One of the biggest challenges most newbies to the world of passive income creation face when first starting out is choosing a profitable niche.
Most advice floating around the web is to start a website about something you’re passionate about and then try and find a way to make money off it. This is poor advice. If you’re passionate about a topic, then there’s a good chance there are thousands of other people who’re passionate about it as well, and if even 1% of those people either have enough money or know enough about online marketing to optimise their site, you’re going to struggle to beat them.
For you to find a topic that’s going to make you money, especially through Search Engine Optimisation, you need to find a niche that meets three criteria. It needs:
Criteria 1: Sufficient search volume
If you’re going to build a website that makes you money, it needs to be on a topic that people are searching for. You might be able to rank No.1 in the Google search results “How to remove your penis” but how many people are searching for that every month? How many people want to know how to remove their junk? Not enough to for you to make a living from it.
If no-one’s searching for a term, then you’re no-one’s going to come to your site, and if no-one comes to your site, you’re not going to make any money.
As a general rule of thumb, I target keywords with at a bare minimum of 1,000 searches per month as a target. Preferably more, but 1,000 as a minimum.
Criteria 2: Low competition
There are literally millions of different keywords with at least 1,000 searches per month, but not all of them are great keywords to target because of the level of competition you’re facing to rank for those keywords.
If you’re new to the world of online passive income creation, how do you think you’re going to go competing against Forbes and the Wall Street Journal for some business related keywords? How do you think you’re going to go competing against Apple for iPad related keywords? How do you think you’re going to go competing against IBM for Windows related keywords? Not very well.
They have millions of dollars to pour into online marketing efforts, and unless you can find a shortcut to beating industry professionals who have year and years of online experience doing exactly what you’re trying to do, you’re going to struggle.
When you’re choosing a niche, you need to make sure the level of competition you’re up against is beatable.
Criteria 3: Easy monetization
It’s great to find a niche with 1,000 searches per month and no competition, but if there’s no way to make money from it, then you’re not going to be living the magazine-worthy life anytime soon. To create a passive income stream that gives you the freedom to live anywhere, you need to find a niche that’s easily monetizable.
Think about it: if you were able to build and rank a website for some low-level celebrity, how would you make money from that? No-one’s going to want to advertise on your site, and there aren’t really products you could sell. Maybe you could get T-Shirts printed with their face on them or maybe even coffee mugs, but how many people would really buy them?
But what about if you were able to rank for keywords like Yoga Mats. There’s obviously a product you could sell and even if you didn’t want to manage selling a product, you could sell leads and advertising very simply and easily.
This is why the final criteria you need to meet when choosing a niche to target is that there needs to be an easy way to make money from it.
How to Find a 100 Hyper-Profitable Niche Ideas Every Day
Knowing what you need to do is very different to knowing how to do it. I know this because I struggled with this for years. I knew I needed to find a niche with sufficient search volume, low competition, that was easily monetizable, but I just couldn’t work out HOW to find one.
The best answers anyone could give me was “Think about all the things you search for and then check those out.” Turns out the level of competition for “What’s this weird rash in my crotch?” was too high, and then I was back to square 1. It wasn’t that I didn’t know how to assess competition or search volume (I’ll teach you both of these in a minute), I just didn’t have any idea of what niches I could target.
I searched and searched and searched and then after four years of searching; I finally found a super simple shortcut that gave me over 100 niche ideas EVERY DAY. And today, I’m giving it to you.
Step 1: Find a regional domain name auction website
The first step in the process is to find a regional (.ca or .uk or .it or .nz) domain name auction website. It needs to be regional, and it needs to be an auction website. You can’t just find a generic domain name registrar; you need to find a regional domain names auction website.
It needs to be an auction website because an auction website is where people go to sell domain names they think they can make money from. And typically, those domains names are ones that give you clues to hidden profitable niches.
And it needs to be a regional domain name auction website because there’s far less competition in regional domaining (buying and selling domain names), and so you’ll see far more domains names that give you clues as to profitable niches.
To find one, all you need to do is choose a country code (there’s a full list of them here) and Google ‘Domain name auction .xx’ (Replacing .xx with your chosen country code). I recommend starting with your own country as it’ll be in your native language and therefore, easier to navigate your way around the site, but you can choose any one you like.
From there, click on one of the search results until you find a domain name auction website that shows current domains for auction and past domains that have sold.
For example: I just Googled ‘Domain name auctions UK’ and found this site.
Step 2: Search for keyword-rich domain names
Once you’re on your regional domain name auction website, the next step is to search the list of domain names up for auction and find keyword-rich domain names with commercial potential.
A keyword-rich domain name is a domain name that contains keywords that someone might search for (e.g. emailmarketingsystems.us or uprightfridgefreezer.co.uk or jenniferlopezphotos.com). It’s important to look for these keyword-rich domain names as they’ll give you ideas of different niches that might have enough traffic and low enough competition for you to target. They’ll help you discover niches that other people have identified as having potential without having to think about it for yourself.
But, as I said before, you need to find niches that are easily monetizable, and that’s where the commercial potential comes in. When you’re looking for these keyword-rich domain names, make sure you could see an easy way to make money using the keyword.
