How To Find a Niche Market For Your Online Business – 6 Simple and Powerful Ways

When it comes to starting an online business,  one of the most important things that determines your success is by choosing a niche or Market that can actually support your business. 

 Whether you have no idea where to start or you already have a pretty good idea of a niche to start your business in, you're going to want to utilize at least one ( if not all ) of the methods we lay out below to come up with as many ideas as possible.

It's important to remember that after we have the idea, we need to validate that the market can support our business, meaning having more than one idea of where we can start will stop us from getting frustrated in the validation process.

What Are The Big 6 Methods for Niche Selection?

We're going to dive into six different ways but you can use to find a niche for your business. 

Each of these methods can be extremely powerful, but as you're reading through this article and using these methods,  make sure to have a pen and paper handy so that you can physically write down all of the ideas that you're having.

Passions/Interests – Method #1

 The first method, and one of the most powerful, is the passions or interests method.

Here, we're simply going to make a list of all of the things that we are interested in or passionate about. 

The question that we're really trying to answer is” what can I talk about every single day and never get tired of?” 

It's important to keep in mind that you don't have to be the most passionate sports fan, to be able to put Sports on your list.

What we're really looking for here are things that piqued your interest enough that you would be willing to talk about.

How To Use The Passions/Interests Method to Find a Niche:

To use the passions or interest method to find a niche, start by jotting down the things that come to your head naturally.

After you've written down the things that come to your head, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who do You Follow on Social Media?
  • What do you do in your “free time”?
  • What Did You Spend Last Weekend Doing?

What you'll find is an extensive list of things that in addition to you personally being interested in, the things that your family or friends are passionate about will make their way onto this list as well. 

For example if you were like Scott, maybe you spent last weekend at a volleyball tournament watching your daughter.

 If that's the case, volleyball is something that you're interested in doing, because your family is doing it and you're spending time doing it, and it may be a worthwhile Niche for you to build a business in.

Touch Lists Method – #2

The touch list method is one of those things that people tend to ignore because it's so simple and that's precisely why you need to use this method when you're trying to come up with an itch for your business.

How To Use The Touchlist Method to Find a Niche

To use the touch  list method, you're literally just going to write down everything that you pick up over the next day or two ( you can feel free to skip the pen and paper that you're using to write everything down).

While this may sound a little silly, you're going to end up with a list of 50 or more things that can lead to jumping off points two coming up with the market.

While this may sound a little silly, you're going to end up with a list of 50 or more things that can lead to jumping off points two coming up with the market.

 For example, if you were cleaning the floor using a Swiffer and you went to review your touch list and saw that you had written Swiffer down, that doesn't mean you're going to be in the Swiffer market.  

It would mean potentially that you may want to build a business in the cleaning Market or the home organization Market. 

What we're looking for from the touch list is not the physical things that were touching, it's the market or Niche that those things fall into.

Expertise – Method #3

Method number 3 is using expertise to find a market. 

What we're talking about here is, what do you do for a living and what Market is that in. Then, what do your friends, family members or neighbors do for a living and what markets do those fall in to.

How To Use The Expertise Method To Find a Niche:

To use the expertise method, start by creating a list of things that you have done for a living. Try to think back to even your first job and make sure to write that down.

 Next expand that list out to your family and friends.

Do you know someone who's a vet, a mechanic, a chiropractor, a music teacher? Each of these professions are a potential Niche that you could dive into even if you are not the expert. 

Most people seem to think that they have to be the expert in order to create a business. But if you know someone who's an expert you can actually use their expertise to help you create your content and products.

For example if you have a friend ( or in my case of brother)  who's a music teacher, you could potentially partner with him ( or pay him for his time) and create a successful business teaching people all about cellos and selling the products they need to clean or maintain their cellos. 

Problems – Method #4

The problems method, involves us making a list of the things that we've had actual problems with recently.

 What are some things that you've had to fix recently, like your car or a sink? 

Each of these is a potential Market that we can build a business in because chances are if you've had a problem other people have had the same problem.

How To Use The Problems Method To Find a Niche:

To create your list of problems,  spend about 15 minutes writing down the things you've had to fix or pay someone to fix recently.

 Then spend another few minutes thinking about all of the things you either have hired someone or thought about hiring someone to do over the last year.

 Then spend another few minutes thinking about all of the things you either have hired someone or thought about hiring someone to do over the last year.

 For example, if you recently installed a pool and are worried about all of the maintenance that goes into keeping it in swimming shape and you hired a pool cleaning or maintenance service,  this would be a great thing to write down.

If you had to take your car into a mechanic recently or you hired a plumber to come fix your sink or toilet ,that should make its way onto your problems list as well.

