This article explains how to select a profitable niche for your membership business.
First – Look for Fanatics
The first step in developing a profitable membership business is to find a market with fanatics in it. Simply put, a fanatic is someone who’s willing to spend time and more importantly money on a topic they are interested in. OK, so we know what a fanatic is, but how do we find them?
- Here’s something you may not have considered – magazines! We’re so internet-based these days, it’s easy to forget about them. 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. That doesn’t mean definitely that it will make a good membership business, but it’s a good starting point.
- Pay attention throughout the day in your regular activities. See what people are talking about on the radio, TV, at parties, in public, etc. If people are talking about it, they are interested in it. Which means you can start a membership business providing information on it.
- Don’t forget about clubs and organizations. If there are enough people to to build a club, there are certainly enough people to start a membership site on the same topic. Likewise, if there are enough people to hold a convention, there are definitely enough people to fill your membership website.
- Think about the things that you are interested in. If you’re interested in something, it’s highly likely others are, too. Making money is fun and it’s even more fun if you can do it in a niche you’re excited about.
- Google Trends. This is a great way to figure out what people are interested in. 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. Building a membership business around things people are actively searching for is a great way to ensure your success.
Step 2 – Determine the financial feasibility
Once you found a potential niche or topic to center your membership site around, you need to figure out if you can actually make any money in it. The quickest way to find out is to determine if others are profiting in your potential niche.
OK, how do we figure that out?
- Are there blogs or forums in this niche? Take the name of your niche and search for “niche name blog” & “niche name forum” in Google to see if there is an active group of people talking about and interested in the niche. This means there is a large group of people already assembled for you to market to.
- See if other people are creating and selling product in this niche by searching in Google Shopping, ebay and Amazon. If other people are creating and selling products in this niche, it means there is money to be made.
- Monitor Google Adwords to determine if people are running the same ads for weeks in a row. If they are, this means they’re making money on these ads – otherwise, they’d stop running them. Which means there is money to be made in your niche.
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:
- Figure out what kinds of products people are interested in. If it’s mostly physical products, coaching and live seminars, then it will be harder to break into this niche. 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? Every market is different. Sometimes people are looking for information and are ready to pay for it right now. And sometimes it takes weeks, months or even years for them to make the decision to purchase.
Summing it all up
So far, we’ve talked about exactly what it takes to pick a great niche: One with a hungry crowd of fanatics, who are ready to spend money on information about their topic. And you’ve determined your barrier to entry is small enough to give it a go. If you’ve followed along with these steps you’re success in practically guaranteed. The only thing left to cover is exactly how to run your membership business…