What Is a Niche (And Why You Need One)

When people discuss online or affiliate marketing, they often refer to something called a niche.

Dictionary.com defines the word as:

Dictionary.com

For our purposes, we will be discussing a niche as 3. A distinct segment of a market and 5. Pertaining to or intended for a market niche; having specific appeal.

Why it Matters

One of the first things we learn at Wealthy Affiliate is how to decide on a niche. This is vital to your success. If you have little interest in your subject, you will not be motivated to put in the time, energy and focus it takes to build a successful online marketing business.

This also applies if you already have a business and want to launch or improve your online presence. Not having a website in today’s marketplace is like not having a phone number. You will not get as much business nor will you have as many customers ready to buy.

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Missed customers!

Websites inform and guide consumer purchasing decisions thousands of times an hour. WIthout a website, you lose the chance to interact with potential shoppers or information seekers. In our modern economy, many shoppers simply will not patronize a business unless they can find more information about them online.

Today’s shoppers are fully aware of their power. Sites like Yelp, PlanetFeedback* and Google reviews can crush a business based on poor reviews. Many small businesses are terrified of this modern phenomenon because once a bad review hits the internet, it is there forever.

*PlanetFeedback.com is not currently operational. According to their site, they are not permanently shut down, simply reworking their platform to better serve consumers.

Choosing a niche and being dedicated to it can prevent this kind of backlash. As an aficionado of your chosen niche, you are far less likely to post something that your target readers will find dissatisfying or inaccurate.

No matter how versed you believe you are in your chosen niche, always include verifiable resources and check your facts and figures. Very few things can bring your site down faster than readers pointing out your errors for you.

Niched and Loaded

As They Live & Breathe

For some people, deciding on a niche is easy. They are already itching to explore the subject matter further and probably spend a great portion of their time immersed in their niche.

They may have already made attempts to create an income within the niche. For these people, niche selection is a no brainer. They are highly likely to succeed in their endeavor, with patience and the right training.

Niche Dreams

For others, it can be difficult. We live in a time when we are expected to go to college, get a degree, go get a job and work for someone. If we do well, we are rewarded with pay raises, bonuses, and career advancements.

If only…

Once upon a time, people worked for the same company for most if not all of their career. Now, job hopping is as common as McDonald’s. Loyalty is a rare thing between employer and employee. Workers are fully aware that they can be replaced within hours should they be released from their position.

In this environment, many people dream of doing what they love, but rarely have time, money or energy to do. They settle for collecting, hobbies or joining groups and organizations that match their suppressed passion. Deep down, they want to engage in their dream full time.

These people may have to think a bit before they realize exactly what their niche is, but once they do, it becomes their focus. These people are as likely to succeed -again with proper training and patience- as those who live their niche already.

Over-Niched

Some aspiring affiliate marketers are so diverse in their passions and interests that choosing one niche over another is like deciding which child they love most. These people can have the most difficulty in maintaining focus on a single project. They are accustomed to juggling so many things that focusing on only one becomes almost impossible.

At Wealthy Affiliate, we are encouraged to explore our options. With the Starter account, you get two free websites on the SiteRubrix platform. This can allow you to start up more than one niche market site, and then gravitate to the one that appeals most. And if you upgrade to Premium, you get a mind-boggling 50 sites to work with (25 SR, 25 on your own domains).

Balancing act

Oh, the niche possibilities!

I personally have four sites at WA with one on my own domain. I only work on this one consistently for the moment. I know that the moment I branch out, my focus will be split and one or more of my sites may suffer.

For the over-niched, it becomes a matter of what matters most right now. Right now, I am in the process of working from home so I can continue to build my WA business until I don’t have to anymore. Due to my current immersion in the work from home market, I decided that this was the niche I would start with.

People like me can find success if we maintain focus and discipline ourselves. Patience is crucial. We become so eager to jump into our other areas of interest that we can become scattered. Production suffers which negatively affects forward progress.