Purchase Lists – Method #5

Method number 5 is using recent purchases for inspiration.  As you're working your way through your list of recent purchases you'll likely find many markets that you're interested in that may not have come up through other methods.

This is one of the most powerful methods and also one of the most scalable because we buy a whole bunch of things that we don't even realize.

 Additionally, because we physically spent money on these things it will make the validation process a little bit easier if our Niche comes from one of these ideas.

How To Use The Purchase List Method To Find a Niche:

 The purchase list method can actually take a while to execute, there are four places that I would start to find all of the purchases that you've made over the last 6 months or  year, but you can use as many methods as you think of continuing to add to this list.

Your Amazon History:  

The first place that I would start is with your Amazon history simply go into your Amazon account and look at the orders you placed over the last 6 to 12 months. you're going to find a whole bunch of products from different markets many of which you might not even remember buying. 

Make sure to write each of these down as a potential jumping-off point for Market.

Search Your Email For Receipts: 

Take a look at your email for any receipts or invoices that you have in your inbox.

Find Your Paper Receipts: 

If you have some paper receipts, maybe in a folder for taxes stuff, in between the seats of your car, or neatly organized in a desk drawer, go through each of those and write down each of the purchases on your list.

Expand to Friends and Family: 

The nice part about this method is that it's extremely scalable.

Most of your friends and family would be willing to let you know what they bought on Amazon over the last few months or to send you a list of the things that they know they purchased by taking 10 minutes to look at their paper receipts or their email inbox for anything that arrived there.

Additionally, if you know someone who had a baby or was married recently, chances are that their baby registry or wedding registry is online and is a prebuilt list of things that they were looking to buy. 

Using a Memory Jogger – Method #6:

The memory jogger list is a combination of a few of the other tactics, but it's really good at pulling out the ideas that didn't immediately come to mind using something like the touchlist, passions, or expertise methods.

How To Use The Memory Jogger Method To Find a Niche:

 To use the memory jogger method, simply answer each of the questions below in as much detail as possible. 

You'll find 16 examples of questions below, but if you think about others feel free to add them to your list and answer them as well

What Products Do You Use:

  • Everyday
  • For Your Favorite Sport/Sports
  • On Weekends
  • With Friends
  • With Your Children
  • With Your Significant Other
  • In Your Hobbies
  • On Vacation
  • At Sporting Events
  • At The Beach
  • In Your Home
  • In Your Yard
  • In Your Spare Time
  • For Your Job
  • At Your Office
  • In Your Bathroom

What Makes a For a Good Niche or Market?

All six of the methods mentioned above, are extremely beneficial for creating ideas for your Niche or Market.

The thing to keep in mind is that that's only the first step in the process.

 After we have the idea, we still want to validate it in order to make sure that is actually a market that will work for us over the long-term. 

While I could spend another hour detailing that process,  there's a few quick things below that will help you make sure that all of the ideas you now have written down have the potential to support a business over the long-term.

Do They Buy?

 The first thing to keep in mind as we're evaluating our ideas is our people actually buying products in the Market.

If a market idea came from your purchases list, then obviously people are buying, but it's important to take a look at a site like amazon.com to see if there are other products that are also being bought by people in that market.

Are There Multiple Sources of Traffic?

The second factor to whether or not a market can support your business over the long-term is whether there is more than one source of traffic.

 Meaning, are there blogs or YouTube channels in the space that we could use to drive traffic in addition to any of the traffic that is being generated by something like amazon.com?

Is there Content Being Created?

Content creation goes hand-in-hand with there being multiple sources of traffic for a market.

 If we're able to find blogs or YouTube channels that Focus specifically on the niche that we've selected, then chances are we can build our own and be successful in that space as well.

This is something that's extremely important over the long-term, as we're going to want to get attention through things like content creation, and start to build and own our own audience in whatever niche we select.

Is There Social Attention?

 Just like with content, we want to make sure that there is some social attention in the market that we select. 

While it doesn't necessarily matter which social media channel is being used to talk about our Market, we want to validate that there are existing communities on social media that are currently exchanging ideas and talking about our topic.

Things like Facebook groups or Reddit threads are a great place to find that their social media attention

If you've been struggling to come up with an idea for a market to start your business in, these six methods have the potential to give you more ideas than you can possibly handle. Make sure to write down ideas using at least one but the more of these methods you use, the more potential ideas you will discover.

 What's the biggest thing that you struggled with finding or validating a market to create your business?

 Let us know in the comments section below.

 As always, we're here for you, we believe in you, but you have to… Take Action.

Chris lives at the intersection of business strategy and growth tactics. Having consulted with dozens of different businesses (as well as building several of his own), he brings a unique perspective on what's working across the eCommerce world in businesses of all shapes and sizes.

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