Plenty of resources on niche selection on Google, but there are some basic principles which are mandatory:do you mind talking a bit on how you view market selection and picking a blog topic for building a particularly lucrative audience base? Some of this is basic business sense here, I know, and also largely dependent on the blogger treating the subject matter. But for the sake of this discussion I'd still love to hear more about your ideas in this regard.
Existing - Don't pick a niche which is new, most of the time, unless it's a sub-niche. Banking somewhat on the point above, it better be something which has been, and will continue to be. It doesn't mean you should avoid micro-niche topics which come and go, just look at the bigger picture. (Examples: Computer keyboards. They've been around a while now, but there are micro-sets of keyboards niches which are coming and going all the time. However, the big picture is still keyboards.)
Entrance - This is the most closely related to fastlane, so I doubt I need to talk too much on it, but it bears repetition for the blogosphere because there are some niches which are worth diving into, others not, strictly based on entrance. You want something which is difficult, yet bearable. (Example: Good - Law. Bad - Pens.)
Enthralling - Seriously consider a niche which has some type of interest or fascination where people talk, discuss, argue, and actually participate in forums, etc. While there are riches in niches where this is not the case, it kills scale. If you want to blog and grow rapidly, you need scale in your back pocket, and nothing is more scalable than probing human behavior to acquire social shares, but, more importantly, acquiring other people's content (OPC). (Example: The Fastlane Forum)
If you've got a niche which fits, you're only just beginning. Let's take computer keyboards, now and dive in deeper. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is there room in the market?
- Do you have special expertise or experience with the market?
- Are there niches to exploit within the market?
- Is there potential for cross selling to closely related markets?
- What are the existing methods of monetization available in the marketplace?
Expertise is up to you, but let's say I know quite a lot about them. Great. I would also have the capacity to find proper writers who are more expert than me, and I would also know how to employ OPC to get free content on my site. People who use computers are more likely to be proficient in using search, forums, etc., so OPC is probable. On a sidenote, younger crowds are more vocal than older, on the whole.
There are plenty of smaller niches within the keyboard space, yes. From basic, old school keyboards, up to the latest and greatest fully integrated full-scale keyboards with trackpads, to budget wireless or high-end gaming boards.
Cross selling would be a breeze, because you've got everything from accessories to the keyboard itself (keycaps & LEDs, for example), up to additional peripherals because you're likely dealing with someone who may want a matching mouse, keyboard dock, mouse pad, headset, etc.
Monetization could be everything from being a direct affiliate, to being able to build and source your own product, though electronics aren't the easiest. One thing I would do is build a list of email subscribers and pass along a monthly deal on the last Friday of each month. I'm not going to tell you why that's the ideal day for this type of niche, though.
That's what I'd do. YMMV.
Tools are you disposal are Google Trends, watching the news, monitoring sub-reddits, and even just being open to what people say on a day-to-day basis about their lunch, dogs, vehicles and favorite widget they just found out about. Just listen. See what blows by on your facebook feed. See what products are hot sellers every year at Christmas time or Black Friday.
Be open to any niche, and don't get emotionally tied to it, just in case you find out it's actually a horrible niche, after all.