Choosing Passion, Money or Both
“Which niche should I go with?” is a question that almost everyone has struggled with.
It doesn’t help that there are two polarizing views that most people hold when it comes to deciding on a niche.
There is the “follow your passion” camp of people, and then there is the “follow the market” or “just test it” group as well.
Depending on who you ask, you’ll ultimately hear advice that revolves around either “doing what you love,” or “doing research and running tests” to find out what the market wants most from you.
But, in all honesty, life is rarely ever this cut-and-dry.
Doing what you love doesn’t automatically mean that your business will be a success if the ROI isn’t worth your time. And, doing only what the market demands of you also doesn’t mean that your business will automatically transform into a profit-churning machine either, as people are so much more likely to face burnout when building a business that’s only about the money.
However, I will also admit that if you can manage the “burnout phase” effectively – many people obviously do extraordinarily well with serving native ads and affiliate offers to the masses. This is how the vast majority of people become wealthy online, after fulfilling the demands of mass markets for considerable amounts of time…
Some of the most successful native advertisers and online marketers are actually pretty quick to admit that it is in fact all about the money to them. I think that’s a 100% honest and kickass goal to have – if it is your sole goal to make the most amount of money possible throughout the next few years and you accept that you’ll have to fight a major war against burnout (you’ll essentially be battling your own mind and body).
It’s a sacrifice that many people are willing to make for the chance at never having to work another day in their life.
Fair enough, right?
I have nothing but respect for those willing to hustle it out in search of freedom at all costs.
But, I’ve often caught myself wondering…Isn’t there simply a better way to do native advertising or online marketing in general, to where you can still “have it all” without nearly as many of the downsides?
Thinking About The Long-Term
I don’t want to burn out. I don’t feel too hot about selling bullshit products either. And I certainly don’t want to realize that I’ve been wasting my time once I’m a few years further down the line.
But, I still want the unbeatable freedom that comes from the luxury of working online, and being allowed to be a huge weirdo in general.
More specifically, I’ve wondered…
- Is it possible to find a wildly profitable niche that you’re genuinely interested in?
- …that will add legitimate value to people’s lives?
- …that can retain customers who will recognize your brand well into the future?
- …that can be scaled to earn millions of dollars in revenue?
- …that can work WITH you (building momentum) rather than AGAINST you (churning and burning through customers)?
In other words, can you build a real business brand around native advertising that gives you something to show for at the end of the day, in addition to earning great profits?
Yes. You can.
I fully believe that building a real business brand around native advertising has the potential to give you the best of both worlds.
What I mean is that by building a genuine brand identity or two using native advertising, you can still leverage all of the online marketing principles that you’ve come to know, but you will also be building momentum and equity in a real business asset at the same time. You will be focusing on delivering real value to a target audience over a longer duration of time.
By focusing on building a long-lasting native advertising business – you’ll still have the opportunity to perform native ad arbitrage and/or sell affiliate offers. But, you’ll also have the opportunity to build an email list, create a large social media following, sell your own products, dropship products and do so much more. You could even create a mobile app or send direct mail to your audience if you really wanted to.
The potential that a real native advertising brand brings is near limitless, because we are talking about investing in a long-term asset here.
The best part of this is that by choosing the right niche, you won’t be limiting your earning potential either.
You’ll actually be significantly increasing your earning potential as time goes on.
When you own your website, the content, the email list, the associated social media accounts etc. then you own a piece of brand equity that can be grown and even sold at some point, if you decide to go that route.
You Can Channel Your Energy
So yes, all of your internet marketing momentum can be channeled towards a specific goal or two that gives you something to show for after all is said and done. You can retain your customers who you work hard to sell to, whether that’s through ad arbitrage or advertising affiliate offers.
I don’t know the specifics of your life, and everyone is different. However, for some people, I have to imagine that building a long-term native advertising business has the potential to be the right decision.
And for others, regular ad arbitrage or online marketing might provide you with exactly what you want!
Maybe you don’t want to build a business brand, and you just want to promote mega viral content or hot affiliate offers. That’s completely OK – as that could very well be the best decision for you. It is only you and you alone who understands what you want the most.
NativeAdBuzz caters to both groups of people, who want to take advantage of leveraging native advertising for whatever reason.
So, by this point, you’re probably wondering…
“OK, but if this real business branding approach to native advertising is so emotionally-rewarding, cool and profitable, then why isn’t everyone doing it, huh NativeAdBuzz??”
