Let’s talk about niche selection. This is very important to ensuring the profitability of your membership website.
Number 1 – Discover Niches with Fanatics
The first step in developing a profitable membership business is to find a market with fanatics in it. 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. Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s talk about how to find them…
- One simple idea that’s easily forgotten is to scan the magazine racks when you’re out and about. Because it’s becoming harder and harder to keep print periodicals profitable these days, if you see a magazine on the shelves, you know it’s making money. And that means there are lots of people interested in it. If they can make money in a print version, you can probably make money with a membership website.
- Watch and listen for fanatics in your daily life. Pay attention to conversations, social events, TV, restaurants, public places to see what people are talking about. If people are talking about it, they are interested in it. And that may also mean they’re willing to pay money to learn more about 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. Likewise, if there are enough people to hold a convention, there are definitely enough people to fill your membership website.
- And of course there are all the things you have an interest in, too! Chances are that if you like a certain topic or hobby, other people do, too. And, as an added bonus, it’s much more fun to build a business around things you’re interested in.
- Google Trends. This is a great way to figure out what people are interested in. Google Trends tells you the most popular current search terms. These topics are the hottest topics because lots and lots of people want information about them. Hot topics that people are excited about make great niches for your membership website.
Step 2 – Determine the financial feasibility
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. One way to figure this out is to see if other are making money in it.
OK, how do we figure that out?
- Find out if there are blogs or forums related to it. Just search Google for “YourNiche blog” & “YourNiche forum” and see what comes up. This means there is a large group of people already assembled for you to market to.
- Search Amazon, Google shopping and eBay to see if people are creating and selling products in the 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.
Step 3 – Determine ease of entry
After figuring out a good niche and determining that other people are making money in it, the last thing to do is decide if you will be able to enter the market. Here are some things to look at to figure this out:
- Look at the product types in this niche. You want to find a niche where information products are being sold as the norm. That’s because it’s much easier to build a membership business around information vs. any other kind of product.
- 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.
- Unless the market is just so big that it doesn’t matter how many competitors there are, you want to limit the competition. So evaluate the size vs. the competition.
- 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.
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…