Setting up a profitable business on the web has never been easy, but it seems to become harder every year. One of the most important decisions you have to make, at the very start, is to find a product in a market segment that can be profitable. It should be a product in a niche market where the competition is not very strong. But how to find such products and niche markets? It's not just a question of being creative, because you have to find products or services that you can sell to real people, surfers that need your product.
Why do not have a look at the exact words that people type in when looking for a product? When you type keywords in Google without pressing 'enter', Google suggests words to complete your phrase. This is based on actual phrases that people have been typing in. In this way you see which keyword phrases are being searched for. You can try it out immediately, for example with 'how to'. The first phrases I got in Google, doing this myself when writing this article, were 'how to save a life lyrics', 'how to kiss', 'how to download from youtube' and others. Not very promising at first glance, but the important point here is that these are phrases that actually have been typed in, many times. In Yahoo I got different phrases, like 'how to tie a tie', 'how to lose weight', 'how to draw' and 'how to control anger'. No niches in sight, so far.
It all depends on the right phrase beginnings. 'How to get better' gives more useful results and there are many more. 'How to cure', 'how to buy', 'how can I', 'learn to' and 'tips on' are definitely worth checking out. We can also give the first letter of a keyword. For example: 'learn to' gives 'learn to airbrush', 'learn to act', 'learn to airbend' and other phrases. The marketing strategy based on this technique is extremely simple yet very powerful: we try to get a lot of potential niches and then we use other tools to determine if something can lead to a profitable niche. It's not difficult to come up with at least twenty different and powerful beginnings, and we can also mix beginnings to have even more variants.
The second step, as already mentioned, is to determine which keywords have potential, and are worth digging into. There are some questions we can ask, eg: is there a magazine about after it, is it something that people are passionate about, are there people buying products related to it? A 'yes' to many of these kind of questions means that it could be a profitable niche. But take care: avoid niches that are too competitive, there are tools and techniques to pick only the less competitive out of it.
The third step is finding profitable and popular products in that niche. You can go to forums related to a niche and find out what people are talking about and what they wantly want. You also learn about some of the problems related to that niche. Having a look at the questions that people are asking at 'Yahoo answers' can reveal what people need. The technique may seem too simple to work, but it does work, and even better than I expected. If you have some spare minutes, try it, you might be surprised.