How To Find A Niche In The Costume Website Market – Option 1

Time for more Online Marketing babble. This one’s about keyword research, specifically the research I do for my Halloween websites. It’s pretty close to what I’d do for a normal niche blog, the only difference being how I check the competition. Even that’s a minor difference.

For this post, I’ll show how I find my first set of costume options. I’ll make a second post about how I find additional costume options, and then I’ll show how I register domains. So, two options and a tutorial on registering, and then I’ll probably go back to blogging about food and trucking for a while.

First, I go to BuyCostumes. Why BuyCostumes? Because Commission Junction is easy to get accepted into, and the BuyCostumes program is auto-accept. So, I don’t have to apply and hope I’m accepted.

Once I’m there, I start browsing costumes. Personally, I like to type in “new” and see what pops up. These are the new costumes for the year, and often they’re related to popular culture. Comic book movies, big movies of the year, natural disasters like the oil spill, Lady Gaga dressing odder than usual, or a revival in a certain fashion will spark a bunch of costume options.

Once I’ve searched under “new” I usually browse until I find something interesting. In this case, on the first page, I found a good choice: a Tron costume.
Tron Legacy - Deluxe Adult Costume
Tron’s never been my cup of tea, but it will work as an example. So, I decide Tron’s promising, and put it in the search engine of BuyCostumess to see if they have accessories or more costumes. I’m in luck, there are costumes for men, women, and kids, and the disc accessory. This gives options.

Now that I have a costume idea, I head to the Google Keyword Tool. I drop tron costume into the keyword tool, and then I make a couple modifications. First, I check “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms”> to narrow down the crap. Then I choose advanced options, and filter keywords so they’re= 1,000. Sound confusing? It’s not. What I’m doing is limiting the keywords to things related to “tron costume” so it’ll only turn up results with that in the name, and limiting the search terms to anything getting between 1,000 and 50,000 searches per month.

Why limit searches? On the high end, anything getting much over 50,000 searches is going to be hard to rank for. Anything under 1000 really isn’t worth buying a domain for; 800 searches a month means you’re going to see about 300 visitors a month. I’ve found the actual buying percentage is about 1% or less, which means you’ll see maybe 3 sales a month, and that’s during costume season (September and October). That’s not to say that you can’t make money off these sites, but I find anything over 1000 is usually better.

Here’s what the search looks like, before I hit submit:
Tron Costume Search Set Up

Here’s the first thing I see in the results:
Tron Costume Results
27,100 results is nothing to sneeze at. That’s a lot of searches. If you could dominate that with a first page, top 3 listing, you could make a lot of money. However, the competition might be stiff. It’s worth checking out though, so I open a notepad file and write it down. I then go through the other search results, and jot down anything that is related to Tron costumes, without being a “do it yourself” option. Remember, you want to make sale of premade costumes, so you need to target appropriately. There’s no sense in luring in in folks who want to make either own costumes; you’re wasting time targeting a market that isn’t interested, and you’ll piss some of them off.
Here’s some of the other results:
Tron Costume Related Serches

I noticed 3 interesting things about the search terms above: “Tron Legacy” and “Tron Suit” both pop up, and there’s no plural for costumes. If the 6 search terms I’ve picked don’t pan out, I can use these, and “Tron costumes” to find more potential keywords to search for. For now, i’m sticking with 6 keywords:

  • Tron Costume

 

  • Tron Suit costume

 

  • Tron Legacy costume

 

  • Tron Halloween costume

 

  • Halloween Tron costume

 

  • Tron costume for sale

Of the 12 results above, I did not include the how to search terms, nor did I include “Tron costume Halloween” or “Tron costume sale” because both of those are going to be tough to work into a website without sounding like I don’t know how to write in English.

 

Now I’m ready to check Google, and see what shows up on the first couple of pages. All I do is drop the search term into Google, without quotes, and see what comes up. In essence, I’m searching for the term exactly like I would, if I was looking for a tron costume online. Now, I look for a few specific things: are there any first or second page results that are sites devoted to a premade Tron costume? Most will be domains that spell it out “buytroncostume.com” would be an example.
I’m also looking for any pages selling the costume, either a costume shop, eBay, or sub pages on a network like Squidoo that offer this information. How many are there in the first 2 or 3 pages of results?
After all is said and done, I’m down to 4 results. Tron costume and Tron Halloween costume had too many pages offering premade tron costumes, eBay listings, or too many detailed “do it yourself” options. Given the fact that a lot of people make their own Tron costumes, to me it’s not worth competing.
In the end, I had these 4 options:

  • Tron Suit costume

 

  • Tron Legacy costume

 

  • Halloween Tron costume

 

  • Tron costume for sale

The common problems I saw with all of these is that there’s a Squidoo lens that talks about Tron costumes and their accessories, and there’s a lot of Youtube videos in the rankings. The Squidoo lens has been around a while, and people love videos, so you’ll have a bit of competition, but if you can rank higher than they do, you’ll be okay.
Of the search terms, I personally like “Tron Suit costume” and “Tron Legacy costume” best, because they have the highest searches, 18,000 and 6,000 respectively. That means if you can rank in the top 3, you can see 1,000 visitors or more a month during costume buying season. That’s not a bad deal.

 

If you don’t have a couple of good options at this point, uncheck the box that says “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms” and see what is gives you related to your search. With costume, you’re going to get a lot of unrelated costumes (peacocks, superman, etc), but you’ll also find gems like “Tron outfits” and “Tron Legacy suit” which will also work. You just have to comb through more search terms.

Now that you have some potential domain names, it’s time to go domain shopping. I’ll include a post on how I purchase domain names after I show a different way of finding potential costume sites.