When creating a content based website you can't just look at how big a market is and say thats a lot of money I am gonna go get some of it. You have to evaluate the profit potential of the market, and how easy it is for you to access it.
Lets say I heard that biotechnology was a fast growing field and the market can not keep up with the demand, and I wanted to ride that wave. There are multiple problems with profiting from that market though:
- lots of authority in that market: you are going to need many links to compete in the SERPs
- lots of passion in that market: it is going to be hard to accumulate links as fast as the best channels
- hard to write about: you can't just pay any old work at home writer to research and write about biotechnology the way they could write about something like personal finance
- science and government: lots of high authority sites clogging up the search results
- ad blindness: outside of children who do not yet understand advertising, most people studying science are less likely to click ads than the average person
The above bullet points are examples of things to look out for. Some markets that are generally tough to profit from (on an ROI perspective)
- anything related to computers and the Internet
- insurance or anything with heavy government interests
- fields where everyone has the same duplicate content
- science or other fields with lots of trusted links
- high priced commodities in fields that are heavily marginalized and in decline
Good Ways to Play Bad Markets:
Zillow does well in real estate because they have a unique way of displaying information. If you have a new format / angle / niche you can do well in even the most competitive markets.
Non-competitive Markets that are Claimed to be Competitive:
Many markets that are allegedly competitive have a bunch of thin sites all doing the same stuff.
- The Forex market has almost no editorial, and the channels that have editorial tend to be so technical in nature that they are hard to cite.
- How many useful original ringtone sites are there? How hard would it be for someone who had a useful ringtone site to get 50,000 visitors a day?
- How many markets are there where half of the top results are obviously written by Indians who barely know English?
Choosing a Profitable Market:
No matter what category you are competing in, you are going to have some minimum baseline writing, design, research, link building, and marketing costs. It is likely more profitable to be an established unique site in a field of sites all offering the same thing than it is try to be a market leader in a market with low search volume and virtually no commercial intent.
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