This article explains how to select a profitable niche for your membership business.
Step 1 – Find a Fanatical Market
The number 1 thing you have to do is find fanatics if you want a profitable membership website. What’s a fanatic? It’s someone who is so excited about a certain topic that they will spend their time and money on information about it. Here’s how to find fanatics:
- One simple idea that’s easily forgotten is to scan the magazine racks when you’re out and about. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to run a print magazine. So if you see one on the shelves you know they are making money, which means that there are enough people interested in what they’re saying to make it profitable. If they can make money in a print version, you can probably make money with a membership website.
- You’ve got lots of opportunities every day to see what people are interested in. Just pay attention to what people talk about on the radio, at social gatherings, at the store or restaurants and anywhere in public. People generally talk about things they are interested in. Which means you can start a membership business providing information on it.
- Again, looking in the physical world for clues you can tell there are lots of people interested in something if there are clubs and organizations around the topic. By the same token, if enough people are interested to hold a convention on a certain topic, you can definitely find enough people to build a membership business around that same topic.
- And of course there are all the things you have an interest in, too! There’s a good chance that others are interested in these things, as well. The icing on the cake here is that you get to build a business doing something you love.
- Another fantastic way to discover what people are interest in is Google Trends. This service shows you the current most popular search terms. The reason people are searching Google for info on these topics is because they are interested. And the fact that it’s made it into Google Trends tells you LOTS of people are interested. These are the niches you want to be in – lots of people actively searching means lots of opportunity.
Second – Analyze the “commerciality”
After selecting a possible niche to build your membership site around, the next step is to find out if it’s a profitable niche to be in. The quickest way to find out is to determine if others are profiting in your potential niche.
OK, how do we figure that out?
- First go to Google and type in the name of your niche followed by “blog” and “forum”. If there are blogs and forums related to it, that’s a good sign. This tells you there are people who are actively interested in your niche.
- Check Amazon, eBay and Google Shopping to find out if others are making and selling products in your niche. What you’re trying to figure out is if anyone is making money in this niche, and if people are selling products it means they are making money.
- Watch Google Adwords for a period of time and look for ads the run again and again. Adwords ads are expensive, so people only run them repeatedly if they are profitable. And to be profitable, they have to be selling products and making money.
Finally – Figure out your barrier to entry
Once you’ve found a niche and figured out that there is money to be made in, you need to determine if you can break into this niche. How do you gauge the ease of entry?
- Look at the product types in this niche. You want to find a niche where information products are being sold as the norm. Membership websites based on information are the easiest to start and maintain.
- Competition. How many other people are trying to sell to this market? You want to start in a market that’s not completely saturated with competitors.
- Compare the size of the market versus the number of competitors. Some competition is a good sign – just make sure the market is big enough for you to join in.
- Market readiness. Are people ready to buy? Are the receptive to marketing messages? Some niches are made up of people who require lots information and have a very long lead time, and some markets are filled with people who will spend lots of money right now.
Putting it all together
OK, now that you’ve figured out what niche you’re going to go into. Determined there is money to be made and that the competition is not too strong to break into it. You’re ready to start your membership business. Now that you’ve prepared properly, you’re success is 99% guaranteed. How to actually run your membership website is the only thing left to talk about…