Friday, February 8th, 2008

A Valuable Niche Research Tool

Yahoo GroupsWidely known but heavily under-utilized. Yahoo Groups are one of the best ways to conduct market research online. This resource is nothing new, in fact it’s been used for a long time now. However not a lot people really talk about it. Well, let’s dare to be different.

Yahoo Groups is vast. It is worldwide. As a matter of fact here are the countries they cover along with the US:

Yahoo! Groups Worldwide: Asia • Argentina • Australia & NZ • Brazil • Canada • France • French Canada • Germany • Hong Kong • India • Italy • Japan • Mexico • Spain • Yahoo! Telemundo Groups • Taiwan • UK & Ireland

There are thousands of established groups already covering nearly every topic on the planet. For all the digital information sellers this is a potential goldmine for you. This is like the biggest forum ever covering everything from questions, discussions, problems, and answers in one easy to manage place. There are niches I have never even thought about in there. Let’s look inside some of the health groups:

To effectively utilize Yahoo Groups you really need to look at groups with a large member base (obviously) as well as the amount of recent activity going on within the group. As an example I have picked out Healthy Recipes For Diabetic Friends. Now before we jump right into market analysis I want you to think about why I chose this group.

  1. First I chose it because the headline “Healthy Recipes For Diabetic Friends” told me right off the bat that a potential niche for diabetics could be formed here. Not only are there going to be a large number of diabetics involved in the discussion here, but there are also a large number of diabetics that already have TONS of problems identified for us, and will give us the easiest of easy answers of what they are eating.
  2. As a marketer we are looking at problems that has garnered a large niche audience (the member count tells us this) and that a lot of people are here discussing and sharing information among themselves. (This tells us that the problem is actually one worth seriously looking at).
  3. Quite simply from the headline I knew that an information product could be developed rather quickly and this will appeal to the general reading audience of this blog. For new and advanced marketers, digital products are about the easiest products to create and get your income going.

Moving into the group I want to read the description of it inside and out. This is going to tell me what kind of people the group will attract and also a ton of other market research gems that will allow me to know whether I want to continue or not.  I take a look at the message history:

Awesome, people are talking and they have been since 2005. This is a dedicated group right here! Everything is in place for me to know that this group is established and people have been openly communicating for a long time. This group has stability and I feel it (as a marketer) that I am about to have my next info product on “Food Recipes For Diabetics” already completely spawned out in front of me. I know there is an active group of people looking for this information on the Internet. They are obviously dedicated so I am thinking that the market is probably pretty good for this. If it’s not guess what? It did not cost you a dime to find out.

I am going to end this post abruptly folks. I am going to end it with just three images that I picked up from when I joined this group. It’s seriously this easy to find a niche and have everything you need to write that next book (if that’s your thing) or to hop in these groups and have something you want to promote as an affiliate. We wont go into marketing to these groups directly. That is a completely different subject and quite frankly it’s an art. If/when you get caught, you can take some pretty serious heat from the members. I know that for a fact. However with the three images below could you possibly tell me why you could NOT write the world’s most bad ass ebook over recipes and healthy food for diabetics? Apply this post as an example and know there are endless niches located there.

 Loads Of Recipe Posts:

Recipe Posts

List Of Files Containing Recipes:   It does not get any easier than this.

Recipe Files

A sample of one of the Recipe Files:

Sample Recipe

BOOYAA…Market And Product Research Complete. All at once.


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

61 Responses

February 8, 2008
dukks

I don’t comment on your blog, matter of fact I’ve only commented once, but this breakdown is absolutely incredible.

Awesome post dude:)


February 8, 2008

What more needs to be said than WELL FUCKING DONE! I had been doing market research lately and a combination of google/facebook/screwing around in general was giving me hell, this my friend, is a pretty good answer for me rolled up into 1!


February 8, 2008

This is some GREAT information! I really appreciate the info on this one as I am trying to figure out how to get some more niches going. This helps tremendously. This is better than using other means of finding a niche.

Thanks Ruck!

Denise


February 8, 2008
Mr. Longtail

Man, I want some fried gator right about now.


February 8, 2008
Kent F

Good gator Ruck. I will say from experience, however, either get in slowly and be a cool dude – or be prepared to take the heat as Ruck stated. Starting with some freebies might be a good start.

I know from moderating 5 Yahoo groups they get spammed to death. Great info. – very awesome.


February 8, 2008

Ruck,

Great post as usual. Kent- I think Ruck is saying not to market to the group (unless you can do this artfully).

Do you find yahoo groups better than google groups for research? It also seems running your own group once you identify a niche can be good as you then are the moderator.

