Checking out your competition
We will now take a look at the competition in each of your niche ideas and see what opportunities we have.
There is always an opportunity
When you look at competition, it's natural to become daunted. You see many well-established websites out there, and you might think that there is no room for your new store.
The truth is, there are new opportunities for you every day in every niche.
New products are launched daily, new niches emerge, new trends pop up, new questions are asked, and new people discover niches. There is opportunity at every turn.
There have been new successful FreshStores members consistently since 2010. If they can do it, why can't you?
Don't be put off by competition - there are always opportunities in any niche, and in this guide, we will find them!
Follow this guide, and you will find those areas of opportunity that will kickstart your success and allow you to grow further.
Finding your competition
Finding your competition is straightforward. We simply search and look in the usual places:
- Google for different keywords in your niche and see what comes up
- Browse and search the social networks:
- Twitter (x.com)
- Pay attention to who is advertising on these platforms, as they will likely be more dominant in that niche.
At this stage, we are getting a feel for the competition and seeing how they are doing things. Spend some time studying the competition and focus on:
- What are the websites like? Are they stores or blogs?
- Have they been updated recently? Are they active?
- What is the content like? Articles, videos, or something else?
- Do they have strong social accounts?
- Which social networks are most active in this niche?
- Does the website load fast? Is it working properly on mobile devices?
Each niche is different, so be creative and learn as much as possible about the competition.
Now that we have a good understanding of the existing competition, we will look for gaps and opportunities.
Note that we are not looking to compete directly at this stage, and that will come later when you are more established. Right now, we are looking for things that we can immediately do better, such as:
- Is there a good Facebook Group in this niche? Can you make a better one?
- Can you make better versions of the articles/content? Are the existing ones out of date or poorly written?
- Do the products in the competition stores have all the information? Can you do better?
- Would someone new to this niche get help?
- Would someone more experienced find more advanced content they need?
You can also go back to your research in the previous section (Content ideas for your niche) and look at the questions people are asking or topics they are discussing. Are there any opportunities here that your competitors are missing?
Each niche is different, so put yourself in the customer's shoes and be creative when you are looking for opportunities.
If you aren't finding many opportunities, look a little bit wider and be creative. Is there any upcoming news or changes in the niche? What are the latest products coming out?
Try starting or contributing to discussions around the niche in Facebook Groups and forums. You can learn a lot by talking directly to passionate people about the niche.
Voice and personality
Another way to break into a niche is to approach with a different style.
The existing websites in this niche might have good information but are boring. Do they have a unique style and voice? Is there any personality behind them?
You can get attention quickly by injecting a bit of your personality, style, and creativity in the store you create.
When to compete with your competition
It takes time to compete with established websites when you are just starting. You are building a new reputation with Google, the social networks, and your audience.
That is why we recommend looking for quick and easy opportunities at the beginning. You can get some quick success and build on that momentum to start challenging your competition.
Once you start getting some traffic and sales, you can look at ways to compete directly with your competition for rankings in Google or dominance in social networks.
Start with the low-hanging fruit - which articles could you easily do better? Which social accounts are neglected and can quickly be overtaken?
Rate your niche ideas for competition
Once you have completed this research for each of your niche ideas, fill out your spreadsheet with a rating under "Competition Rating".
Rate it highly (i.e. 10) if you are confident you have good opportunities. This is a rough rating and not an exact science - make a judgement, rate the niche, and keep moving forward.
We now have a good understanding of the competition and ideas for opportunities. Now, we will take a look at the products in this niche and other monetisation methods.