The answer is simple. It’s much more difficult to do this up front. It’s a long-term strategy that is sort of lost in an industry that revolves around generating quick profits. Building a real native advertising business means that you’ll need to build a platform, product and community that you somewhat care about. This takes time…
Quick Note: Your “product” can be your actual website content that you use to leverage native ad arbitrage, or the high-value affiliate offers that you choose to associate with your brand. It can be a combination of both. Additionally, there are literally thousands of other services/physical goods that you can offer to your audience through native advertising. We will refer to ALL of these possibilities as your “product” throughout this article.
The truth is that proper ad arbitrage or online marketing in general doesn’t really require that you care about retaining customers all that much – especially if you constantly have fresh eyeballs on your ads or new sources of traffic to tap-in to.
This strategy works very well for many (as crazy as that may sound). There is no denying that traditional online marketing strategies have transformed countless numbers of people into online millionaires. By all means, this could be the strategy that works best for you. It is still working unbelievably well for a significant number of people.
Yet at the same time, I just can’t resist believing that there is a greater opportunity out there to seize, which many of the clients within our private Facebook Mastermind group are agreeing with…
“Build the E-mail list. Deliver real value. Choose a niche or two, stick with it and build your native advertising empire,” is the core message to take away from many of our VIP members.
We have a divided house, and it will ultimately be up to you to decide which path to take.
Regardless of the path that you choose (building a native advertising business brand or simply executing viral native ad arbitrage/affiliate campaigns with no permanent identity) – you will need to find a niche that works best for you.
And how do you go about choosing your niche?
Well, there’s an easy, 3-step process that anyone can go through in just a matter of days to find a worthwhile niche to pursue.
It’s important to note that this process can absolutely be completed in 1-3 days, but probably shouldn’t be forced. It can take up to a couple of weeks to really find something that you want to commit to doing. I find it best to just start building something immediately and pivoting along the way. You’ll usually know once you’ve found “it.” Your moment will come, but it can rarely be forced.
Here’s something to note – the ideas for my last two business ventures both occurred while I was running on a treadmill at the gym. This isn’t a coincidence, as many people share similar stories. Steve Jobs was well-known for holding most of his business meetings while walking. Nietzsche and even Beethoven were adamant walkers as well.
If you aren’t doing cardio in one form or another, you might be missing out on some strange but powerful benefits that happen when endorphins are being released in the brain. Walking around the city could very well spark your million-dollar native niche concept.
The 3-Step Niche Selection Process
OK, let’s begin the simple 3-step process of finding your native niche concept that can be used to build a real native advertising business brand.
Step 1.) Analyze General Business Trends (Think About the Next 10 Years Out)
To begin the process of choosing a niche, I always like to think about what’s going on in the world on a macro and micro level. This step does NOT have to be relevant to native advertising just yet…as we will get to that point. We’re just thinking broadly right now.
It’s also nice to keep a journal with you at all times to write down any niche ideas that come to mind for this step of the process – so we highly recommend keeping one on you, especially since you’re likely committed to an entrepreneurial kind of lifestyle.
The right niche can make or break your entire venture, so it’s important to immediately write each of your ideas down (don’t convince yourself that you’ll remember a niche idea for later, because you probably won’t).
Don’t worry about your personal interests at this point either. Just write down ANY general business trends that you can think of over the next 20 minutes, and elaborate on them as much as possible. Whether on an international, national or city-wide level, think about what’s hot and what’s happening in the general business environment.
Here, I’ll help you out with some general trends that I’ve noticed. However, these are just my personal views and may NOT be hard evidence. Please come to some unique conclusions of your own as well, as I’m not a stock picker/snake charmer/elite business “guru.”
General trend observation #1: People are showing extreme interest in health and fitness. But, the Whole Foods health food franchise is now in decline as they likely take too much value from their customers by price gauging. Millennials are beginning to shop at places like Aldi or similar, which offers high-value yet affordable products. Gym Membership Fees is a cool native ad niche concept that’s capitalizing on the trend of comparing prices in the health/fitness space.
Main takeaway: Mass markets of people are now almost universally demanding the “highest-value option” – especially when it comes to health and fitness products. Low-ticket and high-value health and fitness products will probably become the future of this space. Think products that are $35 and under. Many people claim that $20 is the perfect price point online. But, at the same time, don’t limit yourself. You can still promote nutraceutical or diet offers that sells for <$100ish if you have your targeting figured out…
General trend observation #2: The income gap is likely showing signs of continuing its course. If building a brand around selling affiliate products or your own products on the internet, you may be best off targeting either Western men who earn $100,000+ and have disposable income to burn, or international women of varying income levels who are much more likely to purchase health, diet, beauty, skin, fitness and apparel products for whatever reason.
