Niche Site Income Pt 2: How to Find a Niche Market (My Niche Site Revealed)

Choosing a Niche
Thank you for all the great questions and comments on part one of this series about how to build a successful niche site income. The response has been spectacular.

I can tell you're excited to see inside the process I used to build one of my sites. And I'm excited to show you how you can do it, too.

If you haven't  looked through the comments on part one, I recommend that you do.  There were a lot of great questions. Many of them I answered right away. There's plenty to learn reading those comments.

One of the top things you asked was how I chose the niche for the site. I'm going to answer that in this post.

But first, I know you've all been waiting to see which of my sites we'll be using as a case study.

It's my podcasting tutorial site.

How to Podcast Niche Site Header

I know. It's not the most attractive thing. I built the site myself in 2005. Back then I knew very little about WordPress. But I'll talk more about how the site was built later in this series.

For now, let's take a look at the exact process I used to choose the niche idea for this site.

Step 1: Brainstorming

BrainstormingDuring the summer of 2005, my wife and I stayed in Alaska to escape the NYC heat. My main objective for that summer was to create a new niche site income stream.

I can still picture in my mind the yellow pad where I scratched out as many niche ideas as I could. For several days (or possibly even weeks), I had that thing at the ready to capture any little idea that came to mind.

I made lists of my interests. I wrote down unique experiences I'd had. I noted things I wanted to learn. I paid attention to problems around me that needed solutions.

I wish I had a scan of that pad of paper to post here, but it's buried in a box in an attic in Utah. Some of the ideas I had include:

  • Learning guitar
  • Visiting Alaska
  • Recording music at home
  • How to learn french
  • Digital audio

I wrote down many more than this, but you get the idea.

Niche Idea Generation

Here are a list of questions to ask yourself when brainstorming niche ideas.

  1. What talents knowledge or skills do you have?
  2. What would I do even if I didn't get paid for it?
  3. What kinds of things do people come to me to get help with? What do people count on me for?
  4. What are things that I want to learn more about?
  5. What kinds of things do I do for fun? What are the things that make me lose track of time when I do them?
  6. What problems do I see around me that need a better solution?
  7. What kinds of experiences have I been through that taught me valuable lessons?

Once you answer those questions, ask 2-3 trusted friends to answer the questions as well about you. They might come up with some things you missed. Often we take for granted the things we are good at. It takes an outside perspective to help us see it.

Even More Niche Ideas

If those questions don't turn up enough options for you, here are some other places to look for ideas.

  1. 43 Things - this is essentially a list of the top goals that people want to accomplish in life
  2. Magazines - if there is a magazine for it, then you know there is a market for it
  3. For Dummies Books - one of the largest publishers has done all the research for you to find viable niches
  4. E-How - another treasure trove of topics that people want to learn about

Jeremy's Tips

The Clickbank Marketplace is also a great place to get ideas. If you check the gravity of a product you are intersted in, you can see if there happens to already be some interest in that subject/product.  The higher the gravity score the better!


Once you have a big list of ideas, narrow it down to the 3 or 4 that interest you the most. These are the ones you'll take into the evaluation process below.

Podcasting was at the top of my short list. I'd seen it mentioned in an e-mail newsletter. I had no idea what the word meant, so I Googled it. Right away I was fascinated. So I wrote it down on my idea pad.

Podcasting really appealed to me because it combined my interest and knowledge in the Internet, new technology, teaching others, marketing and audio recording. It felt like a great fit for my talents.

I could see myself learning new podcasting things, testing them out and sharing them with my audience. This mad eit my top pick for a niche site.

Step 2: Niche Evaluation

Niche EvaluationThis is one of the most important steps. Careful evaluation up front makes content creation, traffic generation and making money a ton easier moving forward. Here are the five criteria I look at when evaluating a niche.

Criteria #1: Demand

Question: Are there enough people actively looking for the topic online?

If there's a Dummies book or magazine for the niche, that's good proof of demand.It's not necessary, but it's one thing that you can look for as an indicator.

You can also rely on your own personal experience to give you a sense for the demand in the market. Be careful with this one. It's easy to assume incorrectly.

One of the best indicators of the demand for a niche online is the number of people that search for it in Google. You can use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to know approximately how many people search for a given topic each month. I'll make a video for you about this in the next post.

Interesting enough, podcasting was so new that there weren't any search numbers available. There wasn't a magazine. There wasn't even a dummies book yet. So I was mostly going off of gut feel.

