Niche Site Ideas Case Study – Part Three
Welcome back to the Niche Site Ideas Case Study!
Today, in part three of the Niche Site Ideas Case Study, we are going to get started finding your niche. This is the first step in your journey to building a profitable exam prep niche website. I will show you how I came up with the idea for AssocatePI, and I’ll give you three tips to find your niche product idea. You can see all of my niche site ideas here.
If you are not familiar with the Niche Site Ideas Case Study, this is where I build and scale a niche online business. In this case study, I am showing you how I built and scaled a website in the exam prep niche. This is a niche where you sell online exam prep study materials, I will show you exactly how I scaled AssociatePI (my online business) into a successful passive income stream. And how you can do the same.
In every part of this case study, I’m going to challenge you to take action. I want you to build your niche website with me as you follow along in this case study. In part two of this case study, I gave you five reasons why the exam prep niche site idea is my favorite online business idea.
Today, now that you are convinced this is a highly profitable niche, I’m going to show you how to find your niche.
How To Find Your Niche Product
The true first step to building your exam prep website is to find your niche product idea. You need to be on the lookout for ideas that you can turn into a profitable exam niche website.
Keep your eyes and ears open. There are THOUSANDS of niche exams, designations, certifications, and licenses with hundreds to thousands of people taking the exams each month.
Use your day job, use your college exams, use the designations you earned in the past, use any exam you’ve taken to create exam prep materials that you can sell online. It’s such a simple, profitable niche that not enough people take advantage of.
I stumbled into the idea for AssociatePI. It hit me in the face one day while studying for my exams as a product analyst in the insurance industry. I realized I could create better study material, and I realized everyone hated the study material that was available. It was obvious!
Well, obvious in hindsight…
I know it does not seem obvious to you right now. Which is why today, I’m giving you three ways to find your niche product idea:
- Ask Your Co-Workers (Or Boss)
- Google Search
- Download My List
Go through each step below. Take these three steps to generate a list of niche exam prep ideas.
1) Ask Your Co-Workers (Or Boss)
If you are currently an employee, you have a great resource to generate niche ideas. Ask your co-workers, friends, and boss. Ask what designations, certifications, or exams they have pursued. This is a great way to find potential niche products and opportunities. Write down these niches in the workbook for further research. If you haven’t yet, you can download the exam prep niche workbook here to follow along with this case study and create your own niche website.
Added bonus that you get brownie points from your boss as you pursue extracurricular education! Employers love when you invest in yourself. It’s a great question to ask your boss at your 1×1 next meeting.
I also recommend asking people online. There are lots of forums and communities related to your industry that you can ask. Personally, I use Facebook communities and Reddit. On Reddit, I used the community r/insurance and asked a simple question “What designation do you recommend for a new Property Casualty product analyst?”. You can find a community for just about anything on Reddit or Facebook. Go ahead and search for your community and ask what others are studying for.
These conversations help you find your niche. This will give you a good list of potential exams, designations, and certifications that you can research in Part Four of the Niche Site Ideas Case Study where I will show you how to dive deep into the niche and determine if it is a feasible business opportunity.
This is how I started AssociatePI. It was completely by accident. This was back in December of 2014, while I was working for one of the largest insurance companies in the world. This was my first job out of college, I had just graduated in May of 2014 and started working immediately as a product analyst.
As a new hire new to the insurance industry, my boss recommended that I pursue the CPCU® Designation. An insurance designation in the insurance industry. It would be great to learn about the insurance industry, plus my employer would pay me a $5,000 bonus if I passed all eight exams. It sounded like a win-win to me!
I realized right away that I hated the textbooks I was using to study for the exam. I started asking around, and all of my coworkers felt the same way. The books were long, drawn-out, dry, and had a ton of fluff material that you did not need to pass the exams. Not to mention, the practice questions that came with the textbook did not fully prepare us to pass the official exam. I started to pick up on common themes, people would say the same thing like “the material is sooo dry” and “it takes forever to study”.
That’s when the lightbulb went off. Right after I studied and passed my first exam, I realized I could make a better study material. One that wasn’t dry, one that cuts out the fluff, and one that helps you pass your exams in less time with less hassle.
But, I didn’t jump in right away. I learned from my past niche website failures that I need to slow down and talk to my target market first before building anything. I need to ask what my target market wants before I build it. That’s exactly what I did, as you will see in Part Six of the Niche Site Ideas Case Study. You need to start by validating your idea before you build it. Just because you have an idea doesn’t mean that someone will buy it. Save yourself the extra work and hassle. Ask your target market what they want first BEFORE you go and spend months building it.
We will get to that point later in the case study. For now, start by talking to your co-workers and boss. See what they recommend. Make a full list that you will research in Part Four of the case study.
