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Online Business Selection Process

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/26/2007 | Marketing

You've seen the claims about massive amounts of money being made on the Internet. Are they true? YES! How can you get your share of this Internet wealth? The odds are against you. Over 90% of people who venture into the Internet to make money fail.

Well, you need a plan or some sort of process that is proven and will work. If you work this plan and stay true to the process, your chances of success online will be much greater.

This process works, but there is no guarantee that what you do will work. Success is very elusive. If you are persistent and willing to learn as you go, you should do quite well.
The Process is broken down into 7 steps. They are listed below, in the particular order that will work.

1. Niche Selection
2. Site Selection
3. Prioritizing the List
4. Product Selection
5. Presenting and Proposal
6. Logistics
7. Review

The 7-step process is an iteractive process. After reviewing, you may find that you have to go back to step 1 and modify to come up with a winner. Let's go through step 1 in more detail.

Step 1. Niche Selection

- You will want to find a niche that is tightly focused within a wider niche essentially, a niche within a niche. The more narrow your focus, the easier it will be to rise to the top of that niche. Once you have conquered the tightly focused niche, you can expand to the wider niche, and on up the chain. You can get ideas from online resources such as any of the big search engines, Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. A narrow niche will usually have 2 to 4 keyword phrases associated with it. An example would be a wide niche of "car parts". Narrower niches would include "used auto part", "race car part", "chevy car part", etc. You can see that this would produce quite a list of 2 to 4 keyword phrases that would narrow the wider "car parts" niche.

- Another thing to keep in mind when selecting a narrow niche is the content that will be available for the product niche. Will you be able to find enough content related to the narrow product niche to create pages of information? The more content available or that can be produced, the better.

- What are the best ways to identify a niche? There are probably as many ways to identify a niche as there are people looking for a niche. Here are some tried and true methods to locate a niche that should allow you to identify some great niche ideas.

- Your own knowledge and/or personal interests. A hobby or passion for which you already have expertise. Remember, you are an expert if you say that you are and back it up with pertinent information.

- Desk Research. Articles, Browsing, and Newsgroups. You can find all kinds of ideas looking through publications from many sources. Keep an eye out for the advertisements. If you see certain ones over and over, they are making money and would be worth taking a further look.

- Paid-for Research. If you have more money than time, hire a consultant to find a niche that meets your specifications. You should be able to find excellent information with the right consultant. Be up front with them from the start as to your expectations, and they should come up with great ideas.

- Keyword/Niche Search Tools. The tried and true method is using keyword tools to find niches that should be profitable. Keep in mind that when you do a search on the search engines, such as Google, you are seeing the supply for that niche.

Tools such as Overture's Keyword Selector Tool will provide you with the demand side. You want to find keyword phrases for your niche that have low supply and high demand. As an example, a search on Google for "auto part" shows about 1,350,000 sites that are listed for "auto part". Overture's Keyword Selector Tool shows that "auto part" was searched on about 1,001,985 times in the last month. This might be a good wide niche to start from because of the ratio of supply to demand. You want low supply and high demand.

You also want to see how hard it might be to duplicate the higher-ranking sites popularity. To assess this, check the sites PR rank, Alexa ranking and number of back links to the site.

In a later article, we will look at how to access these numbers to see if a niche can easily be dominated. We will also take a look at subsequent steps in our selection process.

Step 2. Site Selection

- Small-scale method
- Browse your terms
- Check top-ranking sites
- Capture contact information
- Check Alexa ranking

- Large-scale method
- Browse your terms
- Harvest top ranking sites keywords
- Set a manageable quantity of keywords
- Bulk-search on those terms
- Refine the resultant list into a mailing list

Step 3. Prioritizing the List

Step 4. Product Selections

Step 5. Presenting and Proposal

Step 6. Logistics

Step 7. Review