There's a saying in marketing: "There are riches in niches." This lesson is all about identifying and honing in on the niches that are most likely to lead you to your own art blog riches.
In Exercise 1 of the Course Overview (The Big Picture), I suggested that you begin making a list of several topics that you were passionate about. This list of topics are the things that you are most interested in sharing and writing about on your blog. I asked you to search your heart and soul and come up with ideas that you are most passionate about.
In Exercise 2 of this lesson, you are going to take that list of topics and ideas and test them to make sure that they are practical subjects for a blog. What do I mean by "practical'? By practical, I mean that they are topics that have the best chance of succeeding on the internet.
There are two tests. Test 1 determines if your market niche is big enough. Test 2 determines if there are enough people in your market niche willing to spend money on your topic.
Does this make sense? This information is very important to the financial success of your art blog. If one of your topics does not pass the tests, then you should probably abandon that idea for one that tests more positively. A topic that does not have a large enough audience or an audience who is not willing to spend any money may not generate the kind of success you want for your art blog.
There are two tests that you should do on each topic or subject idea. The first test is the Google Keyword Tool Search Test. This first test makes sure your internet audience is large enough. The second test is the Competition Test. This second test makes sure that there are other people out there who are already making money with the idea or topic you are considering.
Both tests are very important. Do not go ahead with developing a topic further unless it passes BOTH tests. REPEAT: An idea or topic MUST PASS BOTH TESTS to be a truly worthwhile or practical topic, one that will be successful and generate profits for your art blog.
Are you clear on this? I strongly suggest that you choose ideas for your art blog very carefully, only after applying this basic research. If a topic does not pass both tests, then please go ahead to the next topic in your list until you find one that passes both tests.
Okay, are you clear about all of this so far? So let's get to testing your ideas.
Test 1: Google Keyword Tool Search
This test is very simple and easy to do. Click this link: Google Keyword Tool. Once you are on this page, you will do a search for the first or most passionate topic on your list.
Let's say that you have picked How to Paint Still Life in Watercolor as the topic for your art blog. You will type in this whole phrase into the search tool. It will return the number of searches that are performed each month on this topic. Let's say that this phrase returned 7,000 searches per month.
You may also try some related phrases that the Keyword Tool suggests such as, Watercolor still life painting, painting fruit in watercolor, how to paint an apple in watercolor, etc. You find that these related searches total 5,500 searches each month.
This makes the total searches each month for your topic 12,500. This total number of searches each month is too small. The audience for this topic or subject is not large enough.
A topic (and its related keywords) needs to have at least 40,000 searches per month to be considered large enough.
Red Flag: If a topic and it's related keywords do not have 40,000 combined total searches each month, then this market niche is too small.
Let's continue on with our example. After reconsidering your topic, you decide to go after a broader niche market but within this same theme. You now try a new keyword search with the phrase How to Paint in Watercolor. This returns 22,800 searches per month.
You now search some suggested related terms such as How to Paint Landscapes in Watercolor, How to Paint Still life in Watercolor, How to Paint Seascapes in Watercolor, How to Paint Flowers in Watercolor, Painting Portraits in Watercolor, Pet Portraits in Watercolor, etc. You find that these related terms return 33,000 searches per month.
This gives you a grand total of 55,800 searches per month for your main topic and it's related keywords and phrases (22,800 + 33,000 = 55,800). Bingo. You have hit the jackpot. This internet audience is certainly big enough.
So now let's go ahead to test two.
Test 2: Competition Test
In this test, you are going to go to Google Search, Yahoo Search, or Bing Search and type in your phrases or keywords. You are looking for competition. You are looking for other people who are already set up and doing what you intend to do with your art blog.
In this case, the more competition you find, the better. That's right, you are reading this correctly, the more competition you have, the better. Why? It simply means that there are lots of people out there already making money with this idea and that is a good thing. It means, then, there are lots of people out there willing to spend money on your topic.
Let's continue with our example of How to Paint in Watercolor. Let's say you do a Google search for this topic and find lots of people who have internet sites and are selling their watercolor products. You find that there are watercolor artists selling How-To books on watercolor painting. They are also selling internet classes and webinars on how to paint in watercolors. They are also selling their watercolor paintings, prints, and reproductions from their art galleries online.
This is a very good sign. This means that this topic has passed Test 1 and Test 2. This topic would certainly be a successful one to pursue as your blog subject.
But what about the opposite? What if you find very little or no competition for your subject or topic.
If you find very little or no competition for your idea, it means that there is probably no one out there willing to spend money on your idea. You may want to reconsider your idea for one that could potentially be more profitable.
Red Flag: Lack of competition in a market niche means lack of paying customers.
Here's a simple example. Let's say your topic involves teaching internet classes on caste ceramics. You do a Google Search and find that there is no one else teaching internet classes or selling e-books on how to make and fire cast ceramics. This is a red flag. It could mean no one is willing to spend money on e-books or internet classes to learn to make and fire cast ceramics.
Now you are ready to start applying what you have learned from this lesson. This exercise is very important and could help predict the success or failure of your art blog.
Take each of your ideas that you brainstormed from Exercise 1 and apply them to the tests above. Put them through Test 1 and then through Test 2.
If an idea or topic passes both tests, then it will have a higher chance of succeeding over time as your blog subject. I strongly suggest that your idea or topic must pass BOTH tests before you go ahead with further development on your blog.
If an idea or topic passes one test but fails the other, then I strongly suggest that you find another idea or topic. Simply go to your next idea and test that one. Test ideas until you find one that you are passionate about that passes BOTH tests.