Eight Ingenious (and Profitable) Niche Site Ideas

Finding an idea to run with for your new niche site can be a bit tricky especially when you’ve been taught time and time again just to load up a keyword research tool. Well, let’s end this single approach to niche creation right here and now because I’m about to drop on you eight, count ‘em, eight ingenious ways to find profitable niche site ideas.

I asked my readers the ways that they find niche website ideas, I (and the community) received a lot of great feedback on a variety of ways to develop these kinds of websites. In the background, I took notes and also wanted to create a great list of methods I (and others) use to develop our own ideas (along with monetization methods) for each of the sites.

This post is a collection of those ideas but on a deeper level; dig through each of these and try to apply them to your own niche website creation process:

Method 1: The “Hobby”

The “hobby” method to approaching niche site creation is one of my favorite because of two reasons:

  • You know that people need to buy some kind of item to get started
  • You can aim specifically for beginners (which is a very large market)

A hobby, generally, details the use of some kind of item: you’d need a basketball to start playing…basketball, you’d need bongos to start playing…bongos; you get my point.

Not only do you get the benefit of KNOWING that people need an item but you also have the perfect item to promote through eCommerce affiliate programs.

Additionally, aiming for beginner’s within the hobby niche lets you tap into a very, very large market since we know that the majority of people will at least start the hobby; this calls for simple content creation and a small learning curve for starting within the niche.

How I’d Approach It: I personally have a hobby website which targets beginner’s; it’s one of the largest earners which I display within my income reports.

Generally, I will write a blog post specifically tailored to answer questions beginner’s have within the niche. Being apart of the hobby, myself, has helped with crafting content because I too was once a beginner so it’s just simply calling up old questions I tried to find online.

There’s a few ways I currently monetize my hobby website:

  • A freebie eBook that details the items you need to get started (with affiliate links)
  • Product review posts (with affiliate links)
  • Tutorials which also point back to the product review pages

Depending on the hobby you choose, it can still be underground and ready to explode. If you’re a member of the niche than you can have a lot of fun creating your site, provide very valuable information and generate a decent online income.

Method 2: The “Flippa”

Have you heard of Flippa? It’s a website which allows website owners to sell their sites at auction but if you dig down a bit deeper, you’ll find many niche website ideas that are already quite profitable which you could replicate.

Taking a look through Flippa, playing around with the parameters for the auctions and looking at the websites directly, you’ll notice trends in these sites being sold – it’s a niche research goldmine.

Additionally, if you find a niche which you feel comfortable pursuing, you could always pickup a site being sold through Flippa which will give you the edge (since you wouldn’t need to do the initial blog setup and basic configuration).

How I’d Approach It: Although I haven’t bought through Flippa (yet), I will occasionally browse through the listings to see what kind of niche sites I may be in competition with in the near future.

If I know that a website is currently generating a revenue but looks like crap, I know that I have an edge because I have the resources to use great themes.

Additionally, I’ll take a look through Yahoo Site Explorer to see what kind of backlinks the already profitable website is generating – if I notice that it’s really lacking on the end of backlinks than I know, again, that I have an edge on the competition.

Even if I don’t pursue a niche which I find through Flippa, I do get to see many different monetization methods which I could use on my own blogs; it’s pure market research which can do wonders during niche site creation.

Method 3: The “Spy”

A tool that has become immensely valuable for creating Adsense ready niche sites is SpyFu. I’ve talked briefly about SpyFu (including video) about using it to find profitable niches; when you KNOW that a keyword is generating clicks and pays well, you know you’re on the right path.

Spying in on the competition with tools like SpyFu or SEOQuake can give you an inside glimpse at who you’re up against. Alex recently wrote a post about these two tools called: What Linkbuilders Aren’t Telling You. The idea is the same: You use both to dig through content and competition to see where you can find an edge and since you know Adsense will be paying well, you know you’re onto a profitable niche.

How I’d Approach It: I’ve done this one as well; for my website Laserjet4Toner.com, I took a look through how well Adsense was paying for keywords related to the printer and printing supplies.

Although I prefer Amazon, I could see that clicks for printing supplies generally pay well – about the same price for Amazon (sometimes more).

I created a rather simple website that I designed on my own (fun project), wrote a few articles and pushed it online. I haven’t touched it in over a year (pretty much) and it’s currently ranked on page 1 of Google. When I did run Adsense, it paid out pretty well because I took the time to research what advertisers were paying through SpyFu.

Method 4: The “Razors & Razor blades”

The “razors & razor blades” is the most powerful form of niche site creation because the concept goes like this:

A company sells razors for pennies on the dollar so they can get it into your hands but where they really make their money is through selling the razorblades.

See what I’m saying? There’s actually a lot of these markets out there. A lot of tech companies have been doing this recently and you see it all the time with cell phone provides (free phones) and more.

By going after a “razors & razor blades” market, you KNOW people will need to buy products in relation to the bigger item. You don’t have to worry about the one time sale because people HAVE to keep buying the supplies.

How I’d Approach It: Again, the website Laserjet4Toner that I created plays along these same lines. In order for you to print, you have to have toner for the machine – it’s not a question, you don’t pay than you don’t print.

In retrospect, however, I would have gone after a printer with a much higher demand – which can be researched through tools like SpyFu or going to an eCommerce website.

