This article explains how to select a profitable niche for your membership business.
Step 1 – Find a Fanatical Market
If you want your membership business to be profitable, you have to find a marketing with fanatics in it. Simply put, a fanatic is someone who’s willing to spend time and more importantly money on a topic they are interested in. Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s talk about how to find them…
- Here’s something you may not have considered – magazines! We’re so internet-based these days, it’s easy to forget about them. Because it’s becoming harder and harder to keep print periodicals profitable these days, if you see a magazine on the shelves, you know it’s making money. And that means there are lots of people interested in it. If they can make money in a print version, you can probably make money with a membership website.
- Pay attention throughout the day in your regular activities. See what people are talking about on the radio, TV, at parties, in public, etc. If people are talking about something, they probably want to know more about it. And this means there may be a market for information about it.
- Conventions, clubs, and organizations. Once again, if there are enough people interested in a topic to create a club or organization, then there are enough people to build a membership business around it. By the same token, if enough people are interested to hold a convention on a certain topic, you can definitely find enough people to build a membership business around that same topic.
- Think about the things that you are interested in. Chances are that if you like a certain topic or hobby, other people do, too. Making money is fun and it’s even more fun if you can do it in a niche you’re excited about.
- One simple and easy way to find out what’s hot is Google Trends. Google Trends tells you the most popular current search terms. These are the things people are actively searching for in Google. They’re searching because they want information. These are the niches you want to be in – lots of people actively searching means lots of opportunity.
Second – Analyze the “commerciality”
OK, so you’ve got a great idea for your niche membership business with lots of fanatics. But will they actually spend money? One way to figure this out is to see if other are making money in it.
OK, how do we figure that out?
- First go to Google and type in the name of your niche followed by “blog” and “forum”. If there are blogs and forums related to it, that’s a good sign. This lets you know there is a market (a group of people actively interested in the niche.)
- See if other people are creating and selling product in this niche by searching in Google Shopping, ebay and Amazon. If other people are creating and selling products in this niche, it means there is money to be made.
- Watch Google Adwords for a period of time and look for ads the run again and again. Adwords ads are expensive, so people only run them repeatedly if they are profitable. And to be profitable, they have to be selling products and making money.
Finally – Figure out your barrier to entry
OK, so you found a hot topic and you know other people are making money on it. Will you be able to get involved and do the same? How do you gauge the ease of entry?
- Figure out what kinds of products people are interested in. If it’s mostly physical products, coaching and live seminars, then it will be harder to break into this niche. Membership websites based on information are the easiest to start and maintain.
- Competition. How many other people are trying to sell to this market? You want to start in a market that’s not completely saturated with competitors.
- Compare the size of the market versus the number of competitors. Some competition is a good sign – just make sure the market is big enough for you to join in.
- Market readiness. Are people ready to buy? Are the receptive to marketing messages? Some niches are made up of people who require lots information and have a very long lead time, and some markets are filled with people who will spend lots of money right now.
Summing it all up
OK, now that you’ve figured out what niche you’re going to go into. Determined there is money to be made and that the competition is not too strong to break into it. You’re ready to start your membership business. If you’ve followed along with these steps you’re success in practically guaranteed. The only thing left to cover is exactly how to run your membership business…