In this course from from NHU we go over how to go about finding a great niche to get your ebook started. Just follow the steps and in around an hour you’ll know exactly what to focus on.
First off, we gotta give credit where credit is do. This course was a collaborative effort between Ted from Wiredproduct.com and NHD.
Click the “Step One” button on the interactive version of this post below to get started, or scroll down and read the boring blog version!
The world of self-publishing is on fire. Never has it been easier for talented writers with a story to tell to let their voices be heard. Self-publishing on platforms such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, just to name a couple, have broken down barriers for many writers deserving of publication.
Authors write books for many reasons. Some simply have a story that needs to be told and their creativity comes forth in the form of an eBook written with passion and skill. Others see self-publication as a way of branding themselves or their business as an expert in their field, and indeed, there is no business card quite like a published book.
Still others see self-publishing as a pathway to freedom. If approached as a business, it’s possible to make a great income from your writing, much more so than in today’s uncertain land of traditional publishing, where odds are stacked against even the most talented.
Through this course you will discover how to pick a profitable topic in your niche and tips to complete that all-important first draft of your own nonfiction eBook complete.
So let’s get started!
Step One: Niche Selection Ideas
Certain topics are perennial bestsellers no matter which publishing medium you choose. Straying from these recommended niches can certainly garner your book sales, but fishing in uncharted waters can also mean there’s a good chance your net may come up empty.
Well written eBooks in the following subject areas typically see robust sales.
- Wealth (How to Make Money)
- Health (Exercise, Healthy Eating, Juicing Recipes, etc.)
- Relationships (Divorce, Maintaining a Relationship, Dating)
- Personal Passions (Golf, Fishing, etc.)
These are by no means the only areas that see book sales, but don’t be fooled into thinking that you’ll cover an obscure topic just because no one else is writing books in that area.
Competition is a good thing when it comes to picking a niche because it indicates readers are buying eBooks on the subject. Don’t be scared away by competition.
Exercise: What Are Your Strengths?
Answer the Two Questions Below Before Continuing</p>”,
Question One: Looking at the major categories to the left, are there any that you have experience in? Does any one category stand out for you more than another? Or do you have experience in 2 or more?
Question Two: Off the top of your head, list some problems that someone in your chosen niche might have. Don’t censor your writing, just list as many as you can in the allotted time.
Step Two: Researching Your Niche The Right Way
The topics discussed in the last exercise were very broad. To give yourself the best chance at success you’ll need to drill down into your subject of choice. The idea is to pick a specific problem in one of these areas and then have your eBook solve that problem for your readers.
A few things to think about regarding your niche choice:
- Are there enough problems to create more than one eBook in this area?
- Am I interested enough in this subject to write multiple books? You’ll most likely be writing more than one book in your chosen niche, so make sure your subject has many problems to solve.
- You must also determine if eBooks are being sold in your chosen category.
When it comes to researching your eBook niche, there is no better place than straight at the source: The Amazon Bestsellers list. A quick search will let you know if there are books being sold in the niche you’re considering.
Here’s how we go about figuring that out. For this example we’ll be using a well-known niche: Dog Training.
Exercise: Research = Success!
Note that we’ll be working between two screens for this exercise.Click here to open the Amazon Kindle bookstore.
You’ll be using the Amazon page frequently during this course, so if possible leave it open in your browser in the background.
Question One: Using the niches you entered in Lesson 1, do some research in the Amazon Kindle bookstore to see if you have any viable book ideas. Record your findings, including the title and Amazon Bestsellers Rank for each.
Question Two: Did you find any surprises? Remember that especially for your first book, if you stray too far from the formula you’ll significantly decrease your chances for success. If you found that your main niche didn’t yield the numbers we need, pick another area of interest and do the research again, then enter your findings here.
Step Three: Continue Your Research
It’s time to narrow down your niche further by doing a bit of research outside of Amazon.
A word of caution here: You may be tempted to begin an eBook in a niche such as Dog Training because the numbers are so impressively good, but that might be a mistake. Remember that the niche you choose should be something you have a keen interest in, and also that you ideally already have some experience with.