With that being said, there are still thousands upon thousands of untapped niches when you consider creating a micro niche sites about just a single product from the many, many supplies.

This niche site idea generation plays in a lot on the “hobby” method as well because if you KNOW people need an item to get started (or keep going) than you’re positioning yourself into the perfect opportunity to earn an online income. Simple, right?

Method 5: The “R&D”

The “R&D” is exactly as it sounds; you’re doing a lot of research and development in order to find profitable niches. This method is the most accepted and used of all the idea generation methods because it details using keyword research tools and gut feeling on finding those untapped niches.

The Google Keyword Tool is priceless for this operation but you can go with such tools like Market Samurai, Micro Niche Finder or a variety of other online tools like Wordtracker or Wordstream.

Plug in your main keyword and you’ll be generated a nice list of related keywords and stats to boot – take them and run with them!

How I’d Approach It: I generally shy away from paid tools because I like to go to the source which is always the Google keyword tool (most tools draw upon this anyway so why going through a loop, right?).

Once inside the keyword tool, I’ll begin plugging away items, keywords or phrases which I feel would become a great idea for a niche site.

Personally, I go a lot off of gut feeling and my own interests because if I care for a niche than I’ll be able to create content, promote products and hold conversations with the community without feeling unethical or alienated.

I’ve done this before with my website RezPls (now dead-ish), which was related to free mmorpg’s. I had been playing them quite frequently around that time and decided to create a site around it with a few friends.

Eventually it went under because it was three guys trying to cover 100’s of games but in the short stint that we had running the site, we did receive a lot of kickbacks from game companies and a ton of traffic from their promotions for our website.

Note: I’m currently writing a post specifically about this site because it contains a lot of great information which you could use for your own niche website creation.

Method 6: The “Marketplace”

Tapping into marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay or Clickbank can quickly lead you to a very profitable niche.

Knowing what people are buying and having a product to back you up will allow you to craft micro niche sites (or big ones) that tap right into the buying habits of those within the niche.

Dig through Amazon, eBay and other marketplaces to see what people enjoy buying but don’t get caught up on just the top sellers list. You can literally create a website around everything because, basically, if an eCommerce store is carrying it than you can bet that it’s selling.

How I’d Approach It: In a sense, most of the niche websites I’ve created have utilized this method not only for product promotion but for content creation as well.

Knowing what products people buy and even the related ones (usually displayed at the bottom of the page) lets you figure out exactly the buying process that people are getting into prior to the purchase; you can then craft your product review posts or entire articles around that same feeling.

Leveraging websites like Amazon that have poured millions into their sales process is pure genius.

Using the gravity within Clickbank tells you that it’s a great seller. eBay has spent millions honing its sales process as well and you can cater to those that may be a bit strapped for cash since you can display auctions within the network. There’s a lot of room to play around with when you tap into marketplaces for your niche website ideas.

Method 7: The “Trend”

Least we not forget (because everyone kept bringing it up when I asked about niche site ideas) is tapping into trends. Using trends for niche market research gives you two really awesome benefits:

  • You’re finding ideas for things that are building up
  • You can find if a niche is dying out (so you don’t waste your time)

There are plenty of trend tools available online but I’m sure that you’ll generally go to Google Trends for the most part. You can use other sites like Alexa which can give you daily trends (I’ve found a few niches there); if you do, read this post from Thu which details using Alexa for ideas.

How I’d Approach It: I tend to shy away from trends because they can be really hard to judge although there are some that you can always expect: holiday’s.

Recently, during Black Friday, I did a hard push to get people to check out the deals on Amazon – this lead to an additional $150 in affiliate income during the month because of the hype of the day.

You can tap into other holiday’s that happen every year (durr) so if there’s something up than you can be ready for it by creating content in advance and shifting focus in your marketing message – I plan to promote the hell out of Christmas and New Years deals.

In all, trends can be great if you can foresee what’s coming up but that’s extremely hard to do unless you’re on the inside (usually within a hobby or if you have a lot of great information). I tried to write a few posts around holiday’s but I missed it by just a liiiittle bit and nothing came about it so, in all, it’s a roll of the dice.

Method 8: The “Look Out”

The last niche website development method that I’d like to bring up is the easiest of them all because all that you’ll be doing is “looking out” for things that tickle your interest.

Every day, we see a variety of things that aren’t very apparent on the surface but can be literal goldmines if we tap into them.

It’s all basically gut feeling and drawing into what you already know about offline to online markets.

How I’d Approach It: I was driving home one day and noticed a truck which advertise a local storage facility. My immediate thought, instead of “get out of my way ya slow bastard!”, was “I wonder if I could create a niche site just about storage units?”. I dug through the idea bit deeper and landed on a few ways that I could approach this niche:

  • Create a website that talks about personal self storage such as sheds and space savers
  • Create a website for the same local storage company that’s highly optimized for local search
  • Create a website on my own and sell the company leads for their business

Each of these options are very viable but the one that I personally took note on was becoming, essentially, the “internet landlord”. Let’s face it: business owners don’t care about what their website looks like, they just want sales. Unfortunately, these business owners will snag a website (usually for very cheap – blah) and then complain that they’re not receiving traffic or leads.

Instead of creating a website directly for the company (which they’d probably want to stiff me on in terms of pricing) and the fact that once the job is done – it’s done – the “internet landlord” approach let’s you keep the domain and simply send the business leads. A lead may cost the storage business hundreds of dollars when you factor in the “lifetime” ROI of a customer.

