Do you struggle with knowing what to do when it comes to building an online business?
Most people struggle, a lot.
The truth of the matter is that if you do not pick the right niche, or focus on serving people who are willing to pay you, chances are that you will fail. But this doesn’t mean you have to figure it all out right away: when I started my online business, I didn’t know what I wanted to focus on.
I knew I was passionate about personal development. I also knew that the personal development market was extremely saturated, but I didn’t know what else to do, so I jumped in anyway. I started building an audience, and as I started getting feedback, I started to discover my niche.
You see, it’s not about perfection—it’s about constant improvement. If you have a vague idea of what you want to do, but aren’t sure, the best thing you can do is to jump in and see what happens. If you can’t figure it out, you just have to take action, otherwise you’ll stay stuck for a long time.
Why Most People Fail
One of the main reasons people fail is because they are unrealistic. They may follow their passion, but they never stop to think if people would be willing to pay for what they want to do, so always stay focused on what problems people have, and if they would be willing to pay you to solve those problems.
When I started, I dove into the personal development market. My odds of success were low, but I knew there was demand. I knew the market was viable, because there was competition; I could find books, courses, workshops, and coaches. If I could just build an audience, I could succeed. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I took things one step at a time, and here I am today, getting paid to do what I love.
How to Find a Profitable Niche for Your Online Business
There are three main steps—or areas—you need to think about when you’re determining what you want to build an online business about. Let’s dive into the first and most important one.
Step 1: Passion
Yes, there are people who have businesses in markets they aren’t passionate about, but are they happy? They may be making a lot of money, but money alone won’t bring you fulfillment in life. It is when you are passionate about something that you excel. You have a drive to learn more because you love it.
And I was passionate about personal development when I started: I was willing to work hard, and be open to constantly learning new things. This drive allowed me to build an audience of thousands of people, and it later helped me uncover my niche, which was to help people turn their passion into a thriving lifestyle business.
Action step: Look at what you’re passionate about. Brainstorm a list of topics. Don’t censor yourself, and don’t worry about if it’s profitable or not.
Step 2: Skill
The next area is skill. What are you good at? Or, what do you want to become good at? People pay for skill; they pay for a job well done. This doesn’t mean you have to be an all-knowing expert—it just means you have to have skills that are needed by the people you’re helping.
For example: when I started, I certainly couldn’t hold up to some of the personal development experts like Tony Robbins or Wayne Dyer, but I had my own experiences to share. People enjoyed my unique, fresh perspective. Don’t underestimate how much you already know—you don’t have to know everything, you just have to know enough.
Action step: Write down a list of things you’re good at, or want to become good at. Again, let it flow and you’ll be surprised at what comes out.
Step 3: Demand
Demand is what makes it all work.
What are people willing to pay for? What already exists out there? Look at books, programs, courses, workshops, retreats, and anything where people are paying money for a solution. Also look at successful coaches: What problems are they solving? How are they helping people? How much are they charging?
When I dove into the personal development market, I knew there was demand there. People were paying thousands to attend retreats, workshops and take online courses because they wanted to be fulfilled, live their purpose, and to find their passion. Uncovering the demand doesn’t have to be complicated—just look at what people are spending money on.
Action step: Do some research. Use Amazon, Google, and just plain surfing around, to see what people are paying for. Then look at what you’ve written down in step 1 and 2. Try to find the intersection.
Finding the Intersection, Finding Your Niche
So, how do you find a profitable niche for your online business? Look at the three steps we’ve gone through above. Write down what you’re interested in, write down what you’re good at, and then look at what the competition is doing. If there is competition in a market, it means there is opportunity there. Once you’ve done your research, try to find the intersection between these three areas.
For example, my passion is personal growth and business: that’s my intersection. I’m passionate about it, I’m good at it, and there’s demand for it. In the end, there are no guarantees, so you have to be willing to start before you feel ready. Most entrepreneurs fail many, many times before they find something that works.
The Bottom Line
To find a profitable niche for your online business, you have to find the intersection between what people want, what you’re good at, and what you’re passionate about.
It’s not easy—that’s why most people give up—but if you keep going, you will succeed. That’s what I’ve discovered, and that’s what I’ve found to be true.Featured photo credit: Old tree with falling leaves in a white room. With one remaining green leaf. With leaves on a wooden floor via Shutterstock