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Niche research tips #2 – What do you know?

When I decided that I was going to put together an information product, I thought deciding on which niche to be in was going to be easy. Once you’ve though about “What do you know…” then just do a bit of research, have a look at the competition, download a few products and put together an outline of the product structure and then flesh it out from there.

What could be simpler?!

How wrong I was! So this post outlines some niche research tips based on my recent experience.

I have to say that I was very surprised at how hard I found it.  The think is, that when it comes to the crunch, I want to put together something has a bit of integrity. There’s the crunch. I can’t just download a few other products and paraphrase them. It wouldn’t feel right.  So the question then becomes not so much “Which niche shall I be in?”  but “In what niche can I add value?”.

,,and the next thought that a lot of people have, including myself at this point is…”But I don’t know anything! I’m not an expert in anything at all!”.  Well, as it turns out there are a number of ways that you can approach this. But first things first, what is the criteria that I want my product to fulfil?

Niche product – personal criteria

Well, I decided that I want it to –

  • be unique content
  • be easy to consume (i.e. not a 300 page eBook!)
  • be about something I am genuinely interested in.
  • be something I can be rightly proud of.

What do you know?…

Hmm. So how do I identify that? Well I started out with a mind map. In the mind map I started to list my potential subjects by the following categories –

  • subjects that I an an expert in (this list was pretty short if I’m honest!)
  • subjects that I am interested in becoming an expert in (a much longer list)
  • subjects that I have some personal experience in
  • subjects that I know an expert in (surprising how many people you can think of when you get down to it)

This list contained a pretty random selection stuff, everything from eCommerce, model railways, depression, child behaviour coaching, running marathons, becoming a published author.

Once I had this list I started to look at the subjects that overlapped into the most categories. For instance I might be interested in a subject AND know an expert in it.  This helped me shorten the list a bit more.

I also did some brief research into the market strength of the potential niches (more of this in a later post. It’s not rocket science).

My final decision on which niche to follow

In the end decided that I wanted to put a product together which is about selling on eBay.  Why? Well, firstly let me state that I am not an expert in selling on eBay. But..

  • I have some experience in selling on eBay , as do many people nowadays.
  • I’ve sold some things far too cheaply and would like to know how to get a higher price things.
  • There are a lot of people who are interested in selling on eBay for a second or full time income (indeed it is often the first thing people think of when they consider trying to make some money online).
  • I work for a web design agency as a project manager. We don’t do a lot of eCommerce sites but we have done some and  so I’ve got a little experience in selling online.

So there we have it. It all sounds pretty simple now but I can tell you that that “simple” process took me over two months to work through! Not just in online research but in scribbling random notes and thoughts when travelling and just simply daydreaming when cycling or walking somewhere.

Then having decided on the eBay, what specific niche within the eBay market was I going to go for?

See my next post for how I whittled this down an fleshed out my idea for my information product.


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