In our series on curation, we’ve covered some important basics.
Now it’s time to get to work and figure out if the niche you’ve chosen can be profitable for you.
Please note: Not everyone reading this will be interested in making money.
Some people want to share about the topic of their passion – helping others who need help, have questions or want to move an agenda forward.
If this describes you then please know that the same process we use for determining potential profits will help you determine the size of your possible audience and how best to reach them.
Before we begin let me encourage you to read the first four articles in this series if you have not done that already.
You can find those articles using these links. They open in a new window.
If you have read them already and have been doing the work you have chosen one niche (or more) to pursue.
Hopefully, this will be a niche about which you are truly passionate. If not, having a keen interest or special knowledge about this topic is enough.
Now let’s look at a simple, proven and completely free way to determine if the niche you have chosen is one that can be profitable for you.
As with any worthwhile project, it makes sense to start with some questions.
While it would be all too easy to lay out some complicated list of benchmarks and get into keyword counts and Alexa ratings, I’d rather keep it simple.
This is the process I use when choosing a niche,
and it works well for me.
THREE VITAL QUESTIONS
There are three questions that are wise to answer before spending much time gathering content and publishing a blog.
If you can answer “yes” to these questions there is every reason to believe you will be able to easily use curation to make money online.
As with all businesses, there are no guarantees of course. But if you can answer “yes” to all three questions you have a green light to take the next step.
The three questions are …
- Is there a large market?
- Are they online buyers?
- Are they excited about the topic?
Let’s look at reasons why these questions are important.
The reason a large market is necessary is simply common sense. It will be easier to penetrate a large market and get the business you need to succeed.
Even 1/10 of 1% of a large market can be much more profitable than dominating a super-small niche.
Another reason for a large market is avoiding market domination. In very small niches there are often big players who dominate the landscape.
You don’t want to compete with people who are the undisputed leaders in a field.
You want to become a leader to your own tribe within a large market.
Much more profitable.
Since you are setting up an online business it is vital to know if the people in your market buy things online.
You might be tempted to say, “Everyone buys online.” And that’s partially true.
But only partially.
While there are billions of people online not all of them are buying online. Many of them do research online and buy offline.
There are many reasons why people don’t buy online, including …
- Fear of identity theft
- Distrust of online merchants
- Distrust of guarantees on websites
- Not having the right payment method (credit card, PayPal, etc.)
- Simply forgetting from which site they intended to buy
- Local merchants offering coupons or better pricing
In addition, many seniors (a huge buying marketing) simply will not buy online.
If you think about your local mattress store you will see what I mean. Many people shop for mattresses online but few of them buy online and have a mattress shipped to their door.
The same is true of cars and many other products.
This applies to smaller ticket items too.
My wife loves to garden. She buys plants, tools, mulch and more. She will often go online to learn about plants and tools but I’ve yet to see her buy these items online.
So make sure your audience is not only looking but actually buying online.
EXCITED ABOUT THE TOPIC
Excitement about the topic you’ve chosen is important for a number of reasons.
First, excited people take action when they find what they want.
And you want people to take action.
- You want them to join your list.
- You want them to communicate with you.
- You want them to buy from your recommendations.
Another reason for finding a passionate audience is that passionate people often make the most loyal customers.
If they find you and you help them they will remain loyal readers commenters and buyers.
Never overlook the lifetime value of a customer. Lifetime value is the secret to success for most businesses, especially online businesses.
One goal for your curation business is to find an excited group of people who are passionate about the topic you are passionate about and get to know them and serve them, by providing high-quality helpful content.
So be sure to look for an enthusiastic, excited audience.
Now let’s look at how you can get this research done quickly, easily and without spending a dime.
Again, questions will be our guide and best friend.
This time there are five key questions. Write them down on a note pad or in Evernote if you like.
In my next article, I will show you exactly where and how to do this market research. I’ll include screenshots from my own research.
Here are the questions that form the core of your market research.
- Are they reading?
- Are they talking?
- Is there advertising?
- Are they buying?
- Are there products you can sell?
If the topic you have chosen is one you are passionate about you probably can answer the three key questions from above.
- Is the market large?
- Do they buy online?
- Are they passionate about the topic?
If you can answer these questions now begin making a list of the sites you visit when you want to know more.
This will become an important resource for you as you move ahead and begin to curate content.
Again, I strongly suggest using Evernote for this. But any method that works for you will work
If you can’t answer these questions now don’t worry. My next article will give you the exact steps to take.
When you find a large audience of passionate people who will buy online you will have found your core audience.
Seth Godin calls this your tribe. Others call is your “key market”.
When you find your tribe, and when you begin to interact and lead them by sharing high quality, relevant information you will begin to make loyal customers who will buy from you again and again.
And that is a beautiful thing indeed!