Targeting a niche provides focus for your website and has great appeal to search engines as it gives them a better idea of the sort of traffic they should send you. Try to determine where your market is. Are they parents? Retirees? Home owners? Pet lovers? If you are selling art supplies you may find hobby sites will cater to your audience. If you sell information for do-it-yourself projects you could show up in home decorating as well as financial sites ('Save Money on Home Building Projects!' for example).
Targeting a niche also means that your visitors will be aware that you are able to provide the sort of information they are looking for, hence they will bookmark your site for future reference and think of your site when looking for products that are related. As well, if the content of your site impresses visitors, not only are they likely to return but they may well recommend your address to their friends.
With a targeted niche, you can have more confidence when contacting your customers about new products, industry news or specials - and this is without postage costs or time consuming envelope stuffing.
There are a number of tools that will help you to find a niche that is likely to be profitable. WordTracker is a top grade tool that requires a subscription but there are a number of keyword analyzers for sale that will assist. A useful free one is Good Keywords. These tools are especially useful for identifying keywords that are attracting traffic. In other words, they indicate the level of interest from the public. Some of the commercially available tools will also give an idea of the level of competition that will be facing you. Search in Google under "keyword tools" for details of programs currently available.
Invite your subscribers to recommend the site to friends who are interested in the topic. Even better, have a place on your website to 'tell a friend'. Your visitor will enter their own name and email address as the sender of the message to avoid spam complaints. However, a warning - do not start emailing the invitee unless they sign up personally for your newsletter.
Niche sites will really benefit from a newsletter. Create an appealing free gift, such as a special report or how-to manual, that they will receive with their subscription. By providing valuable information related to your topic you will gain the trust of subscribers. By contacting them at least several times a year - up to once a week if possible - they will be reminded of your website when looking for information or products in your niche.
Be sure to create a website that has informative content. Incorporate the keywords (words or phrases visitors type into their search engines) into the content to improve your place in the search engines.
Also, if you write articles about your particular niche, that will help to set you up as an 'industry expert'. If you don't feel capable of writing them yourself you can hire a ghostwriter. End the article with your name, a comment about your business and a link to your website. Submit your article to relevant article directories or ask if website owners would like to use your contribution. Be sure they agree to keep your name and website link intact.
You may find discussion groups that cater to your market. Involve yourself in their conversations and attach a signature with your website address if the policies permit. Be careful not to advertise on these forums; however you may be able to offer your free items when the situation allows.
If you are expanding an existing off-line business by setting up a webpage you may find your most valuable contacts right in your store. Make some brochures or cards that announce your online presence, or ask customers if they'd like to sign up for your online newsletter.
Whether you are following the advice of top Internet Marketers or if you just happened to have a business that caters to a very specific target audience, you must be able to find them, and they must be able to find YOU. If your website has focus, this at least makes it easier for your audience to "hear your call". Then you can consider the nooks and crannies where THEY abide!
One of the joys of niche marketing is the luxury of tapping into a favorite hobby, occupation or expertise and building a business around it. Focusing on a niche also makes it EASIER to channel your energies and appeal to an enthusiastic audience. And possibly make a profit.
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Ivan Kelly managed a Direct Mail business with extensive mailing lists for ten years and has designed and promoted many websites. He also provides quality f'ree courses on key internet marketing subjects. A list of these f'ree courses is available at: www.WebStartAdvisor.com/info.html
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