Niche Research (An Introduction) – A Lesson in Muse Creation

Pen & PaperGetting the ball rolling on your muse is often one of the most difficult parts of the process [what’s a muse?].  Hopefully, your idea to create a muse stems from an interest you have.  This is really the most logical way to create a muse and make money.  However, general interests only take you so far.  If I know I’m passionate about baseball, for example, that still doesn’t give me a direction to take with my muse.

With that in mind, I wanted to write an introduction to niche research for your muse.  If you’re already a pro, this may be old news to you, but I still think it’s good to go back to the basics.  Even the most experienced entrepreneurs lose touch with the basic concepts that made them successful in the first place.  Note: This article applies to online-based muses (even if it’s for a service that you provide offline, but still offer information online to generate leads, exposure, etc.).

There are an infinite number of ways to research and gather information about your niche, because your niche could be ANYTHING and your inspiration for that niche could come from ANYWHERE.  As I previously wrote, you can even find valuable niche information through spam.  For the purposes of this article, we’re just concerned with taking our interest, narrowing it down to a few specific niches (or sub-niches, if you prefer), and checking the viability of those niches.  I’ve bolded the key takeaways in case you’re just skimming this article.

Refine Your Interest

Before you begin checking the viability of your niche ideas, you need to refine your interest into 3-5 potential niches, depending on how specific your interest is.  If you’re interested in clothing for small dogs, you might already be specific enough.  On the other hand, if you’re interested in food, you have a bit of refining to do.

Assuming food is your general interest, brainstorm some potential niches within that area.  Here are a few that I’ve come up with:

  • Cooking recipes
  • Reviews of local restaurants
  • Healthy eating

Check the Size of Your Market

One very easy way to check the potential size of your market is by testing how many times your niche/product is searched for online.  Before you can even begin to think about finding potential customers, you absolutely need to make sure they exist.  If you have a product in mind that is completely new and unheard of, you’ll want to brainstorm another product or service in that niche so that you can examine those markets for potential customers.

Don’t pursue a niche that doesn’t appear to have a large enough market (this will depend on the niche).  It’s not a complete barrier to success, but if it’s something you can avoid, avoid it.

A market that is too small or nonexistent is generally not good for your muse, but a market that is too large may also hinder your success, due to extensive competition.  Small niches (vs. niches that are “too small”) may actually be the best targets, because competition is more likely to be minimal, giving you a better chance to stand out and dominate.

Let’s examine sub-niche #1 from above – recipes.  Because Google is the largest search engine and handles greater than 70% of the world’s search requests, it’s the place we naturally want to look first to examine the possible size of our market.  To do this, I will use Google’s keyword tool.  This isn’t the only keyword research tool out there, but it’s definitely my favorite (and very user friendly).

Because I only want keywords that contain “recipes,” I’ll click on “Advanced Options” and select “Show results for ideas containing my search terms.”

Keyword search

“Recipes” is still pretty general, so we have a large number of potential options.  Here are some of the top results:

Recipe keywords

As you can see, even most general types of recipe keywords are extremely competitive.  Even ignoring Google’s measure of competitiveness (the middle column), you can see that the above terms are searched very often.

Refine Some More

It’s completely acceptable to go after a competitive niche.  If you believe you have an incredible product or plan on writing a groundbreaking blog that captures the attention of everyone, you can definitely compete with the big dogs.  It’s going to take a lot more work (and may require some outsourcing for search engine optimization), but can definitely be done.

However, if you’re just starting out and want to get your feet wet, you may want to build a muse around something less competitive.  Let’s take a look at some less competitive keywords around the general “recipes” niche.

Recipes for appetizers keywords

Now we’re getting somewhere.  It looks like if we focus on recipes for appetizers, we may be dealing with a less competitive niche.

Google search competition secret: Because a lower # of searches still doesn’t mean that a niche is less competitive, we can do another check to see how high our website for our muse would rank if we based it on one of the above keywords.  Here’s the secret:  In the Google search bar, type allintitle: “[keyword]” (including the quotes).  Here’s what I found for one of our example keywords:

To me, 47,500 is still a bit too high.  Let’s try one of the other keywords.

All in title 2

Incredibly, a keyword string that has the same # of searches per month (14,800) as the first keyword string we checked, with a slight variation, has significantly less websites with the keyword string in the title.  What this means is that if our website title is “Recipes for Appetizer,” we have a better chance of standing out from our competition.  To make the title more grammatically correct, you can add to the keyword string to make it something like “Recipes for Appetizer Foods.”  The key is that your keyword string is positioned at the front end of your website title.

For the “all in title” check, I generally aim for search strings that return less than 10,000 results.  With a little bit of search engine optimization (“SEO,” which I can explain more in a later post for those who are less familiar), I have a good chance of ranking on the 1st or 2nd page of Google search results.

If you want a more powerful way to do this kind of research, check out Market Samurai.

