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Niche Site Duel 002: Finding a Profitable Niche: My Process Revealed

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Niche Site Duel 002: Finding a Profitable Niche: My Process Revealed

By Pat Flynn on

Who needs mixed martial arts or the World Cup when you’ve got a friendly Niche Site Competition to get your adrenaline pumping?

After announcing Monday that fellow blogger and good friend of mine, Tyrone Shum, challenged me to a Niche Site Competition, the response has been amazing. I didn’t expect this many people to get excited about it, and it actually makes me want to do something more than a tiny little product niche site, which I had originally planned. I want bigger results – something comparable to the results I had with my site at

I’ve done it before – and I know I can do it again.

After reading all of the comments, both here at SPI and on Tyrone’s blog, one thing is clear – everyone knows that I’m at a huge disadvantage because I’ve chosen to do a lot of the work on my own. Tyrone has a dedicated team that has actually selected his niche for him (based on criteria that Tyrone created for market research, which I’m pretty sure he’ll share with you) and they’ve already started building his site too.

It’s clear that the right move is to actually outsource certain aspects of your niche site.

I know this.

The cost of the work done by others can come back in profits faster, since things are moving more quickly. However, not all of us have the resources (or the patience) to find a reliable team of people to work for us, which is why I’m going to do a lot of the things on my own. If I do end up outsourcing anything, it will be on a per task basis, and I’ll show you which tasks those are and the process for finding people to do that for me.

You don’t need a full time team working for you to succeed, and hopefully I can prove that to you. Then at least when you do outsource something, you can point your own virtual assistants to my tutorials, or know what your VA should (or should not) be doing.

Finding a Profitable Niche

I spent a good three straight hours doing some market research before I narrowed down my niche. To me, this is the most important part of the process, and can mean the difference between a site that makes money, and one that doesn’t.

Here is an overview of the process I used, which was highly influenced by Glen’s interview in Episode 03 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. I will get into detail about each step later in this post:

  1. I came up with a list of 7 passions, 7 problems and 7 fears, making sure to stay away from anything that deals with making money online. (Side note: I once won $1,024 on a Blazing 7s slot machine, so I consider 777 to be a lucky number of mine. Hey – nobody said superstition doesn’t play a role in internet marketing.)
  2. From that list of 21, I selected my top 10 potential markets.
  3. I did keyword research for each of those markets, hoping to find any related terms that fit my criteria, which I will share in detail below.
  4. If any related keywords stood out to me, I immediately checked to see if the domain name matching the keyword 100% was available. If the exact match was not 100% available, I moved on to another related term, or another market.

Let’s break it down.

Passions, Problems and Fears

I was originally going to do a tiny product niche site, with a keyword and domain name that matches the product of choice 100%. These are the type of niche sites that I’ve been doing lately, and they seem to work. I started with researching the product first, and then comes the keyword research behind it.

The reason I’m steering away from a specific product niche site now is because the earning potential is far less than targeting an actual market, and because this is a competition I want to bring out the big guns. By targeting a market that involves a passion, problem and/or fear that I or someone I know has, I can be sure I’ll be interested in it enough to put forth the extra effort needed for it to become a potentially high profit site.

Here is a screenshot of a mindmap of my 777:

Niche Site Competition Market Research 1

From this list, I narrowed down the list to a top 10, just based on what interested me the most. I knew I could always go back to this list if for some reason the top 10 didn’t work out in the keyword research or domain selection phase.

Here is my top 10:

Niche Site Competition Market Research 2

Keyword Research

Now it’s time to figure out if these markets are something that other people are interested in too. On top of that, we need to know whether or not there are any related keyword terms that have a somewhat high search volume, and relatively low competition. This gives us the best chance of getting on the first page of Google, while still seeing enough traffic to do something worthy.

Remember, it’s all about getting on the first page of Google.

Like I mentioned in my Market Samurai webinar, there are ways to do all of this research for free, but Market Samurai (free trial) makes the process a whole lot faster and easier for me. What took me 3 hours may have taken me 3 days.

Instead of doing a whole number of screenshots, I decided to capture this video that summarizes how I did my research and how I landed on my niche:

(watch Selecting a Niche Market – Pat vs. Tyrone Niche Site Challenge on YouTube)

So there you have it! I’ve selected my niche (if you didn’t watch the video, it’s “Cop Training”) and I was able to pick up an exact matching .net domain.

Note: because Tyrone and I are revealing our niches, we’ll do our best not to skew the numbers because we’re reporting our results on our blogs. This is why you won’t see us link directly to the site.

Again, thanks to Market Samurai, I was able to find a niche with a relatively low amount of competition, and a relatively high number of searches and potential traffic. You don’t need it in order to find a good niche to get into, it just helps speed things up a bit.

I’m excited to see what happens next! If I didn’t say so already, best of luck to Tyrone and everyone else who is participating along with us.


What do you think about the niche I’m getting into?

Other Posts in The Niche Site Duel Series

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