Monday, June 15, 2009

How to Start an Online Business - The First Step

By Dale E East

As you consider the possibility of getting your own Internet business up and running you are likely asking yourself how do I start an online business and what is the first step in the process? That is a very good question and as you begin to research online for the steps that you will need to take you will run into all kinds of shiny web sites touting their systems.

I am here to tell that you don't need that! In this article I will give you the first crucial step in getting your new Internet based business up and running. That step is to select a niche.

The process of niche selection is not that hard once you understand the process and what to look for. It is important that you have a clear understanding of what a niche is before you begin this process.

My definition of a niche is a market or sub sector of a market that can be defined and targeted, In other words, if you have a market that you can nail down the specific needs of that market, you have a niche.

The first thing to look at when looking for a niche is your own interests and strengths. Look at what you do in your job, what are your hobbies, what do you know that others would like to know? Look at things that you have some expertise in and things that you may not know but would like to learn.

Do you have to be an expert in your niche to build a business? The short answer is no. However, if you have some background in your niche you will not face the learning curve associated with learning your topic added to learning about setting up an Internet business.

When you have a good list of niche ideas you will need to do some online research. What you are looking for is the amount of interest or traffic there is for your subject as well as the amount of profitability in that niche.

Start by doing some research for general related keywords and phrases. This will give you other terms that are searched for relating to your topic as well as the number of searches performed for that phrase.

You are looking for sufficient interest in your topic to support your Internet business. Don't be afraid of bigger competitive niches as there will be plenty of money being spent and you will be able to carve out a piece of the pie for yourself.

Now you will need to examine the potential profitability of your niche. Search for a general term in your niche and look at the sponsored ads on the page. If there are ads on several of the search results pages, the odds are good that there are people spending money in your niche.

Now you need to spy on these advertisers and find out what they are selling in your market. This will give you some good ideas about what your market is buying and what you will want to sell in your new online business.

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