Main takeaway: Think carefully about who you are considering selling products to. Does your audience have money to spend, and will they be around to spend more of it in the future? Some people target military, yoga, equestrian, high-fashion or similar niches because they realize that these specific groups of people almost positively have disposable income to spend, and will be around to spend more of it throughout the future.
General trend observation #3: In the near future, when more companies are leveraging native advertising, and the market is a little more saturated – ad networks will probably begin to heavily favor high-quality and reliable partners who can consistently drive quality traffic. This is obviously already happening, but will likely take place on an even larger scale. Doesn’t this just make sense, though? If your website can consistently bring in high-quality traffic with money to spend, you will likely receive better treatment from your native ad networks with better payouts as well (this is still a big variable depending on many factors, so please don’t take this as hard advice – it’s just a trend we’re noticing).
Main takeaway: The quality of your website’s traffic will likely be of increasing importance, so this is even more of a reason to build a solid brand identity and relationship with customers. Make your platform’s image recognizable and valuable, and doing business will probably become easier for you as time goes on.
Okay, so those are just some general trends that I’ve noticed, but there are MANY other things that are happening in the world. From Virtual Reality to the Internet of Things (IoT) to the trend of balancing hormones in the diet space. Websites like AirBnB and mobile apps like Uber have literally shifted the business world in recent years…
Oh, and you should also be viewing CrunchBase on a regular basis to look at start-up funding rounds. Take note of what kinds of companies are receiving funding. Do you notice any patterns or trends? You can also read TechCrunch to stay up-to-date on start-up business news. This will ALL be relevant to you, as you can use the latest business trends and start-up business funding news to keep an edge on your competition. You can grab ahold of niches before mass markets get to them.
There are so many big things that are happening in the world which brings opportunity for you to jump on right now. By remaining conscious of what’s happening in the business world, analyzing niches, looking at start-up businesses and recognizing patterns…you’ll be much more in-tune with where your future successes may lie.
Continue to write down what’s taking place in the world. Feel free to crack open a bottle of wine and really let your ideas flow for an evening if you need to take your time.
Simply move on to step 2 when you’re ready.
Step 2.) List Potential Niches Based On Market Trends and Personal Interests (Be Conscious of Your Gut Instincts & Imagine Your Future Self)
Ok, so after spending some time writing down general business trends, you’re probably pretty in-tune with what’s happening in the world.
You should now have a pretty good idea of where the market is heading. You have a clearer picture of which audiences will be reliable enough to spend money on your products or view your content well into the future.
You know that it will be essential to give even more value, connect with audiences on an even deeper level, and offer the “highest value” products within your niche.
Most importantly, you now know that you will probably be best off choosing a niche that you can connect with throughout the long-term…
So, I’m sure that you can tell where we’re leading you to here…
There Are Two Major Niche Qualifications
We want you to list out niches that meet two major qualifications:
1.) The niche will continue to be in high-demand throughout the future
2.) The niche is somewhat interesting to you
You may have some additional qualifications to meet, but these are the two major qualifications that will at least give you the best shot at finding success over the long-term with this model.
This is what will provide you with the best of both worlds.
When you can put together a list of potential niches that have a high market demand and are interesting to you…your opportunities with native advertising are uncapped.
See – you can have it all. This is also where I also like to imagine my future self. Are you having some kind of fun with what you’re doing, and can you continue to enjoy pursuing your niche a few years down the road? These are the kinds of niches that tend to make people a lot of money while also bringing feelings of fulfillment. When you can actually create something of value and earn lots of revenue in the process, you’re being somewhat of an alchemist. That’s what building a real business is all about.
So, go ahead and take the business trends that you listed from step 1 and combine them with niches that interest you.
List Out Niches That You LIKE That ALSO Have a Strong Economic Outlook (The Best Of Both Worlds)
This is where you will list out the potential niches that you may build your brand around.
Here’s my list of potential niches that I would consider pursuing, but you can absolutely jump on any of these as well (feel free to use any of these):
Bodyweight fitness niche. Create a website that revolves around free exercise content, run native ads and also sell fitness products in the future. Profitable, fun and fulfilling.