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

As you can see, these ideas for niche website creation go a little bit beyond what you’re used to (generally keyword research).

When you think about it, there are literally millions of niches out there that are untapped because of how much you can drill down during the creation processes.

2012 Update: I highly recommend you take a look into Chris Guthrie’s Niche Profit Course which is an excellent guide to getting started with niche websites and turning them into profitable websites – this is the model I base the majority of my work off of.

Tapping into marketplaces would be a great way to start with these types of ideas and then move onto areas such as “razors & razor blades” or trending topics.

From there, you’ll get to the point where you can spot a trend – much like being able to pick out notes within music. It’s all about training your eyes and mind to find the opportunity in everything.

I hope you enjoyed these concepts and apply them for your own niche site creation process; if you have anything to add, please feel free to comment below or shoot me an email.

Good luck!

78 Responses to “Eight Ingenious (and Profitable) Niche Site Ideas”

  1. December 15, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    Murray,

    Fantastic post! Finding a niche was something that was really challenging for me when I first started marketing online a few months ago. Since then I learned some good ideas, and your post has given me even more! I’ve shared this post on my facebook page (http://goo.gl/OD4AC) and would love it if you would check out the latest post on my Online Income Lab blog. In the post, I describe at length the exact steps that I took to launch a niche site and have it makes its first sale within 30 days.

    Cheers,
    Trent

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 12:49 am #

      Hi Trent – congrats on being able to get your niche website up and running so quickly especially in such a relatively short amount of time of starting “this whole thing” of online marketing; it’s always the first step that’s the hardest (whey haven’t you heard that haha) but the best part is that your site will ALWAYS be there from here on out as long as you pay for the hosting.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and hope you found a few ideas you can begin working with immediately; I shared quite a few of my own sites and methods so take them as you will and try to apply them to your own businesses :) Thanks also for sharing the post on FB – this one really looks to be a home-run in terms of value (at least I hope it did ha!)

  2. Thomas Sinfield
    December 15, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Great overview Murray! I am very much the R&D guy – I want to know the figures before I enter a market. But sometimes I will jump in with the marketplace method.

    That being said, I think usually it ends up being a combination of the majority of most of these methods in the end.

    I tend to steer clear of trends, because I am looking to create long term passive income and I don’t want to set up a site and spend ages working on comments and backlinks for the fad to end in a year and the site to be dead – but I know a lot of people make quick money using this method.

    • Keith
      December 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

      One thing trends can also tell you is if a niche is on the rise or fall you are looking into. Long term gradual drops in search trends would indicate to me that that niche is falling, while long term gradual increases indicates a strong niche in the searches.

      • December 15, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

        You are right there Keith. I really should pay a bit more attention to trends :)

        Btw, nice work on the $15-25CPC niche. Have you had any of those clicks yet?

        • Murray Lunn
          December 16, 2010 at 1:48 am #

          I’ll try to pry the information out of him when we meet up Thomas – maybe create a tandem post and draw out that information if Keith doesn’t want to reveal it :P

      • Murray Lunn
        December 16, 2010 at 12:57 am #

        Yeah Keith, you can see it in Google Keyword Tools as well with the one column; when you see the gradual rise you know that interest keeps building and building and probably won’t take a dramatic drop in a few months since the lead up has been steady.

        There are a few tools that are really robust in terms of trendspotting which will spider the hell out of the web and social networks to see what people are talking about – much like Google Trends – but extremely focused on the profitability side. I can’t remember then name of the one I used but it was pretty cool because it also combined aspects of Market Samurai where you could research your competition within the niche too.

        Additionally, if you can combine trends with hobbies, you’re really nailing it! I’ve been thinking of creating something around Steampunk because the interest within it is still rising and I doubt that it’s really going to take a plunge in the next few years – there’s a lot of open websites right now for a number of items and tutorials; just gotta swoop in and take them :)

        Was there any niches that you’ve worked on that went after trends (or any of the other methods)?

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 12:53 am #

      You’ve been killin’ it in niche site creation Thomas so I’m really happy that you could find value in this post since I would assume that you’ve tried just about everything so far :)

      I agree, chasing trends can be a real pain in the ass because you work so hard just for that one or two months that a trend catches on and then it just dies out. However, if the trend ever comes back you can see the ride again – that’s generally how humans are in terms of what’s going on in the world.

      I’m glad you brought up that you use a combination of them all because one thing that I may not have conveyed was that you don’t have to stick to just one of these methods at a time. Combining them really adds a lot to the R&D phase of building your niche site; the more information you can go into it with, the better you’ll come out on top.

      Been keeping up with your niche site creation; curious: are there any methods, tools or approaches that I may have missed in this post that you’d like to share?

  3. December 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    Hey Murray, saw this come across my radar about 2 or 3am but was too tired to read it then.

    I wrote a post to cover the 9th idea (wings and beer!) to discover profitable niches this morning. (true story)

    I really prefer to find most of my niches through finding needs/desires and trying to fill them. I also use research and development to identify niches (like the one I found that has $15-$25CPC rates on adsense).

