Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) Intense StareI had the funniest phone conversation with Nicole Dean yesterday.   Nicole is the “mostly sane marketer” — at least that is her claim.  I'm seriously not sure about the “mostly sane” part.  On days like yesterday, she calls that whole sane thing into question.

You see, our conversation was about owl vomit.  Well, not owl vomit, exactly.  We were talking about owl pellets.

Nicole does a series on her blog called “Weird Niche Wednesday” — and today her weird niche is owl pellets.  In case you don't know, owl pellets are little balls of bones and feathers that owls cannot digest after eating their prey.

I've had two fourth graders, so I knew that kids all over America dissect these little gems each and every year.  What I did not know was that there is a niche market for these pellets on the internet.

Don't believe me?   Check this out….

People Are Looking For Owl Pellets On The Internet

So, I'm sitting on the phone with Nicole laughing about owl vomit (trying to decide just how sane she really is) and I decided to take a look at the market for “owl pellets”.

Google Results for Owl PelletsI was surprised when I typed “owl pellets” into Google (without the quotes), I saw 11 paid AdWords ads (these are the “sponsored links” on the top and right side of the Google search results.) Whenever I see that many ads and searches, I know that chances are people are making money in this niche.

I also saw that there were shopping listings in the Google search result– a clue that there may be affiliate marketing opportunities in this space.

I know personally how quickly AdWords can suck money out of your bank account, so when there are ads running (particularly if they are running for a long time), it means that people are making a profit.

One measure of the competition is the price of those AdWords ads.  If the ads are cheap, it usually means no one is bidding on the phrase.  Sometimes that can mean that there is not much money to be made, so people cannot afford to bid much.  We already know there are 11 ads – but what are people paying for them.

Owl Pellets On Spyfu.com

A quick trip over to SpyFu.com show me a nice little surprise.  It turns out that people are paying as much as a couple of dollars per click for ads.  So, there 11 ads on Google and some of them are costing $2 per click.

Hmmm.   I smell money.

As you know, internet marketing is about matching offers with buyers.  To be successful, you need buyers.  Lots of them.

So, I decided to look at the search volume.  According to the Google Adwords Keyword tool, there are 9900 exact match searches per month for “owl pellets”.  On top of that, some keywords are showing a cost per click of over $5.

That got my attention.

Next Stop Micro Niche Finder

At this point I had seen enough to make me want to fire up a keyword tool.  I have several tools in my toolbox, but for quick stuff I love to use Micro Niche Finder.  I find it easy to use.

I put owl pellets in Micro Niche Finder, and it told me some interesting things.   Since it get's data from the AdWords keyword tool also (most tools do), it confirmed my finding of 9900 exact match results for Owl Pellets.  It also showed me results for about 100 other owl-pellet-related keywords.

Of the keywords that it found, 28 of them contained the word pellet (or pellets).

I asked Micro Niche Finder to show me all the domain names (.com, .org and .net) that were exact matches for keywords.  It turns out that owlpellets.com (and .org and .net) were already taken.  However, the second most popular keyword, owl pellet dissection, was available.

Micro Niche Finder also told me that the competition was pretty weak.  In fact, there are 1000 searches per month for “owl pellet dissection” and there is only one strong site competing for the term.

Micro Niche Finder studies Owl Pellets

So, on a whim, I registered OwlPelletDissection.com (that is why it is shown as unavailable above) and I am in the process of throwing up an owl pellet site at OwlPelletDissection.com for experimental purposes.

Get it?  Throwing up an owl pellet site? I crack myself up.

Sorry.   I put up the site last night.  So, it is a work in progress (kind of like my jokes).

An Interesting Case Study

Anyway, it will be interesting to see if I can rank for “owl pellet dissection” and or “owl pellets” over the next few months.  I don't plan to work too hard at it (which makes it even more interesting), since I have lots of other things going on.  But I will work at it some.

I'll keep you posted.  Maybe this would make a nice case study for us to discuss on the blog.  We can talk about the how and why of this project.

I'd love to hear what you think about this — or answer any questions that you might have.  Let me know your thoughts.

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