Intermediary market niche. Did you know that you can create a Fiverr-like website using a WordPress website theme? These are also referred to as “Microjob” websites. Intermediary markets kick ass because you get in-between buyers and sellers (just like in internet marketing) and take a commission! But by building your own platform, you can get consistent commissions just like in internet marketing, but you will also be building brand equity at the same time. Your website can be advertised all throughout native networks.
High-value & moderate cost natural skincare. I foresee this being huge in the near future. You could create an affiliate site that provides information on high-value, moderate cost natural skincare products and build an entire brand around this if you like. Skincare provides some of the highest product margins in the world (right after dealing drugs)…so I think that building a platform around moderately priced natural skincare products could attract a lot of attention while still generating lots of revenue. This would give people a lot of value.
Six pack abs niche. If you aren’t currently rocking six pack abs, this would be a very nice motivator to get in shape. Lots of people want six pack abs, and it’s an interesting niche. Also a huge moneymaker. This is a good business.
Alternative medicine niche. CureJoy might have this niche “cornered” but there’s always room for competition. I’m a spice and smoothie addict, so this niche would be interesting to me and I predict it being extremely high in demand in the future.
Over 40 fitness niche. This space is blowing up. Catering workouts and diets specifically catered to this age range will continue to become more popular.
High-value & moderate cost natural beauty product niche. I also foresee this space being big. Women want great beauty products, but they’re becoming more aware of the fact that the margins in the industry are near predatory. I think that “high-value and low-to-moderate ticket price” products will continue to drive higher demand…so building a brand around this concept could be extremely profitable (and kind of fun).
All that I’ve done here is combine general market trends with personal interests. I want timeless niches with strong, reliable audiences that I can give value to over the long-term.
Those were my personal preferences for niches, but yours could be totally different. Did you write them down? You should take your time to really narrow down some niches that you’d be interested in spending lots of your personal time around.
Come up with 5-10 niche ideas of your own, or take one of the niches that I listed.
You should also feel free to look into some niche websites at this point. See what competitors from your potential niches are doing. Are they running native advertisements on their websites?
You should also take a hard look at your NativeAdBuzz dashboard to see what’s going viral at the moment. Do any of those websites running ads on NAB interest you?
I’ve personally seen tons of high-quality, valuable content being promoted on NativeAdBuzz. There are already many legitimate businesses running ads and offers using native advertising, and they’re being shown all throughout NativeAdBuzz. This could be the perfect opportunity for you to spend some time looking through NAB to really narrow down your potential niches that you can envision yourself pursuing.
Step 3.) Test Your Ideas and Run Experiments
The most effective way to test your niche ideas is to see if they are already working for someone else.
The reality of doing business in 2016 is that practically every viable niche is already being pursued, so you already have an easy metric to gauge whether something is “working” or not.
As a risk-averse entrepreneur, I don’t waste too much time pursuing businesses that reinvent the wheel. Too many straightforward business concepts already make too many millions’ of dollars for me to spend a lot of time getting super crafty.
By all means, you should get creative in your branding and marketing efforts, but when it comes to testing your actual niche concept/business model, I recommend going with something that’s been proven to work unless you’re more advanced at this.
So many people have already done the work and paid the price to test niche concepts for you…
Fitness, health, wealth, diet, skin, nails, hair, clothes, food, wellness, biz op, beauty, nutrition, sex and testosterone niches have consistently made billions upon billions of dollars for so many freaking people.
I don’t see a huge need to step outside of these major money-making markets which STILL contain so much amazing potential. But, you’re of course welcome to call me an asshole, and choose a separate niche that you find more interesting if you like!
Either way, take your niche ideas that you wrote down in step 2, and then turn your attention to the stealthy mother of all niche-testing opportunities, because…
NativeAdBuzz is your niche testing machine.
People pay thousands of dollars each day to run native advertisements across networks like Revcontent, Content.ad, Taboola, Outbrain and many others – and these ads are all being featured throughout NativeAdBuzz.
The general rule of our platform is that if a native ad has been successfully running for two weeks or longer on NativeAdBuzz, it’s most likely viral, and it’s also likely very profitable, otherwise native advertisers wouldn’t continue to run these kinds of ads. You can also look at strength scores and social share counts to take notice of recent trends. Paying attention to all of these factors on NAB will help you to remain aware of what’s working across native networks (and in the business landscape in general).
You should look at these kinds of ads that have been proven to work, but you can also dig deeper into specific niches to see what is working best for your personal interests (the niches that you wrote down in step 2).