Something told me that more and more people would be looking for help to start a podcasting in the coming months and years. It also seemed only a matter of time before it went beyond a few geeks in their bedrooms and businesses jumped on board.

As the years have proven, my hunch was right.

Criteria #2: Usefulness

Question: Does this niche speak to a group of people with either an urgent pain (e.g. recovering from divorce, treating heartburn, how to get grant money) or an irrational passion (e.g. golf, scrapbooking, Jeremy's no longer secret love for macrame)?

It's tons easier to attract people and sell them a product  you tap into their emotional drive. If an athlete has just had knee surgery, is looking for info to help her return to her top performance and she comes across your site with videos and an e-book answering her most pressing questions...

...that is a GOOD position to be in as a marketer.

The way I saw it, podcasting would be a powerful new strategy in any marketer's tool belt. Every business loves free or low-cost ways to reach new customers, connect with them and sell more products. Podcasting could be used to do that. So, yes, it was a useful niche.

Criteria #3: Profitability

Question: Are people actively buying product (and ideally digital information products) in this niche?

If you see others advertising and selling online in the niche, that's a sign that there is money to be made there. If you can't find anyone selling products, then I would move on.

Yes, maybe you have found an untapped vein of gold. But it's more likely there's a reason no one is selling. Because no one is buying!

Unless you are a seasoned entrepreneur, find a niche that's already been proven by others. Don't be a pioneer. Now, I realize that makes this a "do as I say not as I did" scenario.

Here are a just few indicators that a niche is profitable:

  • You find blogs or sites that are selling products in your niche
  • Clickbank has products listed in the niche
  • When you search in Google you see lots of advertisers at the top or on the side

Be sure to search for a number of different keywords related to the niche when checking for profitability. You just need to find one or two that show proof of money being made.

Based on this profitability criteria, I shouldn't have chosen podcasting as a topic for my niche site. However, I had a strong enough gut feel that people would buy info products in this niche. I wanted to be the first to offer them the chance to buy. Keep in mind this was not my first site. So I was more confident being a pioneer.

I did have my moments of doubt (more on this in a bit), but in the end decided it was worth launching the site to see what happened.

Criteria #4: Competition

Question: Based on my long-term goals, can I stand out in this niche given the effort I plan to put into this site?

In order to make noise in a niche, you need something that will help you stand out. Be sure you can use one or more of the  following strategies as you can to give you the edge against competition.

a) Focus on an a specific audience

Choose a specific group of people that you connect with to target. This is likely a past version of yourself. Ideally find a group that is under-served in the niche.

For example, you could teach social media specifically to lawyers, help home business owners stay fit , work with baby boomers that are retiring to make the transition more smooth, help fathers with attachment parenting tips, etc.).

Most businesses make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people. By laser-targeting a specific audience, you'll be sure to rise above the competition.

b) Target lots of long tail keywords phrases

Long tail search phrases are typically three to five words in length. These phrases have much less competition because most people chase after the more popular one- and two-word phrases. The trade off is you get less traffic from these words. But if you target dozens or even hundreds of them you'll see significant results.

When we first started Internet Business Mastery, one of our primary keywords was internet based business. It was much easier to rank for than internet business.

As we got more established we switched our focus. After some time and effort, we've now achieved a top ranking in Google for the more popular phrase, internet business.

c) Have a solution that gives people a reason to come to you over other options available to them

When we started Internet Business Mastery, we stood out by using a new channel that no one else was -- podcasting. In addition, we took a "two normal guys just sharing their journey" kind of approach while others were branding themselves as gurus on the mountain.

Ask yourself this: why should my target market come to me over any other option available to them?

d) Put in the time and effort to eventually "outrun" the competition in the search engines

This is where the long-term goals come in. With internet business mastery we knew that we could eventually rank for internet business and other popular terms, but it could take a year or two. We were fine with that.

There were plenty of long tail phrases to target in the meantime. Plus we knew that early on iTunes would be the primary source of traffic.

The nice thing is I had next to no competition in podcasting. That is the upside of being a pioneer.

There was very little info on the Internet about podcasting. The info that was available was all written by techie guys that were geeking out on RSS, enclosures, mic specs, aggregators and other things that would just confuse a new, non-techie person.

My experience teaching tech to musicians in college had shown me I was good at simplifying things, making less intimidating and more useful. It would be easy for me to stand out.

