How To Choose A Niche (Quick Exercise)

how to choose a nicheI've often said there are 3 good ways to choose a niche for an online business.

But in this post I'm going to give you another idea - a 4th way, that will get you past your niche-discovery hurdle for good!

The most popular advice is to "do what you love", or go with a niche you are passionate about. This most likely includes a hobby or lifestyle choice.

This is a great idea because you are already knowledgeable and experienced on the topic. You're also less likely to get bored with it than niches where you don't have a personal interest.

The second suggestion is to choose a niche where you have professional experience or expertise. Another great approach, except that most people are already burned out on their chosen profession, or still doing it as a day job, and can't get excited about spending their nights and weekends at it as well...

The third way to select a niche, and one that I recommend a lot, is to choose something you'd like to start doing. A new hobby or lifestyle, or something you'd like to collect or get into.

Since you are just getting started at it yourself, you actually are your target market. This puts you in an ideal position, and gives you insight and empathy with your market - you can easily connect with them on their level.

You're in research phase, finding resources and discovering what works and what doesn't - or the best way to do this or that. Sharing all of that information becomes your "content". And it's very easy to generate since you're already actively collecting information on the topic.

Of those top 3 ways to choose a niche, the last one would be my favorite. I have often started a new online business based on new personal interests. I find that it makes work fun, and that fresh enthusiasm for a topic will take you a long way.

With all 3 of these viable niche-selection methods, you are limited to choosing from what you already know or feel comfortable with...

4: What would you do if there were no limits?

Life is full of limits: physical, financial, situations & circumstances, you name it. Often we'll dream big only to remind ourselves of all the reasons those dreams can never become a reality.

But just for a moment, let's imagine that there are no limits. Maybe you've always dreamed of spending your winters in New Zealand, owning a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes, going on an Alaskan Cruise, or backpacking across Europe.

This is what they mean when they say "think outside the box".

They are talking about your box.

Your box is your current frame of reference. It includes your personal experience, things you've experienced by association, and all of the elements you draw from to make choices and decisions.

Your box is not the same as mine, or anyone else. It's also not real. We are all drawing from a unique combination of circumstances and experiences. So it's basically just perception. And perception is not reality.

Let's do a quick exercise...

Step outside of your frame of reference for a second, and consider everything that the world has to offer. What appeals to you most?

Dismiss any negative thoughts that appear, and allow yourself to just imagine your ideal life. How would you spend your time? How would you spend money if you had an unlimited amount at your disposal? Jot down everything that comes to mind.

(don't think or hesitate, just jot it down)

Your next step is keyword and market research. Find out if there is interest in that niche, and whether it is a buying market.

This exercise will open up a lot of new options for you, new niches you may not have considered before. And just imagine getting to wake up every day to work on something you can really get excited about!

You may just be amazed at the things that present themselves along the way when you start thinking and working outside of your current frame of reference. Things that were once outside your reach may quickly become real possibilities - and even options.

We'll go back to the example of New Zealand vacations. You may be a single mother that lives in a small town in Tennessee. You have a work schedule, your children have a school schedule, and New Zealand is just a fantasy place in your mind that you realize you'll probably only ever see on tv or on the internet...

You do this exercise, your market research, and you start an online business around New Zealand Travel and Vacations (over 57,000 combined searches each month). You see that it's sort of competitive, hesitate for a second, and then decide to just go for it. This is what you want, and you're willing to put in the work to grow this business into an online authority.

And you do.

Now you're in a position to take that trip to New Zealand, and it's no longer a personal expense. It's a tax deductible business trip. You meet people, take photos and videos, blog about your experiences. And before you know it, you're getting VIP invites from airlines, hotels, restaurants etc that would love to be reviewed and featured on your popular travel & vacation website...

See how that works? :D

Dream big. Choose your niche... and make it happen!

Best,

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About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Adrianne says:

    Thanks for the tips. Just like you and Juliet, I think I'd be starting with tip# 3. I think it would be good to go with a niche that you'd really have confidence starting it.