    Sometimes though it just takes a great idea and a few tweets to discover something new and exciting (like the project we are working on together ;-)

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 1:01 am #

      Gaaaaaah! I can’t believe I’ve forgot that one Keith so thank you for touching on this one :P . In fact, if you remember, I actually landed a few clients while going out drinking; this means we definitely need to hit up the bars and kick around some ideas while you’re down here – the project we got going on is really great but I think if we combine our minds we can really do a one up on it all!

      That’s pretty awesome that you’ve landed a niche with such high CPC – have you done research into how many clicks the ads generally get each day? I think you can see that through SpyFu which is really helpful because, as you probably know, you could have ads that would be $50 a click but they only get a few each day – better to go after those lower hanging fruit that gets a TON! (Heading over to read the post now so I’m sure you answered all these comments haha).

      In the meantime, do you have any specific approach to the niche? I assume research and getting content up but do you plan anything different now that you’re stepping back a bit from HBT and have a ton of additional time?

  4. Patricia@lavenderuses
    December 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    Hi Murray

    Some great ideas you have presented to us. I am not building other sites….yet. But collecting a lot of information when I eventually do diversify. This information is really helpful. Amazon and Clickbank are the two I am interested in. Thanks for sharing Murray. Much appreciated.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 1:12 am #

      Hey Patricia – if you think about it, you’re really primed and ready to create some amazing side websites; you have all the knowledge of building a great community, interacting, commenting, writing posts and monetizing areas of it so I’m sure you’ll be able to tackle really anything with grace.

      I would say, just from experience, that it may be a bit easier to start with Amazon because there is just soo much competition with clickbank products that it can be downright discouraging.

      Just the idea of the lavender site shows that you really can find a great niche; just transport those same ideas into your future projects and knock it down one by one :)

      In fact, I personally would love to hear more about what you’re doing behind the scenes with Etsy and your meetups – that goes beyond just blogging that always holds my interest (maybe a future post? :P )

  5. Matthew Needham
    December 15, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Murray, it never ceases to amaze me the quality of your posts. This is absolutely great advice.

    Just out of interest though, printer cartridges everyone and his dog supplies, including Amazon itself – how can you rank well and generate passive income for that?

    Thanks, Matthew

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 1:22 am #

      Well, I was going to dig into this in a future post but I’ll give ya a bit of teaser at the moment.

      Most of the websites that go after cartridges and (sometimes) dog supplies are actually quite crap at building backlinks and optimizing their pages. Most online stores that sell these items don’t go beyond just listing the basic information provided by manufacturers so that’s where you can use your blogging skills to swoop in and snag those keywords they’re not going after.

      Plus, when you think about it, there are many single items (or sets) that literally run people around $1000 to buy all four cartridge, a single sale every few days could quickly add up to be a great source of online income without having to drive a TON of traffic to the niche site – just work on converting people, really.

      Dog food may be a bit harder because you’d need to provide a lot of information around other areas; most people that are buying dog food have habits and general places they buy from but there is always a crack in the market that lets you slip in :P sneaky sneaky.

      I’ll talk about this more in the future but in the meantime, thanks for the great words about the post – I originally was going to break it up into smaller posts but then I said, ya know what? Let’s just make this one epic as hell!

  6. December 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Hi Murray, I’m visiting via Patricia’s tweet. I love seeing collections of niche brainstorming ideas, because there’s always something new to learn. This time, the lesson is Flippa. What a cool idea for researching already-profitable niches!

    My own method is Razors and Razor blades. I followed the trend of other software makers over the years and I do “get” that folks will come back to replenish whatever it is that’s keeping the “free” software fresh. Now, if I can just finish the software! LOL

    Thanks for sharing these ideas!

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 1:27 am #

      Mitchell, I’m really glad that you found a lot of value out of the Flippa section of it. It’s really great because sometimes, if you take the time, you can dig down even further by finding the businesses that create these niche websites and see what else they have to offer that isn’t listed on Flippa – you can literally peer into a TON of profitable niches because if you know people are providing a service to create these niche websites than there are people willing to buy them and then promote them.

      The fact that you get to see what people make with their websites, visit the sites to take a look at what they’re promoting and their copy is absolutely priceless. I’m not saying you should rip them off but it’s the perfect time to start a swipe file so you can draw upon the ideas and one-up them to take the spot and begin earning money with the same niche!

      As for your software, I hope you can get it up and running soon because you say that you’ve already got people coming back time and time again; that’s just a niche ready to explode in profitability; it all takes time but this is also the perfect moment to begin doing that additional research from your community so when it does go live, you’ll be able to answer all the questions people ahve and hit them right where they have a need. That’s some powerful leverage if you ask me :)

  7. December 15, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Wow Murlu…what a kick-ass post! You’ve really some some great research on this and I appreciate you sharing it.

    Flippa is great. I haven’t ventured into flipping sites although I’ve contemplated it as creating sites comes fairly easy to me.

    As for finding niches in the marketplace…very good idea. These site (including itunes) have a wealth of information. Just go to itunes and check out what podcasts people are listing to and you can definitely find some great niches.

    Thanks again. Take care. :-)

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 1:33 am #

      Michele, thanks a ton for sharing the idea of doing sites around podcasts. I know exactly what you mean because sometimes I’ll hear an interview along the same lines of what I know but haven’t created content around and it just sticks with me – if someone else is doing well within that niche and I already know it than I could easily enter the market – the key is to find your own unique angle.

