Hello, everybody. I am new to the hosting industry and I was wondering, how do you go about finding a niche to market your reseller hosting to and are there any resources that you can point me in the direction of to learn how to find niches to market my hosting packages to? I recieved a free VPS for one year and I am in desperate need of a way to make money with this server and am kind of clueless as to how to use this server to the best of my advantage. I am open to any and all suggestions and look forward to some great feedback and ideas and resoures on how to do it. Thanks.
A niche isn't something you can find. Once it's posted somewhere that people can read about it then it's no longer a niche. What you need to do is leverage whatever skills or connections you may have now, and build your niche idea based on that.
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Who do you know in your city who doesn't have a web site but could use one? One good way to start out is to contact local business owners and offer to not only host them, but to take care of that "whole web thing" for them - including web design.
If you don't know how to do this, partner with someone who does.
The good thing about the local market is that others on WHT won't be competing with you even if you broadcast here about it. They're not there, and they can't walk into the shops the way you can.
The WHIR, Web Host Industry Review, says that the majority of the small companies providing hosting are focusing on the "SMB market" ... small and medium businesses. But that's a big niche.
Within that big niche are under served markets, especially in your home town. Contractors, small retail shops, dog sitting services ... all are prospects within your community that are a smaller niche within the SMB market. The reason they are YOUR niche is that they are local to you, and they may want to deal with someone local that doesn't charge them $2,500 to design a site.
That's an example of finding a niche. Others might be a hobby you're interested in, such as RC models or astronomy. You can offer hosting to others in your club or organization, or even put up a site about that topic and invite others with a similar interest to host with you.
You might try finding a market your familiar with that you know about. This way you're already aware of your customers needs and probably know people in those circles. This could be important as the best advertising is word of mouth. So if your already have ties to the IT industry or music these may be the people you want to target first.
The first year will be most likely be the hardest as you are always depending on new accounts to pay the monthly bills. The second year you should have annual accounts coming due and cuts you a little slack as far as income.
When someone has a great idea about something they dont usually share at first go. You need to keep it to yourself and keep refining it until you have perfected it. Therefore, there is usually no niche to this sort of thing, you just need to be creative and build on that 'small' idea.
Think about something you know that is not covered up. Like: hosting for poodle-owners or local non-government organizations hosting or schools...something like that. The only thing: do offer what you can offer (i.e. no to overselling).
Reseller is good if you want to set up client websites and give them their own professional cpanel experience, without investing in your own vps + cpanel.
Unless you find an untapped, targeted traffic source for people who are in need of cheap cpanel hosting, your not going to get noticed unless you can rank #1 in the search engines, which will be close to impossible seeing as there are far more established websites either offering hosting, or recommending hosting for affiliate commisions.
I appreciate all of the feedback. I have a general idea of what I am going to do. I need more knowledge though. I am going to try and sell this space to let the server pay for itself while I pursue the required knowledge and skill. Web Hosting is a very competetive market but I think that there is room for me. It seems like everybody is needing a website these days, and somebody has to build them host them and maitain them. I don't see this market going away for a while, but GOD knows best. Peace!! Thanks again for the insight.