The Dog Training niche is extremely competitive and filled with books from well-known experts and personalities. If dog training is a hobby for you, but you don’t have a lot of formal training or experience with it, that area may be too competitive for you to enter. Of course, if you have a ton of experience and you’re confident you can write an excellent book on the subject, go for it!
We’ll use two tools here, the Google Keyword Planner and also a site called Merchant Words. NOTE: You’ll need an account for Google Adwords, but it’s not necessary for Merchant Words.
Exercise: Investigate The Best Sellers
You’ll be working between a number of screens for this exercise. Click here to open the Google Keyword Planner If you already have an account you’ll need log in. If you’ve never used the Keyword Planner, sign up for an account and then log in to get started. Click here to open up the Merchant Words website. Also, please open the slideshow for additional tips about researching your niche.
Question One: Using the niche you selected earlier, enter the number of monthly searches from the Keyword Planner. Remember to narrow down your search term. Example: Don’t just search for Dog training. Also search for Golden Retriever Training. NOTE: There are no hard and fast rules, but we want searches that number in the thousands, and obviously the higher the better.
Question Two: Regarding Merchant Words, enter the number of searches your overall niche receives. Merchant Word searches the are above 50,000 indicate a great niche to be in. Remember that you only get 5 free searches per day, so make them count!
Step Four: Create a Rough Outline
Now that we’ve identified a potentially profitable niche, it’s time to prepare to write your eBook.
Once again, this can be a stumbling point for most would be authors, especially when lacking book- length writing experience. A simple solution is to create an outline of your eBook to work from so you have a rough path to travel on your way to a completed book length manuscript.
Some writers prefer to create their books without an outline, and you may as well at some point, but for the first book it’s an absolute necessity.
This is easily accomplished by once again looking to Amazon for inspiration.
Exercise: Time To Outline!
Open a few of the bestselling book’s pages and browse through their table of contents to see how they’ve structured their eBooks.
Question One: Create a rough outline for your eBook. Use some books in your niche for guidance, and don’t spend too much time at this point. What you’re looking for right now is Chapter titles and that’s all.
Question Two: As a general rule of thumb, at least 10 chapters would be a good place to start. Remember we can change anything going forward, just get the thoughts flowing at this point.
Step Five: Planning is the key to success!
Now it’s time to add a little meat to the outline you created in the last lesson.
As you write more eBooks and develop your skill and style, you’ll find your own way of using an outline that works for you. For this exercise, we’ll add a few topics to the Chapter titles you already created.
Remember that the reason for outlining is so we don’t have to interrupt our flow when we’re in the writing process. It’s important to create that first draft as smoothly as possible, and a good outline will help focus your writing and keep you on track. Naturally, if during the course of your writing you find something out of order or need to add a topic here and there, just do so.
Note that some authors don’t outline at all, while others spend a day or two getting their outline just right. Whatever works for you is the right approach, but generally speaking, the more time you spend on your outline, the easier the writing process should be.
Exercise: Let’s add some topics!
Refer to your Chapter titles you created during the last lesson. Now it’s time to add a couple of topics or questions you will answer in your Chapters. The more detailed you can get, the better off you’ll be when it’s time to write.
Step Six: An Interactive Guide to Creating Your First eBook
At the beginning of this course perhaps you had just the seed of an idea for an eBook you’d like to write.
By following the steps contained in these lessons you learned how to research a book idea to find out if it has bestseller potential, and also how to narrow down an idea to give you the best chance at writing a successful book.
Writing a book can be a complicated and daunting task that’s filled with uncertainty. Most aspiring authors never get further than the planning stages because while they might be great writers, they can’t put all the pieces of self-publication together.
Unless you have a method to go by and a formula to follow, eBook writing and publication is confusing and discouraging. Creating a great eBook is just a matter of accomplishing many little steps and then combining them into your completed masterpiece. Armed with the knowledge you gained here you are more prepared than most authors to bring your eBook to life.
Don’t let anything stand in your way! Good work!