Don’t Waste your Time on the Wrong Market
I remember when I first started building sites going on two decades ago (time flies!). Choosing a market was really more of a lottery than a business decision. Needless to say, I learned the hard way that you really should look into a few things before making an investment in a market.
I say it is an “investment.” Sure, there’s the monetary investment that is involved. In many cases that’s low though. The primary investment that I’m referring to is your time. You can’t get the time you put into your site(s) and assets in that market back. The time you could have spent on something that resulted in a lot of money or with your family or friends.
Over the years I’ve learned what to look for in a niche, but more importantly, what to avoid. I’ve also learned that, unfortunately, many other Internet Marketers have been slow to learn these things. That’s the purpose of this post … to help you if you happen to be one of those people who has a hard time finding a profitable market.
With that being said, I’ll tell you immediately that the most important thing to realize is that effective market research requires you to move outside the confines of the Internet Marketing mindset and think very broadly in terms of commercial intent, the mind of consumers, trends and demographics.
That sounds complicated and it can get really complicated really quickly if you really dig into it all. But for most Internet Marketers it doesn’t need to be. Let’s look into some simple market selection principles that I believe any Internet Marketer can understand and, if put into place, use to their advantage.
You want to put yourself in the shoes of a “model” customer in this market. If the market is hiking, think of yourself as an avid hiker. If you have money to spend on your hobby, what would you want to spend that money on? Would you even need to spend any money? How often do you need to spend money in order to continue enjoying this hobby. Where would I spend this money? Then you need to see what your options are in profiting from the money that is spent by that “model” customer.
There is a particular hobby that has widely grown across the world called Geocaching. It is sort of like a world-wide, GPS oriented treasure hunt. For a long while hand-held GPS devices were needed in order to participate (great profit potential as an affiliate). But now, most people have smart phones, and there are apps available for it, so those devices are no longer needed. So if you hit that market, don’t expect to make much money selling GPS devices. You’ll be reduced to selling containers or other trinkets. That could still be profitable, but you’ll need to consider how much of a profit you’ll make per sale. It may take 100,000 visitors a month to make $1,000/m. selling those inexpensive trinkets. See where I’m getting at? Dissect the niche and consider what people spend their money on.
Josh Spaulding, one of my senior staff members, has a site about Germany tourism. Most people who visit Germany as a tourist visit once in their lifetime, or twice max. If Josh concentrated on building a list of people who visit his site, it could be profitable in one way or another, but it would probably not be NEARLY as profitable as a list built from a woodworking site, for example. My brother, Ted’s woodworking site has generated a massive email list of people who regularly work with wood, so the people on that list are always potential buyers!
I enjoy old time radio. But when I consider the market, I find that there aren’t many opportunities to profit from that market because those who enjoy it are really looking for one thing: to listen to old-time radio. Sure, you can brainstorm a few ideas that might interest people in the market, but the overall consumer intent is very low, so it’s just not likely going to earn you nearly as much money for the time spent on it as many other markets would.
You also want to consider where money is spent. Organic food is becoming more and more popular. The trend is growing more and more. It seems like it could be a great market to get into, in one way or another, for that reason. That may be the case, but before you do, you’ll want to consider the fact that Wal-Mart (at least here in the U.S.) and most other grocers are continually expanding their organic food line, so while the market is growing, the online market seems to be shrinking because people are able to get more and more of that food at their local grocery store.
Once you’ve found a niche and considered these things the next question you have to ask yourself is this: Can I profit from this market without having to drive millions of visitors to my site? If so, how?
Can I create my own product in this market? If so, would there be enough profit margin after production/shipping etc.? Are affiliate programs available? If so, are they legit? What do they pay? Is it worth my while to promote this offer? At times I’ll find a market that looks great after considering all other things, but when it comes to the product/service to sell I hit a brick wall. Creating it myself is not feasible for one reason or another and I either can’t find a good affiliate program or all of the affiliate programs I come across are just bad.
As I hope this article has helped you to realize, market selection is less of a step-by-step process and more of a mindset. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Success rarely comes by following a static step-by-step process. Success comes by having the right mindset and taking action.
That is why, while providing step-by-step instructions when beneficial, my team and I at LearnFromJon.com concentrate on helping our clients learn to THINK right and then to DO right in order to gain success online.
We’ve had many success stories so far and I have no doubt there will be many more in the future because a successful mindset + a successful strategy + taking action almost always = Success!
Do you have experience related to market selection that you’d like to share? I would love to hear from you. Please do share your own experience, ask a question, or just leave a random comment on this post via the box below. I read them all and I’m always interested in hearing what you have to say.