For example, you might want to look at a particular web business. Let’s just say, let’s go down another path here. I want to see if this person’s websites are making money. You log onto the website, boy, he’s running an awful lot of advertising, but he’s not getting a whole lot of web visitors. What’s going on?
What you don’t know, is that he runs his web advertising. And he randomizes it and splits it up between 30 different websites on 30 different domain names so that there’s not one website out there that looks like it’s really popular. He’s just spreading it out. He doesn’t need to brag about how many visitors he’s getting. In fact, he doesn’t want the competition to know. He may be advertising on those big search engines. He may be advertising with 30 different ads running to 30 different websites that sell the same thing under 30 different brand names. He is literally creating his own competition.
You go in there and you may say there are 30 different competitors I don’t want to go into business in this arena. Well, you may only have one competitor.
The flip side of that would be to say, there’s 30 different competitors, it must be a really, really hot niche. The truth of the matter it is 1 owner, instead of 30. That person has so optimized the flow of traffic that it’ll be very difficult for you to go head-to-head.
I don’t think there’s very many situations in sales like that, although I believe what I’ve just shared with you is realistic and accurate. Not necessarily in number, but in concept.
How to Win Even if You Have Strong Competition
Let’s say a particular company appears to have a market totally locked up, and they’ve got everything figured out. If that’s the case, there are probably unmet needs in that marketplace that the company (or that individual) is not meeting. And, if you can find out what those holes and unmet needs are, you can create a brand new niche all by itself.
How do you do that? A great first step is to collect subscribers in your niche – you can run advertising, write some great content pieces, to get people to sign up. Then send an email out asking for their 2-3 biggest problems/questions in the niche. [The survey idea we explored before].
You’ll get a lot of responses and see some overlap. People will also respond with a lot of detail and you can go back and forth with those people.
Use these ideas to create products and break into a niche, even a niche where the competition has a tight hold on things. Your market research can help you pinpoint where your market is hanging out online, so you know exactly where to find them and get them onto your list. Then you’re off and running!
You can’t take all your internet marketing information and say that’s proof that you’ll sell online.
You could take ALL of the things that I am sharing with you or another teacher shares with you, and set up your own shop online, and find it doesn’t work. You could do none of this, and set your own shop up online, and find that whatever it is that you’re trying to sell works. I’m a big believer in just get out there and do it, and find out what works.
If you have an interest in a topic, don’t spend the next 12 months trying to figure out if this is the best topic for you. Some people take 2 to 5 years trying to figure out their topic, and by the time they do they find that all the competition has beat them to the market.
Instead, get out there today, put a website up there, start finding targeted visitors, and just see what happens.
[Here’s my own story. I started back in 2010 with html, constructing websites from scratch. This took quite some time. Then I discovered WordPress with its themes, plugins and copy and paste functionality. I can now get a basic website up and running from scratch by lunchtime. This consists of 4 pages – Home, About, Privacy and Contact. For help and training why not join me at WA. I host all my websites here as part of my membership].
How to Get Ideas to Test – Offline
You can look at what people are doing and buying offline. One place you look is the bookstores; another place you can look is the late-night infomercials. 1:00am, 2:00am, 3:00am. It would be worth it to skip sleep for one night and just watch all the late-night infomercials, especially if you’re struggling to find a niche.
Have a notepad beside you. Have a pot of coffee, and a notepad. There’s an infomercial on every other channel at 1am! You can get 50 infomercial type topics at 1:05am, 50 more at 1:35am, 50 more at 2:05am, and by the time the rest of your family wakes up its 7:00am, and you’ve gotten a lot of data. You’ve got 500 infomercials and their related topics. Group those together: 100 were on this topic, and 75 were on this topic, and 55 were on this topic, 45 were on this topic.
This gives you a pretty good idea of what people are buying in the middle of the night. If they’re buying it in the middle of the night, they’re buying it during the day. If they’re buying it on the infomercial, they’re buying it on Amazon. If they’re buying it on infomercial, they’re buying it on somebody’s website. In fact, you’ll find with so many of those infomercials, there are websites associated with them. The infomercial is just one branch to the selling!
So, for example, if you do a web search on the name of the person on the infomercial, you’ll often find they have a book, they have a seminar, they have a DVD, and they also have something on Amazon. The infomercial is just one sales channel. So, if you can find it on the infomercial, it probably sells somewhere else.
Another Source of Hot Topics
Another place you can go is the business success magazines, like Fortune Magazine, Success Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, I think there’s one out there called Creativity. You look at the local bookstore, and not the small one, the big one, the biggest bookstore in your state. Take a drive and buy a copy of every one of those magazines. I’ve done basically this before. I’ve gone in and bought a stack of those magazines.
You read them, and you study them, and it’s amazing what you can learn.
When you’re reading, you’re looking for common themes. 20 magazines and 17 of them have an article on the same topic this month. What’s hot in the world this month? That topic is. Why? 17 out of the 20 business magazines have an article on that.
