In order to make sure your membership business is profitable, you have to select the right market. Here’s how.
Number 1 – Discover Niches with Fanatics
The number 1 thing you have to do is find fanatics if you want a profitable membership website. What’s a fanatic? It’s someone who is so excited about a certain topic that they will spend their time and money on information about it. Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s talk about how to find them…
- Look at magazine racks. This is an often overlooked, yet extremely simple way to find niches that people are interested in. In today’s economy, running a magazine is tougher than ever – some of the best ones are going out of business. So if it’s on the shelves, it’s making money, which means there is a big market interested in this topic. That doesn’t mean definitely that it will make a good membership business, but it’s a good starting point.
- 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. Likewise, if there are enough people to hold a convention, there are definitely enough people to fill your membership website.
- And of course there are all the things you have an interest in, too! If you’re interested in something, it’s highly likely others are, too. And, as an added bonus, it’s much more fun to build a business around things you’re interested in.
- Another fantastic way to discover what people are interest in is Google Trends. Google Trends tells you the most popular current search terms. The reason people are searching Google for info on these topics is because they are interested. And the fact that it’s made it into Google Trends tells you LOTS of people are interested. Hot topics that people are excited about make great niches for your membership website.
Next – Figure out if there’s money in it
Once you found a potential niche or topic to center your membership site around, you need to figure out if you can actually make any money in it. The quickest way to find out is to determine if others are profiting in your potential niche.
Here’s a punch list for figuring out if anyone’s making money in your niche:
- Are there blogs or forums in this niche? Take the name of your niche and search for “niche name blog” & “niche name forum” in Google to see if there is an active group of people talking about and interested in the niche. This tells you there are people who are actively interested in your niche.
- Search Amazon, Google shopping and eBay to see if people are creating and selling products in the niche. What you’re trying to figure out is if anyone is making money in this niche, and if people are selling products it means they are making money.
- Monitor Google Adwords to determine if people are running the same ads for weeks in a row. If they are, this means they’re making money on these ads – otherwise, they’d stop running them. Which means there is money to be made in your niche.
Last, but not least… How hard will it be to break into this niche?
Once you’ve found a niche and figured out that there is money to be made in, you need to determine if you can break into this niche. Here’s how to make this determination:
- Product types. What kind of products are being sold in the niche? You’re looking for a niche that sells info products. The easiest membership website to create and maintain are information membership sites.
- The next thing to look at is the competition. You don’t want to try to break into a saturated marketing, so figure out how many people are already selling in this niche.
- 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.
Putting it all together
At this point you’ve figured out what niche you’re going into. You found your fanatics, you know they spend money and you’re confident there’s room in the market for you. Now that you’ve prepared properly, you’re success is 99% guaranteed. How to actually run your membership website is the only thing left to talk about…
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