Identify Your Niche - hitting the bullseye

Before we discuss how to identify your niche, let’s have a recap.

Basic Categories Of Online Businesses:

Click on category below if you would like to be taken to that post.

This is of course not an exhaustive list, but it is some of the most common.

Let’s Now Discuss The How & Why Of It’s Important To “Identify Your Niche”

It is important to have an idea of what type of business you want to run before you start spending the money.  This goes hand in hand with what your business expertise is as well, and also of finding your niche.

Let Me Share A Bit Of Our Story

One of the mistakes I, Phil, made (or not, depending on how you view things), was to start building a site without having any clear goals other than knowing my topic and wanting it to become a business.  What I really did was start a hobby that I hoped would someday morph into a business for us.  I had not gone through an “Identify Your Niche” process.

We purchased our domain on 1/17/17 and launched the site 10/7/17, and the business focus was not really determined until June of 2018.  That was time spending money that was not accomplishing anything for us.

The van life community on the internet has been inspirational and informative to us for years.  We were building out our Sprinter van and hoped to share our story with others to participate more in this community.  The idea was to build an audience and then turn it into a business down the road.  So, our niche was “Van Life” and how to do it by sharing what we were doing.

What I began to realize was that I really did not have, nor the desire to obtain, the talent at documenting our process with video and pictures.

I also do not have a background, or talent, in writing, but that is something I would like to improve in.  I’m sure you can tell that writing is not my strong point, but I intend to improve with practice.

My real interest, and background, lies in the world of business.

  • I have worked many years in the financial industry as a stock broker, both full and discount services.
  • Worked in the insurance industry, specifically long-term care and how it impacts both the care available to the insured as well as estate planning.
  • Jobs as an operations manager twice.
  • Worked with great photographers and graphic designers, as well as operated a printing press back in the day.
  • Witnessed operations both smooth and struggling.
  • Analyzed businesses for investment as well as how to improve operations and cut costs.
  • Became Google SEO certified (a process that I believe is now defunct and therefor not currently certified).
  • Taken classes that cost thousands, some of which I asked for a refund, others that I believed were worth far more than the cost.  I will share from my experience both as direct advice as well as recommendations to consider taking some of these courses or reading specific books.

Business is what I love!

Pattie, my wife and Good Van Life partner, has an extensive background in bookkeeping with both established and startup companies.  She likes to say she is the weight added to lofty dreaming that keeps things grounded and sustainable.

The focus became clear – help others build their online business!  (Also with an emphasis on how this is a common question in the van life community)

Our primary focus is therefore:  How to build a business that supports a van life.

The bonus is that our content is also useful to a wider audience of those who just want to build an online business regardless of whether they wish to live a van, be able to travel more, or just want the independence of having their own business.

What If You Have Questions?

Questions you may have regarding starting your own business like “can I make any money even with a small subscriber base/list?”, “where do I begin”, “How much will it cost me to start a business”, and everything from beginner to advanced will be covered over time.

With taking classes, reading many online business books, and going through and sharing our experience starting this company with transparency will allow you to witness what we experience, warts and all.  This post is an example of just that.  We should have started with the exercise of how do you identify your niche, what are you passionate about, how might you be unique in your community/tribe.

Our goal is to share with our audience the good and the bad.  We will be fully transparent with our subscribers.  With our monthly recap email, we will share specific numbers of where we are at so you can see our advice in action.

Always feel free to ask any questions you may have!

Takeaway From This Post:

Hold off spending money until you have thought through what your real niche will be.  Choose something you are passionate about or have a deep desire to become an expert at.

Next Post:

We will cover researching your niche to understand the audience potential and competitive landscape.

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