Choosing The Right Niche Market

When it comes to choosing the right niche market, here are some questions you should be able to answer before you invest time building your business. As you answer these questions, the actions and strategies you need to succeed in your niche will begin to reveal themselves.

When it comes to choosing the right niche market as an infopreneur, your passions, expertise, interests and life experience all have the potential to become a fulfilling source of income. The first step in choosing the right niche market is to narrow down your interests and possibilities.

What are you passionate about? What could you create, explain, demonstrate or research that might be of interest to others? What do you know how to do particularly well? Is your “common knowledge” uncommon or in demand somewhere else in the world?

What niche market research have you completed? Too often in business, when assumptions trump research it leads to problems, wasted time, wrong pricing, ineffective marketing and can be very costly or cause the business to fail.

Questions to ask yourself

When it comes to choosing the right niche market, here are some questions you should be able to answer before you invest time building your business. As you answer these questions, the actions and strategies you need to succeed in your niche will begin to reveal themselves.

• Why are you interested in this niche?

• Do you think you’ll still be interested in your theme in 6-12 months?

• Within your niche, can you envision at least 50 related topics that you might be able to write about, demonstrate, feature or explore?

• Do you have any experience or pre-established credibility relating to your subject?

• How popular is your niche?

• How much demand is there for your area of interest?

• How much supply is there to meet the demand?

• Can you compete with credibility, quality and pricing?

• Who are your customers?

• What are they interested in?

• What are they looking for?

• How can you help them solve a problem?

• What are their buying habits?

Narrowing it down

Try narrowing it down to three good potential themes to compare. Pick topics you’re interested in spending the next 12-24 months exploring. As you do your research you’ll begin to see what is working for the competition, as well as where they make money. There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel if someone’s already done the legwork.

The next step in choosing the right niche market is to use the tools available online to contrast and compare each theme. Your primary considerations should be: personal interest, credibility, demand, profitability and feasibility.

Jobs For Retirees

Jobs for retirees and retiree jobs have both become popular internet search terms in this economy. Whereas ‘retirement’ used to be synonymous with much deserved relaxation and a comfortable pension, that definition is rapidly changing. Financial security is less secure than it used to be, and the cost of living is ever increasing. For some retirees, becoming an infopreneur is an excellent solution to these concerns.

“Don’t simply retire from something; have something to retire to.”
-Harry Emerson Fosdick

When the U.S. Social Security program was reviewed in 1930, the average life expectancy at birth was only 58 for men and 62 for women, and the retirement age was 65. Retirees did not live long enough to collect many, if any, benefits, and jobs for retirees were scarce.

People are now living significantly longer and notably healthier lives, retaining capabilities well into their 80s and beyond. This has two serious implications: being able to afford to live longer, and keeping busy. It is well understood that people who stay productive tend to live longer and often happier lives.

“The question isn’t at what age I want to retire, it’s at what income.”
-George Foreman

Unfortunately, paying jobs for retirees are not readily available nowadays. In some cultures, the elderly members of society are revered for their knowledge and life experience. That attitude of honour and respect is less common in the Western world, arguably much to our detriment.

As infopreneurs, retirees have the option to share their wisdom and life experience while generating additional income. Technology used to be a formidable barrier to people of all ages but now, with the help that is readily available, the potential for success is within reach for everyone.

“Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no more
music in them.”
-Louis Armstrong

How To Write A Cookbook

Learning how to write a cookbook can be an easier project than other genres because much of your contents are straightforward ingredients lists and step-by step how-to information. But that doesn’t mean cookbooks are boring or can’t include more than just recipes – that is precisely what sets many cookbooks apart.

There are entire bookstores dedicated to selling cookbooks and it’s important to come up with a way to help yours stand out. As with building a website, a specific focus or theme can help you carve out a profitable niche. Your heritage and family history can often help you in this regard – everyone loves a good story.

The two biggest factors to consider when writing a cookbook are the quality of the recipes, how many to include, and its overall entertainment value. For many successful cookbooks, the entertainment value or theme is what drives sales. A well designed cover that clearly and succinctly lets people know what to expect in your cookbook can be your greatest marketing tool.

“I can’t cook. I use a smoke alarm as a timer.”
-Carol Siskind, Comedian

If you’re interested in learning how to write a cookbook, you will also want to know how to get it published and where you can sell it. Thanks to the internet, self-publishing your cookbook is a reasonable option to consider. If you choose to self-publish, a bound copy of your book can be in hand within a couple of weeks, with few exceptions. Providing you are the registered publisher, you then have the freedom to sell it both over the internet and in hard copy.