This is what we recommend that you do. We want you to search for your exact niche ideas on NativeAdBuzz to essentially run automated niche testing.
By searching your NativeAdBuzz dashboard for ad keywords like “hair” or “skin” you can see a massive list of the opportunities that people are currently capitalizing on.
We’re going to break down the process of validating a niche using NativeAdBuzz for you – using “hair” as an example. It’s a popular and extremely general niche that’s always in high-demand, and it may be of interest to you. The “hair” niche can also be narrowed down greatly…but we’re just keeping this example pretty general and straightforward. Here’s exactly how you can use NativeAdBuzz to validate a great niche (using just one example).
We begin the process by logging in to our NativeAdBuzz dashboard and going to the “Ads” dashboard which is where you will be taken to by default.
Tapping on the “Show search” button will allow you to begin the process of testing out niches.
Notice how we’ve searched for the Ad keyword “hair” and set the Ad Run Duration to “14 days.” This is the bare minimum “viral factor” you’ll want to look for when testing a niche.
Also, we set the Sort By filter to “Strength,” then hit Submit.
Here are the results…
Okay, there are lots of great hair results here, and it’s definitely a viral niche. Lots of hair re-growth offers, but it looks like there’s a special hair “hair color dye” niche here that caught my eye…
Notice the Strength score of 3221 with extreme Facebook engagement as well. Looks like this native ad is working quite well. Let’s click on it to see what else is going on with this native ad.
OK, lots of people are running with this offer. The strength scores are all over the place, but I want to look at the most recent landing page associated with this offer for right now (you could also sort by “strength” filter to look at the landing pages with strongest engagement).
Clicking on the top result brings us to this native advertising brand’s website…
So someone went ahead and built an entire niche website around women aged 50 and up. This is a freaking killer niche.
They have great branding that has the potential to be recognizable as a major source of health and beauty information for women aged 50+. This niche can be scaled to great heights…
Doesn’t this look like something that you can do?
They’re also building an email list, and running an advertorial format that appears legitimate. They’ve also disclosed the fact that they’re doing this quite clearly, so there shouldn’t be any problems here. Everything about this niche looks really good so far.
Let’s scroll a little further down the page to see what their particular offer is all about.
They’ve had 18,000 Facebook engagements with this piece alone. They’re promoting an affiliate offer for a company called “eSalon” which is offering a hair coloring kit of some sorts. They’re also collecting emails, as we have shown above, and are building a legitimate business while leveraging classic online marketing strategies.
But, let’s take also take a look at their Facebook page. I’m really curious about this one.
Whaaa? 368,000 Facebook likes. This native advertising brand doesn’t just have the potential to be a major brand…they ARE a big brand. I’m not sure if they built their entire business around native advertising, but it sure seems like native is a major “secret” that they’re leveraging to promote health, beauty and sex offers to women aged 50+.
Isn’t this pretty much all of the proof that you need to jump right into this niche, and/or put your own spin on it right at this very moment? It’s obviously working. Someone can run with this concept right now and make lots of money over the long-term if they remain persistent at building a real native brand, just as Fab Over Fifty is doing right now.
I could be 100% wrong about this, but there very well could be some clever 33 year old guy or girl hanging out on some tropical island running this website.
My point is that you don’t necessarily have to be obsessed with your niche or even love it, you just have to be somewhat interested in giving value to a target audience over the long-term and building real momentum with your audience. There’s nothing wrong with showing women who are 50+ some love regardless of who you are, and there’s nothing wrong with promoting quality affiliate offers to them. This brand is promoting eSalon products which appears to be a legitimate brand – so this niche is all good in my eyes.
Ok, so this has been a monstrous post. I hope that you took some kind of value away. Now you know that if certain ads are running for a while on NativeAdBuzz, and those native ads are seeing a lot of social engagement, there is probably a profitable and valuable opportunity behind it that can be leveraged throughout the long-term.
It’s also important to note that you can perform additional niche validation after you’ve searched for opportunities throughout NativeAdBuzz. You can set up landing pages or articles on your own website if you want to test the viability of any offer outside of NativeAdBuzz.
Just create a single website, create multiple landing pages or articles from various niches, and purchase some traffic from Facebook (but be careful of their terms and conditions so as not to get your account messed with).
Overall, by using the validation methods in this article, you should be able to find a profitable niche using NativeAdBuzz and other traffic sources in just a few days time…