Criteria #5: Passion

Question: Can I see myself having fun learning and creating content for this topic? Is it in line with my personal goals?

Passion gives you drive. It motivates you through the tough times. It also makes you a more compelling and entertaining content creator. Make sure you'll enjoy the topic long enough to reach your goals for the site.

Don't chase a niche just because the numbers look good. The first thing we teach our students is to define their money goals, desired lifestyle and Definite Major Purpose. Only build sites and businesses that line up with these goals.

Step 3: Final Niche Selection

From your top three niche ideas, choose the one that you can answer yes to all of the evaluation questions above. If none of them pass the test, go back to the brainstorming phase. If more than one pass evaluation, use your gut to narrow down to one.

Yes, choose only one. It's important to focus. Place the other(s) on the shelf for now. You can always try them later.

For me, podcasting felt like the obvious choice. It had a higher uncertainty (since it was such a new thing), but a large potential payoff.

Step 4: Overcome the Doubt

Overcoming DoubtLet me take a moment here to talk about doubt. This step could really arise at any point during the other steps. It's very common (and totally understandable) to doubt yourself at some point in the niche selection process. It feels like such a weighty choice.

What if you choose badly? What if you fail? What if you waste time chasing the wrong niche?

Let me first say that there is no right or wrong niche when getting started. Your goal at first should be to learn the process and make your first income. You can always switch gears later if you find something more promising.

Just get started!

It might seem like I chose podcasting as my niche with total confidence. It's certainly easy to look back and feel like it was a total win based on the results I've had.

The truth is I was really struggling with my confidence the summer leading up to starting the podcasting site. Even though I'd had some success online, it still felt like it could go away at any time.

I hadn't yet had my "ah-ha" moment about financial freedom that we talked about in a recent episode. That would come later that fall.

In fact, this podcasting site really helped boost my confidence in my own skills as an entrepreneur.

I almost didn't pursue the podcasting idea at all. I can distinctly remember the conversation with my wife where I was trying to talk myself out of doing it.

I was worried about whether my gut feel about podcasting was right. Would it grow? Would people spend money to learn it? Could I really be the top expert in podcasting? Thankfully she helped me see the light.

Just think. If I hadn't launched this podcasting site, I wouldn't have ever created Internet Business Mastery with Jeremy, had a podcasting book published, been an international conference speaker and a reached number of other things that came from this one success.

So the point I want to make is this:

Everyone will have that moment where they can either talk themselves out of moving forward OR they can take bold action. That will be a turning point in the process. Whatever you need to do in that moment to not back down...do it! Talk to a mentor, mastermind or friend that can help you process the fear and then move on. 

When you have triumphed over that moment of doubt your capacity to manage that doubt increases and will lead you to success. This is one of THE most important personal tests you'll face as an entrepreneur. Don't let it stop you!

The risk is not choosing the wrong niche. The risk is the time you will waste by not getting started. Believe me. I hear new entrepreneurs say all the time, "why didn't I start sooner?"

Step 5: Define Your Target Market

By now you should have given some thought to the kind of people you want to reach and help. This goes beyond just choosing a niche/topic/market.

As I stated above, being specific about your target audience here will really help you stand out. Do not try to be all things to all people. I love this quote.

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." -- Bill Cosby

There are a number of reasons for focusing on a specific audience.

  1. You get to work with the people you like to help most
  2. You attract more loyal customers
  3. You create better content
  4. When your ideal prospect comes to your site, it will be apparent to him immediately that he's in the exact right place
  5. It will be much easier to get people to buy

We have our students use a specific process and worksheet to create what we call "a customer avatar." This is a description of the ideal person that you want to attract and work with. The more specific your description, the better.

Imagine you were having a conversation with this person in a coffee shop about your chosen topic. What would they ask you? What words would they use to describe their pain/passion? What makes them tick?

Spending some time now thinking this over will make it easier to target the right keywords and content moving forward.

My audience were the people that over the coming months and years would want to use podcasting promote their business, build a brand and make money.

While I was happy to have hobbyists and educators use my info, I knew the people that would spend money with me would be the ones that stood to make more money from my info. I also knew I needed to target very non-geek, non-technical people that wanted it the process broken down step-by-step.

With that in mind, it was time to choose my first keyword phrases to target.

Step 6: Keyword Research

This is where you climb into the mind of your target audience. There are tools on the Internet that let you practically read their minds.

