A Market Research Shortcut to Mine Your Niche

You've heard the stories — somebody invests their life savings into a business only to have it fail.  A friend boldly left his or her job for self employment only to be right back in the work force two years later.  Or, more common in the internet marketing world, somebody spends 6 months on their product only to have nobody buy it.

How can you prevent wasting your time and money?  How can you make sure that you're building an income stream that will continue to grow and continue to build your bank account?

Market research.

Knowing if there's a market for your product(s) — and knowing what that market wants — is vital to your business.

I'm going to give you a quick shortcut for figuring out if there's market… and exactly what that market wants 🙂

Your Shortcut


Yep.  It's that easy.  Amazon is a treasure-trove for not only finding out if a market exists for your product, but also finding out just what your market wants.

Head to Amazon and specifically to the bookstore portion of Amazon.  Put in a keyword that describes your niche.  Are there books on your topic?  Books being written on your topic is the first market check.

Now take a look at the books.  Are there several books (at least 5-6) in the niche that have a good number of reviews?  It's really good if the books have at least 30 reviews each, though you could possibly get by with less.

niche search on Amazon

If your niche passes this test, you know there's a market for your niche.

What Do They Want?

Now you're going to mine your books.  Choose the top 5-6 books, those with the most reviews.

When you look at the reviews you can sort them by most helpful.  Take a look at the number of people who found a review helpful — these are the reviews that lead towards a “buying decision.”  This means someone used that review to choose to buy or not to buy a product.

These helpful reviews are a gold mine for you.  As you read through them you'll discover common themes come up again and again as to what people were looking for and found (or didn't find) in the book.  Read the helpful positive and negative reviews.  Take notes.

Do this for each of the top books.  Amazon shows related top-sellers in your niche on the comments page for each book, making it easy for you to get a good feel in your niche.  

You get well-informed about the viability of your niche and what you should include in a product just from this hour or two of research!  Plus, you don't need a list 🙂

Another way to look for top selling books is to look at the best sellers list and then your niche's category.  This is a little broader than a keyword search.

Other Quickies 😉

You can also visit a forum that offers products (such as the Warrior Forum in the internet marketing niche) and read what people are saying about products and specials (WSO's) to get an idea of what people want.

Even if there are no product ads, looking at “stickied” topics or topics that seem to come up again and again can all give you an idea of what you should cover in your market.

Amazon is by far my favorite, since you get really detailed information relatively quickly.  You find out what you should (and should not) do and include with your products.  You even find exact “buying phrases” to put in your sales letter.  You should do keyword/competition research, etc, but Amazon is a real wealth of information!

Photo by David Friedel


I'm a wife and mother who loves working online. This is my little home on the web. I run Milk and Mud to share what I'm discovering as I run my own business and explore personal development.

Miki Strong - January 16, 2012

Wow Kristen … I had forgotten that Amazon.com is a great place to research your niche but your tip for perusing the reviews is absolutely BRILLIANT!

    Kristen - January 16, 2012

    I’m so glad you liked the tip Miki! I have used it a couple of times now for developing products for my pregnancy/baby sites and it’s amazing the amount of insight you get by spending just a couple of hours reading reviews. It is great to look back over your notes when you write your sales letters, too!

Day Sixteen - January 16, 2012

[…] I wrote A Market Research Shortcut to Mine Your Niche […]

Candace Davenport - January 21, 2012

This is an excellent use of Amazon. A couple other points that I’d like to add, when looking at the books, look at the year published. Just because there is a book, doesn’t mean that you should not enter that niche. Also, remember, when checking the reviews, to be careful of books that have all 5’s or all 1’s. The reviews may be absolutely true, but they could also be stacked. Just something to think about!

Candace Davenport
http://www.ourlittlebooks.com ~ Little Books with a Big Message

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