Creating a successful online business usually means finding a niche, a place where your website can be seen as a place of authority where people feel comfortable in purchasing products from you. Generally speaking, a niche is a specialized interest that is big enough to support enough potential customers for you to make a steady stream of income, but not too big that you are competing with larger businesses or corporations.
For most entrepreneurs or online Startup owners, finding a niche is fairly simple. However, understanding and developing your niche may be another matter entirely. After all, until you’ve done the research just how do you really know if the niche you have selected is right for your business interests?
What follows are 11 questions you should ask to learn more about your niche. By answering these questions, you can then plan your efforts with more confidence and obtain better results.
Who is my Target Audience?
Knowing who the demographic is that is part of the niche will shape your marketing campaign. You can use tools such as Google Analytics or Quantcast for example to examine the customers that you already have responded to your efforts. There are many important things you can find out while doing this, namely;
- What are their Average Ages?
- Are they mostly Men or Women?
Just understanding those two points will help you create a more effective marketing campaign. You can get outside assistance if needed, but doing the research yourself gives you the first-hand knowledge that can be very useful.
What Do I Offer My Audience?
If you know exactly what you are delivering, then it can help you shape your marketing campaign. There could be a great number of reasons why your audience is responding to you ranging from cheapest prices, fastest shipping, daily deals or just having unique products. Whatever it is, find out quick.
What are the Key Terms my Audience Uses?
You’ll want to get a lot of keywords and rank them in order of their importance. You’ll need to understand their search volume and find where they coincide. Quite often, your niche audience will use mostly a set of keywords that helps them find you.
Have You Looked for the Nuances in the Keywords?
One aspect that often gets overlooked in searching for the right keywords is the actual terms that different age groups and even different sexes use when searching for your products. For example, in the fashion world, the term “trendy” is generally used by younger people more than the term “fashionable”. Such subtle differences can have a big impact on your use of keywords.
What Social Media Outlets do they Use?
Older people tend to be less social media savvy than their younger counterparts. If your audience is a much older one, then Facebook is generally the most common place that you’ll find them. Younger people tend to have multiple social media sites or hang out in less popular places such as MySpace. You should also check out specialized social media sites if your audience is really young.
How does your Audience respond to your Best Content?
Remember, you are not looking at the most popular, but what you consider to be your best. There may be outside reasons why some content gets popular that are beyond your control. Your best content should get more specific and reliable responses, so examine the keywords that were used to find it.
In Finding Links, Who Should You Avoid?
Generally speaking, it’s a lot easier to know who to avoid than it is to know who benefits you the most. If you are selling punk rock songs, then senior citizens are probably not your best audience. In addition, you want to use good, solid, informative sites and not one that just sells links or has a lot of old, worthless links either.
Am I Using My Best Judgment when Asking for Links?
Imagine the places where links are available as people you want to get to know. Some people are obviously good and some are obviously bad. This means that if you are going to take the time to ask people for links, then be sure that they are right for you and your website. You don’t want your site to get a bad reputation because you link or “consort” with riff raff.
Am I Using Good or “White Hat” Techniques in Promoting My Site?
Although promoting your website is more than just using the traditionally understood white hat or black hat techniques, you should be aware of what types of tactics are least likely to work for your website. Running a website that is primarily financially oriented in nature is far different that one which sells clothes. Understanding the differences means that some tactics are simply not going to work very well because they go against the grain of reaching your intended audience. In essence, there are many tactics that we “can” use, but that does not mean that we “should” use them.
What is Your Competition Up To?
What your competitors are doing can provide a great deal of insight as to what you might be doing. This does not require a lot of research, but being aware of your major competitors’ actions can keep you informed as to tendencies that might work or better yet, ones that don’t. Finding out what they do on a general basis can be quite helpful, but you should not spend a great deal of time on that.
Are You Excited About Your Opportunities Today?
Remember, this is not just your business, but your opportunity to reach new people, establish new relationships with your customers and build your profits as well. Your business is one that you should relish the opportunities and get excited about the possibilities that are in store. If you can answer the first 10 questions with strong answers, then this one should be answered by you taking action today to make the best of your opportunities.