January 9, 2012

Find and Monetize Your Niche: 11 Knockout Tools

The sheer abundance of tools available to research markets online never fails to blow my mind. Here are some of my top picks that can help you research your next business idea, benchmark your brand and market, or look into what the competition is doing.

  1. Google keyword tool
    Perhaps the tour de force of online tools, Google’s keyword tool allows you to quickly dive into search volumes and keyword recommendations across any topic.
  2. Google insights
    Another great popular tool by Google, this allows one to dive a bit deeper into keywords people are searching for on the search engine. It shows country distribution, keyword recommendations and relative search volumes over time. Its great for noticing and capitalizing on trends in your industry, and you can drill down by country and by topic.
  3. Google Zeitgeist
    Not as popular as the first two tools, but Google’s Zeitgeist contains a wealth of information relating to how people searched for things during the entire year. For example, it shows that Rebecca Black was the fastest rising search term of 2011!
  4. Trendhunter
    This is perhaps the largest site of its kind on the Internet, and contains thousands of ideas for products, businesses, marketing material and creative brainstorming. You can search across many popular topics to see the latest innovative ideas in those fields. Often the ideas shown are weird, funky and creative – this is a brilliant way to stimulate the mind and get new ideas flowing.
  5. Spyfu
    I use this tool to research the competition and certain keywords, in terms of advertising expenditure. The money generated in a market is often directly proportional to advertising spend and number of advertisers in the space.
  6. Google Blog Search
    This, combined with Ice Rocket blog search, allows you to quickly research top bloggers and blog posts in a particular field and in a particular country. Its great to see the kinds of information people are posting within certain industries, and quickly finding the top influencers in an industry.
  7. Twitter Search
    There are so many ways of using the Twitter tool to research a niche, it needs a post by itself. You can start by looking at “pain point” keywords that people use within your niche, and do a search for those drilled down by region. For example, you can search for the hashtag “exercise” within South Africa, where tweets also include the words “hate” or “dislike” or “problem”. Once you start seeing trends in problems that people talk about, you can set out to help solve them.
  8. SocialMention
    This is a great free social media search engine which scans public social media posts about certain topics. There are premium professional tools out there for corporates (I own such a company – Fuseware), but for the individual marketer or smaller niche business something like SocialMention is a great research tool.
  9. Open Site Explorer
    This is very useful to see how certain niche sites become so popular by seeing who links back to them. For example, you can analyze the top blogs in your industry, run those sites through OSE and see which other sites are linking to them. This can help generate ideas for creating more backlinks for your own sites, or even find out interesting “hidden” connections between some of the industry leaders.
    1. Amazon Best Sellers
      This is a useful tool for researching top selling products on Amazon – you can drill down into categories to see which products are selling the fastest.
  10. EBay Pulse
    Similar to Amazon Best Sellers but for the auction site Ebay – it shows the top search terms used by people looking for stuff to buy on the site. If there are people looking to buy products in your niche, you better be sure you are able to supply them.
  11. Are there any great tools I may have missed out on? Let me know in the comments below!

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    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never
    understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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