This is a big topic… so this is a long – long article. Stick it out to the end… even if you think you know everything about niche research. You might glean a tidbit or two. Ya never know till your read it all.
Before you can start to “sell” public domain content – you need to “have” public domain content. I believe that all the products we create should be related in some way.
You need to start your niche topic research on the right foot – before you go crazy searching for content on the “free archives”.
Let’s have a plan in place.
I’ve been doing the “research gig” for quite some time and I’ve got several different ways to look at things that you may or may not have thought about.
- You can go the “What are they looking for route”.
- You can go with “Really – Really Long-tail route”.
- You can go with “Your Passion” route.
- You can just find a topic and go – route
In most of the products you may have already purchased that teach this business model (or something similar) you will see the “teacher” recommending that you “Stick With” – fill in the blank.
*Stick with “how to” subjects
*Stick with “one topic”
*Stick with the popular topics:
- diet, weight loss, fitness
- health, natural remedies, herbal
- children’s books and comics
- old time radio, movies, audio
- vintage artwork, posters, images, clipart
- eating and cooking healthy
- Beauty and well being
- Sports – including golf, fishing, baseball
- Learning a language, instrument, vocation
- public speaking
- creativity, writing
- Spirituality, Mythology, Sacred Texts
I believe that we should do it all… of course, that get’s me into trouble at times.
You could research on eBay – Etsy – Amazon to see what others have created that is selling well. This is good practice… it helps to see that others have been successfully selling and also what “topics” might be ones to avoid. I use this tool just about every day to research ebay sellers.
On the other hand – I’m a “long-tail” kind of gal in some niches. I really love to dive into something that is obscure and just dominate that little tiny micro-niche.
I like the idea of figuring out “what they are NOT selling” that should be offered for sale – and see if it should be something I sell.
Okay… I don’t want to confuse you – I want to help you.
If you have NOT picked your first topic or niche to research for content yet… you need to pick something. You have to start somewhere.
Look around the room you are sitting in – or look at that long list of “topics” I created above.
The first thing I looked at was my desk lamp.
- Vintage Lamps (Images)
- Building A Lamp
- Fixing A Lamp
- Making A Lamp Out Of “X”
- Making A Lamp Shade
*** do you see how that worked?***
Look For Popularity and Keywords
I head over to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and search for “Lamp shade make”
Next I change to “lamp make”:
Expand the results:
WOW! How To Make A Lamp is pretty dog-gone popular!
Okay – you now know that anything related to “making a lamp” and “making a lamp shade” is a good niche for the search engines.
Is it a “good” niche idea? I can’t really answer that – without making promises I can’t live up to.
Personally… If making a product or two related to this “topic” would be worth my time and effort – I wouldn’t know if I didn’t try. As long as creating products is kept to a minimal amount of work… I would be up for the next step.
Does Someone Already Sell This Information?
I have a few things to say about this before we go looking on eBay.
I don’t think you should copy someone else and sell the same products. Why does that make sense? You are jumping into the arena of direct competition even before you have your business off the ground floor. Just seems silly to me.
I do think you should “Know Your Competition”. If you can create something BETTER and dominate the topic, niche, category – then you Should!
Now – it’s up to you to scope out the competition and see what they are up to – what they have sold in volume/dollars and decipher what they are selling as a product (what is included).
How Do You Like The Research So Far?
Do you like the figures you are seeing? Do you feel comfortable selling a product against this competition? Do you think you could make a better product – better sales page (ebay listing) -offer some bonus material – offer free shipping?
If you jump over to Amazon and Etsy – what products are selling on those sales channels?
If you think you “should” go on to the next step after you have done the research above (which actually will only take minutes after you get into the habit of a system) – what’s next?
BTW – If you don’t like a niche/topic – start over with “Look Around”.
Here is where you need to get really good at digging for treasure:
Dig For The Buried Treasure
You have a list of Google Keywords.
You have a list of content that you scoped out from the other sellers.
What you need now (probably – I’m not telling you that it’s an absolute must) – more keywords and more public domain content.
Keywords:(What other descriptive words were used in public domain content?)
- Light fixture
- Lighting fixture
- Lighting fixtures
You might also expand the search with keywords such as “home furnishings”.
Think about looking for images of lamps, magazine articles, the use of lamps in home decorating schemes, etc.
This Is The Good And The Bad Of Research
It never ends! You can get lost and loose hours of time going down a ton of rabbit holes of content.
You can also let this research take you into new niche ideas that might be much better than your original idea.
While researching in the “lamp” and “lighting” topic I can see that I could go into variety of different topics.
Some of the content had to do with “train lighting” – I could create a product about train car interiors.
I found content related to “automobile lighting” – this could lead to products for vintage car repair.
Much of the content I found was targeted towards “theater lighting”
You see… going down a few rabbit holes is not always a “bad thing”.
Focus On A Topic – That’s My Plan
I could hunt and gather for days/weeks on end if I don’t get focused.
Choosing a Topic – fairly broad – was important. ( I still think of a ton of new topics to research - so I’ve created an excel spreadsheet, to keep track of everything I think of, for now.)
- I choose a topic that is fairly competitive.
- I looked for modern day keywords.
- I researched Etsy, Amazon and eBay to see who the competition is and what their products contain.
- I started a file on my hard-drive that has several sub-folders – all of them related to the main topic.
- I went on the hunt (still hunting for more good stuff), and filling my folders up with .pdf versions of everything that I can find to download.
- I started notating “vintage keywords” that are related to the topic.
- I scoped out eBay and other “book” sources for public domain content that is not available on the free download sites.
At this point I’m not even thinking about what products I’m going to create. I’m not worried about creating CD/DVD – or comb-bound books – or digital download products.
I’m also not even thinking about graphics, product selling pages or POD services.
All I want you to concentrate on is getting at least one – if not a few – topics/niche files created on your computer filled with as much content as you can find. It doesn’t matter if the content is of good quality at this point.
Also – make sure you remember (notate in some fashion) where the content was found. If you downloaded it – make sure you can get back to the place you downloaded it from. This will be important in one of the future discussions.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments or need any help with this…
I’m here to help as much as I can,
p.s. No – I’m not planning to create a Lamp based product. I did this research for you – it’s up to you to decide if it’s a good niche.