According to Wikipedia, a niche is “a special place within the scheme of things.” Niche marketing is defined as “the process of finding and serving small but potentially profitable market segments and designing custom-made products or services for them.” So it’s all about finding your special place, and the products and services that fit.

Right from the start, you should understand that your goal in discovering a niche is to concentrate all your ideas and thoughts into the most precise, concise, and focused concept possible. Your potential audience is everyone in the world with computer access and an interest in your site’s topic. Your potential information resources are everything known about that topic. So you want to be sure to have enough information to eventually fill hundreds of pages, and you want to narrow your focus enough that you can be perceived as an expert, as “THE place to go” for information, products, and/or services.

I want to add right now that if your only interest is making money online, this is a very difficult area to build a website around these days. That niche was “hot” eight years ago. Most successful internet entrepreneurs in that area say they would not attempt breaking into that niche if they were starting out today. There’s just too much competition, there are way too many experts already. Breaking into a niche market using keywords like “make money at home” “work at home” “home business” is next to impossible. There are billions of niches out there; find yours.

Focus, focus, focus…

Let’s say you’re interested in art. You can narrow your focus by choosing an art medium, period in history, particular artist, subject (still lifes, dogs, clothing, hairstyles, architecture, etc.), events, geographical location, and/or the life and inspiration of one or more artists. Your aim should be to choose as many of these focal points as possible, so that the end result is extremely well-defined subject matter.

Then you want to find out how frequently people are searching for this information, what keywords they are entering in the search engines, and how many sites are currently available with that information. Eventually you will come up with your concept, your keywords, and you can begin creating your domain name and meta tags for your website.

Keywords were named that for a reason…

Every page on your website will have its own keywords. These are the words that people will enter into a search engine and find your webpage. Maybe your art interest has been narrowed down to the history of London architecture as depicted in the photographs of John Doe. You must find the best keywords for your niche market, see what sites are currently available, maybe change your focus until you find just the right balance between what’s hot, what’s available, and what’s wide open for you.

This all may seem a bit confusing, and it’s not my purpose here to show you exactly how to do all this, because there’s already a step-by-step manual available and it’s free, so why reinvent the wheel? It’s the Affiliate Masters Course by Site Sell. Pick up your copy and go through it one page at a time. Don’t skip steps no matter how tedious they may seem, because once this work is done, you’ll pick up speed and you’ll never lose focus.

Doing your homework completely at the beginning is crucial to your success. It’s the hardest part, and at the moment, the least rewarding. But once it’s done, you’ve got the skeleton, the foundation, of everything else you will be doing. You’ll have a list of websites to refer back to for researching all the rest of your web pages, articles, links, and so on.

Might as well start out with the current “hot item”…

One last tool before I wind this up. There’s a new kind of free advertising out there that’s also an incredible tool when you’re gathering information. It’s called “Social Bookmarking” or “tagging”. It’s the latest alternative to linking, but it’s also a great way to create your reference list when you’re going through the Affiliate Masters Course. In addition to creating spreadsheets with the information you find as you’re directed to do within AMC, you can create your own bookmark page online containing all the sites you visit that are relevant to your niche. Eventually this forms a web of links and backlinks, but in the meantime you’ll have all your sites for further research in one place.