1. Stay clear of ideas that surely won’t work
- Supermarket products (e.g. processed food and cleaning products) – Unless shopping is revolutionized beyond expectations, who would buy a laundry detergent online? Sure, the keyword “detergent review” has over 4,000 Google searches each month. However, you can practically get one in the supermarket right around the corner. Don’t even think of offering any product that people would rather buy in a store.
- Big, bulky products (e.g. garden shed, carport, and wardrobe) – Many furniture dealers try to market online, but to no avail. Big purchases for furniture tend to trigger anyone’s inner quality snob. They’d want to touch and see products before buying. Don’t even get me started on the hassle of returning defective bulky shipments!
- Self-explanatory products (e.g. trash bins, power strips, and cellphone covers) – The goal of authority sites is to add value for customers by giving them expert-level advise. We thrive from customers’ confusion and curiosity. You don’t really invest hours in reading articles before buying a trash bin, do you? Besides, what content will you publish when there’s hardly anything to explain?
- Drugs and medicine (e.g. prescription drugs and weight loss pills) – Unless you’re an absolute legal guru, try to avoid getting yourself into industries that are heavily regulated. What do we say to niches where one wrong move could mean jail time? No thanks!
- Products that go out of trend so quickly (e.g. smartphones, tablets, and ad notebooks) – The basic idea behind an authority site is to invest a lot of work in the beginning, and then much less later on. If new products are constantly launched in your niche, you have a lot of work to do just to keep your site updated. Please send my deepest condolences to those who chose the tech industry as their niche.
2. Go wild with internal brainstorming
Don’t underestimate the power of your mind palace. For optimum results, talk to yourself and write down everything! From asking these basic of questions, you might find a great idea to cultivate for your authority site:
- How did you spend your day?
- Any special skills and hobbies you’ve been dying to try?
- What’s the last thing that made you feel so frustrated?
- Any troubles with your gadgets today?
The basic goal is to find any areas and problems that might need an expert’s assistance. From that mini heart attack after a failed log in attempt, you could be prompted to explore website protection tools. From that eagerness to try out triathlon, perhaps focusing on athletic gears and apparel could work.
3. Ask around
When you’ve exhausted the last of your brain cells, try the same brainstorming process with your friends or office mates. Crowd-sourcing on social media can be pretty good to. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a business partner while asking around!
4. Examine your hobbies and interests
It’s always a smart goal to blur the line between work and play, so why not start with something you’re really passionate about? You even get the bonus of experience and expertise that will come in handy later on when creating content. If you’re an avid table tennis player, why not study the market for professional equipment and machines? When your website is up and running, I bet you’d also love coaching people with video courses and e-books.
5. Tour around your own home
Nothing worked so far? Maybe a great idea is just under your nose. Try to look around the things you own. Which do you consider as your most important investment? What urged you to do a lot of research? By finding out what products and services you highly value, you can have a bunch of starter ideas to check out. It will also be easier to gain the trust of people who share the same consumer behavior as you.
6. Watch out of changes in society and the law
Trends and mood of people are ever changing. Sometimes, newly signed laws can also make or break industries. If you’re the observant type, this method can be the right trick for you. A quick stroll downtown or even an hour of sitting in front of the television can give you valuable insights. For example, people are becoming more supportive to companies with purpose and advocacy. Saw that growing solidarity for environmental activists? It might spark your interest to try green technology as a niche.
7. Browse magazines and catalogs
Heavyweights like the Conrad catalog are perfect when looking for a niche. If you think about it, magazines are like printed versions of authority sites. Subscribers trust their advice, and let’s face it – they’re 10% content and 90% advertisements. If these media companies are still thriving despite the general shift to online marketing, maybe products they swear by are worth checking out.
8. Check the bestsellers in Amazon
Your ideas might seem great at first, but have you considered if they’ll actually sell? Checking out Amazon and its best selling products help authority site owners conduct a quick check about market demand. From the onset, you’ll know if a niche has enough fan base to be worth any effort. If everything works, this could also guide you on what brands to write about and seek partnerships with.
How did you find your big idea for your first authority site? Help aspiring newbies out and share your routine in the comments below!