I'm currently putting together a video tutorial to cover this step. Watch for it soon. Then I'll get into how I built the site, optimized it for search engines and started getting lots of free Google traffic. Until then...

What comments and questions do you have?

Please ask your questions in the comments below. I'll answer them for you there. There were so many fantastic questions on the last post. Let's hear some more!

Also, if you have other insights about niche selection to share, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks for sticking it out with in this long post. I wanted to give you as much detail as I could.

And don't forget to take action. If you're ready to start your first niche site (or create another one), commit now to follow the process above. Set aside an hour or two to take bold action. Make it your goal to get it done in time to read the next post.

Other Niche Site Income posts:

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Comments

  1. Excellent post! Thanks for the comprehensive resource for this selection process. I have been struggling with this, and I especially like the idea of using the ‘for dummies’ book reference as a starting point. I might even consider using the Table of Contents from those books to narrow my focus even more. Thanks again for the excellent content!

  2. Brenda says:

    Hi Jay,

    So what about business to business niches? I’m a service provider (marketing related). I’ve found a great niche with <50K searches, but not all that much competition. My preliminary research shows there's a real need for what I offer. Is it worth devoting 2 days to an initial roll out?

    Cheers,
    Brenda

    • If it meets the criteria above and feels like the right move for your present goals, then yes I would go for it.

      The only difference between B-to-B and B-to-C when it comes to building a site like this is the way you define and speak to your audience.

  3. Thank you so much for offering this to us Jason. You and Sterling continue to provide massive quantities of value. I am 3 months into my first niche site and have good rankings and decent traffic for the niche but struggling with generating any revenue. I will be glued to this series and hope to continue to learn. Thanks again!

  4. Jay,

    Thanks for the post, i had this post as a reference when i was going through module 1 and 2 in the academy.

    question :

    Question 2: What would I do even if I didn’t get paid for it? is a tough and contradicts with some of the other questions in the list , specially if you want to get your income stream from the niche site sooner to achieve your goal to get out of the 9-5 drag.

    In my case i am interested in Product Management/Marketing but its very competitive and i don’t have much experience there, but there are other areas like Software testing which i am really good but thats not my passion. How do you resolve these differences.

    thanks
    Hari

    • Hi Hari, One thing that I have found when getting into a competitive niche is to niche down even further. For example, if you really like project management and have experience with software testing, you could focus on Project Management for Software Developers… This is a great way to start with something you are comfortable with, and connect with like-minded people. You can always expand into other areas of project management as you grow. Maybe start working with what you are experienced with then slowly migrate towards your passion as you learn more. Btw I am also a software developer and I have been checking out your site :) Hope this helps!

      • thanks for sharing your thoughts Brandon :) , i volunteer to teach software testing at a local community hence i decided to start there and grow the site towards my interest as you have suggested. Hope to keep in touch with you, will send you a mail.

        thanks
        Hari

      • This advice from Brandon is spot on. I love that approach.

  5. Hi Hari,

    Can you tell me more about the contradiction you are running into?

    On thing to understand is that brainstorming questions are a list of separate ways to generate ideas. You don’t need to find something that fits every one of the brainstorming questions.

    You might pursue something that you have experience in OR you might go for something you want to learn about OR you could choose something that you realize people have been coming you for help with for a long time.

    If you think there is too much competition in a given niche, then look at the ways I outline to distinguish yourself in Step 4.

    If you are worried about a lack of experience, that’s OK. Let your audience grow with you. Start out by being a filter of the most authoritative info out there. Interview other experts. Piggy back off of their expertise. You can still be seen as a leader by doing that.

    • Hi Jay,

      Thanks for the clarification, i was trying to tie all the questions together :) , i.e. i was looking for ideas that i am passionate about AND have expertise AND has good traffic / market.

      i decided to choose the niche where i have expertise and then expend as i have mentioned in my response to Brandon.

      thanks
      Hari

  6. Great article. I’m actually going through this process right now and this article has really helped me understand what I exactly need to do. I’ve already been doing the things that you wrote down, but it’s reassuring to me to see that I’m at least on the right track.

    I like the fact that if I build traffic to a website; there’ll always be a way to generate income from the traffic. I also like the idea of integrating keyword research after selecting the niche. This is what really separates Internet Marketing from blogging.

    • Jason,

      You make excellent points.

