How to Pick a Profitable Niche (And the Secret of the 7th C)

Do you believe in yourself?

Are you really confident that you are on the right path when it comes to your business…..or are you still sorta in that fake it till you make it stage?

If you are…….congratulations. (Confident that is)

Because you are DEFINITELY in the minority.

The vast majority of people I come across….even some of the SUPER successful one’s, are surprisingly…….not very confident that what they’re doing, or where they’re going, is  the right path.

When I first laid out the Content Community Continuum , I basically outlined the 6 “C’s” i truly believe are ALL you need to build a successful information marketing, or direct response, “rock star” style online niche business for the social media marketing age.

I believe, with every fabric of my being – this is ALL you really need to make more money, have more fun, and create more contribution in your universe of choosing….than any hodge podge collection of product launch home study courses could ever offer.

They are: (another quick refresher..:-)


You need Content. Engaging, entertaining, informative and enlightening content that keeps people coming back.


You need Character.  An interesting, eye opening, unique voice that gets people to push to the front of the line and pay attention…..even if you’re hard to hear.


You need a community.  Or as Seth Godin so aptly called it – a TRIBE.

Friends, fans, or even FOES who help spread the word about your blog…..and your brand…and your BUSINESS to people and places you can’t get to on your own.


You need a curriculum.  Your own suite of high value services that compensates you for your unique innovations, gifts, and your contribution to the marketplace.

(in an affiliate market – this can be the product you are selling that the vendor created)

Lastly… need CONVERSATION and CONVERSION, or the flow of your communication that creates real rapport and relationship, and that  moves people fromstrangers to subscribers to clients, customers and evangelists for you and your business…and ultimately, your bank account to boot.

It really is that easy….and I truly believe that any of the above can be applied, or tweaked, turned and twisted into a winning strategy for ANY market – any niche – any professional endeavor………period.

But there is ONE more “C” that trumps them all…and without it, none of the above will work.


And not the contrived kind……but the real deal, genuine article where you know, in your bones……that you are the best your business, your niche, or your industry has to offer.

Can you honestly say you are CONFIDENT that you’ve got the goods to be the very BEST in your niche?

If you are….there is literally NO excuse to not be killing it in every way ……, and having a ton of fun and making a meaningful difference in the lives of those who need your help the most.


I’ve got all kinds of shortcomings and odd eccentricities that would not do well on Survivor, Big Brother or The Apprentice.

I have a terrible sense of direction.

I always have.  You could put me into the middle of a maze with a handful of hungry hamsters, a swiss cheese finish line, give me a map  and a head start, a day later I’d be the only one chewing on my tail for dinner.

I have extreme ADD.

I often talk too fast.

I’m impatient.

I’m occasionally easily upset and prone to slap strangers in the supermarket line for no good reason.

In many areas of my life…….I am totally and completely inept.

And yet……when it comes to THIS work, to blog building, marketing, thinking, writing, communicating, inspiring, enlightening, sharing, I have supreme self confidence.

I truly believe I am the best at what I do…..and strive to prove (and improve) upon that each and every day.

But I would NEVER pick a niche, or build a community,  around fixing an engine, or accounting, or baking blueberry biscuits, and try to position myself as an expert….because I have no passion, no competence and CONFIDENCE i can do any of those things at all.

(nor do I really care to learn – even though I do really like biscuits on special occasions and around the holidays)

It escapes me why so many people seem to do exactly that, each and every day.

Why would you want to position yourself as an “online marketing expert” and offer business or blog building tips, if you haven’t made any money yourself yet……online?

What is real about that….or authentic, or transparent or even HONEST for that matter?

If the foundation is flimsy…… are setting yourself up to FAIL, with 100% certitude……PERIOD.  (I promise)

You need to be the expert…..the PASSIONATE leader, the one who has the jump…and the juice and the joi de vie re in your OWN community, at least in the beginning……or all of this stuff sort of falls apart, pretty damn fast.

So build your communities….or pick products, or programs where you have PASSION and confidence and optimally, real expertise.

Someone sent me an email yesterday…..a very nice subscriber who has been reading my blog for a while……and it said something like this:

“Okay……I finally have “my idea” but…I’m not quite sure – the keyword count may be off – the KEI might be too high – or too low – or the inverse ratio between supply and demand divided by the square root of PI as calculated by niche-digger 2.0 is just a tad too off to tell…….

I had to re-read it a few times just to understand exactly where the difficult math kicked in.

Who believes this stuff?

And who is SELLING this silliness as a smart strategy for success?

If that sounds like YOU…….

JUST stop.

BECAUSE No one knows what inspires you better than you.

And The MAP (or the math) is NOT the territory.

Plus those tools are gimmicks.  (With rare exceptions)

And no forum, no tool, and no ebook is going to help you come alive and contribute.

No one knows what makes YOU feel creative and competent, and supremely CONFIDENT better than you.

Go where your gifts are.

I keep on saying it…..but it doesn’t ring true for far too many.

