Week 1: Choosing The Right Idea Is Half The Battle

I’m only 5 days into my public challenge to turn a $20k investment into a $500k sale in 1 year, but good news:

The idea – and name – have been decided. Not gonna lie – it’s borderline ridiculous, but I feel like it might just work.

Type: Informational / Educational
Target Audience: leans 40+ years old / female
Monetization: Display ads / possibly affiliate
Platform: WordPress

Vague, I know. But since sharing the domain would skew the entire challenge (unfair buzz, backlinks, sabotage), I can’t risk it.

However, you’ll find specific parallel examples in this email that I easily could have chosen – and almost did.

So how did I land on my idea, and how do you pick your own? (Spoiler: I followed my own advice.)

Note: choosing your idea is pretty much the only step where I can’t tell you exactly what to do. In the weeks ahead, it becomes somewhat more formulaic because any chosen niche follows the same path.

In This Email

  • Understanding the human psyche first.
  • How I started generating ideas.
  • An idea I almost chose for this challenge.
  • How I vet the leading ideas.
  • Check how the idea works on multiple platforms.
  • 22+ niche website ideas to inspire you.
  • What to expect next.
  • How to easily contact me if you’d like.

First, you gotta understand the human mind.

I won’t start a website unless my target visitor literally defines themselves by the topic. If someone had to fill out a bio that couldn’t be more than 70 words, what would they write?

  • A Christian might include their Christianity. It’s part of their personal belief system.
  • An educated professional might include their industry. Spending years in school for something mentally ties you to that field.
  • Someone with anxiety might include that they’re an introvert. It’s a trait that affects almost every moment of every day.
  • A musician might include their instrument. They’ve dedicated thousands of hours to it.
  • Most people would include their hometown. It was/is a staple of a large part of their life.

And all of these people are automatically drawn to people with the same “bio.”

We are tribal. And we have a loyalty to our tribe whatever it might be.

And, whether you want to admit it or have even realized it, that’s the foundation on which marketing and content exist.

So how did I brainstorm potential good ideas?

First, I looked inward. There’s no better business than one where you’re essentially part of the target audience.

You know exactly what you’d want to see, so you know what to deliver.

I started listing things about myself: introvert, new father, digital marketer, dog lover, and so on.

Then I began thinking about the people closest to me and how they define themselves: former Marine, Cleveland Browns fan, vegan, new mother and so on. (Clearly not the same person.)

That gave me a long list of topics with a passionate potential audience. Again, because they literally define themselves by these traits.

After I made the list, I just let them brew in my mind all the time for a couple of days.

Whether I was in the shower, walking my dog, or eating, I was pondering all of these ideas. Start thinking about what you’d write for these potential audiences, but, more importantly, think of a real person who fits the bill – even if it’s you.

How can you help them? How can you educate them? Entertain them? Make their lives better?

What is this person craving more of? What would make them light up to learn, see, or experience?

They already define themselves by something. How do you feed them what they want x10?

Once you’re continuously thinking about these ideas – whether it’s you or someone you know – you’ll begin to feel the right idea form. Because you’ll get excited by it.

An idea I almost chose for this challenge.

My leading idea until the last minute was a website about introversion. I even registered TheThrivingIntrovert.com. Maybe I’ll build it eventually, but I ultimately went with something else.

But what makes a website for introverts a potential winner?

We (introverts) need to be reminded we’re good enough. We need help in social situations. We are blessed with observation skills but sometimes aren’t sure what to do with them. We’re constantly in our own heads. We don’t know how to eliminate toxic people.

We are always seeking, or at least noticing, self-help because introversion can be a controlling trait.

For that reason, we will be passionate to read, share, subscribe, and otherwise pay for anything that feeds what we’re seeking.

When your idea feeds the very identify of a group of people, the marketing becomes much easier.

For this challenge, I landed on an idea that reminds me of someone somewhat close to me. Because I know there are a lot more people like them who crave so much more than they’re already getting.

It’s my job to give it to them. Feed their passion.

How did I make sure my idea was actually good?

What’s already out there? Start Googling your potential topic til your fingers fall off and you need to get bionic replacements.

Go down rabbit holes until you’re eating carrots.

What are current sites covering on your topic? How are they covering it? Does there seem to be a large enough audience?

Are they boring? What’s their newsletter like? Do their articles sound like a robot wrote them?

How can you do it better? Or, at least, different?

Remember, most people are bad at marketing and bad at content. Even “experts.”

For my idea, there’s actually not a lot of content out there. This can be good or terrible. I tend to think this is a forgotten group of people who need something fresh. I want to make them feel better, smarter, and more alive through great content.

A lot of marketers would be suggesting keyword research and other data-driven research right now. They’re not wrong, but I just don’t do it that way.

Once I’ve felt like I’m in-tune with the target visitor, what they love, what’s out there, and what I can do better… then it’s just time to do it.

But make sure the content is multi-dimensional.

Think about the various platforms where you can get web traffic:

  • Google: informational
  • Facebook: entertainment (or just dramatic)
  • Pinterest: discovery and creativity
  • Email: personal

If you take anything away from this email, it’s this: figure out how the same content you’ll be creating can exist on all of those platforms.

Even if it’s with a slight twist. Let’s use my Thriving Introvert example.

Hypothetical content idea: college freshman introverts are terrified of orientation.

  • Google: a thorough, well-researched, science-backed article called, “How To Get Through Freshman Orientation As An Introvert”
  • Facebook: a simple photo that says, “Nobody Will Understand How An Introvert Feels Before College”
  • Pinterest: A nice, tall image – perhaps an infographic – that shows “7 Ways To Cope With Freshman Orientation”
  • Email: an empathetic, personalized feel: “I know what it’s like going to college as a freshman. When I started, I was terrified. Here are the only ways I figured out how to get by.”

I came up with these on the fly, but are they starting to make sense? The same content idea can live on multiple platforms – serving different reasons – with slight tweaks. This is how you diversify.

The bottom line: the more your website idea caters to this entire content strategy, the better chance you have of success.

So how do you know your idea is good?

Hopefully the above helped, but don’t overthink your idea! And certainly do not try to pigeonhole yourself into my examples above. The fact you have a topic in mind probably means there’s an audience.

If you’re still struggling, let it brew in your mind for a while.

Read through the comments section of similar sites. Get an understanding of who your potential audience is at their very core and exactly what will blow their socks off. Then do it.

Also, I wrote a blog post – 22+ niche website ideas. Hopefully they get your creative juices flowing.

Final Words

Most people won’t put this much thought into their idea. They’ll choose one based on some low level keyword research or because it just seems like a cool site.

You’re going to be miles ahead of everyone else with the right idea. Hopefully I am, too, with this one because I’m bent on completing this challenge.

In the coming weeks, I’m going to be showing you how to set up a blazing fast, beautiful, inexpensive website that’s secure and ready for content (want a headstart? here.). Then I’m going to show you how to crush said content so it can thrive on all platforms.

Throw the cookie cutter stuff you learned from fake gurus out the window.

Things are going to get wild. I’m not going to fail this challenge, and neither are you.

Thank you for reading,


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Scott DeLong

I'm an introvert who has built and sold multiple companies for millions of dollars - without funding or employees. I've been featured in BusinessWeek, Business Insider, Fortune, Inc, and more. I hope you find my site helpful to your own entrepreneurial journey.