  2. Great article and exercise, Lynn. When working with my coaching clients, I find that we can hear in their voice and sense in their energy when they've uncovered their passion, mission and life purpose. Taking the above steps to explore ideas and options is great. I then listen for when their speaking pattern shifts - talking more rapidly, sometimes raising the tone or level, hearing excitement. When clients find their "thing", they are energized, inspired, smiling and see possibilities. It's magical. What a gift you offer others by helping them uncover theirs through your four great steps.
    coaching by tambre

  3. Hi Lynn,

    I love this post! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions about niche ideas :)

    Have a great day!

  4. Mike Bundrant says:

    Nothing compares to the clarity, power and safety of a well-defined niche!

  5. Great article Lynn, I can really relate to finding a niche or hobby your interested in. I have found that when you just start out you are going to be putting in some late nights at first to learn everything. Having a niche that gets you excited or holds your interest really helps fight off the burn out bug.

  6. Marty Saposnick says:

    It seems logical that the most productive and compelling blog someone can write occurs when there your blogging about something that you know about and are passionate about. Clearly if the psssion exists information will just flow more easily.

  7. Marty Saposnick says:

    It seems logical that the most productive and compelling blog someone can write occurs when there your blogging about something that you know about and are passionate about. Clearly if the passion exists information will just flow more easily.

  8. Mike from the Missing Link says:

    Marty,
    You make a good point but even better is to find what questions people have and provide them with a solution. It's a matter of mindset. I like to think of myself as a "solutions expert" for my market.

  9. Good articles, gonna have to try a couple of these exercises myself. Funny though, I always seem to be able to help my clients with this part better than myself. I guess it's easier t see a persons best place for a niche than my own.

  10. I like to start with #1 then to #3 - passion, skills and present business interest.

  11. This is a really simplified niche research method - no fluff. I particularly like the #1 (passion, skills) and #3 (current business interest).

  12. Hey Lynn,

    I think you're right on choosing a niche that's part of your own personal interest, that does make it a lot more fun and interesting.

    My problem is finding things I'm truly interested in, if you can believe that. You have to be careful with interests vs. fads I think too.

  13. ...Re-reading some key articles ~ this feeds right into your "mindset" blog1 : ) Great stuff! : )

  14. I agree, doing something that you like or are passionate about makes it much easier, weather it's a hobby or a life style that you live.

  15. No matter how many interests one has, it will soon be necessary to go "outside the box" to find viable niches with acceptable levels of competition. This where the real work begins.

  16. Lynn, I couldn't agree with you more. Loving what you do can help a lot on the long run. I used to work a 9 to 5 and hated it every single day, but since I've turned full-time online marketer I find myself happier and motivated. Everyone should do what they love because the rewards are beyond words.

  17. I must admit that I keep coming back to this post each time I think of entering a new niche. However I always find "buying" keywords the most difficult to source. The majority of ones with high search volume and low competition are taken so it's finding those little hidden nuggets which proves to be a more involved process.

  18. I first discover you with this article: "Did you choose the right niche?" and you are incredible. You are right on the spot with this article also.

    You are very good writer Lynn. I can see you do your homework very well. I can not find nothing that I can say you are not right.

    All I do its with passion. If I do not have passion, I do not do that thing (almost anything).

    I can see your are passionate about writing.

    Thank you Lynn!

  19. Everything is on the ball here, as usual for Lynn. I've been with you for years and I have never read anything from you that wasn't of absolute value. I do have a comment to make about your New Zealand example. The big challenge with that beginning marketer is his/her lack of current or at least recent experience with the country. The challenge not mentioned is credibility. I'm in the target market for travel and geographical niches and I gravitate to sites that indicate the site owner is an established specialist in the destination and therefore qualified to be in that business. You can't just start a site on a destination and expect people to take you seriously if you've never even been there!