Deb


February 8, 2008

Excellent article Ruck. Another great example of what you’re exposing your readers to that the “gurus” don’t (which is why I don’t pay attention to 99.99% of what they say).

In looking at the images, I might not write that diabetic recipes info-product because there seems to be a huge amount of receipes already available for free, so why would they buy a receipe ebook unless it was something unique that would appeal to people in this market.

I recently read about the 6 niche factors Travis Sago (BUM marketing method) uses to evaluate the profitability of a niche. Here’s the Cliff notes version of his report: (1) Mind share – basically how many times a day do people in this niche think about ____. The more they think about it, the better for us as marketers; (2) Emotional temperature [goes with (1)] – here you examine how strongly the people feel about ___. The more strongly they feel, the more motivated they’re likely to be. Take the market’s temperature by hanging out in online forums or discussion groups; (3) Do the people want to talk about ____? When people are emotional about their niche, they want to talk about it. So you should be able to find a few active forums/discussion groups for the niche — if you can’t that’s probably not a niche you want to focus on; (4) Cost to be part of niche – the more money it costs to be involved in this market the better; (5) Sponsored advertising already present; and (6) Ask “Why wouldn’t people in this niche buy ___ product?”and answer it. In the example you gave, diabetics in the Yahoo! group probably would buy a diabetic recipe ebook because they can get so many receipes for free from their community.


February 8, 2008
Kent F

Deb – thanks, I certainly may have mis-read the idea Ruck gave. Honestly – I haven’t been in Yahoo groups for 3 years, but they still seem to be kicking pretty well, and I’ve generally felt they’re simply more active than Googlegroups. As Ruck noted – you want to check the post counts – which appears right on the front page. Lots of groups have 1 or 2 posts a month – or less. I’d say look for at least 5 posts a day with activity for a year or more – as a minimum. You don’t necessarily have to be a moderator, but if you could post just once a day for a few weeks the members will warm to you pretty quickly. Then, and only then would I consider any marketing – and that better be pretty laid back.


February 8, 2008
Marc

You’d have to sell the info elsewhere. A lot of thriving Clickbank products sell stuff that can be had for free if you spent the time to look for it. A good example of this is the ‘Satellite TV for PC’ software.

The Internet is a big place.


February 8, 2008

Wow, this is a great one, Ruck. I’ve looked into Yahoo groups before, but not to this degree. nice post.


February 8, 2008

Good stuff. I’ve used info from Yahoo groups to build several niche marketing sites.


February 8, 2008
Geese Howard

So wait, wait, wait, wait… So are you saying all I have to do is go to a place like this if I were going to make a book on recipes, for instance, and copy paste these recipes into a PDF and then throw it on EBAY for like 7.97 or something?


February 8, 2008

What do you think Geese?

I left this post open like this for a reason. Look at it closely and think about what I showed you. If I came right and told you that yes you could indeed put together a book or site using these recipes (in this instance) then I would be helpful but not allowing you to use your own creativity.

So I will ask you (in this instance) what specifically comes to your mind about this post?

And I will tell you right now man, yes it can be absolutely that easy man.


February 8, 2008

do you actually target the IM groups as well, since you are an expert in that field already


February 8, 2008

great post buddy. i’ve been using yahoo groups for some time with fairly decent results. keep up the awesome work man.


February 8, 2008
Rip

Content creation is not a problem for me personally.

What I feel like I could never do is write sales copy enticing enough to get people like this to fork over money for a recipe book. I’ve tried selling some niche ebooks like this to some non-IM niches before, and did horribly.

So basically, my sales copywriting sucks, so I don’t think I could sell anything like this. How would you go about selling this stuff Ruck? Your typical sales page with opt-in form, or something else?


February 8, 2008
Della

I think what Ruck is saying is that your sales pitch will come thru with your interaction with these people on Yahoo.

So like Kent said, you get in there, you post regularly for a couple of weeks and in those conversations, you will be given the opportunity to offer “helpful advice” to your new friends…and in this scenario, it would go something like this…

“Hey Rip, my husband has just been diagnosed with diabetes, and I am trying to figure out what I should feed him, now”

And Rip replies: “I know when my wife was first diagnosed we had the same problem…and I found these recipe books to be helpful”…

So you are not really selling…you are being a helpful friend…do I have it right, guys?


February 8, 2008

Great post Ruck.
BTW did you notice that Yahoo Answers turned all the links into text yesterday?
It was a great tip you gave but i could use it for only a week :)

Everything changes pretty quick


February 8, 2008

This is really a great post man, because one of the biggest questions I want to know is… what are the biggest questions/concerns my customers have.
Usually I find out through blog comments but your technique has opened my eyes a lot more.

