Setting Goals – Step #3

Now that we’ve got our mind-maps set up, it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff. While it’s true that money can be made in virtually any niche, choosing the right balance between competition and income potential will improve our odds for success. Selecting a careful balance of risk vs. reward is also much more likely to keep us motivated during the initial start-up phase of our businesses. As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, a young business will require long hours and hard work for little or no reward, but hard work always pays off. What is true for a brick & mortar business is no different than an online franchise, and making money online requires the same level of dedication.

Now that we’ve got our mind-maps set up, it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff. While it’s true that money can be made in virtually any niche, choosing the right balance between competition and income potential will improve our odds for success. Selecting a careful balance of risk vs. reward is also much more likely to keep us motivated during the initial start-up phase of our businesses. As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, a young business will require long hours and hard work for little or no reward, but hard work always pays off. What is true for a brick & mortar business is no different than an online franchise, and making money online requires the same level of dedication.

So, how do we isolate profitable niches from unprofitable ventures? Spending countless hours creating blog posts, interacting with members of your blog, and scheduling podcasts will do little to help you earn an online income and submit your two week notice if you select a niche that is beyond your reach. On that same note, selecting a niche with no competition (and probably no money either!) is going to bleed you dry through hosting expenses and failed business ventures. To select a niche that is not only going to make me money, but also allow me to rank on the first page of Google, I use Market Samurai.

Following this simple guide from Pat Flynn, you will learn how simple (and visual) it is to use Market Samurai to locate profitable niches with a manageable level of competition. Using this tool, I’ve selected the keyword phrase “Two Week Notice” to rank for Google. While most searches for this phrase are likely searching for a “different” type of website, I feel that capturing this type of visitor may open their eyes to a type of income not previously considered an option. Above all else, the goal here is to help people, and this keyword should achieve just that.

To begin this journey, my goals would be best shown with a little knowledge of my background. An open supporter of our armed forces, I often follow Navy SEAL blogs to learn the secrets of their success under extreme conditions. Above all else, the prevailing mentality is to separate larger goals into smaller, obtainable goals. While performing 10 more push-ups or running just 1 more mile may not be our exact goals here, breaking down measurable goals will positively reinforce our work ethic and encourage future growth. Like they say, the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

That said, I wouldn’t be much of a teacher if I didn’t publicly follow my own advice – so here goes: For the Two Week Notice Project, my first goal is 100 daily views (unique IP addresses) by the end of 2013. A very small goal, my objective here is to show that goals do not need to be elaborate or  complex, but rather obtainable and measurable. Setting unrealistic or overly simple goals will only discourage you, so focus on achievements that will require hard work and encourage positive behaviours!

So, what are your goals for 2013?!

Niche Keyword Selection – Step #2

Now that we’ve got our mind-maps set up, it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff by selecting niche keywords. While it’s true that money can be made in virtually any niche, choosing the right balance between competition and income potential will improve our odds for success. Selecting a careful balance of risk vs. reward is also much more likely to keep us motivated during the initial start-up phases of our businesses. As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, a young business will require long hours and hard work for little or no reward, but hard work always pays off. What is true for a brick & mortar business is no different than an online franchise, and making money online requires the same level of dedication, and a proper selection of niche keywords.

Now that we’ve got our mind-maps set up, it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff by selecting niche keywords. While it’s true that money can be made in virtually any niche, choosing the right balance between competition and income potential will improve our odds for success. Selecting a careful balance of risk vs. reward is also much more likely to keep us motivated during the initial start-up phases of our businesses. As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, a young business will require long hours and hard work for little or no reward, but hard work always pays off. What is true for a brick & mortar business is no different than an online franchise, and making money online requires the same level of dedication, and a proper selection of niche keywords.

Now, I wouldn’t be much of a teacher if I didn’t publicly follow my own advice – so here goes: For the Two Week Notice Project, my first niche keyword is “Internet Career” (exact phrase match, details to follow). A moderate keyword in terms of exact searches made per month, my objective here is to show that keywords do not need to be elaborate, complex, or yield substantial traffic flow, but rather are obtainable and measurable.

The time period I’ve provided for myself to reach the first page of Google is ~3 months from the date of this post. Setting a deadline of July 31st, 2012 will allow enough time to have the blog indexed by Google for my selected niche keyword, and will also allow the core site tp start obtaining organic traffic, which I expect will mostly result directly from link building activities (more to come on this in future posts). Setting either unrealistic or overly easy niche keywords will only discourage you, so focus on keywords that will require hard work and encourage future growth!

So, where do I start?

Good question! It’s almost like I would have asked that myself… but I digress. The first step in finding your most profitable niche keywords is to determine the simple supply and demand of your target keyword. Just like any other business, huge supply and little demand is going to leave any business owner dreaming of profits. On the other hand, huge demand with low supply is going to set you on the path to success. While typing in phrases in Google will show you a total number of web pages that you may compete against for any given phrase, and the Google Keyword Tool will show you even further details for each keyword, the most effective method is to use Market Samurai (NOT an affiliate link), which is a piece of software that provides a wealth of knowledge for any niche keyword or key phrase.

While I am now working to develop my own tutorial videos for Market Samurai, Pat Flynn of the Smart Passive Income Blog has provided this excellent tutorial of how he uses Market Samurai to find profitable niche ideas. Take a moment to watch the following in its entirety (yes, all 11 minutes), and I promise you you’ll be further down the path to success then you will yet realize.

Woah, that was a lot of information…

For first time website builders, this may seem like a lot of information, but this is an important step in niche keyword selection. Take your time here and play with Market Samurai while you develop a feel for the general flow of the software. The trial period should set you well on your way to selecting a niche keyword within your grasp, and spending the $ to buy a full license wouldn’t be the worst decision you could make with your money, either. Again, there is no need to rush. The more time you take now to understand the methods put forth in this outline, the better off you will be down the line. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m here to help and will take the time to make sure you understand the importance of niche keyword research.

So, my fellow marketers, I leave you with this: What niche keywords have you found with Market Samurai that you are glad you didn’t pursue, and why?