      I’m glad you found some value out of the Flippa part; wasn’t quite sure how well that one was going to go over but it seems that it’s one of the favorites so far. Besides just finding those niche website ideas, you can, like you said, go back and sell the site right where you learned about it in the first time – you already know that people are buying it so when you feel like you’re “over” the site, you can bow out gracefully without letting it die.

      Have you been working on any niche sites recently?

  8. Michele Welch
    December 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    Oh p.s. Your articles was mentioned in the bloggers lounge. Thought you should know you are articles are being talked about…always a good sign. ;-)

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 1:34 am #

      Is the blogger’s lounge the same as the one created by Nick of SiteSketch101? I think I heard about it a while back but haven’t had the time to check it out – I hope everyone is saying nice things :)

  9. Andreas
    December 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    If I am in need of some new ideas for content I’ll check out Alltop which gives me a nice overview of currently trending topics in respective niches on the internet.

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 1:36 am #

      Oooooh, that’s a great one Andreas.

      I haven’t been on Alltop for some time but yeah, you get a lot of the benefit of trending topics and then when you dig through the post you can see what questions people are asking about it all which can give you fuel for content creation on your own. That’s smart, that’s great thinking right there Andreas.

  10. SmartAboutThings
    December 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    Wow, I must admit – this is the first post I have read from header to footer :)

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 1:37 am #

      Niiiiiice :)

      I know what you mean man, even though you have the best intention to read a post, you generally end up skimming through stuff but I was hoping that I created it in a casual tone so that it can keep people reading – in fact, it’s one of the few posts that I enjoy reading over – the examples probably helped too; thanks for the comment, I’ll have to do even better next time :)

  11. December 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    Great post Murray.

    These are awesome ways to find niches. Actually i like the flippa one. I never thought of using flippa to find niche site ideas. Great work murray.

    Thanks for sharing! Retweeted.

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 1:39 am #

      Glad you enjoyed it Devesh

      When you combine them all together you can get some great leverage over a niche.

      For example:

      Start off by going to Flippa to see what niche websites are already valuable, what content they have and the methods they monetize. Then, start digging through marketplaces to find products that you could promote that the site is failing to capture and finally, pay close attention to trends so you can create content that immediately pulls people in – you just need to combine your existing blogging skills along with these idea generation techniques and boom, you’ve got yourself a bad-ass niche site.

  12. Adam Paudyal
    December 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    Murray,

    You are absolutely right! The first thing that always comes up with niche website is keyword research. And this may not always the best approach to niche site creation. The ideas you and others have presented here are very helpful. Razor and razor blade method – Man, Love the way you termed it.

    Anyways, Awesome post. Rtd and bookmarked for future reference.

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 1:51 am #

      Glad you enjoyed it Adam – my plan, from now on, is to try to always deliver posts like these even if it takes longer than normal to push out a post – this gives me plenty of time to research and implement what I’m talking about and really give a great, unique angle to it all.

      If you think about it – this post is like a year in the making because of the niche sites I talked about that I’ve worked on – they’ve been running for a bit of time now and it was only recently that it all came together so maybe, in all, the best posts just seem to spring up instead of being forced.

      There are so many razors and razor blade markets out there; you could make a killing in them if you tap into just a portion of the market. For example, the ink industry is a multi-billion dollar industry – just tapping into a fraction of a percent would be thousands upon thousands of dollars. When you think in that aspect, your really begin to see that the idea of creating a BIG niche site isn’t all that important – it’s all about catering to that very small group because the rest will fall into place.

      Thanks for your support, as always, and hope to see you back around soon Adam!

      • Adam Paudyal
        December 20, 2010 at 5:01 am #

        Yup; it is not about the big niche sites but catering the needs of a small group of people. This is the concept one really needs to keep in mind. There are hundreds and thousands of niche that are ready to be tapped and more are being formed everyday. It really boils down to experimenting with different niches and trying various monetization methods to see how they fare out.

        Anyways, awesome post. Sure seems like this post is a year in the making.

        Happy holidays man!

        • Murray Lunn
          December 20, 2010 at 6:48 am #

          Touching back on the idea of the niche mmo site, Adam, it worked so well because it was basically a TON of people that wanted an outlet for their passion but there wasn’t a site for it yet – if you can become that source than you instantly get that authority status.

          Like you said, there’s a ton of niches out there and even more each day with the invention of new products and new ways of thinking – just tap into it and stay on the edge of information.

          Happy Holiday’s to you too man!

  13. December 16, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    Wow, Murray, I like the depth you’ve gone into here. Lots of good information. Always keeping your eyes and mind open to possibilities and then taking action makes for the successful marketer.

    I think #1, The Hobby, is my favorite. Hobbyists are raving fans, which can mean lots of sales if you’re positioned right!

    Great post.

    Peggy

    • Murray Lunn
      December 16, 2010 at 1:54 am #

      Exactly Peggy

      Just thinking of your own site for example, you do a lot of writing and I’ve found that people that enjoy writing – - – REALLY ENJOY WRITING. (sorry for caps haha). If you could find that little niche where you could tie into your skills around it where there are these hobby writers than you’ve got yourself a great market to tackle.

      Additionally, basically everyone has a hobby of some kind and because you’re ingrained within the community, you know what people want to hear, where to find them and what content to deliver that will really make you stand out. It’s all so smart but greatly overlooked during the niche creation process.

      • December 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

        Lol! I’m feeling the ALL CAPS. ;)
        And how or what would you market to the hobbyist writers?