The training modules at WA are an antidote to this trait. By following the tasks set before me, I can keep my attention trained upon this site, instead of wandering off to indulge in my love of gaming and herbalism.

 

Nicheless

Some people have the desire to break into affiliate marketing or home business, but have no idea what they should or can do. These are the ones that require the most encouragement. Their uncertainty is paralyzing. They want to make a move but have no clue what direction will work for them.

What do I do?

The nicheless may have to dip their toes into a few different niches before they find one that excites and motivates them. Then, its simply a matter of training, patience, and discipline. At some point, the chosen niche may begin to pale, in which case, any and everybody is free to jump ship or split off into another area of interest.

There is no preconceived “correct” niche for everybody. Some will have similar interests but they will approach from different angles. This is why Wealthy Affiliate is so valuable. The training gives you the confidence to branch into whatever niche works for you, and change up if you feel the need.

Make it Worthwhile

Value Can’t Be Bought

I mentioned that you must be passionate about your niche and why. The other side of that equation is helping others. In your niche, you must be able to provide a solution to your reader’s question. The finer points of monetizing and gaining revenue will follow, but you have to start by providing value to the reader. They have to find your site worth viewing, otherwise, you will become lost in the flood of mass information on the internet.

Your content is the essence of your niche, but it has to come from relevant searches. Dropping your link all over the web may get you a few clicks, but nothing near the traffic required to sustain you financially.

Keywords are the building blocks of your content. When readers go online, they are usually looking for something. They type whatever they’re looking for into a search engine, like Google, Bing or Yahoo!.

If you have incorporated popular keywords into your content, your site will be among the results of the reader’s keyword search. If your content is compelling enough, the reader is likely to click your link and browse your content.

Keyword Roundup

At WA we have a keyword tool called Jaaxy that shows us which keywords are popular. This tool allows us to narrow down keywords that are relevant to our niches and minimizes the risk of writing a lot of content that will most likely not be seen.

Jaaxy inside Wealthy Affiliate

With Jaaxy we can search for keywords and keyword terms that are trending on Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. We can then take that keyword and incorporate it into our content.

The trick is to make sure the keywords matter to your niche. I cannot expect niche relevant traffic if I use coffee as a keyword unless I am discussing a business opportunity or a work from home gig about coffee. This is why you have to know and love your niche.

Training on using Jaaxy and maximizing your keywords is included in Premium memberships at Wealthy Affiliate. An overview of the tool is available to Starter members.

K.I.S.S. It

Once you have your keywords and you are ready to write your content or make your video, decide how you will present your message. I have always lived by the KISS idea.

Keep It Simple Sally

Keep It Simple Concept

The immediacy of the internet has severely diminished the browsing public’s attention span. If you do not catch their interest within 7 seconds, they are most likely gone to another site, lost in social media, or off to order pizza. This is another reason why you have to know your niche.

Readers who share your passion are your target audience. You also want to reach those who are just looking. They may have friends or family that may be riveted by your content, in which case, they will pass it along.

To do this, you must use engaging headlines and captivating descriptions. Knowing your niche makes it possible to refine your hooks to grab the browsing eye. Once they click, it is all up to your content. Loving your niche will allow you to create compelling quality content that will speak to your readers.

And when you can do that, you are succeeding in your niche.

Keep It Coming

The Right Foot

Once you get readers, don’t disappoint them. The process of creating content should be easy if you know and love your niche. If you feel stuck, do a keyword search. At Wealthy Affiliate, we are taught the Alphabet Soup method, which can be used with Jaaxy or Google. As long as you have a passion for your niche, ideas should come easy.

You never know what will inspire you. I went out to eat with my family and got two reviews out of it. I got the idea for this post by reading a site on keywords.

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IDEAS!

Put It Out There

Having an idea and translating it into words or video is not exactly on the same road. If you feel nervous about how you will be received, read up on some other blogs or news sites that are relevant to your niche. Check out your social media. Talk to friends.

