Hello! Welcome back to Coffee Break Blogging where we are going to continue on our series to creating and growing a profitable blog-based information business online.
This episode is for those aspiring blog owners who don’t come into this with a pretty solid idea already.
Where do you start when you know you want to build a profitable blog-based business, but you don’t know which market you want to enter yet? You gotta start somewhere, right?
In this episode, we start off with 4 questions to ask yourself to begin brainstorming possible niche ideas for yourself.
Then we’ll move into 4 criteria to use to evaluate your own personal “fit” for each of those ideas.
Lastly, we’ll discuss possibly the most important (and psychological) component you MUST look for in a solid niche idea.
Now, we are going to talk about “How To Begin Brainstorming Your Target Market”.
In the last episode of our series, we did talk about the importance of providing value in people’s lives and solving people’s problems and how that really is the basic framework of creating a profitable business on the internet. And we are going to want to base our blogging around those things that are actually going to solve people’s problems because that is how we are going to create a real business based around the blog that we create.
With that in mind, today I want to begin the brainstorming process because every business out there in the internet started with an idea. The founder (in this case it is going to be “YOU”) is going to have an idea on a business that you can create, a market that you can serve. One that, well, hopefully will make you a lot of money.
But it’s going to start with the brainstorming process. And it could be that you are coming into this with a pretty strong idea as to what market you want to do. But I also notice by experience that many people do come into this without really knowing full well what they want to do. They just kind of want to make money but they haven’t really figured out the basic market that they want to go into.
So, it is to those of you who are in that boat that this episode is primarily going to be dedicated.
First of all, I want to talk about your passion.
Now, I’ve mentioned in prior episodes that you do not need to base this on your passion. In fact, you being passionate about what you are getting ready to get into with your blog actually it’s a secondary priority to the first one which is solving people’s problems and really helping people solve something that they are looking to solve. So, it doesn’t have to be your passion.
That being said, your passion is a really good starting place for brainstorming. So if you do not yet have a really solid idea that you want to test and evaluate the demand for; let’s start out with your passion.
The 4 Questions
And let’s start out with a few questions that you can just ask yourself to start getting some ideas about where you can head.
1. What are you naturally good at?
Now, I’ve heard this before where some people say, “Well, I’m not naturally good at anything” and I think, in many cases when you are saying that you might be being a little bit hard on yourself because we all have various skills. You might not think highly of them because they come so naturally to you or you just do them everyday and maybe you are just kind of bored and think about, “shove it”. But I want you to list them out anyway. Because you’ll never know… everybody is different. It could be that there are people out there who might not find this thing as easy as you do. So just because you might not think it’s a big of a deal, I don’t want you to dismiss it. So ask yourself what you are naturally good at. I want you to just simply list that down. Just write that down on a piece of paper or Evernote note, whatever is best for you.
2. What skills do you have that could alleviate problems for somebody else?
Now, that goes right to the core of what we talked about in our last episode. Because that really forms the foundation of the business. This is not going to be so much about you. It’s going to be about the people that you serve and alleviating their problems or helping them achieve something that they are already looking to achieve. So again, not taking into account what you really wish to be doing. I want you just to simply look at other people and I want you to find out what they need, what they want, what you are finding that there is a need for or people could really use and how your skills intersect with that. So again, the question is what skills do you have that could alleviate problems for somebody else. And I want you to again, list those things down.
3. What are you personally passionate about?
Now, again, going back to this whole thing passion; it’s not the most important thing but again, it makes a really good starting place for us to brainstorm potential niche ideas. And if you are really passionate about something, that is a really good driver for you. It is going to keep you motivated. It’s going to take work. I mean, this internet businesses don’t sprout out overnight and it’s going to take some work and some determination to do this and it is certainly going to help if you are really, really interested in what it is that you are doing. So what are those strong hobbies that you have? What are those things that you would do or you do whether you get paid or not just because you find them interesting? Write those things down, too.
4. What areas might you be interested in getting into simply because you see that there is a need for it?
So this is just you, observing the world around you and seeing what problems people say. And you might not have ever thought about those things as a business idea for you but you are just kind of out there and you see that people are saying, “Man, I could really use some help with that” or “Man, wouldn’t it be cool if somebody had blah-blah-blah”, write those things down. Now, just because you might have seen one or two people express that, I don’t want you to assume that there are a ton of people out there who are saying the same thing but I want you to write them down anyway. We are going to get in to evaluating demand and things like that a little bit later.
So those are the four questions I want you to ask right now.
The 4 Niche Criteria
Now, next we need to get in to doing a little evaluation on all these things that you have listed. And we are going to need to evaluate first, your own personal fit for that idea.
Now, just because you have listed the idea, that is just the raw idea list. But we need to start evaluating these things.
First of all, we are going to evaluate your personal fit for this space and then secondly we are going to actually look into signs of a demand. And we are actually going to get into the demand portion of it in the next episode but let’s just go into a few quick things here to evaluate your personal fit for it.
