This article addresses some of the thought processes that you should consider when picking an area to focus your internet business or even your blog on. Being in a wider niche can mean more prospects, but how do you overcome your competitors? Read on for the answer!
If there is one deciding factor that can help you evaluate the potential for your business, blog, or whatever your project is, it is market need. Does the market need what you’re offering?
With a narrow niche, by definition, it’s hard to determine exactly what the potentials are and how big your target audience really is due to lack of information.
Conversely, wide niches have a proven market need which may or may not be currently satisfied 100% with the products or services available.
The needs of the niche are important to know in order to capture an audience (or segment) of the market you hoping to target.
When you narrow your niche focus too much, the total amount of people you can sell to narrows as well. This essentially means you have to work harder to sell more product to a smaller range of prospects in order to make the same amount of progress.
Both approaches work well for certain situations, so consider how you’re pitching your business and who you’re pitching it to.
The Wide Niche Hard Work Myth
Most say that entering into a wider niche means you’ll have to work harder to capture market share from your competitors.
Sure, entering a crowded niche can mean you will have to shout louder to be heard over the noise, but this can also work to your advantage and it doesn’t have to be as hard as you’re thinking.
If you use collaboration, instead of directly competing for customers/readers, you’re not actually competing but helping your competitors promote both themselves and you by association.
Collaboration Is A Key Success Factor
Collaboration can be a useful tool for a number of reasons. Building links, getting your brand known, getting to know other players in your niche (making friends not enemies), and cross promotions and cross selling are just a few.
Within a narrow niche, collaboration is a lot more difficult as you might be one of the few people vying for the attention of your small audience. If you were to (accidentally) burn any bridges, that can spell the end of your foray in that particular niche.
Collaboration is extremely important for networking and building an online presence. This is true for bloggers and eCommerce store owners.
You should be talking to other website owners in your niche (bloggers especially) about being featured on their website and vice versa in order to access the audiences of those sites. This has the benefits of gaining new visitors to your site, but arguably more important is the fact that your brand will be driven into the eyeballs of more and more people.
Delivering relevant information to your (and other people’s) target audience is by far the cheapest form of brand awareness and advertising you can possibly do on the internet. It’s essentially free, and by collaborating you can have access to thousands more potential customers a lot faster than if you were to build up a promotional blog of your own.
Collaboration equals exposure. Collaboration equals brand awareness. And collaboration equals more customers for you to introduce to your business/blog.
Targeting Within The Niche
Targetting the whole of your wide niche is great but this is the subtle differentiator between targeting everything in that wide niche and targeting a segment of your wide niche well.
Focus on becoming known for a few key areas within your wide niche and build your authority around them. Feel free to talk about/include other areas within the niche, but really become known as an expert in some particular aspect of your niche.
By doing this, you’re known as one of the experts in the niche. The people needing your help will know the niche, know your name, and know what you specialise in. These people will become your most loyal customers.
I hope this article hasn’t been too confusing. It’s a widely debated subject, and I would love to hear feedback on it from you if you’re interested in leaving a comment.
It’s a subtle difference between focusing within a wide niche and going after a narrow niche and I suspect not everyone will get it at first.
Maybe the take away lesson for now should be that it’s not always a bad thing to have competitors. Do you think Google was first in search? No. Do you think Amazon was the first place to shop online? No.
First and foremost, not being the first shows market demand. Have a look how successful your competitors are, can you do a better job? Can you dominate another focus in the same niche and use their audience to your own advantage?
Secondly, it also can give you many (many!) opportunities to further your own brand via collaboration. Working with the competition and not against them is where the salvation lies.
As I said before, let me know your thoughts on this, feel free to comment if you have an opinion on the topic.