Let me preface this post with this, your very first internet project needs to be about something you really enjoy. In fact all of your projects should revolve around things that don’t bore you to death. There’s a ton of money to be made in FOREX affiliate programs, but if you have little to no interest in investments and foreign currency exchanges, chances are you will burn out quickly and never make a dime.
With that out of the way, lets talk about why building a website or other internet projects around specific niches is important. First, it keeps you focused on one topic and forces you to really evaluate each idea instead of just jumping in and worrying about how you are going to build and monetize it later. Yes, I’m all about “just do it” but you do have to have a plan, otherwise you’ll get three posts into your new venture, get stuck or bored, and let it meet a slow and unproductive fate.
With that said, you probably have a ton of ideas flowing around in that mind of yours, how do you find the ones that will give you the best chance of success? Before you get started, you’ll need to sign up for Google Adwords here, even if you don’t plan on using Adwords as an advertising platform, there are a some great free tools that will help you along the way. So let’s get to the steps:
Grab an old fashioned piece of paper and start writing down everything you are remotely interested in. Seriously, nothing is to outlandish. What we are doing is establishing a list to evaluate with the next steps.
Open the keyword planner in your Adwords account, its under the Tools menu. After that, select the “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”. This is where you are going to search, one idea at a time. If you need further explanation on how to use the keyword planner, we’ll have a future article coming up soon. Until then, Google has a short YouTube video on it here. What we are looking for is:
- A primary keyword (usually the one you directly searched for) with between 1,000 to 50,000 avg monthly searches. If this is your first, than less than 15,000 would be optimal.
- Strong secondary keywords that can represent supporting topics and content. Words with a couple hundred or more avg monthly searches are good. The more the merrier.
- As little competition as possible.
3. Open Google
Open Google in a browser and type in your primary keyword. At this point you want to look for three things:
- One to three million search results. Will 500,000 results do? Yes, remember these numbers are more guides than anything and don’t need to be followed to a T. Going to a keyword with more than 3 million results though, increases the work needed to rank on the first page.
- Ads. Are there sponsored ads on the results page. If there are ads on the top, side, and bottom of the page, that’s great! That means people are wanting their ads found for your keyword and it will be easier to monetize your website with a variety of ads from different advertisers.
- Are there lots of little crappy pages in the search results? For example, lots of wiki, Facebook, and other social media sites? This means that there isn’t a lot of websites tailoring themselves to that subject and it will be easier to rank on the first page, which means more traffic, and increased chances at earning money.
4. Affiliate Programs
Once you have an idea and you realize the traffic is there and the competition is not, you need to search to see if there are any affiliate programs that support your theme. You may have a photography site and you’ve found an affiliate program for photo editing software, excellent, write a blog post reviewing it and post your affiliate link as a place to where they can buy it.
There you have it. How to find profitable niches to make money online. Your love of basketball may be immense and there are plenty of affiliate programs and ads for it, but the competition is huge. Searching for “basketball training” you’ll find 85 million results. Could you still make money with it, of course, but it’s going to take a lot more time and money to enter this market than it would if you had gone through and found a basketball related niche with the steps we just talked about. The key is work smarter not harder, it may take a while to find a few good niches to work with, but it will pay off a lot quicker than trying to compete with the big dogs of the internet right away.