When searching for the perfect niche, common wisdom suggests that you need to find keywords for which there are a large number of searches every month as shown by market research tools.
The next factor is that those high-demand keywords should be related to a topic that doesn't have much competition, i.e. you don't want to see 3 gazillion results returned by Google for that keyword or scores of Google Adwords advertisers.
The theory works particularly well when there are products related to the topic that people will actually buy on the Internet.
Then, of course, there has to be an affiliate program for the product that pays a high enough commission to make your effort worthwhile.
Quite frankly, I find the standard approach to niche market research a tad tedious.
I prefer a faster and easier method for finding HOT profitable markets, which is based on the knowledge that people buy what they want, rather than what they need.
Most of us don't actually need half the stuff we own, but we buy it anyway. For example, I didn't NEED a sports car, but I WANTED a sports car, so I bought a sports car.
So, how do you find out what people want?
Well, just think of the 7 deadly sins, and the answers come quickly.
There are thousands of products created simply to satisfy the wants evoked by lust, pride, greed, gluttony, envy, wrath and sloth. Let's look at a few of them.
My dating affiliate site, which reviews online dating services, was built around the first sin, or the natural desire to continue the species. Others prefer to think of getting married and having babies as ‘love'. 🙂
Speaking of getting married and having babies, wedding supplies and baby products are hot, hot, HOT.
From a more ‘sinful' perspective, a study by centrist think tank ‘Third Way' estimates the online porn industry generates $12 billion in annual revenue.
Often around 50%, commissions in the dating and porn industries are HOTLY attractive.
You can increase your success with sites in the Lust category above when you bring pride (or vanity) into play.
Pride of appearance alone is responsible for HUGE markets such as cosmetics, acne remedies and clothing. Really, how many times have you seen ads on TV for Guthy Renker's Proactiv Solution, Sheer Cover and Jane Seymour's Natural Advantage?
What's especially good about these products is that Guthy Renker is doing most of the work for you. The names are already familiar to your audience, so all you have to do is present the product as an option.
And because healthy folks attract mates more easily, products that promote good health fit this category, which explains the large numbers of successful pharmaceutical affiliates… before the DEA busted a bunch of merchants and spoiled most of the fun.
Despair not, however.
Consider vitamins, books, diet plans and fitness equipment. Sales of those products are always BRISK, and especially at New Year's… which comes each and every year! Popular products to promote include Winsor Pilates (which often has a %50 off offer going) and Core Secrets.
As for greed, how many folks don't want more money?
Rather than working for it (see ‘sloth'), many will try their luck at gambling. A USA Today article reports ‘More than 2,000 gambling Web sites this year will rake in nearly $10 billion in revenue, most from U.S. consumers.'
Besides gambling, I'm sure you can come up with a least 20 products, that when used properly, will really help people earn more money!
Forgive me for saying that most who can afford to be gluttons, are gluttons.
Really… who needs more than two or three pairs of shoes? A pair for work, one for exercise and another for ‘good'.
But how many women have only 3 pairs of shoes?
See what I mean?
Shoes sell very well online. In fact, more people in the U.S. buy shoes online than through catalogs.
In this category, also consider electronics such as computers, TV's, phones and entertainment systems. Music CD's, movie DVD's, books, magazine subscriptions, and knick knacks are also items that people like to collect.
I relate envyto the desire for success, which the multi-billion dollar ‘self-improvement' industry satisfies nicely.
Monetize products by Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Robert Kiyosaki, Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar and hundreds of other ‘success' experts.
Wrath is all about hatred, anger and destruction… often self-destruction. Look to the self-help realm to monetize this niche.
Products that save time and energy appeal to our lazy selves. Look for products that advertise ‘FAST' and ‘EASY' use, preferably followed by a multitude of exclamation marks.
You may be concerned that each of the above-mentioned products/industries are rife with competition. Competition is GOOD! That's proof that the market is indeed HOT. So, what's the secret?
How do you succeed in a hugely competitive market?
Well, it's all about branding, my dear. Dare to be different. Set yourself and your site apart from the middling crowd and say it LOUD! Because we're all wired to notice what's new, different or unique in our surroundings, people WILL sit up and pay attention to your message.
So, for example, if you're the biggest shoe-a-holic this side of New York City, prove it! Tell us which shoes you like and why – and don't forget the visuals. I don't mean the banner graphics you picked up from Shoes.com at Commission Junction either. Give us REAL visuals of you winning the local 5K in your New Balance runners, or teetering in your Manolo's at the office Christmas party.
Get excited about the products you sell, and your visitors will get excited too. Better yet, they'll buy.
You too CAN succeed in competitive HOT markets, when you think outside the (shoe) box.