I wrote this blog post to expand my advice about how to pick a topic or niche for your authority site. Here is that additional information.
The most important thing you can look for in a niche is a situation where demand is much greater than supply. It is basic economics really. When looking to start a business for yourself, it is ideal if you can find a need in the marketplace that is not being fulfilled. The same holds true for building authority blogs or any type of blog for that matter. Is there demand for what you are creating or not?
There is a story that sticks in my mind that I heard from a marketing expert, Gary Halbert, during a recorded interview. Gary told a story where he asked a group of people about opening a restaurant. He asked them “What one quality would you want to have in order to create a successful restaurant from scratch?” Some people said they would want to have things like “the best cook” or “the best food” or “the best location”. All of those things make sense, right?
They are good ideas, but there is an even better, more important factor. Gary told them that the one thing he would want would be a starving crowd. If you had a starving crowd, you could screw up some of those other things and still run a successful restaurant. But, without a starving crowd, you could have a hard time even if you were good at the other things.
I love that story. It is pure genius. It sticks in my mind. I constantly think about it whenever I encounter a new potential idea for a website or a micro-business. Where is the starving crowd?
- Gary Halbert says – “Check magazine racks for ideas” – If a magazine is being made about that topic, then there are lots of people who are really interested in that topic. And if the magazine survives then there must be enough advertising dollars to support its existence. You could launch an online version of that magazine that provides the exact same benefit to the exact same audience that the print magazine provides. Or better yet, maybe you can identify a more specific niche within that target audience that isn’t being served well enough right now.
- Pay attention to what your friends are complaining about. If a friend comes to you and says “I wish there was a place ……..” or “I wish there was a way ……..” or “I wish someone would invent …..” They are basically telling you that there is a need in the marketplace. Of course you would need to investigate that idea to see if there is any real validity to it. Maybe a solution to their problem already exists, but they just couldn’t find it. That could represent an opportunity too.
Real Life Example – (Let me preface this example by admitting that my first authority site was successful by accident. When I built it, I didn’t intend to make money with it. I discovered its money making ability by accident. So I cannot honestly take credit for intentionally making that site financially successful. ) The reason why my very first authority site was successful was because I built it to explain the answers to complicated questions that many people were already asking me about in my daily life. There was obviously demand for that information. I just didn’t realize how much demand there was on the internet for that specific information. It was much larger than I had anticipated.
- Visit public internet forums and see what kinds of things people are asking about or complaining about. You can find all kinds of ideas doing that. You can also join the forums and start your own threads where you ask people what their biggest problems are. Then make sure you investigate their answers farther to see if there is a real opportunity there.
- Pay attention to the things you search for on the internet. How many times do you have to dig and dig and dig to find the information you are looking for? It happens a lot. In fact, I don’t remember the actual numbers that Google stated, but I recall hearing a Google representative state that most information searches require many return visits to the search engine over a period of days, weeks and months before the search finally ends.This makes sense right?
Sometimes when you go online to research something it can take many, many return visits and bouncing around to different websites before you finally collect enough information and viewpoints to understand what you wanted to know about.I bet when you came across my authority site, you had already investigated a whole bunch of other places online and read a whole bunch of other articles about how other people are building websites, building blogs or making money. You read about other business models. You have researched them deeply. I bet you have read more than 100 articles related to this topic at various websites. You have visited Google numerous times seeking information related to this topic. Right?
You will know when you discovered a niche if you have to keep searching and searching again and again to find the answers you are seeking to some larger question you have. If you catch yourself doing that about a topic that really interests you, then you may have spotted an ideal opportunity for a niche authority site. Why not take the time to compile all that information you find and learn about that topic into one place so that the next person doesn’t have to search 100 different times to find it?
Your Action Plan For Today
- Visit a supermarket or bookstore where there is a large magazine rack to look through. Take a look at the various magazines out there and what audiences they cater to. It should spark some ideas.
- Start listening when other people are complaining, especially your friends. If they are complaining about something then they are experiencing pain about something. Is there an idea there?
- Visit public forums and pay attention to the questions people are asking and the things they are complaining about.
- Start paying attention to your own online search habits. Recognize when you have to keep searching again and again to find an answer to a question you have. If you have to keep researching the same thing again and again and again to find an answer, then other people are doing that too. This could be an opportunity for an authority site.