focus. And such niches are usually very competitive. Not what you want, right? Use these 2 free tools Keyword Discovery and MIVA to generate a list of related sub-niches, with the search volumes included.
The higher the search volumes, the more popular the search term is. Of course, the sub-niches are usually less popular than the main one. For the term ‘NBA’, using MIVA tool, I got ‘NBA’ at 70405 searches and ‘NBA tickets’ 33693.
At first glance, NBA seems better than NBA tickets. I then googled both terms and got a search results of 197,000,000 for ‘NBA’ and 4,110,000 for ‘NBA tickets’.
A whole 197,000,000 results for NBA! Thats a lot of competition, especially for novices. ‘NBA tickets’ seems like a much better niche now. Almost half the popularity of NBA, but more than 40 times lower the competition. Another term ‘authentic nba jersey’ seems like a good niche too. Refine and expand your list of niches to less competitive ones or keep them if you want. You can also use the tools to look for niches related to those on your list.
Step 3: Analyse your Niches
Ok, this is rather trickly, analysing your niches. You will be looking for niches that are popular but have little competition. This is similar to Step 2 but way more in-depth. You will want to look at the top competitors for your niches. Check out how strong your competitors are by looking at their websites.
Some of the things you should look at are their…
Number of Backlinks
Backlinks from Authority Sites
There are some tools that you can use to check on all these. I recommend SEO for Firefox and SearchStatus. The Google Toolbar can be used to check for backlinks, PR and the last cached version of the webpage. These are all free add-ons for the web browser Firefox
Researching all these takes time and you won’t get all the in-depths. After analysing your competition, remove niches from your list that you deemed too tough for you. Your list of niche should now be smaller, maybe 1-5. Keep this list of niche and whenever you have time to start a new website, look back at it and see if you can work something out of these niches.