Niche Research (Find Profitable Industries, Keywords and Topics)

by | Apr 9, 2022

Find the Money—What are People Already Searching For.  How to do Niche Research.

Why anyone would ever choose a niche before knowing what people are searching for is beyond me. The boring advice of choosing a hobby of passion for your niche is just that—boring.

Your goal is to make money. And not spend hours of time and effort speaking to an audience of one plus your mom—we need to be more deliberate. The quickest way to get what you want is to choose a trending niche that offers longevity and is already getting a considerable amount of search traffic and attention.

I know, this is not what most people will tell you. But it makes sense. The quickest way from one point to another is a straight line. The fastest way to make money online is getting in front of traffic that already has high commercial intent (buyer intent) and offer your product or service to these motivated users.

To do this effectively you research must be on point. It’s not so much about predicting trends as it is about getting hit by them. Think of the most effective way to get run over by a bus, you step in front of it. Same idea. Excuse the pun—Traffic haha.

There are a ton of tools to help you find your audience, we will get to them later, but the strategy you employ is by far the most important part of your research. The data you get from the tools is only as effective as the questions you ask them. Ask the right questions, get better answers. Simple.

The Right Questions –  Niche Research Methodology

The good news is we live in an age of data.  The bad news is we don’t know how to use the data effectively, because there is so much of it. What if we had a method for asking questions effectively? We do, it’s called science.  Just like in high school chemistry, niche research can follow the same outline.

Outline Of The Scientific Method

  1. Question
  2. Research
  3. Hypothesis
  4. Test
  5. Analyze
  6. Make money!

Online business is like science. We have an observation; cameras seem to sell well. We do research to find out more about cameras, models, makes, prices, wholesalers. Our hypothesis is: if I can get cameras as a good price below market value, I can sell them for a profit. Order samples to test our hypothesis, analyze the results and if everything goes well, make money!

First ask yourself what people are searching for. There are many ways to do this. Because we are online here, ask Google.

Niche Research Vs.  Marketing Research

Market research is the activity of collecting, analyzing, and explaining the data surrounding a given market. Thing broad categories like cars or insurance. This form of investigation accounts for demographic, geographic, psychographic, and data about past and current customers. Its purpose is to understand and analyze the validity of your product or offerings.

Niche Research is a bit different. Think of it as drilling down into market segments to find more in-depth info on potential or existing customers and products. For example, cars are a market. Black BMW M3’s are a niche that can be researched in more detail. Some helpful questions for this example would include:

Niche Research is a bit different. Think of it as drilling down into market segments to find more in-depth info on potential or existing customers and products. For example, cars are a market. Black BMW M3’s are a niche that can be researched in more detail. Some helpful questions for this example would include:

Research Sample Questions

  • What makes BMW M3 buyers different from other BMW buyers?
  • Are there any trends or patterns in the age or gender of M3 buyers that differ from “regular” BMW buyers?
  • Where are the most M3’s sold?
  • What dealerships sell the most m3’s?
  • What makes someone more likely to buy an M3 over a regular 3 series?

By no means an exhaustive list. These questions are a good place to start finding out more about your niche and audience.

Niche Research =  Audience Research.

Notice that most of the questions above are based on the characteristics of M3 buyers. While market research mostly concerns itself with segments and verticals, niche research finds the people behind the niche—your new audience!

Before we dive into niche research, it is important to first understand what market research is, and how its conducted to get a better understanding of the entire topic of marketing research in general.  

What Kind of Market  Research is Best?

It depends. It’s vital that you know what kinds of market research are out there. There is no one-sized fits all research solution for anyone. You will need to tailor it for your needs. Here are the primary research methods used to understand markets.

primary vs secondary research methods

How to Get Data Primary Research

Use interviews with customers, email surveys or focus groups. All of these methods involve getting your information firsthand, and not from others past research. This is super beneficial for getting incites specific to your brand, and where it stands in the overall market.

Secondary Research Data

Secondary research is getting your data from people or organizations that have done the primary research already.

 For example, if you are getting statistics from a blog post from the Pew Research Center, you are conducting secondary research.

Secondary research is great for getting a high-level understanding of market trends and patters. Plus, the conclusions you draw from secondary data will likely have a greater degree of accuracy and scope, leading to more accurate incites.

Secondary Research Sources

Here is a brief list of secondary research sources often used in marketing and advertising.