        Peggy

        • Murray Lunn
          December 17, 2010 at 1:15 am #

          I’d think that local workshops would be pretty great which you could then record on camera, turn it into your own video infoproduct and begin offering it online :) Transcribe it into a book and boom, another product or use that as part of the bonus for people attending the workshops. Finally, rip the audio and turn them into podcasts :)

          Never forget that there’s a TON of people that are in the offline world that want to get online – with your years of knowledge in writing, proof to back it up and success, you’ve got yourself authority. I’m sure if you did small workshops related to showing people what you did within your area, there will be plenty that jump on board, ya know?

          Another idea would be to do fun projects that are more networking events that could create potential clients. For example, you could teach how to setup blogs for those hobbyist writers that may not have them yet. You could hold an ‘intesive’ to get people to finally start writing that novel they’ve always wanted to complete – ya know?

          There’s millions of ideas out there, you’ve got the skills already there to take it to the next level.

          • Peggy Baron
            December 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

            Great ideas Murray!
            I especially like the one about showing writers how to set up blogs. Another thought is to show them how to get their own physical book published via Amazon’s Createspace.

            Thanks,
            Peggy

            • Murray Lunn
              December 20, 2010 at 6:00 am #

              See, that’s the perfect angle there Peggy – you could also push people toward Lulu that has on-demand printing as well. As far as Amazon, you could show them how to release a Kindle version too! There’s a lot of opportunity out there which I’m sure you could catch on and pass that knowledge onto other writer’s.

  14. December 16, 2010 at 3:37 am #

    Nicely done, man!

    I really like how you took all the info from the comments in that post and turned into a succinct, easy-to-digest post. Well played, my friend. Well played.

    I myself am a fan of the hobby method. I’ve dicked around in niches that I’m not passionate about and have found that it’s just not worth it for me. For me, the point of all of this is much more on the lifestyle design side of things rather than the make a bunch of money side of things. I want to design the kind of lifestyle I want, and frankly, I don’t want to have to mess with building a site about some obscure digital camera just because it could make me some money.

    Again, awesome post, with some awesome tips here.

    • Murray Lunn
      December 17, 2010 at 1:01 am #

      That’s what I personally enjoy about the hobby approach Tristan, we seem to be on the same lines. It’s much more, what hobbies can I talk about because I LOVE doing them instead of just – how can I make money off hobbies that people like.

      Another great thing about it all is that if you just have an interest at the time of looking into the hobby, creating a blog can be a great way to just jump right in and stick with it; you can write about it as you learn about the hobby which hits home with people that are right there with you at that moment in time.

      Because we’re bloggers and understand how to chase after an interest, create great content and potentially earn enough money to sustain our hobbies, it becomes the ultimate lifestyle design because even if we don’t turn it into a full-time thing, we’re still doing what we love and that’s hard for a lot of people to say, ya know?

  15. December 16, 2010 at 3:45 am #

    Murlu,

    Great post, man. You’re really amassing some info, dood.

    I like the flippa idea best. We can all build web sites, we need ideas. Most of the flippa sites I have seen are little more than the idea, very poorly executed on a website and slapped up for sale.

    Find a good idea up there and do the site, SEO, traffic generation, etc., right, and maybe it can work.

    Awesome.

    • Murray Lunn
      December 17, 2010 at 1:04 am #

      Yeah Rob, a lot of it is great theory when you’re digging through Flippa but you’ve nailed where people are dropping the ball – instead of just going after the create and sell area of it, if you know what you’re doing you can apply those skills to turn that into a full niche site that generates some additional income :)

      That’s why knowledge is so powerful here – if you know how to apply the skills, you can research the niche and just own it because they’ve done a lot of the work for you – that’s sneaky awesome!

  16. TimB
    December 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Murray, I love this post man!

    I’ve been dabbling in Niche site creation for about 9 months now with no real success. I’m going to take a while to really go through this in details and formulate some better plans.

    My big downfall has been lack of research at the outset so I spend time registering domains and setting up a sites etc then seeing no real traffic. The sites I have that are attracting a little traffic are CB affiliates and are not really making any sales yet.

    I’m looking at pretty much scrapping 2010′s efforts and starting afresh in 2011 and the info in this post looks like it could help a lot.

    Cheers, Tim

    • Murray Lunn
      December 17, 2010 at 1:10 am #

      That’s the most frustrating thing Tim; I personally don’t like promoting Clickbank because the best products are generally really, really saturated and the rest are all pretty crap most of the time so you kind of corner yourself.

      That’s one of the reasons why I like Amazon and physical product promotion so much because there are always quality products and its much easier to convince someone to buy a physical product than an infoproduct – let’s face it, it’s generally technical people that buy infoproducts but EVERYONE understands physical products.

      If you try out a few of these ideas or generate your own, be sure to share a few of your thoughts :) I’m sure the community would love to hear a few additional approaches.

  17. December 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    Yo Murray,

    Great info my man,

    Theres a lot going on here, I will have to take my time reread and digest what youve shared.

    Cheers bro.

    bLAZE yOUR tRAIL

    • Murray Lunn
      December 17, 2010 at 1:16 am #

      It did come in at 2,700 or so words Ryan so I don’t blame ya :P – maybe just dig at them one at a time, maybe do a bit of research as you’re learning them and picking up notes and then move onto the next – each have proven to be profitable so I can honestly say that they live up to their reason for being in the list :)

  18. Steve@Lifestyle Design
    December 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Kick ass Niche site post Murray.