One popular self-publishing option is Print on Demand (POD), which is available to everyone online. The profit margins are not nearly as high as true self-publishing, but the advantage is that it costs nothing to upload your book and offer it for sale, and there is no minimum order.

A major attraction to POD is that some publishers have a connection with retail outlets including Amazon and Books in Print. Many also have a direct order function on their websites which writers can publicize. Most POD companies now offer ebook publication in addition to hardcover and paperback. Almost anyone with the desire and motivation can learn how to write a cookbook and sell it online.

Start A T-Shirt Business With CafePress

It is now possible to start a t-shirt business with just a few clicks of the mouse and within 30 minutes have your own online store up and running.

If you want to start a t-shirt business or curious about starting your own a clothing line, there are a number of reputable print-on-demand online vendor to consider:

CafePress

CafePress has 6.5 million members who each have their own online storefront – a webpage – where people can buy their original designs.

CafePress makes it easy to start a t-shirt business from the comfort of your own home. They are popular because there are no upfront fees or manufacturing costs. Basic membership is free but there is also a premium service option which offers enhanced capabilities.

Each member uploads their own customized design and then selects some, or all, of the stock merchandise for it to be made available on.

There is a very wide range of items that you put your design on, from hats, t-shirts and hoodies, tank tops, clothing for kids, clothing for pets, cards, mugs and more. Browse the site’s catalogue for ideas and to preview a design on any product.

While their wholesale prices may be higher than other t-shirt printing companies, they do use American Apparel brand clothing. The key benefit is that there is no minimum product order.

CafePress makes it possible to design and order fifty t-shirts on behalf of a group (or just one for yourself), but also offers the opportunity to start a t-shirt business just as easily.

Because there is no minimum product order or membership fee, you can upload and offer for sale as many designs as you like without any financial risk. You don’t even have to diligently maintain your store once it’s set up and you can still be making money.

CafePress handles the entire online sales process, ships directly to the customer, and deposits your profits regularly and securely via Paypal.

For a small monthly fee you can open a Premium Shop, which enables you to offer a broader selection of items as well as customize your online store’s page to suit your company’s colors and image.

Making Money

CafePress sets the wholesale prices for each item but you get to determine the retail price and keep the difference. The average profit margin for a reasonably priced t-shirt is around $5.

As with launching any other business, you need to determine how you will generate sales.

Bulk orders offer higher profit margins and can be lucrative, especially if the shirts have been pre-sold to a group or company.

Many people have developed profitable businesses selling corporate promotional items made by print-on-demand companies.

While CafePress does have a searchable online catalogue of all products in its database, there is no guarantee that many people will discover your designs this way.

How will you drive traffic to your site? Publicity and word of mouth are the fastest options, provided people know where to find your designs. Viral marketing (which is basically word of mouth online) is great for online sales because if people like what they see, they can immediately place their order with just a few clicks.

If you anticipate the majority of your sales occurring online, you might want to buy a domain name (for about $10) and then use it to redirect visitors to your online store at CafePress. We recommend the redirect because then you can choose a short, catchy www address that will be easier to publicize and remember.

If it’s appropriate, we recommend letting people know where the shirt came from by incorporating a website address into the graphic. This can help your business gain momentum as more and more people comment on the shirts, some of whom will then visit your online store. Choosing good descriptive keywords for your descriptions will also help the major search engines find you.

In addition to giving you access to everything you need to start a t-shirt business, CafePress also offers online help, tips and tutorials to assist you to more effectively design and sell your products.

How Non-Profits Can Raise Money Online

Do you realize how powerful this type of fundraising approach can be? In most cases, non profit organizations can easily take advantage of the same tools, action steps and opportunities that infopreneurs utilize to make money online.

Traditionally, non-profit fundraising ideas involve public events and local media to raise money and awareness. This is effective, but it is also limited.

The internet has created a whole new world of opportunity for fundraising, with far greater reach than ever imagined.

Even if they don’t understand it, most people are aware that the internet has become THE best study and reference tool ever invented.

Organizations are now discovering that when you use the internet to provide helpful information to others, quite often there is a way to simultaneously make money without ever compromising your values or vision.

Do you realize how powerful this type of fundraising approach can be? In most cases, non profit organizations can easily take advantage of the same tools, action steps and opportunities that infopreneurs utilize to make money online.

USING THE INTERNET AS A FUNDRAISING TOOL

A growing number of individuals and organizations are leveraging the internet to generate revenue from all over the world. This trend will continue as more people discover that it’s not only possible but also that it’s now relatively easy to do.