      Too many people get caught up on keywords numbers. I think it’s far more important to first think about the audience you want to serve.

      THEN think about their needs and the keywords they look for to find solutions.

  7. Hey Jay. I’m loving this series.

    Two questions.

    QUESTION #1
    About Google’s Keyword Tool, the phrase “How to podcast” gives these results:
    – Broad: 5,000,000
    – Exact: 1,900

    I usually just look at the Broad results, but recently I started looking at the Exact results as well… but that number is usually quite discouraging! Do you think Google uses synonymous phrases to estimate the 5,000,000 Broad searches? For example, “what is a podcast” also shows the same Broad results (Exact is different – 9,900).

    If so, I’d think that the actual Google search results would be the same, but when you search for those phrases you get a different list of results on the first page of Google.

    QUESTION #2
    Your domain name has dashes between each word. Seems like a great way to get a keyword rich domain name! Do you think such domain names would be considered weaker in the eyes of search engines when compared to the same name without any dashes?

    Thanks!
    – Ashish

    • Hi Ashish,

      You are correct about Broad Match numbers. Google includes synonymous results. So if you look up tennis shoes in the tool, the broad match number would include search volume for phrases such as:

      * buy tennis shoes
      * best shoes for tennis
      * tennis shoe laces
      * running shoes
      * tennis sneakers

      You have to keep in mind that this tool is primarily for advertisers. They want to see high numbers for the potential “reach” for their ad.

      The broad match numbers aren’t an indication of what results will show up in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).

      What this is an indication of is that an Adwords ad would show up for both a search of “what is a podcast” and “how to podcast” if it was targeted to the broad match phrase “how to podcast.”

      So what do these numbers mean to us as content creators?

      It means that the exact match and phrase match numbers are a better indication of the kind of volume we will get for a particular phrase.

      One way to look at it is that exact match numbers are an idea of the number of searchers you will be competing for early on when yo first launch a site or article targeted to that phrase.

      Phrase match numbers indicate your potential reach as your site/page gets more authoritative and Google starts to list you for related phrases that are perhaps not exact.

      As far as being discouraged goes, I want to point something out. “How to Podcast” is the primary phrase I targeted for my site. As you mentioned, it only gets 1900 exact match searches a month.

      Despite that, my site gets close to 20k visitors a month.

      In fact, only about 1000 visits (roughly 5%) come from the keyword “how to podcast.”

      So remember that your primary keyword is only one of MANY that you will (and should) target. You want to get traffic from dozens if not hundreds of phrases. That comes with time by creating targeted content.

      I actually only have about 20 articles on the site. I get traffic from over 2000 different keywords. So that gives you some perspective.

      • Hey Jay, thanks for the phenomenal response. Mind if we have some more back and forth?

        – You mentioned the “phrase match.” I haven’t used that much. Is that a better indication of how many searches are done per month for closely related synonymous phrases? Where as “broad matches” would be along the lines of searches being done that are loosely related?

        – Since Google’s tool only gives info about Ad Words competition, what are some methods you’d recommend for use to gauge whether or not there’s too much competition to pursue a particular niche site/phrase?

        – Your domain name has dashes between each word and still seems to be doing quite well. I’ve avoided dashes in the past, but it seems like a great way to get a keyword rich domain name! Do you think domain names with dashes would be considered “weaker” in the eyes of search engines when compared to the same name without any dashes?

        Thanks!
        – Ashish

        • Answer #1:

          Exactly. Broad match isn’t nearly as relevant to potential search volume for your content if you get listed for a phrase.

          This is because that # takes into account so many synonyms and other phrases not directly based on the original phrase.

          The way the search algorithm works, you are much less likely to get listed for all the synonyms and other “loosely” related phrases that are getting counted for in that number.

          It’s much more relevant for advertisers who want to know the potential maximum reach if they were to target a keyword phrase and all possible variations of it.

          Answer #2:

          Here is a quick rule of thumb I give to a beginner or someone starting a brand new site…

          Go for 3- or 4-word phrases. I cover the reasons why in the article above.

          Another quick gauge of Google competition is to look at the Page Rank of the top 10 sites. If they are all 4 and above, it is going to take longer to break into those rankings.

          So if you were to check your top 10 phrase options and they are all dominated by PR 4 or more sites, then you know you have a longer process ahead of you to “outrun” them in the rankings.

