Examining Niches: How Small is Too Small?

One question I keep getting is when doing your niche research, how small it to small of a niche?   How specific should you be?  This is a question that cannot be answered without examining specific niche examples, so instead I decided that I’ll do my best to go into greater detail on what I do when choosing a niche for a BANS or affiliate site.

In order to really tell how specific you should be with a niche, you’ll first need to identify the niche you want to target, then start with some keyword research.   Far and away the best choice I’ve found is Micro Niche Finder.  This tool has a small cost associated with it, but remember that it takes money to make money, right?   There are some free alternatives to do keyword niche research, but they won’t go into as much detail.  For more information, you can check out my review of Micro Niche Finder.

Once you’ve got your keyword research tool of choice available, you can start searching for the keywords you want to begin targeting.  Start large, but use the tool to find low competition sub-keywords, or keywords that are more specific.   The goal is to keep getting more and more specific until you find one that gets 1,000 or more searches a month and has less than 20,000 people competing for this keyword.   I’ve seen others strive for a slightly different benchmark, but that is what I personally have found seems to work best.  

One example might be someone deciding they want a cell phone site.   Start with the keyword cell phones, then try motorola cell phones, then if there is a lot of competition, try motorola cell phone chargers, motorola cell phone batteries, etc.  You just need to keep going until you find a large enough demand with a smaller amount of competition.   With a strong keyword-rich domain name, you could be in the top 3 search results in only a couple months with the proper backlinks.  

As you can see from the above example, your best bet is to go with the least specific niche you can get while still getting the low competition.   If there is competition, keep getting more and more specific.  

What is Keyword Sniping?

About a month ago I reviewed a tool called Micro Niche Finder, which is an SEO tool designed to help bloggers find out how much traffic and competition there are for smaller keywords. The idea is that you can easily rank highly in these keywords with only a minimal amount of work. So, once you’ve found your niche, how do you go about actually attacking that keyword?

Well, keyword sniping of course. This is a method I’ve used, and I know several others that have also found a great deal of success by taking over low traffic keywords. There are a few different ways to go about, but most people in the know keep fairly quiet about their techniques. For people interested, I was able to dig up a post written a little while ago by Courtney Tuttle giving a very well written introduction to keyword sniping. His post covers the general idea behind keyword sniping and explains how anyone can make money online doing this.

The nice thing about this method is that it requires very minimal maintenance. Set up your blog and a few posts, then sit back and let your site mature with age. One thing I would recommend that Courtney didn’t cover is to make a very AdSense friendly WordPress theme and use it as a template. That way each time you launch a new site, you can use that same theme and just plug in the specific information for the niche you are attacking.

Have any good keyword sniping stories to share?