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Thread: The Line Between Niche Competition And Profitability

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Washington, U.S.A
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    224

    Default The Line Between Niche Competition And Profitability

    Hi all,

    I've been doing a lot of research on niche selection in these past few months, but I've been running into one main issue that I've had a hard time tackling.

    Throughout the past few years, I've worked on 6 different websites, some doing significantly better than others. And I've discovered something throughout this time, and even more so now that I started doing niche research in depth. It seems that all the profitable niches are very competitive to rank in, and the ones with low competition that you can easily get thousands of organic visits from pay next to nothing.

    For example, my girlfriend has a site in the weight loss niche that has a decent RPM of around $7, however she's not doing well with traffic and gets almost zero from search engines. I have a site in a relatively untapped niche that's getting around 600 visits a day, but as an RPM of less than a dollar. Bear in mind these low paying sites often don't have much affiliate marketing potential either.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that it seems incredibly challenging to find a niche that can make a good amount. Perhaps I'm looking at this whole thing wrong, or there's something vital I'm missing, I just don't know.

    For now, I'm happy with my passive earning sites as long as they make enough to pay for their annual domain renewal.

    What are your thoughts?
    I have an addiction to starting projects. Therefore, it's not worth listing a site here, because I'll probably be focusing on a different one next week!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Alexandria, MN USA
    Posts
    6,518

    Default

    I always hesitate to speak on these income issues since I do almost all nonprofit work, but on the other hand I am experienced in business and my sites that assist me financially work, albeit a little differently than most (I only need and can only use a few clients to fill my available time for my paying sites). But I do have a little knowledge and understanding of the issues you are looking at.

    Your observations have merit. However, there are a couple of ways you have to work around them and I suspect that almost every successful site does it one way or another.

    One way is making your site a little more "long tailed." You are looking at topics as either highly profitable or not profitable. The idea is to have a field that is high paying (say dieting) but to pick a more specialized approach, for example one that might not be too crowded yet (maybe it is but this will give the idea) would be helping over weight children.

    Another approach is to take the fields that you are looking at as low paying and come up with a way to make them pay better. For example, if you can get a lot of traffic, even if the Adsense clicks are pennies and there are no Amazon purchases that pay much, perhaps you could write and sell your own book on the topic. You may well be able to come up with some product that would generate a good bit of income in almost any field.
    Good Success!

    Website: Success With Money
    "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." —Maya Angelou

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    15,155

    Default

    James, first I like your new avatar! Second, I have noticed something very similar. But the other James is right, you can still get good traffic from long tail keywords. Some of them may not convert as well as the competitive ones but you can get on the map.

    But how you would remedy that is diversify and make sure you collect email addresses early on. I would never create a site today and only rely on Google if I was serious about making good money online. So that's why it would have to be a topic I'd be committed to so you can either do a podcast, youtube channel, etc.

    What keywords is your girlfriend targeting with weight loss? For example today I wouldn't just target weight loss. I'd target a niche like weight loss tips for people who had gastric bypass surgery. I think trying to compete with a broad weight loss site can be tough.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Washington, U.S.A
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    224

    Default

    I'd like to thank you both for your incredibly detailed, well-written responses.

    I have definitely considered looking into smaller sections of large markets. I know the big 3 evergreen ones right now are health and wellness, wealth, and relationships. Looking at some larger keywords (and even some longer tail keywords) results in several big companies (WebMD for health, Askmen for relationships, etc.) having one brief article ranking well over an entire website dedicated to the specific subject. Take the keyword 'schizoaffective disorder' for example, all of these big companies push entire websites about this disorder completely off the front page. Anyhow, I'm certain it's still possible through diversification as has been mentioned, it just seems incredibly difficult. With the exception of one micro-niche, I don't have much experience working in these major markets myself so perhaps I'll have to try it out and see just how hard it really is.

    James, your idea of finding a way to make a niche more profitable is a great one, and is actually exactly what a friend and I plan on doing later this summer when we have more time.

    Another idea I've considered is targeting niches that are more likely to be profitable in the future, and becoming an authority early on so I can earn big when that time comes. One of which I have considered is 3D printing. While it's still quite profitable now, I know in the future it will be even more of a money maker.

    Right now, my girlfriend is targeting weight loss for teenage females. Unfortunately, she doesn't share a lot about her website with me (not even the URL!). I think she's afraid I'm going to be too critical, lol. Too be fair, I don't think she knows much about search engine optimization so I'm sure that is partly a factor into why she's not ranking well. Honestly, I don't think she minds too much as I believe she's done it more for fun than for money. She knows how much fun I have working online and that inspired her to do the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by lisa View Post
    James, first I like your new avatar!
    Thanks, Lisa! My old avatar was long outdated, even when I uploaded it. It was definitely time for a change
    I have an addiction to starting projects. Therefore, it's not worth listing a site here, because I'll probably be focusing on a different one next week!

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