          That doesn’t mean to not pursue the niche, it just means you are going to have to focus even more on long tail phrases in the interim and have reasonable expectations about ranking for your primary phrases anytime soon.

          Answer #3:

          I would avoid the dashes. That is one thing I would do differently now. In fact, I have the non-dashed version and plan to switch over.

          The problem with those kinds of domains is not necessarily that Google will ding you in the rankings, but that they look “spammy” to searchers. So they are a less likely to click on them.

          Now I would simply add a word to the front or back of my phrase if I needed an available domain with my keywords in it.

          Remember, this was made 7 years ago. Back then there was more buzz about the hyphens making it clear to Google what your keywords were.

          It’s no longer needed.

        • Thanks! And how about the Page Rank? From what I understand, that’s a 0-10 scale. Where do I go to find the PR for the top 10 sites?

          Btw, what is this comment plugin? I love the “Check this box to receive…” function!

        • That’s great. My site ranks #1 on Google for my keywords, but page rank is only 2. Other sites in the top 10 have a higher pagerank. I looked up “internet business,” and noticed the same for IBM. Any thoughts?

          • There’s a lot more than Page Rank that goes into determining ranking. On-page SEO, # of backlinks, social sharing and much more can also boost a site’s rank.

            However, it’s a good sign if you see a phrase that you want to rank for and 3-4 or more of the sites in the top ten have a PR of 3 or less — especially if the on-page SEO for them is weak.

  8. Colin says:

    Really looking forward to following this series Jay – the whole niche site thing is something so many people talk about, but generally in black box terms. Great to see someone opening up and exposing the details! My question is around specialising – you encourage small, proven niches. Is it possible to have one site that services a number of very specific niches, or should each niche have it’s own site with a different domain?

    Thanks!
    Colin

    • I find that the more you focus your niche and audience, the easier it is to stand out, build a relationship with them, sell products and make an impact.

      With time you can broaden things more.

      For instance, eventually I could also talk about YouTube as a way to create a web series on my podcasting site as well. It’s likely that my audience would also be interested in that.

      It can depend niche to niche how focused you should keep it.

  9. A line of steel boats from the 1960’s… my site/blog is fairly narrow for a niche! Also, not monetized, because I want to see if I can make something happen without money as a driver, and am new to blogging. If I can learn the trade over many months/years, then I can make a decision later to monetize. This is a great post, and I thank you for your willingness to share like that!

    Mike

    • That is quite specific for a niche.

      I’m assuming you are passionate about the niche. I agree that you can always monetize later.

      That said, I would recommend you define a customer avatar now just in case you want to make money later. Use this to keep you focused. It will make it easier, too, when the time comes that you want to make money.

  10. Thank you for the insight. Just a question. I’ve been considering starting a site on child custody, seeing that I’ve been through it and can’t really tell exactly if there is a market for it. I’m just not sure. I want to do it because I have a passion but also to make some money that I want to use towards my son’s future. He is the inspiration for it all. Is this somethign that you would persue.

    • Hi Al,

      That sounds like a good market to me. There is definitely an urgent pain. In fact, your children are probably one of the most powerful instigators of an “urgent pain.” Most parents would do anything for their kids.

      I like that you have personal experience with the target audience as well.

      I would run it through the process above for yourself, but it sounds like a promising niche for you.

  11. Hi Jay

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. For guys like me it means alot to get the take of an expert in the field. Usually you have to pay to get some form of advice. I think what you’re doing is great, keep on doin git. By sharing such valuable info with others you not only help them succeed but “what goes around comes around, karma” You’ll achieve much more in life too. I needed that confirmation so thank you. Now I’m going to seriously start working on it and explore other things like product creation etc to get something together. I hope a year from now I can email you the results :-). All the best, and I’m looking forward to more great content. Perhaps something along the lines of how to put a product together?

  12. Thanks for breaking this all down, it’s good to see real ppl do the same thing that us regular ppl are attempting. I’m looking forward to the rest of this project. I’m learning so much already.

    I am currently getting 2100 unique visits per month and my goal is to get it to 10,000 because with that will come advertising revenue and put the site more on auto-pilot for passive income than it is now. I feel that this will free me up to produce more income-making products like fitness ebooks and weight management programs. i also have an online fitness membership site that I just launched in April. The goal for that site is to get it to 5000 members and start marketing it as a wellness solution for companies.

    So this project that you are doing now is so right on time. Like a godsend :)

    Thanks again and can’t wait to read more!

