My Profitable Niche Adventure #2: Improving My Niche Pick

So after my 3-month failure with my first niche, I decided to move on to another market.  Home gyms were way too competitive and I'd have to spend another year building links and creating content before I'd ever even reach the front page of any of the major search engines, let alone Google.

Changing to something of interest

First off, home gyms ain't ma thang… er…  aren't my thing.  I'd rather do something along the lines of Crossfit than to buy a home gym and do boring workouts.  Yes, my virtual assistant was the one that was primarily doing the work, but I'm not interested in the topic to waste another year trying to get it profitable.

Somehow – I think it was when I was taking a picture of a business receipt with my iPhone – I thought “what about receipt scanners?”  When I got home I opened up Market Samurai to take a look at the average search quantity and the competition involved.

Keyword Analysis

Wow… the competition was really, really high.  Well that sucks…  looks like that niche is no good right? (usually a good niche is under 30k competitors).  Let's look at the competition…

Competitive Analysis

Well, this is quite interesting…  there is a very low page rank average, and the sites that are on the front page are places like Amazon and other store companies.  Why is that good?  Here's what I've seen in my experience:

  • Even though there may be an authority type site like Amazon on the front page, Google and other search engines would rather put a specifically relevant site in their place.  Amazon has too many other products and is not focused.
  • The same thing goes for directories.  Although they may have a ton of indexed pages and inbound links, the directory itself is not always relevant to searchers so Google will put a niche site in place of the directory.  (we'll talk more about this when I talk about SEO for local businesses)

The high quantity of competition is likely to be from the fact that there are a lot of stores that sell receipt scanners, but not necessarily sites dedicated to them.

Taking the leap…

Even though the there was a lot of competition, the quality of the competition seemed to be low enough to break into the front page (the SEO competition function from Market Samurai pays for itself.  Seriously amazing).  The calculated risks seemed to be in my favor, so I went on and bought a brand new domain (I'll tell you what it is in part 4 of this series ;-P).

The next decision was  how to monetize my new site…

How would you monetize my niche site (without cheating and Googling for my site to see what I'm doing)?  The best answer in the comments will get featured in the next part of the series (yes, with a “follow” backlink). Awww… yeah

See what happens next and how I picked my monetization strategy: CLICK HERE FOR PART 3!

6 Comments

  • Hilary Corna

    January 5, 2011

    Dean,
    I like the approach you took to the research aspect of this business. Do you have any concerns about the rise of applications allowing phones to scan receipts, making any form of receipt scanner obsolete?

    • Dean Soto

      January 6, 2011

      Good question. I've thought about that. From what I've seen is that there are a lot of people that collect their receipts, but never actually scan them. This means that they need to have a product or service that can scan a lot of receipts at the same time. Literally, some people have boxes of them by the end of the year.

      That being the case, it seems that people still need a dedicated scanner, rather than just their phone. As for now, the niche is trending upward, but you never know.

      The cool thing is that there are a lot of avenues to monetize this niche it seems.

  • Matt

    January 6, 2011

    I'd monetize your niche site with sponsorship (1 ad, at a high price, not many small ads), affiliate links, and an eBook or something. Depending on the niche, I wonder if you could sell any sales leads to companies in that niche (that would be cool). I have a great podcast from Third Tribe Marketing on this.

    • Dean Soto

      January 6, 2011

      Nice. I definitely agree with having 1 ad that stands out and brings in the most money.

      You are definitely think along the lines I am… =)

      What's the podcast link?

  • Sharif

    January 6, 2011

    Great niche. I'd second Matt's approach. A bunch of product reviews with affiliate links (Amazon or direct manufacturers, if available), one or two sponsor ads, and an eBook and/or webinar about how to streamline your office workflow by using a scanner.

    • Dean Soto

      January 6, 2011

      Holy crap, didn't even think about a webinar. My virtual assistant runs the site, so maybe they would be able to do the actual webinar. Hmmmm… Very interesting.

      So you and Matt both said an ebook. Would that be to sell or to get folks on an e-mail list?