Content Marketing Institute

Ahrefs

Moz Blog

BuzzSumo

Google Trends

Visualizing Economics

Visual Capitalist

Google Public Data Explorer

There are tons of these sources. These are just a few places you can find the raw data you need get to important incites about your industry and outreach efforts.

Doing Market Research— Find The Competitive Landscape

Okay we know what marketing research is now. Great. But how do we go about doing it? The process can be boiled down into five steps.

 

  1. What Problem or Question do you have?
  2. Who will be induced in your sample/data?
  3. How will you get data?
  4. Analyze the information
  5. Understanding the results and presenting conclusions.

 

This is where you would dig into your data. Pull up Google Search Console Reports, Analytics and all other metrics that relate to your specific problem. You would search for patters in the data that might describe what is going on. The goal is to understand the data so that It can help you formulate a hypothesis.

Your Hypothesis

This is an educated guess. One that can be shown to be true or false preferably. For example.

After we rewrote a few blog posts last month, our traffic fell off a cliff. The rewritten blog posts are why we lost so much traffic.

This is testable. You can go back into the edited posts and correct the changes.

Experiment

Next, you would go back to one of the posts you changed and restore it to the previous version. This is your experiment. Next you will observe the data.

Analysis and Conclusions

Analyze the data you get from the experiment. If traffic goes up—Awesome! You found your answer. If not Try again.

My goal for describing the scientific method is to get you thinking and acting in a systematic fashion. Working through issues becomes far easier when you take an organized approach. Remember this!!

digital marketing team image
Niche Research— Finally!

A niche is a segment of a larger market sector. Niche research is the process of uncovering and targeting your chosen niche. This might seem like a daunting task. The feeling of choosing between a somewhat infinite selection of niches can be quite daunting. But there are some methods that are very helpful when going through the process of niche selection.

Niche research diagram nonbounce.com

It’s important to remember that niche research is not market research. They are different levels of scale. Markets are the macro industry or sector. While the niche is a sub-section of the market. They both work together to pain a holistic picture of what is going on within a given industry.

Think of a niche as a market inside a bigger market. Or a smaller slice of a larger macro market that appeals to a more tailored audience. Niche markets should be:

  1. Precise – this is one of the advantages to niche marketing. You can directly target your products and services to meet the needs of a defined customer base. Yes, the number of potential customers is smaller. However, they are more likely to buy your solution because it was made with their specific problems in mind.
  2. Tiny – a niche should be as specific as possible. This means that the number of people in your audience will also be smaller. Just because the number of buyers is smaller, doesn’t mean that they are not highly qualified customers.
  3. Demanded– The smaller market must desire a solution more than a larger, general market.
  4. Not Too Much Competition – While some competition is an indicator of demand, too much is not ideal for breaking out in a niche market.
  5. Find An Edge – Bring the collective weight of all the experience you can offer to the table. Find your unfair advantage and use it!

 

With this in mind, let’s get to the pillars of niche research.

Evergreen Niche Vs Not–What Makes A Niche Great?

The riches are in the niches—not all of them! Some niches perform better more consistently than others. The market segments that preform the best for a sustained period—or their demand is not going to die—are called evergreen niches.

Some markets might be seasonal, they peak at one time of year, and die off for the rest. Seasonality is one factor you must consider when choosing a niche. It will determine how long you can be profitable.

Great niches are:

Stable

Have growth potential

Have an acceptable level of risk

Are long lasting

diagram for evergreen niche explanation

Step 1 find interesting problems that you can solve.

I know this is said all the time. It’s important to know what problems you find interesting enough to solve. Lack of passion is no recipe for success. Remember, you are going to actively seek out problems and solve them. This is how you will be of value to your audience. If you find a problem boring, or too difficult to write about its solutions, you will not stick with it long enough to succeed.

 A few methods for getting inspired.

If you need some guidance, or just a place to start, Redditt has a page called Shut up and Take my money.

It’s a guarantee that you can find something to research further here. Read over this subreddit to find inspiration for your next project, or business idea. It’s a gold mine of potential!

 

Google And Pinterest Trends

Both Google and Pinterest have pages devoted to tracking trending search topics. While both are more useful for validating ideas, because they are technically search based, you can still get a good idea of what’s happening in search.