Getting off on the right foot means you can produce quality content relevant to your niche and continue to do so for the long term.

The Other Foot

Along with producing niche relevant content, you will find yourself looking at other options for your affiliate marketing site. Once you have an audience, pertinent links and referrals on your site will begin getting clicks.

This can lead to revenue. In the long term, this revenue can supplement or replace your current #WageLife income. #WAHLife is then yours for the taking.

The Best Part

The best part of all of this is multifold.

First, you are providing value, information and help to your readers. They come to your site for information and the longer you provide it, the bigger your audience

WOOHOO!

will become.

Second, you are building something that will endure. Remember, once something hits the web, it is there forever. Sites may come and go, but content gets shared over and over again. If you build a site that gains exponential value and gains a strong following, you can then sell it, and retire.

Or move on to another site.

Last and perhaps most important, you are finally pursuing your passion. This grants a sense of peace and well being that no job can compare to. Knowing, loving and living your niche creates a joy within that a paycheck just cannot duplicate. It’s like winning the lottery on a monthly basis for the rest of your life.

One More Thing

By the way, following your passion does not mean abandon your responsibilities. Bills still need to be paid. I have a few gigs for the moment and this site is dedicated to helping others keep the income flowing while they build their future. Don’t drop the ball to catch a falling star.

Are you seeking an alternative or supplemental income stream? Are you already in affiliate marketing and want help nailing down and living your niche?

Follow me to Wealthy Affiliate and I will personally assist you through the process of living your passion.

 

Until then,

 

Gig on

 

16 thoughts on “What Is a Niche (And Why You Need One)

  1. Niches are so very important as you say. Otherwise, it would be hard to focus on what to talk about in a blog. More than just talking, it would also make it difficult to market products.

    If people start marketing everything in one place, then it really is hard to master what you are trying to build your authority in.

    Right now I am having a difficult time picking a niche, it seems all the good ones are taken. What do you think about micro-niching?

    1. Jagi,

      The questions you have to ask yourself are:
      What do I/would I love to do?
      What am I good at, or want to get better at?
      What products am I excited about?

      With a micro-niche, you would have to be extremely specific and highly experienced with your subject matter. You may not get as much traffic but micro-niches do make money as long as the information remains focused and relevant to the niche. So for example, instead of yoga for fitness, you would be doing hot yoga for fitness, and focus on products, services, tips and such specific to that sub-niche.

      Just because a niche is “taken” doesn’t mean you can’t make your mark in it. MySpace was the premier social media until Facebook came along and did it better. Don’t be intimidated by a big presence in a broader niche. They all started out as a little guy with an idea.

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck,

      Gwendolyn J

  2. Hey Gwendolyn,

    This is a great, very informative post! Truth is, the choice of the niche is a major factor regarding the success of the website or the Facebook page.  There are the so-called “evergreen” niches, niches that stand the test of time. These are, amongst others, making money, dating, relationships, health and diet, and so many more. 

    A good way to see if the niche is valid and stands the test of time is Google Trends. With Google Trends you can check whether a niche is good, or whether it is a fad – like fidget spinners.

    Thanks again!

    Marios

    1. Marios,

      Google is a great resource for so many things. 

      What I have noticed is that we have so much leeway in creating our sites and building our audience, that we may be able to push a keyword into Google’s line up even if it is not currently trending. 

      I have 2 hashtags I consistently use in my content. #WageLife & #WAHLife

      I am experimenting to see if they become part of any search term. So far it hasn’t popped but my site is coming up indexed in Google. 

      We shall see.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Gwendolyn J

  3. Nice post and I struggled a lot at the beginning in selecting a niche because there was lack of information about the niche and I think this post will be very helpful for people who struggle in knowing more information about the niche and selecting the niche. This post gives more information about the niche. Thank you for sharing such useful information.

    1. You are very welcome.

      I’m glad I could help clarify things for you. 