Thanks Ruck,
Alex


February 8, 2008
Rip

Della, why would you sell those people a book of recipes that are taken directly from the group’s recipe list?


February 8, 2008
Mike

Slightly off topic question…..can someone tell me what program they use to convert word documents into pdf files so that they hyperlinks remain active. I’m currently developing an eBook for my niche, and need the hyperlinks for it to work. Thanks!


February 8, 2008

@ Rip – Dont know what I would do really, I just used this as an example. You dont have to sell anything. You could have your own blog with user generated content if you wanted with this. There are all kinds of things you could do. Besides the people within the group is a drop in the bucket compared to how many more there are probably looking for this information.

Nobody said you had to sell anything here. This was generally meant as market research and NOT as a marketing approach. There is a huge difference and if your thinking about money first then your clouding your thinking about what could really be accomplished here.

@ Rare – No I dont. Reason why is the make money groups are full of people wanting to push their crap on to others. You might get a few ears, but a waste of my time really.

As far as marketing to the groups, I dont even do that anymore. I am just breaking down how easy it is to find a market and niche.

As for Yahoo Answers, they reported this on their blog that it is a glitch and it is being worked on.

@ mike – Hey Google “OpenOffice”. The OpenOffice writer will allow importing of .docs and exporting to PDF and have your links clickable.


February 8, 2008

Yes, I put 2 and 2 together after my first comment. It was like I got hit by lightning or something.

By the way….”huh huh….he said ‘tool’.”


February 8, 2008
Della

Hi Rip,

You’re right, marketing an ebook of their own recipes would probably go over like a lead brick…and my point was not to tell you to sell a rehashed book…although you could probably do a quick search and find a whole slew of diff recipes if you wanted to put an ebook like this together.

My point was responding to your statement that you weren’t successful in the past when you tried to sell ebooks. And what I was saying that the beauty of this audience is that they will have already warmed up to you and it wouldn’t be a total cold sale. They’ve gotten to know you through your responses to them, and because they like and trust you, they may be more receptive to something that you offered.


February 8, 2008
Tony

You can market the recipe book somewhere else.


February 9, 2008
solvetheproblem

This is an excellent example of the old saying “Give the man a fish and he will eat for a day, but teach him how to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime” I like your stance of not telling everything, but leaving the user to figure it out for himself. Thanks!


February 9, 2008

Nice one. I never thought of using it as research. I know it’s next to impossible to sell on the groups, especially if you’re a new member. Anything close to a sales pitch will marked as Spam in the active groups. Using them as research is an awesome idea.


February 9, 2008
Rolli

Trying to sell them their own recipes probably isn’t the right idea. But study the group and see their needs, take those recipes throw an ebook together and market it to another group of people with the same issues somewhere else (Google Groups). Cool…Great Post!


February 9, 2008

I guess I was thinking “inside- the-box” with my comment. I was only looking at why the members of that discussion group wouldn’t buy the ebook. I didn’t consider the possibility of selling it on another venue (eBay). Since sugar is a problem for diabetics, you could create a killer desert recipes hard cover book or video series and market it offline.


February 9, 2008

I read on another forum where someone asked on a yahoo group for people to e-mail him their tips on something (like training a dog). Then I think he compiled it into an ebook and sent them a mini version of it with a link to paid version and got a bunch of sales from people within the group. But I think that Ruck’s point is to use this for market research and then sell elsewhere (even offline). You can also find active forums on these topics . Ruck as usual gives great suggestions for finding people hungry for answers.

Debbie


February 9, 2008
solvetheproblem

It just occurred to me that Ruck is making a less obvious point by listing the countries for Yahoo Groups. If you click on his links and bring up the categories you get different groups. Ruck makes the subtle point that marketeers need to get out of the U.S. markets sometimes to make a score.


February 9, 2008

Ha!

Shit someone caught that didnt they :), I personally like these little things I try to throw out there. It might be annonying to some, but it allows you to really open up about how large the Internet is.

That was a great find. And I am glad the focus has shifted to market research and not to marketing on Yahoo Groups.


February 9, 2008

Oh yeah, for sure. I don’t even run any of my PPC campaigns in the States any more. Gotta’ get out of the good old U.S. of A.


February 9, 2008
the other Jeff

Ruck’s bashing me over the head on marketing out the US has really sunk in. Good read again captain.


February 9, 2008

Just want people to know that there is a whole other world outside of US. Once you start marketing internationally your going to see a whole new point of view :)


February 9, 2008
Stephen

Woohoo! I have been addicted to this blog since I first saw your link on one of the forums! I am glad I did. That was an excellent tactic to share Ruck, thanks!


