Finding Your Niche

Almost every established industry has a single piece of pie waiting to be divvied up. When searching out your online niche, here are some general guidelines to follow (to help you remember them, notice that the first letter in each term spells out the word niche):

  • Notice: All too often, niche markets are in plain sight — ripe for the picking. Some people see them, and others walk right by. So stop and pay attention to your personal interests and those of your friends and family. After all, you're consumers. Take a look at which services or products you want or need that larger companies aren't providing. Watch for new trends, too. Find out what people are talking about, and determine what's hot and different right now. Trends are often predecessors to an emerging niche.
  • Investigate: If you think you've hit on a great idea, it deserves an adequate level of attention. Research the larger market from which your niche originates, and determine whether it's a growing market. Check annual sales and identify top performers (the large companies) in that market. Find out what analysts and researchers are saying about possible spin-off segments of the market, and determine whether these industry experts have spotted the same niche that you noticed.
  • Competition and customers: As with any other market, you have competitors in a niche. Do a little digging to uncover how many others are already servicing the market. If you have zero competition, you may want to reevaluate ...

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