the next time you find yourself going past a magazine stand or in-store display I want you to stop and take a moment to just look at it.
What do you see? Which magazines are most popular? Which ones are placed right out in the front? Which ones have the most display space?
As you might have guessed, the more popular magazines cover subjects that are interesting to a large number of people. These are the magazines you’re going to want to look at more closely.
What are the big stories that month? What’s on the cover? What stories seem to attract the most attention?
This is like looking at news media headlines, except you’re going to get a lot more human interest stories and ‘how-to’ suggestions. This is good as these are the nuts and bolts of prime niche ideas.
But remember – any magazine that is published on a regular basis has already proved the niche for you. Magazines make their profits from advertising and advertisers only place ads in magazines with subscribers who buy things from their ads! So if you see a magazine on a regular basis you know that it covers a niche with a strong, loyal following who are also spending money.
That’s why some of the magazines shown below are not what you would ever be able to call mainstream — but they do ALL support a profitable niche.
Looking at a magazine stand on my last visit to town I noticed these ideas in a quick glance through:
- old fashioned tractors
- model soldiers
- flower craft
- personal investment plans
- adult teeth braces
One other plus point for monitoring magazine stands is that it is a less frequent niche ideas task in my experience — say once a month to time with the changeover in titles. In this age of endless, ceaseless information it is a good discipline to restrict your research to a set and regular pattern — not every day.
If you don’t want to spend too much time at the magazine display you can also check out popular magazines online through our favorite two sites listed below.
These sites will give you a huge range of ideas to choose from – ideas that are already proved to be commercially viable – a key ingredient of niche success!
While you’re at that magazine stand and leafing through the pages, take note of the ads that appear, too. This time, you might want to use magazines you already have a subscription to–or ones that your library has a subscription to–because you’ll need to see multiple copies.
With about five copies of a magazine (or five weekend issues of the newspaper), slowly go through each one and take note of the ads. You can take a mental note of them or actually write them down–whatever suits your style of working.
However, the important thing is to notice the ads and their frequency. Do certain ads appear again and again? If so, these are the ones to pay attention to. Does an ad appear in one issue and then vanish from subsequent issues? Scratch it off the list.
When you’re done, you should be left with a list of ads for products that are successful in a particular newspaper or magazine.
What sort of product are they selling?
Who are they targeting in their advertising?
When I undertook this exercise myself this weekend with newspaper color supplements I found a lot of adverts for cruise vacations, cars, perfume and computers.
So how could you turn this research activity into some useful niche ideas?
Well, if it’s a cruise vacation ad that’s doing particularly well, you could try niche ideas like:
- how to plan the perfect cruise
- how to pack
- safety and security while travelling abroad
If the ad’s are for a car, a computer or some perfume then there are still niche ideas available for these markets too. You just need to be creative and think of potential niche ideas such as:
- buying the perfect perfume for your partner — how to avoid an expensive mistake
- choosing your next car — what features really matter to you
- Dell or Mac — how to compare the options available and make the choice that’s right for you