February 9, 2008

Thank for this my man, very useful, plus I also wanna become one of you top comentators, Ha Ha Ha Ha.

Seriously though I am going to look deeper into this


February 9, 2008

Very interesting idea. Never thought of it even while browsing Y! groups on another tab.


February 9, 2008

Ruck,

I like the subtle points. Maybe if we can recognize them that means it’s a sign of developing outside the box thinking.
Do you use a translator tool to post to non-english speaking countries?

Deb


February 9, 2008
Denise

I am finding so much stuff with this idea! I did not catch onto the other country thing though. This would be totally new to me. Maybe I can find something in the forum. See you there.


February 9, 2008

Yeah, Yahoo Groups and other sites like it are great for niche research, as are numerous other sources such as magazines, newspapers, etc. All around there are people with a problem that are looking for a solution, you just have to open your eyes to the world around you, and not just the virtual world.


February 9, 2008

There are hundreds of thousands of people coming online every day looking for a solution of some kind.

Ruck has given us some great food for thought and there are a ton of ways you can make money with this if you take a good few minutes to think about it.

I like Rolli’s idea to use the info from a group on yahoo and market it to a group on Google, AOL, MSN, Facebook etc. It only needs to be a short report of several pages and you can set up paypal to take your orders.


February 10, 2008
mo

damn it Ruck! I was all happy cuz I thought I finally came up with something on my own…lol I was actually going thru some old posts and I was thinking that I was going to do this (because of your old posts I re-read)…
I better get to making my new books. Im gonna hit this shit hard and see how it goes. I got so many new ideas just from this one idea.
You freakin rock homeboy…

Im gonna beat the shit out of this one. hehe


February 10, 2008

I actually use yahoo group quite a lot. Great place indeed.


February 10, 2008

What kind of members number are you looking for in a group in order to decide that it’s worth taking a chance creating a mini niche business ?


February 10, 2008
Gokarter

Great Stuff Ruck , You sure are over delivering with all the articles you are doing for us .

Wonder why I’m getting a lot of spam e-mail to join Yahoo Groups (Hmm)


February 11, 2008
Denise

Gokarter, I am getting alot of junk in my e-mail now too! Oh well! It is a small price to pay. :-)


February 14, 2008

Newbie here. This is a great idea! I have been a member of a lot of Yahoo groups and found some message threads annoying, but looking at this new perspective, I should have paid more attention to the discussions going on in my group instead of deleting the messages in my mail :) One more area to look for discussions in the internet is reading forums. Unfortunately, there is no forum directory (as far as I know), but it’s a great place to look for people discussing their problems (and giving out answers)


February 15, 2008
tommy

if you use y!groups extensively, check out pgoffline. it will snatch entire groups and make them available to you offline. im not related to that project at all, so find it yourself :b


February 15, 2008

Great post Ruck. I really like how you are trying to lead people in a direction with their thinking rather than just force feed the information. It gets the creativity going. It was great to read through all the comments and see the lightbulbs go in as people began to realize that this tool is for finding the niche; not necessarily for traffic generation. Both are crucial to our success, but each has their own place in the puzzle.


February 15, 2008

Heck ya,

I try to do this as much as I can because who knows who might pop in here and have a better idea than me. It works out for all of us :)


Ruck,

Yahoo Groups, a great Idea for Market Research. I belong to a few but never consider them for research purposes… Thanks for the whack on the side of the head.

It’s interesting to read the comments. Many of the questions that I had have been commented on and mostly answered.

Deb said: “Do you use a translator tool to post to non-english speaking countries?”

I can offer some input here. I’m an American that retired to Mexico about 7 years ago and at the time the extent of my Spanish was ‘Senorita’ and ‘Margarita’. Needless to say, my Spanish has improved over time but I am no means fluent.

The ‘translator tools’ are ok for survival Spanish (or pick your preferred language) but to sell an info product? Forget it. Find a native speaker on elance that can translate the English version that you have.

Just my 2 cents.

Livin’ la Vida Dulce (the Sweet Life) on Mexico’s Largest Lake, Lake Chapala,

Joel
Casa Preciosa, Ajijic, Mexico


November 30, 2008
SkyWatcher

If you ask me theres a lot of garbage that you’e to wade through in Yahoo! groups but once you strike a goldmine you rarely complain :P


November 30, 2008
SkyWatcher

I understand, a great and valuable niche research tool. Thanks!!


January 17, 2010

Wow, I used yahoo before for stupid insignificant things but never even thought about this approach, amazing and thank you!!


July 22, 2010

I Love Yahoo!