If you don’t know who your market is you will probably target the wrong people and not make any money. If you are not sure about any of the above yet, don’t worry. At the end of this article I will provide links to resources that will help you define these two important requirements so you can get going. Please feel free to read the article first so you can start seeing how easy it really is to find ideas.
1. Finding online business ideas with Amazon.
Amazon is a great place to find ideas and start a business. Not only can you see what others are selling, you will also be able to find out what is selling really well. I am going to use Magic The Gathering in this example and my target person is someone that just started playing and wants to learn more.
So I want to find out what is available on Amazon that relates to my passion. I go to Amazon and type in the search bar “Magic The Gathering” and hit enter. Now I am presented with the following screen with lots of results about the game.
As I expected, there are lots of cards available. This is great, online business ideas work if there is something to sell. And in this niche, people want cards, and lots of them. So I can definitively start an online collectors card shop and provide interesting articles to new players to help them play better.
2. Finding online business ideas with Yahoo Answers.
Another great, free place to find ideas is Yahoo Answers. You practically have people telling you what they want you to sell to them.
In this example I will use Photography someone that wants to take better photos of their children (so they can brag :)) as the target person.
So I open the site and in the “Search Y! Answers” box I type “Photography” and hit enter. Just look, so many people that are looking for advice and tips about taking better photos, great!
So now I am going to find a couple of online business ideas in the results. The first result is more or less the target person I am looking for; they just want tips on how to take nice photos and which camera to buy. If I started a site that provides valuable information about photography for beginners, I would probably be able to help this person. Eventually I could write an eBook and sell it to my audience.
Another idea I can see is people that want to do photography as a career. I can create a site that reviews all the photography courses and provide them with valuable information about pursuing this as a career. I could then become an affiliate for the courses and earn income when someone enrolls for the courses.
3. Online business ideas and ClickBank.
Another great place to find online business ideas is ClickBank. Even better is that you can see what is selling well and then eventually create your own products to sell on ClickBank.
Let’s look at Weight Loss & fitness (a very profitable niche btw) and someone that really wants to lose weight but struggles to do so. This is not a super fit person that just wants to shed a few inches; this is someone that needs to seriously lose weight.
So I click on the Buy Products link and type “weight loss” in the search bar. Immediately I can see that this is a great market to be in. There are lots of products that I would be able to sell and eventually even create my own.
If you are pasionate about weight loss and you like to help people, you will have thousands of potential online business ideas you can start. Just look at the results, I am sure you can find at least one idea in there.
4. Digg some online business ideas.
Don’t forget how important social media is for finding online business ideas. These sites can give a great insight into what people find interesting and then you can capitalize on that. Digg is a great source for inspiration so check it out.
I am going to use Vegetable gardening as the passion, and my target person will be someone that wants to grow their own vegetables because they are concerned about the pesticides that are used on commercially farmed vegetables.
So I go to digg and type in the search bar “Vegetable gardening for beginners”. As you can see there are already items on this page that can be turned into great online businesses.
I think it is important to note at this point that when it comes to online business ideas, competition is not a bad thing.
That is a good indication that people are actually buying in that market, so why can’t you also sell to them? So don’t be scared of others, instead, join the communities that relate to your business and soon you will have a good size following and making good income.
5. Google Search and Auto complete.
If you are like me you probably use Google everyday. But did you know that this can provide you with online business ideas? When you type in a phrase into the search bar Google immediately starts giving suggestions back, and these suggestions are a quick way to find out what people are looking for.
In this example I will be using Bonsai trees and someone that wants to start caring for bonsai trees as a hobby.
When I type “bonsai tree” into the search box, I immediately start getting relevant search terms from Google. These are actual phrases people type into Google to find information relating to bonsai trees. All I have to do is pick one and start my business.
6. Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Another great tool from Google. This tool provides you with information about the search terms people use when they are looking for information. What’s even better is that you can customize your results by country, so you can target specific countries and find out what people are looking for.
I will use Scrap booking and a scrapbook enthusiast looking for interesting tips and tricks to create better pages.
So I go to the Keyword tool and type “scrap booking” into the “Word or phrase” field and hit the search button. Now I am presented with search terms relating to my search. From this list I can now determine what people are looking for and which niches to target with my new business.
From the results I got from this tool I can already see a really nice idea, “scrap booking ideas”. I could start a site that gives people nice ideas on how to create great scrap book pages. By providing them with great value I will eventually be able to sell them supplies, or even write an eBook about this passion and sell it to my audience
7. Ask your followers and friends what they need.
Another way to get online business ideas is to log into your Facebook, or Twitter account, and then ask your friends and followers what they need.
The way to do it would be to tell them what your passion is, and then just ask them if they are interested in the same topic and how you could provide value to them. You will be surprised about the results. Once you have a nice list of ideas you can start an online business around that.
The great thing about asking the people that already know you is that they will probably become your first customers and help you start your business faster. If your friends and followers are more or less interested in the same things you are, you already have a potentially successful business waiting to be started.
8. Start a blog and your audience will tell you what business to start.
If you don’t have a blog yet, start one today. If you blog about your passion and interests, over time you will gain an audience that trust and follow you. Once you have them you can ask them what they need. If you are already providing them with great content they will eagerly buy anything you have to offer.
Some of the most successful online businesses today started out as plain old blogs. As time went by, more people read the blogs, and started to tell the owners what they should be selling to them.
9. Get inspiration from Flippa.
Flippa is a place where people sell websites. It is also a great place to find inspiration for online business ideas. If you browse through the sites that are for sale, and more importantly, the sites that have sold, you will quickly start thinking up ideas for your own business.
I am not going to use a specific example but just go to the site and see what is up for sale. I always find interesting sites and find myself imagining what I could do with a site like that. Just check out the image, there is bound to be something that inspires you to start an online business.
10. Be the inspiration.
And I have saved the best for last. You already have an idea, so why are you not trying to build a business yet? Don’t worry, most people that want to start an online business already have good idea; they just don’t have the confidence to try it out. If you have an idea, and you are trying to find a different one, you’re probably going to look for a very long time.
So if you “kinda” have an idea, try it out, today, don’t wait. The beauty about this kind of business is that it can change in an instant. The most important thing to remember is to just start and see what can happen.
I really hope with all my heart that you found something of value in this article, and thanks for reading it. I wish you all the best with your exciting online business venture.