    I think you hit on just about every good post and made some cool ass names for them.

    This is the way all articles should be!

    Even I KNOW about niche markets I feel like I have to come back later and reread this anyway. Really good stuff.

    I am sad that I cannot find some small area to disagree with, because it does not leave me a lot to talk about.

    • Murray Lunn
      December 17, 2010 at 1:18 am #

      Glad you enjoyed it Steve – I’m sure you could pick apart my English if you wanted so you can always dig that up if you want haha.

      I didn’t expect to really wow ya on this one because I know that you know as well :P – but it’s great to see that you did find value in it and hope that you could apply some to the sites that you have going on that may have slipped your mind.

      The goal form now on is to try to one-up ya Steve – think of it like friendly blogging challenge something I don’t know – we challenge each other to continually deliver great posts and the community wins :)

  19. December 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    Another great post. I’m still waiting to read a bad one so I can point it out to you.

    I’ve read about some of the other methods before…but Flippa is a new one for me. I’ve been to the site before just to browse around but have never had even a glimmer of a thought to use it as a niche research tool.

    Great idea!

    • Murray Lunn
      December 17, 2010 at 1:20 am #

      Glad you enjoyed it Eugene – I’ll try my best to write a bad post next time so I can get an earful but it’ll be a bit hard because having great comments and feedback from you (and others) really keeps me going at pushing each new post past the last.

  20. December 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    Excellent post as always Murlu. I’m trying to opn new niche blogs and think some of these ideas might be very helpful. Especially method three. :)

    • Murray Lunn
      December 17, 2010 at 1:21 am #

      Hey Dean, it seems like a lot of us are getting into niche blogging these days and now’s the perfect time to do it because there are just soooo many people online and many, many more that are coming online each day; starting now will put you in the perfect position to make your own lifestyle so don’t wait until the “next big idea” work with what you got and make it awesome as hell!

  21. December 17, 2010 at 3:23 am #

    Hello Murlu,

    Well-written post as expected. Creating a niche is vital in blogging so these methods are really useful and a great help for every blogger.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Ana@Traffic Generation Cafe

    • Murray Lunn
      December 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

      Thanks for your comment Ana; you’re right, these don’t have to apply to just niche site creation (with the intent to create online income) but can be applied to any blog which you plan to start even just to build authority – these allow you to see if there is that additional potential to eventually earn a profit from your hard work.

  22. Bryan
    December 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    Hey Murlu,

    A very well researched post! I must say that I learn a few things here. One is Flippa and the other learning point is the razor and razor blade example. I’ve actually had a look at some of the websites on sale at Flippa and I can’t put my head around the earnings for some of these websites. They have far lower rankings but they are making much more than I do. It is also an eye opener what kind of sites are profitable and which aren’t. Another learning point is the kind of sites that people are looking for.

    Two Thumbs Up Mate!

    • Murray Lunn
      December 20, 2010 at 6:03 am #

      That’s a great observation Bryan, it’s often the sites that are the ugliest and in niche’s that you don’t think about (often) that turn out to be the true money makers. You’ll always have niches that are common (health, fitness, pets) but you get to see a ton of them on Flippa that may have slipped your mind (which you could totally do). It also makes you realize that traffic doesn’t necessarily mean profits – look deep at your conversions and see if you can convert your current traffic into customers instead of chasing new people.

  23. John McNally
    December 17, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Phew! That was a comprehensive post Murray, I feel like I don’t need to read anything else on Niches, I’ve found the mother lode. 8)

    I like the ‘Razors and Razor Blades’ concept, and shall keep alert to the possibilities. However I’m going with the Hobby route, this fits in with my blogging purpose: ‘pleasure and profit’. I’ve managed the pleasure part OK, now I’m waiting for the profit to appear. ;-)

    John

    • Murray Lunn
      December 20, 2010 at 6:20 am #

      It generally comes along with the passion John; it’s a lot about training your mind to think of what people wanted when you first began your hobby – you were once a beginner too and those same thoughts that you had about how to start are the same that others have as well – if you can offer a product that answers those questions than you’ll be positioning yourself to generate revenue :)

  24. December 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    This has to be one of the best posts I have read on the subject. Sorry tree, but I am printing this one out.
    I knew about some of these like Flippa and making hobby sites but some of the other ideas never occurred to me.
    Will look into these tools and ideas more!

    • Murray Lunn
      December 20, 2010 at 6:21 am #

      This time, I agree with printing :) – sorry tree but at least you’re going toward a great purpose! Thanks for the kind words Brankica; I’m glad you thoroughly enjoyed the post and I promise I’ll continue to push out others with this same type of quality.

  25. December 17, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    Thanks for this Murray. I have to admit, when I first started blogging I had no idea that I should narrow myself to a niche. I thought blogging about “whatever came to mind” would just attract EVERYONE. Now I know – you can’t aim to please everyone – you need to narrow your problems and solutions in a way that makes sense to a particular audience.

    • Murray Lunn
      December 20, 2010 at 6:23 am #

      Yeah Steven, you need to get a little focused in your blogging but don’t corner yourself either. I wouldn’t suggest trying to write about everything that popped into your head but at the same time, I think it’s great to go off on a tangent when you feel the urge to write about it – it’s all about balance between your niche topic and ones that you want to talk about in your own voice; that’s a powerful way to build community and profit.

