Friday, June 10, 2005

Narrow Niche Market or Competitive Keyword Phrase

Traditional wisdom in affiliate marketing is that a new webmaster should target a small niche that doesn't have a lot of competition. Reasons for this probably include the self-confidence that getting quick traffic and revenue brings. It also possibly includes the thinking that a narrow niche is going to convert better and be a lot easier to get market share in. But I question traditional wisdom about everything when I can.

Competitive markets include things like web-hosting, online dating, travel, poker, mortgages, etc. Essentially anything with a high profit margin is generally pretty competitive, especially when it comes to picking up search engine traffic. Traditional wisdom has it that a new affiliate webmaster can't penetrate these markets because of the high levels of competition for them. I have a different opinion about this. I think that the best thing an aspiring webmaster and SEO can do is target the high competition phrases.

Here's why. I cut my teeth in the affiliate marketing business on the gambling industry. Nothing is more competitive than online gambling, online casinos, and online poker. Again, mostly because it's so profitable. But as a result of learning how to get SERP's in such a competitve niche, I'm now a skilled enough amateur SEO that I can pick up good SERP's for almost any keyword phrase I want, especially if it's a fairly non-competitive phrase. And that means money in the bank.

Here's something else to think about. If you want to be a great poker player, or chess player, or golfer, are you going to play constantly against the worst players you can find? Or are you going to get your ass kicked over and over again by playing the best out there? Olympic athletes become Olympic athletes by training hard, not by competing against wimps.

Should you target a non-competitive niche for your first affiliate site? Sure, if you want to. But you should also consider starting a site that targets something really competitive and profitable, just to see what you can learn from the experience.


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