"Joe Robert is the founder of POD Ninjas and has been selling print on demand items on Shopify since 2016. POD Ninjas students have now made almost $5 million on their own stores following these strategies."
What is a niche anyway?
Here's one definition I like.
"Denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population"
Basically, it just means a group of people that share a similar interest, right?
In this article today you will find my view on what makes a good niche, what makes a bad niche & more importantly how you need to assess a niche to understand if it has potential.
The content here is based on my experience as being a print on demand seller for the past 4 years, and working directly with hundreds of other store owners.
So let's get started.
Question: Do you NEED to choose a niche to be successful with print on demand and Shopify?
A lot of you are probably reading that question and are confused.
I ask the questions because sometimes people make a MAJOR mistake, and they choose a product type as their niche.
They think that something like "streetwear" or "activewear" is a niche.
And they make sports bras for example, with a floral pattern on them.
Or, they design a hoodie with an "urban style" logo on it.
This is called starting a clothing line.
Or a brand.
Based on a logo, or a feeling, or a lifestyle.
This in my opinion is the number one way to fail with print on demand.
Because product types are not niches.
Niches are things that a group of people have a shared interest in.
Hunting, Dancing, Fishing, Baseball moms, farmers, beer drinkers, wine drinkers - are all niches.
People inside of them share a common interest in the niche.
Making sense now?
If you have started a print on demand store with the idea that you were going to just create a cool logo, and put it on a random product and attempt to create a "brand" you are likely going to fail within 6 months.
(This is based on my 4 years of experience)
To be successful, your goal must be to create designs that would resonate with your niche.
Something that would make them say "Wow that hoodie is so me."
Or something like that.
Question: What makes a good niche and what makes a bad niche?
I want to introduce you to a concept called a "non-niche" niche.
This is something that people sometimes think is a niche, but it isn't.
For example, motivation/positive thinking.
You know, a canvas with a word or phrase on it like "BELIEVE"
While this sort of thing has certainly worked for big brands that sell beautiful canvases with epic designs on them, it is something I have never personally seen someone succeed with.
It's a very tough thing to do.
Other examples of "non-niche" niches would be something like a grand parent.
Grand parents on their own is just something that is too vague, and in today's business climate it would be nearly impossible to market a product like this.
Of course, you could do the grand father of a baseball player or something like that but simply just making designs for ANY grandparent isn't something I would consider a niche.
"But Joe... Some of these things go against everything I thought I knew about print on demand...?"
I've been doing this a while successfully and my students have made over $2 million on their own stores.
Picking a SUPER passionate niche is the key to all of that.
In my opinion, the goal you should have when choosing a niche should be to pick something that can be scaled with paid ads.
Yes. Facebook ads.
Any type of ad really.
Well, in 2020 we have AMAZING tools to quickly promote products online.
And even better, targeting has become super easy to do.
Meaning, you can create products that are super niched down, and show them to the exact person in that niche and quickly make sales, even as a beginner.
"But Joe... How do I find these great niches?"
I'm going to tell you right now.
In order to find a good niche, it has to be something that contains people that are capable of having an emotional response to a product.
This means that they either identify with the niche, or are super passionate about it.
And I'm not talking about just liking the niche.
People like avocados.
They're not passionate about avocados.
Get the difference?
When you choose something that someone identifies with for example, they see your product as something they can wear/carry/display as a badge of honor.
And then when they see it, they have to buy it because emotionally - they need it.
Over the past 4 years I have used this strategy to tap into niche groups that are insanely passionate and in the process made hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits.
You can even take it a step further and choose something inside a niche that relates to a viral current event.
Maybe something just happened with sports, or politics that your niche would think is funny/relevant to them.
You could incorporate that into your design and have your ad go viral.