If you plan on starting your own online business, your first major task is to determine what subject matter you want to focus on. The segment of the market that you choose, known as your niche, will help define your brand, your messaging, the content you create, and the products you sell. Everything that you do in your business should fall under the umbrella of the niche you select.
You might find that choosing your niche is a challenging process. It can be very difficult to select a single topic as the basis for a business that will preoccupy you for the next several years. You might have several ideas that you are considering. You might have one idea, but aren’t sure whether or not it’s the right idea to pursue.
You might think there are already too many established players in your market. You might feel like you’re not yet qualified to become a content creator in the niche that interests you. You might be afraid of choosing the wrong idea and regretting your decision later.
Should you be successful, you will be operating your business for the next five to ten years. You are playing a long-term game. Choose a niche that excites you, that you can see yourself working on for a while. Don’t choose a topic area because you feel like you can make a lot of money with it or because you feel like it would be an easy market to attack. You should only choose a niche because you are genuinely excited about the space and want to become a leading expert in it. While your personal passion shouldn’t be the only criteria you use to select a niche, it should be at the top of the list.
You should have some level of firsthand experience or interest in the niche you select. It will be much easier to create content, products, and services for a market that you already understand than one that you don’t. If you are choosing a niche that you have no personal experience with or knowledge in, you will be facing an uphill battle, like someone trying to enter the market starting a free UK business directory. It means you will have to both learn the market you’re entering, and then somehow create differentiated products and services that people in that market will want to buy. If you already know the market you’re entering, you likely already know what the people in your market need, and what weaknesses there are with existing products and services in the space.
You will ideally be part of your own target market, and have experienced the needs and wants of the market firsthand, but that’s not always possible. Your target market does not necessarily need to be other people who are exactly like you, but you should have a close relationship with someone in your target market. Maybe your mom, one of your siblings, a close personal friend, or a business acquaintance is part of the target market you are hoping to serve. By having someone close to you, you can bounce ideas off of them and get feedback about your content.
A common piece of advice given by internet business gurus is that you should “niche down until it hurts.” The idea is that you should pick a small subsection of an existing market so you can serve that niche better than anyone else and become the go-to resource for your niche.