Now, what would be funny is if you buy one every single month for a year, you would find that same topic gets featured every single month. Why? It’s a hot topic, and it sells.
And there are multiple topics just like that. The same thing with advertising. If you find an advertiser that’s advertising in one of those small business magazines, it doesn’t tell you very much. Ah, they wrote a check for $1k, no big deal. But, you find that same advertiser is in all 20 magazines, what does it tell you? They’re making money.
Okay folks, I’ve given you enough information, so that you can brainstorm now. By the way, that’s just the small business niche. Let’s say that you’re in any other niche. You’re in weight loss. You’re in pets. You’re in scrap booking. You’re in crocheting. You’re in fast cars. You’re in computers. Do the same thing. You want to find out what’s hot in the computer world? Pick up 20 computer magazines. You want to find out what’s hot in the craft world? Pick up all the craft magazines. There are a bunch of them. You want to find out what’s hot in the equestrian world? Maybe there are only 3 or 4 magazines. Buy them all. Even if you have to write for them or something, buy them online, if you can’t buy them at your local book store. You want to find out what’s hot in dog training? You buy the dog training magazines. You want to find out what’s hot in weight lifting? There’s like 7 different magazines out there, buy them all, every month for 6 months. You’ll know what’s hot. Look at the corresponding websites for that particular magazine.
Where Do You Find Out What People Are Already Buying?
The question is, if we want to see what people are reading, where do we go? We go to Amazon! Amazon does a great job of ranking all the books. They tell you which book is #1 this week. Which book is #2 this week? Which book is #1000 this week? They give you all of those rankings. No, they don’t tell you how many books they sold. But, it’s pretty easy for you to see if the book is #1, it sold a lot more than #1000.
If a book is #1000, it sold a lot more than #50,000. If there are 25 books on a particular topic, that are getting some decent rankings, that tells you that people are buying books on this particular topic.
So, Amazon is a great place to go to determine if your general niche has some interest.
Obviously, this doesn’t tell you what to do if you have a deep interest in your niche, and nobody’s ever written a book about it. We’ll get to that in just a moment.
Find Out What People Listen to – and Watch
So, we’ve looked at print. We want to find out what people are reading, so we go to Amazon. If we want to find out what people are listening to, where do we go? We go where podcasts are. So, we might go to iTunes, and find out what are people listening to. So, we go to where audios are, and we find out what people are listening to. By the way, you can do that at Amazon as well. Because Amazon will tell you what people are listening to. How do you know? Because if they’re buying it, they’re paying money to have the pleasure of listening to it.
Now, let’s say we want to start with videos. So, if folks are watching videos, how do we find them? YouTube is a great place to find people who are watching YouTube videos. You go to YouTube, you find out what people are watching on YouTube. How do you find out if they’re watching it? You don’t just look for one video that has 1m views, you look for 25 videos on a particular topic, that all have a bunch of views.
That tells you that there’s some diversity, that tells you that people are interested in that topic (it’s not just a “viral video” or “one hit wonder”). And, if they’re interested in that topic, they’ll buy the other things.
A NOTE ABOUT YOUTUBE – if you are an avid YouTube watcher (as I am) you will have noticed in recent times that there is a progressive dumbing down of subjects allowed now on the platform.
For a broader range of “Free Speech” subjects look at Rumble, Locals.com and other video sharing platforms.
Looking for Clues Offline
If people buy it in stores and its information, they’ll probably buy it online and vice-versa. This means you can go offline to find out what people will buy online. You can go into your local bookstore, and see what magazines are selling and you can see what books are selling. And, the books and the magazines that are selling, those are the same things, the same topics that will sell online.
Maybe you’re asking: “Well, how do I figure out what topics are selling?”
One way is to just go over to the magazine rack, and just sit down in front of the magazine rack all day long, and just take notes of which magazines are being taken off the counter.
Another thing you can do is watch which magazines people are reading and putting back. You may go to a local bookstore, and maybe 100 people buy magazines today, but maybe 1k people have looked at magazines, but they look at 6 magazines on a particular topic, but they only buy 1. You can use that and say, well, the other ones were castoffs, but if they’re on a related topic, they were interesting, and it allows you to grab at a lot more data really fast.
You could walk through the bookstore and you could say, well, which books have the bookstore bought 100 copies of, instead of 1 copy. Because, the bookstores are smart, they don’t tend to invest in 100 books, if they don’t think they can sell 98 of them. Or sell 50 of them, and remainder the other 50. They’re planning to sell a number of books if they bought it.
This can be done in every single niche. If there’s anything being done in that niche let’s review it. Look at books, magazines, infomercials, podcasts, and videos. And, you can let your mind run wild with all the other places that you’ll be able to go get information. It’s out there. Do the research, then dive in with your topic and test it!