I love the old Jay Abraham marketing philosophy he called the “Strategy of Pre-Eminence” which basically said – if you truly feel you are or COULD BECOME the best at something – and are genuinely interested in helping other people get the BEST outcomes and the greatest results and the BIGGEST benefits possible……it’s almost unethical for you to NOT push them hard to make the decision to go with YOU…..instead of choosing a suboptimal alternative being sold by someone who WON’T deliver what you will.

That is such an amazingly freeing and fabulously liberating philosophy if you are serious about selling yourself.


Because it allows you to really get ethically aggressive in promoting yourself as the ONLY viable solution in your niche, or industry or marketplace…….once you have the confidence, and the awareness….that you’ll go above and beyond to deliver the goods.

And often…..simply CARING more can be tantamount to being the best…..because you can catch up  and make up ground with ongoing experience, if you have the empathy and the desire to help, built in to your DNA.

There is no cap in how much you can care about your community, or your readers, or your subscribers or even complete STRANGERS….which gives you such an amazing competitive advantage over the mass of myopic marketers who WON’T, that you’ll get business on that basis alone.

And caring a lot can inspire LOTS of confidence……both in your community, and in yourself.

(I always feel more confident when I really feel I care about YOU and have gone out of my way to show it)

Apply that same ethos, that same thinking to picking a niche and you won’t struggle for angles, or ideas.

Be confident.

And care more.

Those two things are worth more than all of the Nichediggerpickerflicker 2.0 tools in the world, i promise.



The 1st Content Community Continuum CHALLENGE……for Affiliates ONLY, will be Announced on April 25th, 2011.

This will be a LIVE, without a net, STEP by STEP 8 week demonstration of building a PROFITABLE affiliate marketing business, using the Content Community Continuum framework and BEYOND.

If you’ve been struggling to make money as an affiliate…….there will be NO MORE EXCUSES after this..:-)

Not only am I going to demonstrate each and every step – The exact URL’S, the affiliate program, the blogs, the landing pages, the exact sequence of steps that works best and WHY……I’m also going to let you STEAL it all, and re-use it, as you wish, on the fly……as we go.

(in other words – you can build YOUR stuff….using MY stuff.……you will WATCH as my campaign make money from the GROUND floor….no list, no existing websites or advantages….literally a brand new campaign that ANYONE can copy…..and you can plug in the very same process, using MY content for a TRUE “steal my system” success strategy)

Simple, easy and step by step…..and you’ll be amazed at how easy it really IS to make money!

This will obviously be a PREMIUM program, and will be open to 20 people……tops.

If this resonates with you….keep your eyes peeled for the official announcement.

(For everyone who asked for Advance Notice – I will be sending you the details 48 hours before everyone else)

PS –

All Facebook Friends will get an instant 20% discount.

(post something on my WALL if you want to know more – or simply respond to this email to be put on the Advance Notice list……or both..:-)



  1. A bit of a passionate post on Easter Saturday!

    Ian I’ve followed your blog for nearly a year now, and you always make great sense (e.g. this post) – but the path we new people are led down always seems to be the one that leads off into the Internet Marketing jungle.

    Except its not one path, our start point is a junction of many different paths, we just have to choose one. Want the Affiliate path, it’s that one. Niche marketing? Over there. The ‘your own info product path?’ That one there sir, mind the drop.

    We’re sold that if we can only get through the journey (and it will be a long one), there will be a comfortable living waiting for us.
    But first we need to buy a map.

    Then a course on how to read maps, then we need a torch, then a rucsack to hold everything in, and what about food? We’ll need that too. Salesmen everywhere, making sure we have just the right kit to go where they point us.

    And they do point us. Otherwise they wouldn’t have anything to sell to make their life comfortable.

    But just as we get ready to go, someone comes along with a brighter torch. Ya just gotta have it haven’t ya, and whoops, here’s a better, clearer map that knows a different route!

    Out comes the wallet. Off goes the salesman to buy a round of beers at the next JV convention.

    So we keep collecting equipment, and we can’t start out until we have the kit list just right can we?
    Here we are, possibly thousands of people, with all the gear and no idea, all sitting here waiting to go and caught like rabbits in headlights, too scared to move in case we choose the wrong path.

    And all we all want is simply to raise ourselves up a little, and change our lives slightly for the better.
    We know what you bang on at us about all the time is the right way to do things.
    Help others to find what they need, and the jigsaw will begin to fall into place.

    I love Apple Mac computers, and know them inside out, I can, and do, post help regularly on forums, I have a real in depth knowledge of the strange and esoteric, of face to face selling, of customer care… the list is a long one.

    Another reader here will know all about horse care, or crochet, or making children laugh or helping the elderly live comfortably.

    But no one is showing us how to set up an internet stall to help. I know, because I’ve looked and looked.

    There are thousands of people who can sell me something that will allow me to sell plastic barbecues to people on Amazon via FaceyTubeTweet, or copy someone else’s ebook that’s now six years old, put my name on it and call myself an author.

    But I want far more than that.

    If your coaching can show me an ethical way to help others, and make a change in all our lives. I’m in.

    I just hope the price is right. I’ve already sold one kidney to learn SEO.

    Whatever that is.

    Sorry for the length of this – It’s nearly a guest post!

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