Selecting a Market

Picking what market or niche to enter is the hardest part of starting a paysite for most people. No book, guide, or software package can tell you what market to enter, because a book does not know what your passions or expertise’s are. If there was a way to say “Click here and find your niche” things would be a lot easier. When picking a niche for a paysite, I look for markets that people are already paying for content. I’ll go to my local bookstore and look at what magazines are on the shelves. If there is a magazine devoted to a topic, then I know that people are paying for content in that niche. When starting out you should choose a niche that you are an expert in or are passionate about. Avoid some of the overly saturated markets like weight loss, internet marketing, and golf.

There are thousands of markets and many of them are untapped. For ideas on niches and markets, visit a site that sells magazines like NetMagazines (www.netmagazines.com) and browse through the categories. As you look through the categories think about what subjects would make a good paysite. Many people, when trying to come up with a niche to build a paysite in make the mistake of only thinking about what they are currently interested in. But if you think about what you have done in the past you can come up with some very profitable niches. For instance, most of us had hobbies when we were younger but have given them up to spend more time with family and work on careers. Starting a paysite is a great way to rekindle an interest and make money at the same time. Don’t forget about the people around you. What topics are your friends and family interested in? Does your teenage spend all his time playing video games and online trying to find tips on gaming? You could start a site and let him contribute with research he’s already compiled. Give him a percentage of the site as long as he continues to participate in the content creation. While trying to come up with ideas for your paysite, ask yourself the following questions. Reminding yourself what you are good at, what you like to do, and what you have done in the past is an excellent way to jog your memory.

  • What are your hobbies?
  • What magazines do you subscribe to or buy?
  • What type of books do you like to read?
  • What have you been successful at currently or in the past?
  • At your job, what inside tactics do you know about?
  • Do you build or create anything?
  • What software or hardware system are you proficient at?
  • What do people ask you for advice about?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Are any of your friends or relatives experts in a subject?
  • Do you give lectures on a topic?
  • What have you won awards doing (even it was in high school)?
  • To you teach or give classes on a topic?
  • Have you ever coached a sport?
  • Have you ever taught someone how to accomplish something?
  • What clubs or organizations do you belong to?

When picking a niche for your paysite, don’t pick a broad niche like Antiques. While you may have a passion for antiques, you will not be able to put enough content into your site that will cover every aspect of antiques. The result will be that you by trying to please a wide range of antique lovers, you will end up pleasing none of them. However, if you drilled down and created a site on “Antique Doll Collecting” you can fill your site with content that is specific to that sub-niche and your members will love the targeted content. You could further drill down and create a site on “Antique Barbie Doll Collecting” and get some really rabid members.

When you look for a market, look for a market where people are continuously spending money. Hobbyists, Collectors and Investors are prime examples. If they are spending money every month anyway, a few dollars on a paysite is no big deal if they feel they are getting value. Many people will join simply because they want to belong to something they themselves are passionate about. If you already have been marketing on the internet for a while then you probably already have an email list of people in certain niches. Odds are your lists cover broad niches. To refine your market, you can survey your list. To begin, make a list off the sub-niches that your list subscribers might be interested in. Go to Survey Money (www.surveymonkey.com) and create a survey asking what sub-niches your subscribers are interested them. Send them an email with a link to your survey and just ask. If there is an extremely high interest in one particular sub-niche, then you have probably found a good topic for your paysite.

If you don’t have a list then you can poll forums in markets you wish to enter. Don’t use the poll software on the forum because the information will be made public to everyone and you don’t want other people to get a free ride from your research. Instead make a posting in the forum telling its members that you want to write some articles and you would like to know what area they are interested in. Then put a link to the survey you created on Survey Monkey. When exploring markets, do keyword research at CheckRankings.com, look for niches that are high in searches (counts) but have a low number of competitors: http://www.checkrankings.com/keywordsuggestion