While most non profits have a website and use the internet regularly as a communications tool, it has yet to be embraced by the non profit sector as a revenue generator. The most common reason is that people simply don’t know how, and they wrongly assume it is still a technically challenging and complicated endeavor. The truth is that nowadays, with a little help, anyone who can surf the internet or check email can learn this.

The internet has created the perfect storm for inexpensive non profit fundraising ideas and campaigns. The benefits include virtually no risk, minimal start-up costs, and the potential to connect with millions of people.

Integrating the internet as a fundraising tool is a fantastic project for organizations to initiate, particularly since knowledge of computer programming or web design are no longer prerequisites to success.

With all the help that is available today, it really is feasible for even the most inexperienced internet users to make money online. Individuals are doing it and, in the years to come, more and more non profits will integrate ecommerce into their fundraising mix.

FUNDRAISING IN THE 21ST CENTURY

In-person fundraising events do something very well that the internet typically does not: they make it easy to build and maintain strong, personal relationships with supporters and donors in the real world. The only problem is that they are almost always doomed to a revenue cap.

Fundraising events are limited in their capacity to generate revenue due to:

1. The legal capacity of a venue
2. Geographical barriers (i.e. fundraising in a small town)
3. Finite amount of time and staff/volunteers
4. Low levels of public interest or awareness for the cause within the region
5. Using the internet exclusively as a communication tool and not also as a revenue generator

Many organizations have seen a decline in fundraising due to the economy. When cost containment options and reduction of staff or programs are exhausted, creative and innovative fundraising ideas become necessary.

In addition to support from foundations, corporations and government, the traditional fundraising model is built on strong relationships with donors, which requires the personal involvement of board and staff. While very personal and effective, it is only as available as the resources to implement it.

OVERCOMING TRADITIONAL FUNDRAISING LIMITATIONS

Whether it’s marketing or fundraising, the more people you can reach with an effective message, the more money you will make. The internet gives you the potential to connect with millions of people worldwide, some of whom will be interested in your cause, subject or area of expertise. Used strategically, the internet can become the most powerful, efficient and cost-effective fundraising tool in your entire organization.

The most astonishing feature of the internet’s potential is the scale – it’s inconceivably massive. Of the 1.6 BILLION internet users worldwide in 2008, 452 million spoke English. There is probably a niche market online for literally anything you can imagine, as well as tons of stuff you’d never dream of in a thousand years. With the right research and strategy, you can connect with enough of these people to generate revenue and contribute to your fundraising goals.

WHY EVERY ORGANIZATION SHOULD CONSIDER IT

The internet is already being integrated into most non profit fundraising ideas and strategies. The top 5 reasons to use it as a fundraising tool are:

1. Low risk, minimal start-up costs and excellent revenue potential
2. Achievable for most organizations
3. Ability to generate and sustain passive income
4. Access to millions of people worldwide
5. Ability to generate revenue 24 hours a day

THE TOP 10 NON-PROFIT FUNDRAISING IDEAS

Below are the top 10 non profit fundraising ideas that organizations are using to generate online revenue.

Most of the strategies are not new – they have simply been adapted for the internet.

Each one has the potential to raise a lot of money and it’s easy to integrate more than one into a campaign.

Most importantly, every one of these non profit fundraising ideas can be developed and launched with minimal financial expense, or for free. Many organizations already have a lot of content and history to draw upon, and can quickly build a foundation to support these ideas.

The top 10 non profit fundraising ideas which leverage the internet are:

1. Donations
2. Online memberships
3. Newsletter or ezine subscriptions
4. Special Reports
5. Books or ebooks (i.e.: compilations, cookbooks, poetry books, short stories, drawings, calendars, photos, coffee-table books, how-to, resource lists, etc.)
6. Audio products
7. Video products
8. Guides, recommendations and referrals (books or other products or organizations related to your subject)
9. Joint ventures
10. Affiliate programs featuring or related to your cause or subject

IMPLEMENTING 21ST CENTURY NON PROFIT FUNDRAISING IDEAS

With the integration of the internet as a marketing tool, non profit fundraising ideas become limitless. An organization can follow the same basic step-by-step process that individuals do to launch an online business.

Non profits often have a distinct advantage online thanks to their charitable nature and pre-established credibility in the real world. This can play a significant role building trust in a faceless and mostly anonymous medium.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

Do you feel your organization could benefit from this concept but not sure how to begin? We’re here to help. We can clarify any questions you have and help you present the concept to your team. We can also help you research, develop and implement an internet-based solution that compliments your organization’s mission, image and values.

Planning an Event?

Bryan Pickell is a passionate and engaging speaker for conferences and fundraising workshops. He is also available for private consultation.

For further information, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!