There were two traps I fell into when I first started trying to make money online – not doing sufficient market research and not doing sufficient competitor research. After a few failures I got it through my think head how important it was to do lots of niche and keyword research before buying a domain name and putting up a WordPress site. However, it took several more failures before I realized and understood the importance of competitor research.
Making money online really comes down to two things – traffic and conversions. If you can’t beat your competitors in ranking, you won’t get a sufficient amount of traffic. And without a sufficient amount of traffic you won’t be able to test offers, track results and improve conversions.
You must take the time investigate the strength of your competitors once you have identified a profitable niche market. The temptation to get started quickly is hard to resist with the excitement you feel when you have found a niche that looks like it can make you money, but you have got to find out who you are up against and if you have the resources to beat them.
My favorite piece of software, Market Samurai, now makes competitor research very easy with their SEO module. What used to take many hours of tedious work using a number of tools now can be determined in a number of seconds.
Look at the screen shot below. Recently, I have been looking into the natural health niche. While I wouldn’t target the keyword “natural health” for a number of reasons, Market Samurai can tell me at a glance what I am up against if I wanted to try and rank for that keyword. You’ll notice a lot of red – this means a high level of competition. So I would stay away from this word.
If we look at the keyword “JLPT” , an acronym for Japanese Language Proficiency Test, a sub-niche in the Japanese Language niche you can see quite a bit of red, but a lower level of competition. I managed to get top page ranking for site of mine called JapaneseProficiencyPower.com (highlighted). I sell a test guide on how to pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. JLPT gets 110,000 phrase match searched a month, some of which ends up on my site. As you can see my site has only 6 indexed pages, but I have had it rank on the top page of Google for a two years thanks to the help of Market Samurai.
Take a look at this video of Anthony who gives a tour of the Market Samurai SEO Competition module. He walks you through how Market Samurai gives you an easy but incredibly powerful way to assess the level of competition in any particular niche.
When coaching people new to Internet marketing the problems or complaints I hear most are something along the lines of ”I don’t know what niche to choose” or “I can’t find a niche”. These statements are like warning bells ringing in my ears. It indicates to me that these people won’t succeed online because they don’t realzie the importance of niche market research. Also, they don’t understand that niches are discovered through a process of reseacrh and testing.
So, how do you find a niche market? Well, first you must understand that you don’t choose a niche. You discover them or uncover them. Finding a profitableniche is a process that requires reseach and an understanding of what motivates people purchase something online. It is actually an easy and uncomplicated process. The thing is most people don’t like to do it becasue it is time consumming and a tad on the boring side. When people are motivated or excited by the prospect of making money online, they want to jump right in and get started on building a website or creating a product. They end up not doing the most important part of the process……..due deligence.
Getting started on uncovering a niche is pretty easy. The first step is to brainstorm! Brainstorm problems or needs you have or have had in the past. If you have read my post on profitable niches you’ll know that people are motivated by pain or irrational desire. Think about your own life exeprience and the problems you have paid to have sloved. Then think about family members or friends who have problems.
One activity I use and share with my private students involves the Seven Deadly Sins. They make the perfect categories for niche ideas. I get my students to list problems, desires and products related to each dealy sin.
Wrath – Anger managment, stress management,
Greed – Making money online, Forex trading
Sloth – Gaming, satellite TV
Pride – Penis enlargement, grow taller
Lust – Dating, sexual performance
Envy -Career, love, money
Gluttony – Weight loss, diet pills
If you are really struggling to find a niche stop and take a look at what is already selling. There are many market places where you can find out what products are popular and making people money. Check out ebay pulse and the clickbank market place. Also, certain affiliate network sites such as www.moreniche.com will tell you what niches and products make affiliates thousands of dollars every year.
Once you think you have uncovered a niche you need to validate that niche. You need to find absolute proof that you can make money in that niche. The easiest way to do this is to see if other people are already making money in the niche you have uncovered. You just Google a number of keywords related to your niche market and see how many advertisers on on Google or Bing.