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Gwendolyn J

  4. Until I come to your website, I was always a little confused about what actually a Nich was.

    The info on your post has cleared up most that I was wondering about Niches but there are still some aspects I’m floundering at.

    Is a Niche a product that you want to sell online or is it something like a hobby you want to write about?

    As you can see, I’m still a bit confused and all help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Jeff,

      A niche can be a product, a line of products, a movie series (Marvel, DC, Disney) or a market that you feel compelled to explore and share.

      My sister loves frogs. My sons are gamers. I am an herbalist. My youngest son loves the TV show Face Off. We all love anime. 

      All of these interests have products embedded within them can be come part of our niche relevant content. Using Jaaxy and Google Instant, you can discern the exact terms and/or products people are looking for and fold them into your area of interest. 

      I have 2 restaurant reviews and a book review on this site. Someone told me these were not relevant, but I beg to differ. 

      This is why.

      When you achieve success in your business, you want to celebrate. Both of the places I reviewed are great for that, and they offer money saving perks. 

      The author I reviewed overcame enormous obstacles to get where she is now, and that tenacity is important if we want to succeed. 

      So it does not have to be a straight line to relevance. The only limits you have are your own.:)

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Gwendolyn J

  5. One of the reasons people don’t succeed on their blogs is not understanding that word niche when starting their website. The only way for new bloggers to be successful is when they go for a niche because it is really difficult competing with already established companies. 

    A lot of people have tried but have failed. Going for a niche and understanding that niche can make you the go-to guy whenever an information is needed on that particular niche and this can lead to repeated site visitors which obviously would lead to more trust.

    This is one of the best ways to succeed when building a blog. Without this success is almost not guaranteed.

    1. Jay,

      Delivering quality content is almost impossible of the blogger has no direction. A niche helps define the site and the blogger’s path. Even veteran bloggers who have dropped off in readership could try a niche rework, perhaps approach from another angle or provide a different type of content (video, podcast, mems).

      It all depends on how creative and resilient we are. 

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Gwendolyn J

  6. In my opinion, “follow your passion” developing something you already have. So, that won’t take a lot of work finding a niche because you already have it! What the words “finding a niche” apply to is when somebody has no idea what talent he has or what hobbies he enjoy and we are here to help him figure it out which one he likes most among the list of things he do everyday. Please correct me if I am wrong but that’s how I see it.

    1. Gomer,

      As you can see, I explore many facets of finding vs knowing one’s niche. There are some that already know and live it, and others who need to be guided. I see them every day at Wealthy Affiliate. 

      Some of us have had our passions ignited, and others are barely smoking. Those that have found their way are driven to help others do the same, which is why I wrote this post. 

      Thank you for stopping by, and take care.

      Gwendolyn J

  7. Hi Gwendolyn, I must say that this article is very important and informational. Most people who want to start an online business don’t know what a niche is but it is a must-know. It all starts with a niche. Now I want to ask you about high-competitive niches, do you think it is still possible to succeed with large niches like Make Money Online, Health, Weight Loss, etc as they are so competitive but most profitable.

    1. Daniel,

      I believe if our content is compelling enough and original we can compete in the higher demand markets. At WA we have advantages that others don’t. We have access to ongoing training that we do not have to pay more for and the freedom to do what we want, instead of being stuck in a cookie cutter program. 

      If you approach those high competition niches with fresh eyes, spin it with your own personality and experience, you can rise to the top. 

      Thanks for stopping by, and take care,

      Gwendolyn J

  8. I regularly read information about how to create a website. Then you see this Niche word on some post. However, this is the first time I read something about just this Niche word. I like the way you break down this topic and explain step by step something that is really important.

    I was feeling confused when choosing a Niche. However, I feel more comfortable and ready to choose one after reading your post.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Andres,

      Thank you and you are welcome.

      As I stated, I have so many things that interest me that I had to narrow down what I wanted to do. I see people every day trying to find their way. I hope this brings them some hope and relief. 

      Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any questions. 

      Gwendolyn J

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