In your quest to make money online, you’ll make mistakes. No doubt.
No matter how many blog posts and ebooks you’ve read. No matter how many videos you’ve watched. You’ll still make at least one or two mistakes while starting out in any online business — be it blogging, information marketing, affiliate marketing, or whatever.
While some mistakes are so insignificant that they won’t have much impact on your online business, others are just… plain deadly. Deadly in the sense that if you make them, you may have to start all over again.
Here, I want to talk about one of those deadly mistakes you can ever make as a Nigerian trying to make money online. In fact, I deem this particular mistake the worst you can ever make.
It is…choosing the WRONG niche (or not choosing a niche at all).
You see, choosing a niche is the most important step towards starting an online business. If you get this one step wrong, you’ll only struggle for months to years and end up with nothing.
Unfortunately, most Nigerians trying to make money online have made this mistake. And many more will still make it.
Some are blogging on entertainment and celebrity gist not because they have passion for that topic, but because they want to make millions like Linda Ikeji. And now, we have several thousands of entertainment and celebrity gist bloggers.
Some are trying to sell ebooks on a particular topic because they think the topic will sell, not because they’re very sure Nigerians are really interested in the topic. Imagine someone trying to sell an ebook titled, “How to achieve your dreams.”
I could go on and on highlighting various ways Nigerians get it wrong when it comes to niche selection. But my aim with this post is to discuss how to choose the right niche and to analyze the various niches that most Nigerian bloggers are going after.
Here, I will simply define a niche as a specific topic or area of specialization. (Click here to read the post I once published on niche selection).
How to choose a niche
There are two factors to consider when you want to choose the right niche to focus on as an online entrepreneur: First, demand. And second, passion or interest.
Factor 1: Demand
Before settling for a niche, analyze the demand — especially among Nigerians — for what you want to offer.
Whether you want to start a blog or sell an ebook, ask yourself, “Will a good number of Nigerians be interested in the information I want to share?”
And more importantly, ask yourself, “Will a good number of Nigerians be ready to pay for any product or service related to this niche?”
Only if you can confidently answer “Yes” to both questions should you consider going ahead. If you can’t, choosing another niche isn’t a bad idea.
Look at this list:
- Job search tips
- Travel tips (how to get a visa, etc)
- Making money online
- Weight loss
- Premature ejaculation
- Starting a business with minimal funds, and so on.
If you start a blog or sell ebooks on these topics, you will make a lot of money in the long term. Why? Because they address specific problems and challenges that many Nigerians are battling with and are ready to pay any amount to overcome.
So, a vast number of Nigerians are not only very much interested in those topics, but will readily pay for any products or services related to them.
A job seeker will never be fine until he or she gets a good job. Someone whose dream is to visit the U.S. will never rest until he or she achieves that goal. No wife wants to look unattractive to her husband because of her sudden weight gain. No man would fold his hands and watch premature ejaculation dampen his sexual confidence. You get it now?
As far as I know, these are the types of topics that will fetch you money as a Nigerian online entrepreneur. (Other topics might equally be profitable provided you’re targeting a global audience. But if you’re starting from the local front, choose topics like these, or you’ll fizzle out soon.)
So, the rule here is to brainstorm and research for topics that address a pressing need that thousands of Nigerians are desperate to fill.
You might be wondering, “What happened to topics like technology, entertainment, and sports?”
I say, these topics have little or no profit potential because the demand for them isn’t real. People will be fine if they don’t know anything about the current trends in technology. They won’t lose their sleep if they don’t get to read entertainment or sports news for days to years.
And worse, people read these topics for fun, not for the purpose of buying. An entertainment or sports blog will only attract readers who are in the mood to catch fun, not to buy. So, you really can’t make money selling products or services in these niches.
Yes, a blog in the technology, entertainment, or sports niche can be monetized through Adsense or privately sponsored adverts. But the truth is, you’ll need several thousands of monthly hits to be able to make a decent income from those channels.
For example, you’ll need about 5000 daily visits to make between N30,000 to N50,000 in monthly Adsense revenue (for a blog targeted at Nigerians). You can’t get that traffic overnight, you know?
But if you sell your own product or service, or you market affiliate products, you can make more than N50,000 monthly with one-tenth of that traffic. Yet, you can’t sell products or services to people who feel no need for them.
So, if you’re going for entertainment/celebrity gist, or sports, or technology/hacks, you’ll attract traffic, no doubt. But you’ll make little money. Or even nothing. This is no soothsaying. I’m talking from experience.
Now, what about the health niche?
Only few Nigerians will read a blog or ebook on healthy living. Most Nigerians don’t search for information about health problems until they actually have those problems. And even when they do, they visit hospitals rather than read blogs. So, a healthy living blog or ebook targeted at Nigerians won’t do well.
As for other niches like motivation, poetry, bead making, and other related topics that nobody is interested in, you’ll still attract visits — but by your relatives and close friends.
Factor 2: Passion or interest
Even if the niche is financially rewarding, you won’t go far if you’re not passionate about it or interested in learning more about it.
Remember, no online business will fetch you profits overnight. So, you need to work hard for some time before the rewards will start coming.
Your passion for your chosen niche will serve as your motivation to keep pushing even when you’re not making any money yet.
Now, another common question is, “Do I have to be experienced or be an expert in the niche I intend targeting?”
My answer is “No.”
All you need is the ability to learn quickly, research, and provide volumes of high quality and valuable content on the topic.
But there’s a caveat: For the make money online niche, you really need experience and expertise. Only with expertise can you produce unique content that doesn’t read like the same old junk that people have read many times over. Only with experience can you offer practical tips and advice, not strategies you’re not sure are working or not. And if your blog doesn’t reflect the uniqueness of your expertise, you won’t attract loyal readers. That’s the fact.
Now you have it!
I’ve just explained how to correctly choose a suitable niche for your online business. If you’ve done it wrongly before now, it’s never wrong to start all over.
Yes, starting all over is better than struggling to push ahead towards a goal you’ll never achieve.
If you have any contributions, suggestions, compliments, or questions, leave a comment. I’ll reply:)