Since our goal is to make money, we are going to look for a market that is in demand but with little competition. The best niche to find is one that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about so that you won’t lose interest quickly and you’ll be able to interact with your audience more professionally. Readers can sense a lack of education on a subject and it’s not usually appreciated.

Write down a list of your hobbies and talents. Think about what magazines you subscribe to, what kind of websites you visit, even things you excel at at work. We’ll use this list to browse through some markets and find something that fits our demand/competition criteria.

Finding a Quality Topic

One way to find a hot topic is with Google Trends. There’s an interesting post by Glen Allsop over at ViperChill about building sites for upcoming events. This is a really great idea and could be good for some fast cash (I haven’t personally tried it out, but will definitely be looking into it as another income stream at some point), but we are looking for some more long-term, steady passive income, not just a quick burst that will be short-lived.

There are tools online, free and premium, that can help you find a popular market. Market Samurai is a paid tool (with a free trial) that comes strongly recommended from some of the top passive income names in the business. I’ve also heard people talk about Micro Niche Finder and Niche Market Research, neither of which I have tried, so I can’t give a real opinion on.

What I suggest, especially for our low budget project, is to start with a free option first and go to Amazon and peruse the magazines category for different niches. If there’s a magazine for something, there is most likely a consumer base for that topic. Try to find something a little more specific. For instance “sports” would not be a specific enough market, even “baseball” is too general for our purposes. But maybe you were a talented baseball player or coach your town’s Little League team, so Little League baseball is a niche that you would be able to supply useful information for. After choosing a niche, think about a need or problem that that niche has. Little Leaguers are new to baseball and need to develop good habits early on to maximize their talent throughout their career, so teaching Little Leaguers the perfect swing would fill a need for this niche.

When you have your niche, we’ll go with Little League baseball and perfecting a players swing, then it’s time for step two: analyzing the marketplace and competition. In my next post of the $500 Business Challenge, we’ll get into keyword research, market demand and competitive analysis to see how our idea plays in the real world.

Relevant Resources

Free Tools

Paid Tools

What has your experience been like when searching for markets? What tools have you used and what kind of success have you had with them?