If you were going to open a business with your own money, which of these two would you attempt?
A mega superstore or corner deli?
Would you try to battle some of world's largest companies, with most established names and huge budgets? Or would you try to find a community with relatively few eateries and a sizeable population, then try to appeal to that group of people? If you wanted best chance of success, you would open corner deli. Guess what many people would do when given equivalent online choice?
That's right. Many people who create web sites try to build "superstore" web site instead of "corner deli" site. They join dozens, even hundreds, of affiliate programs, create as many categories as Yahoo and then link to all these programs.
They're unlikely to succeed. They will not be knowledgeable about most of those programs. How can they be? There are only 24 hours in a day. Why would people visit their site? People visit web sites for information. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently. If a site doesn't have some sort of unique, specialized information then it has nothing.
Internet marketing. It's not a niche. It's a mass market, like Wal-Mart rather than local deli. Yet it's amazing how many neophytes try and promote Internet marketing affiliate programs. Most likely they do this because that's first thing they are exposed to when contemplating starting an online business. But that's not right approach.
The right approach is to use information about Internet marketing to carve a niche for yourself in a place where there is not as much competition as in "gorilla" areas - areas where you have to compete with proverbial giants.
You have to focus on a niche you know and love. Why? Because that's only way you're going to be able to devote kind of time and effort to create a meaningful site, build up right traffic, generate worthwhile income, and enjoy what you're doing.
Here's an example. I sell display-ready ship models. It's a niche that upon first inspection has a lot of competitors. But most are just small shops that have a web site. Is there demand? Yes, a search on Overture's Keyword tool reveals nearly 30,000 searches last month for phrase "ship model" and thousands more specific searches for a number of related items.
What's top bid? About $0.70, so there's money in it too. Advertisers don't continuously pay that kind of money without generating results. So there's your answer. Yes, there is demand and there is money in it. Is there too much competition?
No, you don't see any "gorillas" size of a Sears or General Motors or Amazon in it. When you think of model ships, there's no company that you instantly associate with it, like Amazon when you think of books. That's a promising start.