For example: If you targetted ‘Upright Fridge Freezers’, you could sell advertising to big appliance websites, or you could even recommend various models and set up an affiliate marketing system to get paid every time someone purchases one.
But if you registered ‘Jennifer Lopez Photos’, how would you make money from that? What’s the commercial potential there? I guess you could make a photo book and try and sell that, but who’s going to buy it when the internet is filled with millions of photos?
This is why it’s important to find niches that have commercial potential.
So, go through the list of domain names up for auction, create a list of keyword-rich domain names, and write out a list of the keywords that people might be targeting.
Step 3: Check search volume and CPC
Once you have your list of potential keywords that might have commercial potential, the next step is to check how many people are searching for that keyword per month and then how much advertisers are paying to advertise on the search results for those keywords.
This is a simple step to take the guess-work out of making sure you’re targeting the right niche.
The site you’re going to do this on is the Google Adwords website. This website lets you check the search volume of particular keywords, both internationally and regionally, as well as the suggested amount you would need to pay to advertise on the search results for this keyword.
So, go to the Google Adwords keyword planner, create an account, and log in.
Once inside, enter the first keyword on your list into the search box, select your country (if your search term is regional specific), and click ‘Get Ideas’
The results will show a list of keyword groups which you can click on to further explore to find search volumes and advertising costs.
Here are the groups for ‘Upright Fridge Freezer’ limited to searches in the UK:
When you get your results, you want to find a group that has over 1,000 searches per month and a suggest advertising bid of over $1. This is the bare minimum you want to be able to make any money from the site.
As there are six just in the screen shot above, I’ll click on ‘Cheap Freezers’ and explore that a bit more.
There’s a clear winner here: ‘Cheap Fridge Freezers’. It has 12,100 searches per month (which is far more than 1,000) and $1.73 suggested advertising bid, meaning there’s enough advertising for that keyword to make it worth while.
Work through the list of keywords you generated from the keyword-rich domain names until you have a list of more than 20 niches. Yes, you need to do that many because as you’re about to see below, not all niches are suitable.
Yes, this will take time, but you’ll get better at it as you work through the process. You’ll start to be able to identify different topics that have high search volume without even checking their stats.
Step 4: Assess Competition
Once you’ve found a list of 20+ niches with over 1,000 searches per month and a suggested advertising bid of over $1, the next step is to assess the competition of those niches to see how easy it will be to outrank your competition and generate lots of traffic.
To do this, start by downloading and installing the Moz Toolbar for your browser. Here’s a link for Chrome: Moz Toolbar for Chrome
This FREE plugin will allow you to quickly and easily assess the level of competition you’re up against in the niches you’ve found. It does this by displaying two metrics for each page in the Google search results: Page Authority and Domain Authority.
Page Authority (PA) is a metric developed by Moz that assigns a numerical authority to a specific page on a website of between 1 – 100 (PA1 being the worst and PA100 being the best). If you want to read their description, you can read it in detail here, but the foundations are pretty simple. The higher the PA, the more authoritative the page is and the harder it is to outrank.
Domain Authority (DA) is similar to PA, in that it’s a scale between 1-100 used to rate authority, but this time, the number refers to the authority of the root domain (http://domain.com) rather than a page on that particular domain. Once again, a detailed breakdown is here, but the deal with DA is the same as PA: the higher it is, the harder it is to outrank the domain in the search engine results.
Knowing these two metrics for every page in the search results will help you assess the strength of the competition you’re up against in the search results and how hard it will be to outrank them.
To assess the strength of competition, install and activate the Moz toolbar plugin and Google the first keyword on your list that has over 1,000 searches per month and over $1 suggest bid.
You’ll notice that when the results appear, there’s a new bar underneath every search result that gives you more information on that domain; specifically, the page and domain authority.
The basic criteria I recommend for a newbie is that for you to be able to rank a website in that niche, the top 10 search results must meet the following criteria:
- No more than three domains with a DA50+
- No more than three pages with PA30+
- No more than one result for each domain name (i.e., no duplicates)
There’s a more complicated formula that involves assessing traffic, advertising spend, as well as competition and website type, but this is excessive for newbies. Just stick with the basics. If you’ve got more than three domains with DA50+, three pages with PA30+, or more than one result per domain name, file it in the ‘Too challenging, tackle later’ box and move on to the next one.
So, work through your entire list and assess the level of competition. Write down any niches you find that are viable and keep working through your list.
NOTE: Unfortunately, ‘Cheap Fridge Freezers’ has more six domains with DA50+ and five pages with PA30+ so it’s out of the question. I hope you have better luck!
Step 5: Lather, Rinse, Repeat
The great thing about this method is that every day, there’ll be a new list of keyword-rich domains for you to sort through so don’t stop when you have one list. Keep working through, from top to bottom, for at least a week, until you find a niche that’s just ripe for the picking.
In case you’re wondering, the most promising looking niche I’ve found gets over 40,000 searches per month, has a suggested bid of $20+, and has no sites ranking in for the top 10 search results with a DA of over 20.
And no, I’m not going to tell you what it is… 🙂
So get stuck in, keep working through your list, and find a niche to build your passive income stream in.