Google Trends

Pinterest Trends

Free—Google Trends

We can look at google trends. Remember not to ignore the suggested searches box. You can find some trending keywords that you might otherwise overlook.

image showing related queries from google search results

This free tool is great for finding the size of industries and to compare ideas with their related search interest.

 It’s important to note that search interest and search volume are not the same thing. Google takes an approximation of search volume and uses it to score search interest from 0-100. With zero being no interest and 100 being max interest.

 

Ubersuggest      

 While Ubersuggest is a paid tool, they do allow you to perform a limited number of free searches every month.  I also recommend reading the pop ups and calls to action. They usually have some pretty good copy that you can borrow, just make your own changes! Over all Ubersuggest is a great tool for doing a bit of free keyword research.

image of ubersuggest query results

Advanced Research—Ahrefs

 For those of you ready to take the plunge and get your hands dirty with paid software, Ahrefs is a great place to start. Ahrefs is the world’s second largest web crawler after Google. They have tons of data!

 A super fun trick with Ahrefs is to put a website that ranks for tons of keywords ie—Gogole Sheets into site explorer.

ahrefs image of dashboard

As you can see, Google Sheets is ranking for over 500K keywords, some of which might be good ideas for topics or lead magnets. If you are still having trouble finding a niche this is a great research method for you.

 Its better to go after what everyone is already searching for then it is to try to generate your own demand.

Check for Profitability  [Monetization]

Okay, you now have a clear picture of what industry you want to tackle. But will it be profitable? I assume that you want to make money. This is a critical step: how will you monetize your website?

 There are several things that you must consider.

  1. Cost of goods – ecommerce
  2. The time it will take to product and sell them.
  3. How much information can you find about the ways others are making money?
  4. What will the overall time investment be?

Ecommerce

Cost of goods, for those doing ecommerce, is an important factor for determining if you are profitable or not. If you are doing ecommerce, drop shipping for example, you will need to know

The cost of goods + Shipping for a start.

There’s also site expenses and maintenance along with other miscellaneous costs of doing business. Do your research before getting started.

Ad Networks

 If your niche offers amazing traffic potential, running ads on your site might be a good idea for monetization. Ad networks specialize in placing advertisements on your website. Google Ad Sense is the most well-known ad network, it also has the lowest barrier to entry and lower payouts.

Putting ads on your website is a great way to monetize your site if your niche does not fall neatly into an affiliate category.

Remember, the name of the game with website ads is to get as many eyes on those ads as possible. The more people see the ad, the more you get paid. Writing compelling content and paginating your pages all help increase revenue.

If you are struggling to find an affiliate offer that fits neatly with your content, ads on your site might just be your money answer.

Online Courses

Do you have a skill that others would pay for? Sell it on your website. Building an online course is a great way to monetize your knowledge instead of physical or digital products. The great thing about selling courses is you make the course once, and profit for as long as it remains on your site. Great stuff!

 

Online Stores

Affiliate marketing and running ads is not for everyone. Maybe you want to sell products from an online shop. No problem! Ecommerce platforms like:

There are options for everyone of all experience levels to get started with ecommerce. You can start your online store with little up-front cost and utilize a method such as dropshipping to get going. Not a bad deal!

Print On Demand

Don’t want to manage shipping, logistics, building a site, running ads and SEO? Sounds like dropshipping is not for you. Print on demand is the process of designing and promoting custom t-shirts and other kinds of clothing items online. All you have to do is design the graphic you want on a t-shirt, had, socks, backpack, gloves really anything and run traffic to it. You never touch the printed merch, it is all made, packaged and shipped by the print on demand supplier.

Try print on demand instead. Companies such as:

Can all help you get started with print on demand.

 As you can tell, there are many ways to monetize your online business. The trick is finding the right option for you. Consider how much effort and time you want to put into your site. Methods such as dropshipping and content marketing will require a larger time commitment and more involvement than print on demand.

But the payout’s can be higher. Overall, it’s up to you to find the right model for your lifestyle. It is extremely helpful to know what you are getting into though.

What are your  Keywords?

That’s right, it’s time for keyword research! Now there are a lot of different ways to go about researching the right keywords for your site, but some are more effective than others. If you take the time to mess around with different methods and practices, you can find some great keywords that will help you rank fast.

 

The best place to start, by far, is Google itself. Yes! I believe that everything you need to know about SEO is hidden in plane site, right on the search engine results page (SERPS). Niche research means you will be looking for niche keywords, ones with high buyer intent.

