So Where Can You Get Ideas For A Niche Market To Explore?
Brainstorming and Research Online Resources – Offline
Let me show you the process I go through when I’m trying to brainstorm for ideas.
For starters, I’m always aware of trends and current events in the real world. I read several newspapers each day, many magazines, both general and niche-specific, I watch the news, I listen to the radio. Occasionally something that I hear or read will stick with me. I may record my thoughts on my portable voice recorder, jot down some notes, whatever happens to be convenient for me. Sometimes I’ll call my office voice mail and leave myself a message.
But at some point I’ll have several broad ideas to research. I want to look deeper. And I want to make sure there is a good market for them before I even think about creating a product. So I’ll begin completing the following steps:
Google Zeitgeist – http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html
To begin with, I check out the hottest search trends at Google Zeitgeist.
From here I can select:
- Google Trends – For a broad look at search query data, enter up to five search terms to see relative popularity over time.
- Trends for Websites – Google Trends for website traffic data. Type in a website address to see visitors by region and related sites visited.
- Insights for Search – A deeper dive into search query data for marketers and power users. Create your own lists of “most popular” and “fastest rising” queries for different geographic regions over time and by topic.
- Hot Trends – The top 100 fastest-rising search queries right now (U.S. only). Updates throughout the day.
I can also click on “Year-End Zeitgeist” or “Zeitgeist Archives” in the upper-left corner to look at past trends, especially if I’m researching cyclical or other trends over time.
At this point I am just looking for ideas. If I see that a particular topic is hot, I’ll make a note of it and look at more targeted sub-niches later on at more specialized sites (which I’ll show you shortly).
Lycos Top 50 – http://50.lycos.com
The Lycos Top 50 is another site, like Google Zeitgeist, where I will review the latest trends and look for hot topics to explore further. I will also look at Yahoo! Buzz for ideas as well (see below).
Yahoo! Buzz – http://buzz.yahoo.com
eBay Pulse – http://pulse.ebay.com
The eBay Pulse site is a great place to start looking at sub-niches. What I will do is select the category first (using the topics I’ve gathered from looking at the previous sites), then look for profitable sub-niches by then selecting a sub-category. The best chance for success is if I am as specific as possible with my niche selection. In the example below, I don’t want to sell to the “crafts” niche. I want to sell to grandmothers who enjoy giving their latch rug hooking gifts to their families and friends. Whatever. You get the idea.
Also, I’ll always check the largest stores as well to see what they’re selling. There has to be a reason they are the largest stores. They must be doing something right.
Now that I have some potential sub-niches to work with, I want to see how much of a market there is there. Just because a sub-niche is popular doesn’t mean people spend money on it.
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com
Amazon is a great place to see what currently exists for any given sub-niche. Chances are, the more books there are written on that subject, the more that market spends on those topics.