Are you looking to create some income online and using niches online? Online market research or finding a niche is critical to the success of your online business. In order to sell products and services online, you need to know your niche’s needs and wants are and then make sure your product or service meets their needs. Niche market research is a way of finding out a specific section of the market that needs a unique product or service offering. Identifying niche markets helps you to customize your product or service offering to very specific needs so that you are not competing with established companies or online businesses having massive advertising budgets. Through thorough market research, you can not only pinpoint suitable target markets but can generate leads as well. Here are five simple steps that you can take to improve your chances of success in establishing a niche online so that you and your business can start making money delivering what people want in that particular niche: Step 1: Find out what is popular Carry out market research to determine what people are buying. You could do so by visiting websites like eBay and Amazon as well as by joining online forums around the particular topic you wanted to develop or already have a product or service for. You can easily determine on a forum, what problems or questions the people on this forum have around a particular topic. A couple of good places to start are groups.yahoo.com and groups.Google.com. Step 2: Find out what is missing Online forums are great for identifying niche areas. Try to find out what people are dissatisfied with or what they would be happy to buy if it were available. For instance, there may be a lot of information on gardening, but not enough on apple tree growing. You could then consider writing or having someone else write an eBook on apple tree growing and selling that online. I often refer to this as the “big red button” concept. If people have a need for something or a problem they need solving, if they could just press a hypothetical big red button and their solution would appear, they would be very happy right? Well, we are finding out what their problems are and then making a sale by giving them a “big red button”. This could be an eBook, software, a free consultation, etc. Step 3: Find out how “hot” your niche market is The great thing about the internet is that you can conduct research on the keywords people are using to search for things online. This is powerful because you can see how popular a particular search term is by using free tools to determine how many searches on a particular keyword occur in a month.You could do this by checking tools like Google AdWords (check out googlenichefinder.com). Simply type in the keywords relating to the niche, you think people may be used to find out more about your selected niche. You are generally looking for searches that total above 30,000 in a month, which means that it is a hot niche. You can obviously make money in niches less than this, but this will give you a decent amount of traffic to generate good money. Niches Online Be sure to select your keyword carefully for conducting your online market research. You can use tools like goodkeywords.com, keyworddiscovery.com, and keywordspy.com to find out relevant keywords. Step 4: Conduct a survey You could consider conducting an online survey by setting up a survey at sites like supersurvey.com/ and surveymonkey.com/or use a very powerful database system called ASK Database. These sites offer free as well as paid facilities. You can promote your survey by sending emails with a link to the survey or use forums that talk about your niche, to post a link to your survey for this purpose. Another option is to set up advertising on Google using Google AdWord and have your advert link to the survey. You can have your adverts appear against only the keywords you selected in step 3 above, that way you are getting your target audience to complete the survey. The survey could be as simple as a single question: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to_________ (Insert your niche market). Step 5: Now you have identified a hot niche market, you have used keyword research to find out how people are searching for the niche, and you have gathered information on what your niche market requires – either through forums or a survey. You now have enough information to either deliver a product or service you have already that meets the target niches needs or develop a product or service that will meet their needs. The last step is then to look at the competitors in this niche. You may find that you can develop a product that will be far better than what is in the market already. Or you may even find that there are no products meeting the needs of the niche market. In this case, you are definitely able to create some great income online, providing this niche with a solution to their problem.