Membership Niche Selection Tips

This article explains how to select a profitable niche for your membership business.

Step 1 – Find a Fanatical Market

If you want your membership business to be profitable, you have to find a marketing with fanatics in it. What’s a fanatic? It’s someone who is so excited about a certain topic that they will spend their time and money on information about it. Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s talk about how to find them…

  • One simple idea that’s easily forgotten is to scan the magazine racks when you’re out and about. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to run a print magazine. So if you see one on the shelves you know they are making money, which means that there are enough people interested in what they’re saying to make it profitable. That doesn’t mean definitely that it will make a good membership business, but it’s a good starting point.
  • Pay attention throughout the day in your regular activities. See what people are talking about on the radio, TV, at parties, in public, etc. If people are talking about it, they are interested in it. Which means you can start a membership business providing information on it.
  • Conventions, clubs, and organizations. Once again, if there are enough people interested in a topic to create a club or organization, then there are enough people to build a membership business around it. By the same token, if enough people are interested to hold a convention on a certain topic, you can definitely find enough people to build a membership business around that same topic.
  • And of course there are all the things you have an interest in, too! Chances are that if you like a certain topic or hobby, other people do, too. The icing on the cake here is that you get to build a business doing something you love.
  • One simple and easy way to find out what’s hot is Google Trends. This service shows you the current most popular search terms. These topics are the hottest topics because lots and lots of people want information about them. These are the niches you want to be in – lots of people actively searching means lots of opportunity.

Next – Figure out if there’s money in it

Once you found a potential niche or topic to center your membership site around, you need to figure out if you can actually make any money in it. An easy way to determine this is to figure out if anyone else is making money in this niche.

Here’s a punch list for figuring out if anyone’s making money in your niche:

  • Find out if there are blogs or forums related to it. Just search Google for “YourNiche blog” & “YourNiche forum” and see what comes up. This means there is a large group of people already assembled for you to market to.
  • Search Amazon, Google shopping and eBay to see if people are creating and selling products in the niche. It’s a good sign if there are because it tells you people are making money here.
  • Look at Google Adwords for the same ads are running over time. If people are running the same ad over time it means they are making money in the niche. They would not continue to spend money on the ads if there were not making a return from them.

Step 3 – Determine ease of entry

After figuring out a good niche and determining that other people are making money in it, the last thing to do is decide if you will be able to enter the market. Here’s how to make this determination:

  • Figure out what kinds of products people are interested in. If it’s mostly physical products, coaching and live seminars, then it will be harder to break into this niche. That’s because it’s much easier to build a membership business around information vs. any other kind of product.
  • Competition. How many other people are trying to sell to this market? You want to start in a market that’s not completely saturated with competitors.
  • Unless the market is just so big that it doesn’t matter how many competitors there are, you want to limit the competition. So evaluate the size vs. the competition.
  • How ready is the market for marketing messages, and how willing are the fanatics to buy. Every market is different. Sometimes people are looking for information and are ready to pay for it right now. And sometimes it takes weeks, months or even years for them to make the decision to purchase.

Putting it all together

So far, we’ve talked about exactly what it takes to pick a great niche: One with a hungry crowd of fanatics, who are ready to spend money on information about their topic. And you’ve determined your barrier to entry is small enough to give it a go. If you’ve done your homework, your business will be a success because you already know your market is a profitable one with room for you. Learning how to run a membership website is a topic for another article…

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