Recently, we’ve talked a lot about curation. What it is, what it does, and whether it can work for you. Today I’m going to share a process I use to conduct market research.
I’ll share the five questions I ask when choosing new, potentially profitable, niches.
I’d like to show you the process in action.
The niche I’m researching is back pain.
I’ve been in physical therapy for almost a year with lower back pain from an accident, so why not make a few bucks from a topic I’ve grown to know well?
After all – lemonade from lemons, right?
So let’s get into the specific research I did that convinced me to do market research in the back pain niche.
Here are the five questions I suggest…
- Do they read?
- Are they talking?
- Do they buy?
- Is there advertising?
- Are there products you can sell?
If three or more can be answered “yes” then I’m interested.
If all five can be answered “yes” I know right now I can make money in this niche.
I don’t know yet how long it will take. But because I have a proven process for testing a market before making a big-dollar commitment I know that the profits will come.
Believe me when I tell you this — you can do the same thing. It’s just a matter of learning a Common Sense Internet Marketing process.
Now let’s look at each question and allow me to share the answers that encouraged me to take action.
Do they read?
When you enter a new market the last thing you need to do is waste time and money finding the buyers. You need to be able to find them quickly, easily and with minimum effort.
Knowing if a market is reading is step 1.
So we go to the inevitable Google to find the answer.
And what do we find?
We find that there are over 61 MILLION sites in some way about back pain.
Interesting, and encouraging.
But, by itself, not enough.
Lots of terms generate high search results in Google. Although 61 million is big, some search terms bring back even more results.
The term Steve Jobs returns over 250 million hits. While it can be done, making money from this term is pretty hard to do.
So we dig a little deeper.
Now we need to know the answer to question 2, which is …
Are they talking?
Many people wrote to say that “Do they buy” should be the second question. While I respect everyone’s opinion, I remain committed to “Are they talking” as the second step for this reason.
If they are talking I can join the conversation.
And once I join the conversation some very good things can happen.
- I know they are real people and not robots (this is very important)
- I can learn more about their needs
- I can get to know them
- They can get to know me
- I can offer helpful information (more on this in another article)
- I can ask what products they like
- And more
I don’t do this on day 1 of course. Rushing into a forum and peppering members with questions (or sales pitches thinly veiled as surveys) is like meeting a pretty girl in a bar and asking her to marry you.
You might not like the answer you get.
Because I’m in business for the long haul, and because I want this niche to be super-profitable, I will spend an hour a day for a week getting the lay of the land.
A worthy investment, IF all five questions get a “yes” answer.
So how do we know they are talking?
There are many ways. One of the best is to find forums and visit them.
Here’s a search for back pain forums.
Now we’re cookin’!
Over 9 million results. But that number doesn’t matter as much.
What does matter is the huge number of forums about back pain. And how active they are.
We’ll save analyzing the activity for another article. This one is getting long already.
Think there might be some customers there? I guarantee you there are (and guarantee is a word I don’t use lightly) IF you don’t go rushing in with guns blazing.
On to question 3 …
Do they buy?
It will be hard to make money online from a market that is not buying online. So we need to know if they are buying.
What is the sure way to know if people are buying online?
Simple really — all we need to know is if people are selling online.
If multiple people are creating products for this niche then you can be sure that some of them (or many of them) are, in fact, selling products.
IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ THE NEXT STATEMENT THREE TIMES!
If they are selling products online there is no reason you can’t sell products to this niche as well. No reason at all.
So let’s go to our friends at Clickbank to see what’s happening on the product-selling front.
Notice something about my search at the Clickbank marketplace?
According to Clickbank there are a whopping 1764 products with the word “back pain” in their listing.
Even if there are not 1764 — even if there are only 10% of that — it means I have my choice of what to promote.
- I can choose price points.
- I can choose products based on how well their sales letter performs.
- I can look to see if they have a follow up system.
- And more.
And I like having choices.
But doing business with Clickbank can be tricky, so I want options.
Now I cruise on over to one of my favorite affiliate networks, ShareASale, to continue my research.
Rather than bore you with another long list, let’s zero in on one product.
The image above is from ShareASale and is for a good looking product that pays — wait for it — a huge 80% commission!
That is encouraging. With a bigger commission (even on a smaller sale) I have more options. I can afford to market more.
And I like having options.
Okay, now my heart is going pitter pat.
But can I reach this market? If not, I’m dead in the water.
So I need to know …
Is there advertising?
Now I need to know if there are ways to advertise to this market.
NOTE: I’m going to write an article soon about a GREAT tool that will let you know exactly who advertises on which sites, so stay tuned for that.
And tell your friends! 🙂
We can check all that later. For now, let’s look at good old Google.
Sure enough, back pain relief sellers are having a field day advertising on Google. Just look at those ads!
There are AdWords ads and sponsored ads too.
Very encouraging. Because if they can advertise there, I can too!
Notice the suggested searches under the yellow box?
It’s nice how Google helps me by suggesting even more keywords I can use to do my research! Gotta love that.
Okay, there are pay per click ads. For now, that’s enough to know. Later in the process I will search for more ad avenues.
I will also look back in time to see how long these pay per click ads have been running.
But for now I need to confirm one final piece of information.
Are there products you can sell?
I say I need to confirm this because I already know there are products I can sell as an affiliate.
So now I know that my five questions are all “yes” and it’s time for me to get to work!
In an upcoming article I’m going to share the steps I take to get ready to make money from this market.
For now, why not apply this process to a market in which you are interested?
If you do I believe you will find it encouraging.
While there are about a million tools you can buy to do market research (or it sometime seems like a million!) I believe that taking a Common Sense approach works well.
- It saves time.
- It saves money.
- It gives you immediate feedback.
- It lets you know where to focus your efforts first.
- It let’s you know all of this without spending one thin dime.
And those are beautiful things indeed!