    • Hi Carol,

      Awesome goals. This series will definitely help you on that path.

      Especially pay attention to the monetization strategies that I’m going to share. I’m going to share ways you can get even more revenue than with just advertising.

      Thanks for your comment.

  13. Colin Kingston says:

    Hello Jay.

    Thank you for sharing all of this great info. I’ve been a member of the Academy for a while now and am working my way through the modules. I’ve finally chosen my first niche so this is great timing.

    Thanks again!
    Colin Kingston

  14. I’m really interested in the promised video on keyword research. I’ve listened to everyone of your podcasts, but I still don’t quite “get it”.

    Does it mean that you try to figure out what keywords people are searching for, then use those words or phrases as often as you can in your website hoping Google will include your site in the results?

    The Step 6: Keyword Research above is pretty sparse. :)

  15. Hi Jay

    I am a lifetime member of IBM.

    Quick question, is the theme for this website custom or available as premium purchase.

    Thanks

    Simon

  16. Colin Kingston says:

    Hello Jay.

    I apologize if this question is covered in later modules that I haven’t gotten to yet.

    What are your thoughts about establishing an LLC?

    In my city I need a business license to sell products, even if it is online. I also found out I may need a permit from the “State Board of Equalization,” whatever that is.

    My house and car are paid for and I want to be able to protect my assets if any problems develop.

    Thank you,
    Colin Kingston
    Walnut, CA

    • Since I don’t give legal advice, it’s really up to you as to when you feel it’s worth it.

      It provides you a certain degree of asset protection.

      You can certainly do business under your own name and social until you get some cash. Then invest in a business entity.

  17. Hello, Jay. I’m a recent reader of this site after a friend hipped me to your podcast. He and I are now working on a podcast of our own to help market his business, and I’ve been recording and publishing episodes for an interview podcast of my own for a couple of months now. (So your choice of site to revitalise is definitely an interesting one for me!)

    I’m still keen on diversifying my income – at the moment, I’m reliant on my 9-5 job and my wife’s small pension to support the both of us – so I’m looking at ways of becoming of value to others outside the day job.

    I was about to treat this post as a quick exercise, but instead, your paragraphs on brainstorming reminded me that this stuff takes time to do properly. It’s a bugger when you’re fighting the panic that says “Get moar munny nao!”

  18. Another nice post, can’t wait to see where this goes :)

  19. How much would it cost for you to mentor me?

    I live in Salt Lake City and am a 22 year old. I am stuck with a couple jobs and want out.

    I have a lot of confusion due to reading and consuming FAR too much information. What I need is a focus.

    I’d be willing to work for you for free. Writing articles, website maintenance, customer service, etc.

  20. JVO,

    This is a great compliment to Sean Vokler’s Membeship Manifesto course I just started. Awesome value bro!
    I went round and round with trying to figure out my idea and what I was going to create. I was stuck. Then yesterday, BAM! It hit me. I never could see how the thing that I am most passionate about in life could be monetized by ME. But now I have all kinds of ideas. After reading all the criteria you listed, it meets them. But now, I think I need to narrow down the niche to a specific demographic which is now troubling me.

  21. Jason,

    This is a very comprehensive and useful article. I had huge success in one niche but have been struggling to find inspiration to blaze a trail into another. This is just what I needed.

    Tyler

  22. Hi Jay, loved reading tho spots most comprehensive yet.

    I’m currently looking to set up a blog on something I’m absolutely passionate about but is highly saturated – Internet marketing. Some of the categories I would be talking about are web videos, podcasting, social media etc. As this market is so crowded I was thinking of specialising in one category such as podcasting for example. Pros – This would give me a strong identity and people would prob rather work with a specialist than a generalist that talks about podcasting along with other marketing media. Cons – I don’t want to be restricted to talk just about podcasting or have a seperate website for each category. Any ideas on which route to take?

    • Hi Rob,

      You definitely need to think about how to distinguish yourself. One way to do this is by narrowing down to a very specific audience (e.g. Internet Marketing for Real Estate Agents).

      Another way is to go with a very specific topic (like you mentioned).

      Another thing to do is use a new format to reach people. We got started in internet marketing by creating a podcast long before anyone else had one.

      Also, an excellent book about how to stand out is Zag. It gives you a checklist for how to offer something that no one else is. Find a hole in the market and fill it.

      If you go too general, then you will get lost in all the noise.

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