  26. Fran Aslam@Kw writer
    December 17, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    Hi Murray:

    Sounds like you are on top of things with theories and comments both. You have provided a great insight about product creation. Once I was trying to digest all of it, I looked down and comment site was even same attention grabbing. So many comments, so much discussion and the best part all agree with the product creation. Once product is ready,
    work with site creation and then as Ana said in her blog post, conversion, have to be taken of. That is the main purpose of all the work

    Great job Murray.

    Have a great week end
    fran A
    fran A

    • Murray Lunn
      December 20, 2010 at 6:25 am #

      Yup Fran, it’s a process.

      We all have blogging and site creation pretty much down pat. Link building and traffic generation: no problem. It really all just comes down to choosing the right niche to go after and figuring out what kind of funnel you want to create to point people into becoming community members or convert them into paying customers. I’ll probably be talking about those specifics more in the future but the niche selection part is the most crucial since it sets everything else up.

  27. Fernando
    December 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m experimenting right now, trying to flip a site. Got some hot domains, wish me luck!
    Nice to meet you, hope to see you around :)

    • Murray Lunn
      December 20, 2010 at 6:26 am #

      Best of luck Fernando; I’ve got a few sites myself that I wouldn’t mind flipping in the future so if you get any experience and results with it – be sure to write about it and let us know :)

  28. Daniel Sharkov
    December 19, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Hey Murray,

    Some great advices here man! I especially liked the 3rd and the 4th method. Had a look on that SpyFu thing and the concept is definitely interesting. Finding some really profitable keywords and niche site ideas is undoubtedly within the tool’s reach. Knowing what the competition’s doing and how they are earning, is probably the easiest way for you to start making those sales as well. The one with the razor blades is definitely valid. Going for a market that sales supplies rather than a whole product seems like a great way to make continuous sales. Never thought about that and it is a golden idea. Useful information as always! Keep it going mate! :)

    • Murray Lunn
      December 20, 2010 at 6:43 am #

      Glad you’ve enjoyed them Daniel.

      Just off of my head right now I thought of a niche that may be worth pursuing: tires. You gotta have them in order to drive your car but you can also do bike tires, golf cart tires, etc etc. Finding suppliers for these are pretty easy as well so if you ever want to make your own ecommerce site than you’d already have the traffic. There’s just sooooo much opportunity out there and since you (and others) have the skills to put together the blogs, you’re setting yourself for some major profits.

  29. December 20, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    Wow, what an insanely awesome article. Seriously. I’ve done the hobby thing, the flippa thing, the marketplace, and the lookout… but I really like your #4 point, the razor blade thing. The wheels in my brain are now spinnin’. Time to go look into this some more. Thanks a lot for such an informative article!

    • Murray Lunn
      December 20, 2010 at 6:46 am #

      Run with it Elise – as a female, I bet there’s something that may be right under your nose that fits right into that razors and razor blades market. Ready? Make-up! Think about it: you don’t find many women that would go a day without their make-up which really sets it up to be that perfect market to go after.

      For guys, it may be something like wallets. I know that I don’t leave home without my wallet and I generally think often enough about getting a new one since they wear down pretty quickly. Another great razors and razor blade type market.

      Think of all those little things around you Elise and you’ll notice a ton of them out there – just position yourself in the right place at the right time and you’re golden.

  30. Sheila Atwood
    December 20, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    Murray,

    I like the hobby idea too. It works best for me because I know what I am talking about.

    Recently I saw documentary on people that owned ferrets. They had whole entire rooms in their homes dedicated to their ferrets. They bought clothing toys and went to ferret conventions to compete. Who would have thought? But it would make a great niche site.

    • Murray Lunn
      December 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

      Exactly Sheila, when you’re THAT big into a hobby/interest, you really know literally everything – you’re fanatical about it at that point and all it takes is a little direction of sharing your knowledge to others that could instantly turn it all into a niche website (and attract a great community).

  31. Richard
    December 21, 2010 at 5:32 am #

    I really like the razor for razorblades concept. Really if you can pick a niche where there is a necessity item, you have a good chance of turning a profit.

    • Murray Lunn
      December 21, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

      Most definitely Richard – just look at how well food works – you need it (duh) but it’s one of those location things. Imagine how profitable the first food store was when everyone else had to go to street vendors; that’s crazy to think about it because it’s so far removed from our society but there are still those markets out there that are untapped and waiting.

  32. Praveen@Techperk
    December 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Very good collections listed out here, i love the 2nd and 4th actually. good job.. go ahead Retweeted

  33. December 24, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    Wow Murlu, that might be one of the most informative posts I’ve read in a long time!
    Well-done writing all of that!
    I’m definitely convinced with your “Hobby” idea, I think I might create a mini blog for advertising German language learning materials. Hopefully that might generate me some cash, cause I’ve been having some really hard-time promoting products through Amazon affiliate program

    • Murray Lunn
      December 26, 2010 at 2:40 am #

      That would be the perfect angle Amr – if you already know the information, do it on a daily basis, know the materials and want to than it’s a perfect idea to chase after since you could really repurpose a lot of content from your blog now toward it – then you could cross promote the two and develop a completely different type of audience that may not be readily available on your current blog :)

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