Here's what's been going on with the Niche Laboratory lately. How many new features the app gets depends on YOU. If you use the tool, bookmark it, link to it, blog about it and generally get word out, then as my part of the deal I'll keep enhancing it.
There is now a Niche Laboratory Blog. On the blog I hope to share some stories from my 18 years of making money online.
The second data analysis page has been updated. Scroll down to see a long list of niches together with their popularity and difficulty rankings. Are there undiscovered niches out there? Maybe this new table will help you find them...
The Product Laboratory is now available. This is a useful tool if you're interested in creating a product-based niche website, or even a drop-shipping site. Enter keywords and the Product Laboratory will show you some products from both AliExpress and Amazon.com that you can sell or market via your own website. If you're totally out of niche ideas, then hit the Lucky Dip button to get some instant inspiration!
Good news - I am pleased to announce that the Niche Laboratory now has an additional products report. This data is being provided by AliExpress.
Never heard of AliExpress?
You should have - it's said to ship more products per year than Amazon and eBay. Combined.
So what value does it have to anyone building a niche website? Well AliExpress is an attractive alternative to Amazon if you're building a product related store. Not only are commissions better for affiliates, but there are way more products on offer! AliExpress also ships to a wider range of countries. This is a *huge* advantage over the Amazon Associates programme because on AliExpress you will get commission from countries from Austria to Zambia, and not just the USA! And don't discount those "other" countries. When I was running my software business, 60% of my sales were to countries outside of the USA.
By the way, if you have ambitions beyond a simple WordPress blog, then AliExpress is a great place to find drop shipping products. Or buy a bulk consignment of widgets on there, then sell them individually through your own e-commerce store like I do on my own niche site (or on Amazon or eBay). You're probably better off making your own niche website though - buyers love niche sites, particularly when they're well written and appear to be based in the buyer's own country. For example in the last year I have bought stuff including toothbrushes and ear plugs from small UK based niche sites. BTW - both of these products are fantastic ideas for niche websites!
All good things come to an end and the Niche Laboratory has had to change its main data provider. The reason for this is that the data got a lot more complex to use, as also vastly more expensive.
However, I have found an alternative data provider so you will now notice some changes in the reporting, most noteably in the images report. The good news is that the images are now being sourced from the Pixabay stock photo library, so if you like the images in the report, go ahead and use them (suject to licensing). You can now click on an image to get a page of information about the image, the image's photographer/artist and licensing details. Enjoy :)
Sadly the Facebook number of shares part of the report has had to be dropped, as the Facebook API has now got vastly complicated.
Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Reach out via Twitter or our Facebook page.
After a year of experimentation I've now taken Adf.ly off the site. This will make your life easier if you want to view your reports. I'll miss the $0.8848283 I've been earning on it each month! It is still worth a look if you have content you want to monitize such as links to photos of celebs, models or other "warez". Have you beaten my Adf.ly average monthly income? If so then boast about it on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet.
The site's logo has been made a little less risque! There's a funny (or maybe not so funny story here). Initially when I built the site I commissioned an Anime style logo from a Fiverr artist. I said just draw a sexy looking scientist or something. Well for $5 I pretty pleased with the result. Anyway, I got some feedback from a prospective employer who looked at the site and they weren't too happy to hire me based on the risque logo! I guess the Internet is changing... less fun, more grey uniformity. Anyway, I hope this change encourages more corporate users to use the site when researching their employer's niche, without getting any grief from HR.
Incidentally, the Facebook Likes part of the Niche Laboratory report appears not to work anymore, but everything else has just been checked and is working fine. I'll see what I can do about getting FB integration up and running again...
Thanks for all the emails and Facebook posts about Niche Laboratory... I do real them all (eventually). I apologise for the lack of updates but as of last September I got a high flying job with an Insurance company [what a great niche!] and I haven't had much time to work on personal projects, or to do anything else to be honest. Anyway, the Niche Laboratory is still working, so please keep using it. And to answer the most common question - if the Niche Laboratory doesn't work then it's usually because my hosting account got exhausted or the Niche Laboratory ran out of API slots which it uses to retrieve the data to build the reports. If either of these happen, then just come back in an hour or so and it should be working again.
Incidentally, Adf.ly has now been working for 6 months and I've made a little bit of cash. It's a reliable earner, *but* you need to have a lot of traffic to even make modest amounts of cash. If you have a downloads site or one of those warez types of sites or something with lots of valuable(ish) content on then give it a go as all those $0.01 clicks would add up!
The Niche Laboratory is now using Adf.ly as a URL shortener service. Adverts will now appear before you view the output from a Niche Laboratory job. I've done this as a monetization experiment more than anything, to see if it's worthwhile using URL shorteners to monetize services and downloadables. Adf.ly claims to pay up to $10 for every 1000 website visitors you send them. If you have a popular site in high traffic niches then this could definitely add up to a nice sum of money over time. The nice thing is that it's really easy to add the monetization links to your site, and you don't have to mess around with banner ads or other major changes to your site.
If you have any questions about using such a service to make money online, then post on our Facebook page.
