Product Development March 26, 2020

Using Google for side hustle ideas

Jordan cole @jordancole21

Hey everybody I've been inactive from IH for a while but I want to share an idea I've been playing around with. Well it's actually more of a strategy and its definitely probably not new.

The idea is to take the principles of keyword research (I'll link to a good video on that at the end) to find things that either get searched a lot or that have high cost per click (or both). By doing this you get a pretty solid gage of the commercial value of an idea.

The best example I can think of is looking at keywords that contain "calculator", and examining which ones have either high search volume or high cpc. If you have one with high volume it means there is clearly demand for it. If you find that one has a high volume and high CPC. It probably means that there is not only demand for but that it could potentially be profitable since a company is willing to pay that much for a single click for the person looking for it.

Once you've done your research and have the business model fleshed out (that's profitable - you may even be able to reverse engineer one from some of the advertisers) , the next step would be to build an mvp of it and get some traffic going to it to test it. The quickest way to do that is probably through facebook or google ads. (you could do seo but if it's a competitive keyword it's going to take a looong time) to see any traffic from that. Then boom you have a validated and tested profitable side project. Or not. At the very least you have something that people are somewhat interested in!

But yeah thats the theory I'm working with. I'm using it to launch a job board soon so I'll keep yall posted on that. And I'm using Ahrefs for keyword research! (thanks
@timsoulo ) But I'm curious. Has anyone tried this approach and had any results with it? Let me know what yall think.

And here's the video I promised (its from Ahrefs):

  1. 3

    Yep, I call this finding a product that has 'pull'. I wrote about it yesterday here:

    Curious to hear what you think.

    1. 2

      Yeah! If understand what you were saying I totally agree. It's a lot easier to solve a problem that you already know exist because you have the data to prove it exists.

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        I used to think using keyword data to validate a business idea was hacky, just a trick used by wantrepreneurs who didn't want to do the hard work of talking to a customer.

        My thoughts have changed a lot recently, and now I believe that it's critical for a bootstrapped company to have 'pull'. Because of that, I no longer think it's hacky, provided that you add on actual customer exploration with it.

        1. 1

          Yeah I think it's like a precursor to customer interviews. Because at the end of the day you can't talk to customers you don't have. And you can't attract customers unless you know what they want. I think the pitfall people fall into is just building something no one wants. So I like your framework because it makes sure that the customer comes first and not the maker.

          1. 1

            Thanks! I'm thinking of formalizing the framework a bit once I have it all fleshed out and have a bit more experience with myself. But it's been all hard-earned knowledge with my experience with so far, and the pitfalls I've had by trying to 'scratch my own itch', and finding that to be overall bad advice.

            While I still think there's a lot of potential for CoderNotes, I'm excited to see what people can do with a 'pull' focused mindset from the beginning!

  2. 3

    This is a great idea to gauge interest in a market / idea to pursue. Will start to do this.

    I'd recommend a free tool for keyword research such as:

    1. 2

      I'll check it out! I use Ahrefs because they have the most accurate data than any other tool that I've found. And once you kind of have a grasp of who your competitors are you can see who's linking to them. Which means you can approach people for affiliate deals.

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