  20. Actually, there is one way to close the credibility gap in destination sites. If you have absolute passion for, say, New Zealand, since that was Lynn's example, start by finding someone with the same passion but who also has experience in the country -- preferably someone who lives there. The experience must be extensive in order to compete with other sites run by experts. The trick is, of course, finding someone trustworthy, and if you don't already know them personally, you will have other issues.

    I really prefer to work without a full-time partner but as someone passionate about a place I don't currently live in -- and I've been there umpteen times -- and can't travel to regularly enough to get on-the-ground info, I need someone who has the necessary background and/or freedom to travel now.

    A destination site isn't going to get you to your destination unless you already go there regularly, or have a partner who does.

  21. Great post, thinking outside the box is what made me realize that I did not want to climb the corporate ladder and I was perfectly content in my current position. Thinking about what I would do with no limits also helped me to realize that making passive income was what I really wanted to do. Keep up the good work! :)

  22. Thanks for the great information... I was stuck between what to choose for my new blog... Your article realy helps me a lot....

    Thank you so much

  23. I so agree with this article do something you love me for example I am over 40 and so into exercise so I started a website for the over 40. It is hard work but as I love my niche I dont look upon it as work. If I was doing a niche I did not enjoy I think I would have given up by now.

  24. Great article. I started a little side business about a year ago for some passive income and it has done well. I did exactly what you said. I thought about what I like and went from there. Once I thought about it, it became pretty easy. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Gwency Radnor says:

    This is really helpful thanks lynn!

  26. I have blog site and i posted to it for awhile and since the name is outdoorblogsite.com
    of course i tried using articles about the outdoors but then i ran out of all of the out
    door experiences i done so i more or less ran out things to write about unless i picked up
    a magazine and used articles in them to write about, but i felt like i was lying to people.
    I was afraid they would think that i was doing all these things.

    Ialso would like to write about things that would help people in ther daily lives or that
    would help them increase their income even if was only part time.

    Sorry for such a large comment

  27. Hi number 3 is my fav Thats the reason I started my site. Saying that number 1 is needed when google does not give you what you want
    kevin recently posted..Resistance Bands workoutsMy Profile

  28. Thanks so much for the article! I have been "dabbling" in affiliate marketing for several months, but even after working with a "guru," nothing seemed to be working. My biggest hurdle was finding an appropriate niche--one about which I am (or could be) passionate but one that could be commercial and not just informational. I stumbled across this post and the "Did You Choose the Right Niche?" one, and they have been so liberating! I decided to dump several things I was trying to work on, shelve another one and only focus on one on-going project. I also decided that I was trying too hard to find a niche. When I quit thinking about it so much, I saw an unread book on my bookshelf (it's been there literally for years!) that gave me an idea for a great niche that fits your 3rd suggestion. I'm starting on that blog today.

    And I'm going to keep my eyes and mind open for #4.

    Thanks again!

  29. I enjoyed this article, you are just fantastic, honestly the whole thing is beginning to make sense to me, you are really inspiring and i appreciate you so very much, please keep up the good work and you never can tell how many lives you will change with all your write ups.
    Keep up the good work and more success in all you do.
    Cheers

  30. Lynn, are you going to write a post about the challenges we were talking about in the replies to this, about needing prior knowledge, experience or current regular activity in whatever niche you choose? I'd love to see it. I feel so strongly about this that I'd be glad to help.

    As I said, my absolute favorite niche is a destination. I can't do the site because I don't live there and can't go there regularly. And I'm sure there are countless other niches people would just love to jump into but they won't have credibility unless they have a practicing/experienced partner.

    • I can relate, Ana. I have a niche in mind that presents similar challenges.

      Lynn, I found this blog post especially inspiring as it brought to mind a niche I had thought of a while ago, but did not have the courage to start it, in part because of the credibility challenges. I'm deeply appreciative. There are times when we simply need to get validation to believe in ourselves to continue to move forward. This is what reading this post has done for me. I can't thank you enough.

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