1. Is It Congruent With Your Own Values?
And that’s an important one you have to get right. You don’t want to be doing anything that you might think is a little unethical just because you see a demand for it. I mean, we all have been around the internet; we all know that there are things out there that can be quite profitable in the internet that just does not sit well with us. It’s just not ethical or what have you. We want to throw those things out right off the bat. You can’t feel really good about what it is that you are doing with your business than it just isn’t worth doing.
2. An Honest Assessment Of Just How Deep Your Passion For It Goes
Now, this goes especially for those things you may have listed simply because you are passionate about it. How deep does your passion really go? Is this something where you could do it for free for quite some time just because you are so interested in it? I have known people who think a particular idea would be really golden because they are really interested in there, right there and then. But then you really go down deep into how much knowledge do you really have to share in that space and it doesn’t go very deep. It might result in about 5 blog posts and then you are just kind of done. Well, that might not be a good fit for you. So you do need to really give yourself an honest assessment on just how interested you are in that particular thing. Again, we are not going to throw anything out the list because of this but we do want to know this going in.
3. Your Personal Level Of Expertise
Now the third thing I want you to look at is your own personal level of expertise. I won’t say upfront you do not need to be an expert in a particular niche in order to develop a business in it, okay? First of all, if you have some passion in it, you should be interested enough to go out there and get that expertise. Do the research; learn the things and you will get that expertise. Remember, expertise is a relative concept. It doesn’t mean that you need to have been doing this for 15 years or anything like that. It just means that the people you are looking to serve; that you know more than they do. That really is it. It is a relative thing, okay?
The other thing is to keep in mind that you can partner with somebody else who has expertise that you don’t. So, let’s say that you have a business idea, you think it might have legs and you want to do the blogging and the logistical side of it but you have an expert, either a friend of yours or somebody like that who could bring that expertise to the table but may not know the first thing about the internet and that is where you could fill on that gap. You guys could maybe form a little partnership there.
So there are lots of ideas to go here. You could also do the publishing model where your entire model is to bring other experts in to create that body of knowledge. So again, there are a lot of ways to go that you do not personally have to be the expert in.
And then one last test, and this does go into the heart of just how passionate you might be for something; and that is what I call “The Idea File” test. The idea file test is to simply create a list of ideas for potential blog posts or videos or podcasts; it doesn’t really matter what it is. And generally list things that you should be able to shoot for a good 40 or 50 blog post ideas that would have legs. And if you really have a hard time struggling for ideas or you have listed out 5 or 6 good ones and then you feel like you are just kind of done and you do not know where else to go with it, then it might not pass the idea file test. You might have a potential problem down the road when it comes to content, okay?
Now, again, you can get really specific with your content. You don’t need to solve all their problems in 4 blog posts; that’s not good content marketing anyway, but it is something that you want to think about. It’s just how well you can actually come out with a lot of content ideas. Okay? So, those will get you some things to evaluate your own personal fit for each of these ideas that you have come up with.
4. The Core Emotion Behind Your Idea
The other thing that you need to be thinking about is that core emotion behind your idea. And what I mean by this is going right to the heart of what we have talked about in the last episode that you need to be solving people’s problems. Now if the people you are looking to serve have a legitimate problem that is probably something that causes them a little bit of stress. It might not be the kind of stress that just totally ruins their day or completely keeps them up at night. However, it’s stress. And so, you want to really find out whether this idea that you have is really tied to a real world problem that people are out there looking to solve. Or are the people that you will be reaching with this idea, are they united by a common goal or a common fear? Dude, it’s a very, very important thing to look at with any idea that you have because you are not going to be creating the demand for this.
You are going to go out there and find the demand that is already there. You are going to be tapping into those emotions that are already there. And you are going to be helping move them along to take action because of that. So the people that you are looking to serve; it’s not just their passing interest that you want… You want them to be motivated by an emotion. And that emotion should be a common goal toward pleasure or moving away from fear which would usually be toward solving some kind of a problem and you want to find out what fears are attached to that. And generally speaking, moving away from fear, something that one is scared of… moving away from harm. It’s going to be a stronger motivation than moving toward pleasure. I don’t know why it is just kind of the way human beings tick.
Now we can get deeper into this one a little bit later but I want you to be looking at this list of ideas you have created and I want you to evaluate them based on that. Are the people that you will be reaching by going into that market, are they united by a common goal or are they united by a common fear? What is the real emotion and the real problem that is attached to it that you could be jumping in on.
So, I am going to leave you with that today.
I want you to realize though that it is very important to evaluate the market demand. This evaluation that we have done here is just kind of part 1 and we are going to get into part 2 starting with the next episode on how we can evaluate whether there actually are legs out there in the marketplace for this idea that you have.
To be a good online business idea it has to be focused on what THEY want; what those guys want. Not necessarily what you want.