If you a find a few pages of advertisers then you know you are on to something. If you find no Google ads for your keywords then can safely assume that there is no money in that niche. The next step is too see what these advertisors are selling. Visit these advertisor’s sites and see what they are selling. If you find several advertisor’s selling information products or products you could be an affiliate of then you know there is a market.
The next step is to study what your newly found and already established competitors are doing. If they offer a newsletter get on it. Analysie their site and work out what keywords they are targeting. Look ate the call to actions on their site. Find out how well they rank organically on Google. The niche keyword tool Market Samurai can help you do this.
It is important that you document everything so can update your findingd and refer to it
Once you have discovered what looks to be a profitable niche you then need to work out how competative that niche is. It is important that you don’t see competition as a bad thing. It is quite the opposite. Competition is a good thing. With competition is assurance that you can make money and the opportunity to joint venture with your competitors.
However, you need to establish if there is room for you in your target and what the level of competition. Strong competition will require more resources, time and money. You need to budget and plan to beat your competition. Ambition alone won’t do it. I do all my compeative analysis with Market Samurai.
Market Samurai can tell you the rank of your competor sites, analize their on-page factors and tell you the number and quality of their backlinks. This information is vital as it will indicate how easy or how hard it will be to outrank and beat your competitors.
A few years ago the process of keyword research was very time consuming and frustrating, requiring a lot of various tools and patience. Thanks to Market Samurai, keyword research can be done in minutes instead of taking hours. In this blog post we are going to look at another Market Samurai video. In the video Anthony discusses:
I love Anthony’s analogy of keyword research being like panning for gold, with gold nuggets being profitable keywords. The process of keyword research is very similar. Hopefully, you’ll know that niches aren’t really “chosen”, but discovered with both a combination of niche and keyword research. A profitable niche can be defined as an unfulfilled need usually driven by pain or irrational desire.
As Anthony describes in the video you begin by selecting a niche to explore which is the equivalent of choosing a river to prospect. You then generate a large number of keywords relating to your niche which is like scooping up a collection of rocks, dirt and sand. Then you can use a tool such as Market Samurai to filter out the good keywords from the bad. At the end of this process you will hopefully be left with a few ‘gold nugget’ keywords.
What makes a keyword profitable?
The best way to answer this question is to look at the four golden rules for identifying profitable keywords developed by the Market Samurai team.
The four Golden Rules are:
Relevance – profitable keywords must be highly relevant to the content on your website.
Traffic – they have good levels of targeted traffic.
Competition – they have acceptable levels of competition. Competition is a good thing, but you want to know that you’ll be able to reach top page ranking of Google.
Commerciality – they have a high level of commerciality. Remember, you are in this to make money.
Go and grab your free trial of Market Samurai now.
Today, I was going to spend the afternoon recording a review video of Market Samurai. Then, I started thinking it would really be better to have the creators of Market Samurai explain how their niche research software works and how it can benefit you. So I have decided to promote a series of Market Samurai videos on my blog. In this post we will look at an introduction to keyword research video.
The video is titled “Understanding Keyword Research” and looks at concepts such as
The biggest takeaway is this: ‘It takes the same amount of time and effort to build an unsuccessful online business as it does to build a successful business’.
The key factors that determine whether you succeed or fail online are:
(1) The niche market you select or discover
(2) The keyword phrases you target
It is essential that you get both of these right. If you do, your online business will have the potential to produce an income stream that can completely transform your life. Likewise, if you get one or both of these factors wrong, you’ll probably become one of the many people who make little or no income online.
Anthony hits the nail on the head when he explains that the main reason people fail is that they do not spend the time up front to do the market research necessary to check if their business idea is viable. Most would-be Internet markers rush in, select a niche that appeals to them ( and not to a market), do little or no keyword research and expect money to roll in once they have a product made and a site up. This is failure in the making.
To succeed online you need to research markets carefully and they identify profitable niches before you make any product creation decisions. Making money online can be easy if you target specific keywords in a profitable niche and follow a proven plan.
To learn more from Anthony or to take a 12 day trail of the software visit the Market Samurai Dojo.