2) Google Search
When I don’t feel like talking to people, I ask Google.
For niche research purposes, this is a very easy way to find a list of designations in your industry. This is an easy way to get more ideas to find your niche. In this section, I’ll show you one Googling trick that I use to find designations in my industry.
Find Your Niche With Google
In this process, you are using the Google search to create a list of designations, licenses, and certifications in your industry. Write down these niches in the workbook for further research.
- Step 1 – Choose Industry: Start with your industry or department (or an industry that you are familiar with). For example, the industry could be finance, retail, insurance, real estate, or accounting.
- Step 2 – Add Keyword: Now, add an exam prep keyword. Search the industry from step one plus one of these keyword terms: Certification, Designations, Exams, Licenses, Continuing Education. For example Finance (industry) and Exams (keyword) to search for Finance exams.
- Step 3 – Add Quotations: Add quotations around the entire search term from step one and step two. Simply go to Google and search “Industry + Keyword”. For example “Insurance Designations”. By using the quotations you are telling Google to only search for websites with that specific search term. When you search “Insurance Designations” it will only return the top-ranking pages that mention “insurance designations”.
- Step 4 – Google Search: Now, simply go to Google and search your term. Search “Industry + Keyword” from steps one and two. Make sure the full phrase is in quotations to ensure Google returns the top-ranking pages that this phrase.
- Step 5 – Update Your Workbook: Check through the first few pages returned on Google and update your workbook with a list of the designations and exams that you find (this is under Day 1 of the workbook). Make note of at least 10 to 15 designations and certifications in your industry. We need this list for step four in the exam prep process
- Step 6 – Repeat: Repeat steps one through five using different industry terminology and different keywords. For example, when searching for the top insurance designations I searched “Insurance certifications”, “Insurance Exams”, “Insurance Designations”, “Property Casualty Exams”, and “Property Casualty Certifications”.
For example, using these five steps you might search for the following phrases: “Finance Designations”, “Insurance Certifications”, “Real Estate Designations”, “Human Resources Certifications”, “Accounting Continuing Education”, “Data Science Certifications”, “Insurance Licenses”. This will return a long list of various certifications, exams, and designations in your industry. I did this with AssociatePI and found new designations. The ARM designation and AINS designation. I later added these designations to my website.
I also recommend checking forums and Reddit. You can Google for forums in your industry, such as “Insurance forums”. You can then search these forums for keywords such as “Certification”, “Exam”, “Designations”. You can search through the forum to see what other people in your industry are studying.
This online research is how I find niche products. It’s a great way to get a list of niche ideas that you can further research in the next step of this case study.
3) Download My List
Still wondering how you can find your niche product idea? No worries. I created a list of potential niche ideas for you.
Under Day 1 of the exam prep workbook, I created a list of over 400 of the most popular designations and certifications by industry. You can download this excel file here.
This is a comprehensive list that I use for my own research of new niche products. Here you can filter by industry to see some of the most popular designations and possible niches opportunities.
Action Step – Your Turn to Take Action
It’s your turn. Remember, at the end of each step in the case study, I want you taking action. I want you building your niche site with me while you follow along in this case study.
Today, I want you to go to your exam prep niche workbook and write a list of 15 to 20 designations, exams, or licenses that you want to research further. Go through the three steps listed above and find AT LEAST 15 potential exam prep niche ideas. This is how you will find your niche product. You need to do the research. Then, in the next step of this case study, we will narrow it down and choose one of these ideas to create a niche site.
If you haven’t already, you can download the exam prep niche workbook here. This is the workbook to follow along with this case study and create your own niche website with me (I’ll give you the five steps to get started in the exam prep niche, for free, so you can begin building your exam prep niche website today).
So, today, go and talk to your co-workers. Ask what exams and certifications they have taken, stalk them on LinkedIn if you have to and see what designations they have listed on their profile. Do some Google searching, find the most popular exams and certifications in your industry. And download my list of 400+ certifications and designations (under day 1 of the exam prep workbook).
Next Step – Continue the Niche Site Ideas Case Study
Let’s continue. In the next step, we are going to take your list of 15 to 20 exam prep niche site ideas, and we are going to narrow it down. We are going to research the volume and competition of each niche. I’ll show you the exact process that I use to research and choose one niche idea. Click here to see all steps in the exam prep niche case study.
If the exam prep niche isn’t for you, no worries! You can see all of my full list of niches and online business ideas here.
BUILD A NICHE WEBSITE
Start today by downloading my guide to the exam prep niche, my guide for exactly how to start your own profitable website in this niche.
I’ll send you my five steps to get started in the exam prep niche, for free, so you can begin building your exam prep niche website today.