Check Domain Availability (Optional)

This is always a step I do, but it’s completely optional and perhaps unnecessary at this stage.  It also only applies if your muse will be internet-based.  The reason I do it is because domains are cheap, and if I can find a good domain available, I’d like to snatch it up now.

In addition, it’s extra motivation for me. Knowing that I already own a piece of my planned muse (and it’s a big piece – essentially, it’s a large part of your online real estate) forces me to become more committed to the project.

I use GoDaddy for this (that’s an affiliate link, but allows you to get .COM domains for $7.49 instead of $10.69 – you’ll see the discounted price when you get to the last screen of the checkout), since I’ve found it to be the easiest to manage my domains, but there are tons of domain registrars out there that you can use.

If you can get a domain that is exactly your keyword string, it will help you a lot with ranking higher on Google.  I’ve found this to be the easiest way to create a high ranking website with minimal SEO.

Personally, my order of preference for types of website domains are ranked in this order:

1) .com

2) .net

3) .org

Let’s see if our target keyword string website is available…

Recipe Domain

Sure enough, at the time this post was written, the domain for this search keyword string is available.


With the above information, you could create a blog or website for a product centered around “recipes for appetizer” and you could probably fairly easily get onto the 1st page of Google’s search results for this phrase.  As we found through our research above, this keyword phrase is searched for on Google 14,800 times per month.  That’s a substantial amount of potential traffic you could capture with your website in this niche.

Best of all, this is FREE traffic.  You wouldn’t need to spend a single cent on advertisements.

Disclaimer:  This method of choosing a domain name is great for smaller muses where your primary goal is to sell a product or generate leads for another product or service you wish to sell (online or offiline).  However, if you’re looking to create a powerful brand, probably isn’t the greatest.  Something like is more brand-able, but not as search engine friendly.

Hopefully this introduction to niche research and muse creation will help you get started on the right foot.  As always, please feel free to share your comments with me.  I’m not an expert on search engine optimization (yet), so I’m open to criticism on the method I’ve explained in this article.

If you enjoyed this article, you will definitely enjoy my free newsletter on muse creation, where I’ll share many tips (and even specific muse ideas!) that won’t be published on this blog.  Sign up today!

Also, subscribe to the RSS feed so that you can have new posts delivered right to you! If you like what you read here, I’d really appreciate you sharing this post using the buttons below.  Thanks so much!

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email
Connect with Eric Gati on Google+.

12 Responses to “Niche Research (An Introduction) – A Lesson in Muse Creation”

  1. Very good information Eric. I hadn’t known about the allintitle search before.


    Eric Reply:

    Thanks Mike. Yeah, the allintitle search is a pretty helpful way of seeing how competitive a keyword string is within a website title. A regular search just doesn’t get you the same kind of information.


  2. Excellent stuff Eric, thanks.


  3. Thanks Florin, I appreciate it. :)


  4. allintitle: is is pretty neat trick I’ve not seen before. I just checked allintitle: passive income – 250,000 results and I’m on page three.

    I noted that allintitle checks the page title, not the domain name. In your example you jump from page title to the exact phrase in the domain name. Using the key words in your domain is a great idea but using the keywords in your page title is a slightly different issue.


    Eric G. Reply:

    @ Jade Dragon – Thanks for the comment. I agree, keywords in a domain name vs. page title are different issues, however both play an important role in ranking for search engine results. I like your site, by the way.


  5. Lately I have been doing a lot of directory submissions to build up my backlinks. I write an article and then submit it to the following sites for approval: 1. (constanly crawled by google) 2. (huge site, lots of traffic) 3. (tweets articles + quick indexing) 4. (easy to submit to) 5. (has a high PR and is very popular) By submitting articles to those sites, i have recieved a lot of traffic. Especially from because i get traffic not only from my article, but they tweet it to a following based on your keyword and as a result I get traffic from twitter as well. Hope that helps!


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve been hearing such good things about article writing, which makes me think I really should put more focus on it than I currently do.


  6. Reply June 15, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I like searching on Google for a 3+ keyword phrase and looking at Google’s suggested phrases and similar phrases. The wonder wheel is a great feature too.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the tip, JW!


  7. Thank you so much for explaining the use of keywords and how to use the tool. I have been writing on 2 blogs with blogger for almost a year. I have been writing for InfoBarrel since the beginning of June. Prior to this I was a blog virgin. I can’t believe all of the research time it takes just to understand how to do simple things because people write tips like everyone has been doing this all of their life. There are not many understandable explanations or spelled out examples out there unless you speak the language. I had to search along time to learn how to make a signature, and that was a while back and now I have forgotten how to do this. ha ha. This was simple to understand and I have enjoyed your other articles. Sincerely thank you. Now I am off to utilize Googles keyword tool.


    Eric G. Reply:

    No problem, Jacqueline, glad to have helped. Thanks for the comment!


Leave a Reply


CommentLuv badge

Subscribe to my awesome newsletter and receive The Ultimate Backlink Tracker for free! (Don't worry, I'll respect your privacy.)

The owner of this website, Eric, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to,,,,, or