Have you ever heard the phrase “niching down”? Basically, what it means is that you become a specialist with a strict area of focus.
Why does that matter? Well, it’s really hard to try and sell to everyone as opposed to a smaller segment of the population. Sure, it might limit how many sales you make now, but it’ll actually make you more money in the long run.
That’s because it’s much easier to make a name for yourself when you’re the big fish in a small pond than try to duke it out with the undefeated champion straight out the gate.
Technically, those who choose to build products or sell services for the WordPress platform have already carved out a niche for themselves. But considering its popularity among content management systems, it’s not enough to simply design WordPress websites or create WordPress plugins or themes.
So, how will you differentiate yourself from the rest of the people working with WordPress?
- You could focus on creating websites for a specific industry, like fintech, healthcare, or non-profits.
- You could sell products to a certain type of customer, like startup business owners who want to build their own site or marketers who need a plugin to manage content.
- You could also make your offering unique. For instance, rather than build websites for clients, you could sell managed hosting and pre-built websites as a done-for-you solution.
Bottom line: If you want to stand out and succeed, it’s a good idea to find a profitable niche. The following exercise will help you carve out yours and to develop it in a way so it sustains you for a long time to come.
How to Find a Profitable Niche with WordPress
First things first: Do your research.
Don’t just pick something that seems profitable and run with it. You don’t want to get stuck with an industry or a type of customer, only to discover that there’s no real opportunity there.
This is especially important when you niche down with WordPress. People know that they can get websites done quickly and cheaply with or without WordPress these days. So, if you build a business that can’t compete and doesn’t solve an actual problem, don’t expect anyone to invest in your skills or expertise.
To prevent this from happening, it’s up to you to choose the perfect niche for the people you want to serve. And this questionnaire will help you figure out what that is:
1. Have you already made a name for yourself?
You might be reading this because:
- You want to start a WordPress business, but aren’t sure where to start.
- You have an existing WordPress business, but it’s been hard to make money with it.
- You have an existing and successful WordPress business, but it’s a lot of work and you want to scale your offering and revenue while reducing the amount of work you do.
It’s never too late to go looking for a niche for your business. Even if you already have one.
But if you have made a name for yourself, you might not want to stray too far from what people trust you to do for them.
For example, if you’re a WordPress plugin vendor, does it make sense for you to start selling monthly website maintenance plans? Probably not. However, you could build a plugin that’s related to the one you already built or you could sell managed plugin updates and support.
2. What are you passionate about?
One of the benefits of starting your own business is being able to make money from your passion, rather than working on whatever some corporate bigwig says is the priority this quarter. So, don’t lose sight of this as you narrow down a niche.
List off three to five things that you’re really interested in or passionate about.
- Technologies that are changing the face of healthcare.
- Helping restaurants widen their profit margins.
- Giving small business owners the big push they need to be successful.
Hold onto your list and use it to whittle down your choices.
3. What are you skilled or knowledgeable in?
While it’s important to be interested in your niche so you feel invested in it, you have to have the right skill set to pursue it.
That said, you don’t necessarily have to have all the technical skills typically required to build WordPress products. That can easily be outsourced if you have the money for it.
However, you do need to have a strong vision and deep knowledge in whatever it is you plan to create and sell to customers.
List off three to five things that you’re really good at as it relates to WordPress.
- Designing mobile-responsive templates.
- Configuring software automations.
- Understanding the changes happening in the banking industry and how websites play an important role in their evolution and survival.
Compare this list to your passions. Is there anything you can meld together to create a new service or product?
For the purposes of this exercise, let’s say you decide to build responsive themes for the restaurant industry.
4. Is there a problem you’re in a good position to solve?
Now, just because you can envision a solution, that doesn’t mean there’s a big enough problem or customer set for it.
You’re going to have to do some research here.
Using our example, you’d want to find out if there is a need in the restaurant industry for responsive templates. So, you’d look up things like:
- What percentage of consumers look at a restaurant’s website before dining out?
- What are the top reasons consumers decide not to eat at a restaurant? Is a lack of a website or a poorly built site one of them?
- How many chain restaurants have websites?
- How many independent restaurants have websites?
- What’s the most common reason a restaurant doesn’t have a website?
If you find that chain restaurants are doing fine, but it’s independent restaurants that fail to meet customer demand because they don’t want to spend money on a site, you might have your answer right there.
5. Do you have a solution for it?
When I refer to solution, I’m really talking about two things:
The first is do you have a clear vision for how you’re going to solve the problem you’ve identified? For instance:
“I build affordable WordPress themes for small restaurant owners.”
And the second is do you have the tools and systems to actually create the solution so that it’s something people want to invest their money in? And that you can make a profit from?
Having a vision for what you want to do is important. But if you don’t have the time, capacity, or tools to actually create it, then you may need to explore another niche.
Before you give up on this one, though, keep reading as I may have a suggestion that works for you shortly.
6. Who will you be competing against?
Chances are good that you’re not the first person to recognize this problem and to create a solution for it. But usually everyone comes to the table with some variation of the same solution.
Will yours be able to compete?
Do some digging to see what’s out there.
With our example, you’d find that there are two solutions that restaurant owners turn to for WordPress restaurant themes:
- WordPress.org or Themeforest for a WordPress theme
- Template Monster for a WordPress template
They’re affordable enough options, usually running a restaurant business owner just under $100. But that’s just for the theme/template.
Is that really what the problem is that restaurant owners face? That they want a cheap WordPress template they have to install and customize on their own? Probably not. They want an cost-effective website that they don’t have to worry about and that continues to generate business for them.
Considering the competition you’re up against, you don’t just want to sell one-off WordPress templates to restaurants. You’re more likely to fade into the background against all that noise.
What you need is to create a much more valuable solution that can compete with done-for-you options like Wix and Squarespace.
7. Can you turn your vision into a recurring solution?
At this stage, you’ve already found and chosen a profitable niche for yourself. But now I’m going to ask you to narrow it down just a bit further so you can make it a predictable, stable, and profitable niche.
So, here’s what we want it to look like:
|The Old Solution||Recurring Revenue Solution|
|Niche||Restaurant theme vendor for WordPress||Hosted restaurant solutions marketplace for WordPress|
|Your Offer||“I build WordPress themes for independent restaurant owners on a tight budget.”||“I sell pre-built WordPress sites that are fully hosted and supported to independent restaurant owners that are short on time and money.”|
|Price||$500 one-time fee||$50/month|
|Timeline||2 weeks||Automatic (just point-and-click)|
The fact of the matter is, WordPress businesses that want to survive and thrive need to shift their business models. Because the industry is moving in a new direction thanks to the popularity of website builder products.
For those of you exploring a new niche and business opportunity now, you’d do well to build a recurring revenue model straight out the gate. It’s what our customers want and there’s no sense in waiting to meet that demand.
The only trick is that you need to find a tool that enables you to build a subscription service that’s valuable for your users and highly profitable (and automated) for you.
Where to Go From Here
Niching down is critical for profitability, but only if you take the time to figure out the right one. And when it comes to WordPress, you need to get very specific about what you offer and who you offer it to.
You also need to have the right partner working with you to make it happen.
In the past, building out a recurring revenue business with WordPress wasn’t all that easy. It required a lot of workarounds as well as partnerships with web hosts, managed WordPress software, third-party maintenance services, and so on.
Dollie, on the other hand, was built for this exact purpose. We enable WordPress designers, agencies, and vendors of all types to create a unique niche and then build a business around it in no time at all.