Niche Site Step-by-Step 002 – How to Find a Profitable Niche

Don’t do it you might just be successful.   Choosing a niche in general seems to be a place that a lot of people struggle.  We sit around and contemplate different ideas and then usually either talk ourselves into the idea only to talk ourselves out of the idea later.  I believe that choosing a niche is part intuition and part science.

If we observe everything that is going on around us with an eye to understand what it is that interest others  and ourselves, we can see that many of us share common interest.  This is good, because it means we can find groups of people that are interested in almost anything.  Once you realize this, it becomes easy to say that any idea may be a good idea.

The problem that you can suffer from is believing that everyone else has a good idea and every idea you come up with is either no good or is being done by someone else and therefore, should not be taken on by you.  The opposite is the truth.  You do have good ideas and if others are doing it then not only is it a good idea, it means you should possibly do it.  Notice I said possibly do it.  This is where the science part comes in.

Don’t worry, it is not Chemistry or Biology.  It is only a few numbers to help us get our heads wrapped around the market.  In the past it was hard for marketers to gauge exactly how many people were interested in a particular market.  They would fund surveys and focus groups in an attempt to get inside people’s brains.  Today, it is much easier.  The internet gives us a free look inside people’s minds by allowing us to see what they search, what they say, who they are friends with, what they like, and what they dislike.  With a little thought you can identify a profitable niche and separate yourself from your competition.

Many would be online markets don’t want to do the work necessary to understand their market.  This is good for you and me.  It means there is plenty for the taking.  It does not mean we will not find competition, it just means we can find many free lunches if we look hard enough.

In my quest to identify a niche for these lessons, I used all of the knowledge I have gained so far on the web.  I expect you to do the same.  Don’t say you don’t know where to begin.  Look out into the world around you and see what people are spending money on and then step into the tools available to figure out if you can make a profit there.  Then it is up to you if you want to pursue it.  I have had markets that I have identified as profitable in the past and just didn’t want to go after it.  There is just too much out there to go after something you really don’t think you will be able to put your heart into.

Many of the most successful niches I have seen online deal with educating people.  This could be education for passing an exam to teaching people how to start a business.  There really is no limit, but there are two criteria that you must consider when deciding if any niche will be profitable;  are advertisers spending money and are there a consistent number of people searching for it that will be able to support you and the upper portion of competitors.  What I basically mean by this is, if there are no dollars and/or no people looking, then it just ain’t worth it.  Those two things have to be qualified at the very beginning, if they are not met, you should look elsewhere.

The next thing you have to look at is the amount of related searches people are making.  When you search the main keyword phrase in the Google keyword tool with exact match selected and “only show related searches” checked, are there only a few related phrases.  Then when you uncheck “only show related searches” are there enough relevant searches to support content creation.

This is exactly what I do whenever I am starting a new niche site.  It is exactly what I did when I chose the niche for this step-by-step example.  The site that I am going to reveal to you is in the moving niche.  The domain name is

I started to look at this niche after I read a blog post by entitled, “Does this minisite look like a $1200 a year site?”  In the post, Brian Diener talks about how he bought an exact match domain and put up a five page minisite.  He states that in a short period of time it was making him $100 per month.  As I was researching his case study I realized that the moving niche was really big and that there is a lot of money spent on advertising.  This led me to do some serious research on the niche and ultimately decide to enter the market with my own website.

How I chose the domain name

In the months prior to starting, I had been studying heavily domaining and niche site development.  I had come to understand the importance of an exact match domain name.  One very impressive study by showed the effects that keywords had on search results when they were in the domain name if all other things are equal.  They were able to prove that having an exact match domain name or at least having all the words in a domain name would give a site a 10% -30% boost with the search algorithms.  I determined it was very important that I try to harness that extra boost in my domain name.

I dug around for some time looking for a good domain name.  Many people have bought domain names in this niche.  Part of the Seomoz research involved looking at the domain extentions to see what effect they had on the search engines when coupled with an exact match domain name.  They proved that although .com extension were the most valuable, .net and .org where only a little less valuable.  This means that .net and .org domain extensions are good alternatives to a .com extension when it is not available.

As I looked at moving sites and researched possible domain names using the Google Keyword tool, the free version of Market Samurai, and Go Daddy’s bulk registration search, I came across the keywords, “moving across country”.  The local monthly searches in Google were 880 exact match searches per month.  According to many niche site developers, you should find an exact match domain name with at least a few thousand searches per month for it to be valuable to you.  While I do agree that more searches being done on your exact match phrase is good, if it is not available and you don’t have the money to buy something that is already registered and for sale at a premium price, then you should look for something that can give you a little boost.  Also, moving across country, I felt, was a phrase that I could rank for with only a medium level of seo effort.

The other option is to pick a domain name that contains the exact match phrase plus some other words or letters.  If you are going to do this, you should go for the .com extension and make the exact match phrase start the domain name.  So I could have done something like

Why the Moving Niche Interested Me

The most attractive things about the moving niche was that there are many different things to write about, I have real world experiences to write about that relate to the moving niche, and there are plenty of advertisers spending money.

Plenty to write about

There are many people out there creating micro niche sites.  These are sites with one to five pages, built for a very specific niche.  I didn’t want to be a micro niche site.  Instead, I created it to be a brand; a place where people can come to find many tips and stories about moving.  My initial research proved that there were definitely many different things to write about, including checklist, different kinds of rental vehicles, organizing, moving companies, and adapting to new communities.

Real World Experiences

I find the easiest things to write about are things that I can relate a story to from my own life or someone I know.  I think this is very important because it by nature produces unique content.  This is the kind of stuff that I like to read and I know that many others like to read.

Plenty of Advertisers Spending Money

If you don’t have the money component, or some idea of a way to monetize your site, it is best to not proceed unless you are just looking for it to be a fun place to create stuff.  It is okay to have something fun to do, but I am doing this to make money.  It is not the only reason, but it is a very important reason to me.

Being that I was building the site to be an AdSense site initially, I needed the advertisers to be there.  This also indicates that there is a viable market.  The moving niche has advertisers that pay anywhere from $3 to $16 per click.  This means that most clicks should pay out anywhere from $1 to $5.

So there you have it, my thoughts and process on picking a profitable niche to build a site.  In the next post I am going to show you how I sized up the competition for  I will show you exactly how I determined that I could outrank the competition.


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