When creating pretty much any online business – whether it’s an affiliate marketing business, a blog or anything else – the first question you will often need to ask yourself is what it’s going to be about? Or to use the correct internet business parlance: what is your niche?
A niche is a subject matter that will appeal to a specific audience. An example of a niche would be ‘sewing’. Sewing is something that appeals largely to older women but also to a lot of younger women these days who are interested in arts and crafts. And of course some men like sewing too – let’s not stereotype here! Either way, most people are either interested in sewing or they are not – thus it has a niche appeal and gives you a specific target audience.
You can go even more niche if you like though and choose ‘crocheting’ or ‘bird sewing patterns’ but the ‘more niche’ you go, the more you narrow your audience. Another example of a niche is fitness. Now fitness is a much larger niche because it will appeal to a huge proportion of the population. Nearly everyone will want to get fitter at some point in their lives. It’s still a very specific subject matter that will talk to a very specific type of person but it is a much broader niche.
When it comes to internet business, the key often boils down to finding the right niche. And this will often mean finding a niche that has a broad appeal while not being overly competitive. The problem with the health and fitness niche is that you’re going to be going up against a huge number of other channels. Some big names in this space include the Hodge Twins, Athlean-X, Bodybuilding.com, Rob Riches and Eliot Hulse to name just a few.
Many of these channels have been around for many years and now have millions of subscribers and huge amounts of money to spend on marketing. That means that if you want to go up against them with a video on ‘how to get abs’, you might well struggle to get your video to a position where it will actually be seen and clicked on.
But on the other hand, a YouTube channel about crocheting cat patterns probably won’t get looked for very often and will quickly reach its peak, leaving you with nowhere else to go and a big cap on how much you can possibly earn.
How to Find Your Niche
So how do you find your niche? A good option is to start with the bigger niches and then to focus down and find yourself a smaller sub-niche within the niche. So to start with, let’s look at what the very biggest niches are and what the most lucrative ones are.
In general internet marketing, the biggest niches are:
- Making Money
This is because all of these subject matters are things that have a hugely broad appeal and will appeal to practically everyone. If you have the marketing budget, then you can reach the biggest potential audience this way. At the same time though, these niches are huge because they have something else going for them ‘value proposition’. That is to say, that each of them has something very big and important to offer people – an emotional hook that makes people passionate about a channel.
So for example, fitness isn’t really just about getting into shape: it’s about being more confident, sexier, healthier and happier thanks to your training and your diet. People hope that by watching these channels, they can turn their lives around.The same goes for money and dating. These offer complete lifestyle changes – they let people find love or get more sex, they allow them to travel around the world and to wear nice watches.
They have a real emotional hook and this means that the products sold in advertising can charge a lot more. People are much more willing to pay for a book that will make them a billion dollars than they are to pay for a book that can teach them how to sew!
But YouTube is a weird place. And when you take a look around YouTube you’ll find that these regular rules only partly hold true. But there’s also actually a lot of other highly successful content here that is just… plain inane to be quite frank!
Some of the biggest topics on YouTube outside of those big internet marketing favorites are:
- Make-up tutorials
- Lifestyle vlogs
That’s a much more bizarre selection of niches and if you look around you’ll find thriving sub-cultures celebrating all kinds of other unusual things! There are some very popular YouTube channels for example that show people how to transform new Transformer toys!
The thing to understand about YouTube is that it is much more visual than a blog or a social media channel. And this means that any subject matter that is more visual in nature and more dynamic is almost sure to be a success. Cat videos provide immediate laughs, while make-up tutorials show women how to look their most beautiful and have the proof that it works right there on the screen.
And people enjoy watching inane things like vlogs about the everyday lives of YouTube stars because – believe it or not – it almost feels like company. People enjoy watching the YouTube channels of people who are like the coolest friend that they’d love to hang out with. YouTube is such a direct and personal format that it’s a great way to create almost a relationship with your audience and to thereby make a big impact on them.
This works even better if you can sell a kind of lifestyle that they find desirable and thereby allow them to live vicariously. A lot of people watch the lifestyle vlogs of rich, attractive people because they want to live those kinds of lifestyles themselves – of course a lot of it is fabricated!
Meanwhile, watching someone else play a video game and provide a ‘commentary’ can be a way to recreate the feeling of hanging out with mates while playing Goldeneye on the N64 in your youth – and at the same time you’re getting news and footage of new games you might be interested in.
So how do you bring all these disparate elements together into something that will really work for you? That’s a question only you can answer but a good way to start is to take a broad niche that has a wide appeal and then focus down. For example, you can go with fitness but find your own way into that industry by making your channel all about fitness for the over 50s.
This is a brilliant way to offer something a bit different and a bit unique and thereby to stand out from the crowd while still having that value proposition and that universal appeal. Another thing to always remember is to be true to yourself. Choose the niche that you are most comfortable with and then you’ll find you have much more to say on the matter, you come across as much more passionate and interested in your own topic and you’re better able to really inspire your audience to listen to you!
I can’t tell you which niche you need to pick but using all this information, hopefully you can come up with something that will have a big appeal while also being true to who you are.
I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.
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All the best,