 

However, before we get to keyword intent, let’s go over how to generate keyword ideas.

Generating Keyword Ideas For Niche Research

 

Make a list of seed topics. Keep it general, what do you want to get found for? Often, people opt for their main products or services as their seed keywords. Starting here is a great idea. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you know what products are selling and what services are ordered.

 

This is great for those who have established businesses already, but what if this is not you?

 

Not to worry. Take your niche and search for what people are looking for on sites like Redditt, Quora and Answer The Public to get an idea of what questions people are asking about the niche you chose.

 

Also, utilize google auto suggest and people also ask sections on the results page.

 

image of google auto suggest

Here are a few more keyword tools to get you started

 

Keywords Everywhere  https://keywordseverywhere.com/

Keywordshitter https://wassname.github.io/keywordshitter2/

Wordstream https://www.wordstream.com/keywords

Topic Selection

Google doesn’t rank keywords anymore. That’s right. Google ranks topics. One of the ranking factors that is getting a lot of attention these days is topical authority. What is topical authority you might ask? Well let’s find out!

Topical Authority is the alleged authority your site has over a niche as opposed to a single idea.

Let’s take the example of a site that covers the topic of content marketing. The site dedicated to content marketing, and with a wide range of posts supporting the parent topic (content marketing) would have a better chance of ranking than a different site with less coverage of content marketing.

This means that the site covering the breadth of the topic of content marketing would have a higher probability of ranking for a page about blogging then a different site that doesn’t cover the same topics.

It’s important that you start thinking in terms of subject areas instead of individual keywords. Google rewards experts and punishes generalists. The more perceived authority you have over a niche the, the higher the chance is that you rank for the topic.

Benefits of Topical Authority

When you create a large amount of high-quality content around a given topic it helps you:

  • Get backlinks when people are looking for references or content to share on social media
  • When people are looking for answers to questions related to their main query, they won’t leave your site and go somewhere else.
  • When search engines are looking for an answer to a specific question
  • The information needed to provide google with more user intents.

 

All this means you rank for more keywords, get more links back to your site and better search rankings.

 

All this sounding good? Well, great! Now you might be asking yourself, how Do I go about building topical authority? I got you covered!

Building Topical Authority Your Niche Authority Map

Topical authority is about content. Does your site have enough information to give search engines the perception of authority? But most importantly, how many relevant topics have you covered and how many user questions have you answered?

There are a few ways to discover what questions your users are asking. Sites like Answer The Public and Google auto suggest are great ways to find out what questions your users are asking.

Building Topical Authority Your Niche Authority Map

Topical authority is about content. Does your site have enough information to give search engines the perception of authority? But most importantly, how many relevant topics have you covered and how many user questions have you answered?

There are a few ways to discover what questions your users are asking. Sites like Answer The Public and Google auto suggest are great ways to find out what questions your users are asking.

Not only can you visualize the questions people are asking, but you can also download them in CSV and analyze them in Google Sheets or Excel.

Google Auto Suggest

 Next, type your main keyword into Google Search. After you get done you will see a list of suggested topics appear. Use these to find other things to write about and questions to answer. This is a great place to look for topics because Google is telling you what people are already searching for! How amazing!

Use Competitors Site Maps to Find Topics

 A sitemap tells search engines how websites are structured. Most of the time you can find the sitemap of a website by adding www.website.com/sitemap.xml to the end of a URL. Check out the example below.

 Once you get to the sitemap, Command + F that shit and look for your keywords. You are sure to find something!

Conclusion

 

We covered a lot. Here is a quick wrap up for everything I went over.

 

Niche Research Methodology—how to go about testing demand for a niche. Where to find the data you need to get started researching industires and niches.

 

Niche Research Vs. Marketing Research— Why analyzing markets is a critical step for getting a hold of the niche research process.

 

The best kind of market research—What are the different kinds of market research? And how do they help you find a niche?

 

The Competitive Landscape—understanding what competition is out there and how to see if a market is too crowed to enter.

 

Evergreen Niche—what is an evergreen niche and why you should choose one?

 

Profitability – how to ensure that your niche will make you money.

 

Keyword research – the tactics you need to find the right keywords for you industry.

 

Topic Selection– choosing the right topics to help you blog rank at the top of Google.

dhardt20
Written By dhardt20

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