August's coding frenzy has concluded with the addition of a major new feature to the Niche Laboratory - a Niche Products section to reports. This is especially useful if you're planning a new niche micro-site in an e-commerce related niche. It's also useful for giving you ideas of how you might be able to monetize your particular niche.
The Niche Laboratory website itself has also been updated - the Insights page now shows the most popular product categories. These roughly correspond to the top level categories on Amazon's website. Again, don't worry that your own particular niche will be revealed - the data displayed on the website is too broad for anyone to discover your niche!
I start my new day job in September, so don't expect quite so many updates for a while. But if you do have any ideas then post them on our Facebook page and I'll see what I can do.
OK there's now a new column in the Website Competition Matrix that shows if a domain has a lot or not so many Facebook 'Likes'. Why does this matter? You're probably going to struggle to compete against a site that's being relentlessly shared on social media. Of course you can take the opposite view and in a niche where there's not much sharing going on, you could make a site full of lovely viral content!
Another change - I've boosted the number of API calls the Niche Laboratory can make use of per hour, so hopefully this should allow the site to keep working for a bit longer (it's starting to get popular...). If the site made more money I'd reinvest the profits in more API calls, but as it's only made $2 in advertising revenue this month, there's not much money in the kitty for paid enhancements :(.
Back in 2012 I got in trouble with Google's AdSense team for violating one of their terms and conditions. Overnight I had to take AdSense off a couple of my key niche sites. That prompted me to write an eBook about my experiences, which I called Life After AdSense. I've now made this guide available on the Niche Laboratory absolutely free of charge. Click here to read it. Even if you still have your AdSense account, it's worth reading if you want to (a) diversify your income sources (b) potentially make even more money from your niche sites.
I'm pleased to announce that version 2.3 of the Niche Laboratory is now available. In this version:
Here's a brain-dump of the ways I've found to enter niches and build successful websites in those niches. It might be great, or it might be boring rubbish. Anyway, have a read and see what you think.
Are micro-niche sites still a good way to make money online? Here's a new case study about a micro-niche site I started back in the beginning of 2012. Does it still make money? Have a read and find out!
I'm pleased to announce that version 2.2 of the Niche Laboratory is now available. Major changes include:
I've added a Niche Laboratory usage chart to the usage data page. Like the screenshot from Google Analytics (see below), the data shows that the Niche Laboratory is experiencing explosive growth. Thanks for using the site, and remember to tell other people about it!
The Niche Laboratory is still growing in popularity, which is really great to see. Here's the Google Analytics chart of user sessions:
Wow, almost went exponential there! Anyway, if you run an IM/make money online or any other kind of site or blog then why not let your own readers know about the Niche Laboratory. It gives you something to write about as well.
I've now implemented some housekeeping which will remove old jobs from the website. Any jobs you run are now accessible for up to 30 days from when the job was run. If you want to keep your reports, then use your web browser to save the report somewhere on your own device.
I've also added some code to stop duplicate jobs being submitted. These really do waste resources for other users! So please, be patient when using the Niche Laboratory. Jobs normally take up to a minute to run, and when they finish, the site will tell you when your report is available. Thanks for reading :).
The Niche Laboratory has got too popular! As a result I've had to limit the number of times it can be used per hour. So please use it wisely, and please be considerate by not wasting valuable resources by submitting lots of the same or very similar searches!
When I get more time I'll think of another way of keeping the site working more. If you have any suggestions then get in touch via the Facebook page. I'd gladly pay for more API calls from Microsoft, but at the moment this site doesn't make a single cent in revenue.
OK the Niche Laboratory is now working properly again - damn you jQuery! Actually it was working for some people and not others, but now it should work for everybody. The Facebook page is also available again, for some reason it had unpublished itself! Many thanks for a Niche Laboratory user for pointing out the problems. I am busy with my job these days, so I don't always notice when stuff stops working :(.
How fast is the Niche Laboratory in YOUR country? Check out the new performance map to see how long jobs are taking by country.
I've noticed a few people submitting the same Niche Laboratory job several times - maybe as a result of impatience, or slow internet, or my crappy code. Anyway, the tool will now prevent you from clicking the Start Job button twice (or more!) in quick succession.
Just bear in mind that the Niche Laboratory has to download content from over a dozen different websites each time it's run, so you'll forgive it for being a little slow - especially at peak times. Anyway, chill out, grab a cup of tea, then return to pore over your new niche report. It's harder than ever to make money online these days - so don't rush into building your next site. Take things slowly, brainstorm like crazy, and you'll do better in the long run...
Which countries are doing the most niche research? Check out the new map page to see who's really burning the midnight oil.
The original Niche Laboratory had a pretty funky keyword phrase finder. Sadly it wouldn't work under MVC... but watch this space.
In the meantime I've added a rudimentary keyword phrase finder. It works better in more competitive niches where people are more likely to add meta tags to their pages.
Niche Laboratory 2.0 has now been released - hope you like it. What's new in this version:
Need Forums? Then check out FindAForum.Net. FindAForum makes it easy to search for forums and discussion boards in a wide range of niches.
These are the current most popular broad niches being researched by users of the Niche Laboratory.
Key: = riser, = faller, = non-mover, = new
View more data on the Insights page.