I've written a little bit about this before, but I'm going to take it from a slightly different angle this time.
I've talked about the fact that people tend to get stuck in the niche selection process. People often ask, "which one's the right one?", when they really mean, "which one's the perfect one?"
And I'm here to tell you that there isn't a perfect one. Does that blow your mind?
You have to get past the selection stage and move onto the action stage to really learn anything of value. Until you try something, you just won't know. Nobody knows. Some experts might be able to tell you with some confidence, but ultimately they don't know.
Creating a niche business is really a risk any way you look at it, though it's not a big risk.
Boil it Down
If you're struggling to choose a niche, I'd imagine you've already made a pretty exhaustive list of things you're good at, you're interested in, and you're passionate about, right? If not, you need to start there.
So you have your list. Now what?
One approach is to go systematically down the list and try all of them. Seriously? Yeah, seriously.
You're going to learn from every experience, right? And ultimately, no project is going to be wasted. Every time you'll have grown and gained some new insights from the experience.
And I would venture to guess that you'll probably find a winner before you go through everything on your list. If you give everything a fair shake, you'll probably be ridiculously good at doing this by the time you try your third or fourth business. No doubt.
You could even pick totally at random. Or you could pick the one that interests you most. Or you could tackle one where you've identified a significant need.
If you can't tell, I don't think the selection matters that much. It's the growth curve that matters.
Go from the choosing stage onto the publishing stage as soon as you possibly can. By the time you've waited, who knows, someone else might have done it already. Then you'll be disappointed by the fact that you didn't try "when you had the chance."
This is an equal opportunity game, friends, but it often comes down to who takes action. The incompetent guy who doesn't know what he's doing might end up winning, just because he was the first to the market.
Your first business won't be perfect. Neither will your second, or third, or fourth. You'll get better and better, but never perfect. That's totally okay. Get yourself to a point where that's okay. Otherwise, you're missing the point of niche markets.
Give your business a fair chance before moving on. This might be defined differently for different people and different projects.
If you reach your upper limit and only make a small amount of money from your business, you may recognize the time is right to move on. Or maybe you get burned out on the topic. Or maybe it's just not doing the things you hoped it would do despite your best efforts.
if you prefer, you could even put a specific time limit on it, or have a specific criteria for projects you quit. Maybe you give it two to three years. Or maybe you quit when you've published 100 blog posts and none of your visitors are converting.
Maybe, like me, you'd prefer to wait for that "gut feeling" when you just know that your project isn't going to do what you want it to do.
Now, just so we're clear, this isn't the time to quit; this is the time to move on. Give yourself a bit of time to recalibrate (maybe a week or so), rest, and move on to your next niche project. Keep growing, keep learning, keep iterating.
There are times when a passion project takes precedence over a profitable project. If you find yourself saying, "I know this doesn't make me any money, but I just love doing it", that would be it.
I don't see anything wrong with personal fulfillment. Hopefully you are fulfilled by what you do, no matter what you do, regardless of whether or not it's popular or profitable.
Just be clear on what's a passion. If you start putting pressure on it to make you money, you could end up despising it, and that's no fun.